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YNZ Safety Regulation Amendment

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Feedback from YNZ Safety and Technical Officer, Angus Willison:

“An existing regulation should have already covered the issue of lockers coming open and the contents coming out,  however in recent experience it would appear that it is necessary for the regulations to be more literal. As was the case with minimum headroom height, amended earlier this year.


I would highlight that most boats already comply. In the case of the Gisborne race 5 out of the 7 boats were fine and only one boat objected. Another boat had 2 lightweight cabin soles that weren’t secured and they were relatively small and covered by sails when underway so it wasn’t really an issue.”

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I'd like to think I'm much the same.  I like to keep my boat in a Cat 3 state even for cruising; albeit the Cat 3 certificate isn't kept current.   My biggest issue with this amendment is the increa

Agree with you both.   I'm told what you can do is hang a 20lt bottle of water off the end of your kite pole and swing it out to one side. Then do some fiddling with al or bits of that, I can't quit

The inspectors have the ability to pass a vessel due to it's offshore past I had a bit of a disagreement with one inspector about chainplate fixings. He said he'd pass the boat on a historical basis.

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Where in the Safety Regs does it define the difference between 'an issue' and 'wasn’t really an issue'?


Or is there some table that shows the sail size/number of required to offset having to use whatever size/number of screws?

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i have always been strict on  my approach to  safety and have considered Lawless to be well equipped and has more than required for Cat 1&2   safety and always up to date

but because someone has a personal idea of what is require this does not give them the right to try and enforce before a race a suddenly change to  the rules

my understanding is as long as you go by the rule book thats it

the person who wants the changes is more than welcome to come aboard Lawless and suggest how i can install a lock on the freezer without damaging the top and how i fasten the floor boards down so they can be released in a hurry if we get holed

the floor boards are foam/glassed

the problem with getting up to Cat/2  is not a cheap excise and because of this it is restricting the  fleet numbers     

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Like many of us i don't have an interest entering Cat 1 or 2 racing. But committed to achieving Cat 3 and more importantly being a responsible and safe skipper/owner.


So I can understand 13, 16 or 19mm ply floor boards being dangerous if inverted. And there are floor anchors available for these applications. We don't have a heavy interior on Oliver Sudden.


So does a 7mm light ply floorboard need to be anchored/secured for Cat3...?


And what about the 3mm ply bunktops...?

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Like many of us i don't have an interest entering Cat 1 or 2 racing. But committed to achieving Cat 3 and more importantly being a responsible and safe skipper/owner.



I'd like to think I'm much the same.  I like to keep my boat in a Cat 3 state even for cruising; albeit the Cat 3 certificate isn't kept current.


My biggest issue with this amendment is the increase in safety preparedness threshold from knock down to full inversion for Cat 3.  Personally I'm not one for following rules for rules sake but would rather understand the logic, risks and probabilities behind these recommendations.  I have gained lots of valuable insights from the YNZ inspectors going through the formal steps for cat certification.  At no time have we had a discussion around the implications of full inversion or what is practically required to survive such an event.


If I start to think about the implications there are a couple of things that come to mind


  • A Farr 1020 has an AVS of approx 115 degrees so that means anything beyond this an she would be just as happy to float upside down than right side up.  Realistically I would have to prepare for a full capsize without the expectation of her self righting (edit: in any reasonable period of time).
  • The starboard cockpit locker is open to the inside of the hull by design.  This allows access to the rear of the motor and gearbox for servicing.  I would have to modify the boat and make it non-class compliant to survive any reasonable time inverted.
  • Most but not all of my floorboards are screwed in and I have just been through an exercise of lifting these to perform a clean and inspection.  It took me circa 20 minutes to unscrew and remove these in flat calm conditions.  If I needed to inspect the hull for structural damage in an emergency and in any sort of seaway I couldn't do it in anything less than 30 minutes.  Before this announcement my initial thoughts were it was probably safer for me not to fix the floorboards as I'm more likely to hit a submerged object or run aground than I am likely to roll the boat.
  • Securing the freezer lid and associated chart table lid would be a pain but not impossible.  It would however only ever be of value during an inversion and has been the least of my worries in the last two knock downs I have experienced.
  • Securing the 3mm bunktops would also be more challenging.  If I was going to secure these i would want to do this properly so as they could contain the contents underneath as well (think 25 pound spare anchor + chain worst case).  I would have to either put tie-down points in for the heavier objects or upgrade the bunktops to something a lot stronger.

While this is a list specific to my boat I would expect most other yachts of my vintage would be in a similar position (most of the 1020's I know are).  Looking at the entry list for last years Coastal; I ask myself how many of these would be capable of economically achieving safety during a full inversion.  I'd suspect not that many.  I also have to ask myself what is the probability of a full inversion for my boat in the conditions I am comfortable to sail in; probably quite low.


This amendment, while looking relatively minor and innocuous at first glance, has a quite significant cost and complexity implication. I do fear for the participation levels in our sport for the Ma's and Pa's of this world that only enter a race like the Coastal once a year.



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I have a cat. Full inversion has happened. I have to ensure (quite willingly) that heavy objects such as anchors and batteries are secured in the even if capsize. I have capsized, they were. My loose bunk tops are not, was no issue. i hope the safety inspectors apply some common sense to the amendment. I wonder how many keelboats have been roiled to 180 in the coastal classic? This is hardly a cat 3 issue.

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I'd have to agree with the posts above. I don't believe this is the "Minor Issue" that is quoted from YNZ in the first post. IMO virtually NO boats now comply - incl my own, which was passed Cat 1 several times previously. The Fridge and Freezer tops don't comply, nor the Bunk tops.

I can do the bunk tops, but it will require some thinking, as the space under them is used for storage, and they need to then open, with a limited space - I used to just remove them longways when needed... :think:

My floorboards were screwed down - some are not now for access/cleaning this area could be improved.

I've been contemplating a fairly serious voyage, so thinking along these lines anyway.


Just a note about the Farr 1020 Farrari - any boat with an AVS of 115 is unlikely to stay inverted for long - Conditions to roll her more than 115 deg to capsize are likely to roll her back more than the 65deg required to self right fairly soon. Not impossible (even likely) though, of course, for her to remain inverted for a few minutes, and something to think about. Provided the hull is airtight (through hulls closed etc) then the air pressure in the hull will keep out most of the water - more will come in while rolling than when inverted. This is just my understanding, I've never been rolled 360 - or even 180!  


Back to topic - this regulation change does seem over the top for local vessels.

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