Are you ready to sail? Part II
February 6, 2013
My blog last week listed unsatisfactory and unseaworthy conditions that have been observed on underway
items included no life jackets, no bilge pump, a broken compass, ancient charts,
and no or wrong licenses. The list of other missing or broken equipment and
emergency gear was equally disturbing.
is solution to help prevent these unsafe conditions: the pre-sail checklist. Writing
on a back of the envelope just won’t cut it. Instead, I am a fan of checklists.
Don’t send the deckhand for groceries without a list. You could get bags
containing only Fruit Loops and Hamburger. This lesson I personally learned. As
I said in an earlier blog, we have enough Safety Management Systems procedures,
ISM requirements, and Coast Guard rules and regulations and audits to choke a
horse. Welcome to modern but safer times.
what’s on the checklist? Well, that depends. As a compliance minimum (33 CFR
164.25), “tests before entering or getting underway” provides you with the core
of your checklist. It covers items that you need to maintain control, because
an unguided towing vessel can be more dangerous than an unguided missile:
- Steering, rudders,
- Main engines and
- Emergency power and
can also add:
- Lifesaving, firefighting
and survival equipment.
- Watertight integrity.
- Stability condition.
- Fuel, lube oil and water
- Charts, pubs and navigation
- Navigation lights.
- The “walk around” topside
- Secured and stowed for sea.
Be sure to log
in these items to show that they have been completed for the inevitable
questions that follow an “event.”
plenty more on the pre-sail checklist to make sure you’re really ready to go. Check
out your company’s requirements. The list will guarantee that you won’t get underway without
forgetting critical tests and items. It will also ensure that you won’t be on a Cocoa