TORPOINT MOSQUITO SAILING CLUB
Safety Boat Operating Manual
Roger J Holman Summer 2004
Safety Boat Operating Manual
Roger J Holman Summer 2004
When required to work close inshore on a Lee Shore, consideration should be given to Kedging. This operation, if done properly, can greatly reduce any risk or danger to the Safety Boat and crew. Knowledge of the depth of water, type of sea bed and length of anchor warp is essential; too short an anchor warp will not allow manoeuvrability, and a seabed of large stones may not allow recovery of the anchor.
Preparations for kedging should be made well clear of the shore, outside any surf line which exists. The anchor chain should be laid out on the deck of the Safety Boat, clear of obstructions or snagging points, the anchor cable MUST be secured forward.
Approach the casualty from up sea, use the calm space between two waves to turn the Safety Boat head to sea.
On the instruction of the Cox’n the Crewman will lower the anchor over the bow of the boat, making sure that the chain and anchor shackle does not damage the boat. (particularly important on Inflatable Boats.)
The Cox’n will drive the Safety Boat astern under power while the crewman pays out the anchor warp.
When the correct length of anchor warp has been deployed the crewman will make the anchor warp fast and the Cox’n will continue to drive the Safety Boat astern to make sure that the anchor has bitten and is holding.
When the anchor has bitten and is holding the crewman should move to the stern and prepare to take soundings using a paddle, informing the Cox’n continually of the depth of water available.
Anchor Work or Kedging.
Drop anchor outside the surf line.
Drive the boat astern towards the shore.
The boat must continue to be driven astern, keeping weight on the anchor warp. If there is a danger of the propeller striking the bottom, the engine should be stopped and tilted.
Nylon anchor warp will stretch to about 50% of its original length, this stretch will act as a shock absorber against breaking waves, and can, if necessary, be used as spring to pull the boat off the shore. If, on the approach of a large wave, power is reduced, the action of the anchor warp will pull the Safety Boat forward through the wave.
If it is impossible to make physical contact with the casualty, consideration should be given to floating a line inshore, using a fender or lifebuoy or similar. This decision will depend to a large extent upon the condition of any casualty crew.
Anchor work or Kedging.
When contact cannot be made, float a line
inshore using a fender or lifebuoy.
On completion of the operation the boat should be driven forward slowly so as not to over-run the anchor warp and risk entanglement with the propeller. If, due to the nature of the sea bed, it proves impossible to break out the anchor, consideration should be given to cutting the anchor warp to release the boat.
Before operating in heavy seas it is important to ensure that the tubes of RIB’s are inflated hard.
In heavy seas it is important to understand the use of engine power to control the Safety Boat.
The bow of the boat must be kept square to breaking waves at all times.
When proceeding across waves, the speed of the boat may be used to keep in front of a breaking wave, waiting until the wave has broken to cross the crest or change direction.
When ‘stopped’ in heavy seas the engine should be kept running slow ahead in order to be ready for a rapid response.
To climb steep waves, use enough power to climb the face, ease off power at the top to avoid the possibility of a bow over stern capsize. This situation is particularly possible in high winds where the wind may catch the boats bow as it clears the top of the wave.
Ease off power at the top of a wave to prevent
the possibility of a backward sumersault.
Should the boat become airborne from the top of a wave it is important to apply power before the stern lands so that the engine can bite, provide some forward momentum, and prevent the transom becoming buried in the water and flooding the boat.
Engines which have a power tilt facility should be tilted up some 10 to 15 degrees when running down sea. This forces the bow of the boat upwards when power is applied.
When running down sea, the boat must not be allowed to over-run, or be overtaken by breaking waves, power should be reduced in order to match the speed of the waves, and in order that a sufficient reserve of power is retained to accelerate up the back of
a wave if the following wave threatens to bury the bow of the boat.
Should the boat become airborne, apply power just before the stern
lands to provide momentum and prevent the stern burying itself.
If a boat is caught in a trough between two waves and threatens to bury its bow in the back of the wave ahead, power should be applied to drive the boat forward and up the back of the wave ahead, care being taken to reduce power before the boat reaches the top of the wave in order to reduce the possibility of becoming airborne off the top of the wave.
To change direction in heavy seas it is necessary to carefully watch the wave pattern and select a trough between waves which will allow the boat to make the required manoeuvre, power can be quickly applied to kick the stern of the boat around to face oncoming waves, changes of direction should always be carried out with the bow of the boat facing towards oncoming seas.
The Cox’n must make regular visual checks astern, the crew must keep a constant lookout abeam.
In breaking surf it may be necessary to use the power of the boat to punch through a wave to avoid being pushed backwards by the power of the wave.
In general, AVOID SURF.