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Interesting Article that included “Ten Lessons Learned”


I read an interesting article in the August 2010 “Yachting” magazine. The article was called “Enrolling in the School of Hard Knocks – Lessons learned aboard a ship of fools” by George Sass, Sr.

The article included the following “Ten Lessons Learned” and I thought it was worth re-posting here.

  1. Never go offshore with strangers unless you can verify ahead of time that at least some of them have offshore experience.
  2. Don’t be afraid to question the captain or owner about the safety gear aboard his/her ship.
  3. Ask the captain or owner about key maintenance issues, such as engine service, through-hull inspections, rigging inspections, etc.
  4. Get the most accurate, up-to-date weather forecast possible and know how to interpret the data.
  5. Be prepared by knowing how to run the boat yourself, if necessary.
  6. Familiarize yourself with your route by studying the charts ahead of time.
  7. Learn the basic functions of the ship’s navigation and communications equipment before you leave the dock.
  8. Carry a personal back-up GPS and laptop loaded with appropriate charts capable of running on self-contained batteries.
  9. Go through a complete safety checklist with the owner and other crew members including MOB procedures, location of all through-hull fittings, emergency bilge pump systems, life jacket access, emergency communications systems (including flare kits), abandon-ship procedure, first-aid kit inspection, fire extinguisher locations, engine room firefighting systems, location and working status of flashlights, and more.
  10. Do not add or make any last minute changes to the ship’s systems or electronics without a thorough evaluation and testing of this new gear.

I feel the above advice is very useful and could help prevent unnecessary disasters aboard your vessel.


Steve Charlebois

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