News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

EXCLUSIVE Anchoring Blog: Onboard Safety Reminders

Date Posted: 2019-08-06
Source: Rudy & Jill Sechez

Stevedore grip technique.

Picture your hand, sans a few fingers because one or more got caught between the chain and the wildcat; then remember this picture every time that windlass work is required. If you must grip the rode, grip it with only the fingertips using the Stevedore grip.

This will minimize the chance for a finger to get crushed. This grip is not just helpful for working around a windlass, it can be of benefit anywhere that a finger can get caught under a rope, wire, or chain.

This grip may not always be possible, but whenever it is, it minimizes the chances of a finger-ruining injury.

Another safety tip is to not use your body as a fender-do not get between your boat and other “hard” objects, such as a dock, piling or another boat.

Barefoot is not a good way to go. When stepping onto unfamiliar surfaces, especially wood surfaces, being barefoot could result in splinters or cuts. And be cautious of grabbing a piling or other wooden timbers- it’s easy to pick up a splinter on older, dried out wood surfaces.

Many of us live in sandals, but stepping onto an unfamiliar surface with them, especially if the surface is slippery can also result in injuries, ruining an otherwise enjoyable day. Better to use firmly attached footwear with good gripping soles, then if safe to do so, switch to bare feet or sandals once the boat is made fast.

Being barefoot when handling heavy gear, such as hefty ground tackle, could result in distractions should you stub a toe or drop heavy gear on a barefoot-distractions like this can prompt an injury-producing incident.

Rudy & Jill Sechez, authors of "Anchoring: A Ground Tackler's Apprentice," (available in both print and digital editions) first began cruising in 1997 aboard a 36-foot wood, cutter-rigged sailboat that they built in a small backyard.

They currently live and cruise aboard a 34-foot sail-assisted wood trawler, which they designed, then built under the trees out in the woods. Relevant to this book, they have seen their boats successfully through seven hurricanes, anchoring through five of them, in addition to numerous tropical storms and countless gales. They cruise primarily the east coasts of the U.S., Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas, with a trip to Bermuda along the way.

  • Comment submitted by Thomas Cox - Wed, Aug 7th

    Very important advice

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