Early season safety considerations
Since many of you are out on the water already make sure your boat and what you wear are adequate for the conditions. You are required to carry, as pertains to your SeaSpray, a PFD for each person aboard (should be worn), a 15 meter heaving line (best with a float on the end), a flashlight and a sound signaling device (whistle). Besides the safety equipment, wear suitable splash jackets/pants with perhaps a wetsuit underneath, a hat or toque, and water shoes.
Hypothermia is a real possibility and keep in mind the number 100 if you work with Fahrenheit or 35 if you work with centigrade. Hypothermia is possible if the water and air temperature combined fall below these values. Keep in mind the possibility of falling temperatures and your duration if you end up in the water separated from your boat. Those numbers don’t count if you are in the water, just the water temperature counts.
Now is the time to check your hiking straps and perhaps consider adding another rope line as insurance like the ones in the picture below. A similar rope like the red rope can be added and tied to the main and rear beam provided you have a split trampoline. It could be in conjunction with your hiking straps and the ropes could be intertwined possibly with the hiking strap to add another level of safety. You do not want to be separated from your boat when the wind is up. There is also in the picture an additional rope with knots that runs along the hull and serves as a grab line to help you get back up when hiking out or a rope of last resort. If you suspect that your hiking strap may fail, add additional rope or consider having the trampoline resewn with new hiking straps.
In regards to clothing, consider wearing a pair of shorts over your wetsuit if that is what you chose to wear. Sailboats can be real hard on wetsuits and tear them to pieces in a short time. If you do want to wear a wetsuit without anything over it look for ones that have reinforced knees at least. Wearing a splash jacket and pants will keep the wetsuit in good condition and mostly dry and warm. There are also plans, on the canadian seaspray website, to make “fatty” pants with closed cell foam padding sewn in the seat area. These are an invention of Pam Simonson and are great for comfort and protection of your wet clothing (and your butt). I have always liked to wear layers and have a spray jacket with a hood. Many times I have had to hunker down, hove to, waiting for a start signal during inclement weather. Sitting on the water waiting while the wind is howling and in the rain is no fun time if you are cold. Best to be layered up and mostly dry. When it is really wild or cold I wear a shorty wetsuit, heavier rain pants and jacket with a layer of polyester type warm long sleeved sweatshirt, lifejacket, wind hat or toque. Consider sailing with another SeaSpray sailor or even get friendly with the fishermen on the water. You never know who your rescuers might be if you need to be rescued. Consider carrying spare parts and extra line that could be used for repairs or even a painter for towing your boat.
Check your boat hull/deck seam for splits
While preparing his boat for this season Hamish Ferguson found a split on the hull deck joint. This is a common problem on many sailboats whether they are catamarans or monohulls. This can be a real problem when capsized as you can take on a lot of water. The fix is easy and can be done quickly with a few tools and the proper stuff. I think bondo with short strand fiberglass will work but a better method is to use two part epoxy with some glass cloth and some filler. If you want, JB Marine Weld should work as well.
Hamish used his own method; epoxy with filler and glass cloth to make a mixture that will properly glue the deck down to the hull lip. It is easy to do, just try and get as much into all of the split joint before clamping. Use a flat spatula putty knife. Perhaps you have a squeeze applicator that will work. A little bit will ooze out once the clamping is in place. This is good as the oozing will tend to fill in any areas that you might have missed while introducing the mix into the split joint.
Even a bunch of clothes pins will work provided they make enough pressure to squeeze the joint together.
Tentative Regatta Dates for 2021
I don’t have anything new to report in regards to upcoming events at this time so keep these dates in mind. These are possible only if things progress, borders open up and all things go back to normal.
July 10 ,11th Prairie Wind Regatta at NSC Lake Newell Alberta
Aug 7 ,8th Live on the Edge Multihull Regatta Eugene Yacht Club, Fern Ridge Reservoir, Oregon Our North American Championship??
September 10,11,12th or 17,18,19th Osoyoos?? Canadian National Championship ??