Need for attachment to Dinghy in case of heavy weather

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by Thomas Wilson, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson New Member

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    In "Dinghy Ownership - Mainly for the Non-Racing Man", Geoffrey Nightingale (1956) opines that one should, for safety while single-handing or otherwise, attach a mainsheet, or other line secured to the dinghy, to one's lifejacket, in the event of becoming separated from the boat. Can anyone here recount a personal incident in the open sea where this may have saved their life while single handing a dinghy?

    (I am a new Sunfish owner and my Sunfish forum thread on this topic has most readers stating that Sunfish would never continue very far without a helmsman, so not a necessary technique.)
     
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    More bad advice from that (very old) book; burn it!
     
  3. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    If you are unconscious and tethered to the dingy, there's a chance that even with a life jacket, it would drag you face down if it kept sailing onward...

    But that would make finding the corpse easier with the sail sticking up.

    Any entanglement increases chances that you can be trapped underwater. Lets look at the potential of the boat going over and you being under the sail with that tether. It may prevent you from crawling out from under the sail.

    There are at least as many ways the tether could be a problem as there are ways it might help on small "dingy class" boats.

    If its not a safety line that prevents you from actually going over the side of a boat that is unlikely to flip over, its probably not a good idea. Safety lines/harnesses for larger craft can make a lot of sense especially in rough seas.

    Best advice is lifejacket and other people being in sight.

    I won't say its impossible for a sunfish to sail off with nobody on it (mainsheet slack and rudder free to turn randomly) But its more likely that it will turn broadside and then get flipped before it goes far.
     
  4. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  5. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson New Member

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    Thank you. Others also agree the author's comment is ill advised. However, I think you're being unfair in general about the book however - it's filled with much useful detailed information otherwise from someone who clearly loved sailing and motivates the reader to do the same.

    The book was highly recommended by a lifelong sailor from Chesapeake Bay, also a yacht woodworker, who was cautioning me about sailing solo in Pamlico Sound off Ocracoke Island. He highly recommended this book although he didn't mention or endorse Nightingale's comment.
     
  6. Vittoria Dmowska

    Vittoria Dmowska 3D Architectural Visualization

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    Determining how a voyaging vessel will be used often dictates the best method of dinghy transportation. Whichever system is chosen &mdash on-deck chocks, davits, towing astern or other &mdash ensure that necessary gear is installed properly using the correct hardware, fasteners, backing plates and securing lines. No voyagers want to arrive at their destination without their dinghy.
     

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