Sorry for my hiatus from blogging. I missed you too.
Last night, I went to a seminar at Fawcett's on "Gearing up for Offshore" which had a focus on the Newport Bermuda Race. For those of you who are not local Fawcett Boat Supplies is a Annapolis based awesome sailing store pyacht is their online world. They have everything you could ever need for your boat and even better the sales staff are all very knowledgeable.
Some bits and pieces of the things I learned last night as they apply to the Newport Bermuda Race are :
1. Lifejackets- officially need leg straps and mod kits are available for mustang and other lifejackets however if you use a mod kit to make it correct for the Newport Bermuda Race then that pfd no longer counts as far as the coast guard is concerned.
2.Tethers. Tethers need a quick release at the point closest to the body. This did not always exist if you have an old tether then you need an upgraded one like this.
3.Primary and backup VHF need DSC. What is DSC you ask? Basically it is a button on your VHF that send out a distress signal and makes your distress signal show up on everyone's VHF with DSC in the area. It allows the boats around you to know you are in distress faster then if they had to wait for the coast guard alert. In the case of a man overboard it makes it easier for someone to come help you or for you to come help others. In an ocean race this makes a lot of sense as most likely those in the best position to help with be the boat just behind you in the race. Example
4. Satellite phones are now being required
5.Radar reflectors that you have on your boat now are almost certainly not big enough for the rules for Newport Bermuda. They are looking for huge ones so large that they currently do not exist in the store and only one company makes them.
6. Backup navigation lights ( your red green white tricolor) need to have a 2 miles distance and a separate power source which is different then the old shorter requirement and many boats had them hooked into power source not separate. You know want something like this tri color as your backup that uses batteries.
Well this is what I learned and I hope it is helpful to some of the rest of you. I'm trying to find a ride for Newport Bermuda if anyone is looking for crew.