Teamwork and Preparedness Emphasized
Cruising Club of America’s Safety for Cruising Couples Seminars
the season for making resolutions in full force, we know it would be hard to
find a sailor who hasn’t included “spend more time on the water” on their 2018
to-do list. Among the 1300-strong membership of the all-volunteer Cruising Club
of America (CCA), the number one resolution is to help those like-minded
boaters make 2018 their safest year on the water. As an organization, the CCA
has renewed its efforts to share their collective experiential knowledge with a
particular focus on safety preparations for cruisers of sail and power vessels.
In a 2017 survey of nearly 1500 offshore sailors,
respondents indicated that safety and seamanship training was the top priority
of sailors planning a passage. A previous survey of the sailing partners of
many CCA members – while competent sailors themselves – had revealed they had
significant concerns about safety aboard which inhibited their enjoyment of
sailing offshore or on longer inshore passages. The CCA has addressed the topic
in a new video public service announcement that was informed by the experience
of several well-known sailors and their partners.
The video illustrates how discussing safety topics (i.e.
knowing how to put a fix on a chart or how to get their partner out of the
water in a man-overboard situation) to benefit the less confident/competent
member of a couple ultimately reaps rewards for both. To build the confidence
of the less-experienced member of the duo in the event of an unexpected test of
their skills, the CCA developed the Safety
for Cruising Couples Seminar which can be customized by hosting clubs using
materials from the CCA.
Well-Known Sailors Sheila McCurdy
and David Brown Make the Case for Preparedness in CCA PSA
Geared to cruising couples and short-handed sailors who
are increasingly active on coastal or local waters, whether aboard sail or power
boats, the typically day-long seminar is generally structured with a morning
classroom session covering the fundamentals of VHF radios, the basics of
navigation, engine operation, medical situations, safety equipment and man
overboard recovery. An afternoon session can take those topics a step further
with on-the-water hands-on training, including chart plotter fundamentals and a
demonstration of how to use a life sling in a man overboard situation.
To date, seven Safety for Cruising Couples Seminars have
been scheduled by sponsoring clubs for 2018: Royal Canadian Cruising Sailor's
Squadron at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto, CAN (February 25);
Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, Md. (April 21); Stamford Yacht Club, Stamford,
Conn. (May 20); Camden Yacht Club, Camden, Maine (May 27); The Oakville Club,
Oakville, CAN (June 2); Sail Newport, Newport, R.I. (early June); and Ram
Island Yacht Club, Noank, Conn. (July 7).
Additional clubs from Florida to California have
expressed interest in hosting a seminar, with dates to be confirmed. The CCA
provides presentation materials for free (workbooks can be provided at cost),
and will collaborate with host yacht clubs to provide experienced CCA members
to run the seminars. Whether you wish to attend, or host, a seminar, obtain a
copy of the workbook or updated materials, or have general questions, please