Safety

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webguy
moredownhaul
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Joined: 05/10/2007 - 07:28
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Safety

Even though I was never in any danger yesterday, it does make you think....

http://howtowindsurf101.com/safety-in-windsurfing/

http://www.windsurfing.org/train02.htm

https://www.learntowindsurf.com/basics_safety.shtml

For a Broken SDM mast try this.

I didn't even think about doing this with my mast but hopefully watching these may help someone else one day.

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FoilDodo
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Joined: 03/19/2008 - 23:50
Posts: 1960
Re: Safety

I'd be more inclined to trust his advice if he'd been nicer to that dog. Good

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rufus
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rufus
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Joined: 04/18/2018 - 09:47
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Re: Safety

I'd suggest that guy not walk around his lawn barefoot for a few weeks. Because, you know, reasons. Diablo

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peelskid
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Joined: 06/09/2003 - 15:33
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Re: Safety

He should have shown us how to do that in deep water rather than being on land. That way there wouldn't be a dog encounter.

Besides, I wonder how long that would have taken while swimming in the water.

PeelSkid

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Randy
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Joined: 05/05/2002 - 10:38
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Re: Safety

The mast can be used as a paddle. Not very efficient, but I'd try that first. I've done it a few times. Helps to be upwind a bit.

There is no off season.

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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Re: Safety

I busted a mast in OBX in an offshore wind. Saw a stingray flutter away as I was walking back. Ended up using the top section like a Venetian gondolier.

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Randy
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Re: Safety

Meanwhile, you can fix a broken mast (if you are Rob Rock). Looks straightforward enough, except I don't where you get the connector that would fit inside the mast. (Maybe an old carbon extension or a piece from another broken mast)

There is no off season.

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bpw
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Joined: 12/23/2003 - 23:07
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Re: Safety

I've only broken one mast. It was one day old, a 90% carbon SDM bought in OBX. When the mast snapped, sharp shards of carbon prevented me from removing the broken section from the sail. However, if the break is clean, I'll remember the technique described in the video. Could be a lifesaver.

As it turned out, I ditched the sail, got on top my board and paddled back to shore. With the help of a friend with a jet ski, we then went back out and slowly dragged the damaged sail and rig back to shore.

Barrett

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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Re: Safety
Randy wrote:

Meanwhile, you can fix a broken mast (if you are Rob Rock). Looks straightforward enough, except I don't where you get the connector that would fit inside the mast. (Maybe an old carbon extension or a piece from another broken mast)

Directions unclear - so I need to break another mast to fix my broken mast? It's broken masts all the way down!

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Randy
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Re: Safety

Yeah pretty much. Perhaps you could make the plug out of turtle shells.

BTW - it occurred to me that staying upwind of your launch probably will help a lot no matter what kind of recovery method you try. So stay upwind as far as practical. It is going to be a lot easier to do that than to try to sail upwind with a busted mast, paddle using the mast as an oar, or just trying the old fashioned self rescue paddle with your hands.

There is no off season.

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
Posts: 9659
Re: Safety
Randy wrote:
...

BTW - it occurred to me that staying upwind of your launch probably will help a lot no matter what kind of recovery method you try. So stay upwind as far as practical. It is going to be a lot easier to do that than to try to sail upwind with a busted mast, paddle using the mast as an oar, or just trying the old fashioned self rescue paddle with your hands.

This. A hundred times. Even if it's a sideshore launch like Van Pugh or Vann's Tavern, you won't have to swim against the wind and waves. If you swim across, you'll end up downwind towards your starting point. If you are directly upwind, all you have to do is sit on the board and wait; you'll end up home eventually without doing anything.

It's one of the hardest things to impart on a beginning windsurfer who invariably reaches or broad reaches off the beach and then spends the rest of the day trying to get back.

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HamdiD
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Joined: 10/08/2018 - 10:32
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Re: Safety

In my short (just over a year) tenure in this sport, I have been stranded and either got rescued or walked to shore twice. Once at Canadian Hole where my mast track ripped off (deviator, almost deserved for not listening to William!) where a jet skier pulled me to waist deep water and then I walked. Second ttime at OF where I broke the board in half and swam/walked to shore. Lucky both times in warm water. Between those and hearing other stories like Alan's, I am officially concerned - especially because I am not great at waiting for others to go in.

All right, with that long easing into it, here's my question for feedback from experienced members-and all others with opinion/ knowledge: what's your best suggestions for being better prepared to such accidents? From a clothing standpoint, I am considering the heated vest that Randy mentioned in an earlier post and/or a full drysuit. Thoughts on effectiveness of either of those? Which better? Other ideas?

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
Posts: 9659
Re: Safety

Your willingness to windsurf alone should be measured by the conditions. Summer with 95 air and 82 water? You can float all day without a problem. Good chance you'll see a fisherman or other boater if things go wrong.

42 degrees and side/offshore breeze? Consider for someone else to be at least in the parking lot. Leave a "float plan", let someone know that you are going out and when you expect to return. Be dressed for a minimum of half an hour in the water. Be kitted up to float in the conditions you are going in - do you need a float vest? Do not assume someone will come by and rescue you. I've been out on winter days where I've seen less than a handful of boats all day. When I did my swim over by Aqualand, I saw zero boats even though I was just outside of one of the biggest marinas on Lanier on a Sunday afternoon.

Both wet and dry suits have their benefits and drawbacks. Both can be sufficient or deficient. If your dry suit is leaking at the seals or you don't wear enough under it, you'll get cold. If your wetsuit isn't thick enough, you'll have a problem. If you use either and you aren't covering your head in the colder temperatures, you are asking for trouble. It's a total package. All the pieces have to work together. You'll see people windsurfing in the Swiss lakes, North Sea or Pac NW in both. The wetsuit probably has the edge in flexibility/mobility. The drysuit in ease of use (apart from the zipper thing) - you just put on your poly/fleece and step in.

The immeasurably wise Foildood once imparted this advice from his flying days: "I'm not too scared to wait." Not going out is always an option. Like climbing, a windsurfing session isn't successful unless you end up back in the parking lot.

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HamdiD
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Joined: 10/08/2018 - 10:32
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Re: Safety

Thanks William, all good points. Any insight about the heated vest- with wetsuit or drysuit? Costly for sure and battery doesn't last too long (1 to 2 hrs) for a long session but your comments about dressing for a minimum of 30min in water is what's making me consider- ie. More of an emergency tool, if it would be effective as such under a wet suit (preferable as I already have those and rather not spend big dollars on a dry suit if also doing so for the vest( or (if necessary) under a drysuit?

Any feedback from anyone with opinion, insight, experience would be appreciated.

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zzholt
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Joined: 10/11/2015 - 21:05
Posts: 13
Re: Safety

I'm appreciating this long thread, and discussions on the many aspects of safety.

As for gear failures I've experienced in my 5+ year windsurfing tenure, in addition to a mast break (topic covered), I"ve also had a mast base bolt (the single (stainless steel, I trust) bolt that slots into the mast track on the board. Please correct me if it has a better name). Luckily it was warm (enough) on the lake, and I had enough daylight to simply swim/paddle the awkward kit to a nearby island where I packed everything down into a secure/streamlined arrangement I was able to lie on top of and leisurely paddle, surf-style, a mile back to the parking lot.

Anyway, my question is.... can anyone comment on how often these bolts might fail? Would you think they display some visible signs prior to failure? I"ve certainly wondered if I shouldn't be packing an extra bolt on me somewhere whenever I go out, but of course I haven't really done that yet.

thanks, as always. And to anyone going out this afternoon..... have fun!!!

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Langdon
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Joined: 04/19/2016 - 18:03
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Re: Safety

Also, come in and eat a little something often.
You are burning a lot of calories in the cold water.

Just do not linger long on shore standing around yacking or you will get cold.

Also again...do not forget to drink

And as always go to the bathroom when you get to the launch and after rigging BEFORE you put on your wetsuit

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webguy
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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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Re: Safety

HamdiD, I don't know, I've not known anyone to use one. You are introducing an additional point of failure and a proper wet/dry suit should be sufficient. I could be very wrong, though. The ones I looked up have a limited battery life (1.5-2 hrs) and cost as much as a good 5/4 or even 6/5 wetsuit or very good drysuit. So, either you are paying a lot of money for a backup or have a system that probably doesn't allow you to be out that long and still retain a margin of safety.

zzholt, I've heard lots of ways for mast bases to fail but that is a new one for me. If it weirded you out, consider a Chinook two bolt system. Was it fairly new or old and perhaps subject to years of corrosion? What brand? Of all the things I've heard to bring along, that bolt is not one of them. It actually broke as structurally failed? Stainless steel is corrosion resistant, not necessarily stronger. I've had old stainless fin screws that I used on a foil that literally pulled apart. Years of corrosion weakened the metal between the threads.

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Randy
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Re: Safety

Webguy - you don't remember I used to use a heated vest. I had one some years ago. It keep me warm for a 1-1.5 hour or so, getting it wet wasn't a problem. Not really for emergency use - just made sailing more comfortable. It did lose heat faster if you got it wet. On nine eventually the connectors to the battery pack failed and I couldn't replace them. I eventually found warmer ways to partake in WInterWindsports, but that is another story.

I suspect these products have improved since I got mine, but they aren't cheap and add complexity to the whole winter sailing deal. I used to go out in sub 40's sailing alone, and that was one of the reasons for that madness........

There is no off season.

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webguy
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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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Re: Safety

Thanks for the refresher That may have been during my soccer dad era when I didn't get out as much. Good to have real data points rather than me prattling on. Smile

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Randy
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Re: Safety

BTW - speaking of safety, has the toxic "Green Tide" I exposed in my mini-documentary improved any at Lanier now with the colder weather starting?

There is no off season.

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zzholt
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Joined: 10/11/2015 - 21:05
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Re: Safety

Hey Webguy -

yeah, the mast base was a chinook. Hard to know exactly how old it was as it came with the used kit I bought to get started. But it was the one I used all during my learning, and that alone may have subjected it too a lot. All that uphauling may well have placed the bolt under more loads than smooth planing.

As far as it actually structurally failing... as it was a couple of years ago, I can't be sure, but that's how I remember it: just breaking in half right at deck level.

So do those two bolt mast bases work just the same? In the same kind of mast track? Do you just slide in one bolt at a time? (but then do you have to use a socket to tighten them since you can't rotate the whole base around???) For now, I"m not too weirded out, especially after hearing this doesn't sound like a common kind of failure, but you have me curious

Thanks! and hope everyone can still fit into their wetsuits come Sunday!!!

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