so this is a follow up to my previous topic about getting to the beach. It's all related. So I have read all the official stuff on inspection but what's the real skinny? Last year I was so excited to get to the beach, didn't know many insoections take place under the trees, and was keen to stay out of the way that I didn't really stick around for one. I saw part of a 2 person kayak inspection but that's it. So does every item need to be inspected? Say, the tent and sleeping system. Do you just need to produce the tent, or does it need to be opened up and checked? Same with the sleeping bag, is the label checked for the right fill, temp rating, etc? Or is it just verified that you have a sleeping bag. Just trying to be ready as I can be.
inspection, what's it really like?(14 posts) (8 voices)
I was pretty amped up for the inspection, too. Turns out it's pretty much like a code in the hospital... first pulse you take is your own!
If you've got yourself squared away, this filter shouldn't be nerve wracking. It is an opportunity to meet a veteran watertriber and check your prep against his or her experience. If you've set up your boat well enough, obtained decent gear and stowed it logically then they will find that you are good to go.
You must be "able to show" that you can reef, paddle/row, sleep, navigate, cook and self rescue, etc. The extent to which you are asked to demonstrate each or all will vary by entrant and inspector... if you can fluidly handle one evolution, they might (and probably would) go easy on another.
No one is going to stop you from going because your bag doesn't meet artificial numerical standards. They might look at you sideways if you refused to show it to them, and start to get serious if you didn't have a dry bag in sight or didn't have a chart. If there are obvious, glaring gaps in preparation, if the minimum requirements aren't taken seriously, then this is an opportunity to call attention to such foolishness and avoid tragedy.
Have it right and know what ya are are doing its a cake walk. Get someone in your class for the inspection.
Sometimes reading the rules and required list really help! Been there done that Vets read them again. The Bossman may just sneak in a new rule to keep everyone on thier toes.
I will refuse to do any 4 or 5 as I do not know enough about the boats. Tell the inspector the truth and they may be able to have a fix. They all want to help you and should have ideas on how to do this.
You have to be very ill prepared to fail totaly.
Watertribe rules, have your flares up to date, covers for your spot, spare batteries, and charts. In order lined up right impresses, (yep I can tell.) Have some kind of shelter and extra stuff to keep you warm and dry.
I will look right at you and ask if you can self rescue.
Always remember there is comfort in running back if you are close enough. Sucks but better than being thirsty and hungry.
For me I want to see you can take care of yourself. I do not care about bail out options or someone will come get me toys. Tell me straight up you know you can handle rough weather or at least you know what it is and will go to shore when you get in stuff over your head.
If you are bent on breaking a record you better have it all together.
No we aren't trying to break any records. Hoping a different mindset than that will keep us going. I have read everything a few times over, I guess I was just a little unclear about wheather stuff all had to be unpacked and laid out. If so it's going to take us a while! I think we are going to be on the heavy side!
Toby summed it up nicely. Unlike him, I'm not going to do classes 1, 2, or 3 because I don't know much about kayaks/canoes. I do intend to look closely at the compliance by Classes 4 & 5 with the new reefing rules.
A common mistake that most of us have made a time or two is to take too much stuff. I've done it several times but lately I am much better and have a reasonable load. Krugers and class 4 boats can carry a lot of stuff.
If you are new and this is your first EC or UM, try to think like a backpacker. Start out with three piles of stuff: Boat Stuff, Camping Stuff, Food and Hydration.
Boat Stuff would include bailers, paddles, self rescue, repair kit, nav lights, charts, lifejacket properly configured, etc. Anthing that must be on or with your boat consistant with prudent seamanship goes in this pile. Pair it down relentlessly but keep the stuff you really need.
Camping Stuff should fit in a smallish backpack. I'm talking a 3-day backpack. If all your camping stuff weighs more than 15 pounds, you're probably carrying too much. Some really ultra light guys can get it down to 10 pounds.
Food and Hydration is really tough. Most carry too much. Remember that you can resupply at all checkpoints, but that will cost you time. Strike a balance.
There is a rule that you should apply sparingly: Two is one and one is none. If you apply this rule to everything, you will be too loaded down. Apply that rule to stuff that really matters. For example, a spare paddle means you won't be up a creek without a paddle. But you don't need two sleeping bags or two tents - especially if you have a poncho and poncho liner as part of your hypothermia recovery kit.
So carry what you need, but don't let it get out of control.
Watertribe rules, have your flares up to date
I looked through the required equipment and didn't see anything regarding flares, just "Coast Guard Approved Signaling Kit for day and night signaling". I have a pretty good (ACR) firefly strobe light. It is coast guard approved so I'm wondering if that will be satisfactory for inspection.
Chief and all, apreciate the advise. We are big and this is new to us (long distance camp/race) so we are being cautious. One area where we are loading up a bit more than probably needed is in safety and warmth. We have two kids so we are being a bit careful on safety. Full flare kit+laser flares+strobes+ PLBs+vhf+signal mirrors+whistles (with backup)+spare lines,etc... probably more than needed. On the warmth side my wife gets cold a lot faster than I do so we are packing heavy for her. Her sleeping bag will be warmer than required because we think she might (will) need it. She is bringing 3 pairs of gloves, regular sailing, cold weather sailing, waterproof winter weight. Her hands get cold easy so I think it's worth it. Her clothing is more geared tword her being cold, mine is more "normal". We are not done yet so things may get left behind but for now I think we are going to be heavy. I would rather finish heavy than drop out light.
ZTH, you are smart to have lots of warm clothes...I remember doing a Boca Grande Race in the SORC after a cold front passage and although it wasn't blowing dogs off chains it was 45 degrees as we beat our way back to Tampa Bay. That was on Salty Goose which I'm sure you remember.
CaptnChaos, to have coastguard approved signaling equipment, you need to be able to pass a coast guard inspection if stopped by the coast guard or marine police. I think flares are one of the things they look for.
I would rather finish heavy than drop out light.
ZeroTheHero, I get what you are saying and above all you have to keep your wife warm and stay safe. I'm with you on all that. But being too heavy can contribute to not finishing. I see it all the time and I have done it myself.
CaptnChaos, you shoud have flares. Having a strobe on your lifejacket is very good, but it doesn't replace flares. Another thing some people forget is to have a hand operated flashlight. Some have a headband light as do I, but it does not replace a regular, waterproof flashlight.
Another CG requirement for a small boat is a single light on your stern. Some boats will require regular red and green bow lights. These requirements are up to each of you to research and figure out what your boat needs. It's part of the adventure :)
Caution: DO NOT use your strobe for a normal nav light. The strobe is only used if you have called for a rescue at night.
Zero: awesome! Go the kids!
Most important thing you can bring along is a good attitude. From that will follow safety, harmony and an amazing shared adventure. Define your goals carefully. If those I listed are your three top goals, do not allow "finishing" to turn you into Cpt Bligh and ruin the trip for your family! Most Watertribe veterans have finished the race and therefore relish that sensation of accomplishment, and give advice through that prism of experience.
On the other hand, it would have been MUCH EASIER launching my vessel if I had paid more attention to weight. Could've saved thirty or forty pounds and never missed it. Forty or fifty and still have been safe. We had oodles of extras.
TRY to camp out once before the EC from the boat. You might find that instead of forty meals, you only want 16 but really could use a big tarp and find you completly revised how you pack the clothing. Plus, your bivvy sack leaks and needs the seams taped.
Will be following your progress!
Thanks all for the tips. as per too much gear, it's an ongoing process so we may pair down yet. However I would rather drop out warm but too tired than too cold AND too tired. The majority of extras will go to the wife but I will be able to use everything as well. We have the same sized hands and almost the same size feet.
One of the secrets is to have a solid sleep system... a really good sleeping mat is a must. Recommend bivvy sacs if sleeping on the boat. If you are energized in the morning having had a good night's sleep, and then have a good warm breakfast, all things are possible if you have enough time.... Do you have enough time on the back end? If you are in no rush to finish your chances of finishing are much, much greater. That was my major "failure to plan."
BTW, I'd misinterpreted your post to mean you were bringing the kids along.
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