Jet-14 Safety (R. Bruns, 2006)

Randy Bruns, Jets 834, 1075 and 1126

I think the objectives of safety inspections are not only to maintain life and limb, but to rescue or self-rescue yourself in a seaman-like manner, preserve gear, preserve your dignity and preserve the reputation of the Class.
• Know how to rescue yourself
All veteran Jet-14 racers have flipped and have some knowledge of rescue procedures. Recognize there is a vast difference between a calm day and disaster conditions. Good sailors understand and have planned procedures for dismasting, rudder loss, turtling, mast-in-mud, and basic self-rescue. Do you?
• Inspect your boat
Is the foam flotation waterlogged? Is it there? Multiple inspection ports can keep your boat’s tanks dry and the boat lighter. Note that fiberglass absorbs water – even the gelcoat. Inspect the joints and their tank fittings. Dubdam boats have bulkheads making sidetank inspection difficult and frequently the cutouts in the bulkheads for draining become clogged with foam particles, boat parts and dirty socks. It also is very difficult to seal inspection ports on Dubdam sidetanks because the surfaces are curved. They are flexible and probably can be forced flat with a backing plate inside the tank – talk to Bill Reed, Jet 1128. Be sure airbags in wood boats are really secure under the deck. They must be distributed so that they float the boat on an even keel. Only a big bag forward is unaccept­able. Volume of the bags must be at least 6.5 cubic feet.
• Test your boat
Thoroughly swamp your Jet to see if every­thing survives. Get a few people on the stern with the boat upright. Fill her until the centerboard trunk cap is awash. This will significantly stress your boat in a realistic manner. A sound self-rescue Jet will drain itself partially if you open the bailers and stern drain plugs. If the tanks haven’t ruptured and if you find only a few quarts of water in the tanks, you are in good shape. Put the boat on its side and check if the deck / hull bond is sound by looking for water in the tanks. On wood boats the previous tests and alternatively laying the boat on its side will demonstrate the security and proper operation of the airbags.
from the 1996-97 and 2002 Yearbooks

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