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Notes from the Mac #3: You have been selected for a pre-race safety inspection—WHY? and WHAT?

June 27, 2018 09:45 AM


As stated in the Notice of Race, the Chicago Yacht Club Mac Committee may require any boat entered in the Race to participate in a pre-race safety inspection. The Mac Committee has determined that any boat new to the race must participate in a pre-race safety inspection -- whether the boat is owned by a skipper new to the race or is a boat new to a returning skipper. The CYCMC has also randomly selected some returning boats for inspection. If you have been notified that your boat must be inspected, you must contact the Chief Inspector at right away to schedule the inspection.


The inspection may address any or all of the safety equipment required by the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations. The CMSRs may be found on the Race Documents page of the website.  While the inspectors are working from a checklist that might not include everything that is required, YOUR checklist should be the CMSRs. The inspector has the authority to inspect for anything required by the CMSRs, and every safety regulation is in place to provide for the safety of you, your boat and your crew.
The purpose of the Pre-Race Safety inspection is to ensure that the boat is properly equipped to the standards of the CMSR when it leaves the dock in July. Pre-race inspections are not adversarial in nature but rather cooperative and are intended to be educational. In the event you "fail" the inspection, in almost all circumstances the inspector will work with you to allow you to rectify whatever the cause of the failure was. As long as you can fix the problem before registration in Chicago to the satisfaction of the inspector, you will be able to race. We want you to race, but we want you to race safely and with the proper equipment for America’s Offshore Challenge™. So do your inspection as soon as you can arrange it to allow time to fix any problems discovered.
Over the years, the inspectors see the same problems over and over again. You can avoid being one of those problems. Here are the most common ‘failures’ we see.
• ALL FLARES—parachute and handheld—MUST be SOLAS. The plain orange Orion do not meet the requirement. They must state on the flare itself that it meets SOLAS standards, and the flares must not have expired.
• You must have a Lifesling® or a functional equivalent, with a water-activated light attached. The MOM does not take the place of the Lifesling®.
• Both your permanently installed and your handheld radios must be DSC/GPS capable and be programmed with an MMSI number registered to the boat. The handheld radio must be watertight or have a waterproof cover. Be ready to demonstrate to the inspector that the MMSI is programmed and that the GPS works; read the manual!
• The registration on your EPIRB must be up to date and properly registered. Every year the inspectors see EPIRBS with expired registrations. The inspector may ask to see the paperwork received from NOAA after registering, or the sticker they send to adhere to the device. Also, check the expiration date of the batteries of the device! Even if properly registered and the registration has not expired, if the batteries of the device itself have expired, you will fail the inspection.
• If you do not know where your seacocks and valves are—find them! Be sure to securely stow a suitable soft wood plug near every through-hull opening. Having the plugs in the plastic bag they came in stuffed in a cabinet does not meet requirements, and they won’t do you much good in an emergency.
If you read the CMSRs and comply with them, your pre-race safety inspection will be quick and easy. Thanks for entering the CYCRTM, and have a great race!
As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to the Regatta Manager.


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