Saturday, May 4, 2013

Baby Safety

We have discussed baby safety on a number of occasions, and we continue to be asked about the topic frequently.  In short, the inside of the boat is very safe, as compared to a house, and the outside/deck of the boat is not as safe.  Accordingly, we are careful to hold onto Helina at all times when we are in the cockpit or on deck, much as a parent would be extra vigilant when with a child near a swimming pool.  Still, we continue to work to make the deck of the boat as safe as it can possibly be.  A recent example is the improvements we made to our boarding situation.

The perimeter of Sea Gem's deck is, like most sailboats, surrounded by a wire safety fence ("life lines"), composed of two horizontal wires, one approximately 12" off the deck and the second approximately 24" off the deck.  The life lines make the deck feel more secure, provide something to hold on to to balance yourself, and if you were to fall of the boat, provide something to hang on to.

Life Lines Before
Life lines do not, however, retain wandering babies.  The 12" gap between the deck and the lowest life line poses no problem for adults, but a baby could easily slip through.  The solution is to install netting over the lifelines to close the gaps.

Life Lines After
For now, we installed the netting over the most dangerous areas, adjacent to the cockpit and the cockpit door.  Since we have the boarding gate, which creates a gap in the lifelines, we can't install netting around the entire perimeter, but as Helina grows and continues to move, we will assess if any addition netting should be installed.  In any case, we continue to make Sea Gem a safer and better place for Helina to grow up, one step at a time.

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