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Old 02-03-2019, 07:14 PM   #1
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Safety Improvements

Safety Improvements

As we outfit our Great Harbour 37 for cruising and living aboard I am on the lookout for ways to improve safety. It is a broad topic, but I want to share one “improvement” I have made and ask for your good ideas. There have been other thoughtful threads on “Safety Equipment”. My aim here is more along the lines of enhancements to promote safe living on a boat; at dock or at sea.

At a boat show, while touring a superyacht (not a Great Harbour) I notice non-slip tape on their wood stairs. This resonated with me. Some have carpeted stairs, which is another way to mitigate fall risk. My GH37 has beautiful wood stairs that have a personality: not all the steps are the same height, some steps have height-to-tread depth ratios that are a bit aggressive. I am often carrying stuff while on the stairs. My footwear varies or is none, and is sometimes wet. Then, of course, the whole thing may be rocking!

A fall by me or a guest could be devastating.

The 1st non-slip tape I tried was ugly and uncomfortable to bare feet – kind of like sandpaper. My 2nd try was great. It is ~clear textured plastic that adds some friction without bare foot discomfort or undo aesthetic compromise – pic below. I installed a small piece in an inconspicuous place. After a month, I removed it with no residue left behind. Affinity Anti-Slip Tape, Clear Textured Slip Resistant Safety Tread, 25 ft. Roll, $11, Amazon. My guess is it will have to be replaced periodically, maybe annually. Oh, and you have to love a boat project you can complete perfectly in 30 minutes!


What is your favorite safety improvement?
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:47 PM   #2
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Hmmm. That does look inocent enough. I’m jealous, not having a nicely finished stairway to my pilothouse, but I do have a ladder with, thus far, bare teak steps. It was once clad with that black, foam backed non-skid peel & stick from West Marine. It lasted a couple of years but made a heck of a mess getting it off. I think I’ll give your idea a try.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:29 PM   #3
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Actually to make it even safer, rather than using clear tape a tape with a contrasting color will bring ones attention to the edge of the step. My wife is not the most coordinated person around. She fell on our deck steps that were all brown because she couldn’t see each step. After 5 shoulder surgeries and 3.5 years she is doing better now. The aforementioned steps now have a bright blue strip along the front edge so she can easily see them. The steps don’t look quite as nice but if it helps prevent another fall I don’t care how ugly they are.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:48 AM   #4
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Wifey B: Handholds. Everywhere. Think of how one safety products a shower or bath or even toilet area for elderly and handicapped. Can't stop people from slipping or starting to fall but can give them something to catch and something to hold and something to put their weight on.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:20 PM   #5
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Wifey B: Handholds. Everywhere. Think of how one safety products a shower or bath or even toilet area for elderly and handicapped. Can't stop people from slipping or starting to fall but can give them something to catch and something to hold and something to put their weight on.

The handholds seem like a great idea until you move aboard with your 6 year old who is a cirque performer. I'm just glad she is small and doesn't weigh much now, but I don't think our overhead holds will last long as she grows up.
On the other hand, for an old guy with questionable knees I really appreciate all the handholds.


We have lots of gadgets on board but I can't think of anything out of the ordinary or extraordinarily useful for safetly. One thing I will say is find a PFD you like and wear it when you should. On our trawler it really isn't necessary, but in the Zodiac or in the kayaks it is mandatory. My wife likes the inflatables, I like a float coat, our daughter has a couple different styles so she is comfortable whatever she is doing.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:12 PM   #6
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One thing I will say is find a PFD you like and wear it when you should. On our trawler it really isn't necessary, but in the Zodiac or in the kayaks it is mandatory. My wife likes the inflatables, I like a float coat, our daughter has a couple different styles so she is comfortable whatever she is doing.
Wifey B: It costs extra to get one you'll really wear, but what good is a PFD you'll never put on. We have a lot of choices too for our guests.

As to the kids, our niece and another the same age, 4 now approaching 5, they have the cutest PFD's ever. They're both hilarious. They love boating and if they know we're going to go boating, they'll show up at breakfast in the house already wearing their PFD. First most popular was Dora the Explorer. It's so ingrained in them that it's never an issue. They love their PFD's because that means they get to go boating. Also, they know if we get in the RIB, adults must put theirs own and one day as the RIB was being lowered, Aurora walked over to Britney and said "Put your life jacket on."

Hubby and I were bad. We'd never worn a PFD on the lake, not until we moved to Florida in 2012. Training my niece better than we were trained.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #7
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Wifey B: It costs extra to get one you'll really wear, but what good is a PFD you'll never put on. We have a lot of choices too for our guests.

As to the kids, our niece and another the same age, 4 now approaching 5, they have the cutest PFD's ever. They're both hilarious. They love boating and if they know we're going to go boating, they'll show up at breakfast in the house already wearing their PFD. First most popular was Dora the Explorer. It's so ingrained in them that it's never an issue. They love their PFD's because that means they get to go boating. Also, they know if we get in the RIB, adults must put theirs own and one day as the RIB was being lowered, Aurora walked over to Britney and said "Put your life jacket on."

Hubby and I were bad. We'd never worn a PFD on the lake, not until we moved to Florida in 2012. Training my niece better than we were trained.
Can't help myself........... here comes my 2 cents worth!
My wife and I wear our (comfortable, inflatable) PFD's anytime the boat is or is going to be underway (even inside the pilothouse). Why? Cause I know I will not always remember to put one on when going on deck and accidents are not "planned events"!!
Also, here in the PNW areas of WA, BC, and Alaska the water is cold. Falling in can easily cause a shock reflex that will result in gasping with the result being the inhalation of water often leading to drowning (even near the boat). Search "cold water bootcamp" for info on that.
However, I understand we all make our own decisions.
Time to get off my soapbox before I fall off (or get pushed off)
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