Lessons We Learned

1. The single biggest example of poor seamanship that we demonstrated was not checking current weather info at each helm change. We parked on the race channel (72) after we left the dock, and never knew that a gale was added to the forecast later in the day on Saturday. We will monitor the weather at every watch change in the future. The knowledge of an impending gale could have saved Guy and Shelly.2. I'll never venture offshore without a 406 GPIRB again (GPS/EPIRB combo). I have an old Class B EPIRB. It's worthless. Whether trying to survive on the bottom of our capsized boat, or in a liferaft, survival chances would have been marginal over the 38 hours it took to locate Great White after the capsize. Remember that we had 18-foot breaking seas and a 7-second wave period. Nighttime water temps were below 50 degrees. I like the sound of a 6-minute notification. 3. I will add two more Glucagon kits to my arsenal. 4. All multihulls should carry cutting tools in an accessible area in the event of capsize, or install an escape hatch above the inverted waterline. Getting in and out of the hull without swimming creates a very survivable environment. I have always carried cutting tools in a crash compartment along with survival food, flares, handheld VHF, and GPS. 5. Practice reefing. Get out in as much wind as you can and be sure you have a system that works. Make sure everyone on the crew knows his or her job. You don't want to have to learn or teach this process in 40 knots of wind.6. Always carry a storm jib. I've carried one for years but rarely used it. In this case, it made the boat manageable. 7. Carry an emergency change of warm clothing in dry bags in case the inside of the boat gets soaked.