VHF for the helmsman
VHF systems are typically installed below decks and effectively out of ear shot in the tiller area. Consequently the helmsman who is required to act upon details relayed by VHF is out of audible range. This situation is exacerbated when an engine is running and a VHF call may be entirely masked. Solo sailors are equally forced to dash back and forth from the tiller should they be without a hand held, or out the handhelds communicating range, and need to use the ship’s VHF radio.
A handy knot for going aloft
Going aloft and working on rigging can involve some danger and knots that fix in one place can be inconvenient.
Securing the forehatch for heavy weather sailing
The fore deck of the vessel can take a pounding in heavy weather conditions. If the forehatch latch were to fail a quantity of greenwater would go down below deck very quickly.
Working aloft with a bosons' chair and safety line
It is only a matter of time before a sailor has to go aloft to inspect the rig or attend to some repairs.
Preventing shackles from working loose
Shackles are used extensively in yachting as a highly convenient fastening and fitting mechanism. However they can come loose by turning and unfastening themselves.
Securing the main hatch for heavy weather sailing
It is critical that the main hatch be secured during heavy weather sailing. Most yacht hatch securing arrangements are washboards that are externally locked into place. This arrangement leads to crews being sealed in below during heavy weather sailing. This causes an anxious situation to develop resulting in main hatch being unsecured.
Keeping the companion way sealed in boisterous conditions
In boisterous conditions the companion way can take the odd splash. Yet mounting the washboards is far from the perfect solution. The assembly and disassembly of a set of washboard for crew coming and going is cumbersome. Worse washboards completely isolate down-below crew from those in the cockpit making them highly anxious at these times.
Avoiding situations that endanger the vessel
Every year, hundreds of yachts are lost. The thought envisions enormous natural forces overwhelming a beleaguered sailing craft as set out in thousands of romanticist paintings. Yet this is far from the most likely case and a vessel is more likely to be lost for a variety of reasons. For instance, failure of ground tackle, yacht breaking free whilst unattended, striking a semi-submersed objects, fire, explosion, crew exhaustion or crew failure, faulty navigation, or many other events or oversights. Being overwhelmed by a seaway is too narrow a focus.
Staying secure in the cockpit during heavy weather conditions or solo sailing
The greatest danger for a sailor is a man over board situation. Once you fall over board in heavy seas it is very difficult to turn a vessel back and find a lost crew member in any kind of seaway. If you are solo sailing, you are lost in MOB situation unless you are in popular waters and are very lucky.
Monitoring a vessels course whilst resting on passage, or checking for wind veers at anchor
Whilst making passage off-watch skippers tend not to rest as they are anxious about the crew maintaining a true course. This causes a tendency to regularly rise and check the navigation station. Similarly, at anchor concerns about an undesirable wind shift can cause restlessness.