Roaring Forty #6 – GSC Regulation Compliance and KLP’s observations

Ahoy crew,

In todays post I will share some thoughts and pictures on how I am progressing with Roaring Forty with respect to the GSC Regulation compliance that can be found on the Event Website.

Like most of you, I too will need to seek dispensation for a range of non-compliances as I progress through my checklist.

Over the past two weeks we the competitors have had the opportunity to raise and discuss our questions with the GSC founder and event Organiser Marco Nannini via a live web portal.

A common theme emerged around watertight bulkheads, doors, radar and liferafts and the intent of seeking dispensation where non-compliance is known or where doubt exists.

Marco has significant offshore experience and the support of a wide range of technical and safety specialists at his disposal and will always remain the authority; so consult Marco sooner rather than later.

It may be that you have a non-compliance that is constrained by your vessels design, or it may simply be a system was installed in a certain way to actually make the configuration/operation of your vessel safer.

As Marco stated it’s best to ask for any dispensations early so you have time to rectify any situation should dispensation not be approved.

Coming from a military aviation background, safety is priority full stop.

That doesn’t mean we park all our jets at the slightest non-compliance; we will quickly adapt to ready a mission capable aircraft. There are times when an aircraft can fly with multiple system failures or even equipment missing, however this only occurs when multiple redundancies are inherent in the design or that system is not safety or mission critical. Seeking a dispensation, exemption or authorising a Carried Forward Unserviceability for an unscheduled maintenance event, undergoes significant scrutiny by a host of stakeholders, including the actual operator with their backside in the pilots seat.

Each authorisation for a non-compliance will always be time limited, meaning the issue will be resolved by ‘X’ date (could be a global supply issue).

There are only two states of compliance; Compliant and Non-Compliant.

So what about ‘partial compliance’ you ask…….. well that is still non-compliance. However, when a non-compliance is aggregated say by using other equipment/systems/procedures, then it is beneficial information that Marco needs to enable him to make that informed decision if dispensation from a Regulation is either ‘approved’ or ‘not approved’.

Of course there is a flipside when you seek a significant number of dispensations that when aggregated you unknowingly are putting yourself at risk.

When applying for dispensation, there are some basic key elements that you should consider, including but not limited to:

  • Applicant’s details
  • Your vessel identification and relevant data (type, size etc.)
  • GSC regulations from which exemption is requested
  • Reasons why compliance with the regulations is impossible or impractical
  • Measures proposed which would provide an equivalent level of safety to the GSC Regulation requirement; and
  • Any relevant documents or information to support your application.

I have included a range of marked-up pictures with this blog to help you with your own challenge.

Never forget, whilst solo and unassisted you really are not alone out there.

The risk of collision even in the open ocean is real even if you have all the latest technology onboard.

Click on the link to watch the interview with Roaring Forty’s previous owner Michel Kleinjans following a collision during the 2008/09 Portimao Global Ocean Race.

Finally, don’t forget to protect the old noggin (head/face) and pack your helmet!

I use a Gath helmet with face shield. Last time I had cause to wear it was when a 50+ front came through and my furling genoa did an uncommanded unfurl. I waited until the lull (40+ knots) before crawling on the foredeck at 0200h attempting to tame a blown out 135% genoa on what was now a lee shore. I was certainly very happy I had that helmet.