CMA Overall Safety Statement:
The Chesapeake Multihull Association (CMA) takes safety seriously. Like rock climbing or skydiving, sailing multihulls is an inherently risky activity which individuals consciously choose to participate in. There are serious and real threats and risks to life and property due to the high speeds and significant forces and loads present in multihull rigging and hull structures. While CMA encourages all multihull owners/skippers to meticulously maintain their boats in top operating condition, CMA also encourages sailors to take a proactive approach to safety rather than a reactive one. Safety starts long before the sailing season with boat owners preparing their vessels with, and maintaining, adequate and functional safety gear. All vessels must meet USCG Minimum Equipment Requirements for Recreational Vessels along with those requirements placed on competitors by race Organizing Authorities (OA’s) like CBYRA, CBYRA Sanctioned clubs, US Sailing, and others. CMA is the Multihull Rating Authority on the Chesapeake Bay providing ratings for multihull vessels participating in CBYRA sanctioned events. As such, prior to issuing a Rating Certificate, CMA requires each owner to sign a CMA Ratings Release, a liability waiver/disclaimer, releasing CMA of any liability, acknowledging the risks, and accepting sole responsibility for the safety and well-being of their vessel and crew. Increasingly, CBYRA clubs & OA’s sponsoring races are requiring skippers/owners to sign an additional liability waiver when registering for events. Some go above and beyond that and require all crew to be registered as well requiring them to sign liability waivers via the OA’s Race Management software.
Safety should be a holistic part of every boating program and be included in boat preparation, crew training and readiness, racing strategy and execution, and on-the-water risk based decision making. CMA encourages skippers/owners not to just view safety as a box which must be checked on a registration form, but rather to view and approach safety simply as another facet of ownership, a responsibility and duty to crew and boat ensuring that everyone returns home alive and without injury to persons or property.
CMA Rating Release Statement:
“In consideration of being given a rating certificate, the rating boat owner and requesting individual, being knowledgeable of the risks of competitive sailing and knowing that it is my sole responsibility to decide whether to enter or continue a race, I voluntarily assume the risk of participation in any race and release Chesapeake Multihull Association and it officers, directors and raters and the people or organizations conducting any event, from all liability in connection with any injury or damage that may occur.
Signature of person requesting rating and owner of vessel.”
Examples of required and suggested safety guidelines:
- USCG… Minimum Equipment Requirements for Recreational Vessels – Full/Long Version
- USCG Minimum Equipment Requirements for Recreational Vessels – 1 page/Short Version
- US Sailing Multihull Safety Equipment Requirements *updated
- Crew safety briefing/refresher
- Example Vessel diagram with locations of Safety gear
- Example Tailored MOB Procedure
- Individual crew kit to include PFD, whistle, strobe, handheld VHF, personal AIS
- Equip vessel with AIS (Tx/Rx) , EPIRB/pEPIRB, backups for VHF, GPS
Additional safety resources:
Additional safety resources are listed below. CMA defers to the OEM for boat handling and sailing/reefing guidelines. Some manuals listed below include guidelines for reefing and go so far as to include wind speed ranges for various sail configurations along with their capsize wind speeds.
Multihull OEM Manuals:
US Sailing Safety at sea courses:
US Sailing Safety Resources:
US Sailing MOB Procedure: