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Safety & Signaling


McMurdo S4 SART

Bilge_pump1 Bilge_pump2 Non-return_bildge Exting



ARAMIS carries an ISO9650 4-man liferaft.


There is limited deck space for a canister-stored life raft. Moreover, on small "traditional looking" boats, life rafts strapped to the deck or push-pit do not look that good.  We therefore chose a valise-stored life raft that fitted in the stern locker.


A supporting frame and false floor has been added in the locker to ensure that the valise is accessible and well above any potentially damp bilge.

Note that if a 6-man life raft is required in the future, the Viking RescuYou UKL6 fits well in the lazarette.  ARAMIS had this life raft for a while.  It is of high quality, however, regrettably the servicing costs (which are annual in Spain), proved so high that it was more cost effective to purchase a new life raft ; sad both economically and environmentally!

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We have a horseshoe life-buoy on the pushpit rail starboard.  This has 30m of floating line and an automatic light.


ARAMIS is certified for Spanish navigation zone 3, meaning navigation within 25 miles of the departure coast. By law it must carry the relavent saftey equipment for that zone.  We have in fact equipped the boat for zone 2 (60 miles), however, certification for zone 2 would require full testing against the CE Recreational Craft Directive - an expensive nonsense for a 50 year old vessel.


The extra equipment for zone 2 is limited to an additional orange smoke canister, VHF back-up battery with auto changeover, GPS, SART, "C" and "N" signal flags and an additional waterproof flashlight.  Full details of the obligatory equipment may be found here: Safety equipment - by Zone.


In this section we detail the obligatory and other sensible safety and signalling equipment on board.

We carry a 406MHz EPIRB Emergency Position Indicating Beacon) with integrated GPS and 121.5MHz homing beacon.


The unit is water or manually activated and is mounted on the pushpit rail in a container with a hydrostatic release.


Once activated, the device should provide SAR authorities with our position to with in 100m.


GME MT403FG Instructions.

When manually activated, the SART (Search and Rescue Transponder) provides a distinctive radar signal in response to being illuminated by any X-band radar. The response, normally visible within 8 miles, gives SAR vessels a bearing and approximate range.


We keep the SART in our grab-bag in case we ever have to abandon ship.


MucMurdo S4 SART Instructions

Bilge Pumps


Our primary automatic bilge pump is a Johnson Water Puppy 23680-4003.  This takes bilge water from the well in the keel via a Whale pick-up filter and non-return valve.  This gives us 32 l/minute evacuation.


The pump is activated by a Johnson Ultima solidstate switch.  We found this the most effective way of controlling the pump.  We found that mercury float switches tended to come on as the boat heeled.


NOTE - although the Ultima switch is rated at 20A and the pump 15A and we use a 15A electro-mechanical cutout in the pump feed, we have had problems with the field-effect-transistor in the Ultima switch burning out. We have therefore added a a 15A fuse to protect the pump and switch.  It seems that our 15A BlueSea electromechanical cutout allow high current transients,  when the pump is starting up dry or with debris.


We have a secondary pump. This operates should water come 5cm or so above the main keel member.  This is an Johnson Ultima pump which has integrated the same solidstate switch, has a capacity of 32l/min.


Finally, we have the mandatory manual pump accessible from the starboard cockpit locker.  This is a Whale Gusher Titan.


The location of the pump outlets may be seen here : Through-hull fittings




Johnson Water Puppy 23680-4003. Mounted under the port setee berth (hopefully!) above any potential flood level.

Manual Whale Gusher oump in the starbord cockpit locker

Secondary pump

Primary pump solid-state switch

Primary pump uptake & Whale Filter/non-return valve

Manual pump uptake (non-return-valve just out of shot)

Commodore Light Lifeline-harnass

We carry four inflatable OceanSafety Commodore ISO12402-3 jackets, two of which are automatic.


These are numbered and kept adjusted to the four crew members that are commonly on board.


The jackets have automatic lights, crutch straps and life-lines.


For visitors we carry two 150N foam jackets.


All of the jackets fit neatly and accessibly on a shelf above the port settee berth.

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The liferaft painter is securely fixed to ARAMIS by a snap-shackle

Personal Floatation Devices

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Flare Pack

A Spanish Zone 2 flare pack is kept in the lazarette.


This contains :


6x parachute red flares

6x handheld red flares

2x orange (day) smoke canisters

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A fire blanket is available to the left of the galley and a powder fire-extiguisher close to the stove.

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Sea Anchor/Drogue

Although ARAMIS is not a true "blue water cruiser", a Lazilas™ sea anchor/drogue is on board.  This would allow the boat to be slowed down if running before large seas or perhaps more likely in the Mediterranean (although big seas do occur) it would buy some time or allow the boat to heave-to should there be a threatening lee shore.


The parachute is 1.35m in diameter and has 80m of line.


Two robust snap blocks are provided which, depending on how the anchor is deployed, can be used to form a bridle to control the attitude of the boat to the waves and/or wind.


To aid recovery, a small fender provides a float from the apex of the parachute.

P1060197_smal arrow Drouge deployment

An example of how the drogue and bridle might be used to control the attitude of the boat when heaving-to.


A similar arrangement could be used from the stern when running before big seas.


Wooden bungs


Various sizes in case a through-hull or below waterline pipe was ever breached.

Diverse other Saftey Items


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Fog/signalling horn


Deceptively loud and painful to use wthout ear-plugs!

Sounding line

Day Signals


Anchor and motor-sail day signals.

Signaling  mirror with target hole


Kept with the flare pack in the lazarette

Emergency VHF antenna


Kept at foot of starboard setee berth.


Navigation Lights


An Optolamp LED tri-colour mast-heat light is fitted.


There is a daylight sensor on top to control the anchor light and a strobe.


The light uses a binary control unit to reduce the number of cables running to the masthead.  The binary control is:


00  All off

01  Anchor light (overridden by daylight sensor)

10  Strobe light

11   Tri-colour


In fact there is a third cable to the masthead that selects slow or fast strobe.  This is hard-wired to slow where terminated in the electrical panel.


Optolamp wiring instructions (in French)



The Optolamp installed on the new mast 2007


Optolamp binary control logic unit

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For motoring, or where low-level navigation lights are preferred whilst sailing, Osculati Utility 45 stainless steel lights are installed.


The 135º stern light is mounted on the push-pit rail behind the EPIRB to avoid too much light pollution in the cockpit.

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wichard-jackstay-jacklines-lyfsafe-85m-pair-3001511-0-1388686262000 Radar Reflector



Winchard Lyf´safe™  tape jacklines run along both sides of the deck and are fixed to dedicated through-bolted pad-eyes.


Lyf´safe Instructions

Radar Reflector


The radar reflector is installed on the starboard uppershroud close to the cross-tree.

Information regarding the class B AIS may befound here Instruments & Electronics.