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Safer Offshore — Crisis Management and Emergency Repairs at Sea

Coping with trouble when you’re offshore

Far from shore, where options for help are limited, self-reliance is essential. When something goes wrong, the way the skipper and crew react can be the difference between life and death. “Safer Offshore — Crisis Management and Emergency Repairs at Sea” by Ed Mapes (2010, Paradise Cay Publications, $19.95 paperback, 283 pages) catalogs solutions to problems boaters can encounter on the ocean.

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Mapes has more than 30 years of voyaging under his keel, and he offers clear and comprehensive advice about emergency communications, dealing with flooding or fire, engine repair, loss of steering, medical emergencies, helicopter evacuations, heavy weather, abandon-ship techniques, surviving in a life raft and more. Mapes is a licensed Coast Guard Master and certified American Sailing Association instructor who conducts bluewater-sailing seminars around the country. He stresses preventive preparation — prevoyage inspections, tool kits and spares, and checklists for monitoring and maintenance.

“This book discusses the art of the jury rig,” Mapes writes in his introduction, “but the best fix is one that never takes place because our foresight prevents its necessity.”

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.