In the world of “Lifting” and “Working at Height” all the gear needs a regular inspection. Generally every six months, unless a competent person decides otherwise. With large items it is quite easy to label items and keep a log of the inspections but for small lifting gear such as shackles it can be very hard to label the product so you can easily tell when the inspection is due. Some organisations have come up with the simple wheeze of attaching a coloured cable tie with each colour representing a time period. They can then say: “Can you gather all the orange shackles as they are due for their next Thorough Examination”.
On yachts, rigging regulations, as far as I can tell, are rather more relaxed, if indeed they exist at all. As boats tend to be seasonal things, it obviously makes sense to check the rigging at least annually, assuming you unstep the mast each year. However, there are other components on yachts which are equally important and are more liable to slip through the inspection net. I’m talking about “Worm Drive Hose Clips” or “Jubilee Clips” as they are often colloquially called. These critical components, often tucked away in the dark recesses of the bilges, really deserve an annual inspection and a little tweak if necessary.
My simple little 26ft yacht has five pipes secured to seacocks with doubled up worm drive clips. Failure here at an inopportune time would be quite capable of sinking the Good Ship. Furthermore, there are endless clips fastening diesel pipes to the tank and around the engine which could stall the engine or perhaps cause a catastrophic fire. Even the failure of a connection to a water tank could leave you in serious trouble should it happen mid-Atlantic when the water is closely rationed.
So here is my wheeze:
Buy a few packs of these coloured plastic end guards from ASAP, or anyone else who stocks them. They are called Clamp-Aid End Guards and cost £3.79 for a pack of 20 (November 2021). So, when you next inspect your worm drive clips, slip one of these little coloured gizmos on the sharp end and jot a note in the log book to say 2021=Green. You can then easily see which clips haven’t been checked at all, and you can tell which year the other ones were checked. There is the added bonus that you won’t shred the skin off your arms when you reach past the sharp little sods.
Well I think it’s a good wheeze. How about you?