Age- and gender-related comparative standard data of the physical capacity of people being active to handle a motor- or sailboat [Normdaten] (IGF-No. 16399N)

Responsible research centres: FVSF - Forschungsvereinigung für die Sport- und Freizeitschifffahrt e.V. (Dr. Mell), Kiel University (Prof. Weisser)

Time period: 01.03.2010 - 31.08.2012

Final report: FVSF Special Report


Project summary

The research project entailed taking systematic measurements regarding target group-oriented "reasonableness" of loads on board yachts. Sports medicine screening tests were carried out on altogether 510 test persons to provide data with age- and gender-related capability ranges for the following types of load encountered on board.

  • Balancing capability related to the requirements for handrails,
  • Maximum climbing height (no-hands/with handle) onto high steps or e.g. from the gangway when coming on board,
  • Hauling a rope when standing: optimum tensile force (setting the sails, hauling the sheets, operating the hawsers, handling anchor lines),
  • Hauling a rope with a winch: rope strength and endurance capability, hand strength at the winch crank,
  • Arm and hand strength for lifting and pulling in confined spaces and for turning screw caps and valves,
  • Maximum step widths also for stepping over from on board to the gangway,
  • Tolerated step heights and step depths for companion ways and stairs on board,
  • Optimum sitting heights with regard to designing sitting surfaces on board,
  • Maximum endurance capability at the anaerobic limit as general parameter for genderand age-dependence of capability parameters,
  • Subjective perception of the effort required including capability at the anaerobic limit using the "Borg Scale" as parameter for tolerated maximum capability.

Supplementary data were obtained from third-party studies and used in the following contexts:

  • Anthropometric measurements for statements about appropriate grabbing radii,
  • Studies on the speed of reaction and on multi-tasking with regard to stress-related problems on board,
  • Data about the field of vision and movement angle of head and upper body in the context of the necessary radius of attention of the helmsman.

The scope and quality of data permit a definition of the ranges and average means for the age and gender-dependent expectancy values with adequately high probability so that these results can be qualified as "standard data".
The aim of the project was fully achieved.

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