Originally Posted by puddinlegs
Honestly, in downwind conditions when you're most likely have someone go swimming, it isn't going to be blowing 4-5 kts. If it's light, almost anything will work, but at 20kts+ true (this is when a good hard round up or down is going to drop someone over the side) I'm pretty sure you'd loose your kite, possible bend or break the pole, and end up with an unholy mess that could really jeopardize the rig well before you got back the the MOB.
Sorry, how do you figure that? If your boat has rounded up anyway, that's a great time to douse sails and get back to th MOB. If your boat rounds up and that threatens to bring your rig down then you're WAAAAY over-canvassed.
There used to be (and God forbid, maybe still is)an international practise of sailing off on a reach and counting the seconds while the boat is being prepared to turn around and then when everyone is nice and comfy, sailing back to the MOB, hoping to hell that your reciprocal course is accurate and that you don't have to put in a tack and then miraculously you'll find the MOB where you thought he'd be.
If that is the process that is being used on a boat then the helmsman/skipper needs to include the description in his safety briefing. I for one will get off the boat right there.
I often disagreed with Giulietta but on this he's bang-on. I fully endorse the process of rounding my boat up if there is a person in the water. I go directly head to wind, drop the main, furl the headsail, start the engine and get back to the MOB ASAP.
If the helmsman thinks there is a risk of running over the MOB to a point where he's going to put him amongst propeller blades then MOB practise should begin with driving lessons, not sail management.