Originally Posted by billdix
I believe we are all in agreement. I single hand 90% of the time in the Chesapeake bay. I wear it 90% of the time. I also trail a 100ft polypropylene line behind boat w/ a bowline tied off at end. Just in case I do fall off I can grab hold of line and hopefully drag myself back to boat. I have not tried that yet. You also must make sure you can climb back on boat if you do fall off. I DO NOT have a swim platform. I have a stowable ladder tied off a stantion that I can release and climb back on the boat. I also have a portable VHF radio tucked into my PFD on challenging days. . I do not have roller furling and when I go up front to pull down jib I feel safer w/ vest. Safe sailing!!
i went overboard once... the autopilot decided to tack, when i was still lying in the main on a close haul having a nice snooze there...
nevertheless - we also had some sort of line towing just in case, and i can tell from my own experience that you just cannot imagine how bloody fast this line comes rushing past you...
even at only 5 kts, it is frightening when you up to your nose in water.
you must be really very, very desperate to try and grab this line especially if you have no gloves on.
even if you manage to get hold of your bowline by slinging an arm through, the chance of a dislocated shoulder or even worse an injury is very high!
and then comes the really tricky bit:
just imagine - your probably injured and at 5 kts, the speed will drag you under water and i doubt very much, that you would be able to drag yourself back to the boat. the resistance the water gives you is something you have to figure yourself once...
when i eventually was back on board, we immediately undid that line.