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  #11  
Old 10-19-2010
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Pulling yourself against a water current is pretty hard. Just think of the force you're against walking through waist deep water.

If I could get to the stern, the open transom and telescoping swim ladder would make it relatively easy. Getting there would be the problem.
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Not a problem at all on my boat... if you're tethered in, you' can't fall of except at the very aft end of the boat...and getting aboard is pretty simple due to the really low freeboard at the ama nets...
One less problem - I wish I could afford a catamaran.
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2010
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Interesting story, related to the general topic...

The Derelict
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2010
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Other factors come into play too... are you alone? is the boat on autopilot or balanced and sailing itself? or will it round up and "stop" unattended? Can the ladder (if present) be deployed by someone in the water?

Recently watched "Open Water 2" - a chilling scenario where half a dozen people end up swimming off a largish drifting yacht with significant freeboard - and no one remembered to deploy the ladder first. Unable to climb aboard, no anchor down, in the story ultimately most perished... not a classic movie by any means, but the first half hour we had a sick feeling that such a boneheaded move would be actually quite easy to accidentally do....

Our club had a presentation from a round-the-world singlehander last year.. when asked if he wore a lifejacket his response was no... the only reason for a lifejacket in his situation was to keep a pistol from sinking... if he fell over and the boat was sailing away he may as well use it.......
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  #15  
Old 10-19-2010
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Unfortunately, this is all too common. Four people on a a sailboat owned by one of their parents did this not too long ago. The two women survived miraculously, the two men didn't. The boat wasn't anchored. They didn't have any PFDs on.... and all four decided to go swimming... Darwin award winners...

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Recently watched "Open Water 2" - a chilling scenario where half a dozen people end up swimming off a largish drifting yacht with significant freeboard - and no one remembered to deploy the ladder first. Unable to climb aboard, no anchor down, in the story ultimately most perished... not a classic movie by any means, but the first half hour we had a sick feeling that such a boneheaded move would be actually quite easy to accidentally do....
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #16  
Old 10-19-2010
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What are your thoughts (anyone) on trailing a floating line while sailing? Say, 50 or more feet of line with a knot every 18" or something like that.

If you fell over the side while underway, would it go by so fast you wouldn't have a chance to swim over and grab it? I suppose that is a question of how long would such a line need to be in order to be useful.

It certainly would help eliminate the "we forgot to put the ladder down" fatalities - at least you would have a chance to try to pull yourself up using the trailing knotted line.

And of course you'd have to remember to pull it in before firing up the engine.
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  #17  
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Unless you have it tied so that it turns the boat head to wind and disengages the sails and/or engine, don't bother. If the boat is doing more than a knot, you won't be able to hold onto the line for very long, much less pull yourself back up to the boat and climb back aboard. At anything over two-and-a-half knots, the wake you make going through the water hanging onto the line will likely drown you anyways...

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Originally Posted by ilikerust View Post
What are your thoughts (anyone) on trailing a floating line while sailing? Say, 50 or more feet of line with a knot every 18" or something like that.

If you fell over the side while underway, would it go by so fast you wouldn't have a chance to swim over and grab it? I suppose that is a question of how long would such a line need to be in order to be useful.

It certainly would help eliminate the "we forgot to put the ladder down" fatalities - at least you would have a chance to try to pull yourself up using the trailing knotted line.

And of course you'd have to remember to pull it in before firing up the engine.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #18  
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ilikerust: that derelict story is just plain creepy. I guess I'll go set up those jack lines and harnesses... I don't sail alone though, or more than a couple miles from shore.
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  #19  
Old 10-19-2010
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What happens after you fall off your boat?

You get wet? Seriously, nothing good...I have ended up in the water in late fall when a small boat that I was sailing capsized. A rescue boat came along side to try to rescue me and just getting myself out of the water in my wet clothing was extremely difficult. You cannot believe how heavy wet sailing gear can be. It took several attempts. The first few times I tried to do it in one quick lift. The weight of thw water trapped in my foul weather gear was too much. Ultimately, I had to lift myself a little at a time so that the water could drain before hauling myself up further. Frankly, it was totally exhausting and if you were single-handing you still need to be able to sail well enough to get home.

As a general rule, when I am single-handing I wear an inflatable harness and I try to use the jackline that is on the weather side of the boat, which in theory should keep me from being able to fall over the lee rail. I have slipped on occasion and slid down the deck, and the teather worked keeping me from sliding out under the lifelines, but I still am not completely convinced you would stay aboard if you took a fall on the foredeck or in all situations. (I do have zig-zagged lines rigged at the foredeck to help with sail changing and slippage.)

If you do go over, a teather can be a help, if you are in good physical condition (but can also be a hinderence) Years ago, I experimented with climbing out of the water while wearing a harness and teathered to the boat. I was able to reach up and support my weight on the teather with one hand, make a small loop in the teather below my hand to grab onto and used that arm to reach the rail. I then was able to work my way into a position where I was ultimately able to hook the stern rail with my foot and get aboard. (I was in a little better physical shape back then) On the other hand the teather kept me from reaching the transom where there is a boarding ladder that is a permanent part of the boat. (Now that I am a sexagenarian, I am not so sure that I could do that today and as I write this, I think that I should probably experiment with this again next summer.)

Jeff
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  #20  
Old 10-19-2010
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Mount a 12v truck winch with a radio control in the boat. Run the winch line up to a block a ways up on the mast where it can "see" the stern. Wouldn't need to be more than four or five feet up.

Carry the remote in a waterproof baggie on your person.

Connect your tether to the winch.

If you fall overboard, maneuver yourself behind the boat, push the "IN" button on the remote through the plastic.

Prepare to be dragged aboard. If that thing can pull a 4200-lb pickup, it'll reel you in with no problems.
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