Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Thanked 86 Times in 85 Posts
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Yes, we swim off the boat all the time. Sugar scoops and a ladder.
Yes, people have boats with high tops and no ladder. Stupid in my mind, with no reservations. The stories of sailors not being able to get back on in calm waters are pitiful.
Yes, we have intentionally gone over and then hoisted the person back (me) while motoring at 4 knots. Not fun, but not bad. Actually, I could always do it un-aided, but I like rock climbing. I also had my crew crank me up without help (Lifesling). This is a very worthwhile test, since the sugar scoops are pretty bouncy when it's rough. Sugar scoops should not be discounted, though; we found they worked fine in most conditions, but the boat's heading may need adjustment (beam or run vs head-to-wind).
Yes, the tethers should be short, but in fair weather we run them long (they are used for solo deck watches). Thus, it is worth testing.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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