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post #41 of 46 Old 06-21-2011
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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
This has been a great discussion, thanks for the input so far everyone.

Right now I've ordered a Lifesling 2 and a boomvang from Garhauer, comes to about $220 for the lot, and plan to practice using them soon.

So what do people use for practice recovery? Throw a lifejacket overboard? I could used my old Jim Buoy too I guess. Want to throw one overboard then practice sailing back to it and recovering it.
Those items will serve you well. I am sorry though that I didn't get to this thread before you spent so much cash! A lifesling can be made from good quality floating line (you can get better quality line than what comes with the sling) and tying the line in a loop. Enclosed in the loop is a "Fnoodle" foam pool noodle. They have a hole in the center that is perfectly sized to slip a line through. 1 bowline later you have a lifesling for a fraction of the price.

The lifting tackle doesn't need to be life$ling brand, nor does it need to be rated to 15million pounds like your rigging does. I use a plastic deer/elk hoist tackle which I picked up at a sporting goods store for 19.95. Here is something simmilar at cabellas. Purpose made for hoising up dead weight. I attach a SS carabiner to the bottom for ease of clipping into my "lifesling" or harness. Another carabiner on a short loop of sling for attaching quickly to a halyard, boom, lifeline, or whatever is handy.


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Last edited by MedSailor; 06-21-2011 at 07:32 PM.
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post #42 of 46 Old 06-21-2011
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As an alternative to a breathing MOB simulator, I fashioned a 5 gal bucket to a non inflatable vest, and chucked it over. With a 3 kt current trying its hardest to flush the boat downriver and toward a bridge, I've reduced my MOB drills (singlehanded) to a figure 8, heaved to (still flushing) boat hook recovery to a spare halyard. all halyards lead to the cockpit on my boat.
The 5 gal bucket provides a great challenging simulation with weight and drag. Its not a 200 lb person, but its dead weight enough to realize the risk of going over myself trying anything but hoisting or weight biasing the hull and forcing an accidental gybe. Remember, I'm rushing not only to save the MOB, but not get dashed on the bridge, other boats, or myriad submersed pilings, rocks, docks and other hazards that make the Columbia fun sailing.

Also, the mainsheet with cleated bitter end and winch has worked well for swimmers before I invested in a ladder. The pitching and yawing is plenty challenging for a person who intentionally went in with only bathing suits.
Trying to climb back aboard with soaked clothing and gear, numb hands and a yawing hull and rope is plenty challenging for the strong and capable.
I like the triangle suggestion, and may try a storm jib to recover the simulated unconscious MOB. Do test your crew often. That boom has no scruples on who it sends over.

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post #43 of 46 Old 06-21-2011
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our MOB experiance

About 15 years ago my wife, myself and 3 other guys were sailing from Melbourne to Sydney Australia. We had sailed through the night and the sun was starting to rise. We were rounding Wilsons Promontory and jibing as we turned northward. The boom came around and one of the guys was caught in the main sheet and flung overboard. We saved him, but there was more luck involved then I would have liked.

When he went over, one of the guys screamed man overboard, and two folks kept their eyes on him. We dumped cushions, MOB stick and life ring overboard. He was not wearing a life vest, had just unclipped from the life line and was wearing foul weather gear. With 15 knots of breeze and 2 to 3 foot seas and probably a 3 ft swell running on top, he was hard to keep track of even with bright yellow jacket on.

The first pass at him we had the sails up, the windage caused us to move too fast. We then dropped the sails and motored into place. The boat with out the sails was rocking and rolling all over the place. The freeboard was pretty low at 3 feet, but with the rolling we were next to him or 6 feet away.

We positioned windward of him and drifted down. When we got next to him, he was struggling to stay afloat. He had started blowing air under his chin to create a bubble in the back of his jacket, it was sorta working as he was losing strength. He did not want to kick off his boots as he did not want to lose them. We had a lifesling, but he was unable to get it around him. Water was very cold (Bass straight in the Southern Ocean) and he was not moving very well. In the end me and another guy grabbed him when the boat rolled toward him and dragged him up on the boat after a couple of tries. It was all physical grunt with a bit of luck. If there was not 4 other people on board I am not sure what the result might have been. Even with a full crew, all being experienced boat folks, it took us 20 min to get him out of the water.

We then picked up all the life rings, MOB stick and cushions that had blown far from where he was.

Even if we had a scoop stern that would not have worked because of the pounding of the stern.

One of my instructors said that if you go overboard at sea (offshore) you have a 50% chance of getting back. If they know you went overboard, if they can find you (not lose sight of you), if they do not run you over when trying to get you, if they can get you on the boat without more injury (hitting you with the boat, a block, a shackle...) if they can get you warmed back up and get you treatment for any serious injuries then you can be saved.

I think there are a) near shore/coastal strategies and b) off shore strategies. We now sail coastal Cape cod with my wife and young kids. I wear a life jacket (along with everyone else), because if I go over, I expect I will be in the water for a while. If it is rough she will call for help on the radio there are people/boats everywhere. If she or one of the kids goes overboard they get the life sling or boat hooked and at least tied to the boat. The water is not that cold so we have at least 30 mins for help. I think of it as a two step process, one get them secured to the boat and two, get them in the boat. The second step is hard and you can make things worse by hurrying it.

For offshore I agree with rikhall, do everything in your power to stay on the boat. Harness, life lines, some type of inflatable device (there are inflatable belt backs that we considered) and don't do stupid stuff (you do not need to climb down on to the bow sprit to pet the dolphins). It is likely other people and boats are days away for help. The odds are not good if you go over.

I think sea state and water temperature are huge factors. Just a little bit of swell will screw up any recovery. Again, even when they are next to the boat you can run over them or hit them with a bit of hard gear making the situation worse.

I think it is a healthy exercise to think through. I think it is also very good to try your system out in calm weather. Any then next time you are in 3 to 4 foot seas, just stop the boat dead in the water and think through what you might do.
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post #44 of 46 Old 06-21-2011
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I use the life sling for the lift, Ring, MOB pole with strobe all attached together in tether that go over asap.
Main sheet has quick release shakle at travler which is attached to life sling line, then on approach we toss the lifesling and winch the MOB back the tension from mainsheet at end of boom will keep them from side and then haul in sheet to lift and pull back.
I have done this in calm and 1 metre swells and it worked, I have not done with unconcious subject but i hope i never have to do it for real anyways, we practice MOB drills with family so even kids know to look for and never loose eye contact with MOB, .
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post #45 of 46 Old 06-22-2011
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MARKSF Sorry that I assumed that the water temperature in SF Bay is "warm" I didn't use Wikipedia but according to the USGS currently the bay is 55 deg F or more.
Yes that is colder than what I expect from sunny California in a city area that seldom sees air temperatures below 47 deg F (in winter).
I'm just saying you have more time in California waters than in Lake Michigan waters or any of the Great Lakes maybe with exception of Lake Erie. But no matter what, don't fall in and if you do ALWAYS SAVE the person as QUICK as possible.
Reading these comments and solutions I started wearing my SOSpenders again more often.
MedSailor thanks for the inexpensive life-sling links.

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I want to live and sail forever, so far so good[/SIGPIC]
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post #46 of 46 Old 06-22-2011
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Originally Posted by Deadline2 View Post
Keep a block and tackle in the bottom of the Lifesling bag. Deploy it to the boom and swing out to hoist up the MOB. Then swing the boom toward you.
This is why I said in my previous post that everyone needs to examine their own boat and tackle and figure out what works best for them.

This "boom recovery" method absolutely will not work for me. My boom is too low to the cockpit to get someone aboard. The recovery tackle needs to be 10' above the surface which you are trying to get the MOB to (cockpit, deck, whatever).

Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168
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