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post #11 of 35 Old 04-30-2013
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Man overboard drill

Jackdale - this looks easiest for short crew. Thanks for posting! We will certainly try it out.
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

I have come across several threads on MOB drills like this one which seem to miss out on doing what I have as my number one priority ESPECIALLY IF SHORT HANDED.

PRESS THE MOB BUTTON on the GPS or Chart plotter, then go about making whatever circuit you fancy to get back to the spot.

I was towing a dinghy which broke lose while we were under full sail. It was a bright sunny day and we could not see it by the time we turned around. We had treated it as a MOB drill and had pressed the button so we had a reference point to work on. We did retrieve it and the skipper was contrite as the crew had told him the painter was fraying.
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
I have come across several threads on MOB drills like this one which seem to miss out on doing what I have as my number one priority ESPECIALLY IF SHORT HANDED.

PRESS THE MOB BUTTON on the GPS or Chart plotter, then go about making whatever circuit you fancy to get back to the spot.

I was towing a dinghy which broke lose while we were under full sail. It was a bright sunny day and we could not see it by the time we turned around. We had treated it as a MOB drill and had pressed the button so we had a reference point to work on. We did retrieve it and the skipper was contrite as the crew had told him the painter was fraying.
I tend to enable the "track" feature on my GPS as well. Once lost a hat (while doing MOB drills, ironically). Because the GPS was laying down the course we were tracking, I just followed the track back until we spotted the hat.

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post #14 of 35 Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

Advantages of the heave-to method
a) It can be done easily by one person.
b) There is usually no need to adjust sails.
c) The sails are always under control. There are no flying clews or sheets.
d) The MOB is always on the same side of the vessel and kept in sight.
e) If unsuccessful, just come around again.
f) The MOB can be reached on most vessels by lying on the deck at the shrouds and grabbing them. (I retrieved a TV antenna off Cape Scott in this manner.)
g) Works exceptionally well with a life-sling.
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post #15 of 35 Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
A variation of the quick-stop

Do not touch the sails.
Retrieve on leeward side while hove-to


Thanks, I must try this. Though in our little tall-rig lightweight boat, in a breeze, this may be a lot of heeling at the hove-to finish, maybe too much, especially with a couple of crew to leeward trying to get Oscar aboard.

Okay, you great art mavens, does not Oscar in Jackdale's diagram look like the unfortunate guy in Picasso's "Guernica"? (the guy on the right):

Guernica by Pablo Picasso


Yup. It does. ;-)
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post #16 of 35 Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

Staying close to the victim is key to keeping him in sight. The Quick-Stop seems to do this best. We practiced it at a Storm-Trysail Club Safety at Sea seminar. For our first trial, on a reach in 18 knots of wind with the spinnaker up, I threw a cushion over for our "MOB", and called "Man Overboard!". The helmsman tacked immediately. This essentially stopped the boat, and he headed back to the "MOB" while the spinnaker got dowsed. We were back at the cushion within 45 seconds. I've been a believer ever since. Our problem with the maneuver - which would be the same problem with any of the methods - was to slow the boat enough to get hold of the "victim" without hurting him. Grabbing a guy's arm while you cruise past at 8 knots can wrench it really badly, and may break it, along with fingers and hands of eager rescuers. We ended up having to make several passes on our first drill, as the crew learned about the boat's momentum in a seaway. Maneuvering with just the main was simple and well-controlled. Subsequent drills in the middle of sail changes or tacks got quicker, with retrieval on the first pass, as the crew got to know the boat better.
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post #17 of 35 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

We us a heave-to method and then douse the genoa and use the engine. It would be impossible for my wife to get me attached and lifted into the boat hove-to even if the hove-to boat was only moving at less than a knot. Of course if the engine did not start we would use a sail only method. We also practice lifting the man out of the water but do so by putting them in the dinghy. We do all this at least once a year and whenever we have inexperienced guests.

Since my wife and I sail without crew and stand one-man-watches we now wear individual AIS transponders. When activated it rings an alarm in the boat, activates the MOB marker on the chart plotter and even gives the option of the auto pilot automatically going to the MOB position. We have proven the range to be over 3 miles.

However, at night we are always wear lifejackets, are clipped on and do not leave the cockpit to reef without calling the off watch.
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Last edited by Yorksailor; 05-01-2013 at 06:02 AM.
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post #18 of 35 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

A co-worker of mine, and his wife were sailing between the island of Molokai and Oahu (Hawaiian Islands), distance of about 25 miles. He was below taking a nap and his wife was steering. When he came on deck the wife was gone. He back tracked and found his wife, and got her safely on board. She never set foot on a sailboat again.
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post #19 of 35 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

casey - That story had a happy middle (finding her) and a sad ending. Anyone on deck alone should be tethered.

I remember similar story about a guy who went over when the lifeline against which he was leaning snapped. Fortunately there was a enough noise that wife woke up.

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post #20 of 35 Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
A co-worker of mine, and his wife were sailing between the island of Molokai and Oahu (Hawaiian Islands), distance of about 25 miles. He was below taking a nap and his wife was steering. When he came on deck the wife was gone. He back tracked and found his wife, and got her safely on board. She never set foot on a sailboat again.
Did he use the gps track to find her, or some other method?

Scary. I can't sleep if my wife is at the helm and not tethered.

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