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  #1  
Old 04-29-2013
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Man overboard drill

Just finished recent issue of Sailing magazine and they published the various MOB drills and pros and cons of each. I think I would automatically use the figure 8 because I can do it without thinking. What do you all prefer and why?
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

Depends on conditions. I think I would just tack and do a circle and come back to MOB and hove to just down wind. Then with my 1 knot or so upwind movement come on to the MOB with the person on my upwind side where I can turn away from them if needed, instead of coming onto them.

But I may need the boom in order to recover, so I might drop the main and roll in the jib and may use just the engine- again depends on conditions.

I read a lot of these MOB techniques and they are all well and good if you have a full crew and sailing some place like the Chesapeake bay in 10-15 knots of wind and 2 foot seas. But it is a nother story when you have a crew of two and loose one. Typical conditions for me is 25 knots of wind and 6 foot seas, so just keeping a visual on MOB is a huge problem, let alone trying to recover with my life sling.

I hope I never have to do a MOB, not sure if I could. I will surely do everything I can, but I hope the MOD is not unconsious and is a very good swimmer. Luckliy our water temp is 78 deg F, year round- if you got temps below 65 deg F, then you got huge problems. All the more reason to stay on the boat.

Last edited by casey1999; 04-29-2013 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

Maintaining visual contact is indeed a challenge. One of the advantages of the quickstop maneuver is that the boat doesn't travel far, and a single helmsman can execute it without messing with the lines.

It, like all other techniques, isn't ideal for all situations, but it's a great first instinct.

We practice it a few times each season, especially at the beginning of the season.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

I prefer the quick stop.

Realistically, when shorthanded, we plan to pull the pin on the MOM, turn immediately into the wind, start the engine, put into idle forward and press AUTO, dump the jib sheet and main sheet, furl them both in and motor back. When you're the last person aboard the odds of tacking or jibing and then even coming close to steering and dumping sails, if you even get close to the victim, are slim.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

Biggest challenge is actually doing it. With a person, not a hat and not a cushion.

Try it at the dock.
Try it in dead calm water
Try it underway.

If you have a good strong crew and a conscious healthy mob - might work.

If there are just two of you and you have any conditions and the mob is not conscious - best of luck.

There are just the two of us - our rule is "mob is a dead person - so stay on board".
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

Quick stop. But I admit that although I've practised, never in real adverse conditions or at night, or (gasp) both.

I think that staying near the person, even if it takes more than one pass to get them, is the most important thing.

Jibe, start the engine, douse sail, it don't gotta be pretty. Just keep the person close and in view.

I'd rather miss and circle close twice than to do a perfect figure eight only to find that they have drifted further away.

YMMV.
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Re: Man overboard drill

I teach both drills to students, on an outboard-powered 24' sportboat. I mention power, but teach sail--in real time, the seas may be too lumpy to keep the outboard in the water.

Figure-8 is in the ASA book, Quick-stop isn't (I got the diagram from RORC site). Students are usually surprised at how far away "Oscar" is at the far point of a figure-8, compared to the quick-stop. But the risk is the jibe, usually done short-handed since you just "lost" crew overboard.

And how to get a 'real' Oscar back up over the rail is discussed, it's a good time to point out what a nice knot the bowline can be, especially when attached under Oscar's arms and hauled by the only 'crane' we have--a halyard led to a winch.

Once, on the way home from a windy choppy lesson in cool weather in which we had practiced lifejacket recovery, we saw and were hailed by one, then two more separated swimmers who'd bounced themselves off a jetski which then outdrifted them in the strong wind, wearing them out as they pursued. The empty jetski was the first thing we saw, then the first swimmer, who told us about the other 2.

We approached upwind under motor and sail (so neither figure 8 nor quick-stop necessary), sort of motor-tacking with reefed main (needed sail due to motor jumping out of the water), got them aboard over our low non-transom, and it was an excellent real-time experience for the students, who did great. Hard to have a better "lesson" than that one...

Right place, right time, just practiced it--what were the odds? Almost no one else out on the lake that day, and the lee shore (Slidell) was a good 12 miles away.

Last edited by nolatom; 04-29-2013 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

A variation of the quick-stop

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

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Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
Just finished recent issue of Sailing magazine and they published the various MOB drills and pros and cons of each. I think I would automatically use the figure 8 because I can do it without thinking. What do you all prefer and why?
Quick stop, without a doubt. It is foolproof when the brain shuts off, easy to teach and it keeps you from getting too far from the victim.

An awesome article from a very thorough test buy Boat US is here:
Boat US Man Overboard In SF Bay

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Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Man overboard drill

We were going over the all the new possibility's last Wednesday and will try one of the new ones

We sail with several divers and put someone over in wetsuit every season as it is a good experience doing it with a person and seeing first hand how things play out on your boat and learning from it
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