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RayMetz100 01-22-2007 07:00 PM

Man overboard
It sure is good to be sailing again after the holidays. I got to go out yesterday and the Sunday before.

We got back to our Marina too early yesterday and decided to try a man overboard drill. We were outside Shilshole in a Cal 25 with me, a new skipper with about 10 sails so far, a couple that had never sailed before, and my 10 year old daughter on her second trip out. We had the main all the way up and the roller jib on, I think it's 130%. And the winds were just hitting 20 knots. They were mostly 10-15 earlier in the day.

We threw out a lifejacket tied to a bumper and began our drill. After about 5 passes, we decided to roll up the jib. After another 3-4, we decided to drop the main and motor for it. We finally recovered it, but it must have been over 30 minutes later. We were trying the figure eight method I think.

Anyway, I know I need a lot more practice with this, and besides practice, practice, practice, and your comments here, what's another good source of training? My old instructor offered to let me come out with her class on Feb 11th for free to practice more so that should help too.

I've done it alot better in my earlier attempts, but I think the 20 knt winds made it interesting.


T34C 01-22-2007 07:31 PM

Ray- First let me say in all seriousness, that it is excellent that you are practicing your MOB drills. It is good that you tried different methods in a effort to find what worked best. Keep up the good work!! Please also remember that you need a MOB proceedure that you can depend on NOW while you are perfecting the other methods. With such a novice crew, and your young daughter on board you need a MOB proceedure to use in case it is needed, even if that NOW proceedure is to let it all fly and motor back.

I too sail with my kids onboard and have learned that you always need to be thinking, "what do I do if..... ?"

Just out of curiosity, why does your avatar show a J22 when you sail a Cal25??

Faster 01-22-2007 07:38 PM

Good effort, Ray - it brings up a thought or two, though, doesn't it?

Wouldn't have wanted to be the one in the water for 30 minutes waiting for rescue... esp. this time of year.

The 20 knot conditions made things more difficult, no doubt, but in fact it's far more likely that someone may go overboard in such conditions than in more benign circumstances.

It certainly reinforces the point that you can never practice too much - in all conditions. It's important to know your boat, how far it will travel when luffing head to wind (in various conditions); how quickly you can stop it....

Another thought... did you happen to "run over" your "victim" during any of your attempts??

mgiguere 01-22-2007 07:48 PM

Man Over Practice
It's great that you are trying to practice this. We do it once in a while to recover someone's hat (in windy conditions). What works for me is as follows: 1. Tell someone to point to the object overboard. and 2. The driver jibes the boat. That puts the boat in a circle and you coast up to the floating object.

You can also do an immediate "hove to" move, and theoretically you'll float back to the object....but I haven't tried that technique.

It's a fun exercise. The real hard part is getting someone back on board.

Anyway, we should all be practicing this.


RayMetz100 01-22-2007 08:34 PM

yes, we ran over it twice when just the main was up I think.

I don't own a boat. I learned at Seattle Sailing Club last Fall and passed my ASA 101 and 103 there. They have about a dozen boats altogether. My 103 class and $200/mo certified me for their 5x J24s, 2x J22s, a Catalina 22, a C&C24, and the Cal 25. They also have a couple J80s, J105s, a J30, J35, Catalina 34, and a C&C 36. Their sister company is a yacht brokerage that sells new J boats, Alerions, and True North power boats.

I made the J/22 logo when I reserved my first boat, but never ended up sailing it because too many people came along. It's funny I picked that club because of all the J boats, but in the 4 times I've skippered so far, it's never been a J. It'll happen eventually as the spring and summer race season gets going. I'm very happy with the club and glad I don't have to make boat payments or pay moorage anywhere.

If someone forced me to trade my club dues in for a boat before March, it'd be a cheap Catalina 27 with a diesel. But I plan on staying with the club for a long time and may never buy a boat.

sailingfool 01-22-2007 08:58 PM

54 Attachment(s)
UK has some excellent videos on MOB techniques - its free but you need to you need to register

sailingdog 01-22-2007 09:00 PM

I think your lifejacket would have died from hypothermia... Practicing MOB drills is essential, and repetition makes it go much smoother, especially if you practice in various conditions—light wind, heavy wind, choppy seas, calm seas... etc.

One thing to be aware of if you're doing drills with just a lifejacket or PFD—a MOB weighs a lot it takes a lot more effort to get them out of the water. A friend of mine had us do MOB drills with a weighted dummy in a PFD... let me tell you, it was a rude awakening...

CDRA 01-23-2007 08:48 AM

A rigid attached boarding ladder with at least 3 rungs below the water line makes getting your manoverboard on board easier.

sailingdog 01-23-2007 09:42 AM


Originally Posted by CDRA
A rigid attached boarding ladder with at least 3 rungs below the water line makes getting your manoverboard on board easier.

You're assuming that the MOB will be able to assist in re-boarding, which is often not the case. Even a short immersion in cooler waters (<70˚) can lead to almost complete incapacitation on the part of the MOB. :rolleyes:

Sailormon6 01-23-2007 11:25 AM

Ray, you said you "ran over" the MOB (pfd) twice. If you were able to maneuver close enough to "run over it," I don't understand why you weren't able to recover it. If you can get that close, then you should be able to hook it with a boat hook and pull it out of the water. Did you have a person with an extended, telescoping boat hook, positioned on the side where the boat would pass the MOB?

Years ago, an Annapolis Sailing School instructor taught me that, after you steer the boat to windward, while it is coasting toward the MOB, you should steer the boat as if you're trying to run him down. (Obviously, you shouldn't actually run him down. :rolleyes: ) The point is that, you want to recover him as quickly as possible, and preferably on the first attempt, so you want to get as close to him as possible. When you coast up to him, you should be going very slowly, and you can bear away from him a bit at the last moment, so you don't actually run over him.

In a MOB situation, in addition to the boat hook, you should also have a throw bag or similar device at hand, so that, even if you don't get close enough to snag the MOB with a boat hook, you can throw a line to him and pull him alongside. If you don't have crew to help you recover the MOB, it would probably be difficult for you to move from the helm to the side or bow of the boat in time to reach him with a boat hook, but you can probably throw him a line without leaving the helm.

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