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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-25-2010 09:27 PM
tweitz Tempest --
I agree with you. I would never worry about the other cushions. I keep them all in the cockpit with specific instructions to crew to throw as much floatation as possible to the COB. I was only discussing it in the context of the lifesling.
01-24-2010 12:31 AM
tempest Hi Tweitz

Ok, I think I understand the issue. I'm talking about a throwable horseshoe or ring, and/or the square seat cushions that many people have... type IV 's

What west marine is demo-ing is a life sling that is designed to help bring the COB onboard. I carry both, on my vessel. A horseshoe and a Lifesling.
The horsehoe would get thrown first.....the lifesling is not really a throwable device. (type IV)

The circle maneuver would work fine under power. But under sail, the object is to return to the COB from downwind on a close reach/close haul and stop the vessel alongside by pinching into the wind with little or no boat speed. (Jib loose) Pretty much the same way you would sail up to a mooring or an anchorage. see figure 8 or quick stop.
01-23-2010 09:40 PM
tweitz It is helpful to know the best way to do it, so it is worth discussing. In general I agree with what you say, especially about throwing everything that floats. If the lifesling was near the COB I would not reel it in, but I am assuming the COB has very limited swimming ability. If the line is close I would not reel it in, but if it is far from him, I would want to try to get it to him, either leaving it in the water and sailing near him, or pulling it in and rethrowing. My preference would be to try to make the circle around the victim so the line comes to him and then use the line to bring him back to the boat. I think that is how the lifesling is intended to be used. Take a look at

By the way, I also keep a polypropylene bagged throwing line fixed to a stanchion, so it is also ready to throw. I hope none of us have to use these tools except in practice.
01-22-2010 07:05 PM
tempest Twietz and Adam,

I respectfully disagree. There are a few immediate goals in a COB situation:
1st is to keep eyes on the COB...second is to throw everything that floats toward the hopefully conscience swimmer to provide them something to keep them afloat. Third is to get the vessel back to the COB for retrieval.

If you miss with the throws, it's unfortunate...But The idea of a type IV is to provide floatation for the COB. While you maneuver for the pick's not meant to be method of reeling them in...thus the floating line...the idea is that they can swim toward the nearest floating device, if possible.

third is to get the boat back for retrieval.

Let's say I'm sailing with one other person on board...they go over: I would throw everything I could reach that floats..toward them, and then work to get the vessel back alongside. Time spend retrieving a mis-thrown horseshoe is time that I'm not maneuvering my get back to the COB....

Trailing the horseshoe behind me while I circle the COB sounds reasonable, but the goal is to get quickly downwind of the COB and work back to get alongside and stop the boat...alongside with no way on. If you're circling the COB that implies that you're at some point upwind..?

Of course, if you're on a's another story.

we can always..agree to disagree..
01-22-2010 02:25 PM
harbin2 I do have a quick release on my tether. I'd expect pulling it from under the water would be a little different than pulling it standing in the cockpit. NO, going over doesn't leave a lot of options.
I do have an autohelm. I guess minimizing its use and keeping some weather helm isn't a bad strategy but, like Adam says, it is usually when you are forward that the risk is highest (and the autohelm is always on then). I like the idea of a trip device for the autohelm. They have them on jet skis. I don't know that it matters whether you're swimming after a sailboat doing 6 knots or a jet ski doing 40.
01-22-2010 01:18 PM
AdamLein harbin: how are you steering? If you're doing it manually then trim for a bit of weather helm so that the boat will heave-to when you drop the tiller. Of course, you're more worried about going overboard when you're working on the foredeck than when you're in the cockpit.

There needs to be some way to disengage autopilot/windvane steering when singlehanders go overboard.
01-22-2010 10:24 AM
smackdaddy Hey harbin - it's not off topic at all, and even if it was - no worries. Do you have a quick release on your tether? If you're being dragged alongside and have enough play in your tether to have your head under - from everything I've read, your done for unless you can release. Too much water pressure to do anything.

But then, if you do release and you're boat is sailing fast enough to apply the above pressure - it seems your boat will be long gone. 4-6 knots is pretty damn fast.

My take is that if you go overboard singlehanding - unless there's someone around to help you out, you're done.

There are salts on here FAR, FAR more qualified to answer this. For example, take a look at the link JRP provided in another thread. Sobering stuff. So stay on the boat!

Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Also, since we are off on this MOB recovery tangent anyway, I meant to post a link to the Lifesling Case Studies. This is very instructive reading if you haven't seen it yet.
01-22-2010 10:17 AM
harbin2 Great thread.

If this is too far off the subject, I'll be glad to repost it in its own.

I mostly single hand. I wear a harness almost all the time when I'm out alone and stay hooked onto my jackline when not below. I know the key is to not go over to begin with. But I have wondered what I'd do if:
1. I went over and was being drug alongside, still hooked in.
2. How I'd ever get back on board.

1. If I were on the lee side, and there was much heel, there would be little free board and I could possibly grab something and pull myself back up on board. If I were on the high side, I guess I'd just release the tether at my harness and swim for?

2. If there was any kind of sea, I know how dangerous the stern can be. But if it's the only way back aboard, I think I'd rather take my chances. To enable this, I have considered installing some kind of quick release to the stern ladder so that I could lower it from the water.

Any advice for these or other strategies?
01-20-2010 11:54 PM
mattny08 smackdaddy - the helicopter strap is supposedly being reconsidered, but no changes have been made as of yet. On my boat, we've purchased a John Buoy which is like a 1 man life raft with lifting straps on it. It attaches on the back of the boat and you pull a lever which ejects it over the stern and it's supposed to inflate automatically. I think it increases the odds of recovery tremendously, especially in night conditions under spinnaker (which is my nightmare scenario).

To sailingdog's point, getting the victim back on board these boats is a real challenge. I won't go near the transom in even the slightest chop - you'll be knocked out cold.

zz4gta - I assure you this is not pleasure cruise...
01-20-2010 09:18 AM
tweitz Tempest -
For the lifesling the idea is that you use the line to make a circle around the COB and then pull it in and the floatation collar will come to him and he can then be brought to the boat. So in case of a lifesling I would pull it back and throw it again. If they don't have a lifesling, then they may have been using the horseshoe for that purpose. If you throw the whole line in, then you have no way to retrieve the COB unless the boat gets really close, which is very hard and adds the danger of the boat itself injuring the COB. Just adding another piece of floatation to the ones I would have thrown in the water is not much help, especially since a piece of floatation more than a couple of yards from the COB may be impossible for him to get to.
By the way, this is one of those times that I think having a sugar scoop transom is a big benefit, because you can get a COB back aboard with essentially no lifting (though if seas are rough, the transom goes up and down a lot and you still have to be very careful).
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