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Thread: Heaving to at high speed.."the hand brake of the seas" Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-30-2010 09:28 AM
smackdaddy SH - take a look at the "Heavy Weather Sailing" thread under "Seamanship". Lot's of good talk about these techniques.
01-30-2010 09:17 AM
SHays About "heaving-to" in general. I have read and heard that this maneuver is deployed in steep seas for "safety." Is this true? Wouldn't it invite a knockdown? Does it work under a reefed mainsail and small jib? There is so much to learn... I realize this thread is about MOB in regard to fast upwind sailing, and that the maneuver would allow a drift back toward the MOB in this scenario, but in a steep sea situation, I can see myself suddenly in a beam sea, pitching and rolling to port if carrying too much canvas. Thoughts?
01-30-2010 08:45 AM
smackdaddy To me the quickstop or heave-to sounds a lot more effective than the figure-8 or the triangle.
01-30-2010 05:44 AM
St Anna Adam,
I think you may be missing my point, but thats OK, I respect your experiences and posts.

I dont think I would like to be in cold water for too long.
01-29-2010 08:56 PM
AdamLein Oma: we were required to demonstrate this technique, which was called the triangle technique, singlehanded to pass CYA Basic. This was in 2007. The process was, after shouting man overboard (mostly so the MOB knows that you noticed) and tossing the life ring,
1. count off 20 boat lengths on a beam reach
2. tack and bear away to a broad reach and count 15 boat lengths
3. come up and approach MOB
4. luff and retrieve MOB

After a bit of practice at getting the counting right, it was surprisingly effective... in 15 knots of wind on a partly cloudy day with 1-2 foot seas

St. Anna: don't have to. I've been overboard... on freediving trips. Every few minutes the skipper would have to motor upwind to our float.
01-29-2010 08:28 PM
St Anna
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
I think boats have more windage than poor suckers in the water.
Obviously, but draw straws and see what works better for you - you may be surprised that theory and practice dont always correlate. Its just my experience in a practice mob, and that worked for us.

Also what Oma just said.

I have a dedicated sling with dbl blocks which clips onto the end of the boom. That way, the vic can be hauled onboard whilst trying to minimise being clobbered by the boat. Soft sling, under armpits and bitter end into a winch.

Theory will only get you as far as knowing what you should do. We all know that a real situation is never like it is in the books. A list of steps printed and laminated (like I have for emergency stuff) may help if it is you that is over the side, floating face down....

Anyway, lets hope it is never needed for real.
01-29-2010 08:27 PM
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
So then - with the quickstop/heave-to technique, you should be upwind of the COB - right? With him/her essentially on your quarter?
Actually, no. The scenario I outlined in my earlier post of sailing a course then hoping to turn around and sail a reciprocal course back to the MOB used to be what was taught in sailing schools around the world and was generally accepted as the way to do it. I reckon a lot of people died of heart attacks watching the boat sail happily on it's way.

More recently, the concept of stopping ASAP and then going back only a short distance has been accepted as the preferred method.

But you're still downwind of the MOB when you turn.

Under sail I would go to weather of the MOB then heave the boat to and drift back onto him/her. If motoring, I would probably just chuck the Lifesling in the drink and drive the prescribed circle to "gather" the MOB on the line.

I also have a drop-down ladder on the transom that gives one a false sense of security because when you're in the anchorage it's easy to get up the ladder. With the boat heaving amongst 10' waves it's really hard especiallly for older folks and kids.
01-29-2010 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Sorry, how do you figure that? If your boat has rounded up anyway, that's a great time to douse sails and get back to th MOB. If your boat rounds up and that threatens to bring your rig down then you're WAAAAY over-canvassed.

There used to be (and God forbid, maybe still is)an international practise of sailing off on a reach and counting the seconds while the boat is being prepared to turn around and then when everyone is nice and comfy, sailing back to the MOB, hoping to hell that your reciprocal course is accurate and that you don't have to put in a tack and then miraculously you'll find the MOB where you thought he'd be.

If that is the process that is being used on a boat then the helmsman/skipper needs to include the description in his safety briefing. I for one will get off the boat right there.

I often disagreed with Giulietta but on this he's bang-on. I fully endorse the process of rounding my boat up if there is a person in the water. I go directly head to wind, drop the main, furl the headsail, start the engine and get back to the MOB ASAP.

If the helmsman thinks there is a risk of running over the MOB to a point where he's going to put him amongst propeller blades then MOB practise should begin with driving lessons, not sail management.
Should have prefaced it a little better... I was thinking specifically of a round down rather than up, and also racing, not cruising.

"If your boat rounds up and that threatens to bring your rig down then you're WAAAAY over-canvassed."

Could be, but on larger race boats, this is pretty common, particularly with runner dependent rigs, but then again, folks driving and racing these aren't beginners.

IMHO, the most important factor in getting someone back on the boat is just getting them out of the water. There are any number of situationally appropriate ways to get back to the MOB, but it's damn hard to get someone back on deck. Personally, I'm a huge fan of lifelines around the cockpit that can come down with the flip of pelican hooks and a quickly deployable ladder. The same thing that make life lines so helpful keeping us on the boat do the same to keep us off. Most of the open class racing boats have very strict rules regarding functional MOB equipment that MUST be demonstrated before being allowed to race. There are a number of very effective and simple ideas that these guys and gals have come up with that are worth a very close look.

Thanks for setting me straight though.. on a round up MOB, you're absolutely right. You've already got the quick stop done, so why not pick up the crew while you're at it, eh?
01-29-2010 02:03 PM
smackdaddy So then - with the quickstop/heave-to technique, you should be upwind of the COB - right? With him/her essentially on your quarter?

This makes the most sense in terms of throwing lines/lifeslings, etc. as you are much more likely to get it to them instead of having it blown back at you.

But then, as said above, you've got to be very careful not to run over the poor bastard as you drift down on him. I assume this is what the quarter-to position is about. Is this right?
01-29-2010 01:04 PM
Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
The theory has to let the yacht be to weather of the victim. owever,if the poor sucker is to weather of you, he should drift onto you
I think boats have more windage than poor suckers in the water.
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