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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 01-07-2008
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Step three is only applicable if you are a beneficiary... If not, you may skip step three, and just throw the life bag to the person... regardless of insurance status.

LOL... your wife might want to invest in some underwear... sounds like a keeper though... what color pink did she turn when she finally realized the sarong was AWOL?
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Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I know, and my usual crew know from experience that we can head up and get in irons which stops the boat pretty dang quick, even if we don't try to

Let out the main when that happens and the boat drops back in a straight line at 1-2 knts within 30 seconds of stopping - takes no real skill, happens by itself unless you unsheet the jib and push out the main.
Catamaran's are just different - and to my knowledge none of the big magazines/sailing schools has ever published a 'catamaran' MOB drill. That's why for us it's just
1 Stop the Boat
2 See if the sucker (i.e. me) is still floating
3 (some might skip this step) - check to see if life insurance is paid up
4 (if not paid up) Throw a the life bag to the uninsured idiot
5 If the idiot can't get up the swim ladder himself, hook the dinghy snap shackle to his (appropriate appendage) and hoist his Gosling soaked ass on board, or leave him trailing in the water to sober up.

Seriously tho - the only one ever to fall off my boat was my wife trying to step into my kayak. At a 10 boat raft up - wearing only a sarong which promptly fell off when she went in. She managed to proudly smile at the applause then climbed back up via the swim platform and assist in the recovery of the kayak before bothering to note she was starkers.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #12  
Old 01-07-2008
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I like SVA's round fender and a 5 gallon mud bucket.

On Victoria, we use whatever flies off the boat (hats, shoes, crew, etc). Before everyone jumps down my throat, I'll explain that unplanned MOB drills are effective because they haven't been set up with points of sail planned and the crew ready. The down side is that they are infrequent (on the other hand, I have a 13 year old daughter, so they may become more frequent when I throw her overboard).

Seriously, this is a wakeup call to us. Now all I have to do is get past the grumbling when I pull out the bucket & fender.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2008
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She knew it was gone immediately, just didn't react to it at all (i.e., didn't much care).
Stayed the same lovely tones of pink and tan she always is.
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Old 01-07-2008
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The figure-8 approach seems.... insane to me. Why not heave-to and throw out a life-sling?
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Old 01-07-2008
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When someone is at risk of dying - stop racing/sailing and become a motor boat. I would do a quick stop, drop sails and retrive all lines, then start motor and approach to windward of the man in the water.... All those fancy approaches are well and good but a motor boat is much more manuverable in conditions where someone is likely to go overboard.
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Old 01-07-2008
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I don't warn my crew...I just heave the cushion over the side and yelll "MAN OVERBOARD" at the top of my lungs and sit back.
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I like SVA's round fender and a 5 gallon mud bucket.

On Victoria, we use whatever flies off the boat (hats, shoes, crew, etc). Before everyone jumps down my throat, I'll explain that unplanned MOB drills are effective because they haven't been set up with points of sail planned and the crew ready. The down side is that they are infrequent (on the other hand, I have a 13 year old daughter, so they may become more frequent when I throw her overboard).

Seriously, this is a wakeup call to us. Now all I have to do is get past the grumbling when I pull out the bucket & fender.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #17  
Old 01-07-2008
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Hog;
I agree, but - just to play devils advocate (my favorite game)
heaving to requires practice and balancing of the sails, and doesn't always work out as the best. If you are running downwind on a beam reach (sails not all the way loose, say at 120 degrees) and the skipper goes to the bow, stumbles and pitches over:
Can the crew just whip the boat into a 180 degree turn and heave to?
Not without risk of broaching or worse, on my boat a capsize in over 25kts of wind or so. Any time the wind is aft the beam it might not be best.
A figure 8 being slower with slow changes allows for a planned progression through the points of sail, and accompanying sail trim changes while still bringing the boat back to the MOB if the timing is right (and therein lies the reason for practice).

That's why my wife and I practice the 'loose the sheets, start the motor' drill. My motor's on a hydrualic lift, it takes some thought over just turning the key and pushing a button.
With the loose sheets she can turn anyway she wants and the worse that happens is flapping. Once pointed in to the wind she sheets down tighter (time and circumstances permitting), and then it's a power boat, stopped and heaving to, with some play on the motor/sails it'll stay put or is able to be driven to the MOB. All within a very few minutes.

It's not text book, but it works for us.
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Chuck,
I hear what your saying. When sailing to weather I can stop my boat by heaving-to within a boat length. If I couldn't spot the MOB, or if conditions or point of sail was not appropriate, however, I'd fire up. But even if on a run, you can point up, harden down on the main, and heave to pretty quickly. That figure-8 thing would be way down on the recovery list.
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Old 01-07-2008
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The Guy in the water; How much does he owes you or you owe him?? And does he have any phone numbers to for that cute sweetheart you have your eye on and give you a top rated introduction to her??
All of the above helps decides on how much effort you put into rescuing him. Along with with what tack you are on, i.e. close hauled to before the wind. Also on who needs helm training for the MOB qualifications. Your 10 y.o niece or your 6 y.o nephew. And will he hand you his credit card before being hauled back aboard your boat.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Last edited by Boasun; 01-07-2008 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 01-07-2008
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Having had to do it for real a couple of times...All the figure 8's and j stops and such are great when you have a crew on board. If you were double handing and one of you has fallen off....(pretty hairy conditions and location, but at least it was daylight), then it is a case of de-powering the sails, firing up the motor, and just doing everything you need to do while NOT TAKING YOUR EYES OFF THE PERSON IN THE WATER.

getting them back on board is by far the hardest part. After less then 4 minutes in the water, the person was cold, weak and a little shocky and lacked the stregth and co-ordination to assist herself in climbing up much at all.

We did a midhsips brute-strength lift with the assistance of the boat hook...but if our positions had been reversed, she would have been towing me back to port as a fishing lure, because there was no way in hell she could have hauled me up the way I did her.

Lifelines...they help you before you go in...Once you are in the water, they are a huge pain in the ass barrier to getting an MOB back on the boat. If you can find the two seconds to throw the pelican hooks and slacken them as you are approaching the person, or if you can cut the soft-shackle binding them to the pushpit then DO IT if you think the person is in any real danger of not being able to just frolick up the ladder and laugh at their own clumsiness in falling off.

Windward or leeward side....Honestly, circumstance dependent. There is almost no default position, whatever the books tell you. We do a lot of recoveries with the Coast Guard boat, it has a diver's door in the side to assist and it is still nine kinds of pain in the butt to recover someone. Sea state almost more then wind is the deciding factor. Putting somene to windward of you means the boats greater windage is going to be blowing you away from them almost immedietaly...but if they can grab a line and hold it or in some other way become attached to the boat, this is actually the favoured side (in my opinion). Partly they get a lift from waves and if you can co-ordinate it just right you get a big help in the lifting them back into the boat department. Partly, they are not getting bashed by the boat between attempts...Which is a big part of it, getting clobbered by a whole lot of boat hull is not just something that happens at the stern, it happens anywhere.

Putting someone into the lee of the boat so that the boat moves down onto them is probably neccassary if they are uncontious, but it is going to make hauling them out even harder and the chances of the boat drifting completely down on them (especially witht he smooth lines of most sail hulls) is a real danger.

Unless you have a few crew on board, in which case you have extra muscle to brute force a rescue, telling yourself that you can rig a block and tackle form the boom and use the rig to bring them aboard is a fantasy...at least 90% of the time. The same applies to hanking a headsail onto the toerail and hammocking them back into the boat etc...It all takes more time and in serious waves and cold conditions and inclement weather etc...urgency and panic are likely to be waltzing around the decks in quickstep.

So what to do? If suddenly single handing, you ge back to them as quickly as possible without taking your eyes off them for more then a second (or not at all, by preference). You get them attached to the boat by some line (around the chest, under the arms, in a loop), cleat that line off. You have just bought yourself a minute or two, CALM DOWN. The first bit needed speed, this bit needs brain. TAKE THE FIVE SECONDS TO CALM DOWN, THEN FIVE TO THINK, it is the best investment you can make right now. break the problem of "rescue" down into its components and deal with them as such.

Everyone's boat is different, conditions are forever variable, time of day, visibility current and location (the incident I described had her going into the water in the middle of Melbourne's major shipping channel with about five big ships visible in the distance all tearing along it towards us with nowhere else to go. This makes time a little precious, over and above the cold water exposure etc...)...The key thing to train youself to be is adaptable and resourceful, because there is no BY THE NUMBERS solution except to keep your head and be able to think and use your resources.


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