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post #1 of 108 Old 01-07-2008 Thread Starter
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Man Overboard

Having taught for a local US Sailing school, one of the biggest debates was always Man Overboard (MOB) rescues. Of course, US Sailing has their preferred method but I found it was not always the best for beginners or even intermediate sailors. Speed on approach seemed to be the most common issue. What are your thoughts and what is the drill you prefer to teach your sailing crew?
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post #2 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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My MOB plan is a work in progress.

Currently, I encourage everyone on board to throw every bit of clothing they have on to the MOB to mark the location.

We all then join hands, and jump in after him/her.

I have not worked out some of the obvious problems generated by this course of action...but, I'm on it...

...I got 105 days till I launch the boat for the summer.

I'll keep an eye on this thread maybe some of the other "posters" have a better idea. : )
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post #3 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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We've used the typical cushion overboard for drills, but I've found that isn't all that realistic, since the cushion tends to drift with the wind far faster than a person would. A weighted or drogue equipped buoy would probably make a much better MOB target.

In sheltered waters, during the summer, I've done MOB drills with crew who wanted to go swimming.

I've also had them practice with the LifeSling2, which I think is one of the better pieces of MOB recovery gear a boat can mount.

Getting an MOB back on board seems to be the hardest part of any MOB recovery. On my boat it isn't that difficult, especially with the use of the LifeSling, since there isn't much freeboard on the amas, and hauling someone up onto the ama deck is reasonably easy to do. Of course, on a monohull, the freeboard is going to be much more of an issue.

Generally, I'll approach the person in the water and try to leave the boat upwind of them, and let it blow down to them. The amas have so little freeboard, that they can easily grab onto the boat. Also, the boat, being a trimaran, tends to be affected more by the wind than the person in the water is, so having the boat downwind of them, makes it very difficult for them to catch up to the boat. The upwind approach also puts them in the sheltered side of the boat, which helps out a lot.

I haven't tried this in heavier conditions, but I do see some problems that might occur in heavier seas, due to the motion of the boat.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 01-07-2008 at 10:25 AM.
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post #4 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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I think it depends on the boat, the crew and capabilities -
All the wonderful organizations in the world can come up with all kind of fancy methods - but if my wife doesn't know a figure 8 from a J stop she knows release the main sheet, release the jib sheet and power boat back to me. My job is to stay afloat until she gets the boat close enough to me for me to get back on board.
How do we practice that? Dunlookn had it right, no need for a MOB to work it - have everyone on board through all thier clothes over the side.

In lieu of that, and in colder weather - cushions seem to work, on our boat it's best to throw one we don't like.
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post #5 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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Of course, falling off a wide multihull, that isn't heeling at 20˚+ is a bit less common and more difficult to do than falling off a much narrower monohull that is heeled over 20˚+.

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post #6 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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Of course, but adding Gosling's sometimes makes the boat heel pretty heavy, even at anchor which is the only time it comes out of the locker.
Stuff must weigh a ton, sometimes I can't cross the 9 foot cockpit without a handhold (which explains the handprints on my wife).
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post #7 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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Hate to break it to you Chuckles... the boat ain't heeling... you are... BTW, that Gosling's is for medicinal purposes, right?
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Of course, but adding Gosling's sometimes makes the boat heel pretty heavy, even at anchor which is the only time it comes out of the locker.
Stuff must weigh a ton, sometimes I can't cross the 9 foot cockpit without a handhold (which explains the handprints on my wife).

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There are many threads about this, I think. The two methods seem to be the figure-8 "jibless" one, and more lately the "quick-stop" head-up, backed jib, circle Oscar, jibe strapped-in.

I try to teach both when I have the chance with students. To me, the former is okay for good swimmers/warm water, good visibility, the latter is for cold conditions when you need to get to Oscar FAST, and you need Oscar to know you're "right there" (unlike the figure-8, which can take you a long way away from Oscar).

We practice with cushions, so we're not doing the hardest part, how to haul 180-lb Oscar back on board. I try to tell them what to do, but am not about to try it for real in a class situation.

Also, we try to do it under sail alone, in part because it's such good sail and boathandling drill. I suspect in real life, I'd crank the engine too, being real careful with the prop when near Oscar.
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post #9 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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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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post #10 of 108 Old 01-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
We've used the typical cushion overboard for drills, but I've found that isn't all that realistic, since the cushion tends to drift with the wind far faster than a person would. A weighted or drogue equipped buoy would probably make a much better MOB target.
I use a round fender and a 5 gallon mud bucket. It seems to simulate an MOB pretty well.

Quick-stop believer here, btw.
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