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post #101 of 142 Old 03-23-2019
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Sounds like youíve put some rational thinking in to it. We have four strong points in the cockpit. Two are at the ends of one of the long seats. We run dyneema line between them pulled tight and clip to that. Allows access to all lines and winches. We have a single wheel with strong points on either side near the sole. Shorter people clip to those. Taller clip to the split backstay just above the hydraulic cyclinder for backstay adjustments.
We do run webbing from bow cleat to stern cleat. I insist if used one always goes up the high side ( usually windward). If working at the mast then clip to the granny bars. If working at the bow then the anchor chain or base of one of the headsail stays.this is true even if going to the low side and it means going around the mast or sneaking under the boom. Of course one uses the shortest tether feasible. Our lines are brought aft. They are under some tension and left clutched. They serve as places to clip as well. Our clips are bigger then most of our ss tubing. Same holds. Use them when appropriate. In short have been taught to think about always clipping to something to the high side and with shortest tether. Importantly donít limit yourself to the webbing and never use the lifelines.
Still, sh-t happens. Whatís your plan if someone goes over on a tether?
The only thing I don't like about strong points is moving between them. Of course, if one carries two tethers, they can often be attached to each, at the same time, to allow for transfer. I segment my jacklines along the length of the boat, which also requires transfer. In some cases, I've left a dedicated tether on the further segment, in others I carry two. If one carries two tether, never attach all the ends to the same harness point, or you could confuse them. I don't love the tethers that have both a long and short tether for a couple of reasons. First, the longer one might allow me to reach the water. Second, it can get confusing which one is releasing, moving, etc. I suppose they are better than going free for a moment.

The tethered crew hanging over the lines is a good question, with various scenarios. Plan A is to attach one of the spare halyards to either their harness or the opposite end of their tether and grind them back aboard. If their head is beneath the water, I think I would have a very hard time cutting them loose, but would understand, if they cut themselves loose. I have an S-cutter in the breast pocket of my pfd for this purpose. It would be a toss up for me, whether the extra time to get their head out of the water or possibly never retrieving the MOB was a worse death sentence. I think I could get the snap shackle from the halyard onto their tether or harness reasonably quickly. Under a minute? Hard to practice.


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post #102 of 142 Old 03-23-2019
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

Iím new here. Is there always this much testosterone in the room?
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post #103 of 142 Old 03-23-2019
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Its called wind...gusting at times
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post #104 of 142 Old 03-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

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I tell my wife to call the Coast Guard and read to them the GPS coordinates.
That's where the DSC distress button comes in! Push the button and everyone knows where you are.

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post #105 of 142 Old 03-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

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Originally Posted by boatsurgeon View Post
I am not blind.



I am begging anyone to provide the answer.



Enough with the name calling, mud slinging, irrelevant links, and disrespectful banter.



Simple question.



How do you hold the boat on station in heavy weather conditions during MOB recovery with nobody at the helm?
I don't really understand the obsession with "holding station", not that heaving to WILL hold station, you are still drifting!

In my mind, the most important thing is to be maneuverable enough to get a line to the victim. Once the victim is attached to the boat, who cares if you are drifting, since the boat and victim are drifting together! At that point 100% of your effort can be focused on getting the mob out of the water. If you are fortunate, it is a simple matter of getting them to the boarding ladder. If the victim is hypothermic and unable to climb out on their own, things get more difficult, and that's where lifting systems come into play.

This obsession with heaving-to has me baffled. As a coastal sailor I have NEVER had occasion to do such a thing in the 30+ years I have sailing. Yes I understand the concept, but I have always viewed it as a survival technique you would use if you were caught out in a storm in the open ocean, and you just need to ride it out. That's not an option when you are near land or reefs.

I cant think of any other use for heaving-to in my world.

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post #106 of 142 Old 03-23-2019
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

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While each deck is different, I think one can position the jackline more toward the center and use short enough tethers to prevent the ability to get over the lifeline. At the least, to prevent reaching the water. Of course,, it's not always possible, but I've never understood those that run a single line the entire length of their side deck. It's just a placebo.

In the cockpit, I tie a line around the base of our table and we 3 ft tether to it. It allows complete freedom around the cockpit and both helms. However, it's a strain to get your head over the rail, let alone your body. That's the way I like it. Of course, it made barfing on my mid-night watch last summer a bit difficult. First mal de mar in a long time, but conditions were particularly nasty.
A technique I have tested, for sailors hanging overboard on a tether, too far to reach, is to slow the boat (slack sheets or tack/heave too), clip a 30- to 40-foot line to the tether, cut it away from the jackline, and let the sailor drift free. This gets him away from the bow wave but still in touch with the boat. At that point you slow the boat, maneuver the line to the preferred location (varies with the boat and the weather) and hoist aboard. BUT, for best ease of use, the tethers need an extra loop for this purpose. A prusik loop can also work. Ideally, you should be able to get to him, clip the line, and cut him free in seconds, not minutes.

Obviously, you need to have the extension line available, with a carabiner on the end. This is something I have always kept in the cockpit, useful for clearing over rides, MOB recovery, and other contingencies when you need a piece of rope, right now, to secure something.
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post #107 of 142 Old 03-23-2019
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You can also clip your tether to high side toe rail if work needed in one general area.
A better jackline arrangement should be devised. I dont like them running along the side decks.
By myself..i run 1/2" rope from cabin top winch to mast..then to bow cleat. Have eye bolt with strop in cockpit.

Would be nice to have chicken/granny bars all over...
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post #108 of 142 Old 03-23-2019
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

Itís one of the down sides of a hard dodger that running a jack line down the center isnít really feasible. Clipping and unclipping is problematic as well so for present think it safer to clip in the cockpit go up on deck on the high side to wherever you need to be. Then while clipped reclip to an appropriate spot there. Agree itís important to have two tethers. Would like two 3í or 4í (for tall people) rather than the 3íand6í we have on our tethers.
Our spare halyards run to two speed winches at the mast. So rather than employ the techniques mentioned above would just clip around the tether of the person hanging over the side after stopping the boat and pull them up out of the water. You have enough mechanical advantage that clipping directly to the person isnít necessary and the rescuer is not reaching outside the lifelines so at risk to go over themselves. This gets their chest to the height of the top life line if theyíre on the 3í tether. While continuing to be supported by the first halyard take a second halyard and clip it to their harness rings if they canít clammer over themselves. Use that to get them entirely inboard taking their weight off the first halyard. All my halyards go through clutches so using the same winch is a non issue and would allow the rescuer(s) to remain on the same side of the boat as the rescuee.

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post #109 of 142 Old 03-23-2019
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

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Itís one of the down sides of a hard dodger that running a jack line down the center isnít really feasible....
Yes, and no.

Although the side deck feels dangerous to some, how often does someone fall off, to windward, while moving? Nearly never.

They fall off the bow or are washed out of the cockpit, almost always while distracted by a task. They also fall to leeward.

I'm not at all convinced the centerline is the best location, particularly not on the forward half of the bow. It feels safer, but the physics and history do not support the assertion. People fall downhill. I do believe in ending the jacklines well short of the bow and stern, about 4-5 feet.

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post #110 of 142 Old 03-24-2019
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Re: Man Overboard equipment and procedures

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I don't really understand the obsession with "holding station", not that heaving to WILL hold station, you are still drifting!

In my mind, the most important thing is to be maneuverable enough to get a line to the victim. Once the victim is attached to the boat, who cares if you are drifting, since the boat and victim are drifting together! At that point 100% of your effort can be focused on getting the mob out of the water. If you are fortunate, it is a simple matter of getting them to the boarding ladder. If the victim is hypothermic and unable to climb out on their own, things get more difficult, and that's where lifting systems come into play.

This obsession with heaving-to has me baffled. As a coastal sailor I have NEVER had occasion to do such a thing in the 30+ years I have sailing. Yes I understand the concept, but I have always viewed it as a survival technique you would use if you were caught out in a storm in the open ocean, and you just need to ride it out. That's not an option when you are near land or reefs.

I cant think of any other use for heaving-to in my world.

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In my opinion, heaving to in a coastal environment isn't without its merrits, especially when you dont have auto pilot and you need to take a leak.

I can see its value during the recovery phase of a MOB as well, although I admit that I have not personally recovered a person from the water with a backwinded jib.

I think its a not a great way to maneuver a boat to an MOB though.

My only real MOB recovery under sail was a bad jibe in my Fireball that ko'd my partner, late 90s. I was driving, he was jib. We were on a port tack, I let go of the main sheet and tiller and grabbed him. Mostly not relevant to big keel boats.
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Last edited by Arcb; 03-24-2019 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Changed two words.
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