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I just spent the weekend aboard a Hunter 35 while taking a sailing course. I passed my ASA 101!! During the course we practiced the man overboard drill by falling off to a beam reach, tacking, turning downwind, and then back to roughly being in irons for the pickup. We did all this without making any sail adjustments other than pulling the mainsheet in. Is this possible to do on a boat that does not have a full weighted keel? Most of the boats in my area are in the 20 foot range and have retractable centerboards (weighted).

Thanks for any info.
 

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What you did was the "figure-8" method, which is designed to avoid a jibe, but does get you pretty far from "Oscar" before you start heading back to him.

An alternative, if it's not too windy to jibe, is the "quick-stop" method, where you head upwind immediately, then circle around Oscar, jibe in mid-circle, then head up from below to get him. This method reportedly works better with a life sling trailed astern, it closes in on Oscar as you round him, and the whole thing keeps you closer to Oscar in the first place.

I teach sometimes on either Flying Scots, or on Beneteau 25s, and try to have the students try both methods.

Here's a good article on both:

Crew Overboard Techniques
 

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....
An alternative, if it's not too windy to jibe, is the "quick-stop" method, where you head upwind immediately, then circle around Oscar, jibe in mid-circle, then head up from below to get him. This method reportedly works better with a life sling trailed astern, it closes in on Oscar as you round him, and the whole thing keeps you closer to Oscar in the first place...
The lifesling doesn't fit too well into a "quick stop", as there is no time to deploy the sling, and if you do, the manouver is intended to complete ONE circle back to the MOB and the sling would never get to the MOB. If you expect to need the lifesling for the recovery, hand it to him after you have him alongside.
 

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Another option if you have a quick response time is to heave-to, but you need to be close enough when the boat "stops" to get a life sling to COB.
 

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Another option if you have a quick response time is to heave-to, but you need to be close enough when the boat "stops" to get a life sling to COB.
Another upwind technique is the heave-to, sail-to, heave-to.

1) heave-to and then sail on a beam reach until the COB is abeam DO NOT TOUCH THE SAILS.

2) sail dead downwind until the COB of off the quarter.

3) head up onto a close reach keeping the COB about 1.5 - 2 boat lengths off until the COB is off the quarter.

4) heave-to and drift down to the COB.

This requires no sail handling, can be done by one person and works with a life-sling. You allows maintain control of the boat. If you miss you can just sail around again.

Jack
 

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Dave's maneuvering sounds like it would take a bit of time to do. The reaching off would definitely take the boat away from the victim, making it more difficult to keep him in view. Our club held a MOB drill during a race last month. The Sailing Instructions called for each boat to be issued a watermelon to serve as "victim". Watermelons are about the size of a person's head, and don't blow around the way cushions or other "victims" might. About half way up the first windward leg, the RC announced over the radio for all boats to jettison their melons. It was blowing about 18 knots, with a 2' chop that made keeping the victim in view realistically difficult. The first boat to retrieve theirs used the Quick-Stop method, and got it back on board in about 30 seconds.
 

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Here in OZ 'Quickstop' is the supposed Yachting Australia official method......My wife and I do both know it, and it is what I practice on our boat.

Having said that I have some concerns over it being used on boats with less experienced crew....in a panic stricken situation I can see how your crew could easily get confused with the first tack, unsheeting the jib and stalling the manoever.

One important point to make and the main point RYA make in teaching man overboard is to turn on the engine in keelboats.....
 

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I prefer the quickstop method as well. But one conern i have is that when you turn downwind, it is easy to forget the exact wind direction in the excitement and accidentally jibe. With most of the methods, the cool head on the boat is the most important piece of equipment, and the accidental jibe can give that cool head a nasty knock.
 

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I prefer the quickstop method as well. But one conern i have is that when you turn downwind, it is easy to forget the exact wind direction in the excitement and accidentally jibe.
When I did the US Sailing bare boat class we practiced various MOB pickups
(including at night ;-) I don't think we ever had less than 20knots and with the main (reefed) amidships, and completely ignoring the headsail, we had no problem circling the MOB in a 40'er.

I agree that the key to success, is a cool head. Talk to the crew, tell them what to do calmly, if they _think_ you have things under control, they perform much better.
 

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When I did the US Sailing bare boat class we practiced various MOB pickups
(including at night ;-) I don't think we ever had less than 20knots and with the main (reefed) amidships, and completely ignoring the headsail, we had no problem circling the MOB in a 40'er.

I agree that the key to success, is a cool head. Talk to the crew, tell them what to do calmly, if they _think_ you have things under control, they perform much better.
Agreed. But I wonder In a real MOB, how calm and under control you and the boat would actually be.

I have only been involved in one real Man Overboard in my life, on Syndey Harbour and in calm conditions a girl mucking around on the cabintop just plain as day fell overboard, clear over the top of the lifelines and into the drink.

We had a experienced, skilled Yachtmaster on the helm, and we immediately turned on the engine, beam reached, flogged the headsail, gybed and then tacked to come up to the girl on the wind.

Even still, it was a tense moment on the boat, and I wonder again and again how a similar situation would go on my boat if I was just out with a bunch of friends.
 

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I wonder, as Chall03 said, how many skippers would (or have) just fired up the engine? I understand sail training courses teaching various MOB techniques because you can't always count on your engine. And, that there could be some danger in motoring up to your poor MOB. However, in some weather, maybe getting dark, what would you really do?
 
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