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Daysailor wannabe cruiser
142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
MOB today on easy day sail

Ok my friend and I got out today after work on Tampa Bay on a beautiful 80 degree evening with a nice 10-15 out of the NW. It was my friends first time sailing ever and we were having a great time...the boat was performing great my sail trimming skills were showing improvement and all in all I was impressed with my ability to impress/ride the rail/while seeming super confident on my Ranger 22.

I gave the helm over to my friend on a close reach and he was doing great. He was staying straight, not nervous about heel, and easing the main in the gusts. I decided that we needed to tack again. I told him not to worry about it and I pointed the direction I wanted him to end up facing and we went for it. We started the tack. Well we turned pretty sharp and the heel took him off guard and he lost his balance and started going over the side. I reached for the mainsheet but didn't reach it in time and there he went in the water. I was disoriented because I was concentrating on tacking the jib and trying to grab the helm/friend/mainsheet at the same time. After he went in I felt like I had just gotten on a boat for the first time. Right about the time I figured out which point of sail we were on the boom slammed over and the mainsheet pulley bitched slapped me and broke my sunglasses. After finishing the tack and getting the boat back in control I tacked again and spun the boat around one more time. Because he fell out in the middle of a tack we were pretty much in the same spot...I was able to bring the boat up to him in about a minute and he was able to grab the stantions and get on the boat.

We had a moment of silence and then lowered the sails and motored in.

It was a perfect evening with barely a chop because the wind was blowing out of the west(we were on the west side of the bay)

Warm water and a friend that is not afraid at all of water...(jetskier, scuba, etc) and fit.

In the end he was all smiles and HE said he was embarassed for what happenend. I apologized profusely and we just decided that it was a learning experience and to move on.

On the plus side my friend is hooked on sailing now for some strange reason and can't wait to go out agian. I realized that I need to practice MOB over and over again and that my girlfriend,whom I normally sail with, also needs to practice over and over so we know what to do in every situation. I don't even want to think how it would have gone if he would have been KO'd or injured going in and unable to pull himself back on board.

We were not wearing PFD's

We were drinking

This can happen any time in any weather...and I need to be prepared and so do the people I sail with.

It's spring and many 1000's of boaters are getting back on the water. This is not "probably should practice once or twice just in case." Drilling MOB should be as mandatory as PFDs.

Telstar 28
992 Posts
I'd point out that a lot of MOB accidents occur in good weather, relatively close to the marina... because the combination often leads people into being complacent about safety... Most of the real MOB events I've seen were in relatively good conditions, several due to powerboat wakes.

Drinking alcohol should be held until you're safely at anchor or tied up to a mooring or slip IMHO. Even modest amounts of alcohol greatly interfere with balance, coordination, judgement, and night vision.

I'd also point out that you could have easily ended up overboard as well, since you were hit by the boom.

Aspiring to be a Mexican
543 Posts
The guy who taught me how to sail drilled us all the time. There was a gang of 7-8 of us that were all sailing on any available boat at any time in almost any conditions. He would throw out a fender sometimes, not every time, just sometimes and yell MAN OVERBOARD! We learned to successfully retrieve a fender without any problem after about 20 times.
One day we were sailing a local news reporter around, she was doing a story on sailing and we gave her a nice bash around the bay. On one tack through a big puff of wind the boat heeled right as she stood up higher to get a better camera angle and she slid out of the boat on her butt. We tossed out a cushion, tacked, fell off of the wind, gybed, blew the sails and coasted up to her about as fast as I just typed this. We pulled her out of the water so fast that her camera and her film survived.
It's a good thing to practice. It's fun to drill and gratifying to get someone out of the water so fast.
I'm glad your outcome was so good.
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