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Old 03-05-2013, 07:51   #61
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
Floating Trail Lines. I dont understand how using a trail line will help. The other weekend while sailing in Tampa bay we were sailing 7 knots down wind. So thinking about it this morning and quickly doing the math (i could be off a little) we were traveling 10ft a second. If thats right then you have traveled more then 600ft in just one min. I dont see how any one could grab a line fast enough. Now I also know there are some pretty slow boats out there. Smiling. As far as line floating, just last weekend I spent more then an hour freeing a floating line from my rudder. I was pulling a tube behind my sailboat for my kids, made a turn to hit some waves and as my boat rocked the line got sucked under and jamed my rudder. Not good.... In fact it sucked bad. Just food for thought.... Good sailing, cheers

A tube has forces on it that a free-floating line does not. And (as I pointed out in my article) one good use for it is to circle around and let your crewmate grab it. It does no harm and is just one more way. I'm CERTAIN I won't be able to grab the boat if it isn't there. It's POSSIBLE I won't be able to grab the boat if it isn't there.

I sail the boat by myself fairly often, and I like having multiple solutions.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:25   #62
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I sail the boat by myself fairly often, and I like having multiple solutions.[/QUOTE]

I agree having options is good, and having a lot of them is even better. I never heard a person complain for having to much insurance. When the wind is blowing, the goal of every sailor is to stay in the boat, and when you find your self over board. I would think any thing to help you get back inside is good. A trail line, a tether, jacklines, heck using the outboard as a drouge. Whatever it takes. I am not downing trail lines, I just stated what I have odserved & just experienced.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:02   #63
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
Floating Trail Lines. I dont understand how using a trail line will help. The other weekend while sailing in Tampa bay we were sailing 7 knots down wind. So thinking about it this morning and quickly doing the math (i could be off a little) we were traveling 10ft a second. If thats right then you have traveled more then 600ft in just one min. I dont see how any one could grab a line fast enough.
I don't believe the problem is grabbing a trailing line although it's dicey. We have messed around with dragging off a moving boat with the kids for 20 years and it is a good time. Ask them about the "tail of the great white whale." In the first instant of falling off the boat in open water one is acutely aware that it is a critical survival situation. In 2 seconds your head is on the surface, you orient, and start to swim perpendicular to course to intercept the line. This is all within 5 to 10 seconds of leaving the deck.

The real problem is the average person with clothing cannot hold the line or loop in the line with the boat moving at 7 knots. Just is not going to happen. We couldn't do it with a swimming suit on for more than 30 seconds.

At 3 to 4 knots, if you can hold on, one must use controlled breathing because you cannot keep your face out of your own bow wake.

I speculate that if the end of the line had a perpendicular wooden bar about 18 inches long and stout you may be able to put the line between your legs and use the bar as a seat if you reach the line soon enough. This will give significant leverage. That said if you are single handed you may get towed for 3 or 4 days at 7 knots because there will be not chance of moving up the line.

I think the trailing line idea has little actual value unless it is rigged to trip the tiller, wheel, or autopilot.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:01   #64
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I think the trailing line idea has little actual value unless it is rigged to trip the tiller, wheel, or autopilot.
Thats the real point of having a trailing line, and I am surprised anyone would think it would be used differently. However, after the stall its still extremely difficult to pull yourself to and into the boat. The boat is drifting fast due to wind and current.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:04   #65
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
I sail the boat by myself fairly often, and I like having multiple solutions.
I agree having options is good, and having a lot of them is even better. I never heard a person complain for having to much insurance. When the wind is blowing, the goal of every sailor is to stay in the boat, and when you find your self over board. I would think any thing to help you get back inside is good. A trail line, a tether, jacklines, heck using the outboard as a drouge. Whatever it takes. I am not downing trail lines, I just stated what I have odserved & just experienced.[/QUOTE]


Well, it's 150 ft long. I think I might have a chance to grab it. Someone else would have a very good chance of grabbing it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:07   #66
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I don't believe the problem is grabbing a trailing line although it's dicey. We have messed around with dragging off a moving boat with the kids for 20 years and it is a good time. Ask them about the "tail of the great white whale." In the first instant of falling off the boat in open water one is acutely aware that it is a critical survival situation. In 2 seconds your head is on the surface, you orient, and start to swim perpendicular to course to intercept the line. This is all within 5 to 10 seconds of leaving the deck.

The real problem is the average person with clothing cannot hold the line or loop in the line with the boat moving at 7 knots. Just is not going to happen. We couldn't do it with a swimming suit on for more than 30 seconds.

At 3 to 4 knots, if you can hold on, one must use controlled breathing because you cannot keep your face out of your own bow wake.

I speculate that if the end of the line had a perpendicular wooden bar about 18 inches long and stout you may be able to put the line between your legs and use the bar as a seat if you reach the line soon enough. This will give significant leverage. That said if you are single handed you may get towed for 3 or 4 days at 7 knots because there will be not chance of moving up the line.

I think the trailing line idea has little actual value unless it is rigged to trip the tiller, wheel, or autopilot.

You've missed some of the conversation. It IS attached to the tiller or wheel. When I tested it, the boat immediately heaved itself to and stopped dead in the water.

Then the line has loops in it to help you pull yourself up to the boat. I make a practice to always wear gloves, which would help.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:08   #67
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Thats the real point of having a trailing line, and I am surprised anyone would think it would be used differently. However, after the stall its still extremely difficult to pull yourself to and into the boat. The boat is drifting fast due to wind and current.

Actually, no. The bost stopped and didn't drift -- fast or slow. What current? Where was I? It's one thing to speculate. It's another to actually make the thing and try it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:10   #68
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I don't believe the problem is grabbing a trailing line although it's dicey. We have messed around with dragging off a moving boat with the kids for 20 years and it is a good time. Ask them about the "tail of the great white whale." In the first instant of falling off the boat in open water one is acutely aware that it is a critical survival situation. In 2 seconds your head is on the surface, you orient, and start to swim perpendicular to course to intercept the line. This is all within 5 to 10 seconds of leaving the deck.

The real problem is the average person with clothing cannot hold the line or loop in the line with the boat moving at 7 knots. Just is not going to happen. We couldn't do it with a swimming suit on for more than 30 seconds.

At 3 to 4 knots, if you can hold on, one must use controlled breathing because you cannot keep your face out of your own bow wake.

I speculate that if the end of the line had a perpendicular wooden bar about 18 inches long and stout you may be able to put the line between your legs and use the bar as a seat if you reach the line soon enough. This will give significant leverage. That said if you are single handed you may get towed for 3 or 4 days at 7 knots because there will be not chance of moving up the line.

I think the trailing line idea has little actual value unless it is rigged to trip the tiller, wheel, or autopilot.
You attach it to the steering, and the boat stops. It worked far better than I had imagined. No one is being dragged at 7 knots at any point.

As I say, I didn't just dream this up. It was designed by a marine architect, and he knows what he's doing. He's a good friend and he wants to see me come back alive from my sailing trips.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:11   #69
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
However, after the stall its still extremely difficult to pull yourself to and into the boat. The boat is drifting fast due to wind and current.
Current would not be an issue. Wind certainly could be.

Assuming you can get back to the boat, you still need to climb aboard.

My boarding ladder is stowed folded up, so you can't easily reach it if you're in the water. I have it secured with a snap-shackle that has a long lanyard, reachable from the water. The only trick is to not let the ladder hit you on the head as it falls open.

I've also sailed on some boats where the self-steer windvane hardware was at the waterline. We used it as a boarding ladder after swimming.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:23   #70
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Current would not be an issue. Wind certainly could be.

Assuming you can get back to the boat, you still need to climb aboard.

My boarding ladder is stowed folded up, so you can't easily reach it if you're in the water. I have it secured with a snap-shackle that has a long lanyard, reachable from the water. The only trick is to not let the ladder hit you on the head as it falls open.

I've also sailed on some boats where the self-steer windvane hardware was at the waterline. We used it as a boarding ladder after swimming.

My ladder is rigged to deploy very easily; it's very long and I would be able to get on it even if fairly injured. I've tested that too. I have CP. I test everything before counting on it, because my legs don't work the way other people's do. I don't have a windvan, so that's not a problem, but I have a friend who has used it to climb onto his boat. that would not be a good plan for me.

This sailing by myself is not something I have taken casually. I have friends who do, but I do not. Doesn't mean nothing will happen, but I've hedged my bets pretty well. I think I mentioned that I also wear my hand-held waterproof radio in a fanny pack. The radio is secured to the fanny pack. I write down my lat and long every half hour, so I always have a pretty good idea of where I am. I wear a good inflatable PFD (offshore quality). If for some reason I wasn't physically able to pull myself up to the boat, I can still tie the drag line to the D rings on the PFD. Of course I have a whistle and strobe on it. If I do any offshore saiiing, I'll get a personal EPIRB.

Go to my blog tonight for a story about how an easily deployed ladder saved a man's life. Just heard this story (first hand from the man with the big scar on his thigh) yesterday.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:35   #71
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Andrew Troup's and ssw's observations brought back an experience of about 50 years and 3 wives ago. We had chartered a Cal 28 out of Victoria, BC and while my wife and I had done a fair bit of sailing together and I worked on the water commercially, the other couple were newbies.
I went through a man overboard drill with each one taking the helm, managing the event, throwing flotation devices overboard, acting as spotter and steering under sail and power. The whole exercise took a couple of hours with each taking their turn at the different responsibilities. There was some grumbling as everyone wanted to just get sailing but I insisted that they all practice because I wasn't concerned if they went overboard being confident in my ability to come back and retrieve them but I was concerned if I was the one who ended up in the drink!
Guess who was the first one to go over the side trying to retrieve my favorite cap that had blown off! As I surfaced with cap in hand, I wached the stern of the boat disappearing under sail away from me, turn and gybe and head directly back to pick me up under full sail, spotter in the bow and someone throwing everything that would float in my direction. You don't realize how fast a boat travelling at 7 knots right for your head is going until it gets close to you!
The crew did a masterful job of returning to pick me up and I managed to grab a stantion base on the leeward side as she passed but was dragged about 50 meters before whoever was on the helm had the idea to round up and slow the boat.
Great lesson learned by everyone, especially me, about speed on the pick up but I was really happy we went through the MOB drill before embarking on our 2 week trip. Phil
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:01   #72
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

I would be interested in hearing how to rig a line to a wheel and how it is tensioned to release the steering/autopilot to turn the boat. I would think that just while sailing the tension would vary from 0 to "a lot". And as conditions worsened it would vary from 0 to "a whole lot". How is this accomplished?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:10   #73
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Hmm ... Other prodigiously experienced sailors who didn't know they couldn't fall overboard include Rob James, Britain's answer to Tabarly (Tabarly was arguably a better sailor but I would rate James as a much better skipper), who drowned off Salcombe.

A few others culled at random:

Case 19 occurred aboard the 73 foot Maxi ULDB "Meridian" off Cape Flattery on October 18, 1984. The boat was under charter heading for California. Aboard were a very experienced delivery skipper and an inexperienced crew. Late at night the skipper came on deck and slipped overboard. He was not wearing a harness or PFD. In the panic that ensued, the engine was started and a line wound so tightly around the propeller shaft that it disengaged the shaft from the coupling key way. The crew affixed a set of vice grips to the shaft to keep from losing it out the stern tube. The skipper was not recovered.

and this one:

The skipper was the only experienced sailor aboard. When the jib halyard broke, he went forward to retrieve the jib. He was wearing a type 1 PFD and a Forespar harness with a six foot tether. He was washed overboard in a large swell but managed to hang on to the lower starboard lifeline. He was still made fast with his harness safety line which was connected to the mast. He was too heavy for one crew member to lift. .... As the two crewmen pulled on his harness shoulder straps, the skipper lost his grip on the upper lifeline and slid out of the harness. He as able to grab the rail. ..... He tried to climb aboard several times on the ladder over the side with the help of the crew. .. but could not get good footing on the rungs. Finally, stating that he was getting weak, he let go, fell from the ladder, and the boat drifted away. At this point, one of the crew threw a line to him which he caught and they began to pull him in. However, another crew member started the engine and commenced to back down, fouling the line in the propeller. More lines and a life ring were thrown, which the skipper could not grasp. The boat drifted away and the crew lost sight of him. Two hours later the unconscious skipper was located and recovered from the water. He never regained consciousness.

and this:

an 87 foot Holland sloop was on a voyage from the Canaries to Antigua. The
yacht was motor sailing at 10 knots on auto-pilot, with main, number one genoa, and both engines (twin screw) assisting. Wind was 9 knots, seas 5 feet. The yacht's professional skipper went forward of the shrouds and stood outside the genoa sheet. The genoa sheet slacked on a roll, then fishailed and catapulted the skipper overboard.

and this:

in the 1992 Bermuda Race. John Ahrens, skipper of the "Lively" went overboard from the foredeck while putting a sail through the hatch. A wave caused him to lose balance and go over the leeward rail.

I could go on, but I think the point is that being experienced, and a skipper, are not indicative of inability to fall overboard.
Rakuflames,

You asked if anyone else trails a long line at sea--read the above accounts to see why this is a really bad idea.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:18   #74
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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You've missed some of the conversation. It IS attached to the tiller or wheel.
You missed the fact that my response was not directed to you or any of your posts! In fact, you may be better served taking in and processing the good information here in CF than repeating yourself post after post. Thank you.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:24   #75
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

My wife and I double-handed for 90,000 miles. I usually ran the boat, but she insisted on being trained to start/stop the engine, come up to an object in the waer, navigate with the GPS and its MOB function, furl/drop the sails, and use the radio. I wasn't worried about it, but her biggest fear was that I would go overboard and she wouldn't know what to do. She is probably smarter than I am.
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