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Old 03-03-2018, 04:03   #1
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Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

Obviously staying onboard is the priority. If singlehanded and under autopilot, does anyone have a smart way of disabling an electronic autopilot?
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:07   #2
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pirate Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

Remote in a waterproof baggie.. in your pocket.. round your neck would be better..
Then pray your boats crap at holding her course..
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:22   #3
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

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Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
Obviously staying onboard is the priority. If singlehanded and under autopilot, does anyone have a smart way of disabling an electronic autopilot?
NKE have remote autopilot control that will turn boat into the wind if the remote moves away from the boat more than a set distance (say 75'). Or if more hands aboard, can be set to set off alarm and not turn to windward. Seems like a valuable feature for single handers and hopefully will be adopted widely by electronics manufacturers.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:23   #4
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

assuming you were able to disable the autopilot, I was under the impression this one of the benefits to some weather helm, she turns into the wind. Perhaps someone with far more experience will chime in on this one. Granted every boat has a different amount of weather helm.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:30   #5
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pirate Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

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assuming you were able to disable the autopilot, I was under the impression this one of the benefits to some weather helm, she turns into the wind. Perhaps someone with far more experience will chime in on this one. Granted every boat has a different amount of weather helm.
Problem come's with Tiller Pilots.. which many boats in the EU under 36ft have.. switch to standby she'll just truck on..
but the ability to turn her 90 degrees into a hove to course would make her reachable.. maybe.
Wheels are a relatively new thing imported from the States.. before then the only boats with wheels were centre cockpits.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:31   #6
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

Ive seen advertised a gizmo thats about the size of an egg,
It comes in a tray with about six of them,
You carry one with you, If you go over board, It makes the boat go round in circles,
No Idea on how its hooked up to the boat,
I may even have read it here on CF,
I thought it was a good idea at the time,
It was a while back,
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:36   #7
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

Was thinking, how would you shut the engine down if motoring, and you fell overboard.
Saw this product, https://www.autotether.com/?gclid=EA...iAAEgJGnfD_BwE

Wasn't sure if it would help with turning boat into wind.

Even if it did, the sheet, and main would still be active, and the vessels freeboard, would turn the boat around, hope your boarding ladder is down as you sail
Answer, solo sailing?
Jackline and tether. AND PFD, Submersible VHF, CLIPPED ON.
Bad news any time you fall OVB. Solosailing!!
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:39   #8
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

I click out and back into a harness going in and out of my companionway when I am offshore and alone or at night with a light.
I have heard about dragging a line behind. We had fun with that one on a fairly calm day diving off the bow, letting the boat sail over us (it was a cat) and grabbing the line trailing the stern to pull ourselves aboard. But good luck if your going 4 or more than knots.
I will add this about night MOB (or COB recently. C=crew or capt), I was towing two kayaks, one orange and the other lime green on a clear full moon lit night and the painter broke. The seas were about 4' and the wind 10 knots. Turned around in 15 seconds on a reciprocal coarse and 5 sets of eyes didn't spot them until our 4th pass (going back on forth) so I say, ALWAYS wear a light!
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:43   #9
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

my formosa holds course well on otto pile it... say good bye, dick. dick is what you become in water watching boat sail away. avoid at all costs as you are doomed. swimming lessons. wetsuit. dry suit. sing amazing grace. taking control head with is difficult as it is wired into unit. if you lucky you can do gofundme when you are washed ashore, if that is close enough to swim....

best method of retrieval is prevention. purely prevention.
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:51   #10
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

So your alone, in the cockpit and you fall overboard. Every single handers worst nightmare. By all but the hand of your god you are dead meat.

I guess I could suggest a lanyard, the likes of which dinghys have. But what to do with a control activated when the lanyard is pulled, engine shutdown via fuel off (thats easy), spreader lights on (also easy), head to wind via auto-pilot. (circle course could see you run down by your own boat, and you might not get aboard anyway).
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:28   #11
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

I have the same problem/worry since I almost always single hand sail, so I ALWAYS wear a PFD. Plus clip myself to the boat with a short tether when seas start getting rough or things are looking iffy. When the latter occurs, I don't use the auto pilot and clip on my personal locator beacon. I even go through the PFD/teather/locator beacon routine when standing night time watch with other crew aboard.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:06   #12
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

That NKE sounds like a very nice feature!

Of course some boats are so well designed and balanced (or as some designers have said, they got so lucky) that they will hold their course when properly trimmed, so there's the question of how do you stop it when there's no autopilot or crew, just the boat steering itself?!

There are plenty of "luggage tags" and BT tracking fobs that will trigger electrical alarms when they are separated, so you can trip a relay and engage or cut power to anything when you go out of reach. But that's hardly a whole solution.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:27   #13
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

My current thinking is to use a para-anchor attached to the bow and deployed off the stern via a floating line. A very last chance device that would override sail or engine. Might be a little hard on the boat. Haven't work out any of the details yet.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:06   #14
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

Sorry but disabling the pilot or even turn 90deg will be no help. In anything above 10kn the boat will make leeway faster than you can swim even with all sails down! Unless you can remotely start the engine and bring the boat to you you're a goner. Back in the day some of the single handed racer use to trail a line in the hope of being able to catch it. Never hear of anyone using it and I think you would just drown on the end of the rope.
Bet bet is a PLB and hope there is someone near enough to pick you up.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:18   #15
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Re: Falling overboard - how to disable autopilot

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
Bet bet is a PLB and hope there is someone near enough to pick you up.
hope doesnt cut it
develop a solution or perish

of course round here, that never happens
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