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Old 02-04-2017, 11:12   #1
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Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

I see less and less of these on boats nowadays, and was wondering if these have been thought of as obsolete, given the advent of one button MOB on GPS chart plotters, flashing strobe lights on life jackets, etc. I still see where these could be beneficial for a sailing couple. Has anyone attached it to their Lifesling? I was thinking about doing this, because if I went overboard my wife could pick up the pole and I would already be attached to it (that is, if she DID turn around, and didn't run over the floating line!). Any experiences, thoughts?
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:18   #2
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

I used to have one attached to the lifesling. Never deployed it. I can tell you this, things disappear very fast in a rough seaway. It's amazing. a pole would be a great asset in that case. In some cases by the time you turn,change sail adjustment, start the engine, push the location on the GPS etc you can be very disoriented. Combine that with the person overboard drifting, and the gps location fixed, may not be the bees knees.
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:20   #3
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

My sentiments exactly. I see very few boats with them nowadays, though. Thank you for the insights..
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:25   #4
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

You think you have a plan until you come about, lines get tangled, headsail is a problem.... start the engine and realize you didn't check for lines that may get in the prop...."What was I doing again?", then you forget what you didn't do.. :>) I will say that a personal strobe may be just as good as a pole though.... a body in a seaway eventually does rise on a swell... But this assumes you have a life jacket on and frankly, I rarely did... you can fall over in just normal rough-ish seas that haven't made you think to put the jacket on yet...
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:29   #5
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

We have a man overboard pole, cutesy of the former owners. It's right there on the stern rail within easy reach of the wheel. Right there.
The MOB button is down below. Depending on the cicumstances one or the other will be easier to reach quickly. There does not seem to be a good reason to get rid of the pole just because we have electronic options too.
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:04   #6
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

Also attaching it to the life sling kind of defeats the purpose. If the sails are full and the person on board can't get the boat turned in time the pole is just being drug along and isn't marking the person. The primary focus of the pole is to mark the person who depending on currents might not be were you marked them on the GPS. We did some practice runs and the pole really aids in being able to find someone quickly.
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Old 02-04-2017, 13:01   #7
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

Immediately throw the danbuoy pole. Also throw over any flotation devices. Manouevre back to the pole. Then deploy the life sling.
Practice makes perfect.
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Old 02-04-2017, 13:22   #8
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

I have a horseshoe life ring on the end of a ten meters floating rope attached to the pole.
Never used it nor did I ever broadcast a Mayday on my radio transmitter.
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Old 02-04-2017, 13:35   #9
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

DO NOT attach it to your Lifesling!!! That's just nuts, and pretty well renders both ineffective at their intended purposes.

The poles are not obsolete if you sail offshore (or anywhere where seas build) and don't have something comparable, like an inflatable SOS Dan Buoy or a MOM 8 ($$$).

As mentioned you want something with height. In any kind of seaway, with no height, floating objects are visible only a fraction of the time, when they're at or near the crest of a wave.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:44   #10
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKDSailor View Post
I see less and less of these on boats nowadays, and was wondering if these have been thought of as obsolete, given the advent of one button MOB on GPS chart plotters, flashing strobe lights on life jackets, etc. I still see where these could be beneficial for a sailing couple. Has anyone attached it to their Lifesling? I was thinking about doing this, because if I went overboard my wife could pick up the pole and I would already be attached to it (that is, if she DID turn around, and didn't run over the floating line!). Any experiences, thoughts?
I don't think it is obsolete. The MOB button is good but I don't think of these as either/or items. If the GPS doesn't work, then you have a problem. Also, the MOB button will get you back to where you pushed the button, but this is likely to be different than where the person is. The pole will tend to drift with the person who is overboard, helping those looking for the person overboard to see him or her. The GPS will not help you see the overboard person.

Too many fail to recognize the limitations of each tool. Together they make a much better solution than either alone since they can compensate for each others weaknesses.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:44   #11
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

Pretty much the same set up as Chala. MOB pole attached to a horse shoe float with about 8-meters of polypropylene line. There is also a strobe light attached to the horse shoe with a second shorter length of line. The strobe activates when it inverts to the upright position in the water. Have never used it, but in a seaway with even small swells, finding someones head above water is extremely challenging even under the least stressful of conditions. Having a visible target that stands six or more feet above the surface improves the chances of returning to the position where it was deployed, hopefully with the lost crew member clinging to the horse-shoe buoy.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:00   #12
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

We have used ours before....for real...and without it we would never have been able to find/track the MOB. In ocean swells coupled with wind and waves-an absolute must have if you have any hope of finding the one in the water.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:21   #13
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I used to have one attached to the lifesling. Never deployed it. I can tell you this, things disappear very fast in a rough seaway. It's amazing. a pole would be a great asset in that case. In some cases by the time you turn,change sail adjustment, start the engine, push the location on the GPS etc you can be very disoriented. Combine that with the person overboard drifting, and the gps location fixed, may not be the bees knees.
And I'll bet long lines still use high flyers to retrieve their set. Worst case someone else might spot them, a man overboard by happenstance with the pole..
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:57   #14
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

In addition to the horseshoe ring, strobe and MOB, a small sea anchor/drogue should be attached to slow drifting in wind driven situations.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:11   #15
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Re: Has anyone ever deployed their man overboard pole? Are they becoming obsolete?

We used to have a pole but it was awkward and difficult to deploy. The better alternative is a . Available in the US from Defender for $449 USD.
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