Originally Posted by Don C L
Oh, of course. But I put number 2 before 1 in my practice and I am with Third Day too, your step 4 should be(IMO) drop sails and start engine. Keeping the main up is ok if you are sure you aren't going to knock yourself out when you gybe. When you round up on someone it is easy for a main to take over and pull you away from the target if you aren't dead on, and then you may have to hassle with it while trying to retrieve someone. If you let the sheet go then you have the hazard of a boom flopping around while you are trying to work too. It is a great thing to practice though, we all should, for that time when we have to retrieve someone and the engine doesn't work. For me I have found that if you time it right and you are ready (and not too much freeboard) you can get a clip on them as you drift up in irons and then put the helm
over to the opposite tack, let her heave-to (the jib
is backed) and as the boat settles you hoist them aboard. It helps to have a fool proof hoist system ready of course, though its amazing what a little adrenaline can do in these situations. This does take practice in a variety of seas and wind speeds, but its kind of fun when you get the hang of it.
How long does your system take?
Lets assume double-handing, 20 knots, 6 ft seas on the beam, and you were aware the instant the MOB went over and reacted instantly.
1. Shift transmission
to neutral. 1/2 second
2. Set throttle. 1/2 second
3. Turn key. 1 second.
4. Shift into forward. 1/2 second.
5. Adjust throttle. 1 sec
6. Turn up wind. 5 seconds.
7. Set auto helm. 5 seconds.
8. Release foresail sheet. 2 seconds.
9. Furl in foresail. 10 seconds
10. Secure furling
line. 2 seconds.
11. Release main halyard
and drop to boom. 15 seconds.
12. Tie off if no lazy jacks or Dutchman. 30 seconds.
13. Release autohelm
14. Turn vessel back toward MOB. 5 seconds.
Few people single-handing can accomplish this that fast, even with adrenalin running at max. And then what if something goes wrong, like a furler
binds or a sheet or a halyard snags, something gets caught in the lazy jacks, etc.?
(When I single-hand on race
nights, this takes much closer to 10 minutes on average.)
But lets assume everything goes perfectly, you just sailed away from the MOB for about 80 seconds.
You just sailed about 800 ft away from the MOB (if all went extremely fast and well), and set your vessel up to be the least stable it can be to perform an MOB rescue.
At 800 ft, on a clear day, in 6 foot seas, your will see a head
bobbing about 1 foot above the water, for maybe 1 second every minute. Don't blink. Now lets add the rain that made the decks slippery that caused the MOB to loose footing, now lets make it night.
I hate to say this, but you probably just killed your crew.
Instead, as soon as you notice the MOB, turn the boat around.
Now you are 50 feet away from the MOB. Sail back and heave to. Now you are at the MOB and the boat is as stable as it can possibly be in 20 knots and 6 foot seas, to facilitate getting them back aboard.
If one can't maneuver the boat where they want it to be, while under sail in 20 knots and 6 foot seas, they shouldn't be in charge IMHO (in anything more than a small inland lake).