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Old 08-09-2016, 15:53   #76
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

Well, it depends on the boat, for me. With a larger boat, reliable diesel, I would first throw the horseshoe and the pole... not sure how many seconds that is. Then I'd be rounding up and letting them luff. If there's someone else, they pushed the MOB button. While they are luffing I'd be starting the engine. I could leave the sails up, but I'd want the engine running. For me larger boats are trickier to sail around for this since they aren't (generally, especially longer keel boats) as responsive. Can be done of course, just have to plan it out well and have practiced it. It is easy to come up not quite close enough and then you have to fall off and try the whole thing again (if only sailing) and that will take minutes not seconds. However on my own boat, right now, in 20 knots I'd do the same but I'd tack right away then I'd sail up high enough so that I am sure I have the room to turn, gybe and sail up and come around to where I'll round up right on top of the person, reach over and clip them and grab them as it comes around to heave-to. Not sure how many seconds that is. Hopefully they have their life jacket on and/or they are holding the horseshoe and the MOB pole. At night, I would hope I have a strobe on the pole and/or they have one on their jacket. As John Lennnon said, I hope I passed the audition. I had to do this last year when my daughter yelled "Dad, there's a body!" Turned out to be a set of weather gear">foul weather gear filled with clorox bottles the CG Auxilliary had left to float to check currents. It was blowing 20 knots and seas were steep but only a couple feet, maybe 3. And still it was not easy to do. One's first reaction is to turn right at the person and sail which is a big mistake. Now you are going past them at 3 or 4 or 5 knots and it is REALLY hard to grab a person and hold onto them at that clip! Either you get pulled in, or you injure yourself or you have to let go. I tacked and when I came around, (watch out for the gybe!) and rounded up I had not judged it right and I had rounded up about 2 feet too far downwind and had to fall off and sail back up again. You want to be sailing to pass the person as you are in irons and slowing down. Even though it was not a body, that waterlogged set of foul weather gear was tough to pull on the boat, and I have a low freeboard.
All of this supports the idea that it is way better to prevent falling off in the first place.
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Old 08-09-2016, 16:56   #77
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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ME... About 25 yrs ago... before I had roller furling... I headed out with a friend after a night in protected West Harbor into a very strong SW wind and rather steep seas with a 100 mile fetch. I had to change to a small jib from the genoa.

Harness on I took the jib bag to the foredeck.... clipped myself to the slotted toe rail and began to tie the jib bag to the cleat. Plan was to then douse the genny, tie it... and then hank on the jin and stuff the genny in the sail bag.

Boat was on AP and motoring slowing into the wind (and the sea) and bow fell into a huge trough and then up on the next crest and I was tossed up into the air tethered to the toe rail. Next trough the boat dropped and dragging me down and over the lifelines and into the water over the starboard side.

This happened to be the lee side and so we were heeled and I was being dragged along tethered. I was able to actually get my leg onto the deck and around a stanchion and pull myself aboard. I wasn't in long and I supposed I didn't feel like staying there either.

I unclipped and crawled back to the cockpit.

No more hank on sails... I switched to ProFurl and love it.

Harness... Lirakis with 2 - 6' tethers (one connected all the time)

Freeboard at the bow is about 5'

This raises a very interesting point. I naturally gravitate towards the windward side if I have to go forward. But getting back aboard, while difficult under any circumstances, might be easier if you were on the leeward side. Hmmm.
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Old 08-09-2016, 17:10   #78
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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This raises a very interesting point. I naturally gravitate towards the windward side if I have to go forward. But getting back aboard, while difficult under any circumstances, might be easier if you were on the leeward side. Hmmm.
The boat was supposed to be eye to the wind for a sail change. But the bow got pushed off and the waves weren't cooperating.... so the side I was on suddenly became the lee side. I always go forward on the windward side.

If I went over the high side (windward) I doubt I could have climbed aboard as easily... or maybe not at all. Don't want to find out either.
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Old 08-09-2016, 17:53   #79
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

While I agree that down the center jacklines are better running 20 feet of jackline and not accounting for stretch from shock-loading is poor design.

The jackline should be reasonably tight and re-tensioned when it gets wet. Additionally the jackline MUST be secured to a shackle at the mast. Mine uses the hard point on the same tab as the vang that a Cunningham would normally use.

Unsure of the need? Tighten your jackline and fein a fall towards the edge of the boat around the mast area. Note how much it will stretch. Scary how close to edge you can get. Now secure the jackline to the vang or some other point and you will see how the distance is halved.

On very large boats you can run the lines down the two sides, but the sag becomes an even bigger factor.




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Old 08-09-2016, 19:04   #80
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
I'd like to hear what the circumstances were that required that. One thing i don't yet have is that kind of quick release on the tether; it's been nagging at me but I don't really understand under what conditions (aside from being overboard, dragging) it might be required.
I think that was PBO.
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Old 08-09-2016, 19:07   #81
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

I'm trying to understand the central jackline fad. Does anyone actually fall to windward? Documented case, please.

I'm not convinced it actually happens that way.
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Old 08-09-2016, 20:18   #82
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
I'd like to hear what the circumstances were that required that. One thing i don't yet have is that kind of quick release on the tether; it's been nagging at me but I don't really understand under what conditions (aside from being overboard, dragging) it might be required.
In a capsize, knockdown, snagged or jammed on something... an emergency that requires it. I have the quick release (snap shackle) too, though I have never used it or needed it yet, knock on wood... I want to be well attached, just not too well attached. I have a fairly easy to feel big knot on the line around the pin so I can feel it in the dark, that comes from kayaking days and the wiffle ball I used to have on my spray skirt to pull it in a hurry, since it will be invisible when you need it.
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Old 08-09-2016, 21:50   #83
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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I'm trying to understand the central jackline fad. Does anyone actually fall to windward? Documented case, please.

I'm not convinced it actually happens that way.

No example to provide just simple geometry. Properly set-up a center jackline will keep you on board.

Also at some point something on the leeward side will need your attention. At that point you will have to flip to the leeward jack line.


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Old 09-09-2016, 06:35   #84
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

When sailing up to the MOB, if you are not close enough to heave to and drift toward them, (you should be able to, approaching an MOB
is no different than approaching a dock (except conditions
may be rougher)) you should just circle around dragging the life ring, so if conscious you drag it to them, stop the boat.

Every sailboat I have ever seen, is more stable with sails
up, especially when hove to, than with sails down.

If one only does MOB drills on calm sunny days, picking up a fender with a boat hook, one is not adequately practiced for a REAL MOB rescue in rough conditions.

We practice in REAL MOB conditions that are likely to happen. Hitting the water on a calm sunny day is called "going for a swim". Totally different thing.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:01   #85
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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I should add, as I am sure most know, that this gets exponentially more difficult to do as wind picks up. Smaller boats just will not be able to sail up to a target very well in much over 20 knots and 3 or 4 foot seas. Great thing to practice on a windy day....
with a cushion or MOB pole, not a live one!
If one is not adequately skilled to sail up to an MOB in the conditions the boat is certainly capable of handling, they should not be out there. This means certain death for the MOB if the remaining crew can't, in anything but a calm sunny day. This is not when serious MOB conditions happen. Remember that you are usually performing the MOB in the same conditons you were just sailing (except in the case of sudden squall). So if one is sailing with a reefed main and 110% in 20 knots and 6 foot seas, they can perform an MOB with sails up. It's really no different than in lighter airs except waves are higher. If one is on a small boat in big water in 20 knots and 6 foot seas and they can't sail the boat properly, how the heck are they going to stay on it themselves when they drop the sails and it gets pitched and tossed like a toy?

We have practiced MOB drills in real conditons on all boats we have owned, including our first, an Ensenada 20 in Georgian Bay off Lake Huron. I insist my wife be able to pick me up under sail. One day, my life may depend on it. Again, dousing sails and starting engines takes way too long. Do this in anything other than the most benign sunny conditons and you just killed the MOB.

Don't believe me? Drop a fender overboard on a dark rainy night, in 20 knots and 6 foot seas. Start your engine, douse your sails, secure them, and go back for the fender. Hint: Be prepared to buy a new one.

In a real MOB situation, the most important thing is to get back to them and stopped as fast as possible. Dousing and securing sails is just wasting time as you drift apart. The further you drift apart, the less likely the chance of recovery; that simple.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:24   #86
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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No example to provide just simple geometry. Properly set-up a center jackline will keep you on board.

Also at some point something on the leeward side will need your attention. At that point you will have to flip to the leeward jack line.


Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
I don't understand how a centre jackline can even work. What about the dodger, mast, vang, hatches, dorades, windlass, coachroof to foredeck transition, etc.?

With our jacklines (on all 3 boats we've owned) one can walk unimpeded from the cockpit to the pulpit, using the sliding tether as a handhold at all times. At anywhere along the way, one can clip the longer tether to a hardpoint (typically at the mast), releasing the short tether if necessary to move around, and the long tether will still keep me on the boat.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:42   #87
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

I'm accepting volunteers to jump off the boat during bad weather for training. If an acceptable volunteer does not sign up I will have to pick someone
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:27   #88
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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If one is not adequately skilled to sail up to an MOB in the conditions the boat is certainly capable of handling, they should not be out there. This means certain death for the MOB if the remaining crew can't, in anything but a calm sunny day. This is not when serious MOB conditions happen. Remember that you are usually performing the MOB in the same conditons you were just sailing (except in the case of sudden squall). So if one is sailing with a reefed main and 110% in 20 knots and 6 foot seas, they can perform an MOB with sails up. It's really no different than in lighter airs except waves are higher. If one is on a small boat in big water in 20 knots and 6 foot seas and they can't sail the boat properly, how the heck are they going to stay on it themselves when they drop the sails and it gets pitched and tossed like a toy?

We have practiced MOB drills in real conditons on all boats we have owned, including our first, an Ensenada 20 in Georgian Bay off Lake Huron. I insist my wife be able to pick me up under sail. One day, my life may depend on it. Again, dousing sails and starting engines takes way too long. Do this in anything other than the most benign sunny conditons and you just killed the MOB.

Don't believe me? Drop a fender overboard on a dark rainy night, in 20 knots and 6 foot seas. Start your engine, douse your sails, secure them, and go back for the fender. Hint: Be prepared to buy a new one.

In a real MOB situation, the most important thing is to get back to them and stopped as fast as possible. Dousing and securing sails is just wasting time as you drift apart. The further you drift apart, the less likely the chance of recovery; that simple.
Well, I am not disagreeing with you necessarily but every boat has its limitations when it comes to sailing to windward as wind picks up. There gets a point where no boat can sail to windward. Now, motoring, or motoring and sailing, you can extend the range of conditions you can make it to windward. I completely agree everyone should be familiar with sailing up to an MOB in conditions as rough as they can handle. But I know I have been out in conditions, with a bigger boat, where I knew that if anyone fell off, all the sails and engine power we had would not get us back up to that person.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:04   #89
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Well, I am not disagreeing with you necessarily but every boat has its limitations when it comes to sailing to windward as wind picks up. There gets a point where no boat can sail to windward. Now, motoring, or motoring and sailing, you can extend the range of conditions you can make it to windward. I completely agree everyone should be familiar with sailing up to an MOB in conditions as rough as they can handle. But I know I have been out in conditions, with a bigger boat, where I knew that if anyone fell off, all the sails and engine power we had would not get us back up to that person.
I'm sorry but your advice is scaring the hell out of me, that someone may actually follow it if the situation arises. What is your experience? Your boat will sail far better in 20 knots with a single reef in the main and a 110, than it will in 10 knots with full main and Genoa, and you should know this if you have any sailing experience e to speak of. My son has an 85 Columbia 8.3 (27 ft) and we race it in 20 - 30 knots all the time. Yes if you are in conditons where you have exceeded ability to sail to windward, well over 50 knots, you would not have to douse sails BECAUSE NONE WOULD BE UP.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:28   #90
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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I'm sorry but your advice is scaring the hell out of me, that someone may actually follow it if the situation arises. What is your experience? Your boat will sail far better in 20 knots with a single reef in the main and a 110, than it will in 10 knots with full main and Genoa, and you should know this if you have any sailing experience e to speak of. My son has an 85 Columbia 8.3 (27 ft) and we race it in 20 - 30 knots all the time. Yes if you are in conditons where you have exceeded ability to sail to windward, well over 50 knots, you would not have to douse sails BECAUSE NONE WOULD BE UP.
Sorry to scare you, I thought I was being pretty conservative. Yes I can sail in 20, 30 or 40 knots. If you can sail to windward in 40 knots to retrieve an MOB, my hat is off to you, but you must concede you aren't just going to turn around and sail right over to him. Personally I would have started the engine though (if there were a MOB,) and would have had everyone wearing harnesses long before that.
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