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Old 04-06-2011, 01:22   #1
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Single-Handing Overboard

I would hope that most single handers would tether themselves to avoid this type of scenario.. but have there been incidents where a single hander went overboard while the autopilot was engaged? I can just imagine floating there in the ocean watching my boat sail off into the horizon
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:43   #2
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Re: Single handing overboard

My worst nightmare. I rig lines outboard down each side of the boat. Not sure how easy they would be to use in that sort of situation. Most people are likely to go over the wall in bad weather.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:19   #3
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Re: Single handing overboard

Good reminder I should put some money away for a PLB.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:34   #4
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Re: Single handing overboard

Rig a line to the tiller/vane, or anything else that will throw the helm and heave too the boat, that way, even if you can't hold on or haul yourself back on board with the line, the boat should be 'parked' nearby!
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:36   #5
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Re: Single handing overboard

Went overboard once, in a river calm wx, engine in gear and rudder turned. Trying to tie up to a mooring buoy. After I hit the water I was able to push off the side of my boat and reach up and grab a boat hook off the gunnel and hook on a fender on the back of the boat as she slowly turned round in the river with me hanging off the back contemplating my foolishness. I was hoping she would bend back around and hit the bank so I could crawl out and reboard my vessel thus eliminating the need to haul myself out at the next landing down the river and ask for a ride back to my boat. Well when the boat just about got to the bank she turned away and made another lazy circle going down stream, and we came to the next mooring buoy in the river where there was another vessel tied and I aimed for one side of the buoy as my vessel passed on the other side and I bent the boat hook around the mooring line thus securing the vessel alongside the other boat bow to stern fashion. At that point I reached up and grabbed the mooring lines off my bow and used them as a ladder to climb up the side of the other vessel. This all took about 1.25 hours in 43F water, by the time I was back aboard my vessel, I was pretty hypothermia bound and managed to get back up to my original mooring and make fast, fire up the diesel stove and crawl into the rack for about 12 hours of sleep. If I had been out in the open ocean, I would have died. The next time I hauled the boat, I bought some aluminum pigeon holes to be welded in the transom of my vessel where I did have hand holds in order to exit the water if I went over again in the ocean. In my own defense, this is only the second time in my life that I have went overboard involuntarily. It easily could have been my last.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:46   #6
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Re: Single handing overboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by pistolen08 View Post
I would hope that most single handers would tether themselves to avoid this type of scenario.. but have there been incidents where a single hander went overboard while the autopilot was engaged? I can just imagine floating there in the ocean watching my boat sail off into the horizon
Probably.
Maybe there's no one around to tell the tale.

I've swam round the boat hundreds of miles from land in 4km deep water before, becalmed. Quite an eerie feeling treading water 20' from your boat alone way out in the atlantic.

As a singlehander my energies go to staying on the boat in the first place. I assume if i go overboard then I'm dead. Lightweight climbing harness with a grigri belay device so safety line is constantly adjustable works well, much better than a fixed length line. Works for me anyway. So far.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:10   #7
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pirate Re: Single handing overboard

Aware of the possibility... just don't think about it... arrogant...? stoopid...??
Quite likely... but its hard to change a Lifestyle....
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:38   #8
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Re: Single handing overboard

"...lines outboard down each side of the boat. Not sure how easy they would be to use..."

Very difficult to grab (luck), even with a bowl'n on the end. And it is not easy or fun to be towed at 6 knots if ya manage to get ahold...on yer back is easier to breathe - it is difficult to haul yourself back, and very very difficult to get back on deck.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:38   #9
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Re: Single handing overboard

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Aware of the possibility... just don't think about it... arrogant...? stoopid...??
Quite likely... but its hard to change a Lifestyle....

I am quite supprised with all the safety values involved with sailing that there is not more attention to a permanent safetly line of some sort for single sailors and night watchmen!! As someone says earlier, If I go over the side I am dead? Surely there must be a light weight contraction that would work! I would be really pissed off to think I was dead because I had stumbled, or been nudged by a whale, what a weak way to go, seeng your boat moving away from you knowing you could never catch it!! I wonder which song I would sing.............. Also, my last instructor had some sort of emergency bleeper in his life jacket which alerted his local coast guard with his position if activated, told me it cost him 250 UK pounds!
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:05   #10
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Re: Single handing overboard

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what a weak way to go, seeng your boat moving away from you knowing you could never catch it!!
Could be worse. Could get killed by a Cucumber.

BBC News - Germany: Ten die from E.coli-infected cucumbers
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:19   #11
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Re: Single handing overboard

small bass boats and open cockpit offshore race boats use a kill switch with a lanyard cliped to the life jacket If you get ejected kill sw stops the motor boat stops
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:31   #12
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pirate Re: Single handing overboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by pablothesailor View Post
I am quite supprised with all the safety values involved with sailing that there is not more attention to a permanent safetly line of some sort for single sailors and night watchmen!! As someone says earlier, If I go over the side I am dead? Surely there must be a light weight contraction that would work! I would be really pissed off to think I was dead because I had stumbled, or been nudged by a whale, what a weak way to go, seeng your boat moving away from you knowing you could never catch it!! I wonder which song I would sing.............. Also, my last instructor had some sort of emergency bleeper in his life jacket which alerted his local coast guard with his position if activated, told me it cost him 250 UK pounds!
AVW if coastal... but what if mid ocean... not much use... however...
If Raymarine/Simrad came up with a 100% waterproof remote with good range that one could carry round their neck at all times... that would be handy....
But... if your motoring at the time... akward... unless Yanmar/Volvo etc came up with a remote.. 100% waterproof... to cut out the engine... your screwed...
You'll either run yourself down or drown watching your boat going round you in circles....
Come on guys... everything has risks... no danger to life can be eliminated.. merely deflected...
A PDF stops death by drowning... you just die of hypothermia instead... and so the circle goes... stop fretting... start living...
danger and risk are the condiments of life
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:33   #13
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pirate Re: Single handing overboard

"One hand for the boat ... one hand for the boy."


My boat is easy to board from the water, and I always trail a line, but can I still pull myself back? Could I ever?
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:59   #14
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Re: Single handing overboard

Mobi-Lert have a wirelss sytem that when you leave its tracking distance it sends an alarm (no use to a solo sailor!) but it can be altered to carry out a function like turning the boat to the wind, shutting down the engine etc.

http://www.mobilarm.com/page/ocean_sailing.html
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:14   #15
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Re: Single handing overboard

It must have happened many times and unless you've got a long line trailing behind, you're pretty much stuffed. Just shows the importance of always using a lifeline if there is any danger of going over.

Check out this video, guy singlehanding falls overboard in a marina while under power, how the boat didn't hit anything is a miracle!

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