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Old 04-04-2016, 11:10   #121
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I don't know how these particular boats are rigged offhand but likely there were running backstays to tend..
Harden both runners as you heave-to.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:14   #122
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Yup. Good luck with that "stop in your tracks" hahahahaha tactic in high seas. I will be in the commitee boat watching your frantic arm waving while drinking my warm banana and coconuttt coffee awaiting your breech.
???

What is this supposed to mean? Have you ever even sailed in high seas?

We practice quick stops and heaving to in "high seas" every year. It works very well indeed; in fact it's commonly used as a storm tactic. Read the Pardeys.

If the sea is really high, you need to do it just on the crest of the wave, so you don't risk blanketing of the sails while you're maneuvering. You pivot and then slide back down the back side of the wave, when it's done well.

I've never picked up a real MOB, so never used this technique for that, but I've used it to take a break when a passenger was badly seasick in a F8 with very large waves. Just as described in the Pardeys' book, heaving to in such conditions is like flipping the "pause" button. It's marvelous.

I used it a couple of years ago in an awful storm in the Baltic, when one of my davits broke, threatening to dump my dinghy into the stormy water. We were hauling azz, making over 9 knots, hard on the wind, and heeled over. I immediately put the helm over and hove to, just like we do in MOB practice. It worked brilliantly and saved my dinghy.

A funny thing about that incident -- there were two of us on board at the time -- the other a Finnish guy, a professional mariner with huge experience, and a wonderful sailor. He was on deck with me at the time, in fact he was the one who spotted the dinghy getting loose. He was completely amazed by the maneuver -- in so many years of sailing, he had never hove to and didn't immediately even understand what I was doing.


We practice heaving to in all kinds of weather, and from speeds as high as 10 knots. There is no tendency to broach as you are turning towards, not away from the wind. It stops the boat dead in her tracks.


Before criticizing, you should try it. It's an essential technique in my opinion.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:15   #123
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pirate Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

Neither have I.. though that 64ft Americas Cup boat I took from Denmark to Holland showed me how easy it is to pop a running back.. definitely not fun shorthanded.. luckily the waves were just 12"-18"s and just a F6..
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:23   #124
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Harden both runners as you heave-to.
Our technique is to blow the runner (we only ever use a windward one) and the staysail sheet, in an emergency heave to, then furl the staysail. That's because it's self tacking and will spoil the maneuver by producing drive. The runner prevent changing tack once you get under way again, so we get it out of the way first thing.

I don't like blowing sheets, and it would be better if I had some way of remotely locking the track, but I don't. I could use a twing for this probably, if it's not in use with my blade jib. Hmmm. But I am usually using them to barber haul the staysail, when they're not needed for the blade, so they're usually occupied.

On an Open 60, that's a whole different kettle of fish though. AFAIK, those masts won't even stay up without the runners. I have no idea what heaving one of those to would be like. Maybe someone like Uncivilized could tell us.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:30   #125
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I don't see how you could describe a sailor with 20,000 miles in that boat as being anything other than experienced. In that boat.

And IMO, experience, no matter how much, in any other boat would be far less relevant.
I've always thought days are a much better measure than miles, and years even more so. I've racked up hundreds of miles on passage, learning FAR less than I would in an hour of focused gear test in a breeze. The USCG agrees. So, not knowing the speed of the boat, she had about 65 days experience. She was probably tired much of the time, so less experience sunk in. There was little time to review and mull over what had happened. No, that is not much, little more than a single busy summer.

But I wouldn't call it quite inexperienced either.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:44   #126
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Our technique is to blow the runner (we only ever use a windward one) and the staysail sheet, in an emergency heave to, then furl the staysail. That's because it's self tacking and will spoil the maneuver by producing drive. The runner prevent changing tack once you get under way again, so we get it out of the way first thing.

I don't like blowing sheets, and it would be better if I had some way of remotely locking the track, but I don't. I could use a twing for this probably, if it's not in use with my blade jib. Hmmm. But I am usually using them to barber haul the staysail, when they're not needed for the blade, so they're usually occupied.

On an Open 60, that's a whole different kettle of fish though. AFAIK, those masts won't even stay up without the runners. I have no idea what heaving one of those to would be like. Maybe someone like Uncivilized could tell us.
I have raced boats that depend on the runners to hold up the mast.

Your technique would work when the runners are used to compensate for the pressure of a staysail.

Each boat is quite different.

When you heave-to on some cats they slow down so much you do not have a enough way steerage way to use the heave-to method. The figure 8 seems to work better. I got the heave-to method to work on a Lagoon, but not a Leopard. I suspect the mainsail design also was a factor: the Lagoon had in boom reefing with negative roach, the Leopard had a big high roach slab reefing main. It just went into irons.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:47   #127
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I have raced boats that depend on the runners to hold up the mast.

Your technique would work when the runners are used to compensate for the pressure of a staysail.

Each boat is quite different.

When you heave-to on some cats they slow down so much you do not have a enough way steerage way to use the heave-to method. The figure 8 seems to work better. I got the heave-to method to work on a Lagoon, but not a Leopard. I suspect the mainsail design also was a factor: the Lagoon had in boom reefing with negative roach, the Leopard had a big high roach slab reefing main. It just went into irons.
That makes sense.

The only boat I was ever unable to heave to, was a catamaran. I never understood why, but your explanation makes sense.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:15   #128
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Mine is actually a fairly light displacement boat, less than 200 D/L. Light and fast.

But I didn't assume that an Open 60 could be handled the same way, which was why I asked.

Does anyone know? Surely they can be hove to, not?
These boats can't simply stop. As I understand it they were reaching under spin and main in +35kn, so the likely sail inventory was main (reefed), spin, and sta-sail. Again this is conjecture but they were likely doing upwards of 25kn at the time.

Immediatly turning into the wind would shred the spinnaker, which would be fine to rescue someone, but given the engines and props on these boats they very well couldn't have motored directly into the wind and waves with the drag from the sails still up. So they had to douse the sails, at least the head sails. So a fast bear off to 165 AWA get the kite down, drop the stasail... Assuming they could do all of this in a minute, the boat is almost a kilometer from where she fell in at. Much more likely it took at least 3 minutes, so we are talking about more like 1.8km from where she fell in.

Then motoring upwind into +35kn breeze and big ocean swells, on a boat with a very undersized engine/ going to be hard going upwind. This is exactly when you need a big prop, lots of reserve horsepower, and plenty of fuel. Which they simply don't have.


The only time these boats are sailing with just a headsail would be on a hard beat in medium or heavier air. Any less breeze and they have up a code, any other direction they have up a spinnaker.

And as Jack mentioned, crash tacking without the runners will bring down the mast. The big sled I raced on replaced the mast on average every three years from someone missing the runner thru predicted tacks. Doing it in an emergency is a sure bet to snap the rig, then you have all that to deal with as well. Before you can even turn around to pick the swimmer up.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:31   #129
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
These boats can't simply stop. As I understand it they were reaching under spin and main in +35kn, so the likely sail inventory was main (reefed), spin, and sta-sail. Again this is conjecture but they were likely doing upwards of 25kn at the time.

Immediatly turning into the wind would shred the spinnaker, which would be fine to rescue someone, but given the engines and props on these boats they very well couldn't have motored directly into the wind and waves with the drag from the sails still up. So they had to douse the sails, at least the head sails. So a fast bear off to 165 AWA get the kite down, drop the stasail... Assuming they could do all of this in a minute, the boat is almost a kilometer from where she fell in at. Much more likely it took at least 3 minutes, so we are talking about more like 1.8km from where she fell in.

Then motoring upwind into +35kn breeze and big ocean swells, on a boat with a very undersized engine/ going to be hard going upwind. This is exactly when you need a big prop, lots of reserve horsepower, and plenty of fuel. Which they simply don't have.


The only time these boats are sailing with just a headsail would be on a hard beat in medium or heavier air. Any less breeze and they have up a code, any other direction they have up a spinnaker.

And as Jack mentioned, crash tacking without the runners will bring down the mast. The big sled I raced on replaced the mast on average every three years from someone missing the runner thru predicted tacks. Doing it in an emergency is a sure bet to snap the rig, then you have all that to deal with as well. Before you can even turn around to pick the swimmer up.
OK, that makes a lot of sense. Very interesting. And horrifying to imagine in this particular case -- falling off with that sled flying away from you at 25 knots and unable to stop. Really horrifying.


It also really highlights how the complication and risk snowballs with more and different sails up. It means much greater risk of falling off, since there's that much more foredeck work to do. And complicates the process of recovering the MOB if it happens. I hadn't thought about the possibility of a chute being up -- in those conditions? My God . . .
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Old 04-04-2016, 13:23   #130
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, that makes a lot of sense. Very interesting. And horrifying to imagine in this particular case -- falling off with that sled flying away from you at 25 knots and unable to stop.
It's not just the boat. Stop and you have no control. Best to keep moving. Keep moving and you have control. Once wave .6 of LWL you better be.
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Old 04-04-2016, 13:59   #131
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, that makes a lot of sense. Very interesting. And horrifying to imagine in this particular case -- falling off with that sled flying away from you at 25 knots and unable to stop. Really horrifying.


It also really highlights how the complication and risk snowballs with more and different sails up. It means much greater risk of falling off, since there's that much more foredeck work to do. And complicates the process of recovering the MOB if it happens. I hadn't thought about the possibility of a chute being up -- in those conditions? My God . . .
I am reading a lot of conflicting information about this, and zero information I think is really reliable. So everything as far as I know is speculation.

But the Clipper press release indicated that winds were 35-40kn. I am guessing wind direction based on where they were (north west of the Pacific high), which means normally you are blast reaching (it's the other side of the Transpac run), about 1000nm east of Japan, and roughly at the northern tip of Japan's main island means cold water (55-60F) range.

All of this is conjecture based on big picture likelihood not knowing even the forecast conditions... But my best guess is they were blast reaching under a small spin and stasail at night, after just having reefed down the main from 1st reef to 2nd reef. (***gross speculation***) She unclipped while cleaning up the reefing lines that had gotten tangled around her teather, and while trying to clean up the tangles was washed overboard.

Once in the water the cold and inability to breath well because of the sea spray meant she had a limited time period before she could no longer keep her head above water. After some period of time, likely just 20-30 minutes the cold sapped her ability and she drowned.

Once again this is incredibly gross speculation based on bad, incomplete, and contradictory information. I look forward to reading the inquest into the accident eventually.


As an update... unlike the VOR 70's the clippers have at least an almost reasonable engine. A Perkins 110hp shaft drive, with a Gori folding prop. I still think it would have real problems motoring upwind into 40kn and sea swells, but it is far more installed power than I was guessing. My original bet was more in line with the 55hp the VOR boats have.
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Old 04-04-2016, 14:12   #132
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
It's not just the boat. Stop and you have no control. Best to keep moving. Keep moving and you have control. Once wave .6 of LWL you better be.
I disagree. It is definitely not better to keep moving -- away from the casualty.

It is also not true that you "lose control" -- on the contrary, you gain control over your position with respect to the casualty -- in a stable, hove-to position, nearly stopped in the water. This also stabilizes the vessel and makes it far easier to spot the casualty, and to make preparations to pick him up.

I didn't just dream this up; it's a variation of the "Quick Stop Method".

The "Quick Stop Method" is the official method of the RORC:

Man Overboard | general-conditions

QUICK STOP AND THE LIFE SLING (OR SEATTLE RING)

When a crew member goes over the side recovery time is of the essence. In an effort to come up with a recovery system that is simple and lightning quick, the US Yacht Racing Union Safety at Sea Committee, the US Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, the Cruising Club of America Technical Committee and the Sailing Foundation of Seattle, Washington, joined forces to conduct extensive research and sea trials. The result of their collaboration is the "Quick-Stop" method of man-overboard recovery. The hallmark of this method is the immediate reduction of boat speed by turning in a direction to windward and thereafter manoeuvring at modest speed, remaining near the victim. In most instances, this is superior to the conventional procedure of reaching off, then either gibing or tacking and returning on a reciprocal course.

QUICK-STOP

1. Shout "man overboard" on the wind and designate a crew member to spot and point to the victim's position in the water. The spotter should not take his eyes off the victim (see Figure 1 below).

2. Provide immediate flotation. Throw buoyant objects such as cockpit cushions, life rings and so on. These objects may not only come to the aid of the victim, but will "litter the water" where he went overboard and help your spotter to keep him in view. Deployment of the pole and flag (dan buoy) requires too much time. The pole is saved to "put on top" of the victim in case the initial manoeuvre is unsuccessful.

3. Bring boat head-to-wind and beyond (see Figure 1).

4. Allow headsail to back and further slow the boat.

5. Keep turning with headsail backed until wind is abaft the beam.

6. Head on beam-to-broad reach course for two or three lengths then go to nearly dead downwind.

7. Drop the headsail while keeping the mainsail centred (or nearly so). The jib sheets are not slacked, even during the dousing manoeuvre, to keep them inside the lifelines.

8. Hold the downward course until victim is abaft the beam.

9. Gybe.

10. Approach the victim on a course of approximately 45 degrees to 60 degrees off the wind.

11. Establish contact with the victim with heaving line or other device. The Naval Academy uses a "throwing sock" containing 75 feet of light floating line and a kapok bag that can be thrown into the wind because the line is kept inside the bag and trails out as it sails to the victim.

12. Effect recovery over the windward side.




The RORC method uses the same crash tack onto backed headsail that I use -- they stop the boat in its tracks the same way, by heaving to.

The RORC method has you bearing off after the Quick Stop to head back towards the casualty, rather than remaining in the hove to position. We also practice this on my boat and it's good in calmer conditions, as it gets you to the casualty faster -- IF you are ready to maneuver and change point of sail, that is, if you have crew ready and on deck.

We prefer to stay hove to until we get our sh!t together, and in most cases will motor rather than sailing like the RORC do, as I mentioned above. The key point is that heaving to can be done by the one guy at the helm without any help, and instantly. And this is the crucial thing -- to stop the boat and stop making distance between the boat and the casualty by all means and as soon as possible. Tacking or gybing or changing point of sail requires more than just a move at the helm -- takes people and coordination and may not be possible instantly in an emergency, on a shorthanded boat.

Being hove to is enormously beneficial in stronger weather as it gives you a stable platform from which you can try to spot the casualty and get organized for your next move -- get the engine started, crew up on deck, sails down, etc. Sailing around per RORC is probably better in calmer weather and/or when you have a full and experienced crew ready on deck, but it takes much more skill and manpower.

One more point -- the Figure Eight and some other methods assume you have the casualty in sight and know where to go. That is often not the case in real life (as opposed to in theory). Heaving to immediately fixes your position in relation to the casualty, and makes it much easier to spot the casualty or figure out where to look for the casualty. If you keep moving and sail around in different directions, you are very quickly lost and disoriented. This point really hits you if you practice MOB recovery in less than calm conditions.
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Old 04-04-2016, 14:25   #133
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Re: Clipper Race Fatality

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The big difference which you seem to not be getting is that the moment these 'customers' pay money for their inclusion in the race, it's a commercial transaction, which then increases the responsibility on both the skipper of the vessel and the organisation, to mitigate risk. This has been emphasised in many courts, many times.
And when you hire a car or a bicycle or charter a bareboat, that's NOT a commercial transaction?


And I'm sorry, but just because something has been "proven" in court doesn't mean it's true. Courts have made some monumentally stupid rulings. Awarding compensation to someone who thought it would be OK to go make a cup of tea in their Winnebago, because it was on cruise control. Or to someone who didn't expect their coffee to be hot....
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Old 04-04-2016, 14:28   #134
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I am reading a lot of conflicting information about this, and zero information I think is really reliable. So everything as far as I know is speculation.

But the Clipper press release indicated that winds were 35-40kn. I am guessing wind direction based on where they were (north west of the Pacific high), which means normally you are blast reaching (it's the other side of the Transpac run), about 1000nm east of Japan, and roughly at the northern tip of Japan's main island means cold water (55-60F) range.

All of this is conjecture based on big picture likelihood not knowing even the forecast conditions... But my best guess is they were blast reaching under a small spin and stasail at night, after just having reefed down the main from 1st reef to 2nd reef. (***gross speculation***) She unclipped while cleaning up the reefing lines that had gotten tangled around her teather, and while trying to clean up the tangles was washed overboard.

Once in the water the cold and inability to breath well because of the sea spray meant she had a limited time period before she could no longer keep her head above water. After some period of time, likely just 20-30 minutes the cold sapped her ability and she drowned.

Once again this is incredibly gross speculation based on bad, incomplete, and contradictory information. I look forward to reading the inquest into the accident eventually.


As an update... unlike the VOR 70's the clippers have at least an almost reasonable engine. A Perkins 110hp shaft drive, with a Gori folding prop. I still think it would have real problems motoring upwind into 40kn and sea swells, but it is far more installed power than I was guessing. My original bet was more in line with the 55hp the VOR boats have.
If they had to get right upwind, I guess even 110hp would not be enough to overcome a fully developed F8 wave train. It would have been a total nightmare. That poor girl.
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Old 04-04-2016, 14:42   #135
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I disagree. It is definitely not better to keep moving -- away from the casualty.

It is also not true that you "lose control" -- on the contrary, you gain control over your position with respect to the casualty -- in a stable, hove-to position, nearly stopped in the water. This also stabilizes the vessel and makes it far easier to spot the casualty, and to make preparations to pick him up.

I didn't just dream this up; it's a variation of the "Quick Stop Method".

The "Quick Stop Method" is the official method of the RORC:

Man Overboard | general-conditions

QUICK STOP AND THE LIFE SLING (OR SEATTLE RING)

When a crew member goes over the side recovery time is of the essence. In an effort to come up with a recovery system that is simple and lightning quick, the US Yacht Racing Union Safety at Sea Committee, the US Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, the Cruising Club of America Technical Committee and the Sailing Foundation of Seattle, Washington, joined forces to conduct extensive research and sea trials. The result of their collaboration is the "Quick-Stop" method of man-overboard recovery. The hallmark of this method is the immediate reduction of boat speed by turning in a direction to windward and thereafter manoeuvring at modest speed, remaining near the victim. In most instances, this is superior to the conventional procedure of reaching off, then either gibing or tacking and returning on a reciprocal course.

QUICK-STOP

1. Shout "man overboard" on the wind and designate a crew member to spot and point to the victim's position in the water. The spotter should not take his eyes off the victim (see Figure 1 below).

2. Provide immediate flotation. Throw buoyant objects such as cockpit cushions, life rings and so on. These objects may not only come to the aid of the victim, but will "litter the water" where he went overboard and help your spotter to keep him in view. Deployment of the pole and flag (dan buoy) requires too much time. The pole is saved to "put on top" of the victim in case the initial manoeuvre is unsuccessful.

3. Bring boat head-to-wind and beyond (see Figure 1).

4. Allow headsail to back and further slow the boat.

5. Keep turning with headsail backed until wind is abaft the beam.

6. Head on beam-to-broad reach course for two or three lengths then go to nearly dead downwind.

7. Drop the headsail while keeping the mainsail centred (or nearly so). The jib sheets are not slacked, even during the dousing manoeuvre, to keep them inside the lifelines.

8. Hold the downward course until victim is abaft the beam.

9. Gybe.

10. Approach the victim on a course of approximately 45 degrees to 60 degrees off the wind.

11. Establish contact with the victim with heaving line or other device. The Naval Academy uses a "throwing sock" containing 75 feet of light floating line and a kapok bag that can be thrown into the wind because the line is kept inside the bag and trails out as it sails to the victim.

12. Effect recovery over the windward side.




The RORC method uses the same crash tack onto backed headsail that I use -- they stop the boat in its tracks the same way, by heaving to.

The RORC method has you bearing off after the Quick Stop to head back towards the casualty, rather than remaining in the hove to position. We also practice this on my boat and it's good in calmer conditions, as it gets you to the casualty faster -- IF you are ready to maneuver and change point of sail, that is, if you have crew ready and on deck.

We prefer to stay hove to until we get our sh!t together, and in most cases will motor rather than sailing like the RORC do, as I mentioned above. The key point is that heaving to can be done by the one guy at the helm without any help, and instantly. And this is the crucial thing -- to stop the boat and stop making distance between the boat and the casualty by all means and as soon as possible. Tacking or gybing or changing point of sail requires more than just a move at the helm -- takes people and coordination and may not be possible instantly in an emergency, on a shorthanded boat.

Being hove to is enormously beneficial in stronger weather as it gives you a stable platform from which you can try to spot the casualty and get organized for your next move -- get the engine started, crew up on deck, sails down, etc. Sailing around per RORC is probably better in calmer weather and/or when you have a full and experienced crew ready on deck, but it takes much more skill and manpower.

One more point -- the Figure Eight and some other methods assume you have the casualty in sight and know where to go. That is often not the case in real life (as opposed to in theory). Heaving to immediately fixes your position in relation to the casualty, and makes it much easier to spot the casualty or figure out where to look for the casualty. If you keep moving and sail around in different directions, you are very quickly lost and disoriented. This point really hits you if you practice MOB recovery in less than calm conditions.
I suggest trying this before assuming it works, as my boat, and many others, will not sit nicely in the hove-to position without greatly reducing the area of the jib. In strong winds with full sail, my boat will uncontrollably head down with the jib backed, until it uncontrollably jibes. Then you are back on the tack you started on, and hopefully haven't run down the MOB in the process.

The reason they used to teach the figure of 8 is that it always works, on all boats.
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