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Old 28-03-2013, 12:14   #16
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

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I seem to remember reading Sir Robin Knox Johnson's first account of sailing around the world. Worried about his fitness during the voyage he would set the sails for a speed of about 4 knots. then dive off the bow and swim like heck until the stern caught him up before grabbing the line out the stern and hauling himself back on board only to repeat the exercise
I remember this story and thought it was hogwash embellishment.
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Old 28-03-2013, 12:16   #17
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

On the end of the line, tie a small floating fender or a floating water ski handle. I never trailed a very long line, and it became slimy so I don't know how well it would be to pull yourself onboard with.
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Old 28-03-2013, 15:30   #18
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

Thanks everyone for your considerations. I like the idea in theory, but as I, and others, have said, it is a different thing in practice. RKJ doing it , assuming it was not hogwash, by choice on the right day, no doubt in calmish seas and probably naked, is not the same as falling over with clothes etc on at 4 or more knots.

Anyway, as always, looking on the lighter side, at least I have found out at what speed a bikini comes off when being towed. Another mystery in life solved for me, thank you lovely lady.

Coops.
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Old 28-03-2013, 15:38   #19
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

My then 22 year old (strong, athletic) son claimed he could stay behind the boat on a line, so we tried it under motor. We were doing over 6 knots and he didn't last long. And, he was holding the line before we started.

When we'd swim during the summer, we'd always heave to and trail a long line (Like John's idea) with a floating cushion. Worked just fine.
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Old 28-03-2013, 15:49   #20
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

I think if you were underway and you fell off by accident that chances of finding and catching the line would be very slim, unless you were very lucky. You might tumble over amidships after getting rapped on the back of the skull by a jibing boom, and have to come back up out of the water, clear-headed, lunging in the correct direction and fast before the line went by, and then catch it. Fuggedaboutit.
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Old 28-03-2013, 16:17   #21
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
My then 22 year old (strong, athletic) son claimed he could stay behind the boat on a line, so we tried it under motor. We were doing over 6 knots and he didn't last long. And, he was holding the line before we started.

When we'd swim during the summer, we'd always heave to and trail a long line (Like John's idea) with a floating cushion. Worked just fine.
I've done this same test, while playing with the kids.

IMHO it is pure HOG WASH that anyone could grab the line in the sort of vigorous conditions that would prompt you to fall off. Today we were blasting across the Chesapeake in 20 knots sustained with gusts to 30; I seriously doubt you could find the rope in the chop. The chance of a happy ending will vary from 20% for a slow moving raft to <1% for a fast moving boat in a breeze.

This is what rock climbers call "psychological protection" and serves only to get folks in trouble.

IMHO.
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Old 28-03-2013, 16:30   #22
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Jonny Wray wrote about being saved by catching his trailing log when he fell overboard from Ngataki while cruising up to the pacific islands from NZ in the 1930's.It is described in his fantastic book "South sea vagabonds". Well worth tracking down and reading.

The few times I tried it for fun it worked up to about maybe 5 knots. The rope needed to be very long. But I was very young and strong then. Better to use a harness.
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Old 28-03-2013, 16:31   #23
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

while playing in pacific ocean i was sailing schooner that day with friends who would jump into ocean from ratlines at spreader level of main mast forward, or from bowsprit, while boat was under way and swim to stern and pick themselves up via a line temporarily ob for that--and climb up the boomkin to re board the boat.....fun to watch--most of the folks who were with us also did that...
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Old 28-03-2013, 17:42   #24
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

you are going to die, the trailing line is just so for about 15 seconds you think otherwise
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Old 28-03-2013, 18:04   #25
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

The magic number is 1.69ft/kt/sec. Thus, at 5 knots a boat will travel 84.5 feet in 10 seconds (1.69 * 5 * 10 = 84.6). A 200 foot line would give you about 25 seconds at best.

I bet it wouldn't be hard to come up with a Hi-Tech equivalent of the safety line. Say a radio transmitter/receiver that would cause the boat to round-up when the receiver stopped receiving the transmitter because it is underwater. I bet you can buy the basic parts off the self.

Or, maybe a water proof marine VHF transceiver that the MOB could use to trigger an on-board receiver to round-up. It might even be possible to set things up so the transceiver could be used as a remote control to sail the boat back to the MOB.

Anyway it is something to think about.

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Old 28-03-2013, 18:26   #26
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

I once sailed from USVI to the Bahamas with some people who, on an Atlantic crossing some years earlier, dragged a crewman astern for fun. One time when they looked back he was not there. By the time they released the preventers,etc. and turned around, they could not find him... I don't know any more details.
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Old 28-03-2013, 18:30   #27
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pirate Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

Trail an EPIRB. Punch that button. Roll over on your back.
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Old 28-03-2013, 18:37   #28
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

This sound like a job for MYTH BUSTERS
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Old 28-03-2013, 19:38   #29
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

I set it up (hi-vis, knotted line, handle at end, trip to release helm) and then take all the same precautions I would take if I hadn't set it up.

The fact that it might not work does not, to me, detract from the fact that it might.

And if I never get to test it for real, then so much the better.
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Old 28-03-2013, 19:52   #30
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Re: Have Tailing Lines Ever Saved A Solo Sailor?

The heck with all that!! If ya sail with us and go on deck for any reason, ya wear a harness and PFD if needed !! Harness is always required, for all folks aboard! That's my way to keep as safe as possible. Personal desires don't mean anything!
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