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Old 22-01-2013, 06:42   #46
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
How far are we from a magical/electronic band that clips to each crew's PFD and screams "here I am! Here I am!" to the AIS-plotter-radar system?
Very close, but that STILL doesn't solve the problem that, even in moderate seas, you can be practically on top of someone and not be able to see them. Particularly if you are alone on the boat and trying to do everything all by yourself. That is the very best reason why an MOB pole of some sort is nowhere near to obsolete!
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Old 22-01-2013, 08:35   #47
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

++++++ 100 bobandconnie....
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Old 22-01-2013, 08:44   #48
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

What the MOB pole does that a GPS doesn't is provide a meeting place, regardless of drift. The MOB can swim to the pole and rest on the horseshoe buoy while the boat maneuvers back to the pole. Additionally, the MOB pole makes it easy to pick up the line to which the horseshoe buoy is attached.

The Oscar "O" flag also signals other boats that there is a MOB situation. The GPS won't do that.

In other words, it is not obsolete.
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Old 22-01-2013, 08:53   #49
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

Another thought: Crew tend not to go overboard during long passages. Rather, they're more likely to separate from the boat during a beer can race, or a July 4th daysail, et cetera, especially when alcohol is involved.

Don't set up a cruising boat just for passages. In most MOB situations I've been involved in, the MOB was picked up by a boat other than the one from which he fell. Most recently, I was the rescue boat during an Americas Cup regatta last September. Someone in high heels fell off a booze-cruise boat, and I was able to get there a lot more quickly than the big boat was. A GPS MOB button is worthless in such situations, but an MOB pole is indispensable.
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Old 22-01-2013, 09:20   #50
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

The MOB pole not obsolete because you should use every tool that is available to get someone back onboard.

Also, what excuse would you have for the deceased relatives if the GPS method failed?
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Old 22-01-2013, 11:56   #51
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

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The MOB pole not obsolete because you should use every tool that is available to get someone back onboard.

Also, what excuse would you have for the deceased relatives if the GPS method failed?
You should use every resource available - the most important and limited resource in this situation is time.
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Old 22-01-2013, 13:29   #52
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

Hi everybody,

To answer to the question : not at all obsolete.

It may be the best visual marker available aboard for the MOB, both day and night...(smoke is not very visible at night or in poor visibility case...).

We brought some modification to our pole as follow:

The lines for light activation, and tying to the horseshoe buoy, were of poor quality material (polypropylène, that loose its strength over the years under sunlight) and fixed both end with (very) loose bosun chair knots (or had to be tied with at erection stage) :

We replace these line with proper rope, splicing and carabiner snaphook for an easier and faster erection and safer tying at each ends.

The "automatic light" originaly supplied at the top of the pole (Plastimo classic / rigid model) had 2 major issues : the automatic switching device of the light use to be damaged and out of order each time we were inserting the battery in the light (and cost a fortune to replace), we had to replace it each time, and the light itself was more than weak in term of illumination, way too much for a safety device in our opinion:

We therefore decided to replace the light by a stroboscopic one originaly designed for lifevest purpose (ACR...), erected on a plastic oarlock socket inserted and riveted at the top of the pole, the strobe light being secured and locked with electrical straps (the shape of the oarlock socket was excellent for this purpose).

The activating system is now reliable, andthere is a "test" function, finally the ligth is of course much more powerful.

We also sewed the "O" international code flag on the orange one that was supplied with the pole.

We also noted the tendancy of these falgs to have a quick fading of their orange coulour, so we roll it around the pole, and with 2 clips tied on the same rope that the activating one for the light, kept it wrapped around, until the pole will be thrown away.

The result is that the fading is only happening on few inches of the flag length, at its end, keeping most of it bright orange and more visible.

In addition, we sticked few adhesive reflectors patches on the buoyancy, as well as labels with the name of the boat, the radio call sign, phones number, harbour...

As usual, we do not consider the pole as the 1rst safety barrier, the 1rst one will always be the harness, but with these improvment, we feel that we gave it as much efficiency and reliability as we could to this safety device (specially for operation at night).

I read sometime ago, in a sailing magazine test, that the inflatable poles tested in strong winds conditions could not reach their vertical position and were mostly staying in a near horizontal position...loosing al the interest and visual impact. It has to be considered before buying such device.

The pole is tied to an horseshoe buoy and to a 300 feet of tether line rolled on a drum at the rear of the pushpit...considering the speed of the boat (10 to 17 knots in good conditions), 300 feet may be too short at high speed, but that is our compromise so far.

Another major improvment we found in term of MOB was to give the crew on watch (undertsanding while sailing being 2 aboard) a arm (Aquapac) watertight pocket and a PMR in it. This will greatly help for direction from and to the MOB (provide the MOB is conscient of course) and I guess that having the ability to still speak to the boat will be of a great psychologic support and benefit in such dramatic situation.

The PMR and the pocket are quiet cheap for the real advantage they give in term of safety, again IOHO.
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Old 22-01-2013, 14:05   #53
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

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Another thought: Crew tend not to go overboard during long passages. Rather, they're more likely to separate from the boat during a beer can race, or a July 4th daysail, et cetera, especially when alcohol is involved.

Don't set up a cruising boat just for passages. In most MOB situations I've been involved in, the MOB was picked up by a boat other than the one from which he fell. Most recently, I was the rescue boat during an Americas Cup regatta last September. Someone in high heels fell off a booze-cruise boat, and I was able to get there a lot more quickly than the big boat was. A GPS MOB button is worthless in such situations, but an MOB pole is indispensable.
Good point. A non-swimmer could drown in the absence of a MOB pole to provide flotation in clear view of half a dozen boats while thumb-removal order is determined. In fact, it's probably safe to say that falling off a boat at a mark rounding is significantly more hazardous than doing so in the open sea...some club racers are pretty single-minded.
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Old 22-01-2013, 14:28   #54
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

gps doesnt account for drift and wind and variables in reality. it only gives a starting point. you want as much color in seas as possible.
when soloing, mob is irrelevant--difficult to deploy after you are no longer in boat.
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Old 22-01-2013, 15:10   #55
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

Have you guys ever thought of a trip line for the MOB marker flotilla?

Something like a rope that runs from the pole, horseshoe, and light on the stern forward to somewhere near the companionway (or to the raised helm seat on some catamarans). A sharp tug on the rope causes the whole shebang to drop in the water.

One mechanism would be to tie everything to the rail with looped slip knots, like how some people tie a sail to a boom, then use a ziptie to hold the first loop. A sharp tug breaks the ziptie and allows the slip knots to spill out and drop everything in the water. Maybe add a small drogue with a weight in it to the line with the slipknots, and only have a thin parachute cord that is tied to the ziptie that holds the drogue up -- so it falls in the water and then pulls out all the loops and everything falls after that. Or maybe use the normal brackets, but weave the rope through the brackets so that pulling it lifts each thing up and out of the bracket. Maybe for super nerdery, rig a pull cord switch (like used in hospital showers) that activates the MOB alarm on the GPS (for those that come with a way to wire in an external MOB button).

Has anyone thought this through more or rigged up something like this? It might take some experimentation to do right.
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Old 23-01-2013, 14:12   #56
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

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Getting a pole, light and bouy over, all tied together, is time consuming and error prone on most boats.
Surely the solution is to make sure the MOB pole/strobe/lifebouy is quick and easy to deploy, rather than simply not carrying one?

You quoted how far a boat at 8 knots would travel in a minute. There's NO WAY it should take a minute to deploy an MOB marker. 5-10 seconds should be easily manageable. That should put the pole and lifebouy within swimming range of the MOB.

It gives the crew aboard and the MOB a common "target"
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Old 23-01-2013, 14:15   #57
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

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gps doesnt account for drift and wind and variables in reality. it only gives a starting point. you want as much color in seas as possible.
when soloing, mob is irrelevant--difficult to deploy after you are no longer in boat.
Soloing, if you go overboard you have a real problem. 100% prevention is needed.
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Old 23-01-2013, 14:21   #58
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

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We also noted the tendancy of these falgs to have a quick fading of their orange coulour, so we roll it around the pole, and with 2 clips tied on the same rope that the activating one for the light, kept it wrapped around, until the pole will be thrown away.

The result is that the fading is only happening on few inches of the flag length, at its end, keeping most of it bright orange and more visible.
Another option is to have the flag inside a short length of tube, like conduit, which is secured to the boat by a cord tied high up the backstay.

When the MOB marker is thrown overboard the tube is left behind, allowing the flag to unfurl. Prevents fading, and is quicker to deploy.
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Old 23-01-2013, 14:38   #59
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

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Surely the solution is to make sure the MOB pole/strobe/lifebouy is quick and easy to deploy, rather than simply not carrying one?

You quoted how far a boat at 8 knots would travel in a minute. There's NO WAY it should take a minute to deploy an MOB marker. 5-10 seconds should be easily manageable. That should put the pole and lifebouy within swimming range of the MOB.

It gives the crew aboard and the MOB a common "target"
My comments were relating to a Mom and Pop cruising boat scenario. The time that should be measured is the time from the MOB going overboard to the time the (possibly new) helmsman is actively stopping the boat to turn around. This is not going to be 5-10 secs. Even on a crewed boat, the current US Sailing recommendations is to throw a ring and start the quick-stop maneuver.
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Old 23-01-2013, 14:46   #60
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Re: is the MOB pole obsolete?

I was talking about 5-10 seconds to get the MOB marker deployed. It can be and should be set up to be as easy as throwing out the lifebouy.
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