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Old 19-12-2008, 13:47   #16
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Originally Posted by GreatKetch View Post
I know there are lots of places in the modern world where we depend on a mechanical system to save our lives. Just think about the brake system in your automobile. But still.... I really, really, REALLY dislike being in a position that my crew's life (or mine!) depends on my ability to get an engine started, no matter what type of engine we are talking about! But maybe that is just me...

And the idea of doing an emergancy sail drop, and THEN starting an engine, strikes me as a recipie for disaster. It's a nice theory, but if you wrap an errant sheet around a prop, you now can't sail and can't motor either. You drift helplessly away while your crew drowns. [Shudder!]
Or you start the other engine.
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Old 19-12-2008, 15:23   #17
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I know there are lots of places in the modern world where we depend on a mechanical system to save our lives. Just think about the brake system in your automobile. But still.... I really, really, REALLY dislike being in a position that my crew's life (or mine!) depends on my ability to get an engine started, no matter what type of engine we are talking about! But maybe that is just me...

And the idea of doing an emergancy sail drop, and THEN starting an engine, strikes me as a recipie for disaster. It's a nice theory, but if you wrap an errant sheet around a prop, you now can't sail and can't motor either. You drift helplessly away while your crew drowns. [Shudder!]

But, no matter what procedure you decide is best for you and your boat, PLEASE practice it! All the noodling on the planet is no replacement for actually knowing exactly what to do in what order and having a good idea how long it will take.
I agree with what you are saying Great Ketch, but the reality these days with cruising cat ownership is that most new owners have neither the skills , the experience, the crew, and/or in most cases the little lady doesn't have the muscle to handle large cruising cat sails herself effectively, in fresh conditions, when the man overboard situation is most likely to occur. With the advent of computerised nav systems everyone is an "expert"?.
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Old 19-12-2008, 16:46   #18
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Although interestingly, my 44 foot cat has a smaller sail area than my old 40' steel monohull.
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Old 19-12-2008, 22:45   #19
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I agree with what you are saying Great Ketch, but the reality these days with cruising cat ownership is that most new owners have neither the skills , the experience, the crew, and/or in most cases the little lady doesn't have the muscle to handle large cruising cat sails herself effectively, in fresh conditions, when the man overboard situation is most likely to occur. With the advent of computerised nav systems everyone is an "expert"?.
I understand the reality among average sailors. And it is certainly little different on monohulls. People just don't practice for MOB, and they buy bigger boats than they can handle when S*** hit the fan. MOB recovery is not easy and without practice it is just not going to happen in an emergency. And for those people who think that "just starting the engine" is the answer, I'd suggest they practice that too. You'll find things are more complex than you imagine.

What I was really hoping for was a suggestion for a "best practice" approach that I can teach on our cat. The school I teach at prides itself, and rightly so, on turning out better than "average" sailors. But it sounds like the engine is "best practice" for cats.

Bill
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Old 19-12-2008, 23:52   #20
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Here's a comprehensive study of MOB done 3 years ago. It addresses some of the things multi sailors have to do and why gybing a multi may more sense. I agree my boat is slow to tack, but gybing is faster. A bigger problem with my boat is keeping it stopped! It accelerates very easily.

http://www.ussailing.org/safety/Studies/COB.pdf
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Old 20-12-2008, 01:32   #21
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Although interestingly, my 44 foot cat has a smaller sail area than my old 40' steel monohull.
Yes 44c that is very interesting. Have you wondered what interesting effect your catamarans larger righting moment may have on the sheet loads?

Great Ketch, practice is a great idea. I have only ever fallen overboard on one occasion whilst blue water cruising. My partner and I had practiced for this event on a few occasions previous to this particular cruise. Whilst trying to set a kite in fresh conditions with the boat scooting along on autopilot I was flicked over the side by the sheet as the whole shooting match filled. Luckily this occurred a few years ago now,so with the fitness and reflexes of youth I managed to retain a hold on the sheet. I remember looking up at my partner who had forgotten the plan and was now standing motionless in the cockpit frozen with terror and screaming with our 12 month old clutched in her arms, as I was being dragged behind the boat by the sheet ,which was now keeping the kite nicely trimmed. I managed to pull myself back along the sheet to our low set boarding platform and re-board, minus my shorts. The lessons learnt of that experience were a/ if you go over you have to be very lucky to survive, and b/ always wear a harness.

Evan. Stopping a high wind-age cruising cat is pretty much impossible. It will blow sideways faster than most of us can swim, in a bit of breeze. Recovering an exhausted partner is not going to happen quickly or easily, if at all.
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Old 20-12-2008, 04:43   #22
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Originally Posted by catty View Post
I agree with what you are saying Great Ketch, but the reality these days with cruising cat ownership is that most new owners have neither the skills ,
You only get those by doing miles

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the experience,
you only get that by doing miles


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the crew,
Plenty dont have or need crew


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and/or in most cases the little lady doesn't have the muscle to handle large cruising cat sails herself effectively,
And in plenty of cases they do, even little girls can manage to sail big boats single handed

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and anyway, how hard is it to fire the main halyard, drop the heady off the winch and let it flog itself to death (if needs be), turn the key and come back?


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in fresh conditions, when the man overboard situation is most likely to occur.
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With the advent of computerised nav systems everyone is an "expert"?.
In some instances yes, but in reality, poor training and not enough drill is more to blame as you demonstrated with your experience.

Not suggesting that my partner would be a whole lot better under pressure, though she has demonstrated on numerous occasions that she is quite capable of single handing and retrieving semi submerged 25 litre water containers by herself by firing the main halyard and getting back under heady alone when there is more than 20 knots, less than that she could leave the main up and round up and park, drifting back down onto the container, hat, boathook in most cases.

Admittedly, only with 42m2 main and 25m2 heady

Agree though that the best solution is to stay onboard and any new sailors with me are advised that if they do go in, the chances of recovery are remote.

Dave
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Old 20-12-2008, 04:47   #23
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Interesting thread.

Catty is very correct on the effect of high winds on Cats, and GreatKetch is correct about single handed sail handling. Even on my small cat the sheets are 8 feet apart and in fact the boat lends itself to two handed sailing in all conditions.

To attempt sail handling while keeping eyes on the MOB would be a neat trick. On my boat engines are the only way to quickly reverse course and come along side a MOB.
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Old 20-12-2008, 12:39   #24
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Originally Posted by Evan View Post
Here's a comprehensive study of MOB done 3 years ago. It addresses some of the things multi sailors have to do and why gybing a multi may more sense. I agree my boat is slow to tack, but gybing is faster. A bigger problem with my boat is keeping it stopped! It accelerates very easily.

http://www.ussailing.org/safety/Studies/COB.pdf
That's a very informative report. It appears there is no universal method that suits every boat, whether mono or multi. You need to try different methods and see what works for your boat.

It possibly answers the original question though - the closest to a universal method for multis would be the figure 8, modified with a gybe instead of a tack.

Overall the multis seem to have been quite capable of recovering crew. On only one occassion did it take over 4 minutes. Heavy displacement cruising mono's seem to have been slowest to recover crew.
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Old 20-12-2008, 12:43   #25
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Evan. Stopping a high wind-age cruising cat is pretty much impossible. It will blow sideways faster than most of us can swim, in a bit of breeze. Recovering an exhausted partner is not going to happen quickly or easily, if at all.

From the article http://www.ussailing.org/safety/Studies/COB.pdf

"Large catamarans stop immediately when they head into the wind or heave-to next to the victim. the bows did not blow down like a monohull bow, thus the boat was stable"
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Old 21-12-2008, 03:17   #26
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From the article http://www.ussailing.org/safety/Studies/COB.pdf

"Large catamarans stop immediately when they head into the wind or heave-to next to the victim. the bows did not blow down like a monohull bow, thus the boat was stable"
Mmmmmm, 44c you really need to go sailing.
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Old 21-12-2008, 07:58   #27
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To be perfectly honest, if I go overboard I'm probably dead. We easily sail at 12 knots which means in 15 seconds the boat has travelled 1 football field.

Nothing wrong with practicing MOB drills but it may be more prudent to make sure you have good jack lines, a good harness with a SHORT TETHER, and make sure it's clipped on.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all.
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Old 21-12-2008, 13:36   #28
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Mmmmmm, 44c you really need to go sailing.
Maybe you should be telling the authors of the report that. I didn't write it.

BTW what kind of boat do you have? You've never said.
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Old 21-12-2008, 13:41   #29
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Yes 44c that is very interesting. Have you wondered what interesting effect your catamarans larger righting moment may have on the sheet loads?
Closehaulled the mainsheet loads would be higher, (the jib sheet loads probably wouldn't since the jib is much smaller) but on any other point of sail they would be less. On a run all the sheet loads would be much less.
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Old 21-12-2008, 13:44   #30
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To be perfectly honest, if I go overboard I'm probably dead. We easily sail at 12 knots which means in 15 seconds the boat has travelled 1 football field.

Nothing wrong with practicing MOB drills but it may be more prudent to make sure you have good jack lines, a good harness with a SHORT TETHER, and make sure it's clipped on.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all.
Good point. Prevention is always better than cure.

Have a happy Christmas and New Year too.
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