Originally Posted by MarkJ
For handles left on deck there is usually a deck box with a propper latch. Knock up a nice wooden one with a dab of varnish
it to the deck.
For us we have simple rules: never leave a winch handle in a winch. Wind
and put it away.
Yeah, my problem is not with handles that are not in use (stored in a box), or handles that are in a winch/boom (in use). My problem is with handles that are between box and use, that are in someones hand when they suddenly need that hand for self preservation or are just fumble fingered.
I liked the idea about teaching the crew "I'll buy that", but that doesn't answer the question of "how do I, now, get home?" with some of my tools on the bottom of the sea.
I would rather insure that they stay on board where I need them (crew AND handles). The boom handle is critical as it is used on the foredeck and allows reefing in bad weather
, exactly when the foredeck is slippery and dangerous to human life. I would rather loose a handle than a crew so if he/she has a choice, I say, "drop the handle to grab the rail." BUT...with heavy weather
it then becomes a task to get a reef in the main.
Soooo, I would like to retain the handle AND the crewman. Both are needed and that handle will be between the box where it is stored and the boom where it is used , all the way from the cockpit
to the boom (even on a mast storage
box there is plenty of time to loose it overboard
while fiddling with getting it into the boom in a gale) on a pitching deck being flooded with salt water
every few seconds and slapped with 30 to 40 knot
winds while the crewman is clothed in baggy foul weather gear
making precise movement difficult. Its not as simple as just a good storage
And while the floating handles are nice, I would never try to retrieve one at sea. There is to much danger
in turning around and trying to find the handle in a turbulent sea while you probably ran200 yards at least before turning. I really doubt that you could find it. Finding a crew member
after a MOB
is very difficult at sea in even the best of situations. But in a main reefing situation it would be hell on wheels to find even a RED handle. I would bet money
that you couldn't find it. The jibe involved in a 360 to go look for it would be foolhardy in a main reefing blow.