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Old 01-06-2013, 19:14   #211
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
It used to be not unheard of for people falling overboard to grab the trailing log line. (It's not clear to me that being singlehanders would impair their abilities to do this ...)

I posted a link a month or two back, on this forum, when we were discussing triplines, to a documented instance. This guy not only grabbed it (spinning flat out!), but held onto it, and was successfully retrieved.

The other instances I'm aware of are either from people I've sailed with, or accounts I've read in the pre internet era.

... Back when the majority still had full use of their opposable thumbs, before they were coopted and monopolised by text messaging .


You don't say how long the trailing line was in your test, nor whether it had a bridle, floats and a handle.

In my tests, I used a water ski rope of the usual length, and I was able to easily get to it in time, at a range of speeds, on every attempt, something I was not fully expecting. It actually takes quite a while for a rope that long to go past, and unless you're on an IMOCA 60, it's not going to be far away, and you will generally know which side of the centerline of the wake you fell in unless you got smacked around the head on the way.

In rough seas and with the surprise and cold factors, I'm hardly expecting that level of success.

For someone who had not practiced and is not used to swimming in surf, it seems to me that "even odds" would be a more realistic aspiration, but that should still be more than enough to justify thinking about this as a backup (first line: "a hand for yourself"; second line, scrupulous use of tethers and jacklines)

Even with the prospects of success halved, the upside still trumps the downside, to my way of thinking.
It sounds fine.

Waiting for youtube presentation.

Being a cat guy I would need two I guess.
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:26   #212
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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It sounds fine.

Waiting for youtube presentation.

Being a cat guy I would need two I guess.
If you were a real 'cat guy' I wonder why you would need any?

Don't "you lot" have eight spare lives?

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Old 01-06-2013, 21:15   #213
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pirate Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

Respects to Jay et al.

This could happen to any of us, solo or not. I've always towed a line and I'll have to keep doing it: it's a shot. But I'm not counting on it. At 71, being big and strong is gone long. I was a barracuda. That was then.

I'm looking at boats. I ruled out Sundeers : line would go by too fast.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:08   #214
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
As Jedi note it is the fetch, but also the shallows. The wave pattern in the Atlantic has a symmetry and a fairly consistent direction. In the Gulf, the frequency is shorter and sometimes irregular. Also rogues or waves contrary to the train are much ore frequent in the Gulf. I assume this to be the result of depth change. In the Atlantic the depth drops in 1/4 mile. In the Gulf you can be 1/2 mile or more off shore and still be in shallow water.

In the Atlantic, I have taken my 33' boat out in a north wind and gone to the edge of the Gulf Stream to get a feel for things. The waves were more consistent that the Gulf when it is blowing in a squall.

Yes, that issue of how shallow the water is is something you really have to pay attention to in the Gulf. There are indeed places where the shallow water extends for quite a distance from shore, and the waves can get very confused.

The day I was out "in it" in my little boat we were very lucky that the waves were very consistent, but it wouldn't have been funny if one had come from the side while the boat was trying to broach. Fortunately they were spaced far enough apart, and the boat responded quickly to the helm.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:11   #215
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Okay but if you can't free climb your anchor line really doubt your climbing a knotted rope while moving through the water. Start with easy first.

Figure in the law of gravity, please. You're pulling yourself horizontally all the way with a drag line. then you climb up a ladder. the boat has slowed down and isn't fighting you (at least that's how it happened with my other boat). Thanks, but I've done rock climbing and I understand the dynamics of climbing. In fact, I use rock climbing skills in rough water -- three points secure, one moving.

You are speculating about something I have done, but that's OK.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:14   #216
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Ya I have been through that, luckily hiding in a hurricane hole though. but listening to the CG trying to save boats on fire in 40ft waves with winds gusting in the 80mph did not sound fun. Lot's of rescues that day.

YIKES ... but what were they doing out there? How long ago was that? Hurricane predictions are pretty darned good and have been for some time. They can't always forecast how strong the storm will be, but even a Cat 1 is enough for the great majority of boats to avoid, and they've really gotten pretty good at predicting where they'll be. Even when Charley swerved from Tampa Bay to Punta Gorda in 2004, Punta Gorda was in the "cone of concern." -- JUST in it, but in it, nonetheless.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:15   #217
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Raku,

I just swept back through here and saw your post. That's not it because the Coast Guard "quickly" found the EPIRB. So, to me, there's the question, how did it go overboard? A mystery....

Ann

I don't think we'll ever know the answer to that one, but this whole sad thing makes me think I want one I can fasten to my PFD.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:19   #218
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Another thing to consider when thinking about regaining the boat whilst underway: the speed through the water not only makes it very hard to get back to the boat, but as you are trying to climb up -- ladder, knotted rope, whatever -- the water rushing by keeps you from getting oriented correctly for the task.

Similar case of personal experience: Years ago Ann and I were snorkeling in the channel between Taveuni and the Fijian mainland. We had anchored the dinghy in around 15 feet or water, and started exploring. It was slack water, and we didn't really consider the tidal flow that was gonna happen soon, and set off. Very fortunately, it was in what was to become the upstream direction, for in a shockingly short time we had on the order of two knots of current sweeping us back to the dink. We managed to grab onto it and then attempted to get back in... something we did with speed and relative grace in those younger years. To our dismay, the current kept us from getting into the vertical orientation that precedes launching up and over the gunnel (this was a Mk II Zodiac, about 12 feet long). In short, neither of us could get back in! After some kinda excited thought, I worked myself out along the anchor rode and tripped the anchor. Now the dink was floating along with the current and there was no relative speed differential -- getting in was then easy.

This isn't exactly analogous to clambering up the transom of a moving yacht, or over the side, but it is an indication that static exercises will not accurately mock up a real overboard self recovery.

So, stay on board!

Cheers,

Jim
Once again I will point out that when I tested this on my other boat, as soon as any pressure was put on the drag line, the boat heaved itself to. The drag line is connected the boat via the steering, not just to the stern pulpit or something. It was quite remarkable how completely it stopped the boat in its tracks. You guys are speculating about something I've done.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:21   #219
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by sabray View Post
Rescue swam a small child through relative calm water. Incredible how draining that was. Adrenaline was okay but prolonged swimming and supporting it was incredible how fatigued my muscles were. Maybe I didn't do it right. I remember thinking I can do this but **** I'm hurting and I'm not high enough to breath okay. Never mind the friggin jelly fish that caused this to begin with.
The drag of even a few knots would surprise most people. Why I suggest you start off with a climb of your anchor rhode.

And once again I recommend that you really consider what I'm talking about here. I've said it until I'm blue in the face: when I tested this on my other boat, the boat immediately heaved itself to and stopped dead in the water.

Whether this boat will do that remains to be seen but given how the other boat responded I would take my chances with the drag line over being dragged by the side of the boat, banging into it on a tether, in a heartbeat. Obviously staying on the boat is best but I like having a plan B.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:25   #220
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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LOLOL....
Yup.... seems like only yesterday I swam competitively... Wiesmuller, the original 'Tarzan' was my hero.. these days I'm lucky if I can mange 25 metres flat out before hitting the pain barrier...
I lost the 'Edge' a few years ago and its been a slow slide down ever since... no more deep breathing exercises... just small lazy breathing.. except when its nicotine.. crap maintenance basically...
So sudden exertion burns up the oxygen pretty fast and the ache begins..
The hell of being a lazy ole buga...

Can still do the anchor chain tho'....

Gotta tell you my Weismuller story. When I was in seventh grade I was on the school swim team. My dad was a really good swimmer and took me to the pool we practiced at for some extra work. It was a private club but the school team had privileges.

So I was practicing good race starts and snappy turns. My dad calls me out of the water and says, "this gentleman over here has agreed to race me. He's a nice man, but I bet I can take him. You watch how I make my start and my turn."

So I sat down to watch, and they both dove in. Dad made the better entry into the water and a great turn -- and then all of a sudden the other guy took off like a rocket through the water, got to the end, jumped out of the water like a hook had grabbed him from the sky, and sauntered over to his chair to towel off.

I looked at my dad and said "what the HECK?" and he introduced me to Johnny Weissmuller.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:30   #221
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Jim

Valid point, indeed.

One way to mitigate this, for boats with a solo watchkeeper, is to tow a tripline.

(NOT a 'lifeline': the accent is on "Trip")

I believe this has been raised earlier in the thread, instantly squelched by a dismissal by invoking some secret cabal of 'big strong guys'. I don't know who they are, but I resent their speaking on behalf of weaklings like me.

I'm not sure why, but every time the notion of trailing a tripline comes up, the majority of respondents rule it out because the "speed through the water" will make it impossible to get back to the boat. A more nuanced dismissal contends that it will not be possible to get to it in time, and then there's the counsel of perfection: "you shouldn't have gone overboard in the first place".

Then there's the 'trailing ropes get caught in props' argument.

OK, Now we're getting into useful territory. This, I reckon, is a very valid argument.

It still does not qualify as a full dismissal: it's hardly a consideration in the case of a single-hander (eg the protagonist in this thread), or a boat with no auxiliary.

The problem can furthermore be mitigated on a boat with well briefed and/or self- disciplined and thoughtful sailors, bearing in mind that if the tripline has a handle, they are likely to be able to recover the MOB by hauling in the tripline. If s/he has lost grip on it, they should haul the tripline in if they plan to motor.

Now we have a new variation (and this isn't aimed at you Jim, it has already been raised on this thread) : we're back at the boat, but we can't climb a swim ladder or rope ladder because of the speed through the water.

People: The word "Tripline" changes the game: the point of it is that, if it's properly set up, you can stop the boat by yanking it.

So it seems to me not to make any sense to raise 'speed through the water preventing regaining, or reboarding' as an argument against triplines.

The boat may be surging about, and that may present difficulties.

That's a valid concern, and can't be magicked away ... but in extremis, people forced to abandon their boat or raft and make it up scrambling nets onto ships frequently point out that heaving is not devoid of hidden merit in this situation: you have to time your upwards rushes for when gravity is being counteracted by the vessel dropping towards you.

I would rather focus on how to make things go right than rule measures out because of things which might go wrong.

It's like addressing the possibility that my reserve chute might not open, or might not slow me sufficiently, rather than discarding the idea of reserve chutes altogether.

The notion that a reserve chute is not entirely satisfactory could alternatively be thought of as providing a useful antidote to any 'moral hazard' tendency to daydream while packing the main chute...

- - - - -

No-one is forcing anyone else to adopt this idea on their own boat, and you may not be able to imagine how a tripline could stop a boat ... but on behalf of those of us who can not only imagine but can implement such a thing, I think it would be a lot more useful to the discussion if you could find valid grounds in order to dismiss it.

I think what you're calling a "trip line" is what I have been calling a drag line. it's attached to the steering, not just the boat, and on my previous boat, immediately forced the boat to heave to. No drag at all. In fact, the only reason to use the loops to pull up to the boat was to keep it heaved to. it could have been swum. THEN you have to have a GOOD ladder, one that drops easily and far enough into the water.

I think I could get up the ladder. On my blog, I have a story about a man I know who managed to drag himself up an adequately long ladder with a shattered thigh bone that had severed his femoral artery. Fortunately for him, his back pack with his cell phone was in the cockpit. He called 911 and they got to him in time.

It was a truly terrible injury, and he still got up that ladder. And, he's not a young man, and judging from his weight, not in the best physical shape. However, adrenalin is a truly wondrous thing ...
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:33   #222
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I am surprised by the assertion that this boat would turn down wind when the helm was free. Most people set up their rig to provide a small amount of weather helm, ie, the boat will come up into the wind and go into irons when the helm is freed. Sailing a boat with lee helm is a monumental pain in the ass IMO, and I can't imagine why Jay would have set up his rig to do this.

And Andrew, I am certainly in favour of a trip line that causes the boat to come head to wind (and disengage the tranny if motoring). Not always so easy to work out, but a very good idea for soloists (if they can stomach the drag of this little "warp"). I think that it is much easier on a tiller steered boat than a wheel steerer, but likely still possible.

Cheers,

Jim

I was, frankly, stunned by how well it worked on my previous boat, which was a tiller boat. My concern on this boat would be if the autopilot were one (actually a wheel pilot) -- but since it doesn't work well in rough water, it might not be. If the autopilot were on, I think all the dire predictions here might be true.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:37   #223
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
It used to be not unheard of for people falling overboard to grab the trailing log line. (It's not clear to me that being singlehanders would impair their abilities to do this ...)

I posted a link a month or two back, on this forum, when we were discussing triplines, to a documented instance. This guy not only grabbed it (spinning flat out!), but held onto it, and was successfully retrieved.

The other instances I'm aware of are either from people I've sailed with, or accounts I've read in the pre internet era.

... Back when the majority still had full use of their opposable thumbs, before they were coopted and monopolised by text messaging .


You don't say how long the trailing line was in your test, nor whether it had a bridle, floats and a handle.

In my tests, I used a water ski rope of the usual length, and I was able to easily get to it in time, at a range of speeds, on every attempt, something I was not fully expecting. It actually takes quite a while for a rope that long to go past, and unless you're on an IMOCA 60, it's not going to be far away, and you will generally know which side of the centerline of the wake you fell in unless you got smacked around the head on the way.

In rough seas and with the surprise and cold factors, I'm hardly expecting that level of success.

For someone who had not practiced and is not used to swimming in surf, it seems to me that "even odds" would be a more realistic aspiration, but that should still be more than enough to justify thinking about this as a backup (first line: "a hand for yourself"; second line, scrupulous use of tethers and jacklines)

Even with the prospects of success halved, the upside still trumps the downside, to my way of thinking.

I have floating rope, 150' feet of it. I also have floats on it with reflective tape on it because I'm not interested in snagging some other boat on it (not likely as I would not use it in congested waters, but still ...) It's so simple. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but it's one more chance for me to save myself.

And as said, if set up as a trip line, a huge advantage if grabbed.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:48   #224
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Your probably one of a kind. I have yet to see a boat that has stuff dragging behind it in case the owner or crew fall off.never crewed on a boat that had stuff floating behind it in case we fell off.
Maybe a idea but it has little practicality.
Have not ever met a crew that was saved by stuff hanging off the boat. If it makes you feel better then you should do it. And post the video
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:57   #225
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Your probably one of a kind. I have yet to see a boat that has stuff dragging behind it in case the owner or crew fall off.never crewed on a boat that had stuff floating behind it in case we fell off.
Maybe a idea but it has little practicality.
Have not ever met a crew that was saved by stuff hanging off the boat. If it makes you feel better then you should do it. And post the video


I won't be making a video. I'll be busy in the water, and whoever is on the boat will be focused on keeping me safe. I'm not doing the test for the forum. I want to know if it will work as well as it did on my other, smaller, tiller boat.

You'll have to either accept my report or not, as you wish, but others have reported it working as well, so ... sometimes people just believe what they want to believe, and I actually think that's good. There are pros and cons to everything, and while I use a floating line and don't worry about it getting wrapped around my propeller, I do worry about another boat driving over it.

G'nite.
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