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Old 03-06-2013, 13:03   #286
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Someone once said, somewhat hyperbolically, that a scared sailor with a bucket is the highest production bilge pump in existence

I'm here to tell you that when you know you're going to die, your swimming ability improves remarkably

I once went overboard in the bay at St. Vaast in Normandy, while the boat was at anchor, and my one crewman was below getting ready for a Channel crossing. I was securing the dinghy while standing on the upended transom platform. Little did I know but one of the hydraulic rams had broken loose (dinghy banging against it during the night -- I forgot to put up the platform, stupid me). The platform swung out and I went over.

This part of the English Channel has tides up to 50 feet and vicious tidal currents. The tide was running at I guess a couple knots, at least, through the bay. My head came above water and I could see my yacht rapidly receding towards the horizon as I, fully clothed and shod, was being swept out to sea.

I understood in an instant, thank God, my predicament, and not taking time to even take off my shoes, I swam like a demon. I swam, and swam, and swam, a swam, like hell. Just as I thought my strength was running out, I finally got within grabbing distance of my transom. After a long grateful pause to catch my breath, I called out to my crewman in a calm, polite voice -- "Oh Simon! Man overboard!". Which unleashed a frenzy of activity.

An hour later, we pulled the anchor up and set off for what turned out to be an utterly fantastic crossing at an average speed of nearly 10 knots, probably my fastest ever, a rollicking beam reach in 20 - 23 knots and in bright sunshine. I didn't even lose my shoes. Lucky me. I learned a valuable lesson that day. By the way, if I'd been in sea boots, rather than deck shoes, I would probably not be around to tell the tale.


So -- I'm not expressing any opinion about whether trailing warps or triplines is silliness, or not. But a bit of swimming in 18 seconds -- of course, that part, at least, is realistic.

That is one hair-raising story!
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Old 03-06-2013, 13:04   #287
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Never underway. Go below and sit down on the toilet. It's the law on my boat.

I think I'll have a placard made for my boat: "Pee in the head -- it's the law!!!"
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Old 03-06-2013, 13:06   #288
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Peeing over the side of the boat, what a bunch of savages! Can not believe people would post doing so as something acceptable! What else is allowed on your boat?

I can not think of any situation where peeing over the side of the boat is a safer/smarter answer than going below. If it is that important to stay at the helm it is time to pee your pants, if you haven't already.

Isn't that what the scuppers are for?
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Old 03-06-2013, 13:09   #289
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
You fellows read past the most important point here: short tether.
It's so short he has his lady do the heavy work. So he takes a pee, gets a modest thrill for both of 'em, prob never leaves a drip or two, feels way better, isn't by himself ... win win win.

Never into the wind.

Don isn't quite as white trashy as he claims if he never pees over the side.

I once saw a heavy, elderly woman pee off the backstay.

Of course women CAN do it. But neither sex MAY do it on my boat. If you're gonna do that, go sail on someone else's boat. ONE TIME it happened on my boat. The guy didn't say WHY he was going to the bow, and I put the boat into a turn.

He came back... "What were you trying to do, throw me in?" I didn't even know what he was talking about. I had already asked everyone to use the porta-potty, used it myself so I told them they weren't making extra work for me.

It's the rule on my boat. It's also the rule on my boat that if I tell you to put a PFD on, you put a PFD on. It's MY call on my boat.
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Old 03-06-2013, 15:55   #290
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I hope most who read my post saw it as an attempt to point out that if one is on an underway boat relying on grabbing a towed line to save one's ass when one falls overboard then one better have one's wits about him and be ready to take immediate action and be able to swim pretty well through his own wake and perhaps a heaving sea. Or tow a warp length line that'll give more time because the line is longer and because it's sapping the boat's speed.

You obviously can do whatever you want to try to assure your safety and the safety of those who sail with you. I hope your actions do keep you safe.

And if you feel slighted by what I wrote in my previous post - tough sh#t. Reading comprehension is tough for some. And following Mark Twain's admonition is harder for others.
What one can do in a swim suit and what one can do in boots and weather gear">foul weather gear are different matters... try the pull yourself back to boat at 5-7kts in foul weather gear and let us know what happened.
Same with your trial Raku... do it in full foul weather gear... or what you normally wear... get realistic...
have any of you folk ever actually tried swimming with foul weather gear and a PFD on... shoot I've seen folk struggle to move round the deck efficiently... let alone swim when 'Booted and Suited'...
Several years back when I first joined I copped for some mickey taking when I said my foul weather gear is a wetsuit and wind proof.
But I know one thing... I'll cut through that water a damn sight faster than the 'Style Guru's' in the designer foulies..
Theories are always wonderful and work perfect...
adding the realism strips off the rosy tint...[/QUOTE]

+2 Now you will have Raku in a wetsuit

A good fitting wetsuit can take a bit of getting on for some. A much underated and useful bit of kit on any vessel.

Also useful a drysuit but don't expect to swim well in one. Extra drag also.
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:05   #291
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I personally could not stand sitting an entire watch in a wetsuit--I think I'm getting diaper rash just thinking about it. It's pretty darn hard swimming with a life jacket on, either regular or inflatable. Try jumping in some time with one on and see how great you can swim. Don't forget too, that most of us are talking about the tether and harness being the first line of defense, so the chances are if you are over the side you will be connected with the boat, tangled up, banging against the hull, while being dragged under, with your inflatable lifejacket jammed up around your face, all at the same time.
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:05   #292
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
RFID would be an easier set-up.. Program the AP to go to full stb or port lock when the RFID disappears
\

I see my friend has not priced a decent Outdoor RFID antenna lately.

Also you could easily loose the tag and the boat would start going into a frenzy. Probably more dangerous than help.

But what do I know. My recent RFID experience is mostly with trash bins, not sail boats.
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:17   #293
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
I personally could not stand sitting an entire watch in a wetsuit--I think I'm getting diaper rash just thinking about it. It's pretty darn hard swimming with a life jacket on, either regular or inflatable. Try jumping in some time with one on and see how great you can swim. Don't forget too, that most of us are talking about the tether and harness being the first line of defense, so the chances are if you are over the side you will be connected with the boat, tangled up, banging against the hull, while being dragged under, with your inflatable lifejacket jammed up around your face, all at the same time.

No one has described either tether or trip line as first line of defense. They're second and third.

First line of defense is to stay on the boat and is why my boat is fully netted.

Second line of defense, for me, is to have a knife. Cut the tether, no more tangled up, no more banging against the hull.

Then there are crotch straps.

The tripline is a "court of last resort," and no one with any working knowledge of them have described them in any other way.

I am amazed at the number of things that have just been made up in this discussion.
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:18   #294
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

A wetsuit jacket makes a lot more sense to me than a lifejacket if sailing short handed.

To those who consider that "staying on board" is the single-answer refutation to the notion of a tripline:

do you follow the logical corollary, and forgo/forbid the wearing of PFDs?
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:25   #295
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
A wetsuit jacket makes a lot more sense to me than a lifejacket if sailing short handed.

To those who consider that "staying on board" is the single-answer refutation to the notion of a tripline:

do you follow the logical corollary, and forgo/forbid the wearing of PFDs?

I'm very curious to see if the tripline will heave the boat to -- or slow it down significantly, a circle would be just fine -- when attached to the wheel. I'm also wondering if my "meaty" body on the trip line would be enough to counteract the wheel pilot if on and cause the boat to turn, which would most certainly slow it at least in spurts.

I don't expect it to work as well as it did on my (previous) lightweight tiller boat.
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:32   #296
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

So Raku, how are you going to set up your trip line with wheel steering? Not as easy as with a tiller, and I've never seen one done, so I'm quite curious.

Now, assuming that in order to go overboard (except in violent storm conditions) you must have left the cockpit, how is the boat being steered? Just a locked helm, auto pilot, wind vane? Seems like any of these systems would make the trip line harder to work out.

I used to do a lot of single hand ocean racing and worried about such things. Never really came up with a good method... and that was a tiller steered boat!

Cheers,

Jim

Edit: seems that I was slow typing, and that others, Including Raku, are wondering!
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:41   #297
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
So Raku, how are you going to set up your trip line with wheel steering? Not as easy as with a tiller, and I've never seen one done, so I'm quite curious.

Now, assuming that in order to go overboard (except in violent storm conditions) you must have left the cockpit, how is the boat being steered? Just a locked helm, auto pilot, wind vane? Seems like any of these systems would make the trip line harder to work out.

I used to do a lot of single hand ocean racing and worried about such things. Never really came up with a good method... and that was a tiller steered boat!

Cheers,

Jim

Edit: seems that I was slow typing, and that others, Including Raku, are wondering!

I've brought up all those questions here. Hence, the test.

I suspect it won't work as well as it did on my previous boat. I could live with it circling, and my weight might be enough to cause that even with the wheel locked. We'll see.
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:48   #298
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We all better listen toboatman instead of ridiculing him. Tests are useless unless done in 50kt thundersqualls with boiling water and the boat broaching at 60 degrees heel and 8 knots speed. The rope will be gone before you get your wits back when going overboard.

What happens when the rudder is put fully over to one side? Will speed off downwind, gybe and then? Tack and repeat?

When with crew, have a personal AIS beacon on you, and the crew will be alerted and able to find you. When alone, have a PLB on you so that SAR will come and pick you up.
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Old 03-06-2013, 17:46   #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Hey fellows, don't forget your 100' line or your tether so you can climb back aboard:

At 2'15" ... that is the conditions we're talking about; try to grab the line LOL...
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Old 03-06-2013, 17:57   #300
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

One further point about the 'foul weather' thing:

I'm not convinced it's that more likely for shorthanded or singlehanded sailors to go overboard in foul weather:

I suspect it's actually more common in fair weather, eg when carrying out ambitious manoeuvres involving large, lightweight sails and poles, which would be next to impossible while clipped on...


I realise this is contrary to what instinct or first impressions might suggest, and I further realise that much of what passes for reasoned discussion on www forums is really a contest along the lines of "my instincts trump your instincts"...

Few of us have the 'advantage' of having fallen overboard multiple times in multiple contexts, after all .... especially single-handed ...
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