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Old 04-06-2013, 09:35   #316
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I only can add what I know from experience.

1. holding onto a trailing line , at 4-5kts, in foulies and an inflated lifejacket is impossible, you are also dragged under by the boats movements

2. Pulling yourself back up the line and getting back on , on a moving boat is impossible


3. A trip line sounds good, I certainly have never understood how I could run one for a wheel steered boat.

4. I utterly ban peeing over teh side on a moving boat.

5. I agree with Dockhead, treat the side of teh boat like a 100' ledge.


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Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
Some people are more gifted physically than others and perhaps could benefit from a trip line.

Most of us have probably known someone who is incredibly gifted physically. We have perhaps seen a water skier who skis using the soles of his bare feet and can hand over hand the ski rope to get aboard the towing boat.

I had a rock climbing friend when I was a lot younger who would practice in wide hallways...as we walked down a hallway he would suddenly place his hands on one wall and pivot up to place his feet on the other and walk along the walls in that position while I walked with him continuing our conversation. He could work his way up to near the ceiling and then back down to near the floor.

I have no such gifts. I use my life jacket and my jackline. YMMV.

I think as a 67 year old female with CP we can safely conclude that I am not "physically gifted" although I have (successfully) done rock climbing and rappelling.

I have very strong arms and I believe I could swim halfway across the stern of my boat in 18 seconds. Make it 200' long, as Tor Pinney recommends, and now you have 24 seconds according to the calcuations we've seen here.

No one is saying to not use a tether, but we know that a tether does not always save people.

And if you try this, make sure you use polypropelene line. It floats and will not be pulled into your prop or around the keel. If you use standard line, as soon as the boat stops moving it will drop. It's not the same as a warp line and creates remarkably little drag as it skims along the surface.

The only reason to put floats on it is to make it easier to see at night -- by putting reflective tape around the floats. As I say this, I think I will put larger floats on mine to make it easier to see.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:45   #317
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I bet Johnny Weismuller could grab the line AND manage to claw himself along it back to the boat. It requires that unique combination of swimming and climbing jungle canopies that only he has. His primitive roar only adds to it. No way we can do this in conditions other than so calm that we wouldn't tow lines anyway.

For the rest of us I think it's better not to toss any lines in the wake but just stay aboard and use electronics gadgets for just in case if you want and/or believe in that.


Edit: let's see if we can make it 21 times... I'm on her ignore list so it wouldn't be because of me
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:56   #318
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I bet Johnny Weismuller could grab the line AND manage to claw himself along it back to the boat. It requires that unique combination of swimming and climbing jungle canopies that only he has. His primitive roar only adds to it. No way we can do this in conditions other than so calm that we wouldn't tow lines anyway.

For the rest of us I think it's better not to toss any lines in the wake but just stay aboard and use electronics gadgets for just in case if you want and/or believe in that.


Edit: let's see if we can make it 21 times... I'm on her ignore list so it wouldn't be because of me


Well, no, it doesn't, and it's clear you've never tried it, or you would know that. You pull on the trip line; it STOPS the boat. You pull yourself along horizontally. In fact, unless you're hurt, the only reason to keep holding the trip line is to keep tension on it so the boat will stay stopped.

Mine has loops in it, something I strongly recommend, as it makes the whole process easier. Polypropelene is hard on the hands.

There's nothing terribly difficult about pulling yourself up via a floating line -- HORIZONTAL pulls, not vertical against gravity -- to the stern of your boat.

Then, if you were smart and tied your ladder up with a half-bow knot (it may have another name but I mean the type with one loop in it commonly used to tie up mainsails after they've been dropped), you release the ladder.

The hardest part of the whole thing if you were injured would be getting up the ladder. Since you can be hurt in such a situation, make sure your ladder goes deeply enough into the water to make it easy to get on it.

I took you off because of the timing of this post.

Readers can believe the people here who have never tried a drag line, or they can consider what I, the other person here who has tried it, and Tor Pinney have to say. It's up to them. For me, it's not persnal. On the other hand, I brought it up and feel a responsibility that the inaccurate, speculative comments be countered. Then SMART people will know they've heard differing opinions and check it out for themselves if they feel a need for accurate information about trip lines. Here's Tor's link again:

Tor Pinney's Homepage - A Cruising Sailor's Homeport

It's interesting. He says exactly what the people here who have actually tried it say. He calls it a "last chance" option.

He acknowledges early on that just dragging a line isn't enough. It has to be attached to your steering system.

I don't care whether Jedi reads it, but I hope those considering trip lines will go to Tor's article, because it contains crucial information.

Jedi, I won't be announcing whether or not you stay on ignore. This really isn't about you. i don't even know you.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:19   #319
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And your limited experience in warm GOM waters doesn't transfer to colder waters period.
Caution: Thread Drift ...We all know how fast cold water kills but one day I tried an experiment. I was kayaking with buds on Lake Michigan, on a beautiful day IN WINTER with ice in the water so temps in 30s I guess. I was wearing a very high dollar, high tech, superdooper lightweight drysuit, plus hood, gloves. etc.

I did an eskimo roll with guys standing by if the cold got me before I could roll up. And I began the exercise with the usual: "Hey ya'll watch this!" I was able to roll up but holy cow was I cold to the core. It was hours before I felt better and I had a headache all day. I was about 50 at the time and Tarzan had nothing on me except Jane. Pretty sure I had my own primitive "roar" going, as well. I think it was OH! F WORD!
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:21   #320
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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

Well, no, it doesn't, and it's clear you've never tried it, or you would know that. You pull on the trip line; it STOPS the boat. You pull yourself along horizontally. In fact, unless you're hurt, the only reason to keep holding the trip line is to keep tension on it so the boat will stay stopped.

Mine has loops in it, something I strongly recommend, as it makes the whole process easier. Polypropelene is hard on the hands.
Raku, you have no clue about how Jedi assaults the sea during bad weather. If, and that is a big if, anyone would manage to get to the trip line before it is gone and grab it, their hands would be ripped off by the speed and mass behind the line vs the inertia and mass of the body in the water. This is no joke: you and others have been figuring on 3-5 knots boatspeed in seas calm enough that you can find the line. I am talking about 11-14 knots boat speed in big and breaking waves. There is just no way it would work. Even if you manage to trip something, you would have to let go, while the boat would be rounding up and slowing down, ending up so far away from you that I don't think you would make it.

An electronic method would be much better but I'm not convinced even that would work. Even with the rudder hard over, the boat would still be all over the place and making speed while swimming in those conditions is very tough.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:33   #321
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I have tried a trip line, and told the story a couple of years ago. I trailed a big fender for days. Then one time I checked and it wasn't there. Hauled the line in and it had been cut or bitten off without tripping the Autohelm. I figured the sudden shock and drag of me grabbing the fender would pull the post pin out of the tiller. I know this isn't quite analogous to Raku's situation but it really knocked me for a loop mentally. If the line makes Raku feel better, do it. Who cares? Last chance and all that.

Not to mince words, but what has also been said 20+ times is that very few of us think that even if she managed to disengage the AP, she'd be able to get aboard the boat due to boat movement, weather, clothing, age/physicality and "meatiness". I've been on dive boats for years. Getting back on board with the ladders slamming up and down isn't easy. In fact, it's dangerous as hell. I'll bet I've seen/helped 100 folks over the years. Mostly women, and I'm not talking sorority girls, and fat men.

She thinks it's worth a shot. I'm waiting for the video.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:55   #322
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Raku, you have no clue about how Jedi assaults the sea during bad weather. If, and that is a big if, anyone would manage to get to the trip line before it is gone and grab it, their hands would be ripped off by the speed and mass behind the line vs the inertia and mass of the body in the water. This is no joke: you and others have been figuring on 3-5 knots boatspeed in seas calm enough that you can find the line. I am talking about 11-14 knots boat speed in big and breaking waves. There is just no way it would work. Even if you manage to trip something, you would have to let go, while the boat would be rounding up and slowing down, ending up so far away from you that I don't think you would make it.

An electronic method would be much better but I'm not convinced even that would work. Even with the rudder hard over, the boat would still be all over the place and making speed while swimming in those conditions is very tough.

Sorry, but I don't CARE how Jedi assaults the seas, because I'm never going to sail on her. I know that YOU have not tried what we are talking about or you would know the effect of it.

Not going to have a bickerfest with you. I don't care what your predictions of what would "probably" happen, either, because it's irrelevant compared to those who have actually TRIED it.

I haven't been figuring ANY boat speed. CLEARLY you are not reading my posts, because I (and someone else here, as well as Tor) all have said that the boat STOPS. It doesn't keep going.

And, by the way, no one EVER said 3 knots. It's just another exaggeration so the poster (in this case) will be believed.

I don't care if you believe it. I don't care if you don't like the idea, and I don't care if you have tried it or ever try it. But I know that if you did try it, you did it quite badly, or you would not be saying what you're saying.

When I was a child, there was much speculation (seriously) about whether or not the moon was made of green cheese. I don't know how the notion got started (probably its pock marks looked a little like swiss cheese, but that's a guess), but I even heard some adults say it.

Since then we've landed humans on the moon, and they brought samples back, but no green cheese. Who am I going to believe -- the people who guessed it was made out of green cheese, or the guy who went up there and brought samples back?

Hmmmmm.... let me consider that.

You have a nice day.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:09   #323
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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I have tried a trip line, and told the story a couple of years ago. I trailed a big fender for days. Then one time I checked and it wasn't there. Hauled the line in and it had been cut or bitten off without tripping the Autohelm. I figured the sudden shock and drag of me grabbing the fender would pull the post pin out of the tiller. I know this isn't quite analogous to Raku's situation but it really knocked me for a loop mentally. If the line makes Raku feel better, do it. Who cares? Last chance and all that.

Not to mince words, but what has also been said 20+ times is that very few of us think that even if she managed to disengage the AP, she'd be able to get aboard the boat due to boat movement, weather, clothing, age/physicality and "meatiness". I've been on dive boats for years. Getting back on board with the ladders slamming up and down isn't easy. In fact, it's dangerous as hell. I'll bet I've seen/helped 100 folks over the years. Mostly women, and I'm not talking sorority girls, and fat men.

She thinks it's worth a shot. I'm waiting for the video.

Exactly. It's a last-ditch thing.

The only thing that makes it worth a shot is that my wheel pilot sucks in rough water, and would likely be off. We get pretty confused seas here because of the widely varying depth of the water (I think), so in rough weather it takes a person at the helm.

But as I've said, I won't be making a video. My goal was never to convice you or anyone else. I want to see if a wheel will act the way the tiller did.

It will be on my blog one day (with a link to Tor's page) because the whole focus of my blog is staying safe. It's the undercurrent to everything. Aren't you one of the people who has said "No EPIRB for me?" I wouldn't expect such a person to consider a trip line either.

I don't understand why you had a fender on the line. Did you not use a floating line? You have to. The fender could ride up toward your stern (much a dinghy can), and then there would be a loop that could get wrapped around your propeller. You might not realize it until you started the engine. Oops.

To go Tor's link.

Tor Pinney's Homepage - A Cruising Sailor's Homeport

He says the same thing I do -- use floating line.

The one thing he didn't mention is loops. I used figure-eight loops, which I sewed in because polypro doesn't care about coooperating. (That's also why I release it in segments).

I put the loops in as I started working with the line and realized that it's hard to hold when dry and would be harder when wet. You could get quite a bad rope burn, which would make the whole thing harder.

If you don't think you can swim across your stern in 18 - 24 seconds, then by all means -- don't try this. But I would posit that you should probably just stop sailing if you think you don't have a chance of doing that uninjured.

I'm not going to try to rig it to tun the wheel pilot off. I can't picture a way that would work. What I will do is turn it on, put out a drogue, and see what happens. Given how easily the wheel pilot is thrown off, that might be enough to turn the boat , which would at least episodically slow it down. Having the boat go in a circle would be enough for me to get up the looped trip line.

I will test the trip line with no wheel pilot on, and then I'll see what the boat does with the wheel pilot on and a drogue on one side. For anyone wiht an open mind, that will be informative (hint: that was a test).
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:18   #324
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

Jeez, someone's already worried about getting a rope burn???! Ah............that tells me your head is already in the wrong place.

Listen, it's a life or death situation most probably. A rope burn should be the last thing on your mind. If you were lucky enough from your fall overboard to actually recover, think to swim to the line, find it and grab on, I believe you wouldn't be worried about rope burn or where the loops are.

Btw, have you ever fallen off your skiis and been pulled slowly thru the water................what happened?
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:22   #325
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I haven't been figuring ANY boat speed. CLEARLY you are not reading my posts, because I (and someone else here, as well as Tor) all have said that the boat STOPS. It doesn't keep going.
The boat only stops after you succesfully trip that tripline; until then, it will go at full speed, not caring that you went overboard.

When it is turning circles, it will still go too fast for you to climb aboard.

Your poposed test becomes weaker and weaker much like the promises of politicians do. Now you speak of a drogue going overboard, while we were promised you in person with a GoPro camera on your head to record it all and feature on Youtube!
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:47   #326
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One thing not mentioned is that the ideal "braking" method for a boat is an abrupt tack with the main totally blown and the headsail left sheeted and backwinded.

This is the primary MOB recovery technique I prefer to teach as there is no other method that stops the boat closer to the MOB is all conditions - it is also easy to do in almost all conditions for anyone with any skill level, at least those conditions where you would still consider trying to recover an MOB.

This technique can easily be adapted to Raku's "trip line" system.

If you rigged your main sheet as a continuous sheet but instead of rigging a continuous loop you placed one bitter end in a clutch, you could have a trip line that was attached to the clutch and the helm. When the line was pulled the clutch was blown and the helm pulled to lee. This would force the boat to tack into a backwinded headsail and blown main.

There is no known way to stop a vessel under sail faster than this. It additionally takes the boat in a U that helps take it upwind of the MOB as it loses it momentum - creating the ideal situation for recovery.

However, except under ideal conditions I still think a single handed MOB will have little chance of self recovery.

Lets assume the MOB grabbed the line - the following things would happen:

1. In anything other than exceptionally light and slow conditions (my guess is that anything over 4-5 kts edit: boat speed not wind speed) the line would be jerked free immediately from the hand - but would have tripped the "system" at this point

2. The MOB would now be detached from the boat.

3. Lets now further assume that the system worked and executed a perfect backwinded tack. The boat will be upwind of the MOB but also a certain distance away - ie it wont drift down on the MOB. So even in this perfect method the MOB will still be required to swim several boat lengths - all while the boat is atill drifting away.

4. Now lets assume the MOB was able to reach the boat. In any decent swell the boat itself is a weapon intent on bashing the MOBs skull in.

5. So the boat didnt kill you and you have to haul yourself aboard - if you dont have a sugar scoop or ladder it is impossible cor someone with less athleticism than an olympic athlete to haul themselves aboard.

Instead of this ridiculous debate of opinions lets brak this into parts that are all testable in ideal to moderate conditions without risking life or limb. failure of any part identifies a failure with the system:

1. Have a dingy motor past you at different speeds and try to vrab and hold a line it is dragging

2. See how fast your boat drifts with a backwinded headsail and flogging main in various wind speeds using GPS

3. how fast can you swim in your normal gear in a swimming pool

4. How far can you swim in your gear in a swimming pool

5. Can you haul yourself aboard your vessel as she would be configured at sea?

The above will tell you if the system works - minus the variables you cant control and these are usually the ones that kill you.

Unlike others I think Raku's idea has merit - however in a limited set of conditions. What has me intrigued is the condions where it will likely work, if setup like I mentioned above, are exactly the type of conditins that many cruisers get lazy amd complacent - ITCZ crossings, dead calm conditions with light zephers, etc.

Times you feel so safe and relaxed and cant imagine a problem - but dont realize the boat is still doing 3 kts and no way in hell can you swim that fast...

I still belive for me and my family that attached = life and detached = death.

None of us wear a PFD, including my small children - we wear proper harnesses and tethers with strict adherence to safety rules. We started this approach when we started sailing with an infant. If she went over she was dead - so we had to choose to live by a system that prevented that at all costs.

Not looking for opinions on this philosophy (and of course they will still come ) - just stating it.

Anyway...long post, tired fingers.

Edit: just typed all that and realized that with the helm pulled hard over without a soul to straigthen the helm I dont know if the boat would continue on to gybe or not. Likely would, makes even this ideal system questionable
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:54   #327
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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The boat only stops after you succesfully trip that tripline; until then, it will go at full speed, not caring that you went overboard.

When it is turning circles, it will still go too fast for you to climb aboard.

Your poposed test becomes weaker and weaker much like the promises of politicians do. Now you speak of a drogue going overboard, while we were promised you in person with a GoPro camera on your head to record it all and feature on Youtube!

You miss just enough to get it wrong every tie. It's quite remarkable.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:55   #328
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I believe the solution is not to try to stop the boat, but to round up to an AWA of 10-15 degrees. This would require integration of the autopilot and a wind sensor

But it still leaves the issue of getting to the boat in conditions so rough it bounced you out of the boat.
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:01   #329
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

"One thing not mentioned is that the ideal "braking" method for a boat is an abrupt tack with the main totally blown and the headsail left sheeted and backwinded."

What happens is that the jib backwinds itself. Assuming the main is locked off, the boat will either heave to immediately (what happened when I did it) or turn 180º and have itself.

This is what happened with my smaller boat. It stopped dead in its tracks, immediately, as if someone had slammed on its imaginary brakes.

I want to see what the boat I have now will do. All the rest is speculation.

All I can tell you is that the one time I tried it, the boat stopped dead.

I will see if this boat will. I still have the trip line alhtough I really thought of it as a "tiller" thing and I will have to see it with my own eyes to believe it will work with this boat. However, the person who advised me to have it on my old boat says it will also work with the wheel, so we'll see.

I think Dockhead was right when he said it's easy to go over in placid seas. In placid seas unless i was on "final approach" for home it's very likely I would have the wheel pilot on, and so I'm going to test it both ways.

So far no one has expressed SINCERE intrest in hearing the results. (Not counting people who have essentially called me an egotistical liar for the last several days -- if those people told me the sun had risen in the East I'd go out to check; they are not people whose opinions I trust or respect).
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Old 04-06-2013, 13:11   #330
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Posts have been deleted - you know who you are!

For those used to sitting on the chair outside the Principals office - behave.

We all know the rules, lets play nice please.
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