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Old 09-09-2010, 15:55   #16
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When the call of "MOB" is made the caller should inform the helmsman of which side. The helmsman then turns the stern away from the side the crew member went over on.

I'd start the engine but not engage it until the stern was away from the MOB. I'd drop sails then engage the transmission. From then it's a Williamson turn and putting the boat downwind of the MOB. I've always thought the boat was more maneuverable under engine power than sail and time and distance are important.
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Old 09-09-2010, 19:54   #17
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Depends

As others have observed, depends on boat, crew skill, crew size, conditions. What works for a crew of 5 skillfull sailors might not be appropriate for a husband and wife who only sail occaisionaly.

For some interesting reading of actual tests, check out Foundation Findings Crew Over Board Final Report

In PDF available at: http://www.boatus.com/foundation/fin...L%20REPORT.pdf

The tests were in San Francisco Bay, not in the open sea, but interesting none the less. They tested a variety of boats, skill levels, and manuevers. They also tested recovery methods (once you are back alongside, how do get them aboard?), and methods of locating them (strobes, etc).

Usually sailing as a couple, in cold water, and only moderately skilled at best, we ALWAYS wear floation when underway (even in mellow weather). Floataion doesn't guarantee survival, but does buy some time while the one left aboard sorts things out. My experience with dangerous situations (on or off the water) is that panic usually leads to disaster. "Take your time, quickly!"
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Old 09-09-2010, 22:30   #18
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Generally I would sail back to the person because that is the fastest for me. Having been a sailing instructor for many years I inflicted MOB drills on my students in all winds with no notice usually with a tennis ball. Every once in a while a tennis ball would get lost and the crew would be a bit contemplaitive for the rest of the day.

Motoring would for special circumstances.

On the otherhand my preference is for moderately sized boats, 26-36', 40' tops. I can see that the skill required to do a sailing rescue in a 45' or 50' boat would be beyond a lot of people, I certainly would be hard pressed.
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Old 09-09-2010, 23:12   #19
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The methods used to get a MOB back on board is very circumstance driven - what sails are up, how many on board, what methods have been practiced, the sea state etc etc etc. So I don't think you can ever say that one method works better than another.

Having said that, the only circumstance I can think of where I wouldn't turn on the engine would be if there are ropes or sails in the water.

This may just be my preference because I'm usually only sailing with one or two others. So in an MOB situation, tending sails, helming and setting up gear for a recovery in the middle of a very tricky manouver is not in my opinion the best way to go about getting them back on board.

Typically, my MOB preference would be to get rid of the headsail (its a roller) or the spinnaker and come up to them from down wind with the engine on and the mainsheet & vang blown. How I get to this situation will vary quite a bit depending on the circumstances at the time.
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:16   #20
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In a nutshell, for an engine assisted pickup:

Start the engine but leave it in neutral. Furl / drop the sails, or trim for motorsailing if appropriate, and secure all lines. Check again for lines in the water. Then engage the engine and proceed with MOB rescue.

You won't rescue anyone with a line wrapped round the prop and you may well endanger the entire crew.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:24   #21
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It should also be clearly understood that when conducting powered MOB the engine is in neutral from 1 boat length in.

During the Singapore licensing test using the engine inside (if I recall) 1 boat length is a failure.

Also I never really understood figure 8 recovery requiring a gybe. As the Skipper it didn't make sense to me to put the MOB behind me and out of view.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:53   #22
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It should also be clearly understood that when conducting powered MOB the engine is in neutral from 1 boat length in.

During the Singapore licensing test using the engine inside (if I recall) 1 boat length is a failure.

Also I never really understood figure 8 recovery requiring a gybe. As the Skipper it didn't make sense to me to put the MOB behind me and out of view.

Ex,

I don't know if I'm reading your post correctly, but the figure 8 does not require a gybe. It includes only a tack.

The Quick stop involves a gybe
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:33   #23
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:28   #24
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Start the engine but leave it in neutral. Furl / drop the sails, or trim for motorsailing if appropriate, and secure all lines. Check again for lines in the water. Then engage the engine and proceed with MOB rescue.
Any technique using an engine with any seastate is predicated on still having at least one crew on board to keep track of the person in the water. One person doing all of the above and trying to keep track of the MOB in any kind of weather won't cut it.

Doubt me? Buy yourself an 8" ball, black or brown or better an 8" ball bouy you paint black or brown. Fill the a 1/4-1/3 full with water or hang small weight from the bouy. Go out with somebody who has instructions to toss the ball overboard at some random time without warning then go below so they can't aid in recovery even just by keeping track of where the ball was visually.

Then let us know how it goes. We'll want to know wind, seastate, fetch, what the crew did and results.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:51   #25
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I would never count on keeping a visual on MOB and would always immediately get the MOB pole/flag and lifering in the water ,or any bright floaty object,before doing anything else.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:56   #26
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One person doing all of the above and trying to keep track of the MOB in any kind of weather won't cut it.
We like a lot of cruisers almost sail just double handed. So if we have a MOB then there is by definition only one person on board to do everything.

Are you trying to suggest that the quick stop with a tack and gybe is 'easier' for one person than just rolling up the jib and turning on the motor? I suppose it could depend on the boat, but on both our boats it's been way easier for one person to roll up the jib and motor back than to do a tack and gybe (or two tacks).

I don't know how I feel about the 'cut the motor one boat length from the MOB' - probably that's what I would do in any case to have a slow approach and stop by the MOB, but if say the bow started to blow off I don't think I would have any worry about giving it a bit of gas. I would rather get there and make the pick up than have to make another turn.

Again, I suppose it depends on the boat, but (a) I am not aware of any incidents where someone floating has been hurt by an inboard sailboat prop (I do know a couple where someone diving on the prop have been hurt but that's a different situation); AND (b) I know when I am free diving on the prop its actually somewhat difficult to get to even when I am trying; and (c) I know where our prop is (center line just about under the cockpit sole) and that's not where I would plan to pick up a mob - I would do the pick up near the shrouds (using a halyard in rough weather) or on the transom in flat water.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:14   #27
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Bash, explain, why not?

I would have trouble stopping and holding the boat right next to the MOB with just sails in any sort of wind/waves.

I also think using the motor would vastly simplify the whole process. It eliminates about half the steps of the 'quick stop' including the gybe which could create its own additional problems.
I have great confidence, via the figure eight technique I've known since childhood, to return my boat to the victim under sail IF I DON'T LOSE TRACK OF THE VICTIM. The first step, therefore, is to hit the MOB button and to litter the water with floatables such as cockpit cushions. On my boat the engine start is on the cockpit coaming just forward of the helm, which means I'd be leaving the helm and looking away from my victim to engage the engine. Not smart.

You don't need an engine, at least not in a keelboat. You need skill, as well as the confidence not to abandon your skill set in a tense situation. This combination of skill and confidence is acquired through practice.

I don't know of any sail training association that advocates turning on the engine as part of a crew recovery drill. I'm surprised at how many of our forum members don't have confidence in their ability to perform a crew recovery maneuver under sail. This is not an optional skill, in my opinion, for someone in command of a keelboat.

It should also be mentioned that one of the greatest dangers to the person in the water is going to be a spinning prop. Were I in the water, I'd much prefer to be recovered by someone who was able to luff the boat up to me from the leeward than by someone who needed to motor it there.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:29   #28
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Start the engine but leave it in neutral. Furl / drop the sails, or trim for motorsailing if appropriate, and secure all lines. Check again for lines in the water. Then engage the engine and proceed with MOB rescue.
By the time you furl/drop the sails, I'd have already recovered the crew under sail via the figure 8 maneuver. The exception to this would be if I were running downwind under spinnaker, where I'd have no option but to get that sail down.

The first step should always be to get the floatables and the MOB markers into the water. Always.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:35   #29
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I have great confidence, via the figure eight technique I've known since childhood, to return my boat to the victim under sail .....
You don't need an engine, at least not in a keelboat. You need skill, as well as the confidence not to abandon your skill set in a tense situation. This combination of skill and confidence is acquired through practice.....
This may well be true for you driving your boat. However, what happens if YOU are the one who goes overboard? Could anyone of your crew, who may be on watch, do the same manuever with equal probability of success?

Many of us sail as couples, and as Evan points out, that means by definition the recovery would be single handed. My observation is that there is often a considerable disparity in sailing ability between members of a couple (certainly true in my case). In a perfect world, every member of the crew could do a perfect Quickstop, Figure 8, or whatever, every time in all conditions. However, we are all at different points on the learning curve.

Using the engine may well be the most appropriate choice for some sailors, in some boats, in some conditions.
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Old 11-09-2010, 13:53   #30
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However, what happens if YOU are the one who goes overboard? Could anyone of your crew, who may be on watch, do the same manuever with equal probability of success?
That's a key point. I learned to sail dinghies and have some small amount of boat handling skills but Beth only learned to sail big boats and just never had the opportunity to gain that sort of feel for precision sailing. The mob procedure on the boat is for when I go overboard - that's when Beth needs a check list or procedure. I will probably play it by ear and do what feel right in the circumstances.

But I am also impressed with Bash's confidence in his own skills. In flat water in moderate winds I am also confident I could luff up and stop at a MOB or bouy - however to be perfectly honest I get rusty and even that's not always successful the first time unless I have been practicing. BUT offshore in waves and more wind . . . I am absolutely not confident that I could do it in less than three trys and I would run a huge risk of loosing sight of the MOB during all those turns.
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