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Old 11-09-2010, 14:02   #31
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Maybe some dinghy sailing would be productive (not to mention fun) for Beth? Nothing like practice and experience. For all of us.
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Old 11-09-2010, 14:13   #32
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Maybe some dinghy sailing would be productive (not to mention fun) for Beth? Nothing like practice and experience. For all of us.
Some dinghy sailing would probably be beneficial for both of us . . . but we unfortunately both find it intensely boring. That's an overstatement . . . but close enough. We are not competitive sailors, and we don't see much point in going round and round in a circle, and our sailing and boat handling skills have been 'good enough' for what we do like to do.

There are just too many things we 'should do'. Just to mention the first to that come to mind . . . I should take more medical training - Beth is much much better at that than I. And I should learn to weld (better). But I am probably to lazy to do either.
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Old 11-09-2010, 17:01   #33
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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
And there sits the armchair theorist. ( Or the successfull trainee).

Firstly august bodies like RYA do teach MOb under engine, you also have to do it under sail.

Again in my opinion, the figure of 8 is utterly useless in real life. Firstly on a cruising yacht, you alomost never have a spotter, you cant aford it. Secondly the figure 8 requires two tacks, very difficult to do that say singlehanded on a big ( 35-50) yacht. Even with three crew and one goes over, you still arnt going to have a spotter and the figure 8 simple takes you way too far away.

Do you test in some decent waves, you can loose signt of someone a wave train away.

The other major drawback of sailing is that it assumes you can SEE the victim. ( because you have quite a narrow angle of approach ) , however in any sort of boisterous weather, or if are appraching on a GPS MOB heading, you can find that you are in the wrong position, under engine , you can maneavour quickly , under sail you could be faced with a "go-around".

Soory MOB under sail is for exam canditates ( yes I had to do it as well) in calm water with lots of crew. But in bad weather etc the engine is needed ( and the dangers of spinning props are much exagerated,) Lifeboats regulary pick up people and they have big twins.

The key is whatever you do dont get away from the MOB, if you do it can be fatal, even if you messily crash stop the boat , at least if the MOB is mobile he can swim towards you, if your 300 yards away well.....
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Old 11-09-2010, 17:37   #34
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Id just like to expound on my previous post , by way of outlining some training i did about 20 years ago as part of my Yachtmaster Prep.

We had a beneteau 48 ( cant quite remember) , with 7 crew all doing either Coastal or yachtmaster, all quite capable and resonably young and fit.

ON one of the prep days , it was blowing f6 gusting f7 and none of the prep boats were going out ( there was 3 YM preparaton courses running). Then our instructor, said , right who wants to go offshore and practice MOB in real life conditions, Hence the 7 crew( nutters).

Instructor said right its a fender and bucket job and everyone is going to do a succusfull pickup , were not going back in until everyone done it.

we stayed out for 8 hours!!. ( it was virtually pitch dark at the end). and tried under sail and motor, wave trains were close together and about 2.5 - 3 metres , we were on an exposed atlantic coast.

Conclusions.

Very very difficult under sail ,

* the final posiiton of the boat was hard to control, MOB could only be seen as we came over the final wave, often we ended up to looward as approaching under main and slowly tended to induce lots of leeway, being to looward meant a go-around, and lots of wasted time

* on occasion we would end up too high on the MOB, again as we couldnt see the MOB from time to time to judge the approach ( and remember we had crew to work the boat and spot). Too high was bad as in that wind and wave you couldnt effectively luff the boat and drop downwind, the wave motion and wind would spin the boat and off she'd sail again.

* Slowing down was a real challange, modern yachts are hard to stop dead in any wind, they will sail of teh spray hood, the cabin top , the dodgers. Any approach over 1-1.5 knots made getting the fender on board impossible.

* Figure of 8 took us too far away, and working back upwind was very slow as we needed to slow the boat and couldnt just blast back to the mob.

* Any purely upwind approach precluded the use of any MOB recovery aid, doing a tight circle around the MOB was difficult in thoses conditions.


Anyway we switched to motor techniques, ie stop the boat , furl the headsail, pin the main amidships and motor.

* Things improved as on final approach you could claw up to wind if needed and go quickly around in a circle if too high or , just use engine to hold station, still not easy but doable.

* MOB recovery could be used as it was possible to circle the MOB, obviously lines in the water are a huge concern.

* Often lots of reverse power had to be used to stop the boat, becuase in any heavy weather you need forward motion to maintain steerage and hence the stops are correspondingly violent.


* we had a 50% pickup under sail and a 100% under power, but under sail we had sometimes 3-4 go-arounds and under power 1-2, ( and remaining closer to the MOB).

In relatively calm water ( which is when everyone does the training!) its fairly simple to do a recovery under sail, you can see the MOB from some distance, hence you can position the boat and you can stop by luffing and she'll more or less stay in place. However in the real world.......
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Old 11-09-2010, 17:37   #35
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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.
MOB pole would do the trick.

Any bright floaty thing that didn't have some sort of drag on it, like fenders, and PFD's, are going to mislead you, they will drift down wind at a significantly greater rate than any person.
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Old 11-09-2010, 17:53   #36
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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 am neither advocating nor opposed to any method. I was never taught a method nor do I practice one consciously. The actions I follow may generally be similar to or the same as one of the methods but I am not aware of it because I have only occasionally read about them.

The one thing I know from being mean to my students using tennis balls as MOB's was you gotta stay near the MOB, even with sufficient crew to keep a really good lookout. Near is 50m, even 100m is starting to push your luck.

Weather when I did this to my students was 10-20kt on a lake with fetch of no more than 4nm so big waves were 1-3ft.
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Old 11-09-2010, 17:57   #37
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Just to be clear, The figure 8 requires one tack not two. It is probably the most taught maneuver because it does not include a gybe, which under certain conditions could present it's own challenges.
A figure 8 need not take you that far away from a MOB when done properly

A prudent sailor should know ALL the options available to them and practice them in a variety of conditions, or at least have considered all the what if's.

What if your engine doesn't start? What if a Gybe is too risky. If you can't tack your boat by yourself, you certainly aren't going to gybe it in high winds...by yourself, especially if your crew is overboard and the mainsheet and traveler are on the cabin top out of reach of the helm.

As has been said ..The MOB is situational...a prudent sailor should know all the tools in the arsenal and be able to apply the most effective tool given the circumstances ...which may include use of the engine.....

People can fall overboard ... with both sails up...the mainsail alone or the jib alone...or the mainsail and the engine..if motorsailing...in a variety of sea states and wind conditions, and currents....

Most drownings occur on a clear day, in calm inland waters, from vessels 20 feet or less... well over 90 % of the drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. So, the best thing one can do besides not falling overboard in the 1st place is to always wear a life jacket....

Calling one method or the other totally useless..when you don't know the manuever...is not really a constructive criticism...imho
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Old 11-09-2010, 17:57   #38
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Seeing the victim is the hard part, and if you have one, a floating smoke flare is helpful--get it overboard quickly to mark the spot.

Orange Floating Smoke SOLAS Signal
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:19   #39
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What if your engine doesn't start? What if a Gybe is too risky. If you can't tack your boat by yourself, you certainly aren't going to gybe it in high winds...by yourself, especially if your crew is overboard and the mainsheet and traveler are on the cabin top out of reach of the helm.
Yes but I would conclude ( for large yachts > 30 feet)

Firstly if you have a reliable engine use it, then and only then if that fails resort to sail. The chances of recovery are better under engine. sail is a second resort.

( And this was the recomendation of my RYA Yachtmaster Examiner too).
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:33   #40
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Quotes from far better sailors than me

Earlier in the thread I posted a link to the San Francisco Bay tests, at http://www.boatus.com/foundation/fin...L%20REPORT.pdf

The main author is John Rousmaniere. Under 'Notes on Maneuvers, after dicussing the pros and cons of all the popular techniques, on page 20 he says
"You can always turn on the engine. Rescues have been made by sailboats under power in calms and gales. Of course, check that lines are clear of the propeller."

Later, John Connolly is quoted on page 33. He says:
"The motor. One old lesson reared its head many times during the recent tests. Given the vastly different skill levels of participants and the reality that these tests were conducted without ocean waves, a very important safety tool on inboard engine cruising sailboats is the engine. Of course, all the normal safety precautions need to be taken into account before the engine is used around a person in the water, but there are times in large seas when the engine is crucial."

I won't live long enough to be half the sailor either of these guys are. The obvious no brainer lesson is to not go over the side to begin with. But, as the old saying goes, "Sh!t Happens". My take away is to continue to try to learn better boat control in a variety of situations, and to practice and consider all options, including the engine.

"One size fits all" often just means a poor fit!
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:37   #41
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Some dinghy sailing would probably be beneficial for both of us . . . but we unfortunately both find it intensely boring. That's an overstatement . . . but close enough. We are not competitive sailors, and we don't see much point in going round and round in a circle, and our sailing and boat handling skills have been 'good enough' for what we do like to do.

There are just too many things we 'should do'. Just to mention the first to that come to mind . . . I should take more medical training - Beth is much much better at that than I. And I should learn to weld (better). But I am probably to lazy to do either.

Too bad we're so distant: I could teach you both the medical stuff, you could teach me to weld (however well you do it, I'm worse)...

As far as sailing, get (borrow, rent) a sailing dink of some sort (I learned in a Sabot) and just...sail it. Don't race (I agree, its' boring and pointless) but it's a great way to get a visceral feel for boat handling. Similar, in fact, to pilots getting at least some time in sailplanes: A great way to instill a feel for the airplane and energy management.

And a sailing dink is a lot easier to practice (over, and over if necessary) the various MOB techniques. Toss a floating cushion over and get it. You can even make a notional MOB sling.

Of course, getting a person who's been in the water out of the water when they're hypothermic and unable to help is a whole other problem. But to get to that problem you first have to get to the MOB.
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:38   #42
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My take away is to continue to try to learn better boat control in a variety of situations, and to practice and consider all options, including the engine.
I would say consider all options , then use the engine!
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:39   #43
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And a sailing dink is a lot easier to practice (over, and over if necessary) the various MOB techniques. Toss a floating cushion over and get it. You can even make a notional MOB sling.
and completely useless when transposed to a 45' yacht.
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:43   #44
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and completely useless when transposed to a 45' yacht.
I have found that not to be the case, but perhaps my experience and yours are different.
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:46   #45
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Start the engine before dropping sails for the obvious reason one needs to be maneuverable to recover the MOB. This would just be the time one can't start the engine (forgot to open the fuel valve, whatever)
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