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Old 17-09-2023, 14:20   #1
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What is this floaty doohicky and do I need it for cruising?

Hey all, trying to plan for Mexico from SF bay, despite some recent health issues. I want to put a 2nd anchor in this spot, but my boat came with this thing (yellow poles), looks like what I see around moorings - but attached to the mooring, not the boat. Do I need this on the boat?

What would it be used for out there cruising?
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Old 17-09-2023, 14:45   #2
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Re: What is this floaty doohicky and do I need it for cruising?

Looks like a Man Over Board pole to me. You toss it over to mark the MOB position. Had one on my previous boat -- never used it (thankfully). Don't have one now. Might be useful in a MOB situation, but doubt if it's necessary.
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Old 17-09-2023, 15:32   #3
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Re: What is this floaty doohicky and do I need it for cruising?

We had a MOB pole on our first Insatiable. We had raced the boat, and I believe the race rules called for us to have one, just as race boats here are required to have crew rescue systems.

Sharky, I'm not sure if you have the whole MOB kit. Your pole should also have a flag and a weighted float. Normally the MOB pole is made so that one end is weighted, and has a float, so that the flag end waves high above the victim. "The flag, itself is the flag for the letter "O", for "overboard". Often there is a quick release so that both the pole and the horseshoe lifebuoy get tossed at the same moment. Ours was mounted on the lifelines, stbd. side. Some people also mounted them up the backstay. In strong wind against the tide conditions, having the flag greatly eases the job of the spotter who is trying to keep track of the MOB. A peek at the West Marine catalog "Man Overboard Pole" should show you a complete example, so you can see how the buoy and floating line are attached to the pole.

If you're going to stay in the bay, if you have all of the kit, I'd still keep it. If the ultimate plan is to head across oceans, if you go overboard, usually you'll drown, and the efforts need to be made to keep you aboard. We did not buy new MOB stuff when we bought our present boat, but it does have a LifeSling.

So, do you need it? If it is incomplete, chuck it, or fix it and use it. Your choice. If deployed, someone is likely to see the red and yellow flag and stand by the MOB till s/he can be rescued. Someone closer than the CG.

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Old 17-09-2023, 15:46   #4
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Re: What is this floaty doohicky and do I need it for cruising?

If you are sailing from SF to Mexico, then absolutely, you need a MOB Pole or buoy. It ranks up there with need for a life raft once you leave the bay.

That said, as Ann mentioned, the kit includes a flag, a drogue, and optionally but recommended, a flashing light. All the bits get expensive to complete it.

The have all but been replaced with "Dan Buoy" type inflatable poles, which have the pole/buoy, flag, drogue, light, and the ability to support a grown person who is tired from swimming. And being inflatable they are small and easy to mount on a rail. So, if your current kit isn't complete, it's probably best to upgrade.
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Old 17-09-2023, 20:57   #5
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Re: What is this floaty doohicky and do I need it for cruising?

Assuming you have AIS and a stable power system with dsc radio, I would rather put the money into personal locator beacons than an MOB pole. I can see arguments against that, but it would be my preferred choice.
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Old 20-09-2023, 09:12   #6
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Re: What is this floaty doohicky and do I need it for cruising?

Check if the pole-buoy is a mandatory piece of equipment on you boat. Depending on the flag state and sailing area, it might be. I’m required to have one on my boat. If this is the case, you need it. Otherwise it’s up to you.
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