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Old 26-06-2007, 15:49   #1
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Quick Recovery - MOB

Its been a while since I practiced my MOB procedures and I'm a little grey on trimming the sails during a quick recovery, sometimes known as a figure-8 recovery.

1. Yell, MOB, Toss the Life Ring
2. Assign someone as a spotter to point in the direction and call off distance
3. Go to a Beam reach, get your speed up
4. After 4-5 boat length tack the boat
5. bear away into a broad reach.
5. Cross down wind of the MOB.
6. Turn up wind and blow the jib
7. with the momentum of the boat drift toward the MOB, holding the main sheet in your hand such that you pull in the main sheet to provide a little power as needed to reach the MOB.
8. Bring the boat on the winward side of the MOB
9. When the aft of the boat nears the MOB, push the tiller Leeward and reach over the side for the MOB.

OK, my question is, what do you do with the Main sail during the tack. I remember doing nothing, and just doing a quick tack. But wind was good. In soft wind, it might be necessary to pull the main sail into the center of the boat (Close Hauled). Although I don't remember, it seems necessary to tack the Jib too.

Anyone know of a good site that walks through the details?
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Old 26-06-2007, 15:56   #2
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If you have a GPS on board & to hand, hit the "MOB" button a.s.a.p. It is scary how fast you can get out of line-of-sight, and when that happens, you don't need to get much disorientated before you will not be able to find them again.

I don't know what people think about the idea that If you are short handed and the breeze is such that sail handling is going to be any sort of problem, fire up your engine and drop your sails, or at least your mainsail?
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Old 26-06-2007, 17:31   #3
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propellors not good around MOB.
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Old 26-06-2007, 17:58   #4
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"OK, my question is, what do you do with the Main sail during the tack."

You don't care too much about main trim at this point. Keep it cleated and handle the jib sheets until after the tack. If anything you could let out the main and recleat it during the intitial spacing run. You don't want too much power on the boat - i.e. you want slow because you don't want to miss the pick up.

The most important thing is not lose track of the MOB so you want the boat handling to be as simple as possible. If you have a furling jib I would consider furling it during the tack. That will stop it slapping around and you only have to deal with the main sheet - after the tack.

I practice on the mooring buoy and frankly I don't subscribe to the figure eight when single handed. I can do and will do it anytime asked but I hate turning my back on the MOB and with 720 degrees of heading change it's easy to get confused. Also on a big broad beamed boat like a cat you might have to actually leave the helm twice and cross the boat to keep MOB in sight.

Depending on the side the MOB went over I basically sail out 4 boat lengths, make a 180 "towards" the MOB. Pass the MOB about 1 or 2 boat lengths abeam (and toss a ring if he's in range - possibly toss a swimmer if the MOB is injured or unconcious) Make another 180 to the lee side of the MOB and blow the sails to control speed as I approach on a reach.

I like to approach from slightly downwind and finish with the MOB on the lee side. Although you risk blowing down on teh MOB, if you have to winch him aboard or work with an injured person it's easier on the sheltered side and the boat won't blow away from the MOB.

With an engine in a real world situation I would also start the engine at some point and leave it in idle. You can't close off any options at this point.
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Old 26-06-2007, 18:11   #5
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Want to scare yourself about man overboard?

Lifesling Case History

I tried the quickstop after years of practicing other styles, and it really screwed me up. I was always too close to get back to the cob. I guess I need more practice with that technique.

This site has videos of mobs, you have to give an email address to login. The only problem they are all racing crews.

I can't find it now, but in response to why are you sailing, just turn on the motor, somewhere there's USCG statistics for one year where 7 out of 8 or 8 out of 8 cob rescues failed under power. They all fouled the prop. If you decide to motor back, stop and make sure nothing is in the water or can get washed over.

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Old 26-06-2007, 19:22   #6

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Something to also consider, depending on wind and sea state, is whether you want to let the boat drift down on the MOB (in which case it can strike them and run over them) or do you try to come up from downwind of them--in which case the wind may blow you off away again.

A good reason to make up some kind of dummy--even an 8' stick of 1" PVC pipe for a buck, with some weights and rags--and make a point of throwing it overboard for practice from time to time.
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Old 27-06-2007, 03:01   #7
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We lost a hat overboard recently. I told my wife to keep her eye on it while I turned. She lost site of it real quick. I managed to pull up next to it but it was a fluke. Just showed us how easy it was to lose site of something the size of a mans head.
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Old 27-06-2007, 03:58   #8
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This is an interesting discussion as I did a "recovery" this past Sunday. I was single handing and returning after a lovely sail. I was tacking the final leg and decided that I would drop the main and get ready to traverse the mooring field and pick up the mooring. Winds were about 15t.

I was on auto pilot, steering head to wind and released the halyard. I have a Dutchman system so the sail will usually flake down on its own, but needs some help. I went forward to do just that at the mast and a gust of wind took by hat off.

I decided to retrieve it... a sort of MOB drill. I quickly tugged the main down so it was mostly down (I was also moving at about 4 knots or more at the time), went aft to the cockpit and turned the auto pilot control 180&#176; and stepped up the RPMs. I was thinking that the reciprocal course would be parallel to the one I was on because of the turning radius. So I would have to look to the side the boat turned when it made the arc back.

The hat was dark green and I thought I will not be able to pick it our in the waves and light conditions. How true!. If I did not sail pretty close to it, I would never have seen it. The gps MOB feature is useless because I needed to be in the cockpit not below watching the GPS. I could have tossed the MOB rig in, but I didn't want to create panic as there were several boats around and one that I was "racing" back who was now astern of me a few hundred yards. Why ruin their day?

I did motor past the hat but did not have my pole handy to pick it up so I slowed way down and got the pole and did another 180. Now the light conditions were even worse and I thought I lost my chance. But luck would have it and I spotted it and slowly approached using the autopilot. I went to mid ship to pull the hat up with the boat which was still making a knot or two of way. Of course another sail boat was approaching as I was doing my retrieval and I contemplated giving them right of way as they were sailing and had no idea what I was doing out there. Luckily they passed far enough away, I was able to snatch the hat, do another 180 and complete the prep for the mooring pick up. Mission accomplished.

A MOB pole is essential to spotting someone in big seas, also bright color and a strobe. The MOB gos feature is handy if it is handy and for cockpit plotters this would be the first thing to do... with someone at the nav station below it would work as well. But if you are only two on board, it might be better to have all eyes/hands on deck and have them ready to do the retrieval.

Sailing back to a point with a large yacht is a tough one. I would just luff the sails and use the motor, although in a small yacht the sailing approaches might be fine. Not my case so I won't be doing that.. unless I have no motor.

I think tossing a cushion overboard and doing a retrieval is something every sailor should do from time a time... and don't wear bill caps when it is windy!

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Old 27-06-2007, 10:52   #9

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Seafox, she's just establishing an alibi. If she takes out high value short term life insurance on you....lookout!<G>
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