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MOB for Real

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Will Gilmore, Jan 9, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. thinwater

    thinwater

    Joined Mar 26, 2011
    1,894 posts, 331 likes
    Corsair F-24 MK I
    US Deale, MD
    In shore racing is one thing. Been there, done that. Never fell off, but took risks. Sure.

    The MOB recovery record off-shore in rigorous weather is not comforting. That's not a criticism, that is just a realist recognition that everything is against you. Many people have pointed out that off-shore the edge of the deck should be regarded as a 500 foot cliff, with waves washing across. Iv'e done perhaps 20,000 miles of solo sailing, on this and larger boats--no chance of MOB recovery. You simply avoid washing off a 500 cliff. My other hobby (35 years and counting) is rock and ice climbing; we do some crazy looking stuff, but we really don't take many risks, because real risk is stupid. It catches up with you. I understand working with tethers is a pain, but they need to be used AND they need to be used properly, which means extra clipping points and often keeping them short. As we have learned MANY times, if it's long enough you can go over the edge you may die anyway. So don't go over the edge.
     


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  2. CaptKimble

    CaptKimble

    Joined Jul 29, 2017
    122 posts, 39 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Los Angeles


  3. CaptKimble

    CaptKimble

    Joined Jul 29, 2017
    122 posts, 39 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Los Angeles
  4. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,082 posts, 963 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    That dude, Val, is so ridiculously lucky to be alive; he should be playing the lottery every day! 15 knots downwind at night with the kite up and an inexperienced crew, none of them wearing a PFD or harness?
     


  5. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    866 posts, 240 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    Farr 40s are one of the most aggressive & rambunctious group of racers that I have worked with. These guys have been known to race like they are playing bumper cars. It can be like a Wild West event with these guys on a good day.
     


  6. SFS

    SFS

    Joined Aug 18, 2015
    1,443 posts, 427 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Tampa Bay
    Has anyone tried a Life Saver? It seems like an easy to use, always available solution, for about $25 per person.

    http://moblifesavers.com/

    I first became aware of it watching videos from Duncan Wells ("Stress Free Sailing") on Youtube:
     


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  7. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    85 posts, 51 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Lake Pueblo
    Maybe its the kayaker in me but I am not a fan of a loose bit of rope hanging off of me.
    Too many potential dangers of entanglement there for me.
     


  8. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,535 posts, 157 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    That must have been the 2014 race. I had a similar thing happen at the same place. I was below. Crew lost it and got pinned and had brain shorts about releasing sheets; hollered for me to come up. Hands and knees I got up and helped get the boat back on her feet. Got hit by one of the slop seas and she went back on the rail before she had stabilized. Almost went under the lifelines and banged up my arm pretty well on the winch. I would have been dead; no way the crew could have responded. However, that did get me thinking about MOB gear. The traditional gear is useless unless you have a crew that has trained extensively. I got a Dan Bouy and she rides on the rail whenever we're out. Better chance someone will remember to simply throw it and the MOB to have something to hang on to and a frame of reference to return to. One more tool in the bag. But, chances still are you fell off a 500' cliff.
     


  9. SFS

    SFS

    Joined Aug 18, 2015
    1,443 posts, 427 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Tampa Bay
    It only deploys when the autoinflating PFD goes off. Otherwise, it is tucked inside the PFD. It's also floating line.

    Anyone have any experience with this (British) product?
     


  10. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,610 posts, 1,091 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    I haven't seen anything for solo sailors that connects a drag line to the helm in case of MOB.
    Maybe something that allows sheets to be released and the helm pulled had over if MOB grabs drag line

    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  11. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    85 posts, 51 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Lake Pueblo
    So the floating line deploys when I hit the water.
    The rescue boat over shots me and goes over the floating line... fouling on either the keel bulb or prop (because lines never get hung up there)

    Floating lines float in clam water. All bets are off when it is not calm. High action seas over coral?

    Still not gonna work for me.

    I would rather have my crew prepared otherwise.
     


  12. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    866 posts, 240 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    For deliveries, I rigged up a Fell Marine MOB+ unit to a loud horn. This way, if the helmsman goes over in the middle of the night, the rest of the crew gets a wake up call immediately.

    This same gizmo could be rigged to an auto-helm or some type of sheet release gizmo to get the wind out of the sails. It could also be rigged to deploy a big sea sock or a trailing line with a float, or even a life raft.

    The MOB+ is normally used as a remote kill switch on motor boats. If the guy wearing the bracelet gets more than 50' from the base unit or if the bracelet goes 1' under water, then the base unit trips. Since the output is a form C (SPDT) dry contact set, you can hook it up to almost anything. It doesn't need to be just a kill switch. The device has been marketed as an improved Autotether, but I have found that it can be effective for off-label uses as well. The mother company is very responsive to customer questions & other issues. They have been great to deal with.
     


  13. CaptKimble

    CaptKimble

    Joined Jul 29, 2017
    122 posts, 39 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Los Angeles
    I'd like to add a personal comment/observation here. As with any accident/incident, Val went overboard without a harness or PFD due to a chain of events. Had any one of those events been changed the outcome would have been different. He was and continues to be an incredibly lucky individual. Had he been clipped in the outcome would have been different. If he had taken the time to put on a PFD the outcome would be different. Had the time of day been different the outcome would have been different and so on and so forth. The 5 things I took from this are as follows: Always clip in at night, always wear a PFD when on deck, remain calm, A DAN BUOY can certainly be a lifesaver, and it is difficult even with a swim step to wrestle someone who is partially or fully disabled back onto a boat even with numerous folks helping. Our boat is equipped with a life sling and a fully operational hoist at the stern of the boat with our swim ladder and swim platform at the ready. Still I would not presume that it would be easy to lift someone fully clothed and wet, tired, injured or hypothermic back on board. Stay safe.
     


  14. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,787 posts, 2,126 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    A key point here. In any type seas the stern is the absolutely WORST place to try and bring someone back on board. If anyone is relying on a swim ladder for open water MOB retrieval, you should think again. Any type of wave action makes it a very dangerous place.
     


  15. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    866 posts, 240 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    I think that varies a bit depending on the boat. In the case of my open scoop transom Hunter, I brought my MOB back in via the stern. I think that it was a good choice in that particular case. I agree that in many other boats this may not have been a good choice of entry point.
     


  16. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,787 posts, 2,126 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    My point is, in waves the lower edge of the stern slams up and down into the water with great force. Crazy danger. The side of the boat, without the hard edge, present nothing like that. Stop your boat in a moderate to heavy seaway and look at the transom, and image trying to get on.

    EDIT, oh an open transom 21 footer. Maybe OK.
     


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  17. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,082 posts, 963 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Yes, the stern, whether or not it has a swim platform will be bucking up and down viciously because you have the boat stopped to bring your MOB onboard. You have to plan to bring them on in the beam slick you have created with the boat. Again, go out and practice your MOB recovery, that should lay bare the hoo haa from what works.
     


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  18. Richard19068

    Richard19068

    Joined Jun 11, 2004
    687 posts, 44 likes
    Oday 31
    US Redondo Beach
    +1. Even when just swimming off the boat at anchor in a less than calm cove I have been nervous about using the transom ladder. The stern looks real big and heavy when it is bobbing up and down inches from your head.
     


  19. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,610 posts, 1,091 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    :plus:My wife and I got our children certified in Key Largo, WAYYYY back when they were 10 and 13. We dove off the company's dive boat. Even on a beautiful calm day, the swells made the stern dive platform challenging. As a kid, we had a folding ladder we hung off the side of our schooner, never had that much trouble.

    The best reason, I can think of to use the side ladder recovery is maneuvering the vessel for the pickup. When you approach the MOB, you try to put the MOB on the leeward side before heaving to, so the boat isn't drifting away for the MOB. Boarding from the stern puts the vessel past the MOB and makes timing more critical. On the other hand, if pointing into the wind, the leeward side is the stern and if you are in irons, you shouldn't drift away.
    Of course it's all about the orientation. On those rare occasions when the wind and the waves are not in accord, it is going to be hard pointing into the wind and climb the sides of a rolling boat. Sometimes the waves, roll can help lift the MOB too.

    Here's a link to a site that compares 4 MOB maneuvering methods. It is an interesting and informative read.
    http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1343-crew-overboard-recovery.html

    The best point is practice practice and practice because calm heads are the best path to success and familiarity through practice is the best way to get calm heads.

    I have never been involved with a serious MOB. I fell off my hobie 18 with a friend at the helm. the pontoon wing and I went up and the wing wasn't there when I came back down. I was more concerned, in the warm Gulf waters, about losing my glasses. My friend was/is an experienced catamaran racer and hobies are very maneuverable and easy to climb aboard. We practiced aboard Sunflower when I was a kid but it was more of a nice day to go sailing and swimming. The lectures about boat maneuvering were just theoretical. They were only practiced by the captain, my father, who never played the man overboard. In the 70s a harness was something that took up space in the cockpit locker, right alongside the life vests.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  20. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    85 posts, 51 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Lake Pueblo
    I have to say this about product in the OP video....
    if I had one of those on my boat it would be being used more for fun by my friends. So much so that it would probably need to be replaced before it was used for it's intended purpose.

    Just one demonstration of what it did and how to use it would be all it took. I'd have friends "falling off" repeatedly :)
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.

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