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Man Over Board... While Motoring!

Mar 26, 2011
2,563
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
while under power it is illegal to have any part of the body hanging over the side of the vessel. when under power a vessel with a mast and boom on it is a power boat.
ends all other speculation.
federal regulation.
local therefore too.
The OP asked about sitting forward, NOT about hanging over or under the lifelines. Different problem. I only mentioned that as an example of foolish powerboat behavior.

So the questionis, is there a federal rule about being forward of the mast under power and/or any documented case of person falling from forward in good weather and being injured by the prop? Or is this a purely speculative risk? I would like to know. It is certainly common practice. Hell, cruising cats advertise it! I've kept watch from there, under power, because it is quieter and the sounds of the water under the tramp are relaxing. The breeze is also better, when the wind has died.
 
Jan 19, 2010
7,999
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
But NOT on sailboats. The geometry, speeds, and reaction to wakes is different. Show me a case with a sailboat. I am interested. Not sayin' it couldn't happen, just sayin' it's not something that does happen and is probably a non-concern for sailors. It's a "what if" rather than an established risk. Make sure they are careful and restrict it to calm weather conditions.

If there is a local rule, I get that. I follow rules.
I agree but at SML they enforce no wake, life vest on if under 13, bow riding, all jet skis and water skiers off the water 30 min before dusk etc etc. For the amount of traffic that lake has it is a rather safe place to boat.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,563
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Project: It sounds like they need to keep their legs in (obvious, I know) and be mindful of wakes and conditions. No, they should not be up front when it gets rough, power or sail, unless there is a reason and they are experienced, etc.

That's it.
 
Sep 24, 2018
817
O'Day 25 Chicago
There's no doubt that the safest place is in the cabin or cockpit. I was a bit curious on the answers that we would see with such a question. I was expecting more speculative and theoretical answers but those were quickly brushed off by much more realistic answers. @thinwater your calculation of feet per minute quickly put things into perspective. There's barely enough time to set one action into place if the helmsmen can react in time.

I'm guessing I would turn the stern away from the MOB and attempt to shift into neutral as quickly as possible. My hand is always on the tiller and usually on the throttle. There's no way to know in a real life situation if going into reverse would cause more harm than neutral so neutral it is.

There was a report of a girl riding on the bow of a motor boat in Lake Geneva, WI (not far from Fox Lake) that fell off the bow and was killed by the prop. I was told that bow riding is no longer allowed on that lake
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,243
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
There's no way to know in a real life situation if going into reverse would cause more harm than neutral so neutral it is.
Reverse seems like a bad idea. Considering that the pilot shifts into reverse at just about the time it takes for the MOB to get to the prop, with arms and legs flailing, a spinning prop, no matter the direction, is bad. I like the engine off suggestion, if it can shut down that quickly.
For a sailboat with a deep prop, like Tom's Christmas, the risks are probably very minimal, for a small trailersailer with an outboard, offset to one side of the rudder, it could be a very real danger for the MOB who falls off on that side.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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Likes: LloydB
Jan 19, 2010
7,999
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
I'm guessing I would turn the stern away from the MOB and attempt to shift into neutral as quickly as possible. My hand is always on the tiller and usually on the throttle. There's no way to know in a real life situation if going into reverse would cause more harm than neutral so neutral it
Scenario drills are always a good idea. I’m thinking some MOB drills using a bumper might be a good thing to put on the agenda.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Mar 26, 2011
2,563
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
BTW, some states now require 100% kill switch wear by most small planing boats, including most inflatable dinghies. The USCG recently required all new builds to include kill switches (it had been voluntary) and has already proposed the new federal rule. If it were not for the current defacto moratorium on rule making, I believe it would have happened already.

As a consequence, there are a growing number of wireless kill switch systems on the market now. I reviewed a bunch of them a few months ago.

I mention this because a kill switch is probably a better response for many boats. Just yank the cord. You can restart later.