Our old boat had the usual horseshoe buoy with a light on a lanyard situated on the pushpit. For our coastal sailing needs i made the assumption that this would be more than sufficient.
However we sold the yacht and have a nice new one to fit out.
Now it would seem as if a horseshoe buoy is not really the best way of dealing with a MOB.
For coastal day sailing, with the occasional longer passage, surely a floating sling on a floating line is a better system?
I am not going to invest in more than one system initially, so can I please have your learned opinions please?
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Thread: Best MOB recovery system?
08-05-12, 10:10 #1Registered User
Location : Kent
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
Best MOB recovery system?
08-05-12, 10:43 #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
We have a tri-buckle sling thing. Never been used in anger thankfully. However, we do have fun practising in summer by lifting swimmers out.
Takes a bit of setting up.
Not necessarily easy to get the person in it.
Not much fun to be lifted either, or flopped onto the side deck.
Having said that, it does lift the person horizontally which I am told is preferable.I may be wrong, but I'm not confused.
08-05-12, 10:49 #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
08-05-12, 10:55 #4
If there was one 'best system' the makers would have enough money to buy the moon !
There are many many ideas, I can only suggest you read the many articles and books on the subject.
Personally I fancy the 'Jon Buoy', but that's expensive and still not perfect as one can't test it before use, and it requires servicing.
I also like the idea of 'parbuckling' where a sail - or similar specially made up device - is aattached to the side of the boat with the other end on a halliard, the casualty being scooped up into the boat.
Needs some thought setting up beforehand - like any set up - and probably detachable guardrails.
Two things I'd strongly recommend - from first had experience as it was me over the side ! -
Pelican hooks on the guardrails. Infinitely preferable to cutting lashings, and useful in 'normal' sailing when getting to & from tenders etc, probably the one best thing I've added to my boat, saying that with 34 years on boat & 20 with pelicans.
Also, fit a large snap-shackle at the bottom of the mainsheet; combined with a strong topping lift, this allows one to use the boom as a derrick to lift the casualty; worked for me but only because I was wearing a lifejacket with harness eye.
08-05-12, 10:58 #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
On my last boat, I rigged a section of cargo netting between 2 stantions. At the bottom of the netting I lashed a length of stainless tube to ensure the net would sink. A rope was attached to each end of the tube and led back over the gunwale.
This was all set up to that there was no chance of the net or ropes becoming entangled with the rudder or prop. In use, the person in the water could climb the net or, if unable to do so, could be rolled aboard by hauling on the 2 ropes.
Hope this gives a few ideas.
08-05-12, 11:14 #6Registered User
Location : West Australia
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
An MOB situation has several stages to it. Each requiring different equipment.
Firstly to be aware the you have an MOB. Either have more than one person on deck or have the sole crew harnessed to the boat so no MOB. Or have one of the radio type warning systems.
Secondly Floatation for the MOB. A Lifejacket worn should answer this need. If no LJ then a horseshoe ring thrown may be reached by the MOB for floatation.
Thirdly finding the MOB. Large boats can take some turning around. A smaller boat less so. in any case you need a spotter to keep an eye on the MOB location. Or a flag floating high or a light at night.
Fourthly a rope of some form to get the MOB to the boat. A floating throwing line will work here.
Lastly a way to get him over the gunwhale. Stern ladder is best especially if you can use a rope around him to hoist him up or just support him on the way up. Topping lift etc. Whatever you use you need to try it in practice.
The parbuckling can work OK but if you use a sail the two deck attachment points can not be stretched apart sufficiently and he can fall through between the sail and gunwhale when close to the deck.
Best is to use spin halyard held out over the gunwhale by a spin pole hoisting into a harness hopefully he is wearing. If not you might need to get someone prepared to go into the water to help the MOB.
or does that just give you 2X MOB.
Anyway all these stages need to be addressed if you are going to be successful saving an MOB. Best of course is harness and lines so he can't go over the side. olewill
08-05-12, 11:16 #7
Two separate problems. 1. Getting the MOB attached to the boat. 2. Getting the MOB out of the water and onto the boat. (Another problem is realising you've got an MOB, but probably beyond the scope of this thread.
Problem 1. I'd use a life sling and also a horseshoe with light to toss first to mark the position.
Problem 2. Ladder - vital piece of equipment, not only for recovering a conscious MOB but for allowing crew to get down to the level of the man in the water. Rinky dink plastic and string devices are useless, you really need a fixed, hard ladder.
On bigger boats with strong spars and powerful winches a handy billy from the boom, boom secured by a halyard, will work if the MOB has anything to attach to.
A quick and easy way of attaching a lifting harness to an uncooperative MOB would be a worthwhile invention.
Rolling the MOB into an inflatable dinghy as part one of a recovery operation has merit - gets the MOB out of the water and allows thinking and planning time.
Rolling people up in sails or purpose built fabric sheets has always struck me as being rather optimistic in anything but calm conditions, warm water and with a cooperating victim - but people more experienced than me seem to consider this a viable option.
On my own boats I've always planned to use the boom.John
08-05-12, 12:01 #8Registered User
Location : Southampton
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
You could test it provided you didn't mind buying a new cylinder; I keep meaning to at the end of a season but never quite get round to it. You could try it in the water for nothing, without testing the actual launch, by blowing it up with a pump through the oral top-up tube.
Servicing is no harder than a lifejacket - technology-wise that's all it is, a big funny-shaped manual lifejacket. All the working parts (inflator, top-up tube, light, bladder fabric, etc) are standard lifejacket parts, it just has a bigger CO2 bottle attached. Each winter I leave it up overnight, inspect it, and weigh the bottle.
The above all works because it's not tightly packed and vacuum sealed like a liferaft, just folded neatly into a plastic box and held onto a backplate with a strap and buckle.
Still, it's not perfect. In particular, it's based on the "leave the MOB behind and then come back for them" approach. I think there's definite benefits to the trail-a-sling-on-a-long-line option; I guess ideally I'd have both but there's only so much room on my stern.
08-05-12, 12:37 #9Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2007
09-05-12, 23:16 #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
I volunteered to jump into the sea 7 times and have my wife haul me out via different supposedly whizzo methods, so hopefully I know a bit more than some folks who have never tried it. Many of the so-called great methods don't work on modern yachts with a high freeboard.
First, the MOB situation is totally different if the casualty is conscious or unconscious. If the latter, forget what I'm about to write...someone has to jump in...
If conscious, get up close, beam side on and use hand signals as well as yelling. Plan to pull the casualty over the widest beam.
IMMEDIATELY, chuck any old line to the casualty, with a big knot at their end. They can hold on to it, so that buys you time.
If you can chuck your dinghy or liferaft in easily and quickly, do it...but TIED ON!!!!
Cos you've read this, all your halyards will be 2-4 metres longer than they need to be, so that they can reach into the water. This is the cheapest and best way to start winning. A Kim Sling is the best kit, but even the halyard under the armpits of the casualty and tied off on their chest will do the bizz. Be aware, though, that if the person is very cold/unfit/older, a vertical lift could cause other health problems such as a heart attack, so a contraption using lifejacket lines will help if they can get their feet into it and be lifted via armpits and feet raised up.
If you have electric winches, use them on the long halyard. Second best is to go forward to an electric windlass. If you have neither, I hope you have others on board.
Another way is to keep a snatch block permanently shackled to the end of the boom. When disaster strikes, find a way to use the mainsheet and this block as a crane, with the boom held over the side with a boom preventer. The multiple blocks of a mainsheet system should make the pull pretty easy.
We do all of these things...we have extra long halyards,a Kim sling, and the block rigged ready for use. We always have the boom preventer rigged.
Even after all this...I know it is the bleedin' obvious, but strap in properly so you never fall overboard. If one of a couple falls in, then messing about with sails, turning the boat around, whilst trying to find partner in the sea is nearly Mission Impossible.
We always wear lifejackets and strap in at night or in poor viz, and any time I go for'ard in anything above a Force 4. If you think I'm a sissy, I don't care. I wouldn't want to put my wife through the trauma of doing all that stuff to save my life.