Single Handed MOB

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Mehitabel
Able Seaman
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:58 pm
Location: Clyde

Single Handed MOB

Postby Mehitabel » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:46 pm

If one thing worries me about single handed sailing, which is probably 75% of my time on the water, it is the prospect of taking an unplanned dive, or more likely something less elegant, over the side. This is a thought which increasingly bothers me - age I suppose. The prospect of watching the stern of my fine vessel disappear into the distance with the autohelm in control sickens me. I know that the best plan is NEVER to fall overboard and to do everything necessary to prevent it, but I find continuously clipping and unclipping a lanyard tiresome and only really bother if I am going forward in unpleasant conditions. I am also dubious about my ability to get back aboard over what is most likely to be the windward side while being dragged along at 5 knots. A lanyard short enough to prevent this is just too restrictive. I do however ALWAYS wear an auto lifejacket, I now feel uncomfortable aboard without it - bit like car seatbelt situation. However, having thought through the situation where this might simply prolong the agony, I have been sailing with a waterproof h/h VHF permanently attached inside the outer cover for the last year or so. Even this is of course not foolproof - the range of a 5 W transmission while in the water cannot be that great (worth an experiment I suppose). So I am now considering a personal EPIRB. The very compact MCMurdo Fastfind 210 which includes a GPS are now available at <£200. This could be attached to the lifejacket on the other side to the VHF. Anyone have one of these? They certainly look very small, but apparently do not float. I will end up with a lifejacket costing almost £400 and knowing me will leave it in a pub. Note to self: remember to write name and address on the label!

I will of course have to explain the need for yet more boat related expense to Mrs Mehitabel. And I am in a bit of a quandery about that one too. She seems not to have thought through the implications of my taking an unexpected swim, and I have not wanted to worry her with them, but I think that the seriousnes of the situation will have to be explained in order to release the necessary funds. Come to think of it, any suggestions on how a new spinnaker could be justified as a serious safety requirement?

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puddock
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Boat Type: Westerly Storm 33
Location: Aberdeen - Boat Lossiemouth

Re: Single Handed MOB

Postby puddock » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:30 pm

Mehitabel wrote:....... She seems not to have thought through the implications of my taking an unexpected swim, and I have not wanted to worry her with them, but I think that the seriousnes of the situation will have to be explained in order to release the necessary funds. Come to think of it, any suggestions on how a new spinnaker could be justified as a serious safety requirement?


Lay it on thick ! Fill her with guilt.
This boating lark is a selfish business. Cast all feelings of companionship and compassion aside. The McMurdo Fastfind is new and shiny - what could be more important?

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marisca
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Single Handed MOB

Postby marisca » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:56 pm

Even if you get rescued after watching your boat sailing away, would life be worth living? - the piss takes would go on for the rest of your life. Rather than a PLB, a half bottle of malt to encourage hypothermia would be better. The response time of a helicopter is probably longer than you would survive anyway, unless you suit up before you go for your swim.

On the other hand a spinnaker would enable you to get home to your loved one more quickly and if you ask her to choose the colours, it becomes a fait accompli instantly.

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sahona
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Location: Clyde

Re: Single Handed MOB

Postby sahona » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:57 pm

tension on your lifeline should stall the boat by tearing the authelm off the rudder, or otherwise unbalancing the boat.
Can you deploy the transom ladder to have two rungs underwater whilst swimming or is it tied up out of reach ?
These are cheap and simple "musts" which allow you to save yourself, rather than whistling for outside assistance with expensive gizmos.
http://trooncruisingclub.org/ 20' - 30' Berths available, Clyde.
Cruising, racing, maintenance facilities. Go take a look, you know you want to.

FullCircle
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Re: Single Handed MOB

Postby FullCircle » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:14 pm

I keep 4 bricks in my LJ just in case I am only in 6 feet of water. If I am in deeper water, I won't bother letting them out of the LJ.

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Mehitabel
Able Seaman
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:58 pm
Location: Clyde

Re: Single Handed MOB

Postby Mehitabel » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:45 pm

sahona wrote: Can you deploy the transom ladder to have two rungs underwater whilst swimming or is it tied up out of reach ?
These are cheap and simple "musts" which allow you to save yourself, rather than whistling for outside assistance with expensive gizmos.


I have added a trailing line (with a foot sized loop at the end) to the bottom rung of the folded transom ladder so as I can deploy it from the water. What bothers me is how do I get to the transom when I have fallen overboard from the foredeck without loosing touch with the boat. The best solution I have seen to this is to use a double lanyard and attach a continuous line around the boat under the gunwale. You could then attach the 2nd lanyard clip onto this line and detach/cut (did I mention I also carry a knife in my lifejacket) the 1st one so as to be able to make my way to the transom without detaching myself from the boat. I suppose a double lanyard is not strictly necessary if you always carry a suitable bit of line to use instead. If ever I bump into any of you I will be recogniseable by the bulging lifejacket and the pained expression on my face due to the neck ache caused by the weight of permanently carrying around all this kit stuffed inside. Must be able to fit that half bottle of malt in there somewhere too.

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sawdoc
Able Seaman
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Boat Type: Offshore 8 metre
Location: Galway

Re: Single Handed MOB

Postby sawdoc » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:29 pm

Mehitabel wrote:
sahona wrote: Can you deploy the transom ladder to have two rungs underwater whilst swimming or is it tied up out of reach ?
These are cheap and simple "musts" which allow you to save yourself, rather than whistling for outside assistance with expensive gizmos.


I have added a trailing line (with a foot sized loop at the end) to the bottom rung of the folded transom ladder so as I can deploy it from the water. What bothers me is how do I get to the transom when I have fallen overboard from the foredeck without loosing touch with the boat. .


A guy who cruises with us usually singlehanded is very exercised about this topic. From what I recall he has an arrangement whereby he trails a long light line in the water behind him - this is to give him time to fall overboard, gather himself together and grab on before all has dissapeared.


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