We can think of no worse situation on a cruising yacht than having one of the crewmembers go overboard. As a result, we've always been cautious about wearing a safety harness and hooking up. We were initially scared into this approach by reading Hank Searle's Overboard. It is an excellent cruising yarn, and one with a very realistic portrayal of what can happen. Give it a look.
But even if you're careful, have high, secure lifelines, and always wear a harness, the worst can still happen. So, we feel it is a good idea to be prepared for the worst.
From singlehander Chip Vincent, aboard Eos, we learned about trailing a trip line to disengage the windvane (if you reached it as the boat sailed past!). From Dean Kewish, another singlehander, we picked up the idea of trailing a long floating polypropylene line, knotted every two feet (60 centimeters), as a means of catching hold and getting back aboard (if the vessel isn't moving too fast). We adapted this to our doublehanded vessel by keeping a knotted and coiled line in the cockpit, ready to throw in case one of us went overboard.
Today most crewed boats carry a LifeSling for this purpose.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.