Crash stop

The crash stop method offers the huge benefit of keeping boat and man overboard close together throughout the affair (Fig 30.2). This is what you do:

• As soon as your man goes over the side, push the helm hard down, regardless of your point of sailing. This will normally tack the boat.

• Leave your headsail sheets made fast so that the jib and/or staysail come aback.

• The yacht is now effectively hove to. The reality in a seaway is that this is often a messy manoeuvre, with ropes and sails flailing around in disarray, but in spite of this discomfort, the boat will often settle down close enough to the casualty

Fig 30.2 Man overboard: crash stop.

to pass him a line. If this isn't the case, it may well be worth trying to work the boat across to him by juggling sheets and tiller.

• If it looks as though you will not come close enough to effect a rescue, you will have to motor-sail. This is where the modern yacht with her powerful, reliable auxiliary scores over her predecessors, but first, you have a job to do. Unless you have a spare person to detail for the duty, nip below, press the MOB button on your GPS - assuming it is running - and note the time. Now carry on with the main task.

• Motor-sailing from the hove-to mode is the favourite means if you entertain secret doubts about your capacity to make the grade as a boat handler. It is also the best way to teach your crew to cope in the event of the real catastrophe of falling overboard yourself.

• Keeping a constant eye on the victim, drop your headsail or roll it away. Now work the boat to a point downwind of the casualty and start the engine after double-checking, then checking again, that no rope of any description can find its way into the propeller. The pick-up is made with the boat approaching from slightly off dead downwind with the mainsheet pinned amidships. The sail steadies the boat while the propeller maintains control, but it is important to keep the person in the water towards the 'shoulder' of the boat. A propeller can inflict traumatic injuries on a swimmer which, in his already shocked state, could render the object of the whole exercise somewhat futile.

• With a conscious and uninjured casualty it is always better to lose the last of your way five yards from him and toss him a line, than to risk injuring him by direct contact in a seaway.

Probably the most difficult man-overboard scenarios occur when you are on a run, either with spinnaker set, or with a headsail poled out. There are a number of ways to deal with these undesirable situations depending upon the boat, the skill of her crew, her size and various other factors. It is therefore impossible to generalise. The only responsible answer is to consider deeply what you would do under these circumstances, then try your theory out in practice using a bucket and fender tied together as a dummy victim. If it doesn't work, think again until you find something that does.

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

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.

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