Archive for the ‘safety’ Category


Monday, July 30th, 2007

Now that we’re in, I can mention how terrifying the idea of a man overboard on a short-handed ocean race is.

During our initial MOB training in May, Colin the then-neophyte sailor suggested a dedicated GPS near the MOM8 for MOB use. At the time, I poo-pooed the idea a little, but since the TP, I really have been considering it strongly. It’s a great idea.

It also turns out that the big guys (i.e. the V70s and the like) have a single “big red button” dedicated MOB system that logs a GPS position. I’m going to look into getting a low-draw handheld with a dedicated MOB button, hardwiring it to the 12v system and hanging it on the port stern pulpit. The power cable can come up through the obsolete DGPS beacon antenna fitting.

Downwind MOB practice

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Regarding this honking Saturday, Latitude 38 said “With winds touching 30 knots at times and an ebb tide of more than 3 knots, it was a sailmaker’s dream.” The 105s were racing, and it looked like a shrimp and shred fest from where we were sailing.

We picked today for our downwind MOB practice, and to introduce Colin to bay sailing. Up to the gate, working the runners and getting the #3 dialed in. Big arc in front of the bridge and head toward the rock. Garth on the foredeck, hoist in 20kts, work in a few gybes. Get a couple wraps and unwind them successfully by sailing in the lee.

As we rip by one of the yellow olympic circle marks, I yell MOB and wait to see what happens. Considering that we’ve never run a drill with the entire crew, it worked great. Colin yells that he’s got eyes on the MOB, someone else yells that they’ve deployed the MOM8. Pole forward and locked 1′ off the forestay. Driver rounds up, somebody dumps the halyard and the chute just plops down. Not pretty, but fast fast, and the boat just stops. The first time Bob needed to really muscle the sheet into the boat , but we figured out that the guy can get let go after the chute is mostly in the boat. But not too early with the guy or it’s a real grovel getting the sail in the boat.

After that, about an hour of circle and recovering a 1 liter nalgene bottle, which is basically impossible in a 30′ boat. Then back to the gate and another run down in the big air, back behind angel, and Colin drives us home through racoon while we enjoy a well deserved frosty.