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Old 08-03-2014, 12:23 PM   #1
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MOB Retrival

Saw this bow-rail mounted LifeSling on a tricked out Cutwater:
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What's the thinking here? It slightly impairs helm visibility, no idea if the rail can withstand several hundred pounds of wet crew, and if you got someone in the sling, now what? Tow them like a fish while they bleed out? And then there's the issue of who's running the boat while this is going on. Well, if they're not watching satellite TV that is.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
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Overall, agree with your assessment. I had mine mounted in that exact place on the Hatt, but due to design it did not impeded vision at all. However, you had to really let out a lot of line, all of it, to be able to safely see the person in the water.

Tag end of the LS needs to be attached to a cleat. Once you have snagged them, stop engine and drag to swim platform. Then the fun begins unless you have some way of winching them up or some strong people on board. Without practice , the thing is virtually worthless, and even with it, extremely hard to execute on a typical powerboat.

I dreaded the prospect of having to use it in the kind of conditions that would likely result in an actual accidental MOB.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:22 PM   #3
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Then the fun begins unless you have some way of winching them up or some strong people on board.

I keep one of these in a nylon bag stowed in the cockpit.

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It's a 6' long come-a-long style strap puller. Attach one end to the aft rail and the other to the casualty and it gives me mechanical advantage to get them onto the swim step.

Far from "ideal" but significantly better than nothing at all. $20 well spent IMO. If we boated in saltwater I'd buy a new one every year or so as the environment would tend to muck it up a bit.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:19 PM   #4
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Another benefit of a steadying sail is having a boom and winch to haul in a MOB if ever required. I hope I never get the chance to use it as such. I use harnesses and a lifeline when the conditions are rough, Especially when solo.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:05 PM   #5
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I should have noted that deploying a LS from the bow introduces a whole new set of complications, positioning it for the MOB while keeping it out of the running gear on your way to the person in the water. In other words, very sub-optimal, I can attest. And regardless of all that, boom, winch, come along (our play was to use the davit) whatever, in any kind of seaway, a nightmare. A swim platform can kill someone, bringing the person up the windward side is best if you can.

Anybody here practice this?

Best plan: stay inside the boat! and if you have to go outside in anything but smoother waters, wear a pfd, and tether if it is really bad. Especially if there are only two people on board.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:12 PM   #6
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An MOB is sub optimal by my personal definition and options will be different on most boats. On my boat the swim platform is the only practical choice. I have practiced my procedure and with its flaws it's the best we can do and works for us.

Fwiw, all persons aboard donning PFD's is SOP in the event of any casualty on my boat and they are readily available at all times.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:56 PM   #7
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The MOB system is something I've given a lot of thought to, especially having an Admiral who is well......not good with machines. I dumped my mast and boom set-up for a dinghy crane with a hand winch that will easily lift someone aboard from aft or port side to either the stern tailgate, the side entry through the bulwarks, or to the boat deck up top. The dinghy davits, previously fitted with 4 to 1 block and tackle on both sides, have all been replaced with hand winches. Everything has Amsteel 5400 lb. line. As easy as it would be for her to winch my 240 lbs. out of the water, the only place she could probably get me aboard by herself would be to crank me up to the boat deck and swivel the crane to get my carcass aboard, and even that would still require that I was conscious and could attach my own rigging or life sling while in the water. A Lifesling and automatic self-inflating life vests are also part of the equipment. MOB automatic signaling will be part of a new VHF/GPS system before we start cruising to the Islands.

Even the simplest MOB situation isn't an easy thing to manage (try it). As noted above, taking all measures not to go overboard in the first place is the priority. 2nd priority would probably be fitness.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:18 AM   #8
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As said, the whole process of managing MOB is a complicated process. Minimizing the risk of it happening is also complicated.

With my boat, having a flush deck, and no high gunwales the risk is high. Add rough water and frequent solo trips, a and it turns into probably one of the highest risks on board. A lifejacket alone isn't going to save you.

We have a MOB drill almost every time we go out in open water. The whole family is familiar with the procedures. Usually without notice, I just throw a lifejacket overboard and give the call, to everyone knows how to mark the MOB position, shut down the auto helm, and loop the boat around for the pickup. The kids enjoy it more than the wife.
Actual pickup of a person, we have only practiced at anchor. That is challenging enough.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:01 AM   #9
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People are not the only retrival problem.

For out cat we used a rolled up carpet that was wire tied from the deck to the water.

The cat loves dink rides and would exit the dink at her ladder.

Saved her at anchor at least 2x.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:56 AM   #10
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I have a swim ladder on the swim platform. It can be deployed from the water. I installed a grip rail on the transom to make it easier to climb from the ladder to the swim platform.

It's been tested and it works. Of course the person in the water has to be conscious and able to climb the ladder.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:20 AM   #11
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A huge thing to consider when MOB retrieval is needed...if the conditions are such that propulsion is needed to get or stay near the MOB....aft retrieval is VERY dangerous....a second method should also be available
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:10 AM   #12
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A huge thing to consider when MOB retrieval is needed...if the conditions are such that propulsion is needed to get or stay near the MOB....aft retrieval is VERY dangerous....a second method should also be available
Stop the engine(s), throw the person a line, preferably with a flotation device attached.

I watched a guy from my dock the other day. Apparently his outdrive wouldn't go down with the electrical control.

His solution - Barefoot, he sat on the swim platform and pushed it down with his foot. Yep the engine was running and it was in gear.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:13 AM   #13
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It sounds so easy till you have to do it in less than perfect conditions which is rarely when you have a MOB....I've done it plenty and watched it some to know better....plan B isn't EVER a bad idea.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:22 PM   #14
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I watched a guy from my dock the other day. Apparently his outdrive wouldn't go down with the electrical control.

His solution - Barefoot, he sat on the swim platform and pushed it down with his foot. Yep the engine was running and it was in gear.
The things they can do with prosthetics these days are really amazing, though. No more peglegs.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:42 PM   #15
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Let us not forget about boarding after being knock over while single handing.Some boats have a high sides.

I think there have been movies made about this.
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