Safety gear?

mick

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2001
Messages
933
Location
Clyde
I have a danbuoy and horseshoe buoy which are past their best. I could just replace them with modern equivalents, but am also thinking of a MOB lifesling, or similar. Which of these, or which combination, does the forum think is best? Is there some piece of gear I haven't thought of? My wife and I sail a Sadler 26 in the Clyde and up the west coast of Scotland, never terribly far from land, although conditions are not always benign.
 

aidancoughlan

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2002
Messages
548
Location
co.Wicklow, Ireland
if you buy a Horshoe bouy, watch out that it will go around your waist. There was a review a while back which slated some of the horshoes on the market becuase they were too inflexible for a MOB to put around their body. The 'soft' lazilas horshoe was voted best as far as I recall. The Kim MOB sling was voted the best of the 'sling' types in the same review.
Some of the horshoes available now also have a reel with rope to keep a MOB attached to the boat.
 

billcowan

Member
Joined
20 Mar 2005
Messages
700
Location
Drumadoon
They tested all the MOB 'systems' recently, and they were all crap.


It takes at least two strong people to pull a third out of the water whatever method you use, so harness & line if you leave the cockpit on a lightly manned boat I say.
 

webcraft

Well-known member
Joined
8 Jul 2001
Messages
40,533
Location
Cyberspace
Re: tribuckle

I seem to recollect the tribuckle got very good reports. Provided a decent lead can be got to a primary winch one person should be able to recover someone in the water to level with the toerail quite easily once they have guided them into the device.

[And I got one at a boat jumble for £15 last weekend /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif]

- Nick
 

jerryat

Active member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
3,570
Location
Nr Plymouth
Interesting. We bought the original 'Lifesling' some years ago and it sat on the pushpit each season ready for use. It occurred to us after a couple of years that we'd never actually tried it, so one day, cruising off Morgat, I (13 1/2 stone) jumped into the water while SWMBO (5'2" and under 8 stone) hurled the thing into the water then circled the boat to bring the line within reach. This was under sail in light winds, so took a little while.

I managed to get into the Lifesling alright (but I was 'undamaged' so to speak!!) but the interest started when she tried to winch me aboard. We used the main halyard (the sail drops completely when released) direct to the Lifesling and she started winching using the low speed. I played 'dead'. She got me to the side of the boat and about half out of the water fairly easily, but as the weight really came on, she tired very quickly, and it is fair to say that if I hadn't been able to help myself over the last foot or so, she would probably have failed.

Salutary lesson for us, as it was a calm sea, light breeze and mid summer. The Lifesling DID work though and surprisingly, was not uncomfortable in use, though you woudn't want to spent too long with your full weight on it.

We've carried it on all our travels since, though make damn sure we try and avoid any chance of having to use it seriously. One thing to watch - we tried it later with one of our then young sons in the water (he wanted a go and weighed about 9 stone at the time) - because there was no wind, we motored the boat in the recommended 'circle' round the casualty to bring the floating line within his reach. A very slight misjudgement, and the line was drawn under the boat and had been instantly sliced in two by the rope cutter! Even when we did it a second time, we came close to a similar result, so Gods knows how difficult it would be in bad weather using either method.

Final, slightly cheering thought! I was able to winch my son straight up the side of the boat from where he could almost step aboard, so ladies, you've got a far better chance of retrieval - IF you haven't upset HWMBO!!! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Cheers Jerry
 

webcraft

Well-known member
Joined
8 Jul 2001
Messages
40,533
Location
Cyberspace
Increasing the purchase

From jerryrat's post it would seem that the purchase provided by the average primary winch is not enough for a smaller person to winch the dead weight of a larger person aboard. On reflection this has definitely been true in the past when a crew member has tried to winch me up the mast - if I assisted then no problem, but hauling my dead weight straight up was not easy.

I see no reason to assume that it would be any easier with the tribuckle - you are still lifting the entire weight of the casualty straight up three or four feet. I am confident I could recover SWMBO, but she might not manage to haul my carcase out of the oggin.

What would be a quick way of increasing the mechanical advantage of a winch - say x2? Would it be possible to have some kind of block ready for quick attachment for just this purpose?

What happens if you take the tail from one winch across to the second primary winch? Do you double the mechanical advantage now you have six turns, or is it simply impossible because a riding turn develops immediately?

- Nick
 

snowleopard

Active member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
33,647
Location
Cornwall
Re: Increasing the purchase

i run the line from the lifesling through a snatch block on the end of the boom to a halliard winch and i can lift a 10st casualty easily. if you need more power the best bet is to unshackle the mainsheet from its track and hook it to the harness.

one thing i am sure of is that you need to have rehearsed the procedure and have the equipment ready. it's no good looking in lockers for a suitable bit of rope when there's a body in the water.
 

aidancoughlan

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2002
Messages
548
Location
co.Wicklow, Ireland
Re: Safety Gear ? - ladder

[ QUOTE ]
They tested all the MOB 'systems' recently, and they were all crap

[/ QUOTE ]
It seems to be the case that the traditional (horshoe/sling) MOB systems while usefull for making contact with someone in the water, they are not ideal for getting them back board. It's obvious from the magazine reviews that some of the manufacturers need to pull their socks up in design & testing.
I reckon a fixed ladder on the stern must be one of the best ways if the MOB can help themselves. Having said that, the stern is apparently a bad place to be mounting in a seaway though. I noticed a flexible ladder from Plastimo (which can mount mid-ships) which got reasonable comments in another review.

Mick:.... On the topic of slings, I bought a 'Lazilas Life-Link' sling MOB system myself recently, but wonder whether I should have gone for a horshoe, since the horshoe provides good flotation whereas the sling provides minimal floatation. Just another something to consider when comparing.

ps. Nobody has mentioned a Danbouy since the original post - since I dont have one myself, and mick is considering replacing - has anybody got any comments on whether this is considered necessary? For that matter, is there a link with a full list of safety gear that is considered usefull for coastal cruising with occasional 2-weeks trips across both sides of the Irish sea? I asked the RNLI at the boat show and got a vague answer - 'it depends'. There is a good set of safety gear on http://www.seamarknunn.co.uk/catalog/cat48.htm - which bits should be carried on board for weekend cruising?
 

JeanneP

New member
Joined
22 Mar 2005
Messages
9
Location
United States
[ QUOTE ]
A very slight misjudgement, and the line was drawn under the boat and had been instantly sliced in two by the rope cutter! Even when we did it a second time, we came close to a similar result, so Gods knows how difficult it would be in bad weather using either method.

[/ QUOTE ]

Our Lifesling has polypropylene line, which floats - it shouldn't get under the boat where it can foul a prop or be cut by the rope cutter. Was your line polypropylene, or something else?

On the mounting bag for the lifesling is illustrated a block and tackle method for getting the MOB back on board. Does your kit not have these instructions? It seems to me it would make a big difference in the ease of retrieving somebody.
 

Swagman

New member
Joined
1 Feb 2005
Messages
1,444
Location
Based from the UK, try to get away on a boat for a
Safety Gear - Danbuoy

Last year we purchased an inflatable danbuoy as we believed it was somewhat neater on the pushpit than a rigid version.
Later last year we broached off wind, lost the lot over the side, and despite the firng pin still being attached to the yacht - the thing did not inflate.
Salutory lesson in neatness v practicality.....
Cheers
JOHN
 

jerryat

Active member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
3,570
Location
Nr Plymouth
Hi JeanneP,

Yes , ours had the floating line and the instructions to which you refer. I am not at all sure that the floating line is an advantage (certainly wasn't in our case) 'cos whilst you can see it in theory, when you are busily trying to get a MOB back, it's very difficult to watch all the time. Added to which, because it floats, it doesn't appear to act like a saturated line would, i.e. effectively follow the basic track of the yacht. Our 'experiment' showed it skipped across the water to form more of an elipse. It also appeared to be 'sucked' under the boat when it got near the stern/prop, presumably by the flow of water.

I assume you've tried yours out, so would be pleased to hear how you got on and what problems, if any, you had. Yes, we got our people back, but it WASN'T an emergency situation - and the result was therefore a bit of worry.

Re the tackle, yes, as it happens we do keep a separate tackle (4:1) in the cockpit locker as an emergency mainsheet/vang repalcement, BUT, as snowleopard implies, it ain't no good there!

Frankly, I do not believe the average SWMBO OR HWMBO stops to calmly consider the options in a real situation and the thought of trying to manoeuvre the boat, watch the casualty, launch the lifebuoy, Danbuoy, and prepare the lifesling is more than a lot of people could manage and was the reason why we've practised it a few times. Sure we could keep the tackle in the cockpit all ready every time we sail, but it isn't really on is it? How many here do?

Sure, once we've got the person alongside and secured to the boat (by far the most important bit) we could decide use the tackle (probably essential for SWMBO to get me out if I was unconcious), but don't forget, my previous post did not describe a 'real' situation and we wanted to see what each could do with the readily available gear to hand.

I agree with the other posters that a good, strong boarding ladder has to be the best, always available, first solution, though again, just try getting someone aboard at the stern (where ours is) in anything of a sea. It's damned dicey and potentially lethal!

Before the start of each long passage certainly at the sart of each season, we go through the MOB options and kit, and this, together with the sort of practise described in my earlier post, gives us a little bit of confidence!

Hope this helps a bit, /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Cheers Jerry
 
Top