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Found this subject from another list. Thought I would pass it on to our

Has anyone set anything up on their SJ23 when sailing solo?



>The trailing line and tiller theory is quite popular.  I have seen this
>discussed in books a bit, and a great deal in Usenet.  IMHO, it will not
>I would like to address 3 issues here: Line trailing dynamics, Small boat
>forces, and my alternative proposal.
>On line trailing, there are a number of things to consider.  If you assume
>that you can pull on a line and turn the boat to weather, consider the
>timing and issues involved.  If you fall off at six knots, you will fall
>into the water and then pop up to the surface a couple of seconds later.
>Looking around, you will see where the boat is and start swimming
>perpendicular to the direction the boat is sailing in order to catch your
>trailing line.  By the time you reach the centerline of the boat's path,
>several seconds have passed.  This may amount to more than 100 feet of
>line.  You need a really long trailing line.  Once you find the line and
>grab on, you will find that it tends to pull you underwater.  Making your
>way forward on the line becomes impossible, as it is all you can do to
>catch a breath now and then while the "bow wave" over your face inhibits
>your breathing.  If your line were to bring the boat into the wind, you
>only have a few seconds in irons before the boat falls off and takes off
>again.  With the tiller free there will be a cycle of reaching and turing
>into the wind, but the boat will never stabilize and go hove to which would
>be required for you to catch up the boat and get back on board.
>On the plus side, small boat forces are actually pretty low.  I have tried
>dragging a person attached to a 23' boat by a lifeline.  The 9.9 hp motor
>that would normally drive the boat to 6 knots could not get beyond 3.2
>knots while I was dragging the person.  The drag force of hauling a person
>is likely to slow a 22' boat considerably.  It would not slow a 35' boat
>much at all.
>My alternative proposal has been to fix a sea anchor, a 8' to 10'
>parachute, to the stern pulpit in a bag that would also be attached to a
>trailing line.  When someone pulled on the trailing line, the sea anchor
>comes out of the bag and stops the boat.  Sea anchors are extremely
>effective.  Unlike trying to keep the boat in irons, a sea anchor will
>absolutely insure that the boat stops nearly dead in the water.
>I have not tried the sea anchor idea, but I have tried dragging someone.
>Overall, I would suggest that the most important thing would be to try our
>your theories in practice.  Like a MOB drill, try jumping off the boat
>while sailing under self steer or autopilot an then getting back on.  Put
>someone on deck and instruct them to do nothing, other than picking you up
>when you are ready to give up.  I'm not certain what techniques would
>really work, but I have talked to a number of people who are self assured
>based on techniques that are theoretical only and which, through some
>testing, I'm certain are impossible or ineffective.
>At 03:19 AM 2/5/99 GMT, you wrote:
>>I was thinking about the problem of getting back aboard my
>>C22 if I ever fell off while under way solo with the sails
>>up. I hope to be tethered to the jack line if that ever
>>happens. But, with the boat sailing along at 6 knots, it
>>could prove to be a real challenge to climb aboard with the
>>sea forcing my legs aft.

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