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Towing with a Ford Explorer

The original message was received at Fri, 5 Feb 1999 08:29:36 -0500 (EST)
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From: Mick & Claire Roberts <>
Organization: Sculptures, etc. by Claire
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Never heard of trying to bring a boat into the wind with a warp. 
However, warps can be helpful (in addition to sail trim) should you lose
your rudder by adjusting the length to help turn the boat.

My boat is set up for single handing with a Davis tiller tamer and all
halyards leading to the cockpit.  I also use a downhaul on the
headsail.  It works by attaching a line through a block at the tack then
to the halyard shackle.  This line leads back to the cockpit so that
when the jib halyard is released and the down haul pulled, the jib comes
quickly to the deck.

A friend who cruised the Sea of Cortez for a couple of years with his
family told me about a very simple single hander's boarding assist. 
Just attach a loop to the aft mooring cleat that will extend about six
or eight inches below the water line, hooking it loosly onto your safety
harness.  When you have pulled yourself back to the boat, the rudder can
be turned so that the boat will go head to wind.  Then a foot in the
loop will allow you to get back on board without a ladder.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Mick Roberts
Juan Mo' Time
Oriental, NC

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Subject: Fw: "Dead Man's Switch" 
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 23:17:24 -0800
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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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