American sailing associations, clubs and outfitters have put enormous effort into testing how a person who has gone overboard can best be rescued. With 15 ships of different types, over 400 maneuvers were completed in changing wind and wave conditions. The documentation of the results has recently been published.
Heavy Island Packet 38 and Islander 53 sailboats were available for the test in the Bay of San Francisco. In addition, modern series cruise ships, including four Bénéteaus between 33 and 43 feet in length. Fast cruisers / racers were also included in the maneuvers, as were catamarans and trimarans. Even motor boats, from large yachts to dinghies, were taken into account.
Various MOB maneuvers were performed over and over again for days. 115 helpers took part in the large-scale experiment that was probably unique to date. The goal: to find out how a sailor who has gone overboard can be most effectively rescued. In addition to the maneuvers, various rescue equipment was also checked for its function and practicality.
The results are sobering and revealing at the same time. The most important results are summarized in a study that is reported in the current edition of YACHT. You can read about it in issue 20/06, now available in newsagents.