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Seamanship & safety - MOB

Be prepared for an MOB

1. Get in the habit of wearing a PFD or safety harness when conditions warrant it. Lead by example.

2. Become comfortable with your boat in different conditions, and know how long it takes to stop in both flat and choppy water.

3. Experiment with down-speed maneuvers, and become familiar with the turning ability and drift of your vessel. Obviously, a Grand Banks 42 behaves differently than a center console. Multihulls go faster and stop faster. Some boats are easier to jibe than to tack.

4. Once you have the return and approach down, substitute a live person in the water for the throw ring you were practicing with to develop real-life recovery techniques.

5. Practice, practice, practice.

6. A lack of leadership can lead to chaos, so establish a chain of command and determine who takes over if the skipper goes over the side.

7. If you go out with an inexperienced crew, show them where the rescue gear is stowed and talk them through the procedure of using it while still at the dock. A briefed crew is less likely to panic and will work more efficiently.

8. Stay humble. Remember that Admiral Murphy never sleeps. And, of course, hold fast.