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overboard and alone.....now what??

Old 04-03-2006, 09:14 PM
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Default overboard and alone.....now what??

OK, I'll roil the waters a bit more in an attempt to learn something, spark debate and to listen to some funny replies.

Here's my delimna. I fish alone often. The thought occured to me that I'd have no way to get back into the boat if I fell overboard. My boat is a straight inboard with no protruding engine or outdrive to climb up to get back on the boat. (Of course all this assumes that the boat is in neutral when I fall off!) The gunnels are too high to reach if you're treading water alongside, and there is nothing to aid a swimmer. It would really suck to be treading water with no way to save your bacon knowing there is a whole cooler full of ice cold beer just a few feet away.

I am thinking of installing a stainless folding mast step on the transom which would enable me to climb back up....like this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...RK%3AMEWA%3AIT

Just curious what others have done to negate this problem...besides NOT falling over.

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Old 04-03-2006, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

I SAW A GREAT TIP ON SALTWATER SUNDAY THIS WEEKEND. IF YOU HAVE AN OUTBOARD STEP ON THE FLANGES ABOVE THE PROP THEN HIT THE POWER TRIM ON THE SIDE OF THE OUTBAORD. IT WILL RISE UP OUT OF THE WATER AND DUMP YOU IN THE BOAT. NEAT TRICK
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

Check this 3-page thread of recent discussion:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/t...ighlightmode=1
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:29 PM
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Default RE: overboard and alone.....now what??

Here's what I have on my boat. There's a small ladder that sits flat on top of the step. It pivots down and telescopes open. Very easy to use, compact and never gets in the way when fishing.

Those little steps like the one on your link don't offer a hand hold. They don't look very stable either. Climbing aboard a boat when your fully dressed and soaked is harder than it looks (don't ask how I know).
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

A ladder is only 50% of the solution

If you get back to your boat you may be too tired to climb in

And try to climb up a ladder in 4 foot waves

You need grab handles on either side of the ladder

If you don't believe me try to get back in your boat on a rough day

. . . . .

We did this dozens of time teaching scuba divers how to do self rescues

. . . . .

And you have to get back to the boat . . . if it is windy you only have a minute and then the boat is gone

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Old 04-03-2006, 11:23 PM
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Default RE: overboard and alone.....now what??

here's how i answer my wife. everyone on my boat wear's pfd's. my boat, my rules. each one has a cyalume light stick, a 3 pack of hand held flares, a strobe, a whistle and a small air horn. two pfd's also have a waterproof vhf radio and a waterproof gps. worst case scenario, the boat rolls. we gather everyone up, fire up the gps and get some numbers, then call the coast guard and call for help. you now have a straight rescue mission, not search and rescue. big difference. it's waiting during the "search" part that can get you killed.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

Alan - how are you calling the CG ? By HH VHF ? If they can hear you, then they can probably see you. Sounds like you need to add a PLB or 2 to your equipment.

oldmako - check this out - Emergency Boarding Ladder. As auguste points out, this may be a challenge

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|135|88173&id=88159

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Old 04-04-2006, 12:03 AM
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Default RE: overboard and alone.....now what??

alantani - 4/4/2006 12:23 AM

here's how i answer my wife. everyone on my boat wear's pfd's. my boat, my rules. each one has a cyalume light stick, a 3 pack of hand held flares, a strobe, a whistle and a small air horn. two pfd's also have a waterproof vhf radio and a waterproof gps. worst case scenario, the boat rolls. we gather everyone up, fire up the gps and get some numbers, then call the coast guard and call for help. you now have a straight rescue mission, not search and rescue. big difference. it's waiting during the "search" part that can get you killed.
The cylume stick is a great idea . . . can make the difference at night

As divers we always carry one in out PFD pouch
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

Elusive - 4/4/2006 12:55 AM

Alan - how are you calling the CG ? By HH VHF ? If they can hear you, then they can probably see you. Sounds like you need to add a PLB or 2 to your equipment.

oldmako - check this out - Emergency Boarding Ladder. As auguste points out, this may be a challenge

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|135|88173&id=88159
I would likely never be able to back in the boat . . . especially if I was tired . . . I am too old and fat
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

auguste - 4/3/2006 11:05 PM

I would likely never be able to back in the boat . . . especially if I was tired . . .
... and wearing 20 extra pounds of wet clothes. An older gentleman died last year on the Ches Bay when he fell over (I think he was sitting on the gunwale & fell asleep) and his friend didn't have the strength to help him back in the boat


It makes a strong argument for some kind of tether
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:13 AM
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Default RE: overboard and alone.....now what??

alantani - 4/3/2006 10:23 PM

here's how i answer my wife. everyone on my boat wear's pfd's. my boat, my rules. each one has a cyalume light stick, a 3 pack of hand held flares, a strobe, a whistle and a small air horn. two pfd's also have a waterproof vhf radio and a waterproof gps. worst case scenario, the boat rolls. we gather everyone up, fire up the gps and get some numbers, then call the coast guard and call for help. you now have a straight rescue mission, not search and rescue. big difference. it's waiting during the "search" part that can get you killed.

Those jackets would be complete if you added a pack of Lance crackers to each one.



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Old 04-04-2006, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

O.K. I'll be the first to admit it , I have fallen out of the boat twice and got back in both times with no problem other than a little pain.


The concrete drive way is some hard stuff , thank God I didn't hit my head on the trailer.


I did go over the side out at Catalina Island gaffing a large Halibut , wet deck + bad deck shoe's and leaned out to far ............well nuff said. I was back in the boat , over the gunnels , with the gaff and the fish and didn't not even get my smoke's wet .Fear is a great motivator.

The bad part is someone watched me do all three over boards and the sad part is everyone that seen me do that has also fallen out of a boat in the drive way.

Moral...........Stop trying to be cool and jump out of the boat when in the drive and use the ladder.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

Several boat manufacture's I know of are are putting those transom steps that were reffered to in post 1 on their boats standard, so i assume that they get the job done and are there for a purpose.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

I've got a FRP swim platform on my inboard. Very handy for bungee-strapping on empty jerry cans...and for climbing back in!
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

I have two simple rules when fishing alone....I put on a quality, comfortable PFD when I shove off....I NEVER leave the helm with the boat in gear...I do have a swim ladder to give me a chance to get back on board....Mick
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

slickster - 4/4/2006 11:58 AM

I NEVER leave the helm with the boat in gear.
Kinda difficult for offshore trolling... but it is a concern working the cockpit alone with the boat trolling via autopilot.
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:48 PM
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Default RE: overboard and alone.....now what??

I fish and troll a lot alone, as far as 30 miles out. I've been a bit "unsafe" the last few years, so this season decided to get an ACR PLB, M88 handheld vhf, small strobe light, small knife, and always wear my pfd. All of this safety equipment won't help if you go overboard, so it will now be on my person. A bit cumbersome, but too bad. I'm young and fit enough that I can climb back in my boat (don't ask how I know). My fear is falling over when trying to clear a line, dancing around 4 poles going off at the same time, etc. And watching my boat drive off over the horizon. Thinking of that scenario is enough to motivate me to wear the gear.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: overboard and alone.....now what??

slickster - 4/4/2006 11:58 AM

I have two simple rules when fishing alone....I put on a quality, comfortable PFD when I shove off....I NEVER leave the helm with the boat in gear...I do have a swim ladder to give me a chance to get back on board....Mick
Ditto. The kill switch keeps me from going too far with the motor running. Instead of a kill switch maybe they should have been called live switches.. Had to add the switch, my boat did not come with one!! Arlon
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:40 PM
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Regarding getting back into the boat: I jumped out of my boat on a nice day on Delaware Bay ( yes, with friend still in my boat, and next to another friends boat)

Once in the water - the view is VERY DIFFERENT !!! I could not get back in by using the small ladder on my Mako CC. It
looks very nice with the teak platform, and fold down ladder, but it's nearly worthless because the ladder does not go down
nearly far enough. Anyway, I finally found that I could easily stand on the engine wing unit that is actually used to assist in getting the boat up on plane. It sticks out nicely on both sides. Then, a bit of a challenge to get into the boat without getting hurt on the transom. I'm 45, I'm strong and in good shape, but I'll confirm - it's very, very hard to get back into
a good size boat on your own, unless you set up a special way to do so. Throw in rough seas, and ..............good luck.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:54 AM
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Default RE: overboard and alone.....now what??

oldmako - 4/3/2006 8:14 PM

I am thinking of installing a stainless folding mast step on the transom which would enable me to climb back up...
Steps, ladders, and other boarding devices can be impossible for some folks to use. The step will be very difficult to use unless it is at least a few feet below the water surface, and you will need a grab rail or some other handhold above it. I would strongly suggest you (or a willing subject) test the mounting location from the water before you start drilling holes in the boat. For some installations the person in the water has to get their knees up under their chin to get onto the step, and then be able to stand up on one foot from this position. This is not easy, esp. if you are long in the tooth and/or wide in the beam. Also consider that this gymnastic feat may need to be performed in a 5 foot sea in very cold water.
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