I’ve been trying to find the ideal overboard recovery system for my little C-Dory. In other words, “What do we do if somebody falls in the water?” These days, this situation might be described any number of ways: man overboard (MOB, not to be confused with the mafia), person overboard (POB, not to be confused with Patrick O’Brien), COB (crew overboard, not corn), or PIW (person in water, which I’ll use here).
Enough hilarity and hijinx! I’ve installed the Lifesling, which should help get the PIW back alongside the boat, but I’m not sure the block-and-tackle Lifesling hoist arrangement will work on my boat. The trouble is that there is no hoisting point 10 feet above the deck, as recommended; heck, there’s no hoist point 5 feet above the deck! So maybe I should consider something like this:
After reading a recent report about some in-the-water MOB recovery testing, I concluded that the right solution for my boat is probably a parbuckle arrangement of some sort. Why? Because with my low freeboard, the PIW doesn’t have to be lifted very far. Still, assisting crew need some sort of mechanical advantage, and a parbuckle offers a (nominal) two-to-one advantage.
I haven’t been able to find a commercially available parbuckling device sized for my boat, but I’m really impressed with the Markus MOB Boat Rescue Net, shown above. It’s designed for inflatable rescue boats, and it’s much too wide for installation on my boat. At over $1100, it seems kind of expensive, too.
Another Marcus product, the MOB Safety Ladder, is intended as an emergency boarding ladder for smaller vessels. It’s priced much more reasonably, under $150. But I wasn’t satisfied that it was large enough to use as a parbuckle. Ideally on a boat as small as mine, one single object could serve as either a ladder or a parbuckle.
That’s what I want, and since I can’t find it available commercially, it’s become obvious that I’ll just have to build it myself!