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Overboard Technique Secrets: Quick-stop (circle) and Quick-turn (Fig 8)  
Secrets of the Quick-stop click here (new page)                   



Nothing puts fear into students than learning overboard rescue methods.  My method is very simple and it took me 40 trials to figure it out, and was also taught at the sailing school in the Caribbean by all the instructors. See diagram above

INTRODUCTION
This method works for either the quick-stop or quick-turn.  You just have to get to the right starting point for the glide to the pick-up. 
You need to be able to sail upwind in order to slow down and stop next to the crew overboard.  This is downwind about 45-60 degrees from the victim about 3-4 boatlengths depending on wind speed and boat glide.  This is position 2 or 3 in diagram.  If you are in position 1 you will be on a beam reach and will not be able to luff the sail and slow down.  If you are in position 4, this is what most untrained people do, which is to come into irons approaching the victim.  Then there is no room for maneuvering.

WHICH SIDE TO APPROACH THE VICTIM? WINDWARD OR LEEWARD?
It doesn't matter which side of victim you want to go to.  I prefer to put the boat on the upwind (windward) side of the victim, so it shields the person in the water, and if you miss you get blown toward the person in the water.  Other instructors prefer to approach from the downwind (leeward) side.  It is a subject of debate.  From the starting point you can go to either side as instructor desires.

HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE UPWIND OR DOWNWIND OF THE VICTIM?
Looking at the swells tells you where the true wind is. (see diagram) If you see the swell passing the victim, then you know when you are directly in line with the victim, neither upwind, nor downwind. You have to go further downwind to a place about 3-4 boatlengths away from victim depending on windspeed and boatglide.

HOW TO FIND THE STARTING POINT?
Draw an imaginary line in your mind PERPENDICULAR to the swells, through the victim. This is the wind line through the victim. If you get too close to that line before you turn, your boat will be in irons when approaching the victim (position 4). This may work, but will fail the test. Choose a place to turn upwind that is 45-60 degrees off the wind and about 3-4 boatlength away from the victim. These are boats #2 and #3. Look at the swells and you will see when the boat is at the correct angle to the swells.  Just past parallel to the swells will be a close reach, and pointing somewhat into the swells will be close-hauled.  You have to be somewhere between these two, depending on your boat.

APPROACHING THE VICTIM
As you head toward the victim LUFF THE SAIL and slow down in the glide zone. If you practice this enough times you will nail it every time. The key is you must be sailing upwind to the victim, but NOT IN IRONS! CLOSE HAUL to CLOSE REACH depending on boat. On my boat closer to close haul or boat is unable to luff and slow down. To completely stop you may have to backwind the mainsail.  Instructors may be required to stop the boat completely with victim aft of shrouds.  My instructor-trainer failed 7 of 11 potential instructors due to failure to stop the boat next to victim (I passed).  If you get to the right starting point, the rest is easy. Good luck!


  Outer Cape Sailing, PO Box 1936, Wellfleet, MA 02667
508-237-4012    June 15-Labor Day

captain@outercapesailing.com