Free Introductory Chapter There are countless articles, books and courses that focus on recovering a person overboard but what really matters to the short-handed crew offshore is making as sure as humanly possible that a person overboard situation never happens in the first place—we need prevention, not cure. This chapter introduces this book and that basic concept.
Before we can come up with good and effective person overboard prevention systems, we need to think about and clearly understand the risks we are dealing with, which I examine in this chapter.
The key to person overboard prevention is never losing contact with the boat. In this chapter I take you through an easy to use (with a little practice) system, which we have evolved over 20 years sailing offshore short-handed on our boat, that will enable you to stay clipped on at all times and still have the mobility and reach to sail your boat properly. Updated and video added, October 2014.
Most of us offshore sailors rely on clipping our harness tether to a jackline to stay safe. But, in many cases, we are totally deluding ourselves, because if we do go over the side, something may break and cast us adrift, or we will drown by dragging.
There is so much wrong with commonly-used person overboard prevention systems that I couldn't fit it all in one chapter...here's Part 2.
Your harness, its fit, and how you use it are among the most important parts of staying safe on a boat offshore. In this chapter I share what we have learned in 140,000 miles of offshore sailing, most of it short-handed, about harnesses, features to look for, and their use.
We have written a lot about gear in our ongoing Person Overboard Prevention Online Book, but all the gear in the world won't keep you safe if you don't heed this tip.
To be safe we need to be open to reviewing our assumptions in the light of new information. John takes a fresh look at the Spinlock Deckvest that he and Phyllis have used for years, and also revisits the whole issue of wearing crotch straps, or not.