I participated in MOB practice onboard an F-31R trimaran a couple months ago. Kirby, a member of our North West Multihull Association, volunteered to jump into chilly Puget Sound (Seattle) and let club members rescue him. It was good practice and I want to practice it again to become quicker.
Here's Kirby's point of view, as posted (with photos)in http://www.nwmultihull.org/newsletter/Sept05.pdf
"Man Over Board Practice is a Success, Kirby is Saved!!
By Kirby Jacobson
I’m in Puget Sound with a green camouflage free dive suit on, what a beautiful view from the water of the low afternoon sun through the sails and the dancing sun dots on the water. They have plenty of time to get me. I can stay all day in this suit with a big yellow inflated life vest on. But the only way I can swim anywhere is to float on my back. The chambers of the life vest prevent me from reaching forward at all. When I float on my back I can’t see the Life Sling on the water. Around they go. Hmm….the Life Sling isn’t getting much nearer. It appears that the it is content to follow the boat rather than circle inwards toward me. We are clearly finding out all kinds of things with this MOB practice.
Multihulls appear to require a little different handling during MOB. The first order of the day is to kill speed, and then begin to maneuver. We also have to be very sensitive about picking up speed when we come around to the swimmer.
They throw. Well, it is a bit of a scramble trying to swim anywhere but I figure out an approximate sidestroke and get over to the ring. With the Life Sling around me I am at the side of the boat.
Linda is trying to clip a halyard into the harness rings on my fancy life vest. This is pretty tough. Even in calm water it is hard to bend over to water level, dig under the inflated life vest and the Life Sling, and clip the rings. Lets crank it and get me out of here. Yikes, that hurts my lower back. When the force pulls at the level of the life vest D rings it is about 6 inches under my rib cage and
bends me over backwards as I get pulled out of the water. Yeow, we have got to work out something better than that.
Another run and jump into the water for the next round. By the way, this is a blast. One unheralded advantage of multihulls is that you can get a great run before you jump. I bet mono-hullers never thought of that!
So here we are, once more circling with the Life Sling. Well, one lesson learned is that these boats are a little fast for the “circle the sling to the center” plan. This time when I get the Life Sling it is traveling at about 5 knots. It is easy to hang on with one hand but the lifejacket and water pressure make it difficult to put the sling on. And I have to be careful not to let the angle of my body pull me under with the pressure generated by the speed. Now they reel me in and this time the halyard is hooked to the Life Sling. Now this works pretty good. And I flip around so I am facing outward and the same force pulling in toward the mast now sits me right down instead of arching my back.
So where to go from here? More practice that is for sure. We will be going out again. I can hardly wait until we do a true storm MOB practice. Or maybe a night drill. That is when you need it the most. I will make sure to wear bright clothes."