MOB is such a big concern that many of us ignore it. In this series Noel Dilly shares some thought-provoking and controversial ideas about MOB recovery

MOB myths busted – Part 7

MOB: overboard while sailing solo

Received wisdom has it that a singlehanded sailor who falls overboard is as good as dead, with no chance at all of saving himself. Some solo sailors cite this as the reason they don’t wear a lifejacket.

Myth 19: Solo sailors who fall overboard have no chance of self-recovery


Noel has customized a webbing tether to give himself a chance of getting back onboard if he was MOB


He deploys a ladder of webbing loops that stows in the red sock


Getting feet into the loops is a struggle but your options at this stage make it worth the while


Noel has modified this harness for solo sailing, adding a ladder of webbing loops stowed in the red sock

This is not necessarily so for a strong person with the right kit. A solo sailor should always be clipped to a jackstay by a short tether. If a lightweight webbing ladder is built into the tether, it should be possible, though not easy, to use it to climb aboard. If you wear an automatic lifejacket, you must check that its inflation does not restrict self-help efforts.