Lif Ring - Horseshoe or Round?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Fanie, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Which is better, a horseshoe life ring or a round life ring ?
     
  2. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I find that horseshoe are easier to store and quicker to release, but honestly I have no idea if there is an advantage to one design over the other. The one suggestion I have with either, and this goes for any safety equipment that is indented to help in a MOB is to put retro-reflective tape on everything.

    Unlike normal reflective tape the retro-reflective is designed to return reflected light back at the source. Meaning that if a flashlight beam hits it from the boat the chances of the light getting scattered are less, and the chances of seeing it from the boat are much higher. I know it is now being used on a number the more epensive life jackets and foul weather gear, but it is easy to retrofit. If you buy in bulk it is pretty cheap, but even smaller amount only cost about $2.00 a foot for 2" wide strips.
     
  3. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    In my arrogant innocence, if any, round as it is easier to throw. - - personally I would say - - "WEAR A F-ing PFD (life jacket) to go on deck" - - the new inflatable ones are not intrusive when worn deflated, - and a good habit to encourage for the sake of safety ....
     
  4. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Could it be that it is easier for the MOB to get into a horseshoe, hence a better and less tiring support ?

    Mas, I agree with wearing life jackets almost most of the time and especially if weather is not good. A friend of mine went fishing with his dad on a skiboat (**** things those), got a storm warning and headed back to the coast. The storm hit them just before they made it out. Long story short, skiboat got flipped.

    They had life jackets on, and he told me he knew he was going to drown life jacket or not. The spray and foam made it almost impossible to breathe. They made it out ok, a friggin 20 year old kid / life saver swam them both out. He said he never saw anything like it.

    Anyway, point is a life jacket is not a boat, neither is a life ring, but it is one step closer I'd say :D With a life jacket on you still have to swim in bad weather, with a life ring around you you could probably preserve some energy.
     
  5. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    I have "tested" the weight of various life rings and remember most as bloody heavy and feeling at the time, that they were relatively useless or downright dangerous when compared to a modern regulation inflatable PFD which fits and is properly worn.... and hoping that no one would ever throw one at me..... ouch.... glug - -glug..........
     
  6. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Yes, I have to admit the ones I saw were frigging dangerous too. More like a slab of concrete they threw at you :D Like you say, if it hits you you'll be crushed. At least you won't die of drowning :D

    I have another idea with the life ring. I think of making make mine streight for storage purposes, then when you want to use it as a life ring, you bend it (foam), the two ends has a piece of webbing each and clip together before you throw it out.

    Mine will not be as heavy and hard, but one must be able to throw it in wind too so too light a thing will just blow back over the boat :D Be like these inflatable beach balls, if the wind turns to seaward 20 000 balls are lost in one go :D

    Of course if there's some rope on a life ring it could make it easier to drag someone out and onto the boat.

    Why aren't there a lasso or noose on such a device ? I can imagine if a weak person or someone may become too weak to hold on and slip off. You put instructions there - put noose around neck :D Just joking but if you have something that keeps you from falling off it could get someone out... bruised and hurting but out.
     
  7. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    I also was thinking of those blow up protectors for when your boat is alongside, but didn't post as to be usable needed to be light - then useless to throw. Just a good PFD and carry coils of floating rope secured to boat at one end that can easily be thrown in the direction of the MOB, to assist in recovery.... put a good sized loop or soft thimble on the thrown end so a loop can be pulled through it and slipped over head & arms to tighten under armpits...

    It is the "Captain's" responsibility to ensure all crew and other passengers know how to deploy and find all safety equipment... :D:D:D:D - - Demonstrations and practice drills...
     
  8. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Yes, especially if it is the captain that is overboard :D
     
  9. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Back when I was a lifeguard, we always had the round rings. There were a couple of horseshoes around, that we kept in storage. Nobody liked throwing them, and nobody liked trying to hang onto them when being pulled in. Much easier to grab a round ring.

    But we never actually used either, except for showing kids how to throw them! They're heavy, awkward, the painter line gets tangled, and if you actually get it to the guy you knock him unconscious. And it's up to the MOB to swim to the thing and grab it.

    Much better, by several orders of magnitude, is a properly fitted PFD, lifejacket, inflatable, or float coat.

    One of the biggest jokes in MOB gear is the "15m buoyant heaving line" required under Canadian law for small craft. The float on the end might hold up a small cat, at best. They're too light to throw more than a few metres. They're polypropylene and won't hold a knot. They're too thin to tow with. But they keep the police happy. If someone actually goes overboard, I'm throwing them the two 18" spare fenders I keep on a boat-length of 3/8" nylon.

    I have been giving some thought to an MOB line consisting of a drogue, along with a dan buoy that breaks free from the line once launched, on the end of a strong tow line... run through the middle of a whole lot of those hollow-core pool noodles. No, they're not Coast Guard approved. But one will hold a 200 pound man, and you could stack a dozen of them, equally spaced along a hundred feet of line, in a relatively unobtrusive fashion. Someone goes overboard, you toss the dan buoy and it unfolds the whole stack. The drogue catches and the dan buoy breaks loose to stay with the MOB. You now have a hundred-foot line with drogue, slowing the boat down really quickly, and capable of supporting a man at any point along its length. If you try to circle back towards him, the line will loop into a circle around him and make it very easy to grab (like a waterski line, but with enough drag on the end that it comes to you). The pool noodles are thick enough, soft enough and stiff enough to prevent him from getting hurt by the rope. Seems logical.....
     

  10. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Not exactly what "pool noodles" are but the operation seems logical... and effective...
     
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