Duncan Recommends

Here is a list of products that I recommend…and why

Hypo Hoist from SeaSafe Systems. It is ideal for bringing a man out of the water horizontally.
SeaSafe Systems







2. Harken 6 part tackle with ratcheted block – because a small person really can lift a large person out of the drink on this. The ratcheted block means that the casualty doesn’t shoot back into the water the minute you let go of the hauling end of the line. And with the ratcheted block there is no need for a cam cleat on the top of the top block. A cam cleat on the top block is a pain as it will not allow you to lower the casualty if they were to get caught on anything when being lifted out. A ratcheted block allows you to let the casualty down and then back up. Harken/MOB Lifesavers case study








3. Spectre carabiners from DMM. We use carabiners when it comes to MOB retrieval, never snap shackles which are hard to undo and do up with cold hands. I prefer to use climbing carabiners which have finger friendly gates. Spectre Carabiners and the retrieval kit







4. Danbuoy. Keep it inside the boat until you go sailing then set it on the back rail. That way it will last a lifetime. Check regularly that the light works. Attach it to a lifebuoy. There is nothing like a Danbuoy for marking the spot where the casualty went in. Have it ready to lift out of its mounting and throw into the water in an instant.











5. Lifebuoy. Again keep these – you should have 2 – inside the boat until you go sailing, it will extend their life. Make sure that they each have a drogue to stop them from blowing across the top of the water.







6. Lights. I keep mine inside the boat and with the battery packs removed. We only need to add these into the lifebuoys at night. Before we add them we check that they are working. Leaving them on the back rail will only get water into the perspex cover for the bulb and the salt water will kill the light very quickly. Most lights that you see clipped on the pushpit would not work when it came to it.










7. Throwing Line. This is our first action in terms of MOB retrieval. Can we get a throwing line to the MOB and can he grab it? If he can he may be able to help us to retrieve him. If he ignores it he may be in cold shock or unconscious and we will need to do everything. We keep our throwing line to hand in a cockpit locker on top of everything else.










6. MOB Lifesavers – well naturally I advise these. Fit them to your lifejacket and the casualty has their means of retrieval back on board stowed within their own lifejacket. MOB Lifesavers










7. Blundell & Harling instruments. Their dividers are the best. Blundell Harling


8. Standard Horizon VHF with cockpit repeater











9. Standard Horizon DSC GPS Handheld







10. Distress signalling – Mayday – procedure and voice message card. MIRPDANIO beside the radio










11. Ocean Signal MOB1










12. MOB Lifesavers ‘Rescue Sling’. It is fully adjustable. It goes under the knees of the casualty allowing you to bring them out horizontally







13. Instant Weather Forecasting by Alan Watts – it is the best weather book there is. There are 20 pages of photos of the sky. Match the picture with what you are seeing and then allowing for pressure and trends Alan Watts tells you what the weather is doing and what it will do. Bernard Moitessier used it in 1968 when he was sailing single-handed around the world in the Golden Globe race which Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won. When Bernard who was a weather expert could not decide what the weather was doing he would consult his Alan Watts book. And if it was good enough for Bernard Moitessier it is good enough for me.
Get it here on Amazon







14. Matt laminates. These are ideal for protecting anything you use in the cockpit and they have the added advantage that you can write on them and then rub out the writing when you don’t need it. So, when it comes to checking that your tide App, or plotter are giving you the correct information you can take your photocopied tidal curve for your local port which you have laminated with a matt laminate and do the manual tidal calculation. Post Office Shop










15. Soft Shackles. Made from Dyneema, they are incredibly strong. The advantage of a soft shackle is that they don’t chafe against metal bits on the boat and so I use them whenever possible. A soft shackle is especially handy when attaching the tack of the cruising chute to the bracket outside the stem head. It’s much quicker to attach than a standard shackle and there is no pin to drop into the drink!