We recently asked our newsletter readers:
"Have you practiced a 'Man Overboard' drill within the past 5 years?"
Here are the results!
- No, never (27%)
- Not within the last 5 years, but I did prior to that (10%)
- Yes, but not with a live person - we used a fender, lifejacket, etc (56%)
- Yes, with a live person in the water (7%)
Good.. but not great! We hope more of you will practice your safety drills.. your own life might one day rely on it!
The skinny on Inflatable MOB Poles
In theory, an inflatable Man Overboard Pole is a fantastic way to save space - compared to traditional poles, these inflatable options are far more compact and less fussy because the pole, drogue, and light are dispensed all at once from a stylish capsule placed on your boat's stern rail.
However, there is a very big drawback that I discovered during a powerful storm, when the pounding of the waves loosened the bungee restraints on the capsule and the MOB pole was accidently released into the ocean. Accidental release is one issue, but the second issue become quickly apparent; as the pole inflated in winds of 45-55 knots, it was quickly flattened on its side and soon became hidden in the troughs of waves.
Due to the pole's inflatable construction, the diameter of the pole is far greater than its fibreglass counterparts, creating more wind resistance. Whereas a thin, rigid fibreglass pole might have stood upright, this pole was knocked down flat - and stayed down! In calmer conditions, the pole may have done the job but in this storm, not so.
Check your MOB pole; how heavy is the counterweight? How thin is the pole itself? How much pressure does it take to knock the pole over? Please consider this criteria and make your decision carefully as your life may one day rely on one!
Note: We can indeed special order inflatable Man Overboard Poles if you absolutely must have one. Prices are $400-500, call us for a quote.