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Stabilizing the Situation

November 15, 2001
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The captain is incapacitated or has fallen overboard. What does the crew need to know to regain control of the sailboat without further injury to the skipper, yourself, or the boat? You should know how to:

1. Locate your life jacket and put it on.

2. Clip on to a jackline or strongpoint that will hold your weight if you fall or are thrown overboard.

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3. Raise, lower, and reef sails; roller-furl and roller-reef the jib.

4. Start and run the engine.

5. Use the autopilot.

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6. Locate an appropriate place to anchor, determine scope, and use the windlass, its switches, and its controls.

7. Deploy and retrieve the anchor.

8. Rig fenders and docking lines, including bow, stern, and spring lines.

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9. Dock the boat, including backing it, in various wind and cur- rent conditions.

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