Leggi l’articolo in italiano
We might need to take a water bucket while we are sailing. Something stupid? Not so much. First of all, because it can easily escape from our hands; secondly, because the bucket can fall into the water together with the person using it. Traction is surprisingly greater than what we can imagine.
If we want to take some water from the sea, we need a little technique.
Let’s start from a very practical recommendation. Since it is called “bucket”, we suggest to buy it in a traditional household product’s shop, like for a normal bucket. This way, it will be cheaper but equally useful. An intelligent trick is , if anything, to replace its metal handle with a strong strop ( the traditional bucket was made of wood with a rope handle). This way, it won’t get rusty, it won’t escape from the holes in case of excessive loads and you can even create a hole in the middle to obtain a well-balanced traction).
But how can we take some water from the sea without stopping our boat?
First of all, by reducing speed to 3-4 knots, regardless whether we are using sails or engine. Higher speed can make the operation more difficult, with the risk to loose our bucket.
Then, we have to fix a long strong rope to the handle while holding the other end with a turn around our hand, as showed in the picture below.
This way, if some problems occur, we can open our hand and let the rope escape without any damages.
Then, we have to go to the gangway in the largest part of the hull and throw the upside down bucket into the water (its input part should enter the water parallel to the sea surface) and forward. In few seconds, the bucket will turn and get full. When it is on our height, we can lift it fast.
This way, it won’t pull us backwards.
Problem solved. We mustn’t put the bucket into the water behind us or from the transom: we will risk a strong pressure on our hands and the possibility to fall into the water is very high.
Always hold on a shroud or something, to keep your balance I’ve seen people falling over the side because of the “pull” of the bucket!
NEVER tie bucket to your hand, tie to the rail or something solid.
If something goes wrong and you are tied to the bucket you could be dragged overboard and if under power possibly into the prop.
Use what is available, keep your hands free for holding on and retrieving the bucket. Make sure your life jacket is on and your safety line clipped on.
Show good seamanship and be safe.
Do Not tie the rope around your hand, put a large knot in the end of the rope if you must hang on to it. This way the knot can be used as a stop and to release just open your hand, no rope burn no drag. It is better to tie the line to the boat. Stops you being injured, or dragged overboard. Also make sure you remove all rings and armbands etc; before attempting anything on a boat.
Common sense is the item most required by sailors, and its not something all sailors have.
Wear your life jacket and clip on with your safety line at all times.
Use fixings available