Yacht Sea Scoopa

International Patents

The latest and improved production model of the Yacht Sea Scoopa is now available and the principles of deployment require explanation. The technique is best-described using sail terminology --tack, clew, luff, leech etc

The Yacht Sea Scoopa can be mounted on either side of the boat, but it should be placed on the side where the engine controls are mounted so the helmsman can continuously observe the MOB, steer with one hand and operate the engine controls with the other. Whilst the crew is continuously pointing, throwing buoyant markers, pressing the MOB button and stopping the boat, we have demonstrated a single experienced and practiced crew member can deploy the Sea Scoopa within 3 minutes. Of interest, in the accompanying real time video the Sea Scoopa is fully deployed in 2 minutes and the MOB is safely back on board, from 'drink to deck' within another 1 minute and 15 seconds. In short-handed situations the bag can be left permanently mounted on the gunwale for even more rapid deployment.

The device in its compact self-draining bag is unfolded and a halyard is attached to the head ring as is the permanently rigged foreguy which has been led through a turning block on the bow back to an amidships cleat. The bag is then secured at the tack and clew to two strong points on the gunwale of the boat adjacent to the shrouds and midway between two stanchions so the victim can roll through onto the deck. A quick release mechanism is required for the lower lifeline, especially if the lifejacket is inflated.

The foot is tensioned using a simple block and tackle so it is held taut against the hull and the victim cannot slip through the gap. The bag is then opened to expose the three-piece interlocking carbon fibre jockey pole, held together by a strong shock cord. The far end is permanently fixed to the head ring and the inboard end is similarly fixed to the tack. As a result the device can be held out at right angles to the vessel. The halyard is then lowered until the jockey pole is at least 300mm above the surface of the water. The pole must NOT be immersed in the water, as the forces generated whilst the yacht is in motion, are very large and could break even the strongest spinnaker pole.

The luff of the device is weighed down by 8mm chain, so that it sinks much deeper than the leech which is held taut near the surface of the water by strong shock cord. The net then forms a scoop for securely capturing the victim. The boat is manoeuvred usually under power at a speed of 1 to 2 knots up into the wind or current, whichever is the greater, for the scooping operation. It is important to constantly sight the MOB on the scooping side of the vessel and not let them disappear from view under the bow at this stage. As with all boating procedures under power with swimmers nearby, the engine must be put out of gear during the final stages to prevent propeller injury. The importance of this cannot be over emphasised! Once scooped and netted the halyard is then raised and the victim Parbuckled on board.

Even with the 2:1 mechanical advantage of the Parbuckle the load can be large and some sort of mechanical advantage is mandatory. Usually this is a large self-tailing two speed halyard winch with a long winch handle located on the mast but the halyard can also be led aft to a cockpit winch or forward to the anchor winch.

The Sea Scoopa must be regarded exactly as you would a spinnaker. It must be painstakingly packed and deployed in accordance with our detailed written Operating Instructions. Repeated practice is necessary to attain and maintain the required degree of proficiency. This is NOT a device for a first timer to use in an emergency.

NATA ACCREDITATION The Yacht Sea Scoopa has been tested and certified to the ABR 5195 Standard 'Royal Australian Navy Lifting Requirements' to a test load of 350 kg for both the netted part and the ladder. Certificate No. ABSS25309.2. This greatly exceeds all possible rescue contingencies.

A Yacht Sea Scoopa Video Demonstration

The more detailed Yacht Sea Scoopa Operating Instructions can be viewed HERE


This ladder has been designed as an optional extra to increase the functionality of the Yacht Sea Scoopa. It is folded into a compact bag which can be attached by 2 snap hooks to the metal rings on the Sea Scoopa or even elsewhere on the boat eg. toe rail, life lines. The ladder is instantly deployed when the rope hanging from the bottom of the bag is pulled by the person in the water.

There are 3 ways the ladder can be used.

1. To assist in short handed sailing situations, where for example a large man falls overboard and a small female companion is struggling to lift him aboard. If the man is still able bodied he can pull on the rope attached to the bag, the ladder will be deployed and he can climb back on board. A word of warning however-the ladder should be left contained in its bag if the victim is going to be parbuckled aboard. We have found in our trials that if the ladder is left hanging out of the bag it could wrap around body parts including the neck with grave consequences during the rolling aboard.

2. To convert the Sea Scoopa into a recreational SWIM OUT for vessels which do not have a stern boarding platform. For this application the Sea Scoopa is deployed in the conventional way, the net is raised a little to allow swimmers to recline in it and the ladder is attached to the rings on the middle third to allow reboarding. This should only be done while the yacht is at anchor or on a mooring. It should never be used whilst the vessel is motoring under power as the risk of propeller strike would be prohibitive. Also be aware that fatalities have been recorded where ALL of the crew have taken a swim mid-ocean and the yacht has sailed off without them. This useful recreational deployment affords the crew excellent practice for real life emergencies.

3. As a conventional ladder attached to a toe rail or very strong life lines for boarding the boat either from the water, a dinghy or from the dockside.

A Sea Scoopa Ladder Video Demonstration


There are a number of other devices available for Yacht MOB rescue. The most common of these is the Lifesling. The Yacht Sea Scoopa has several advantages over this and similar devices.

1. First and foremost it plucks the MOB out of the water whilst the boat is in motion.

2. The Parbuckle give a 2:1 mechanical advantage and halves the load to be lifted.

3. It does not rely on victim cooperation and does not require manual dexterity that is lost early in cold water immersion.

4. There is absolutely no need for a rescuer to enter the water to fit the victim into the apparatus.

5. Lifting is horizontal and not vertical which is medically contraindicated especially if the victim has been immersed for a period of time and is hypothermic.

6. Body positioning is critical with 'sling lifting' and is rarely mentioned. If the front of the sling rotates to the side or around to the back during the lift, the victim can easily fall out and be injured by falling on the stanchions and deck whilst being lost overboard again.

7. The Yacht Sea Scoopa and ladder have undergone formal NATA load testing to the Royal Australian Navy Standard ABR 5195 and have been certified to a load of 350 Kg which greatly exceeds all possible rescue contingencies.