The Retrieval Kit

The Retrieval Kit – which is suitable for both sailing boats and motorboats – comprises a Harken 6 part ratcheted block tackle, with Kong Tango locking gate carabiners and a  ‘Rescue Sling’, rope to chain to rope in a reinforced plastic tube, wrapped in dayglo orange cloth, with modern rope technology adjustable sling length. All of which allows the casualty to be lifted out horizontally. And of course MOB Lifesavers that you fit into your lifejackets.

This 6 part ratcheted block Harken tackle was developed by us and Harken and is made specially for us. You cannot get it anywhere else in the world. What makes it different from any other 6 part tackle is that every element of it has been specifically designed for man overboard retrieval and tested and rated for man overboard retrieval.

Worth noting;

1. Other 6 part tackles whether ratcheted block or not will have a camcleat on the top block. You do not want a camcleat on the top block for MOB retrieval. You do not need a camcleat when the top block is ratcheted, and you certainly don’t want the hauling line locked off when it is 15 feet up in the air and you need to lower the man to free him from the guard wire which has caught on his lifejacket. With the ratcheted block, Emily was easily able to hold my weight on the hauling line between finger and thumb and could have tied the hauling line off to the guard rail if she had wanted a rest. See the video of the Southampton Boat Show 2019  MOB retrieval demos on the home page.

2. Our Harken tackle comes with Kong Tango locking gate carabiners on either end, which are perfect for whacking at what you want to attach them to and which cannot open accidentally – like snap shackles can.

3. Our tackle comes with a red silk at either end to tie round the falls by the block to stop the block inverting and thus tangling. We recommend stowing the tackle fully extended, coiled into a bucket, ready to deploy. Other tackles may have velcro wraps for this but you need two hands to undo velcro. We attach our silks with a round turn round the falls and then into a bow. You can undo a bow with one hand. Remember our MOB retrieval set up is designed for just one person to manage – the person perhaps who is left alone on the boat.

4. Most important of all, the tackle that Harken make for us has been tested for lifting people. These tests are much more stringent than the tests that blocks will undergo, for a mainsheet system for example. Our Harken tackle has been tested to the breaking strain of its weakest component. This is then divided by 10 to give a Safe Working Load. A safe working load is a load that rates something for daily use. With our Harken tackle we hope never to use it at all, never mind daily.

So, if you see a tackle advertised for man overboard recovery and it has not been tested and rated to these stringent standards then it is not for man overboard recovery and shouldn’t be advertised as such.

Our Harken tackle is rated for man overboard recovery – and you can’t get it anywhere else in the world than here.

To buy the complete package 4 x MOB Lifesavers, 1 x Harken tackle with 4m drop & Kong Tango locking gate carabiners and 1 x Rescue Sling costs £575.95 plus Delivery

Or buy the elements individually.

See the BUY page to buy MOB Lifesavers UK delivery included.

1 x Harken tackle with a 4m drop & Kong Tango carabiners £464.95 plus delivery

1 x Heavy duty ‘Rescue Sling’ £40 plus delivery

MOB Lifesavers £19.95 each, less per Lifesaver if you buy 4 or more

To order, please contact us.


We now have a shrink wrapped sleeve round the end of the plastic pipe and the chain to prevent it catching on guard rails etc when the man is lifted back on board.



Kong Carabiners are anodised aluminium. The anodising helps to prevent corrosion in the marine environment. Rated to 3.3 tons – should do the job, even for me! The gate locks until you press the back. When you whack the carabiner at what you want to attach it to your hand naturally presses on the back and so releases the gate. Kong Carabiners are ideal for whacking onto the handle of the MOB Lifesaver. Notice that the shackle attach the Kong to the Harken block has been moused with wire. You wouldn’t want the pin to fly out mid MOB retrieval. Now it’s moused it certainly won’t.



Harken have produced this 6 part MOB tackle with ratcheted block to make lifting easier. It has been tested and rated for lifting a man out of the water. We also now offer this with Long locking carabiners, which unlock as you whack them at what you want to attach them to. Ideal for clipping onto the MOB Lifesaver handle. To read the Harken/MOB Lifesaver case study click the link.

Harken/MOB Lifesaver case study