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Old 07-07-2010, 14:57   #346
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I remain of the mindset her voyage was not prudent in the first place. Although from everything I have read, she appeared to be a skilled sailor, she was still a young girl in a big violent ocean. The ultimate decision to go was between her and her parents, and it is not my position in life to tell them what they can or can't do. I have heard a number of people indignantly say they should be responsible for the rescue costs. With that I disagree. When rescuers start imposing the costs of a rescue, people will stop calling for help and needless lives will be lost. As to her decision to fire off the EPIRBS and get out of there I whole heartedly agree The fact she is still alive shows the decision correct. I do hope though that now she is out of the ocean, and off of the boat, she limits her ventures to coastal cruising, at least until she is old enough to fully appreciate the magnitude of the risk, and the real potential for death on such a venture.
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Old 07-07-2010, 15:06   #347
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Hi Jim

Your right of course and you usually are. Your posts are great because of the experience behind them. However, I don't understand the physics of why the motion of a dismasted yacht is so bad. I accept that it is true but my logic says there's also a lot less weight aloft. I know it wasn't an option for Abby but would the motion be more acceptable under power or just easier to bare because your making progress in the right direction
Thankfully, I have no such experience. In the Bahamas/Caribbean it was all about comfort. We wound up going to several places that we never intended to visit simply because, once under way, the sea state and winds made it more comfortable to go there than our original destination. Of course, these were glorified day sails.

A 40 foot dismasted sailboat with a 10 foot stick and bulb keel and no trailing mast/sails/rigging could probably be made quite stable if it had steering control and motor power. If instead it was dead in the water, dunno. But, it sounds like a water powered roller coaster.
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Old 07-07-2010, 15:08   #348
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Hi Jim

Your right of course and you usually are. Your posts are great because of the experience behind them. However, I don't understand the physics of why the motion of a dismasted yacht is so bad. I accept that it is true but my logic says there's also a lot less weight aloft. I know it wasn't an option for Abby but would the motion be more acceptable under power or just easier to bare because your making progress in the right direction.

Greg
G'Day again Greg,

When dismasted, the loss of weight aloft is the cause of the unpleasantness of the motion. The mass of the mast, rigging, sails, etc, coupled with the rather long arm involved contrubutes a great deal of the polar moment of the boat. When this is gone, the accelerations from the hulls interactions with the sea are greatly increased, both in terms of pitching and rolling.

When we were dismasted in Insatiable I (75 miles SE of Cape Moreton) the motion was so bad that we had to hold stuff on the gimballed stove, couldn't walk upright on deck (where most of our accustomed handholds like stays and lifelines were gone), and sleeping would have been difficult without "seatbelts" to keep you in your berth. I-one was a fairly heavy boat, and I suspect that the light and flat Open 40 might well have been even more lively. I sure as hell wouldn't have relished staying aboard!

And as to the folks who think that she should have recovered some parts of the rig for the constructionof a jury set up -- just how is she supposed to lift all that mess on board? HEr mast and rigging wire must weigh at least 500 lbs, and she has only deck-level winches to heave with. In our case, Ann and I together couldn't work out a means of doing so, and sadly cut away the lot (most expensive 15 minutes of my life, except for getting married the first time!). And we only had 3-4 meter seas to deal with...

HOpe that this explains my thoughts a bit more, Greg.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly, Qld, Oz, trying to paint in between showers
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Old 07-07-2010, 15:12   #349
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Under power or under sail you are riding the waves more or less, but dismasted and possibly without power, you are just being knocked around by them. That weight aloft and with the wind in your sails, really helps cut down on the rolling motion.
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Old 07-07-2010, 19:39   #350
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I am reluctant to assume a simple answer, but in my mind this one isn't complicated: driven by whatever - competition, her parents, the record - she left at the wrong time and then paid the consequences.
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Old 07-07-2010, 20:24   #351
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I agree with Tao, once she lost her comms she had to activate her EPIRB. Given her daily contacts, radio silence would have led to a search, and without the advantage of a location beacon a lot more time and money would have been wasted looking for her. At least with the EPIRB they only had to charter an Airbus once!

In fact you could say that jury-rigging an aerial or whatever was needed to re-establish contact was actually more important than trying to jury-rig a mast. I think the total loss of her comms is something that has yet to be adequately explained since she should have had at least one handhheld satphone which would have worked given that the EPIRB signals were received ok.

As for continuing, I think that unless she had a drogue to maintain her heading relative to the seas it would have been like being in a washing machine, I'm sure she would have been rolled many times and come the next storm it would not take many big breaking waves to finally sink Wild Eyes if she was just drifting willy nilly, in fact I doubt the boat is still afloat by now given the season.

In reality she maintained stability until her rescue by letting the trailing rig act like a drogue, but towing a mast presents its own dangers, it would quite likely have rammed the boat at some point and holed it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:50   #352
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In reality she maintained stability until her rescue by letting the trailing rig act like a drogue, but towing a mast presents its own dangers, it would quite likely have rammed the boat at some point and holed it.
I vaguely remember being taught that if you cannot salvage or secure a downed rig, you should cut it away for precisely this reason. I assume Abby had bolt cutters and a proper sea anchor. Maybe it would have been a risky operation under the circumstances. But if the spars are still attached, I think you should do something about them at the first opportunity.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:12   #353
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I vaguely remember being taught that if you cannot salvage or secure a downed rig, you should cut it away for precisely this reason. I assume Abby had bolt cutters and a proper sea anchor. Maybe it would have been a risky operation under the circumstances. But if the spars are still attached, I think you should do something about them at the first opportunity.
Correct. I have had to do this myself. It was quick and relatively painless. And absolutely necessary to prevent catastrophe in big seas.
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Old 10-07-2010, 15:50   #354
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Abby going to jail!

Abby is going to jail! Read her latest blog entry: Abby's Blog: Settling In
Two women from her local church even said "it might be a good place for me".
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Old 10-07-2010, 16:51   #355
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Hirophant, you would make a great writer for a newspaper column or National Enquirer with your gift for creating headlines and out of context quotes
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Old 10-07-2010, 20:48   #356
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Nah! the tag line/teaser is accurate, just exactly not what you instantly interpreted it to be. It is a great tag line/teaser. I immediately thought of the Dutch girl and assumed the similar situation..
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Old 10-07-2010, 21:39   #357
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I note that Abby's website says Wild Eyes is drifting east at about 24nm per day. How would they know that? Surely the EPIRB batteris would be gone by now.

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Old 12-07-2010, 20:35   #358
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I thought I remembered reading early on that Wild Eyes had 110% bouyancy. So if that is true, even had she opened sea cocks it would still be afloat. Any one else remember reading that.
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Old 12-07-2010, 23:47   #359
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Yeah, it has positive bouyancy. It's not going to sink on it's own.
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Old 13-07-2010, 09:57   #360
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Afloat and probably awash if she had opened the sea cocks before abandoning, and therefore harder to see.
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