Looking closely at the linked video it appears that the boat's mainsail
jammed about 1/4th the way up the mast
. He also has a "hanked on" jib
which appears shredded/blown-out. The type of keel
appears to be "shoal draft" or very shallow which is not good for trying to beat to windward. The boat goes more sideways than forward.
- - The sea state has minimal white caps which puts the wind
speeds at 15-20 kts but the seas look short, steep and confused which is not good for trying to manually raise sails
or fix a jammed sail. If he was a single
hander with manual sails
, he was probably overwhelmed and needed two or three more arms and hands. Although it is possible that after the tow hooked up, the mainsail
was lowered and jammed at the 1/4 mark - there are sail ties on the main sail holding it to the boom.
- - More than likely human error on the part of the master of the sailboat as he was on a lee shore and could not "claw" his way off with the type boat and sails he had. And others mentioned engine
failure due to sloshing fuel tank
and dirt clogging the fuel filter
. That is a very common occurrence that most cruiser/sailors never think about until it is too late.
- - The foresail is not an upwind sail. The main sail is your primary upwind sail and the foresail is trimmed to maximize the air flow over the mainsail.
- - We all learn from our mistakes
hopefully and an "experience" is an expression that means you survived your mistake(s). Live and learn.
- - The USCG boat doing to towing is definitely rigged for such jobs witness it size and permanently mounted towing drum/cable. This must be a common enough occurrence in that area that the USCG has boats specifically for that purpose. I would hazard more for protecting the coastline and beaches from pollution from wrecked ships than simply rescuing inexperienced masters. Private Towing services, in my experiences with them - have been less skilled and more dangerous than the USCG in trying to get a tow-line attached and a tow initiated.