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Old 23-01-2013, 16:38   #31
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

Really good posts Eric, TY
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:59   #32
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

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You're welcome Wotname and thanks again to all the Australian / New Zealanders rescue services and rescuers that always make a terrific job in these difficult areas.
Youre welcome :-D Ours and the NZ navies patrol a vast amount of ocean. Possibly the largest area per capita on the planet. It seems that every couple of hears we pick up a stranded yachtie bobbing around the ice.

Some locals get upset at the cost of it. Frankly I think it is ok. We pay Search and Rescue to be on standby. They may as well earn the dollars saving someone.
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Old 23-01-2013, 17:11   #33
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

Let me explain my comment about the A35 not being a "Southern Ocean" boat.

Some things that the IMOCA boats have that the A35 don't have.

1. A hard dodger that the sailor can take shelter behind when sailing underwater..:-} a very important safety device IMO.
2. The rudders are on the stern and can be worked on/repaired at sea as has been demonstrated in this Vendee Globe.
3. Water ballast that can be used to stabilize the boat if the keel is lost. Again this has been proven in this and other Vendee Globes.
4. Communications with a ground crew that can help the solo sailor repair just about anything on the boat.
5. This I think is very important; a stern bulkhead to keep things (like the sailor) from washing overboard and to provide some shelter from a breaking wave from astern.
6. Water tight hatches and an escape hatch on the underside of the boat.
7. Canting keels and dagger boards.

There are probably many more things included in an IMOCA boat that the A35 does not have, including size, but those are the ones easily seen.

Sailing an A35 in the Southern Oceans solo is not really being prudent, IMO.

In defense of the A35, I don't think it was ever intended to be sailed around the world via the Southern Oceans. I doubt that the keel was designed for such loads.
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Old 23-01-2013, 17:38   #34
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

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(...) including size (...)
Paramount IMHO.

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Old 23-01-2013, 17:51   #35
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This is a great article written by an expert in rescuing folks from boats. Note that he says he would never second guess a decision to get off the boat.
Really good article. Yet again I am reminded of how much there is to learn before I get too far away from shore
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Old 23-01-2013, 18:02   #36
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

Deepfrz, I share your idea about the A35, let's say that it will not be my choice and I consider my own boat more "appropriate" at first thought...

On the other end, Alain Debord is so much experienced than I am that I will not challenge his decision, as he may have the good choice anyway, there are so many "no appropriate" boats that went around the world, much worse than his, that shown, if not proved, that it was possible, bad luck apart, to do the trip.

Ocean is not forgiving at these latitudes, and we can also remind that huge merchant ships have been struck by rogue waves and destroy, if not sank, that it could mean than none of the smaller and weaker boats should go offshore anymore...not really applicable.

There is always a part of dream and madness in our achievment that leads us to do things that are not 110% safe (is there any?), I am ready to pay the price or take the risk to fell...alive.

I also understand that it can be upsetting for southern ocean countries to spend money in the rescue of some individuals that have no real obligation to put them in danger in the area, fully.

I am the 1rst one to complain about what seems to me useless money spending in my own country, and believe it or not, France is # 1 in this "sport".

On the other hand, I understood that safety at sea was an international system, agreed by all nation that are part of the system, so I guess it is more or less properly budgeted in each country.

To give you an idea, there is 25% of the world merchant traffic passing by my window everyday (as by our neighbours on the other side of the channel of course...) and more than 600 ship's movment are recorded each day in Dover straight, all of this monitored, guided and secured by UK and France just for the Channel area.

This include rescue coordination centers (3 in France, probably the same if not more in UK...), not to mention all the lifeboat station, helicopters, huges tugs (may be the most powerful in the world or so, 2 in France for the channel area, I understood UK has least one on the other side), and so on...actually that must be dozens, if not hundreds, of Euros and / or pounds spent for this each year.

At this moment of the year, and as I am living few hundred yards from the hospital, I can hear 1, if not 2, helicopter landing per week, usually in the middle of the night, that are most of the time to bring injured sailors to Cherbourg.

Not to mention the monitoring of the french maritime area, which is the 2nd largest in the world in surface, due to all these islands we have a bit everywhere...

On that money aspect, although not perfect, I really think that the world organization / coordination for the rescueat sea is a pretty good example of a very good "global" system that is a real benefit, rather than a waste of money, for all of us and should be an inspiration for our politics in other areas.

What I'll remind in the Alain accident is that the PLB can really be a difference between life and death in these areas, I am happy to have 1 in each crew pocket aboard !
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Old 23-01-2013, 19:02   #37
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

About the imoca, I would have a very different analysis as most of the imoca boats that had to abandon following collision at the beginning of the race, had damages that may not occured or would not have been so critical on more ordinary boats or production boats (mine would have been able to carry on, in most case).

For me, it is not that obvious that Imoca would be that much safer, without polemic,
Let's see each point by comparison:

1. A hard dodger that the sailor can take shelter behind when sailing underwater..:-} a very important safety device IMO : Alain A35 had one specially erected for the trip, see in the article I gave the link in my previous posts.

2. The rudders are on the stern and can be worked on/repaired at sea as has been demonstrated in this Vendee Globe : Alain had 2 rudders, which can be considered both positive (if one blade brake, there is another one still active....) and negative (there are not hidden behing the keel and are more exposed...), on the other hand most of the boats around the world have rudders under the hull and are not considered as more dangerous for that. Additionally, on such trip and boat it is easy to erect a backup rudder, provide you planned it before departure.

3. Water ballast that can be used to stabilize the boat if the keel is lost. Again this has been proven in this and other Vendee Globes. :Water ballasts are great for racing boats that are very wide, but I do not think they can save a boat that looses its keel with a different shape, they can even be dangerous in my opinion, not to mention all the potential leaking in the piping, through hull inlets and outlets and the practicality in case of emergency...I am not convinced at all.

4. Communications with a ground crew that can help the solo sailor repair just about anything on the boat : I personnaly think that not being able to fix an issue, critical for your safety I mean, on your own, aboard when solo, should prevent you to start the journey, the onshore support is mainly good for the moral, for everything else it is more virtual than really effective.

5. This I think is very important; a stern bulkhead to keep things (like the sailor) from washing overboard and to provide some shelter from a breaking wave from astern : Agreed on that one, I do not feel secure with such rear design for long range sailing, it must be a personnal choice, and this is only my opinion.

6. Water tight hatches and an escape hatch on the underside of the boat : Although it seems to me it is a good idea...on multihulls, it is not one on monohull, and is only adding risk of weakness and water ingress in the boat, rather than a real benefit, again in my opinion.

7. Canting keels and dagger boards ! Excellent for performance and racing...with a huge budget when the keel rupture as the boat is lost after that, most of the time. A good fixed keel does the job for our navigation a much safer way than all the aeronautics mobile wings stolen on a Mig 23 or an F111, and erected on a boat by people that do not even applied NDT on these very stressed structure ! Not for me, Alain A35 keel is much more safer to me.

But we cannot really compare projects covered with millions of Euros, managed by team of several professionals, monitored by a big staff all along the trip, ready to coordinate rescue all over the world and a private amateur on his own.

Considering the size of the boat, I do not think 35' is a problem, on the opposite it may be the best compromise for a solo sailing, long enough to have room enough inside, but not too big to manage alone.

As sailing on a 50+ feet boat with my beloved 1rst mate that is not a keen sailor at all, I can tell you that a 35' is a much easier one to sail and this is another safety factor to take in account on long range solo sailing, being tired is dangerous.

One famous female french sailor, Maud Fontenoy, went solo around the world and "against" the wind, on a former Jean-Luc Van Den Hede (a guy of 100 pounds and about 7 feet tall...) 70 or 80 feet aluminium racing sloop, big boat that seems a giant when he went next to us in Cherbourg, she barely could not finish the journey and could not use the boat at its maximum as she was exhausted most of the time...bigger is not always safer. And Maud was quiet physical, as she previously crossed an ocean with a rowing boat...

For me the best boat is the one that you are fully in control all the time, that you trust and like, that you know and can fix on your own, whatever the size or the type, first of all.
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Old 23-01-2013, 19:22   #38
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

I was only comparing because the A35 is a purpose built racing boat and as such has a hull structure similar in shape to an IMOCA. No other reason. Has nothing to do with your or any other boat. Take a look at the A35 website. Almost all pictures are of the boat racing with a ton of meat on the rail. Most pictures of the stern while going upwind show one rudder out of the water. This is a club racer/weekender.
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Old 23-01-2013, 19:29   #39
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

G'Day Eric,
And thank you for a well thought out and presented opinion (one with which I happen to agree for the most part).

I for one see no particular lack of consideration or preparation on Alain's part. He (IMO) was far better organized and prepared than several recent RTW singlehanders, some of whom were successful, some not so lucky. He was involved with a very deep depression and didn't get through it... could have happened to any of the folks who brave those waters no matter what boat they were sailing.

I appreciate your contributions, and look forward to further information when it becomes available.

Cheers,

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Old 23-01-2013, 20:04   #40
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

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I was only comparing because the A35 is a purpose built racing boat and as such has a hull structure similar in shape to an IMOCA. No other reason. Has nothing to do with your or any other boat. Take a look at the A35 website. Almost all pictures are of the boat racing with a ton of meat on the rail. Most pictures of the stern while going upwind show one rudder out of the water. This is a club racer/weekender.
Yes, agreed, the boat is not originally designed for RTW programm and that would not be my choice, but I think it is more a personnal feeling and opinion than a correct assessment of the boat ability for such project (provide some preparation is made), on the other hand all these recent design shown surprising ability and speed in bad weather, way better than their predecessors actually.

For example, under 35 to 44 knots winds :



Of course it is racing and training, but that was not possible 30 years ago...
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Old 23-01-2013, 22:14   #41
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

I agree to all that you say. It was especially neat when it stood on its nose and then fell off sideways.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:55   #42
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

I bet the poor sailor will not make any attempts at compensating the cruise ship travelers
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:04   #43
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Re: Southern Ocean Rescue

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I bet the poor sailor will not make any attempts at compensating the cruise ship travelers
?

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