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Old 27-04-2012, 17:20   #1
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Collision Avoidance - Tsunami Debris

I am a single hander launching in June to British Columbia from Kauai, Hawaii.

NOAA's predictions that debris from the Japanese Tsumnami would not reach the western coast of North America until this coming winter has recently moved up to this winter (now) with the arrival of a derelict trawler off western Alaska.


I would be interested in hearing collision avoidance strategies from any who are making a similar passage up or down this year.


My boat and I have sailed Mexico to the Maraquesas; Bora Bora to Hilo and have seen exactly no ships, one plastic bottle and one plastic fork. This will change dramatically as we enter the sea lanes in the north pacific. I have AIS to deal with shipping; but large debris is something even another set of eyes may no help. It has me worried.


Thoughts?


Thanks in advance,


Randall
Aboard MURRE
Manele Harbor, Lanai Hawaii
Murre and the Pacific
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Old 28-04-2012, 05:23   #2
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

That would worry me, too, Randall. I was reading an article a couple of days ago that said the debris field wasn't really a concentrated mass of floating debris. Rather, that is was really spread out, and that someone sailing in it might see items floating only every now and then. Of course it only takes one of the wrong kind (massive and sharp-edged) to ruin your day.

The underbody configuration on your boat should give your prop and rudder more protection than most boats. Perhaps a strategy of slowing down a bit at night and keeping a sharp watch during daylight is all you can do. The only other possibility I can think of would be to ship Murre back to BC.

I think that if I were doing it, I'd make sure I had more than enough safety equipment, and hope for the best. Along with the normal items, some materials to staunch inflow from a hull breach, fothering gear, and patching systems would be a good thing to consider.

This issue is obviously going to be a major concern to a lot of cruisers who choose to do the Pacific circle from the Americas, rather than going all the way around.
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Old 28-04-2012, 05:54   #3
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

Like thick mud a single hander could be in trouble if they got trapped in it.

I think in addition to Huds suggestions of slowing down and preparing damage equipment, I would invest in a nice heavy piece of stainless steel for the bow.

It won't be cheap to cut and shape but it might just give you a fighting chance against an ISO container.

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Old 28-04-2012, 07:54   #4
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

I am making a delivery in late July - Lahaina to Vancouver and have similar concerns.

I will have a crew - hopefully 4 so that we can run watches with someone visually scanning during the day and adding a radar watch at night.

I expect that some of the debris will got caught up in the Pacific gyre which is right on line with our route.

I will likely be on a radio net with some other boats returning at the same time. We will be able to add debris to our weather and position reports.

In 2000 on a similar trip we decided to power through the Pacific high and hit a small piece of fishing net that took out our transmission, leaving us without any means of propulsion and becalmed.

I think it might prudent to consider getting some additional crew.
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Old 28-04-2012, 15:36   #5
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

Many thanks for replies ...

To summarise "big" debris collision avoidance strategies so far:

1. "...slow down at night." -Slowing down makes a lot of sense to me; reminds of ice passage tactics of old. Presuming I don't employ this strategy until latitude 45 and above, and then slow the boat down to, say, 3 knots (?) I'll bet the overall increase in passage time would be minimal. By the time we reach that latitude, we're well out of the trades and are starting to fight for consistent wind anyway.
2. "Take crew." -Prudent but reduces the odds of making the passage single handed.
3. "Add hull damage repair materials, fothering, etc." -Very good. My current compliment is wooden bungs, a few larger foam bungs, and more used sails in bags than I know what to do with. I've never had to fother underway but was planning to use the old sails if needed. Are there other technologies or techniques I should explore? Also I have a good collection of epoxy and cloth, but nothing that could be applied and set underwater.
4. "Add SS bow protection." -Good. Hadn't thought of that. My bow sprit bob stay tang is (of course) right at the water line, which complicates matters.
5. "Join or monitor NorthPac nets for weather and big debris tracking". Great. I have SSB but am not a HAM. I have enjoyed being a part of the several Baja and the Puddle Jump, etc., nets, but am not aware of any specifically for passage North of Hawaii. Can recommend?
6. "Acquire Radar" -I have avoided to date for reasons stated above and because my electrical charge system (solar) isn't designed for it. Any quick recommendations on low energy consumption/low initial cost radar? Someone recently mentioned a new technology, "AIS Radar", but I can find nothing on it. If it exists for boats, it would likely be a low energy drain technology but (if new) very expensive.

Any other ideas?

Many thanks,

RR

Aboard Murre
Manele Harbor, Lanai Hawaii
www.murreandthepacific.wordpress.com
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Old 28-04-2012, 18:10   #6
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

NOAA has a forecast of where they expect the bulk of the debris to be based on models of ocean currents. Looks like they see it north of Hawaii, this would put it right in the way. It will be mostly submerged debris and I doubt radar would pick most of it up.

http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/im...omegraphic.jpg
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Old 02-05-2012, 14:13   #7
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

rreeves,
"AIS radar" isn't radar at all. It's just a commercial name for some AIS receiver display. The new low-power radar technology is "Broadband radar", not so expensive. But the capability of radar to detect floating (just awash) debris depends on the sea state: it would work only on calm seas, without too much sea clutter.

The British magazine "Yachting Monthly" tested a few methods for preventing a yacht from flooding:
YachtingMonthly - YouTube
YachtingMonthly - YouTube

Alain
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Old 02-05-2012, 14:23   #8
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

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rreeves,
"AIS radar" isn't radar at all. It's just a commercial name for some AIS receiver display.
AIS = Automatic Identification System. Which is a transponder.

I think the less expensive one just transmits a signal, like SPOT.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:13   #9
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

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AIS = Automatic Identification System. Which is a transponder.

I think the less expensive one just transmits a signal, like SPOT.
The less expensive AIS is a receiver only; it does not transmit.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:41   #10
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

thanks.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:56   #11
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

Radar is not going to be a good tool for low floating stuff in the water!! The only things that are going to work well is GOOD Watch keeping, and slowing down at night !Even to extent of heaving to at night if your in the field of junk from Japan !! Ive single handed this route in the past, but Im sure the best way for the safety of your vessel is more eyes !! No one can go without sleep,If your bound to do it single handed, I would think about heaveing to at night, and sailing days when ya can see !! Just a thought!
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:04   #12
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

So far everything seems to be arriving father to the north but I suppose it will change. I have heard of people epoxying kevlar on the bow for forays into ice filled waters. Maybe that would help?
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Old 02-05-2012, 17:36   #13
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

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So far everything seems to be arriving father to the north but I suppose it will change. I have heard of people epoxying kevlar on the bow for forays into ice filled waters. Maybe that would help?
We used 1/2 teflon on the bottom of a river jet boat and never had any problems with the rocks (some sharp) we hit. May be a solution in addition to considering yours. I am not sure of the weight comparison, if that may be a factor or not.
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Old 02-05-2012, 17:59   #14
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

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I would invest in a nice heavy piece of stainless steel for the bow.
Best to start out with a steel hull.

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Old 03-05-2012, 03:14   #15
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Re: Collision avoidance, tsunami debris

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Best to start out with a steel hull.

The Titanic was a steel hull.

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