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Old 27-11-2010, 13:42   #61
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"Unsafe" maybe stretching things a tad sir...unexpected, uncontrolled gybes are one thing - my partner has little sailing experience and it may have been quite frightening for her - but unsafe? No...scary...yes.

You tell me...close hauled Sandy Cay to Sandy Spit...bunch of similar monohulls also close hauled parallel to us... jib track car in perfect position - gorgeous mail/jib sail shape...perfect trim - over canvassed perhaps? Nope - reef 1 on the main...15-20 knots wind - wheel *HARD* OVER...not going anywhere - 1 knot perhaps...can't head to wind much less into irons...cable slippage on the quadrant perhaps? Can't sail close hauled despite *PERFECT* conditions...zero speed...**huge** embarrasing 270 degree gybe...(I guess that's one way to "tack" her)...what a joke!

Turns out the factory says 2 turns lock to lock on the wheel - we had less than one!!!! (7/8). Max rudder angle was maybe 30 degrees when 45 would be the "norm" - MAJOR steering mechanism issues to say the least. Problem was - they KNEW about it and sent us out "have a nice vacation" was the last we heard from them. What irks me is that I specifically pointed out the steering problems - even center rudder mark on the wheel was at 8PM - not straight up 12 and they said it was "normal" - "have a nice day!" (fill in the blank)

Misled, lied to and cheated...no integrity from them whatsoever. People need to know about our experience that's all...
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Old 27-11-2010, 14:24   #62
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I don't doubt what you say. I just can't fathom not a single call to the charter company to at least discuss the situation.

The sail near Sandy Spit does seem odd. Most boats with bad rudder control would round up into the wind. ALmost all charter boats have some weather helm. I am not sure why if you were on the same heading as the other boats and properly trimmed you would only see 1 knot of speed regardless of what the rudder was doing. Again I would have been on the phone to the charter company ASAP. The only situation even remotely like yours that I can remember was when we once snagged a semi floating half filled garbage bag in the rudder. Even then it cause very hard steering but the boat could be controlled by adjusting sail trim.

George
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Old 27-11-2010, 14:56   #63
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Sailvi, sir - we were moored in CGB after our close haul "escapade" and trust me - we considered it so very seriously! You have no idea! You've been there sir...words can't describe it...cocktails on the stern..watching the most truely most magnificent sunset over JVD...I knew we had a serious problem with the cable/quadrant but "manageable" - but certainly nothing a chase boat could deal with. Take the boat back to Nanny Cay and wait for repairs or a replacement...

As I said earlier - sailing is just one part of the overall BVI experience - the boat was fine on any point of sail past a close reach - my issue is a charter company sending you out *knowing* the boat had a serious problem with the steering. Seriously - I've had problems before where the engine quits or the batteries die - par for the course - call them and get it fixed - this was deliberate and absolutely unconscionable that's all. We flew 5000 miles, trusted them "everything is meticulously prepared and double-checked prior to your arrival" and "At Horizon Yacht Charters, we are totally committed to ensuring that your Yacht Charter sailing holiday with us will be the most memorable Caribbean sailing vacation you ever have."and "you'll notice the difference with Horizon Yacht Charters."

The boat was not ready - we were 1 hour late (called to let them know) and they kept us waiting for over 2 hours while they fixed the engine console and other things. There was no captains chair, no BBQ, no fenders, no water in the tanks, no cooler on board...We were in danger of not making dinner reservations on Cooper when we *finally* left...it was getting dark and I was thinking "pick up a mooring ball in Manchioneel Bay by flashlight"....scary.

Just trying to say they misled us. It is so easy to critize after the fact in black and white - it's another when you are there faced with decisions...
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Old 27-11-2010, 15:53   #64
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where did you hear that?

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Originally Posted by sailvi767 View Post
I understand the boat had no work done on the steering and has several charters since with no problems reported.

George
several charters since with no problems reported? where did you hear that?

I know of 1....and obviously they adjusted the steering a bit....not much... One of the Owner's from Horizon says the boat has 1 turn lock to lock, 2 weeks after our charter....that is 1/8th of a turn difference, (when it should have 2 turns as per Bavaria in Germany and other Bavaria owners...)
the owner says Moonshine's rudder goes to 45 degrees now, a far cry from the 30 degrees we measured. so they have adjusted the boat somewhat...and they said that they had one charter, after us come back with "no problems"
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Old 28-11-2010, 09:51   #65
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The standing rigging on this boat was also in serious need of major tune up. The cotter pins were missing from the turn buckled on the port side and both side stays were loose. Under load the leeward inner stay was so loose (yes, I know some slack is normal) that it was quite literally flapping in the breeze. We took a movie of it "just in case". Perhaps the cause of our significant lee helm? The boat simply would not head to wind even with the rudder hard over against the stops. 1 knot...zero knots...massive 270 degree lee helm gybe! In fact the only way to tack this boat was to use the motor!

The other issue was one of time. Instead of having the boat ready "meticulously prepped and double checked" as they promised it wasn't even close! As I said, there were engine problems and we watched as they fixed the engine console and other things. There was no captains chair, no BBQ, no fenders, no water in the tanks, no cooler on board. They made us wait over 1/2 hour for our briefing "I'll be right back" they said. We ended up having to get the guy who was chatting with friends! So, we topped up the water tanks and now we're seriously late for Cooper - we had dinner reservations there. I mean what do you do, stay on the slip for the night and check out the boat - which is precisely what we paid Horizon to do?

Yes, yes, plan "B" would be to go to over to Norman but we wanted to save the Willy T/Caves/Bight for last. We were so dissapointed in being decieved - "the wheel is fine - it's supposed to be like that" and with the lack of preparidness of the vessel I can't even begin to tell you.
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Old 28-11-2010, 12:18   #66
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The boat was not ready - we were 1 hour late (called to let them know) and they kept us waiting for over 2 hours while they fixed the engine console and other things. There was no captains chair, no BBQ, no fenders, no water in the tanks, no cooler on board...We were in danger of not making dinner reservations on Cooper when we *finally* left...it was getting dark and I was thinking "pick up a mooring ball in Manchioneel Bay by flashlight"....scary.
One lesson I hope anyone considering a charter can learn from this is that having reservations like that is probably not a good idea.

Best bet for you next time, regardless of who you charter with would be a sleep aboard the night before. You have all night to make sure everything you need is there and then get an early start the next day. Worst case if you had an issue on departure you could turn back in, have it corrected and still be on your way that day.

Or take a look at a first tier charter company with newer boats - they can still have issues, but major issues are probably less likely. I also guess a key in an charter is knowing the policies on refunds, credits..etc due to boat issues.
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Old 28-11-2010, 12:32   #67
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Question doing the charter company's job

I understand your point, and realize our responsibilties...

However...what is the resposibility of the charter company?
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Old 28-11-2010, 12:36   #68
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Their responsibility is to give you a boat in working order. And if its not, to fix it or give you a substitute.

Clearly I think the charter companies goals are to have everything ready 100% for guests - it makes no sense for them not to aim for that. But mistakes happen. I'd much rather do a little leg work myself and make sure we weren't a mistake vs assuming all is well and leaving only to find something we need was left out.

If you want a sailing vacation where you don't have to worry about a thing, then take a crewed vacation. There's stuff that goes along with a bareboat and checking things is one of them. As the captain of our charters, I've always made sure we're good before leaving. Just goes with the role.
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Old 28-11-2010, 13:40   #69
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Just my own point of view but why should chartering a boat be any different than say renting a car? You are not expected to check the oil or any of the other systems, Isn't that the responsibility of the company renting the vehicle? If you do find any deficiencies that are potentially dangerous or life threatening why would you continue to put yourself and others at risk?
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Old 28-11-2010, 16:14   #70
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If you think about it, the two really can't be compared. That's like comparing renting a house for a week to staying in a hotel for a week.

It's different. Plain and simple and because of that there are different things that are required.

I think the easiest way to put it is this way:

In any bareboat charter, someone is designated as the Captain. It's the Captain's responsibility to make sure all his crew are kept safe. If the Captain doesn't check over the boat, how can he ensure anyone's safety?

The boat should be in good condition and everything should be in working order. But a good Captain won't assume anything. And even if everything was in working condition when the charter company checked it, perhaps something has since broken, come loose...etc. It's not as if the boats are sitting in a garage protected from weather..etc.
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Old 28-11-2010, 17:48   #71
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I've chartered in the BVI some years ago with both sunsail and moorings. I accept the charters comments but fail to understand your reactions.

If there was a serious rudder / steeringissue then I cannot understand why you didn't call them ( even to stake your claim) as I always informed them so as not to be blamed for damage.

Secondly if one of you had the type of experience you claim to have them it's easy to ascertain what the problems with the steering was and then call it in.

I just don't understand your reactions to discovering a steering problem. If it failed on that close hauled run surely it failed on other runs during the week

Lastly you don't need nor do most rudders go to 45 degrees.

DAve
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Old 28-11-2010, 18:22   #72
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a 90 degree arc of steering travel is a bit much...probably the absolute limit
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Old 28-11-2010, 18:46   #73
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I've chartered in the BVI some years ago with both sunsail and moorings. I accept the charters comments but fail to understand your reactions.

If there was a serious rudder / steeringissue then I cannot understand why you didn't call them ( even to stake your claim) as I always informed them so as not to be blamed for damage.

Secondly if one of you had the type of experience you claim to have them it's easy to ascertain what the problems with the steering was and then call it in.

I just don't understand your reactions to discovering a steering problem. If it failed on that close hauled run surely it failed on other runs during the week

Lastly you don't need nor do most rudders go to 45 degrees.

DAve
Agree wholeheartedly with the above. It is clear that this was a first time charterer without much experience. If the steering didn't work the first thing I'd do is get in the lazarette and check it out. And if you didn't do it then you should have once you were anchored.
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Old 28-11-2010, 18:54   #74
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I wouldn't expect any Charter boat to be in Bristol Condition.

I wouldn't just jump on and sail away without testing everything.

That would be in the event I returned and an item was broken/inoperative....I wouldn't want to pay for it if it wasn't my fault.

I find it humorous that you allow this flame-a-thon to continue

Oh well
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Old 28-11-2010, 19:01   #75
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I wouldn't expect any Charter boat to be in Bristol Condition.

I wouldn't just jump on a sail away without testing everything.

That would be in the event I returned and an item was broken/inoperative....I wouldn't want to pay for it if it wasn't my fault.

I find it humorous that you allow this flame-a-thon to continue

Oh well
Yet you obviously wanted to discuss as well?

Why shouldn't it continue if its done in a civilized way?
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