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Old 07-01-2013, 14:25   #31
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Of course, some types of self-steering windvanes can act as emergency rudders also.
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Old 07-01-2013, 14:50   #32
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

I know this very, very mean, and there's a lot wrong with this thought, but I have an ick feeling with people abandoning their boat with the thought that a transponder will allow it to be recovered later.

Abandoning a ship is enormously dangerous in a way I think is way too easy to underestimate, and often to the rescuers as well as the rescued. I just don't like the idea of people imagining an ejection as 'zero cost'. I know I am horrible for thinking like this, but I like the sort of justice in that the minimum price of a rescue is losing the boat.

I hesitate to write this, since it reveals how judgemental and mean I can be, and what I really think when I read some of the rescue stories. But I am not sure I want to live in a world where some people approach it even more flippantly than they may already.

I have no idea how accurate this is, or what the real story is, but I've sometimes had these same thoughts: Karen and Jim's Excellent Adventure: Drama (and obligation) on the high seas

I also don't like people adding real danger for other people, just because they don't want to take a financial loss. I think the thought of "I won't scuttle my boat because other people should be maintaining a proper watch" -- I really don't like that. It's choosing to put other people in danger for one's own greed and then trying to transfer the responsibility to them. I've almost collided with a boat while barrelling downwind in large seas, the kind where you can't see very far ahead of you because one or the other of you is often not at the top of the swell at the same time, and the grey overcast and rain makes visibility low. There would have been no chance of seeing an unlit boat in those conditions at night.

So, to my own sense of right and wrong, I would probably scuttle our boat if we had to abandon it. It depends on the waters, I haven't thought about it that much before now. But the default decision is definitely to scuttle, and I'd want very good reasons not to (close enough to shore in settled waters, etc). I just don't think it's right to make it other people's problem. It's just a boat, and not worth endangering other people like that.
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Old 07-01-2013, 16:01   #33
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
but I have an ick feeling with people abandoning their boat with the thought that a transponder will allow it to be recovered later.
Good post.

Good link to that blog too.

I don't think you are being mean.

The US Coast Guard says they have legislation enabling the USCG to force people to get off a boat if the USCG demands it. I that case I sure would leave the AIS on and recover the boat poste haste! Maybe other countries are the same.

And if it was some real situation where I had to abandon an un damaged boat the why not leave the AIS on and let someone get the salvage dollars?

Someone who salvages Windego will get at least 90% of the value of it, and justly so. The owners, uninsured by the way, got off. They gave the boat up. Finders keepers, losers weepers.

I sure wouldnt be sailing a boat Tonga to NZ to give it back!

But the thrust of your post... Now with modern AIS etc and lit up, powered by solar for maybe years, why sink a boat that can be salvaged? Good point!


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Old 07-01-2013, 16:08   #34
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

The chances someone would hit your abandoned boat are very low--much lower than the chances you or someone else might be able to salvage it or at least some of its bits. There are numerous stories of abandoned "sinking" boats turning up on a beach or reef somewhere months later, but very few accounts that I've read of anyone hitting a sailboat offshore. I'm sure it happens once in awhile, but very rare.

Frankly, if it is such a bad situation that you are having to leave your boat for some reason I think the last thing on your mind should be sinking the vessel. Spend all your time and energy keeping it afloat, and then switch your attention to getting off safely if that time comes.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:16   #35
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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That is an excellent idea!
My dad wouldn't let me sail my boat without a oar and a rowlock at the stern of my sailboat. He lost a rudder once and got home using an oar as a rudder. As a bonus I sometimes get it out to manoeuvre and turn my boat around on the spot when I have little room in the marina.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:30   #36
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Many of you will be familiar with the Island Packet Triple Star which was abandoned in the 2011 NARC Rally after the first mate was washed overboard and lost. It was recovered afloat 4 months and many hundreds (thousands?) of miles later.

Abandoned yacht involved in ocean tragedy is recovered | Bermuda News
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:19   #37
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

A point of etymology: The term for sinking one's own boat is scuttle.

I would not scuttle my boat unless it was absolutely necessary. My insurer has not told me to do this and and I know of no case of someone being harmed by an abandoned yacht.

Think of this: if you were rescued by a helicopter and it crashed it would be nice to have the possibility of returning to your boat.
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:21   #38
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Originally Posted by chris5977 View Post
Think of this: if you were rescued by a helicopter and it crashed (which they do all the time) it would be nice to have the possibility of returning to your boat.
If that was a viable option, kind of begs the question - Why call for a rescue in the first place?
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:30   #39
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Chris-
"The term for sinking one's own boat is scuttle. " Ownership is not necessary. I can scuttle your boat as easily as mine. AFAIK, I can sink any boat, but I can only scuttle a boat that I am on.
And really, if you are on a rescue helo that presumes heavy wx or a serious medical issue, if you go down you're not going to make it back to your boat.

Mark-
"The US Coast Guard says they have legislation enabling the USCG to force people to get off a boat if the USCG demands it."
i've heard that before and will label it Urban Myth until I see a citation in the USC or CFR that proves otherwise. I'll reimburse your postage, if you send a letter to the Commandant and he replies with a citation proving that.

Of course if you're a male US citizen between the ages of 18-45, not a dockworker, postal employee, or member of afew other select categories, they could probably draft you into federal militia service (that's called "the draft" to most folks) transfer you to the active National Guard, second you to the USCG, and then order you off the boat under penalty of court martial. Gonna need mid-air refueling capability to hold on station while the paperwork is going through though.

Right, like the guys bouncing around in the helo are going to try, what? Forcing you into a lift basket to abandon the boat? Like they say in clownschool, "Semper Ridiculous!"
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:34   #40
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
If that was a viable option, kind of begs the question - Why call for a rescue in the first place?
I agree that you should only abandon ship as a last resort, but there are other last resort situations besides taking on water. Just off the top of my head:

1. You lose your rig and can't sail and the motor is not functioning.
2. You lose your electronics/radios and can't communicate to get help if things get worse.
3. You have a medical issue where essential crew must be evacuated.
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:35   #41
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I'd like to find it.
Me too
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Old 07-01-2013, 20:27   #42
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

When our ship rescued three sailors in the mid-Pacific in 2003, they left their sloop to drift away.

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Old 08-01-2013, 00:16   #43
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris5977 View Post
I agree that you should only abandon ship as a last resort, but there are other last resort situations besides taking on water. Just off the top of my head:

1. You lose your rig and can't sail and the motor is not functioning.
Put up a jury rig? If you can't do that, you shouldn't sail.

Quote:
2. You lose your electronics/radios and can't communicate to get help if things get worse. .
Then how would you have called for help in the first place? Anyway, radio dead is not a voyage stopper.

Quote:
3. You have a medical issue where essential crew must be evacuated.
48 hours into the voyage, all crew should be able to sail the boat. If one crew member or the owner is still fit and able, he should be able to sail at least to a nearby port.
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Old 08-01-2013, 00:21   #44
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Originally Posted by ccgarnaal View Post
My dad wouldn't let me sail my boat without a oar and a rowlock at the stern of my sailboat. He lost a rudder once and got home using an oar as a rudder. As a bonus I sometimes get it out to manoeuvre and turn my boat around on the spot when I have little room in the marina.
My boat displaces 7600 lbs and I actually considered installing oarlocks, including one on the transom to use for a sweep, and getting some lifeboat oars, for maneuvering in the event that the old Atomic decides it has had enough and quits for good on me. I would hate to have to row my boat more than a half mile or so, but for just getting back into the slip, it would be a viable backup. Plus the ability to rig a sweep for emergency steering could come in handy some day.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:20   #45
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Scanmar makes an emergency rudder system but it needs to be in place, the bracket any way, before you head out offshore. We have one that came with the boat, purchased by the previous owner after he damaged and lost the use of his rudder in the Newport to Bermuda race. The bracket is made of stainless steel tubing and attaches to plates on the stern of the boat and looks virtually identical to the bracket for a windvane. We actually installed it for our first Atlantic crossing (after a really bad experience with no rudder control on our first offshore passage) and tested the way it steered the boat. Worked way better than the emergency tiller handle which required two men and a winch to move. The emergency tiller could be moved with one hand. However, I think it would be difficult but maybe not impossible to install in heavy seas. Slowed the boat less than a half a knot or so. Still made the crossing in 16 days, in light winds. I believe a windvane could easily be modified to be used for emergency steering BEFORE you set off. We've discussed what our evacuation plans are and what contingencies would cause us to abandon ship. My husband spent 10 years flying search and rescue missions and knows first hand how difficult these rescues at sea can be. They don't all end well. We will be stepping up into the liferaft!
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