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Old 08-01-2013, 04:17   #46
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
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.
I have no problems with folks being judgemental - just because "your" opinion is wrong does not mean it is of no interest to me - as I still have to deal with the resulting actions .

My comment above was not actually relating to the financial aspect (I figure if I am abandoning ship the boat is gone, replaced either by insurance or me simply sucking it up).......it was about wanting to keep the boat as a potential fallback option if the rescue does not go as intended. It may be difficult to get back onboard (or impossible) - but for me nice to have at least that option. Or not discovering that my attempt at scuttling was a lot more succesful (and quicker!) than I had anticipated!.....and that I was unexpectedly in the water whilst waiting for my turn to be rescued.

In regard to dumping responsibility onto another person, I am with you on being against that approach - but my view is that "you" already have the responsibility to avoid hitting stuff with your boat. and in practice the odds of my boat being a problem are infintestimal and even less for it actually hitting you rather than vice verce! How "you" sail (speed and lookouts) is all down to you - "barreling along" in less than ideal circumstances for keeping a lookout is not unusual, but is nonetheless "your" choice and not mine, a lot more likely to hit other stuff than "my" abandoned boat. Me not being your mum works both ways .
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:39   #47
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Put up a jury rig? If you can't do that, you shouldn't sail...... We probably all like to think we could do this, but I rather suspect the reality is different. One thing doing it with plenty of bits left over from the dismasting and in benign conditions with some decent bits of bodging kit onboard, another when the mast is still dangling over the side and it is still blowing a gale.


Then how would you have called for help in the first place? Anyway, radio dead is not a voyage stopper. Help came from Flares? or simply from luck!......and no communications from no mast?


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. I am no Doctor, but some medical emergencies are beyond simply sucking it up for a few days or a week
As a solo sailor my willingness to accept risk to self rescue would be rather large - even past the point of stupidity (but I have always been kinda relaxed on the getting dead angle of life ) - but with loved ones onboard I would be wayyyyyy more conservative on my call for a rescue, and likely far more willing than many others - that mainly because past events with loved ones has taught me (the hard way ) that things don't turn out OK just because one wants them to......for folks onboard I have no emotional attachment to somewhere in between, likely dependent on their and our joint capabilities and willingness to give things a go. For those I don't like very much..........
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:54   #48
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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


Well lets hear the rest of the story of why they needed recuse.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:56   #49
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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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.
Just saw this on a LinkedIn forum

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The Dutch merchant sailing ship, Tres Hombres, rescued a 70 year old German sailor who had been adrift in the Atlantic for two weeks after the rudder broke on his sailboat, Fidel. The German sailor was exhausted and dehydrated and was incapable of taking the tow line, so one of the Tres Hombres‘ fifteen member crew swam the line across to the disable sailboat. Tres Hombres took the sailboat under tow bound for Barbados and should arrive in a day or two. As the Tres Hombres has no engine, it is serving as a very unusual tugboat. The German sailor asked Tres Hombres’ Captain Van der Veen what the cost would be for the tow. Captain Van der Veen is reported to have replied that, ”a beer in the Caribbean would be sufficient.”
Engine-less Merchant Sailing Ship Tres Hombres Rescues 70 Year Old German Sailor in Rudderless Sailboat | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:37   #50
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Put up a jury rig? If you can't do that, you shouldn't sail...... We probably all like to think we could do this, but I rather suspect the reality is different. One thing doing it with plenty of bits left over from the dismasting and in benign conditions with some decent bits of bodging kit onboard, another when the mast is still dangling over the side and it is still blowing a gale.

Well, obviously you aren't going to make much out of your spinnaker pole and a spare tiller while it is still blowing force 10. One should be quite pleased to simply have been able to secure the mast alongside, put out a drogue, and lie ahull until it moderates. A dangerous lee shore would of course change the situation entirely, but if you have sea room, you can wait it out. But back to the mast, normally at sea it would be pretty nearly impossible to get the mast aboard and vertical, get it stayed and shrouded, and back to normal, even if it were undamaged. I would be sorely tempted to let the mast go, MAYBE try to salvage the boom if it looked practical. That is one reason I have pelican hooks at the lower end of my shrouds and stays. When it is time to say, "Bye-bye, Mr. Mast!" I don't want to have to be wondering exactly how I am gonna do that. In calm weather I would try to parbuckle the mast aboard, but in the kind of blow that might dismast my boat, it probably wouldn't get that calm for a couple of days. Not sure I would want a mast banging against my old hull for that long. A PAN call? yeah that would be appropriate. I would like to get my position and status out there. If nothing else, for a little psychological comfort because I have been in less serious trouble than that and still been scared. A MAYDAY? Nope. Plenty of boats have made it to a port after dismasting. Too many boats these days are being simply abandoned. I would sure like to find me a nice one!



Then how would you have called for help in the first place? Anyway, radio dead is not a voyage stopper. Help came from Flares? or simply from luck!......and no communications from no mast?

No radio? Less chatter to have to listen to. No mast? Bad situation, but not bad enough to abandon ship. See above paragraph. I will get something up somehow, eventually, enough to get some way on, even if just a knot or two.

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. I am no Doctor, but some medical emergencies are beyond simply sucking it up for a few days or a week


Lol! I don't mean keep the sick or injured aboard. I mean whoever is fit to do so, could sail the boat to a safe port while those that NEED evacuating can be properly rescued. No need to abandon the vessel if there is one capable person who can sail to a safe anchorage. If nobody is able, then I guess you just gotta let it go.

As a solo sailor my willingness to accept risk to self rescue would be rather large - even past the point of stupidity (but I have always been kinda relaxed on the getting dead angle of life ) - but with loved ones onboard I would be wayyyyyy more conservative on my call for a rescue, and likely far more willing than many others - that mainly because past events with loved ones has taught me (the hard way ) that things don't turn out OK just because one wants them to......for folks onboard I have no emotional attachment to somewhere in between, likely dependent on their and our joint capabilities and willingness to give things a go. For those I don't like very much..........
I do agree that a rescue of nonessential persons in some situations would be a good idea. Kids, or wife or GF, in a dicey situation, sure. But just because I want to get this one or that one off the boat and into a nice safe wildly swinging basket dangling from a nice safe helicopter that flies apparently in violation of all the laws of physics, doesn't necessarily mean I can't try to keep the boat in one piece. TOO MANY boats are being abandoned, left adrift, derelict, not only wasting a good boat, hitting the insurance company and driving up premiums for everyone else, but creating a menace to navigation. Some boats simply won't sink. I dare say that there are boats built today with so much foam core in them that you could chainsaw them in two and both halves would still float around basically forever.

Sorry about the mess we have made of the quote tags. I will set that one adrift as it is.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:26   #51
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The ship is truly manned by Hombres.... Men!

That Capt definitively deserves a tip if the cap...
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:27   #52
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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The ship is truly manned by Hombres.... Men!

That Capt definitively deserves a tip if the cap...
So does the crew member who swam the tow line over to the disabled boat.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:44   #53
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
Put up a jury rig? If you can't do that, you shouldn't sail.


Then how would you have called for help in the first place? Anyway, radio dead is not a voyage stopper.


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.
I agree, generally you should not abandon a seaworthy ship, but it's silly to say that you would never do this. We could "what if" this all day, but I'll give you this scenario: you are in the middle of the Pacific and you have to be evacuated because you have a severe abdominal pain, probably appendicitis. Your "crew," which consists of your wife and young children, does not want to stay on the boat and fend for themselves for 10 days. What do you? Order them to stay on the ship?
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:59   #54
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

I think if she were done (already sinking, beyond repair, etc.) and if I were in the position to do so, I would sink my boat.

But if she were rescue'able (say I have to abandon for medical reasons) then I would secure all hatches, leave the anchor light on, etc. and leave her bobbing.

So to say I can imagine both situations and understand both justifications.

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Old 08-01-2013, 13:13   #55
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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I agree, generally you should not abandon a seaworthy ship, but it's silly to say that you would never do this. We could "what if" this all day, but I'll give you this scenario: you are in the middle of the Pacific and you have to be evacuated because you have a severe abdominal pain, probably appendicitis. Your "crew," which consists of your wife and young children, does not want to stay on the boat and fend for themselves for 10 days. What do you? Order them to stay on the ship?
This might just be where a great deal of forethought needs to go into a passage. You need a capable crew, that means a crew member that shares the same capabilities as you. That might be a watch captain, who might just be the spouse. If the spouse is not up to the job, then make sure you have another capable person onboard.

I get to mention all of this in hindsight as I had a crew member evacuated 1040 miles north of Hawaii last summer. We had not planned on this, but we learned a lot from the experience.

If anyone is interested, the text of an article from Pacific Yachting is posted at http://www3.telus.net/jackdale/pubs/medevac.pdf.

I actually did not realize what a "great big hairy deal" this was until we got to Vancouver and the boat owner was ecstatic about the process. The Caption of the Navarino which came to our assistance, was named Greek Seaman of the Year by Lloyd's List last month.

I think I have posted the videos of the evacuation in other threads, but I will do so again if folks are interested. The video from the Navarino is of particular interest since it is continuous and shows the whole process took under 7 minutes.

I was fortunate in that I did not have to the one evacuated and I had a very capable watch captain. We also had very benign conditions.

Just remember the immortal words of Captain Ron, "If it is going to happen, it will happen out there."
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:35   #56
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Well lets hear the rest of the story of why they needed recuse.
We were about halfway on our San Diego to Hawaii route on the MS Statendam when the SOS was forwarded. Required a one-day diversion (voyage took six days while the schedule called for five). The weather had been heavy the day before we diverted from our route.

Didn't get a complete account of the sailors' problems, but heard one sailor claimed health problems and the crew had an unspecified problem with the boat. The sailboat didn't appear distressed from a distance, but the sails were furled. The sailors left their boat using a motorized rubber dinghy.
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:40   #57
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So does the crew member who swam the tow line over to the disabled boat.
Oh yeah!
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Old 08-01-2013, 19:50   #58
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

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Old 12-01-2013, 12:13   #59
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

The shop that sold and requalifies my LR once told me that in their experience nobody ever "steps up into their LR". Usually something bad is happening, the wind is honking and most people end up swimming for their LR at the end of its tether. For that reason, they stated that one of the most important considerations when stuffing your ditch bag is dry clothes to change into once aboard the LR, assuming you made it!!.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:40   #60
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Dry clothes sounds like a good idea. At that point you might as well throw in a chamois or "sports towel" so you can dry off before putting them on though!
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