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Old 12-05-2014, 17:47   #136
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Use whatever terminology makes you feel good. But if the rail is in the water enough to put the mainsail under and rip off solar panels mounted on the stanchions, you've been knocked down.

As for the other Chinese whispers (whatever that is) 60-70 gallons of water coming into your boat is a sign of some serious damage. He said it came from a crack near the side-deck and gunwale. What should this bunch of people call that?

I guess I'm not seeing what you're seeing.
None of us were there besides RH, and he was not in a position to do acute observation during the "knockdown" incident!

But in my experience (and this does include big storms far out to sea) knockdowns are primarily due to wave action, not wind gusts. Further, in sea conditions that cause knockdowns (better described as rolldowns in many cases), having a breaking wave top rip off panels and stanchions is far more likely than simple immersion whilst in the knocked-down state.

So, I don't have a problem with using a preventer in conditions such as Eric describes. I don't think he mentioned it, but I would suspect that he had a deep reef in the mainsail. That being the case, an accidental gybe while prevented would not have much affect upon the boat, and would be in itself not able to cause a knockdown. Even with a full main, it seems unlikely to me for that matter!

And we "put our money where our mouth is": we in fact routinely use a preventer at sea, any time we have the main set and the sheet eased at all. We have had the sail gybe countless times when sailing near DDW, and nothing happens that a small helm correction can't correct (either a windvane or autopilot has always worked for us). That's what the preventer is for!

I fear that we will never know exactly what the source of RH's leak was, and no amount of armchair discussion will change that. There is little to be learned from conjecture without facts, and it is all too easy to draw false conclusions from that practice. For those hoping to learn from Eric's experiences, please keep that in mind!

And Eric, thank you for participating in this discussion. I imagine that it is a bit painful at times and you are to be commended for taking the time to do so.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 12-05-2014, 17:56   #137
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Almost any boat with a hull-deck join could have it damaged in a knockdown in a worst-case scenario: beam on to a genuine breaking crest, water avalanching down the steep front (rather than spilling mostly down the back as in what is usually called a "breaking" wave offshore - another instance of 'grade inflation' in terminology, leading to misunderstandings and blazé attitudes)

The foamed-up water in a genuine deep-sea breaker can be travelling considerably faster than the underlying solid-water waveform (like a jet taking off from a carrier which is already doing 30 knots) and can easily exert enough lateral acceleration to detach the boat from the face of the wave and throw the hull sideways into mid air, so that the mast rotates down to leeward and the hull lands in the trough on its side or worse. This is what smashes cabin trunks off, pops portlights, etc. It's a miracle if the interior of a cruising boat is not instantly rendered almost unlivable by the boat falling onto solid water from a height at an unfavourable angle.

And this is rather likely to cause separation or structural failure of the hull-deck join, almost regardless of the scantlings and detailing and workmanship. (With the possible exception of well found metal hulls)

That's of course the most extreme example of a knockdown, and vanishingly rare. But any sort of knockdown is a serious occurrence, requiring either wind or (more often) sea of challenging nature.

Broaching (at its most benign) is a minor happenstance, which in my first boat, (until we built a decent rudder, retuned the rig and fixed the draft problems in the sails), would happen on wet grass in any sort of breeze.

It would happen in flat water (and, with inattention, even in a constant breeze).
Any resemblance to a knockdown of ANY sort is negligible and accidental.

Broaching is almost always avoidable, like spinning out in a car, either by design and attention to trim, and/or by attentive helming ... and the major reason for the mast travelling some way towards the horizontal is centrifugal force, which in turn arises from the rapid rate of yaw, due to the rudder stalling out.

I think it's a shame when people use the nearest word which comes to hand; it makes for misunderstandings which (on the www) seem inexorably to compound.

Good communication is "message sent = message received", but this relies on the recipient checking with the sender before making idiosyncratic assumptions about what words mean.

If Rebel Heart broached and THEN was hit beam-on by a breaking wave sufficient to slam the boat further over, then sure, that's broaching into a knockdown - but I'll wait for Eric to clarify if that happened, and if so, does he think the force from the knockdown could have caused a failure of the hull-deck bond.

As opposed to (say) bending/busting some hardware sufficient to stretch some fasteners and disturb the sealant around them and possibly something else: maybe expose some fastening holes which were previously blanked off by mounting plates?

Could it be the padeyes for the preventer?

It seems to me that some have leapt to the most dire scenario interpretation possible, on limited info.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:02   #138
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Personally in any significant sea state with the boom eased out. I will rig a preventer. Many events have proved this to be a wise choice from experience

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Old 12-05-2014, 18:04   #139
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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None of us were there besides RH, and he was not in a position to do acute observation during the "knockdown" incident!...

I fear that we will never know exactly what the source of RH's leak was, and no amount of armchair discussion will change that. There is little to be learned from conjecture without facts, and it is all too easy to draw false conclusions from that practice. For those hoping to learn from Eric's experiences, please keep that in mind!

And Eric, thank you for participating in this discussion. I imagine that it is a bit painful at times and you are to be commended for taking the time to do so.
Not interested in armchair discussion as such and I understand that a knockdown especially at night can be disorienting. But with several days of daylight to evaluate and stop leakage I am interested in finding out what measures were taken to control the effects.

The initial and continuing degradation of electrical systems seemed to be a major issue. Perhaps if the leakage had been stopped or minimized the effect on them would have been minimized as well.

My training and experience is that if you have an uncontrolled leak or flooding at sea you do whatever is possible to limit it...including tearing out bulkheads/overheads/decks to get your eyes and hands on the problem.

Even if you can't stop the leak you can reduce it and deflect it toward non-critical equipment.

I have seen no discussion of such action and wonder if they were taken but unmentioned...or not considered...or considered and discarded. Or none of the above.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:09   #140
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
The rescuers in their press conference were talking about continually pumping seawater from the boat while they were aboard. They said it wasn't life-threatening, but it was constant. So the boat was continually shipping water.
Yes but they weren't continually pumping. Only a couple of times a day for a few minutes.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:16   #141
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I have a hard time understanding how a few 1/4" holes with stretched sealant or even fully opened allows in 70gph of water. I believe Eric's account of a breached hull-deck joint - that makes sense for that amount of water. However, I have a difficult time balancing that with Minaret's argument (with supporting data) that it takes an equivalent of a drop from a crane onto concrete to cause this type of damage.

Good thing he wasn't in a French production boat or a catamaran.

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Old 12-05-2014, 18:21   #142
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I agree with Fryewe.

To get the rail out of the water, tack. Then dry it out and start below looking for light, listening for creaking, or hang over the side and look.

Then most boats have an ample supply of epoxy underwater putty, or straight fibreglass repairs as its out of the water, on the high side.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:26   #143
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I have a hard time understanding how a few 1/4" holes with stretched sealant or even fully opened allows in 70gph of water. I believe Eric's account of a breached hull-deck joint - that makes sense for that amount of water. However, I have a difficult time balancing that with Minaret's argument (with supporting data) that it takes an equivalent of a drop from a crane onto concrete to cause this type of damage.

Good thing he wasn't in a French production boat or a catamaran.

Mark


Believe that was 70 per day.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:28   #144
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I'm sorry, but as someone who has done a lot of fiberglass work, nobody is repairing a hull-deck joint in snotty conditions, underway, regardless of what one has on board. Stuffing a pillow in it? Maybe. But epoxy putty? No way. Stuffing frayed ropes goo'd up with sealant? That is so funny I'm still laughing. A real fiberglass repair? Well, get out your grinder and power it up, tear out all cabinetry, etc. If you plan on epoxy, no way - 12hr cure time minimum. If you plan on polyester, mix it hot and hope for the best. The next wave, however, will most likely rip it open again. This assume, of course, that the open joint has magically become completely stationary.

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Old 12-05-2014, 18:28   #145
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pirate re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Broad reaching... preventer...??
Heavy sea's/wind... why not reefed down...??
Squalls no problem.. if hove to the boat will adjust.. okay maybe bouncy for a few minutes.. fore-reaching.. whats the problem.. your miles from land... shut down and take it easy..
Sorry Eric.. I don't get it.. not from what I've read to date.. and at 900 miles off Mexico are you sure your in the ICTZ..
Not a criticism of your decision.. far from it.. you did the right thing as far as I'm concerned with a baby on board..
However your seamanship I do question... the only time I'd rig a preventer is downwind.. no way on a broad reach.
And even on a broad reach in the conditions you describe I'd be reefed to maximum.. but F5-6.. and I do know what the S. Pacific can be like.. you'll roll a lot.. but maybe you should put your A/P on max setting next time you go there..
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:28   #146
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I agree with Fryewe.

To get the rail out of the water, tack. Then dry it out and start below looking for light, listening for creaking, or hang over the side and look.

Then most boats have an ample supply of epoxy underwater putty, or straight fibreglass repairs as its out of the water, on the high side.



+1. Also, don't discount butyl tape and bag film, or any other type of plastic film. Just high side it and get it as dry as possible, then butyl a bag over the leaking area.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:31   #147
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I'm sorry, but as someone who has done a lot of fiberglass work, nobody is repairing a hull-deck joint in snotty conditions, underway, regardless of what one has on board. Stuffing a pillow in it? Maybe. But epoxy putty? No way. Stuffing frayed ropes goo'd up with sealant? That is so funny I'm still laughing. A real fiberglass repair? Well, get out your grinder and power it up, tear out all cabinetry, etc. If you plan on epoxy, no way - 12hr cure time minimum. If you plan on polyester, mix it hot and hope for the best. The next wave, however, will most likely rip it open again. This assume, of course, that the open joint has magically become completely stationary.

Mark


Not all THAT much fiberglass work. Everybody who knows anything knows about this stuff.



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Old 12-05-2014, 18:54   #148
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I'm sorry, but as someone who has done a lot of fiberglass work, nobody is repairing a hull-deck joint in snotty conditions, underway, regardless of what one has on board. Stuffing a pillow in it? Maybe. But epoxy putty? No way. Stuffing frayed ropes goo'd up with sealant? That is so funny I'm still laughing. A real fiberglass repair? Well, get out your grinder and power it up, tear out all cabinetry, etc. If you plan on epoxy, no way - 12hr cure time minimum. If you plan on polyester, mix it hot and hope for the best. The next wave, however, will most likely rip it open again. This assume, of course, that the open joint has magically become completely stationary.

Mark
I'm sorry, but as someone who has done a lot leak stopping at sea (including at depth on submarines where pressures are a bit above the few feet of head from a breaking wave), nobody but you is talking about repairing a hull-deck joint. So far the discussion has been about damage control.

I have stopped leaks that sprayed water forty feet across compartments with marlin wraps...have sat on a pillow on top of a valve operator to minimize and deflect water so a test depth dive can be completed...have used strong backs and bandit and rubber to stop leaks from holes in piping...have stuffed marlin in seams and pounded it home to stop low pressure leaks...have stopped leaks using homemade fittings and gaskets and seals to replace failed ones.

Damage control is on-the-spot engineering. Most of the methods I have used have been born of urgent need by sailors who preceded me and passed on to following crews. The materials that have been found to be handy are now mandated on every ship and contained in damage control kits and crews train on their use continually. Perhaps discussing this event will come up with another good idea.

Glad I was able to pull your funny-bone but I think the joke is on you. So go back to looking for the 110VAC for your grinder and when the discussion gets around to how to repair that hull deck joint we'll let you know.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:57   #149
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pirate re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Got holed at the waterline on a timber boat in my early days.. went on the opposite tack and shoved a towel in the hole.. got me home.. okay.. only 60 miles but...
Try not to heel so much.. its down to how you set your sails.
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:01   #150
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Call for Help/ This American Life

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Got holed at the waterline on a timber boat in my early days.. went on the opposite tack and shoved a towel in the hole.. got me home.. okay.. only 60 miles but...
Try not to heel so much.. its down to how you set your sails.

I found personally a combination of frightened skipper , sinking boats and cushions to be remarkably effective in conjuring up solutions. I once lost 4 towels, two cushions and my favourite towing bathrobe to a god dammed leak.

Of course that assumes you can get to the leak. ?

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