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Old 13-05-2014, 18:06   #226
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Just to make construction details clear:

The hull/deck joint on the Union is solid glass. As described in the link, the deck is ply core with 3/8" of glass on either side.
I'm not sure if you're talking about my boat, but there was zero fiberglass on my decks. Teak over plywood over wooden beams. No glass in the deck, cockpit, cabin top, rudder, or anywhere other than the hull.
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Old 13-05-2014, 18:15   #227
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Anyone wanting to make their own chainplates en route, just make sure your drilling method allows for high torque and low speed. If you can lay your hands on an old-school single speed metal-bodied Desoutter with a deep reduction ratio (or similar from other industrial-strength m'fers) they stand up to neglect and abuse and corrosive conditions better than most modern drill motors.

Failing that, with the luxury of time, you could conceivably drill pilot holes (4mm or 5/32") in the desired locations with a conventional drill gun, then open them up in one or two steps with cobalt HSS bits, held in a brace and bit.

And remember to keep the feed pressure on, relentlessly, whenever the bit is touching the metal and turning.

Once you create local hardening, even cobalt bits can start to struggle and squeal.

I think it's a great idea to predrill the top hole, as Eric suggests.
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Old 13-05-2014, 18:38   #228
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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
First I think that Eric's decision to call for help was 100% correct and while he obviously got into a situation beyond his experience level I have done that too.

The Navy and rescue people showed how exceptional they are and I do not begrudge the money spent.

However, Azul's point about taking small children off-shore is worth addressing.

The decision to take a small child trans-oceanic is obviously a parental decision and I think that it does not reach the level of governmental intervention. However, I personally, as a pediatric intensive care doctor and a sailor, do not think that the medical risk is acceptable.

If we take a serious but usually non-lethal pediatric problem like febrile seizures it is possible to fairly accurately calculate an estimate of the probability of a child between the age of newborn and 5 years having a seizure that will result in unconsciousness. One study I have used followed 18,500 newborns for 5 years. (University of California, Berkeley).

The risk of a febrile seizure in any one month period for a child in the first 5 years of life is approximately 1 in 3000. Eric had two children in that age group so his chances of that problem were 1 in 1500. There are other studies that suggest the risk may be almost twice as high as the study I quote. And febrile seizures is just one of dozens of diseases a child can develop.

After 25 year of practicing high risk pediatric medicine and sailing, taking care of a pediatric seizure on a short handed boat in bad weather is more excitement than I would care to experience.

ps Eric you should give the donated money to a pediatric charity or to the Coast Guard benevolent fund. I for one certainly thought the money was being donated to a charity.
Great post right up to the ps.

How can anybody counsel a homeless father of two young kids to give away $18k?

That would be irresponsible. It's his money, and he can do with it add he likes, but I would hope he would use it as it was intended: to support his young family in a time of crisis.
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Old 13-05-2014, 18:40   #229
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Eric, I think I speak for the majority of people reading this thread (but mostly not posting) when I say "thanks" for giving us some post-incident information/analyses (which we can use in our own adventures), and thanks for ignoring all of the arm-chair experts who act like they would have done something better/smarter. It would be easy to become defensive and spend more time defending your actions rather than giving good info. Thanks for not doing that.

Please keep up the good info!
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Old 13-05-2014, 19:25   #230
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Yep, leeward side. We were on a port tack, broad reaching. Damage was on the starboard quarter.



Internal, replaced in 2012. No obvious problems in the ones I removed but I replaced them, and their fasteners, for good measure. The "bit scary" part of bringing some spare chainplate material and fasteners doesn't sound scary to me at all. Unless you're planning on bring full replacements for every chainplate onboard it seems rather straight forward to bring a strip of stainless with a hole in the top, and the ability to drill holes and make up a temporary (but pretty damn strong) chainplate.
This is what I mean about being a bit scary in hindsight:

Quote:
I'm eyeing the chain plates now, and initially I was a little spooked out about them but now I see them just as some stainless steel bars with holes drilled through them. I've got an angle grinder and maybe not the cobalt bit I'd need, but I bet I know a welder who could knock them out for me if I begged.

There are a few deck cracks that will leak once the rain starts, which is really only about two and a half months away. I might put it off until we get back to San Diego and just enjoy the summer, but I'm a little nervous about it.
I'm just saying I'm with you. Based on those posts, photos, etc. I would have been a bit nervous too...especially with homemade stuff. It sure sounds like something failed there. Just sayin'.
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Old 13-05-2014, 20:19   #231
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I concur with SV Third Day.
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Old 13-05-2014, 20:59   #232
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Eric, I think I speak for the majority of people reading this thread (but mostly not posting) when I say "thanks" for giving us some post-incident information/analyses (which we can use in our own adventures), and thanks for ignoring all of the arm-chair experts who act like they would have done something better/smarter. It would be easy to become defensive and spend more time defending your actions rather than giving good info. Thanks for not doing that.

Please keep up the good info!
Ditto!
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Old 13-05-2014, 21:04   #233
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Now, now - there's no reason to start name-calling and getting personal fellas. You don't like my communication style - fine. I understand. But keep it civil.

The bottom line is that something obviously failed in that area. I'm trying to figure out what that might be. RH mentioned leaking cracks in that area in his previous blog posts - and in his summation of the incident. Same cracks that got worse? Repaired but reappearing cracks? A vulnerability in this type/brand of boat?

He also mentioned (if I recall) that this area (caprail, etc.) was pretty torn up after the broach/knockdown. Based on what you've read thus far, what do you think the issue was here if not chainplates/knees/etc.?

If RH, who was there, doesn't know, all we can do is try to figure it out as best we can with what's available. No harm in that.

These are important issues if you're sailing a HC/Union/Polaris/Hasbro/Whatever 36, don't you think?

Simply commenting.
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Old 13-05-2014, 21:30   #234
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

"We need more subplots. (Even just one.) Instead we get a life sentence of staring at SDdy's face while the actor, as skilfully as he can, goes through the 12 steps of disenchantment in his one-man LA therapy classes."
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Old 13-05-2014, 21:54   #235
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Now, now - there's no reason to start name-calling and getting personal fellas. You don't like my communication style - fine. I understand. But keep it civil.

The bottom line is that something obviously failed in that area. I'm trying to figure out what that might be. RH mentioned leaking cracks in that area in his previous blog posts - and in his summation of the incident. Same cracks that got worse? Repaired but reappearing cracks? A vulnerability in this type/brand of boat?

He also mentioned (if I recall) that this area (caprail, etc.) was pretty torn up after the broach/knockdown. Based on what you've read thus far, what do you think the issue was here if not chainplates/knees/etc.?

If RH, who was there, doesn't know, all we can do is try to figure it out as best we can with what's available. No harm in that.

These are important issues if you're sailing a HC/Union/Polaris/Hasbro/Whatever 36, don't you think?

Simply commenting.
Even speaking as someone with a vested interest in persuading people that they should get me to make stuff for them

(typically because they are too ill equipped, or lack the necessary knowledge)

I can't think of any way I could make a case that if they drilled their own chainplates instead of having me make them, their boat would leak.

I simply don't get where you're coming from, with disparaging inferences about "home-made stuff".

The way a chainplate is FITTED, now that's a different topic, and sure that could be leak related, but it just doesn't seem to square with

"Eric stated the leak .... was on the starboard side near the stern" and other comments he's made about the location.

ON EDIT : unless he replaced the backstay chainplates. I overlooked that possibility.
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Old 13-05-2014, 22:09   #236
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

I believe his assessment. Do you really think that some goop soaked spare underwear and a 4" tube of epoxy putty is going to help the situation he describes?

Mark
Given the situation, I think most of us would have goop in our underpants anyway so why not give it a try? Only semi agreed upon emergency repair method here so far puts Douglas Adams at the wheel. Towel or sink I suppose. Any other ideas?
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Old 13-05-2014, 22:36   #237
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Given the situation, I think most of us would have goop in our underpants anyway so why not give it a try? Only semi agreed upon emergency repair method here so far puts Douglas Adams at the wheel. Towel or sink I suppose. Any other ideas?
I don't know about others, but I have had zero luck dealing with minor leaks (which I would class this as) by ANY sort of goop applied from inside the boat, except under certain circumstances in metal boats.

Given a boat with a fiberglass hull, a ply subdeck and teak planking and (as usual under the circumstances) a diffuse leak or leaks: I would not personally have put any time or resources into trying to staunch it, in what I understand to be Eric's situation.

And that's not because I don't care: I care very much about keeping the water out.
The demoralising effect of water inside a boat, even without the effect on equipment, is considerable. But it's my opinion you can't magic up a repair, even a temporary one, in this set of circumstances.

Furthermore, I would urge people not to invest their ultimate trust in electrical gear (in fact, any gear) which is not rated by a reputable manufacturer for long-term submersion in corrosive liquids, when sailing offshore.

- - -

Another take-home lesson is the risk of trading away autonomy.

Now that we know (thanks, Eric) that some anonymous clerk can mysteriously, capriciously and unilaterally terminate anyone's satphone comms from their desk in Poughkeepsie or wherever, that's clearly not a method of communication which should be built into our plans and expectations.

Unrealistic expectations, as others have said, lead to bad outcomes.

And it's better to have a small number of options which are reliable and well understood than a plethora of options which are not under our control.
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Old 14-05-2014, 03:55   #238
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I'm still learning about this whole sailing thing
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Old 14-05-2014, 06:08   #239
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Now that we know (thanks, Eric) that some anonymous clerk can mysteriously, capriciously and unilaterally terminate anyone's satphone comms from their desk in Poughkeepsie or wherever, that's clearly not a method of communication which should be built into our plans and expectations.
I don't think we yet have an answer from RH as to the reason for the satphone cutoff. These phone are routinely used by 10's of 1000's of folks in all walks of life for emergency communications in dangerous backwaters of the planet. Arbitrarily cutting service does not seem to fit the business model.
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Old 14-05-2014, 06:15   #240
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

As with any disaster or accident there is a chain of events, and usually there is a point which if something had been different, would have changed the outcome completely. Not saying that is what happened here, but if the phone had been working then they would have been able to communicate with someone directly to possibly help their daughter, and or equip the rescue squad with the needed medications to alleviate her suffering. Maybe not, it is all speculation at this point. Being that far at sea, the only real option for keeping the daughter safe was send up the epirb, regardless the condition of the vessel. As far as sticking with the vessel. There are many factors here that are working against you, even if you managed to stem the water ingress. I don't know if there was enough solar panel left to revive the batteries, that would have been a pretty big part of it. Trying to sail a badly damaged vessel, and pumping out the vessel continuously with a hand pump, and no one to relieve you would result in severe exhaustion fairly quickly even for someone in as good as shape as Eric. You are not going to be able to get any true rest, nor decent nutrition. With the constant rolling of the vessel takes a toll all by itself. 900s miles out and close to 2000 to go, you would have your work cut out for you.
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