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Old 15-05-2014, 07:23   #361
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

You still don't get it.

You can list all sorts of "obvious" facts but you're still missing the bigger picture.

This is especially clear when you read the certain so called "experts" and "circumnavigators" here who have made incredible mistakes (yes this is true) and still don't get the bigger picture. The root cause for all these sailing issues has not been addressed in this thread. You will continue to list the obvious and miss the root cause, on others people stories and in your own.

If this appears cryptic it really is not. All these perpetual problems only lead to one generalization.
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Old 15-05-2014, 07:51   #362
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I hate that I am going to be called a troll or a one hit wonder-- truth is I have been following this story since the rescue and I have been fascinated with it. We are inshore and coastal motor boaters-- I hope to stick around since I found this forum.

I read several passages of Eric and Charlotte's blogs and I have poked around on his Facebook page. I get that he is tired of the press, but what bothers me (if I may be bothered) is that I have never seen him state something he did wrong or should have done differently. (Aside from a sort of flip "I wouldn't have left the dock...")

I think these threads would die quicker if he would just admit something, like should have had another deck hand, or hammocks so the small kids wouldn't have been bounced around so much (have any of you read the parts about the baby not sleeping for days because she was literally rolling around all over the place and they had to stuff her in a car seat (I think) and wedge her in the dinette?) or tested the boat somewhere other than Sea of Cortez.

I think it is obvious the boat was full of rot. I'm also curious, because I don't think Eric has stated, where the kids were when the boat supposedly rolled.

It seems like some of you just want everyone to assume (because it has been assumed since the beginning??) that Eric in some way screwed up, as many sailors will. Ok. That is fine, but Eric is very young to have experienced the worst possible scenario (aside from loss of everyone and the boat) for a boater and, thus, it seems important to dissect the situation to find the most likely things that happened. It is interesting.

I get that Eric is sensitive about this and seems to be tired of the detailed questions. I do feel like he has been slightly evasive in his answers, but I also know from experience that when you are inputting plenty of stimuli and are exhausted, you do get a little foggy on things.

I hope this thread continues because I personally find it worthwhile and interesting. I think Eric means well and is a dreamer (as plenty of us are) and looks at the possibilities but I also think he is young and foolish and didn't do due diligence with his boat inspections and repairs. It's not judgement-- some people are this way. He is lucky it all worked out and he was rescued and yes, calling for help was the correct thing to do.

I'd like to see him admit something he wished he had done differently, would do differently in the future or some sort of meaningful introspection of the situation. I haven't seen this.....
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Old 15-05-2014, 08:06   #363
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I'll post this question again since it may have been missed with the interest in boat rot.

The other question I had was related to logistics. From earlier posts there seemed to be not much fuel carried, 30 or 40 gallons as I thought I read you had taken a tank out of commission.

Since you were going slower than planned, 900 miles in 11 days with 2000 miles remaining how was your fuel margin to run the water maker for the remaining 22 plus/minus days? Did you have backup water tankage? Did you feel there may be an up and coming issue with this?
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Old 15-05-2014, 08:19   #364
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
"Judge not, that ye be not judged also."

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Old 15-05-2014, 09:11   #365
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
...Some of those wanting to close the thread down think there is nothing to be learned. Why then are some of the most experienced people on the forum - whose who have sailed most and 'know' most - still think there is a need to learn from this incident?
Mark - as usual, spot on. And you (and a couple of others) should know. You've done it.

From what I've been able to see, I think you hit the nail on the head here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
The sick child, the family situation, and the voyage were difficulties enough without having to look at another situation. The decks.

In the dry climate of LA and San Diego the minor leaking every time it rained would have appeared a small problem - "all boats leak". And the lack of good, deep, ocean passages for crew training and boat "shakedown" - a term I hate - would have meant the deck problem didn't show itself.

If we think that there was that much water coming through a rotted deck each day whilst on a broad reach (not close hauled) then those little leaks must have been numerous, or extensive.

In the "quarter" argument Eric avoided answering, directly, where EXACTLY was the water ingress. Actually two part question, where was it you tried to fix, and, were there others. He did say at the deck hull joins, but only the "quarter" not where on the quarter. (it opens a myriad of questions: was the water going through the deck there or further forward and flowing under the teak above the ply to the quarter?) This isnt a criticism of him as he was probably getting more than exasperated at the line of questioning and didnt see the relevance.

If theres a small constant infow every time a wave comes on deck, and the knowledge that the deck is teak on ply, one may deduce after 900 miles that the boat may not last the full 3,000 miles! And then when a big bang happened and the in-flow increased to 70 gallons per day one would really begin to cast their mind back on the integrity of the whole untested deck.
It would certainly appear that this boat was not sound. RH, for whatever reason, is unwilling to provide details...and the details he does provide keep changing (e.g. - he says he was hove to then says he was on broad reach, he says he could have kept going for 3 weeks then says they were running out of water, and now we shouldn't take what he's presented on his blog as all that accurate because he's got secret details that throws that stuff into doubt, etc.).

The reason this is an extremely valuable case study is, as has been mentioned above a couple of times, the never-ending "bluewater boat" debate has taken a new turn here. Hans Christian is always held out as a boat you want to take across oceans. But the reality is - these are old boats and old brands...and there is very real potential danger in that alone.

I have been trying to get some detail on why the deck failed to the point of threatening the lives of the crew (notwithstanding the child's sickness). We've looked at chainplates, solar panels, preventer blocks, deck attachments, etc. Something that was on "the starboard quarter" that would have ripped out causing this hole. So I was looking into the preventer issue. And here is a pic of how RH had his preventer rigged in previous passages:



Granted, this is the opposite tack from what RH mentions at the time of knockdown, but I've watched his videos and he had the same setup seen here on that opposite tack. As you can see, there is nothing anchored on/to the "starboard/port quarter" cap-rail track, stanchions, lifelines, etc. The preventer line runs forward. So, assuming he was configured as he was usually configured, it certainly doesn't appear that anything got ripped off the deck in this area causing the structural failure.

Furthermore, RH says that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
The vertical stanchions were still in the deck, so I don't think it wrenched the deck if that's what we're talking about. Oddly enough, the outboard was actually off it's bracket as well (starboard side), so you can imagine the amount of heel and wave energy you'd need to dismount an outboard that was clamped onto a piece of wood on the rails.

A few days earlier I had lazily put the fishing rod lanyard onto the outboard when I removed my fishing pole, and the outboard in the morning was just gliding around in the water by a piece of thin dacron.
So the forces involved here - even according to RH - certainly didn't appear to be enough to rip any of the hardware out of the deck. And even though it knocked the OB off the mount, it wasn't enough force to break "a piece of thin dacron".

So where does that leave us? If you take his blog at face value - it appears to leave us with a structurally unsound deck that started failing the first time it was truly tested...900 miles off-shore. The forces in what RH describes as merely moderately rough were enough to start pulling this old "bluewater boat" apart.

Unless RH wants us to completely discount his blog posts, there is no question this boat had serious rot issues. And it is clear that the deck had either been incorrectly built (no composite as described on other like boats) or modified by someone to exacerbate the rot issues.

So what's the lesson here? I think there a TONS of them. But one of the biggest - at least to newbs - should be that the old "bluewater" brands are not inherently safe for bluewater passages. Many of them, like this one, are very old boats. And you have to be ready to completely rebuild entire sections of the boat if there's ANY question of its integrity to achieve the level of safety you believe you're getting with such a boat. "Leaky teaky" is no joke in the middle of an ocean.

My personal takeaway (or agenda) from this is that I think I'm a lot like RH. I'm currently preparing for some off-shore cruising by doing many of the same projects he did. So I'm carefully looking at what he did and how - and what his expectations were as he went through things (at least according to his blog). I'm doing this so that I can hopefully make better decisions for myself - and not miss something big. More importantly, I've become much more willing to call in expert help - and not be too much of the DIY guy I usually am when I get in over my head. It's not worth it.

Will I still screw up? Sure. I'm definitely no expert myself. I'm just trying to see where I can minimize the impact of my screw-ups. That's what learning is all about. And from this incident I am absolutely paying more attention to the structural integrity of my boat (among many other things). My agenda is not to bash RH - it's to learn from him. Period.

So, in conclusion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
You still don't get it.

blah...

If this appears cryptic it really is not.
It's not cryptic, monky. It's just wrong.
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Old 15-05-2014, 09:11   #366
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I just wanted to thank Smackdaddy and fryewe and the others who have pushed the thoughts on this sinking along in the face of some pretty hostile response from some forum members, and to thank Eric for some good answers to questions.

Some of those wanting to close the thread down think there is nothing to be learned. Why then are some of the most experienced people on the forum - whose who have sailed most and 'know' most - still think there is a need to learn from this incident?
Jim and others who have done this particular passage, Mexico or Panama to Marquesas, all know that it is the longest passage, (or is St Helena - Caribbean) and often done reasonably early in the cruising life.
When I was doing it it gave me the heebie geebies. Right in about the middle of the passage the boat is 3,000nms from any mainland and still half that to some pin-prick of an island without marine facilities, even the closest shipping lane is over 1,000nms away (China to Panama). Its the only time I have felt the real emensity of the earth. In the middle of a big, empty, vast ocean. I was at the wheel (AP on) and just wondered what would happen if I fell over and broke my leg. The answer could well have been death from something so simple.
Fortunately the feeling left by the end of that watch, but the point is EVERYONE must feel it.

If everyone was lost on Rebel Heart there would have been a Coronial (or other) investigation, but because, thankfully, everyone was saved the is no investigation except for the inquiring minds on some lame interweb forum. In my mind this thread is an excellent example of what we can do to educate the new people, the advanced sailors, and the ones who have been there done that... because none of us have 'been there' for everything.

The sick child, the family situation, and the voyage were difficulties enough without having to look at another situation. The decks.

In the dry climate of LA and San Diego the minor leaking every time it rained would have appeared a small problem - "all boats leak". And the lack of good, deep, ocean passages for crew training and boat "shakedown" - a term I hate - would have meant the deck problem didn't show itself.

If we think that there was that much water coming through a rotted deck each day whilst on a broad reach (not close hauled) then those little leaks must have been numerous, or extensive.
In the "quarter" argument Eric avoided answering, directly, where EXACTLY was the water ingress. Actually two part question, where was it you tried to fix, and, were there others. He did say at the deck hull joins, but only the "quarter" not where on the quarter. (it opens a myriad of questions: was the water going through the deck there or further forward and flowing under the teak above the ply to the quarter?) This isnt a criticism of him as he was probably getting more than exasperated at the line of questioning and didnt see the relevance.

If theres a small constant infow every time a wave comes on deck, and the knowledge that the deck is teak on ply, one may deduce after 900 miles that the boat may not last the full 3,000 miles! And then when a big bang happened and the in-flow increased to 70 gallons per day one would really begin to cast their mind back on the integrity of the whole untested deck.

As I said, I had the heeby geebies out about there (on the Galapagos -Marquesas run), but my boat was sound, Nicolle was loving it and no children on board.


So yes, I think there is a lot we have learned, a lot of conjecture that has been useful to have, a lot of food for thought for everyone from those who circumnavigated, or blown many of the oceans to those who have not bought their boat yet, and to even those who can't sail, and those dreamers who enjoy reading to exercise the muscles of their imagination.

We must all imagine likely and unlikely scenarios so we maybe better equipped to handle them when we are at sea... even if our voyage is only off the coast by 2 miles.... remember that man killed just last week in Long Island Sound on a 3 hour cruise.

So, once again thanks to those who have usefully added to this thread, and to Eric for his input. I feel we maybe all just a little bit safer for it.


Mark
Excellent post! I'm one of the more inexperienced people Mark alluded to. It's really good to know what some of the more troubling challenges folks have suffered through and how (or if) they worked through them. I think a lot is in the mindset at the time. Vicariously experiencing the problems and challenges can do a lot to improve your own expected response in similar circumstance. I do think there is a lot to be learned here.
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Old 15-05-2014, 09:25   #367
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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One thing I think they should be commended for is calling the CG way before things were really bad. Lots of people wouldn't do that. Getting on the Sat phone, calling and appraising the CG of what was going on, probably quickened the response to their EPRIB signal greatly, as the CG already knew they were on the edge of trouble. A lesson for us all.

Long live the cruising family.
Not only that but, the Navy Rescue crew also may have also known what they were heading into. No doubt they are trained for a wide range of circumstances. But, knowing the situation on board ahead of time may have prepared them better for what they were flying and swimming into. Namely that the primary patient was a one year old child and they could make sure they had the proper medicines and dosages for a child that size instead of say just adults.

On another aspect of the Rebel Heart saga. I've been wondering if the only person who might be enjoying this cruise might have been the three year old daughter. I'd be curious to hear her account. Too young and naive to know what was really going on and how bad the situation really was. Her take might be interesting if she has one.
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Old 15-05-2014, 09:27   #368
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
It's not cryptic, monky. It's just wrong.
You still don't get it smack daddy. You can pontificate all you want about "issues" but you still haven't separated the infinite symptoms you find in stories from the overarching root cause, that which you can truly benefit from. That is why I can guarantee, lay down money, you will make serious errors in the future. You aren't preparing yourself in the correct way.
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Old 15-05-2014, 09:34   #369
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

So here is how the speculation and rumor mill works:

We go from a little info and a few photos to jumping to the conclusion that the deck was rotted away, the boat wasn't sound for sea, and heck...everyone knows those damn HC's are rotting piles of crap.

It's how it works on the internet, take a little piece of info, build a story line around it, and then based on a speculation storyline come to a gospel conclusion. I have to say this is halarious to watch.

See experts HAVE to be experts even if they don't have the data, facts, or info in front of them to know what they are talking about. Eric (who was there remember) said the Rot in the photos of his blog post wasn't an issue in the incident, yet now the verdict has been reached that the boat was unfit for sea, rotting away and boom, now anyone looking to buy a HC will be told:

"**** you can't buy a HC...remember Rebel Heart was lost at sea due to deck and hull/joint Rot".

It's gotta be true...I made it up and read it myself in a online chat room.

Having used this thread to dodge my own boat projects by reading I think every post, I have no idea where people could have gotten the impression that anyone was suggesting shutting this thread down...because I can't find it. What people have complained about is the tone taken by some posters as if they were running the Salem Witch Trials.
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Old 15-05-2014, 09:44   #370
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

This is the Internet equivalent of sitting around the local java hut discussing and speculating about a sea rescue.

I don't see claims to the contrary...
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Old 15-05-2014, 10:12   #371
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Is anyone else here curious about smackdaddy's putative boat? and his agenda here?

He is the one who brought up the chainplate location question and posted the chartlet of the boat claiming to not know where the starboard quarter was. The ways he's developed his participation here makes me wonder whether he's a writer, using this thread to mine info, or has some other hidden agenda?
I'm pretty sure Smack's just wondering if he'd be better off with a steel "Brent Boat"
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Old 15-05-2014, 10:23   #372
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post

You still don't get it smack daddy. You can pontificate all you want about "issues" but you still haven't separated the infinite symptoms you find in stories from the overarching root cause, that which you can truly benefit from. That is why I can guarantee, lay down money, you will make serious errors in the future. You aren't preparing yourself in the correct way.
So why don't you tell us the big secret?

Is it 42?
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Old 15-05-2014, 10:27   #373
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I'm pretty sure Smack's just wondering if he'd be better off with a steel "Brent Boat"
Don't get me started you cheeky bastard. Heh-heh.
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Old 15-05-2014, 10:27   #374
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

So I own a 30 year old cold molded boat. Yup, ply wood decks over wooden frames. No fiber glass on the interior surfaces. Ok every surface is saturated with west epoxy, just sayin’.
Guess I better walk away from this girl. Not up to offshore sailing.
But wait, the boat doesn’t leak, bilges are dry (dust, need to vacuum). Dry even when breaking water all over the decks.
Now I think back to a boat I sailed to Hawaii and back in the late 70’s. Plank on frame, laid teak decks (not over plywood), and oh yes she leaked. Decks leaked, hull leaked, we pumped every 3 hours the whole passage. Crazy youth!
So based on some opinions, should I just walk away from my current boat and buy a plastic one?
Bone dry 45’ blue water boat for the taking please inquire, will trade for Hunter or equal.
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Old 15-05-2014, 10:50   #375
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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So I own a 30 year old cold molded boat. Yup, ply wood decks over wooden frames. No fiber glass on the interior surfaces. Ok every surface is saturated with west epoxy, just sayin’.
Guess I better walk away from this girl. Not up to offshore sailing.
But wait, the boat doesn’t leak, bilges are dry (dust, need to vacuum). Dry even when breaking water all over the decks.
Now I think back to a boat I sailed to Hawaii and back in the late 70’s. Plank on frame, laid teak decks (not over plywood), and oh yes she leaked. Decks leaked, hull leaked, we pumped every 3 hours the whole passage. Crazy youth!
So based on some opinions, should I just walk away from my current boat and buy a plastic one?
Bone dry 45’ blue water boat for the taking please inquire, will trade for Hunter or equal.
You crazy? No way you're getting my Hunter, dude.

But there was a particular Hunter 49 that came through an F10-F11 off Cape Horn with nary a scratch. I think their bilge might have even been dry. You might look into that one.
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