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Old 11-05-2014, 22:33   #91
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Kinda surprised the Tayana 37 had a hull/deck joint issue from broaching though!
Typo maybe? It was a Hans Christian 36.
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Old 11-05-2014, 23:19   #92
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Hey Eric...Glad you've resurfaced and your term Armchair admirals was spot on. I see they're slowly crawling back under their rock. Anything is possible when it comes to hydraulic forces. Epecially when rail are acting as levers from the force. Wish Charlotte a happy Mother's day.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:00   #93
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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If I had to do it all over again I obviously wouldn't leave the dock, but there's not a whole hell of a lot I think in hindsight I could have reasonably done or any glaring oversights I made.
Glad you made it. It's interesting that after all that happened and given time to reflect, you don't have any should have, could have's. I must live too much with contemplation and analysis because even day sails will produce one or two.

Your not the first guy on this forum that lost their boat and you won't be the last. I'm sure it will give you a different perspective when the next one does.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:55   #94
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I'm struck by the difference in outcome of Eric's ordeal and Ciro Stellges a sailor on Long Island Sound last week.
Missing Sailor Long Island Sound
Rebel Heart 900 miles off the coast and MAC a sailboat just a few miles off the coast of Long Island within sight of homes on the bluffs. Coast Guard and other marine resources within a half hour and helicopter rescue literally minutes away but, very different outcomes. Eric hit the EPIRB and Stelleges used his cell phone.
Rebel Hearts VHF was working but, useless where they were and for some reason MAC's was not used or did not work though it probably would have been the better choice for a Mayday call in that location rather than the cell phone.
Another irony is that at Stellges cell phone worked while Eric's Sat Phone failed due to a change in corporate policy regarding the sim card. Though the "heads up" Eric was able to give the Coast Guard before the phone failed may have help expedite his families rescue. Having multiple backups in Rebel Hearts case lead to a successful outcome not having one in MAC's case tragedy.
Lesson Learned: I'm putting a personal EPIRB on my shopping list.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:17   #95
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Why? The hull/deck on the Union 36 is heavily overbuilt. The deck flange is 3/4" solid glass, the hull over 1" solid. It is bolted and then heavily glassed on the inside. If this joint failed, the event which caused that failure would have been catastrophic to a lighter built boat. This fact would seem to prove the point on those threads, rather than the opposite.


Union 36 Boat Review - Practical Sailor Article
Agreed.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:20   #96
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
I'm struck by the difference in outcome of Eric's ordeal and Ciro Stellges a sailor on Long Island Sound last week. [...] Lesson Learned: I'm putting a personal EPIRB on my shopping list.
This one, too:
Rigormortis: Acknowledging loss of La Rosa off Argentina

You've got to read the blog post linked in that thread. Really a miracle save by the helicopter guys, all made possible by an EPIRB. A few minutes more and we would've had two dead sailors, boat gone missing, maybe no answers ever for family and friends.
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:46   #97
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I actually found some videos of us having a grand old time dancing around the cabin around day 7 or so...
Eric - If you have the patience to answer I have a few questions that might help me in preparing my boat and myself for ocean sailing...

Did you video or take photos of the damage topside or below decks?

You mentioned in a post that the water in the boat exceeded the capacity of your electric bilge pump. Common ones for small vessels are rated at 250 gph and 500 gph and some are higher. These ratings seem to be above the estimates of the rate of flooding I have seen. What was the rating of your pump?

Do you think its flow rate was limited by fouling of piping or obstruction? Did you deliberately shut the electric pump off to conserve power and shift to the manual pump?

Were you able to see the damaged area and take damage control actions to limit the rate of water ingress? What actions did you take? Were they effective? Were you limited in your actions by the number or type of damage control materials you carried with you? Would you recommend any specific equipment be carried that you had or didn't have?

Were your rigging/boom/vang/preventer/sails or other equipment damaged when the rail/hull damage occurred? If not - where within the system would you recommend a "weak point" be designed to selectively fail to prevent damage to more critical components/systems?

Thanks for answering in advance. If there are other recommendations you may have or other insights into the equipment issues that may be helpful to those of us who may be a year or two behind you in our planning and execution they would be appreciated.

Happy you and your family are home safe and wish you well in all your endeavors.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:44   #98
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

I put my answers in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
Eric - If you have the patience to answer I have a few questions that might help me in preparing my boat and myself for ocean sailing...

Did you video or take photos of the damage topside or below decks?

No, the weather was atrocious and the last thing on my mind was the camera. I think I have a couple of shots but none that really show the starboard quarter in any detail. Some of them show the rail all banged up, I'll post those when I find them again.

You mentioned in a post that the water in the boat exceeded the capacity of your electric bilge pump. Common ones for small vessels are rated at 250 gph and 500 gph and some are higher. These ratings seem to be above the estimates of the rate of flooding I have seen. What was the rating of your pump?

I hate to say this but I don't know; it was a small unit that came with the boat. I had two spares waiting to go but they never went into service. I know that whatever the rated speed is, the head was probably 6' or so (deep bilge), so I think the actual output was much lower as those GPH ratings (I think) are calculated at no or a minimum of head.

I remember the pump not working at all sometimes; initially I thought it was fried as a lot of electronics were going out. Later on after I had removed a lot of bilge water it was on; I just randomly noticed it when I stuck my head over the side. How often it was on and off I'm not sure, but even when I motored away I saw it pushing water out.


Do you think its flow rate was limited by fouling of piping or obstruction? Did you deliberately shut the electric pump off to conserve power and shift to the manual pump?

I don't think anything slowed the pump, although I lost my voltage readouts and I think the batteries got pretty bad in the last couple of days. I put everything towards the VHF, watermaker (Katadyn 40e), and nav lights. Even with that, I could see the lights dimming and the watermaker was barely enough for us to drink.

I guess in hindsight I'd advise people that if you have flooding, you probably will have lost your electronics or you will soon.


Were you able to see the damaged area and take damage control actions to limit the rate of water ingress? What actions did you take? Were they effective? Were you limited in your actions by the number or type of damage control materials you carried with you? Would you recommend any specific equipment be carried that you had or didn't have?

I tried using 4200 but the area was so wet I couldn't get it to adhere. I had the leftovers of 5200 but that didn't seem to work too well. What was really needed would have been something almost like tar. Super thick, super gross, adheres to a seawater wet surface, and cures in moisture. A few quarts of that and I suppose I could have just put a huge hunk of goo over everything. No idea if it would have worked, but that's what I wanted.

Also, I could see the area the water was going down (crack between the gunwale and the deck), but a simple caulking failure like that wouldn't cause water intrusion so I felt like I would have needed to pull up the teak boards to fix the issue.


Were your rigging/boom/vang/preventer/sails or other equipment damaged when the rail/hull damage occurred? If not - where within the system would you recommend a "weak point" be designed to selectively fail to prevent damage to more critical components/systems?

I really don't know. It was dark and my first concern was people-safety, getting our course re-established on a broad reach, and safety checking everything to make sure it wasn't going to get worse. As weird as it sounds I didn't really think about what caused it for a while as there was a lot to deal with after the fact that took priority.

Two things I think I learned:

- Heaving to is great, except in squalls, where the wind speed changes so much. You get a good hoveto position in the regular winds, then that changes for thirty minutes and you forereach or get knocked around, which you adjust for, then the squall is over, and you restart the whole thing again. We had great luck heaving to and I think in a more "standard" heavy weather pattern it's more appropriate but in shifting conditions where the seastate and wind are shifting more than twice an hour, it's not that great.

- In mixed up seas you need to have someone on the helm. Your auto pilot or wind vane, at least on my boat, just can't be as smart in a mixed swell with breaking waves as a competent helmsman can.

- You still need to make miles. If you slow the boat down too much you basically just stay in the crappy weather longer, exposing you to worse conditions for a long period of time. Again, with a weather system that is moving over you I think "stopping" the boat makes sense, but if you need to cross through a bunch of crap that's going to stay there, you can't be totally conservative else you'll be there longer.


Thanks for answering in advance. If there are other recommendations you may have or other insights into the equipment issues that may be helpful to those of us who may be a year or two behind you in our planning and execution they would be appreciated.

I think the biggest thing for us in hindsight is that we had a lot of emergency equipment and although we had a lot of things go wrong, ultimately we were safe and fine (minus losing the boat). I never imagined I would be a guy hitting an EPIRB, as a first responder and veteran I've always been the guy going to help others.

Keeping people aware of our situation, in particular being able to call the USCG and give them all of our information, ended up being (possibly) the difference between all of us making it off the boat alive.

I think a lot of people focus on the boat issues (this thread is a good example), but medical issues can manifest just as quickly and you can't jam 4200 on a heart attack victim to fix him or her. Boats are built tough, even mine I would have been able to limp along.

The reality that I would need to lose everything material to save someone onboard was a simple calculation to make, but one that had never crossed my mind before.


Happy you and your family are home safe and wish you well in all your endeavors.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:56   #99
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I put my answers in blue.
Thanks. Some things to think about.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:19   #100
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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It means that in deep water the waves will always follow a strong wind except for a short period after the wind changes direction. Shallow water is different.

it doesn't work that way in the gulf stream.

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Old 12-05-2014, 11:21   #101
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Most GPH ratings on pumps are "unencumbered" ratings. This is what it pumps with no hose attached and definitely doesnt inculde the loss in efficiency due to lift (distance it moves water vertically).

Most pump installs for the average sized rule pump will move from 1/3 - 1/2 or even less than their rating.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:27   #102
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I put my answers in blue.
One thing I don't get here...if the weather was so sporadic and you were heaving to (and having trouble maintaining that), why did you have a preventer on in the first place? Especially if you weren't actively helming in such conditions? I'm still learning about this whole sailing thing, but that seems like a bad combo.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:32   #103
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Eric -- Are satellitephonestore.com the folks who mailed a new Iridium SIM card to you and then terminated the old one a week later while you were at sea?

Everyone -- Are there any other airtime providers who have done that? I had an Iridium account with Mackay Communications for three years, and they never did anything that bone headed, but I could have just been lucky.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:42   #104
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Just thought I would share a land based perspective on the thoughts that a parent goes through when their child is sick or injured.

Recently my 18 month old daugher injured herself and actually managed to partially sever the end of her finger off. We were about 6 miles from the nearest hospital when this happened (so not really far especially compared to being offshore). Seeing our poor daughter in such distress and pain like that, not to mention bleeding all over we jumped in the car which was an old dodge caravan with almost 200K miles on it and I basically floored it as fast as I could. At about halfway to the hospital I heard a loud pop out of the engine followed by a low oil light, I turned to my wife and said honey I think I just killed the car.. But eh, it was still driving despite some rather horrific sounds from the engine.. We carried on and made it to the emergency room. The car was towed back to our house that afternoon. It now sits in our driveway awaiting me to replace the engine.

Yup, I killed the engine in the car by basically abusing and beating it to death on the way to the hospital. Yup, it will cost a bit of money and time to fix. Yup it sucks... But ya know what they fixed my lil' girl up and she has all her perfect little fingers still. And you know what else? I'd do it again without a second thought. Cars, boats, and other posessions can be replaced. YOUR child never can be.

Eric's decision to call for help and abandon their boat in the pacific was the best decision they could have made at that very moment given the circumstances and I hope that they too see it that way despite all the criticizm. Don't look back you two, look forward. Know that you made the best decision for your family and that you should look forward to what the future holds for your family.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:45   #105
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Eric -- Are satellitephonestore.com the folks who mailed a new Iridium SIM card to you and then terminated the old one a week later while you were at sea?

Everyone -- Are there any other airtime providers who have done that? I had an Iridium account with Mackay Communications for three years, and they never did anything that bone headed, but I could have just been lucky.

We are also traveling with kids, one of them medically complicated (though rarely), and if this means that to dot all the I's and cross all the T's we have to carry two different kinds of sat phone, in addition to a HAM radio, I guess we will do it. It just seems a little silly that there might even be a reason to because some airtime providers are idiotic about handling SIM cards. I've liked satellite phones as backup because they can stay safely tucked away in a pelican case and are thus so independent of the boat's systems.

The only time I know of when they shut you down is when the SIM card expires so indeed it is of great interest to know why they shut down service in this instance. Yesterday I got an email notice 30 days in advance letting me know that my Iridium SIM card will expire.

We had a lot riding on our satphone so we paid special attention to every detail concerned keeping operable on our crossings.

IMHO, the satphone trumps a SSB on most fronts. My wife knows how to dial help on an satphone. I'm not sure I could get help on an SSB without some serious training. In her case, no way. Then again with the satphone in play we didn't have to make the onerous effort to be smart on the SSB.
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