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Old 12-05-2014, 12:36   #106
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Typo maybe? It was a Hans Christian 36.
Yeah, brain fart! The 36 isn't the boat the 33,38 etc are, but still stout boat!
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:50   #107
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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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.
Any time I'm offshore I have a preventer on. You can pick a boom break otherwise, but you can suffer serous injury and break the gooseneck from an accidental gybe.

Imagine nothing keeping the boom out, and you heading into a dark and stormy cockpit with the boat rolling about, 19' of timber flying across.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:54   #108
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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.
Yep. No email notification, and in fact I was on the phone with our account lady a few days before we left to update our billing info and ask some other info about account status, zero conversation about a new SIM card.

It actually got postmarked 13 days before we left, to our SBI address in Florida.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:57   #109
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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.
I bought my 9555 from satellitephonestore.com a little over 2 years ago. My two year contract on the airtime expired about 4 months ago and up to that point it always worked and I'd never received a notice about the sim card. They did constantly e-mail me about renewing my minutes and it was a bummer because I lost about 600 of them when I didn't. But I won't need it for another couple years and it wasn't worth buying another package just to extend the minutes I already had.

Why was it that the sim card needed to be replaced? It seems like a liability issue to just up and disconnect service. I thought they just provided identification for the phone.
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Old 12-05-2014, 13:04   #110
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Any time I'm offshore I have a preventer on. You can pick a boom break otherwise, but you can suffer serous injury and break the gooseneck from an accidental gybe.

Imagine nothing keeping the boom out, and you heading into a dark and stormy cockpit with the boat rolling about, 19' of timber flying across.
I can understand that as a general practice, but in shifting winds and seas like you describe it sure seems like a knockdown waiting to happen...especially if no one is at the helm.

Just a curious detail.
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Old 12-05-2014, 14:09   #111
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I can understand that as a general practice, but in shifting winds and seas like you describe it sure seems like a knockdown waiting to happen...especially if no one is at the helm.

Just a curious detail.
I'm not sure I understand your point. People usually use preventers for two things: Light winds to keep the bloody boom banging around in the swell, and to prevent accidental gybes (actually to prevent the boom swinging across in an accidental gybe).

Shifting winds and confused seas seem to be the exact time that you would want a preventer rigged. I've never heard of structural damage from a gybe with or without a preventer rigged (rig damage, yes, but not boat structure).

Dipping a boom while prevented usually isn't such a big deal, and occasionally might break the boom. A bummer, for sure, but not dangerous. Crash gybing the boom with no preventer can bring down the mast, break the boom, or kill a crewmember. Seems worse to me!
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Old 12-05-2014, 14:22   #112
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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When we decided to scuttle the boat I told my wife that for the ~$100k that we'd spent on the boat, we had a home for 8 years, had amazing adventures, and experienced life more than most do in a lifetime. So for the money, we got plenty out of it.



I told my wife we could buy another boat, I can't buy another family. Boats are just money.

Eric, :Thumb::Thumb::Thumb: The most sensible thing said in the thread. Met Charlotte & Cora, one of the cutest kids I've ever met, in La Cruz early last year. Glad all of you are safe.
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Old 12-05-2014, 14:31   #113
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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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.
same here. satphone and epirb. rebel heart had it right...
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Old 12-05-2014, 14:50   #114
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I put my answers in blue.
- 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.
This certainly struck me. Thanks for sharing your experience.

- Zeb
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Old 12-05-2014, 15:16   #115
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I'm not sure I understand your point. People usually use preventers for two things: Light winds to keep the bloody boom banging around in the swell, and to prevent accidental gybes (actually to prevent the boom swinging across in an accidental gybe).

Shifting winds and confused seas seem to be the exact time that you would want a preventer rigged. I've never heard of structural damage from a gybe with or without a preventer rigged (rig damage, yes, but not boat structure).

Dipping a boom while prevented usually isn't such a big deal, and occasionally might break the boom. A bummer, for sure, but not dangerous. Crash gybing the boom with no preventer can bring down the mast, break the boom, or kill a crewmember. Seems worse to me!
It all depends on the conditions really. If winds are light - you're absolutely right. But that wasn't the case. Here's RH's description of the conditions:

Quote:
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.

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.
If you're getting hit by repeated squalls that significantly change the wind/sea direction and you have your boom prevented for one specific direction - you're very, very vulnerable to a knockdown when that squall hits...especially if no one is at the helm.

Crash gybes are certainly dangerous and destructive as you say, but this set-up (preventer in wildly shifting conditions and no one at the helm) has just been shown sufficient to cause catastrophic structural damage to a (seemingly) heavily built boat.

The thing I still don't quite get is using the preventer in the first place if you're hove to. Don't most boats fore-reach in a hove-to condition, correct? And if so, why use a preventer? Maybe that's what you mean, RH, by saying you should have stayed more active on the helm.
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Old 12-05-2014, 15:22   #116
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post

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.
Hi, Lake Superior,

Honestly, it is not difficult to learn how to operate an SSB enough to handle emergency communications. And, it is always a good deal to have backups to your backups when you're well away from civilization. If your cruising is confined to the Great Lakes, you're never very far away. If you're crossing oceans, you may be very far from support.

k4wja (regular CF radio master) probably could teach the both of you together how to operate SSB, or possibly could suggest someone closer to you. Don't make the mistake of thinking your wife couldn't learn it. If you plan to go offshore she may really want to help out that way.

Just my two cents. I have a bias towards wives becoming competent in new areas because it helps both of you, and builds her confidence, as well.

Ann
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Old 12-05-2014, 15:40   #117
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by goat View Post
Could SV Rebel Heart have continued on and made it to her destination? Maybe, maybe not. But we do know that Charlotte is enjoying Mother's day with her children. Losing a boat is a bad thing. Things could have turned out a lot worse.
Could Eric have sailed her solo the rest of the way? Maybe, maybe not. Father's day is coming up.

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One of the best posts on this subject IMHO

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Old 12-05-2014, 15:55   #118
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

My guess is that he is talking about being hove-to after the incident. Don't know about his boat, but our boom isn't out far enough when hove-to to hit the water like happened to them.

Also, with our fin keel, we use no jib and just the third reef to heave-to, but we also set our preventer as we need to hold the boom out and down for it to work.

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Old 12-05-2014, 15:57   #119
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Like so many rush-to-judge scenarios, (and from a bemused distance) this seems to have been a salutary example of Chinese whispers, but even now we have some solid info, it continues:

Eric mentions a broach, and a bunch of people start talking "knockdown"
One is caused by a stalled rudder, the other by a breaking crest abeam, and/or a sudden spike in windstrength. Most sailors, even cruising sailors, will see more broaches than knockdowns, generally by one or more orders of magnitude.
Eric mentions water ingress as a result of the broach, and a bunch of people start talking "failure of the hull-deck join".
Unless you have a metal boat with nothing through-bolted (standoff brackets or tapped external doubler plates), any major overloads to deck gear can result in loss of sealing around the fasteners, with water ingress which cannot be rectified until you have a spell of settled weather (and until more pressing priorities have been dealt with).

I don't understand this impulse to see catastrophes
where there are only apostrophes.
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Old 12-05-2014, 16:03   #120
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pirate re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Like so many rush-to-judge scenarios, (and from a bemused distance) this seems to have been a salutary example of Chinese whispers, but even now we have some solid info, it continues:

Eric mentions a broach, and a bunch of people start talking "knockdown"
One is caused by a stalled rudder, the other by a breaking crest abeam, and/or a sudden spike in windstrength. Most sailors, even cruising sailors, will see more broaches than knockdowns, generally by one or more orders of magnitude.
Eric mentions water ingress as a result of the broach, and a bunch of people start talking "failure of the hull-deck join".
Unless you have a metal boat with nothing through-bolted (standoff brackets or tapped external doubler plates), any major overloads to deck gear can result in loss of sealing around the fasteners, with water ingress which cannot be rectified until you have a spell of settled weather (and until more pressing priorities have been dealt with).

I don't understand this impulse to see catastrophes
where there are only apostrophes.
?????
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