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Old 09-02-2013, 21:56   #1
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Abandoning Ship

http://m.thenewstribune.com/newstrib...tguid=O01AmGnB

I just read the above article that I found pretty interesting. This couple clearly has much more sailing experience than I do, but do you think it was really necessary to abandon ship? Clearly a very scary situation, but don't you think they could have weather out the storm with bare poles and used the emergency tiller when the storm subsided? Not trying to second guess, only to learn, as I've obviously not been in this situation. Thoughts?
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Old 09-02-2013, 22:36   #2
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Re: Abandoning Ship

I see a couple mistakes that lead to finish the boat off. Dumping oil in a unit that's leaking to start with, and then not having an adequate tiller. The rest was all down hill from there.
I wonder if they had a sea anchor? I would have sat it out until better weather to make repairs to the hydraulics.

But it's a shame they lost the boat. I wish them well.
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Old 09-02-2013, 22:49   #3
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I was sad to hear they lost their boat too. I've read a number of stories of people abandoning their boats when the boat wasn't structurally damaged. I can imagine that it would make for a very long day...or two, but it seems that most storms could be ridden out, no? In my very novice opinion, it would seem that, in this situation, the emergency tiller could have been used once the weather lightened up. What is the likelihood of a modern offshore boat capsizing and sinking, even if forced to lay ahull?
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Old 09-02-2013, 22:50   #4
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Re: Abandoning Ship

+1 for delmarry ! tye it off and go take a nap !! fix in a day or so !! heck of a way to lose a nice looking boat !!
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Old 09-02-2013, 22:57   #5
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Re: Abandoning Ship

Judging from a newspaper account is unfair as we have to assume there were other mitigating circumstances that caused this experienced couple to lose control of their craft.

I wish them well.
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Old 09-02-2013, 23:05   #6
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As I was saying, I am not judging. I am a novice sailor who reads CF to learn. I have a lot to learn and like to have thought out my actions to bad situations before I ever get into them, to minimize being blindsided and to maximize the likelihood of coming up with the best possible solution. Short of structural damage or taking on water at a faster rate than your bildge will handle, are there situations where you'd need to abandon your boat? Again, not second guessing or judging, only trying to learn. I know there are sailors on CF with 1,000 times the experience I have.
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Old 09-02-2013, 23:15   #7
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Re: Abandoning Ship

In reality there's no reason to leave a good dry boat unless one is injured. I'm sure we don't know the whole story but what we do know from the report, I never would have gotten off the boat or threatened it getting that close to a Chinese ship.
I mean, the motor was still working until it got snagged. There was no indication it was taking on water. They were just old and tired and gave up.
I'll bet in hind sight they wish they never got off.
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Old 09-02-2013, 23:21   #8
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Re: Abandoning Ship

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Originally Posted by Steve Olson View Post
Short of structural damage or taking on water at a faster rate than your bildge [bilge pump?] will handle, are there situations where you'd need to abandon your boat? .
Millions. Fire, medical crisis, you name it.

As a rule, never second guess another sailor's decision to bail. Although in this case, unless there were significant parts of the story left out of the newspaper account, it does sound rather strange. With functioning emergency tiller, should be possible to heave to and wait for better weather and at least attempt to repair the leak. Hydraulic steering - meh!
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Old 09-02-2013, 23:29   #9
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Re: Abandoning Ship

Quote:
Hands down the worst advice I have ever heard spouted from otherwise smart people – and I’ve heard it twice in conversations about the Bounty – is this: “You never step off until you have to step up!”

It’s a wildly stupid speculation about how things might go during abandoning ship.
It is bad advice that takes nothing outside the hull into account.
I never sail with anyone who believes it.

No one takes the decision to abandon ship lightly, but I have seen it made too soon, and too late, both with tragic results. The sea isn’t a place for absolutes and a hurricane-tossed sea even less so.

You have to consider all the variables.
That is a quote from someone who knows what can happen out there. Here is a link to the rest of the article.

Hurricane Survival – No Place for Absolutes | gCaptain - Maritime & Offshore News

It seems that every time someone leaves their ship we get the same questions.
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Old 09-02-2013, 23:45   #10
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Wow - interesting article, DeepFrz! I'm hoping I can find books on the subject from the author.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:13   #11
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Re: Abandoning Ship

This just reinforces my low opinion of hydraulic steering, and autopilots. A decent windvane and cable steering and they might have finished a wonderful cruise. A 3 foot emergency tiller sound as bad as the emergency tiller on my Peterson 44, which attached under the bunk in the aft cabin. If you had to use it, you were down in the aft cabin with no visibility. I hope they have lots of good memories from their trip, and tales to tell the grandkids. Best of luck to them._____Grant.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:15   #12
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Re: Abandoning Ship

Steve, I think the point some of us are trying to make as does the author Mario, is that it is impossible to judge, until you have spoken to all the survivors and examined all the variables.

Otherwise, you are judging from incomplete appreciation of their circumstances.

While you can plan for most physical challenges and come up with drills and solutions, sometimes it is the psychological issues that will cause someone to seek outside help in the form of a rescue.

Once that call is made, it is very difficult to take it back when a large freighter appears on your limited horizon at the request of a SAR agency.

What is worth discussing is ‘What conditions would cause you to make that call?’…. but many of us are uncomfortable discussing that based on the experience of a real life fellow sailor.

Perhaps start another Thread based on that theoretical and you will get some strong experienced opinions
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:23   #13
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Re: Abandoning Ship

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Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
This just reinforces my low opinion of hydraulic steering, and autopilots. A decent windvane and cable steering and they might have finished a wonderful cruise. A 3 foot emergency tiller sound as bad as the emergency tiller on my Peterson 44, which attached under the bunk in the aft cabin. If you had to use it, you were down in the aft cabin with no visibility. I hope they have lots of good memories from their trip, and tales to tell the grandkids. Best of luck to them._____Grant.
Any emergency tiller is better than no steering.

None of them are long enough. Need to lash fender boards or boat hooks to it to get the necessary leverage.

Anybody practice with their emergency tillers? Me neither. Something worth doing, I think.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:02   #14
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Re: Abandoning Ship

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This just reinforces my low opinion of hydraulic steering, and autopilots. ...
I guess the aeronautics industry never got that memo… lol

Nothing wrong with hydraulics or autopilots if properly installed and maintained.

On a boat it is easy to have some form of mechanical back-up as I do, where the outside steering is direct chain and cable to the easily accessible steering quadrant.
Spare cable and chain links are stowed in adjoining locker and it is a 20 minute job to replace.
Never felt the need for an emergency tiller as the mechanical steering system is overbuilt and well-greased.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:27   #15
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Re: Abandoning Ship

So? Where is the boat now?
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