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Old 30-08-2008, 15:16   #1
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Challenge: Dismasting Situation

So you just purchased a 1968 Cal 2-30 from a broker in Honolulu. You live on Maui and need to get the boat back home. You have never sailed in the open ocean before so this is all a new experience for you. After a quick survey from a local stating that the boat is ok and appraises for the ridicules price of 24k you feel like insurance can be taken care of when you get home. The boat has a 20hp yanmar of unkown year or hours. The sail inventory includes 2 spinnakers, 2 old mainsails, 1 storm sail, 1#4, and a genoa.

You bring along your girlfriend and your boss who has some sailing experience 10 years ago.

You check the weather and yep, its blowing 25kts gusting 35kts in the channel like it always does in the summer. You leave at 6pm and plan on sailing to Molokai but half way there you notice that the current has taken you closer to Lanai.

It is 9am and you are now 50 miles from Oahu and 20 miles SW of Lanai beating to windward in 25kts and 8ft+ seas when all of a sudden the mast, boom and sails fall forward in a loud BANG! and roll into the water on the leeward side of the boat.

WHAT DO YOU DO?
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Old 30-08-2008, 15:31   #2
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I wake up.

Seriously, it is not wise to take a new (to one) boat that has not been surveyed by a professional and travel across open water to another island; particularly with all crew members being relatively "low hours" and without a weather report - the trades are little to go by, the long-distance forecast and sea conditions should have been checked.
Hopefully you have appropriate cutters or at least can remove cotter pins to divest yourself of the standing rigging and mast (or to lash everything to the boat, but a 30 footer in 8 foot seas makes that unlikely). Then you should pray that you filled upt he tank, that the sea action doesn't raise sediment and clog the filters and that the engine starts.
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Old 30-08-2008, 16:03   #3
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I was waiting for the explanation of why the mainsheet and the backstays failed when you were beating to windward. The strain would be on windward and forestays. Mainsheet would be tight and backstays slack. By all of this I mean that it would seem unlikely for the mast to fall forward.

There's more to the story
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Old 30-08-2008, 16:27   #4
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Originally Posted by rickm505 View Post
I was waiting for the explanation of why the mainsheet and the backstays failed when you were beating to windward. The strain would be on windward and forestays. Mainsheet would be tight and backstays slack. By all of this I mean that it would seem unlikely for the mast to fall forward.

There's more to the story
Let me revise the story...

It is 9am and you are now 50 miles from Oahu and 20 miles SW of Lanai beating to windward in 25kts and 8ft+ seas when all of a sudden the boat starts heading up into the wind. You try and correct by pulling the tiller to windward as hard as you can to no avail. Before the boat tacks you call up your friend who immediately lets the mainsheet go and suddenly the mast, boom and sails fall forward in a loud BANG! and roll into the water on the leeward side of the boat.
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Old 30-08-2008, 16:40   #5
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You put your head between your legs and kiss your ... .......
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Old 30-08-2008, 17:23   #6
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I'm sorry, I just realized which forum this was posted in - sorry for my response! At least the wind is going to push you closer to home.
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Old 30-08-2008, 18:14   #7
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Originally Posted by mauiboy86 View Post

You bring along your girlfriend
You tell her to remove her Bikini top. and to jump around the deck waving it as a distress signal



Not familiar with Hawaii. But I remember Magnum got seperated from his surf ski and he survived after paddling water, so must be doable

If the current pushed you down to SW of Lanai when aiming for Molokai that sounds like a fair bit of current. I would be interested whether that current reverses or tracks to another island. Apart from NZ. Good news is that I don't think you are about to run into any landmass unexpectedly. Bad news is that next landmass is probably NZ.

I am guessing that old boat and short planned trip means little onboard by the way of useful stuff and that now no VHF or EPIRB. Would try the Mobile Phones, just in case a signal is still possible. Both Voice and Text. Depending on what flares onboard would think about letting a couple off, maybe not in range of land, but as not (yet!) off the map might be other folk in the area.

I think clearing the mast and rigging is the next step - and would try and save as much as possible just in case a jury rig is later (and much later!) required. and in the meantime hope that the engine was good. Might risk going overboard to have a look at the prop to make sure it was clear. Where to? Nearest port to enter, but might want to consider a destination that was easier to travel (less strain on an unknown engine / less stirring the diesal?).....or somewhere that was known to have boats around so if the engine did pack up a chance of attracting attention.

No flares? Maybe rig up a method of safely burning diesel / making black smoke?

But I would stick with the Bikini waving, if for no other reason than keeping the Boss onside ......and you would be surprised (or not?!) how many sailors would come into hailing distance in the right circumstances.
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Old 30-08-2008, 19:41   #8
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Originally Posted by mauiboy86 View Post
You check the weather and yep, its blowing 25kts gusting 35kts in the channel like it always does in the summer.

It is 9am and you are now 50 miles from Oahu and 20 miles SW of Lanai beating to windward in 25kts and 8ft+ seas when all of a sudden the mast, boom and sails fall forward in a loud BANG! and roll into the water on the leeward side of the boat.

WHAT DO YOU DO?
You're not going to be able to beat upwind, against the current, under jury rig (even with the help of the motor) to make landfall at Maalaea ( Maui)

Your best bet is to try to make Kawaihae on the Big Island under reach (80 - 100 miles away)
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Old 01-09-2008, 00:23   #9
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So, How did it all go down?
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Old 01-09-2008, 00:49   #10
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The boat has a 20hp yanmar of unkown year or hours.
Is this a trick question? I presume the motor was running and the tanks were full when you left - cuz if you left with no motor running and no fuel is beyond imagination.

Having said that - you retrieve as much of the rig on board as you can, fire up that unknown donk and start steaming for nearest shore.

While underway you try the cell phone to alert friends and family of the situation.

And waving that bikini top can't hurt either
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:42   #11
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fire up that unknown donk and start steaming for nearest shore.

While underway you try the cell phone to alert friends and family of the situation.

And waving that bikini top can't hurt either
The Pailolo Channel (between Molokai and Maui), and the Alenuihaha Channel (between Maui and the Big Island) are two of the roughest most hazardous channels in the world.

On any given day, normal 20 - 25 knot trades and 8 - 10 ft seas become 40 knots in the channels, with steep, confused seas of double that height.

Factor in the current that rips through there, and it's not hard to imagine this "challenge" scenario (being blown off course 30 n miles before you know it) as a true story

Motoring into that upwind and against the current with a 20 hp engine is not to be taken lightly.

And cell phone coverage isn't like that in Hawaii. The mountains block the transmission, so the transmitters are only located to provide service to MOST populated areas. Offshore any distance, and your on your own, with possibly some luck on VHF.

The bikini top, however, .........
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Old 01-09-2008, 02:11   #12
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The Pailolo Channel (between Molokai and Maui), and the Alenuihaha Channel (between Maui and the Big Island) are two of the roughest most hazardous channels in the world.
I lived in Hawaii for 2 years and while I don't doubt what you say about that channel but we are 20 SW of Lanai, not in the channel you describe. It's 9:00 AM, 25kts and 8 foot seas I have a 30 foot boat and 20hp engine. We don't know the fetch so 8 foot doesn't scare me.

Other than the inconvenience of losing the rig I don't see what the emergency is at this point.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:34   #13
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This is a true story and took place during the summer of 2002.

After the mast fell, it slid off the deck on the starboard side, filled with water and sank with just the base of the mast out of the water. Since the mast and boom weigh over 400lbs out of the water we decided it would be nearly impossible and unsafe to try and recover the rig, especially since the mainsail was still stretched out on the boom and bouncing very close to the hull.

I went below to search for tools and there happened to be some cable cutters under a berth along with a big knife. We cut the running and standing rigging and watched the rig sink as it slipped into the deep blue.

By this time we noticed on the chart plotter that we had drifted South approximately 1/4 mile and were getting further out to sea. We fired up the Yanmar and started motoring toward the leeward side of Lanai. The first 4 hours were hell as the waves were so steep and choppy that as we rode over the crests the prop would clear the water and over rev the motor.

As we got closer to the leeward side, the seas were flatter and we headed around to Manele Bay. We arrived at Manele bay around 7pm, hungry and wanting off the boat. My boss cheered us up with dinner at the Menele bay resort, then back to the boat for a good night sleep.

The next morning was a 4 hour motor to Maalaea harbor where the coast guard found us and wanted us to fill out a report. Our friends had called since we did not show the previous evening. They had sent a safeboat out in the Molokai Channel but couldnt find us.

After close inspection of the standing rigging, the lower rear port shroud parted 6ft up and the backstay half way up.

Lessens Learned;

Always inspect the rigging before any passage, if the rigging is of unknown age, have a professional rigger inspect it.

Never leave port without proper insurance in place.

It would be a good idea to carry a backup VHF antenna as most antennas are mounted on top of the mast, once you lose the mast your are SOL.

Here is a picture of her (Coquette) after 4 months of waiting for a new mast, boom, sails, rigging and my wallet $10,000 lighter.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:20   #14
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Cheers for sharing that Interesting on the mast........

Quote:
Originally Posted by mauiboy86 View Post
This is a true story and took place during the summer of 2002............They had sent a safeboat out in the Molokai Channel but couldnt find us.
What is a "safeboat"? I take it not part of a full blown SAR effort from the Coast Guard?


I am glad to see (if you click on the image to max size and peer very very closely ) that on the bow their is a Bikini available for emergency use
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Old 01-09-2008, 16:06   #15
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What is a "safeboat"? I take it not part of a full blown SAR effort from the Coast Guard?

The safe boats are large aluminum ribs with foam instead of air inflated, they have a enclosed cabin to keep the coasties dry. They were notified but we showed up within 12 hours so the search didnt get very far.

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