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Old 15-01-2017, 02:45   #1
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Finding abandoned boats

Thought I would divert some of the off topic traffick on Allwentwrong's thread concerning finding his boat with his hindsight, and any other input.

Yes, you should stay with your boat if at all possible. But if you have to let her go, what will increase your chances of a recovery? I'll start with the simplist ideas.

There are GPS locators that can be tracked with your smart phone available, and they are not expensive. All that would need adding is a power source to keep it running for about two weeks. Maybe less.

An orange and black international distress flag (or three) run up the mast (if it is still there), and or any other raised portion of the boat would be a good idea. Even if a spotter does not want to try, or cannot try, to board your boat for investigation would at least, probably, they might make the effort to report a position.
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Old 15-01-2017, 03:07   #2
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pirate Re: Finding abandoned boats

I think forget about setting up something reliant on outside source power.. there's all kind of reasons that would fail.
Leaving something like a Yellowbrick on board set at its minimum transmission would be better.
Their batteries last a long time as I found with my first experience with one last year.. it saw me across the Atlantic from St Martin to Almerimar, Spain and was on 24/7 including for a week in the Azores.. kept the owner informed as to our progress and also did a few texts to the owner with it to troubleshoot some of the 'modifications' to his elec's, hydraulics and other systems that he'd done to make the boat work for the trip.
6 weeks on and it still had 60+% charge left in it.
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Old 15-01-2017, 03:30   #3
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

Leaving a distress flag flying on an abandoned vessel is morally wrong. On spotting the flag, a vessel is obligated to render assistance if at all possible. At some point vessels may ignore distress flags since "it is another abandoned boat".

I like the tracker idea, connected in some way to a solar panel.
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Old 15-01-2017, 03:58   #4
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

I have to concur against leaving up anything that'll mistakenly give the impression that there are folks onboard/in distress. Both from a moral/ethical standpoint, one of common sense, as well as legal POVs.

Otherwise, do what you can to make her visible both to the eye, & electronically. Things that reflect light, or are readily visible. Such as vibrant colors, color contrasts, reflectors; for Radar, & light (visible light, & other wavelengths).
Also consider that most such devices to be employed to assist in being spotted under normal conditions are oriented towards being seen from sea level, or just above it. Not from the air. So shift your thinking more towards the latter.
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Old 15-01-2017, 04:21   #5
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I
Also consider that most such devices to be employed to assist in being spotted under normal conditions are oriented towards being seen from sea level, or just above it. Not from the air. So shift your thinking more towards the latter.
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Old 15-01-2017, 07:08   #6
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

I can see the moral argument against leaving up a distress flag, Any kind of flag or banner at the top of the mast may not last very long anyway. Given the relative infrequency that other vessels pass within a close enough visual distance to see it the odds are not very good either.

So far the yellow brick sounds promising. Anything that would give a position fix and last a few weeks would work.
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Old 15-01-2017, 13:55   #7
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

We use a satellite connection with a small low energy budget notebook computer that is always connected and a friend write a bit of code to send the GPS data automatically once a day to our sons email. That code is scheduled to run at a certain time automatically. All very simply set up. I've seen the same done with a raspberry pi.
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Old 17-01-2017, 18:47   #8
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

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We use a satellite connection with a small low energy budget notebook computer that is always connected and a friend write a bit of code to send the GPS data automatically once a day to our sons email. That code is scheduled to run at a certain time automatically. All very simply set up. I've seen the same done with a raspberry pi.
So how long will it operate on a charge if you jump off your boat?
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Old 17-01-2017, 22:16   #9
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

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So how long will it operate on a charge if you jump off your boat?
It's connected to the 12 v house batteries, they charge from solar panels so it could keep emailing positions indefinitely. We can also switch it to a dedicated radio battery with diode blocks it could be supplied by the starting bank and the house bank and the dedicated radio bank in the wheelhouse. Otherwise if the solar panels were lost, till it flattened the house bank to 12v. The notebook draws around 3 watts in sleep ( 1/4 Amp) and wakes automatically draws around 5 amps ( 60 watts) does it's thing in a minute or two and goes back to sleep. The sat connection is quite frugal it's similar to a mobile phone and has a low power mode too, the energy budget is minuscule compared to the input from just one solar panel.
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Old 17-01-2017, 22:32   #10
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

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It's connected to the 12 v house batteries, they charge from solar panels so it could keep emailing positions indefinitely. We can also switch it to a dedicated radio battery with diode blocks it could be supplied by the starting bank and the house bank and the dedicated radio bank in the wheelhouse. Otherwise if the solar panels were lost, till it flattened the house bank to 12v. The notebook draws around 3 watts in sleep ( 1/4 Amp) and wakes automatically draws around 5 amps ( 60 watts) does it's thing in a minute or two and goes back to sleep. The sat connection is quite frugal it's similar to a mobile phone and has a low power mode too, the energy budget is minuscule compared to the input from just one solar panel.
OK. So what happens if the water level covers the battery terminals after you abandon ship?
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Old 17-01-2017, 22:52   #11
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

This might be just stating the obvious.


If I abandon ship. I aint planning on coming back. So why would I concern myself with planning this.
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Old 17-01-2017, 23:13   #12
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

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OK. So what happens if the water level covers the battery terminals after you abandon ship?
Our setup is just an automatic email for family and yotreps. It's very easy to setup if you have an email account with one of the satellite providers and any notebook that's Microsoft Windows compliant wrt power management. If you wanted to make it a viable vessel recovery locator you'd design accordingly, and use a higher mounted battery. We have one emergency backup battery in the wheelhouse for the radios and nav equipment. If the house goes flat they work of this ( diode feeds) and can be solar charged too that would be the ideal.
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Old 17-01-2017, 23:19   #13
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

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This might be just stating the obvious.


If I abandon ship. I aint planning on coming back. So why would I concern myself with planning this.
A couple of years ago designer Richard Woods and partner abandoned their boat in the Caribbean fearing it might overturn. They were airlifted off. They recovered their boat afterwards. This can take an extensive air search. A lot of cruisers are not insured for loss. It's also sensible to recover an abandoned boat as soon as possible since it's a navigation hazzard.
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:20   #14
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

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This might be just stating the obvious.


If I abandon ship. I aint planning on coming back. So why would I concern myself with planning this.
If I had to jump off my 100k-300k boat, unless I were Bill Gates or had money like the late Steve Jobs I would sure be thinking of coming back.

And that is what this thread is all about.
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Old 18-01-2017, 08:03   #15
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Re: Finding abandoned boats

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This might be just stating the obvious.


If I abandon ship. I aint planning on coming back. So why would I concern myself with planning this.

Hopefully you right, but what if your airlifted off for severe chest pains?
Stuff happens, not everyone who leaves a boat does so due to the boat sinking.
About a month or so ago we had a thread about someone who had to leave his boat cause he smashed his foot or something and what looked like a minor injury at first wasn't minor after all.
There are satellite trackers on trucks and shipping containers so they can be tracked 24/7.
Why not boats? I guess maybe there isn't a market?
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