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Old 04-01-2007, 04:30   #1
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Ken Barnes ("Privateer") Dismasted at Horn

The Long Beach-based ketch “Privateer” was dismasted late yesterday (Wed. Jan 3/07) afternoon in stormy conditions on her approach to Cape Horn. Singlehander Ken Barnes is apparently unharmed, and currently awaiting rescue by the Chilean Navy and a Maltese freighter.
More: KenSolo
And: Donna Lange the Musician, the Sailor
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:46   #2
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Also, there seems to be very prompt updating available on a thread of the same topic at Cruiser Log Crewfinder (yacht crew wanted) and Sailing Forums - Ken's Epirb @ 5pm PST

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Old 04-01-2007, 10:11   #3
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From the latest I read, looks like he'll be ok. That's a nice sentiment for a change on one of these threads.

Seems he is bobbing around dismasted and without many systems or supplies on 10-12ft seas in 20kts today. No reported leaks and he should be able to "hang out" there until Friday when a fishing boat is scheduled to arrive on scene.

Must have been one crazy set of conditions that added up against him. I read his website and it looks like he sunk everything into that boat. I find myself really hoping he had it insured... (fingers crossed on that one)
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:22   #4
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From Donna's website:
Jan 02, 2007 9:15 PM PST
The US Coast Guard has contacted Chilean authorities, the Chilean Navy Search and Rescue is being dispatched. A cutter with a helicopter is within a day of Kens position as well as a fishing trawler. What we know so far is that Ken has been dismasted, lost steering and is has a hatch that is broken and leaking. His EPIRB is transmitting his location, he has a survival suit and a life raft. According to authorities, he is properly equiped for this situation.

That says it all. Hoping for the best.
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Old 04-01-2007, 14:04   #5
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Pictures are posted...looks like he rolled.

There are pictures posted on his web site of the damaged vessel. Looks like he rolled because he lost both of his wind generators, solar panels and hard dodger.

I still don't understand how he lost steering.
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Old 04-01-2007, 14:46   #6
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Wow. What a mess. Whatever happened, it was pretty serious to have ripped everything off the deck and punctured some hatches. It will be interesting to hear his recount of whatever wave did that to him. I'm actually quite amazed that he's dismasted, given that the boom has a sail all nicely lashed down.

Good to see he's ok. From the posts on his site, I gathered he would be since it seems he was just waiting around for help after the knockdown/dismasting, etc...
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Old 04-01-2007, 15:23   #7
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Note to self

Note-to-self: When circumnavigating solo non-stop against the grain, take a fishing pole and bolt cutters.

Ken Barns is my neighbor (slip next to mine) in Long Beach Shoreline Marina. Most of the C-Dock has been following his adventure.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:09   #8
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In case anyone didn't see this quote from Barnes:

"I lost my boat, but I preserved my life," he said.
"The boat rolled 360 degrees. I was inside the boat, if I would have been outside, I wouldn't be here today," he said. "But like I say, I went around with the boat as everything else did inside the boat. The batteries ended up in the sink, all the tools, the floorboards, one of them came up and broke in half."



I hope he ends up releasing a larger statement about exactly what happened with the weather, how his boat was prepared, and could have been prepared any differently, etc...


It would be a fantastic learning experience for all. I also still hope that boat is insured after reading what he put into it.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:54   #9
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I have not been following this but there is ample literature on how to prepare a boat for extreme conditions. If, as cited, his batteries ended up in the sink, he obviously didn't prepare the boat properly. I don't have a lot of sympathy for those who set out on these ventures poorly prepared and then rely on others to get them out of trouble. Aside from the expense incurred there is the matter of others having to take risks to rescue those who set off poorly prepared.
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:24   #10
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Good points, Rick, but I still have to stress that he has indeed experienced a roll. How many of us on this board have experienced a roll through 360? (I haven't even been knocked down in any way in 20+ years of sailing and working aboard large yachts) - ok, maybe on a Laser.

Information from his bad experience can help us just as information from an aircraft's black box helps every other piolt when an aircraft is lost. You couldn't possibly be saying we have learned everything there is to know in a roll, are you?
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:25   #11
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Literature is just that: words. Reality is in-your-face. I find NO value in criticism of people or events that were not directly witnessed (this is especially true when all the information is NOT in). I'm sure you and your boat are perfect in every way. It is real easy to sit back and say: "You should have done this or that."

Instead, why not read and learn from other people's survival. From the little information that is out, he was attempting a risky thing to begin with - people do this all the time - it is part of being human - experimenting, pushing boundaries, exploring. There is risk. Without people like him, we would still be eating raw meat, using sticks and rocks to protect ourselves, and living in caves.

He apparently did a LOT of things correctly. Finding out what he did right, and what he did wrong, are the things that would be beneficial to learn and, IMHO, what this forum is about.
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:34   #12
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Barnes is Noble, but Enough Seasoning?

I'm sure Barnes will not be shy in telling about his adventure. He doesn't seem the retiring type.

There has been much criticism of Barnes on the web, which I do not wish to add to, centering mostly on his apparent lack of experience and preparedness, and of course the more trivial discussion of non-vital concerns such as his non-existant culinary skills. But if any criticism will survive the specific information about his circumstances after it all unfolds, it may be that he simply had put too few miles under his keel before he took off on a circumnavigation.

An example,
In his phone interview on his website, Barnes admits to sailing under mizzen only with the wind on the starboard quarter: why in the world this would be so is beyond me, but it is begging for a broach. He admits that this is exactly what happeed before a 45-ft. breaking swell tumbled him around 360°, tearing off both masts.

If this (running downwind under mizzen only) is in fact true (and there are other, smaller data that support a preliminary conclusion about lack experience, such as the batteries and floorboards being inadequately secured), it suggests Barnes just didn't have the experience to be out there quite yet. Even Robin Lee Graham took a shake-down to Hawai'i before setting off to cross an ocean.

He's extrememly lucky to have been below when the yacht went over But his apparent lack of experience may be leaving him a bit, um, bumfuzzled as to exactly why it happened.

I'm not piling on here: I'm sure he did many things right: he seems to have had a good suite of safety equipmnet on board, for example. But no solid conclusions can be arrived at until good, reliable information is available, and much of that needs to be provided by Barnes himself. I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

I admire the vision; I'll have to reserve judgment on the wisdom.
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:41   #13
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Thomas, I couldn't agree more. His website goes into quite a bit of detail about how he selected the vessel and what preparations he took. I am not sure that this coul be considered an unexpected circumstance, but it was certainly an extreme. The idea that he ddn't have things prepared to a standard that should, by all practical knowledge, be sufficient to handle such an occurance, seems unreasonable fter reading his site. Batteries in the sink? OK, at least they stayed in the boat. Looking at the damage to the deck, this was obviously more than a roll. I suspect the boat got tossed on her head. Not having experienced conditions this sever, I can only imagine the force on the boat, and her components. As I posted earlier, the Coast Guard even stated he was properly equipped for this situation. That, to me means he was taking well calculated risks, from a well informed perspective. I say good for Ken! Sad that it ended, but he started out to accomplish something spectaculer, and a spectacular event ended his voyage.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco
If, as cited, his batteries ended up in the sink, he obviously didn't prepare the boat properly. I don't have a lot of sympathy for those who set out on these ventures poorly prepared and then rely on others to get them out of trouble.
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. Securing batteries is required for any sailing venture. If sailing in high latitudes it is necessary that the batteries be doubly secured. I have no problem with any fool sailing off on his own. Where I differ with them is when they put others at risk to rescue them. As for the following "There is risk. Without people like him, we would still be eating raw meat, using sticks and rocks to protect ourselves, and living in caves." I find this statement a bit of a stretch. Sailors have gone around the Horn for years. Barnes' attempt will add nothing. There is nothing to be learned from Barnes' trip that wasn't known before he set out.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:10   #15
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Hmmm... let's not make a bumfuzzle thread out of this one. Those types of threads are long, boring, tedious and often a bunch of "he said, she said" stuff. Hopefully, we'll be able to hear *why* his batteries ended up in the sink, exactly *how* his boat was knocked around, etc... After hearing the story, we'll all be better prepared and probably put just that little extra into preparing our boats for such conditions.
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