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Old 16-04-2014, 06:09   #406
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Agreed about autopilots. When you consider how much more expensive a wind vane is compared to electronic autopilot, even including the battery bank and means for electrical generation, I don't understand why these idiots are out there tinkering with their wind vanes. Not only is high tech better, it is cheaper and more reliable.

Besides, electronic autopilots rarely fail and if they do it is usually very easy to fix yourself or find someone who can do it for you inexpensively, people all over the world use electronics.
Are there a lot of electronic autopilots that compensate for apparent wind changes?
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:15   #407
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Sure, just requires the additional purchase of a masthead wind sensor and a complete NEMA compatible instrumentation system that ties in with your GPS and your RADAR and your autopilot. Only slight increase in cost.

May sound complicated but couldn't be simpler. Push-a-button! Crossing oceans is so easy even a monkey could do it!
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:15   #408
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Are there a lot of electronic autopilots that compensate for apparent wind changes?

Properly installed with a link to a wind instrument, most will follow the wind.
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:19   #409
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Thanks guys, I'll see how that works with my tiller pilot. Whoo-hoo 200 posts.
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:28   #410
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Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Concerning RH, I don't understand why people keep bringing up the lack of fuel... I might just be stupid, but it's a sailboat... There has been thousands of people who have crossed with out an engine.... It's sad to see more and more people trust their motors more then their sails, while I have not crossed an ocean, I have done enough coastal sailing to know I get a much more stable platform with my sails up... I am sure Eric was prepared to sail across, and had no intention of using the motor except when he had to. I don't know Eric, but from reading some of his blogs, it seems like he knows how to sail... I have my own questions to what happened and I am sure when their story comes out, they will be answered...
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:38   #411
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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The cost is just not an issue any more than it would be if you had a car accident and a police officer had to direct traffic while your car was being towed from the scene.
Excellent example.

I didn't say the cost was an issue. In fact, I specifically said that it wasn't an issue.

I just said that we don't have to pretend it was free to believe that it was a good use of resources. A lot like the police directing traffic after an accident. Does it have a cost? Yes. Is it a good use of resources? Yes.
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:59   #412
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
Concerning RH, I don't understand why people keep bringing up the lack of fuel... I might just be stupid, but it's a sailboat... There has been thousands of people who have crossed with out an engine.... It's sad to see more and more people trust their motors more then their sails, while I have not crossed an ocean, I have done enough coastal sailing to know I get a much more stable platform with my sails up... I am sure Eric was prepared to sail across, and had no intention of using the motor except when he had to. I don't know Eric, but from reading some of his blogs, it seems like he knows how to sail... I have my own questions to what happened and I am sure when their story comes out, they will be answered...
due to the nature of east- west downwind passages,and having sails goosewinged,your solar panel only gets direct sunlight for maybe 3 hours a day,leaving you with a serious shortage of power if running an electric auto pilot,or any other services.

the engine needs 3-4 liters an hour,not in gear just to charge the batteries.
assuming he had 25 galons left,with a 5 galon safety margin,that would have left roughly 20 hours of charge time,to cover 2000 miles,or another 20-30 days at sea,which would have forced them to hand steer at least half the way assuming the windvane was inoperable,due to a broken paddle or gearbox failure.

during optimum conditions with every thing working they were only making 100 miles a day,having to hand steer 12 hours aday,and drifting the other 12 would have doubled the passage time to nearer 40 days left.

i think it is fairly obvious why they could not continue the voyage.
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Old 16-04-2014, 07:13   #413
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Socaldmax, you are exactly right - the tendancy of many members on this and other forums to not only armchair quarterback, but to take apart the decisions of others with a scalpel is not only disconcerting, but often unfair. Charlotte and Eric have been great contributors to this forum and IMO deserve at least a semblance of sympathy for the incredible loss they have just suffered.

As Charolotte points out on her blog, she saw not only her dreams but her home and her life for the last 7 years disappear before her very eyes. She and Eric conceived their children on Rebel Heart, got married on Rebel Heart and spent countless hours redoing her.

Was it imprudent/unsafe to leave with only 30 gallons of diesel fuel? No (and from what I can see, this had absolutely zero to do with their ultimate decision to abandon ship). Was it imprudent/unsafe for Lynn and Larry Pardy to undertake and complete multiple circumnavigations in an engineless boat?

Was it imprudent/unsafe to sail with a bamboo whisker pole? No. A whisker pole is not an essential piece of equipment and again, it had nothing to do with their decision to abandon ship.

Was it imprudent/unsafe to sail without pressure heated water? No. It was an inconvenience that they were prepared to live with, so who are we to judge? Certainly there is no reason to suggest that it would have avoided the illness that incapacitated their daughter: as has already been pointed out, the water from a typical water heater is insufficient to kill the bacteria that members here are assuming was the cause of her illness.

Did their relative lack of sailing experience as a family bring about the illness that ultimately led to the need to abandon ship? Not in so far as I can see.

Did the rescue cost American taxpayers money to save the lives of these American citizens? Of course. However, there are also costs associated with police attending at the scene of car accidents. There are taxpayer costs associated with running and maintaining schools and airports, etc., even though though not all taxpayers make use of these services.

I think we should rejoice in the fact that Charlotte, Eric and family have survived this horrible ordeal and wish them well in dealing with the loss of not only their dream, but the only home they have ever known as a family. If they ever return to this forum (and after reading this thread, I can see no possible reason for them to do so) I would hope that we can leave them the time and space they need to come to personal grips with these issues before bombarding them with pointed questions and criticisms.

Brad
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Old 16-04-2014, 07:16   #414
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Excellent example.

I didn't say the cost was an issue. In fact, I specifically said that it wasn't an issue.

I just said that we don't have to pretend it was free to believe that it was a good use of resources. A lot like the police directing traffic after an accident. Does it have a cost? Yes. Is it a good use of resources? Yes.

Yes, I believe we agree on this!

The problem with just reading text is its easy to misunderstand people
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Old 16-04-2014, 07:18   #415
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
Concerning RH, I don't understand why people keep bringing up the lack of fuel... I might just be stupid, but it's a sailboat...
I believe the reason why folks feel the lack of fuel is relevant here is that Eric was faced with the prospect of single handing RH 2000 miles to Hawaii. Since it sounds like the sea state in combination with this being a downwind sail made the use of the hydrovane next to impossible, his other option was the autopilot, which requires constant feeding of the batteries from the engine. Lack of enough diesel to maintain the charging cycle means your stuck with hand steering most of the distance. Hand steering 2000 miles single handed in a boat that needs regular manual pumping to keep up with leaks, would be a daunting task for just about anybody.

Couple that with the fact that his entire family is being evac'd by the navy in combination with a seriously ill infant, and you have a pretty good idea of why he'd "choose" to leave the boat.

All in all a terrible situation that I hope I never have to face. I think folks here have shown how it could possibly have been prevented, but honestly when has there ever been a situation that couldn't have been. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I for one appreciate the dissection of events folks have offered, so I can learn from them. That being said, I completely agree that when the discussion get's personal about the people involved, it's over the line. Not referring to your post at all Autumn's wind. I think you ask a great question, to me it's all the other relevant details that provide the answer to the "why not just sail RH to Hawaii" answer. Was it possible RH could have been sailed to safety? It sounds like the answer was likely yes. Was it likely to be accomplished by a single person given the leak(s), lack of charging capability for the AP and inability to use the wind vane? To me that seems unlikely and I'm not sure I would have bet my life on it. The presence of even one more person on board (with may more sailing skill than I currently poses) may have changed that equation significantly, but that wasn't an option.

I still don't really understand why RH couldn't have been towed back, that seems like the biggest shame in all this. But I'm sure that the navy knows MUCH better than I. Just seems like a huge waste to me.
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Old 16-04-2014, 07:18   #416
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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due to the nature of east- west downwind passages,and having sails goosewinged,your solar panel only gets direct sunlight for maybe 3 hours a day,leaving you with a serious shortage of power if running an electric auto pilot,or any other services.



the engine needs 3-4 liters an hour,not in gear just to charge the batteries.

assuming he had 25 galons left,with a 5 galon safety margin,that would have left roughly 20 hours of charge time,to cover 2000 miles,or another 20-30 days at sea,which would have forced them to hand steer at least half the way assuming the windvane was inoperable,due to a broken paddle or gearbox failure.



during optimum conditions with every thing working they were only making 100 miles a day,having to hand steer 12 hours aday,and drifting the other 12 would have doubled the passage time to nearer 40 days left.



i think it is fairly obvious why they could not continue the voyage.
That makes sense... Thank you... I now have even more questions... Once we had to hand steered 300nm on a tiller, I told my wife never again, IT SUCKED!!! Well I am hoping he comes back and tells the story, so I can become better equipped as I too sail with a family.
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Old 16-04-2014, 07:19   #417
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
For Mark J:

If you regularly attain the 17 knots you mentioned once, a windvane would not suit the use of your vessel.


Ann
Hi Ann,

You might have me mistaken with someone else. I have never been at 17 knots in this or any other boat ever. And I've raced the atlantic in a Swan 651 and dont remember seeing more than about 11 knots, and then only for a second.

My boat has a hull speed of 7.96 knots and I always reef at 8 knots. The speed memory has had a max of, if i remember 9.5 knots. Nowhere near 17!



Mark
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Old 16-04-2014, 07:22   #418
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
Concerning RH, I don't understand why people keep bringing up the lack of fuel... I might just be stupid, but it's a sailboat... There has been thousands of people who have crossed with out an engine.... It's sad to see more and more people trust their motors more then their sails, while I have not crossed an ocean, I have done enough coastal sailing to know I get a much more stable platform with my sails up... I am sure Eric was prepared to sail across, and had no intention of using the motor except when he had to. I don't know Eric, but from reading some of his blogs, it seems like he knows how to sail... I have my own questions to what happened and I am sure when their story comes out, they will be answered...
The RH was depending on electric power produced by the motor to charge the batteries for the electronics including the auto pilot. He also blew out his drifter sail the first time he set it. I assume he had a genoa or standard jib to replace it, but the pictures of the boat from the rescue ship don't show one being used, so who knows? I'm not sure if he had extra sails or the ability to repair them onboard, but it doesn't sound like it from the blogs.

So if one doesn't have enough fuel onboard at the beginning to make it at least a good part of the way, and one's sails become tattered and torn but can't be repaired... to me that represents an unprepared vessel and skipper. Jeez, we have heavy sails, extra sails, roller furling systems, my wife sews and we have a good sailcloth repair kit onboard our boat.... and we just cruise around the Med. at this time. No 3000 mile ocean crossings planned. What was RH thinking?
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Old 16-04-2014, 07:22   #419
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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I still don't really understand why RH couldn't have been towed back, that seems like the biggest shame in all this. But I'm sure that the navy knows MUCH better than I. Just seems like a huge waste to me.
Towing a small sailboat in good conditions has to be done at very slow speeds. Towing one upwind and into waves has to be done at a crawl.

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Old 16-04-2014, 07:26   #420
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Sorry, but using the fact that the government spends money to make the claim that any money spent isn't being taken from some worthwhile project isn't correct. You really think that someone in government sits there and decides how each $ is going to be spent? Budgets are allocated to services and it's their job to get on with providing the best service they can. Money doesn't just get swapped around.
If you spend money on one thing, it's not being spent somewhere else. There is something, somewhere else, that isn't getting done. The military does a lot of stuff that isn't 'pretend'. Maybe there was another rescue that the unit couldn't help with. So you're saying, because they were busy rescuing someone, they couldn't be busy rescuing someone else? This is weird logic.
Maybe those people involved would have had a weekend off. Maybe they could have used the helicopter fuel to take the First Lady to visit Hollywood. So in your mind, because a rescue comes up the First Lady is going to have to miss out on a trip to Hollywood? Are you serious?

The Rebel Heart rescue wasn't free. Deal with it. I didn't say the RH rescue was free. What I said was it wasn't an additional cost. Huge difference.

I think it was a worthwhile effort, but you shouldn't have to pretend to yourself that it was free in order to accept it. Where the hell did you get this from anything I said?
Governments effectively allocate a chunk of cash to have a rescue service. It gets used to train personnel, maintain skills with ongoing training exercises, and to actually perform rescues. That is what the budget is for and gets spent on.

If they do less rescues, the money would get spent on more training, equipment etc. within the rescue service. But the primary purpose is to rescue people.
It certainly wouldn't get spent on a trip to Hollywood for the First Lady!
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