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Old 16-04-2014, 11:14   #451
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
...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.

...
I use 3 litres an hour cruising a Niagara 35 (similar size, but lighter than RH) at 5.5 knots. I don't know how much it would be at idle in neutral, but maybe more like a litre an hour?

Where did we get the idea that the windvane was broken? A poster said he "believes he heard" that it was broken and all of a sudden it's a fact? As far as I can see, initial reports from non-sailors, reported by the non-sailing press indicated a steering failure. We know that they were able to steer, so now people have decided it was a self-steering failure. Seems just as likely or more likely that the initial reports were just wrong. Is there some other reference I've missed somewhere?

We shouldn't be making up failures just for the fun of it. People have a desperate desire to know all the details, so they're just filling the vacuum.

This last bit isn't directed at you, Atoll, just folks in general.
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:15   #452
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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I think it depends on the amount of time at your disposal. I was two weeks out from leaving for Mexico (from San Diego) and didn't want to get into it. I chopped the top off my tank and used the space for beer / wine / soda. I dropped a 12 gallon tank into the stern. Actually worked a lot better than I thought. The worst part was using the safety siphon to drain a five gallon jug into the tank every ~10 hours of motoring.

Hardly ideal, not perfect, but I made it down the Baja peninsula and if I had tried to do it the "right" way I'd still be sitting in San Diego. The previous tank (that I ripped open) was 90 gallons which is *a lot*.

My plan is to make up a series of smaller tanks plumbed together out of epoxy and plywood, and put them in the space of the old tank.

A link to my blog post about it:

Rebel Heart - Eric's Blog - ten days to go: excellent time to sawzall the fuelÂ*tank

I'll bet Eric wishes he would have found the time to have the original 90 us gallons of fuel on board.

I think he has done what many a boat owner has done, not enough time and money. So finding a cheap in time/money shortcut, that isn't/wasn't well thought out.

Also from his own blog, he states he is deadline oriented, and detest missing any deadlines. This alone can be a sailors, worst trait. Stupid decisions are made in the face of meeting a deadline at any costs.


Lastly, I would bet that the rescue team didn't give Eric an option to not abandon ship with his family. As they would advise that they wouldn't be back to rescue him a second time.

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
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, 11:17   #453
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Jon, I see this is your first post here, so you haven't had experience with Delancy's style. BTW, welcome.

I assure you he was intentionally being absurdly sarcastic to make his real point that electronic doodads are evil and that too many people are going to sea relying on them. If you read his later post on windvanes, that point comes out much clearer.

Mark
Jon wasn't the only one who missed that. I certainly didn't get it either.

Delancy, if you're going to sarcastic, could you make it a bit more obvious?
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:30   #454
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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.
Judging from a quick search of the archives under "autopilot failure" as well as my own experience, I would disagree. Autopilot failures are not uncommon and further they are not easy to fix without some very specialized knowledge and the proper spare parts.

The need to "tinker" with a windvane is simply another way of saying that you ought to know how to balance the boat. If you don't know that, learn it before you head offshore.
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:33   #455
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
I use 3 litres an hour cruising a Niagara 35 (similar size, but lighter than RH) at 5.5 knots. I don't know how much it would be at idle in neutral, but maybe more like a litre an hour?

Where did we get the idea that the windvane was broken? A poster said he "believes he heard" that it was broken and all of a sudden it's a fact? As far as I can see, initial reports from non-sailors, reported by the non-sailing press indicated a steering failure. We know that they were able to steer, so now people have decided it was a self-steering failure. Seems just as likely or more likely that the initial reports were just wrong. Is there some other reference I've missed somewhere?

We shouldn't be making up failures just for the fun of it. People have a desperate desire to know all the details, so they're just filling the vacuum.

This last bit isn't directed at you, Atoll, just folks in general.
that quote was directly from charlottes sister,via sat phone from the boat,which she posted on face book,before the media blew things out of proportion.

she also said they were going to tag the boat and abandon it.

easy for a nonsailor at the end of a sat phone to mis quote "we have no steering" from "we have no self steering." and not realise the significance.

at the same time charlotte posted this on her blog,"if you have nothing good to say don't say it at all",1st of april,no mention of a sick child
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:33   #456
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

I must be the only person here with adequate sarcasm sensory perception….

Mark
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:35   #457
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

I have followed Eric and Char's journey to Mexico and learned from their posts on CF as well as their blog. As an experienced delivery skipper, I found far more to agree with than take issue. I can imagine what went through his and Char's mind trying to make the decision with a sick little one out there. My heart goes out to he and his family and am a little surprised at the vitrolic of some of the comments on CF. I can understand them coming from the MSM which generally can't find its ass with both hands and other ignorant, rude folks but CF posters tend to be more knowlegable and patient. Let's step up support rather than tearing down a fellow CF'er... Phil
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:45   #458
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
Spoken like someone who has never actually used a good servo-pendulum vane, nor seen how powerful, reliable, and as close to being a perpetual motion device they can be... (I would not put REBEL HEART's Hydrovane in that category, btw)


Yes, we all know how easily Black Boxes can be repaired underway, or how rarely electrons cease flowing through them aboard sailing yachts at sea...

A Swan 46 like WOLFHOUND, or a brand-new $700K Alpha 42 like BE GOOD TOO being recent notable exceptions, of course... :-)
Long time, Jon! Gee whiz, man--I didn't know you'd been sucked into Cruiser's Forum ;-) I just posted here today as well --first time in years --I wrecked my Cal 20 mast over the weekend...check this hot and happenin' thread...it beats the Rebel Heart saga by a mile...lots of ranting and raving there, more than in this thread...jump on board [really big grin] Jud PS/can you email me about the keys to the cove? It's been too long.
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:46   #459
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
It is difficult for me to understand how any experienced yachtsman could get so much wrong in so few words.

A quality autopilot, battery bank and various charging systems cheaper than a vane (installed)? The average boater repairing his own electronic autopilot? Easily finding someone to do it (anywhere in the world) inexpensively?
Probably correct. No experienced yachtsman would.

Blessed with an outboard hung rudder, we sailed for 20 years with a trim tab activated by bicycle cables powered by an 10# autohelm windvane mounted on the stern pulpit. Worked flawlessly on all points of sail in all conditions down to a couple of knots of boat speed. Prior to that, I burned up a ram type electronic autopilot every year or so.
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:46   #460
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Jon, I see this is your first post here, so you haven't had experience with Delancy's style. BTW, welcome.

I assure you he was intentionally being absurdly sarcastic to make his real point that electronic doodads are evil and that too many people are going to sea relying on them. If you read his later post on windvanes, that point comes out much clearer.

Mark
Thanks, Mark - I appreciate that... took a while for my initial post to be approved by the mods, I can now see his drift in his follow-ups, my apologies to all...

Surely you know well enough by now, how I can rarely resist jumping into the fray when it comes to a discussion of Old School vs. High Tech, no? :-)

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
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.
Excellent point, often overlooked on such passages, I believe...

I seem to recall Eric cobbling together a hydro-generator for this passage, no? It would be interesting to hear how that worked out, if at all... I'm always a bit surprised water gens are not a bit more popular among today's pasagemakers, I rate mine as one of my favorite bits of gear on a trip of any length, or whenever venturing off soundings...

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
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.
Well, as so many others have already noted, until we hear further from RH, all of our speculation at this point is moot... Not sure I agree with your final assessment, however...

If, indeed, any sailor in Eric's situation had been inclined to stay with the boat and effect a self-rescue by himself, I'm not sure why the absence of self-steering should be an absolute deal-breaker... Solo sailors have crossed oceans prior to the advent of autopilots and wind vanes, after all... Hell, folks have even made it across oceans successfully without rudders, though usually greatly aided by the fact that their destinations lie more or less downwind... So, absent any knowledge of what other factors might have been at play with RH, it might have been do-able, who knows...

However, based on the Guard Unit's press conference from Moffett Field, my gut tells me the Kaufmann's made the decision to abandon/scuttle RH for reasons other than potential issues with the boat, and simply staying together as a family took precedence over all else... Even I wouldn't second guess such a choice, they are absolutely the only ones who can make that one, and I certainly have to respect them for it if that was indeed the case...
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:47   #461
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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I must be the only person here with adequate sarcasm sensory perception….

Mark
Ha ha ha....no, so do I and it gets me in trouble all the time....

Remembering back to the Flying Pig incident a few years ago, I think Skip's account of the incident (boat striking a reef) was one of the most honest I can remember....but look what it got him. Eric is under no moral or any other requirement to share what really happened out there with folks on the internet. Sure it will be interesting to read about when he writes his book...but what surprises me is how people think he owes the "cruising community" the details of the incident in the first place. Because you read and enjoyed his blog doesn't mean you know him...just like a movie star acting out a part...in much the same way that is how you know Eric and crew (unless you have actually met them). I saw this all the time when we shared anchorages with "blog famous" cruisers. More often than not, the personality you see and know on the blog isn't what you see/get in the real world.

One of the first lines I use when people come up to me and say "Rich from THIRD DAY, I love you guys and followed your blog for years" is, "well the blog made me look taller, thinner, have more hair". But I do like the "thinner and taller" thing!
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Old 16-04-2014, 11:54   #462
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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As I still don't feel I've heard Eric and Charlotte's analysis of "what went wrong", I will withhold my opinions on their actions. I am quite interested, however, because we are planning much the same sort of trip, but with some differences. The main ones for me are as follows (and are to this point):

1) We have one son, currently 12 1/2 and the same size now as my wife. He's been sailing since he was seven and is taking further advanced courses this summer.
2) My wife and I have done two saltwater deliveries each (and separately) since 2007.
3) I've taken an RYA course and will take more. So will the missus.
4) We both know our pilotage, diesel repair, CN, and first aid and have taken courses (and fixed things while underway) to that end.
5) We've done most of our own refitting. That's why we haven't left yet! Refitting/re-engining a mid-size offshore-capable boat is like apprenticing in four or five different trades, or so it seems.
6) We've each experienced, on different boats, sustained gales of 40-50 knots and squalls past 65 knots. We know what that sounds like and how to heave to, deploy drogues or reduce sail to kerchiefs.
7) This might be the most important part: We plan to leave Toronto for a summer's cruising in Nova Scotia, and then to haul out for winter in Halifax prior to a following spring Atlantic crossing to the British Isles.

Our "shakedown" will thus be in waters tidal, oceanic and yet domestic. The Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic in front of Nova Scotia is the real deal, and yet is well-supplied if things break. And things always break.

It's too close to launch for me to read Rebel Heart's blogs or even this large thread, but I would suggest that our plans and preparations may serve us better in the long run than did theirs...but I would like to hear their side of the story if they choose to relate it.
Alchemy, you will have no problems this side of lightening bolt anomalies you can't predict or prepare for. In saying that, I assume you have cruised with your long suffering wife offshore and enjoy each others company as well as the adventure. With that, you can pretty much handle most of what can happen, but you already know that because you have what can hardly buy - experience.
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Old 16-04-2014, 12:02   #463
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Ken the problem is simple. If Eric says the sky was blue, some here will demand a better answer and want him waterboarded until he answers to their satisfaction. No matter WHAT he says or writes at this point in the game (and yes it is a game to some here) he will be second guessed and attacked. Just look at what is happening without FACTS...it will only get worse once facts come out and Eric or the boat were found to have weaknesses (which we ALL Have).

The question of this thread was this:
"Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community"
So I will answer based on what I saw while standing in the Strictly Sail Oakland Boat Show booth talking to potential cruisers.
The wives were using the rescue as a reason to not go cruising, while the husbands tried (with a paniced look in their eye) to calm their wives down and sell the cruising dream to them! I was watching the dreams die right in front of my eyes for several couples. It was sad to see, but even more sad to think that their chances of getting killed on the streets of Oakland California were probabally higher than needing a Rescue at Sea.
Ignoring the whacky hyper ventilation of your first paragraph, your second observation demonstrates why a little forthright analysis of what happened is worthwhile. Unless the sequence of events that brought RH to grief were inevitable or beyond human influence, then perhaps his "Contribution to the Cruising Community" is as a negative example that can be avoided as long as you understand what went wrong.

He's under no obligation to fill in the blanks and I wish him and his family well. Absent a contribution for the sake of clarity from him, there are still conclusions that can be drawn from what they have written about their voyage and what others in direct contact with them have observed.
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Old 16-04-2014, 12:11   #464
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Absent a contribution for the sake of clarity from him, there are still conclusions that can be drawn from what they have written about their voyage and what others in direct contact with them have observed.

Oh sure...you can use the CNN and Fox News reports filled in with Rumor and Speculation.
I'll just wait until Eric talks for himself, because we have conflicting stories so there is no need to waste energy until we have some additional facts....but as I said...it is Fun to watch and play the whacky hyper ventilation game.
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Old 16-04-2014, 12:15   #465
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Oh sure...you can use the CNN and Fox News reports filled in with Rumor and Speculation.
More hyperventilation. I said "what they wrote" or what people with direct contact with them said, not what CNN wrote. What was that about you being big on 'reality'?
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