I agree it must be horrible to lose your boat, certainly a blow to the ego, and his financial liability for the subsequent cleanup adds to the emotional burden. But, how did all this come about?
Caveat to the OP, none of what I'm about to write should be taken as denigrating you as a person. I'm hoping it may make others think twice or thrice. It is not intended as any kind of putdown. We all begin wherever our experience to date has led, and sometimes we get struck down.
There were other decisions that could have been made that would have served better.
1) secure the torn heads'l on deck
[spare stuff for sail mending?]
2) set a different heads'l if able to continue on a safe heading, or proceed under main alone ...These are seamanship issues.
3) the first time he discovered the water
in the filters, drain it, then create a source of clean fuel--even a quart or two would see him into dock
if he couldn't sail in, as long as he used the sails
to get himself there, first.
4) Once in close enough anchor
. Hoist the Q flag. Take stock. Assess whether possible to go in by self, or get someone to help. Another seamanship issue, getting to the harbor by sail, could also be a sailing experience issue.
The OP's decision to not sail, and to not set himself with enough clean fuel
to get in under his own steam has cost him his boat. That's harsh.
It is very easy, to become overwhelmed emotionally, especially if fatigued, and few of us know how to detach log enough to change from "Beam me up, Scotty", to "I'm gonna solve this SOB!" Of course, experience helps because one has more frames of reference for handling situations, but more mechanical experience would have helped. He really shouldn't have let the batteries get so low, perhaps he hadn't formed a habit of checking his voltmeter once or twice a watch.
The OP may have underestimated the challenges of singlehanding
, and maybe that includes really imagining how much being sleep deprived impairs reasoning and how much more difficult it is when you don't have someone with you to talk about the problems with, and how dangerous landfalls are for singlehanders, it's where all the rocky bits are.
Finally, this is only one example of why the "just call for help" strategy is bad training for newbies, in my opinion, because it leads away from necessary self reliance.