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Old 01-08-2013, 19:06   #316
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Minaret-
OK, condensation just happens. But that's not going to produce cup after cup after cup of water, unless someone has been ignoring it for a long time. (Maybe the folks who invented self-defrosting freezers need to get working on somethign similar to dry out diesel fuel tanks? :-)

As for sail repair tape, I've always found that even the best of it, applied to freshly and thoroughly washed and dried sails, seems to hold up about as well as wet tissue paper. OK, maybe that's a good thing since the loft can peel it back to make a better repair...but a layer of urethane glue ("Goop") will bond a repair strip down solidly, even though that may need to set up overnight.

I guess the owner is going to get a bill for "ten coral reefs" in the mail, huh?


I'm not talking about sail repair tape (except for quick fixes on light spin cloth, as it was designed for). I'm talking about heavy dacron sail cloth in a roll (or "tape") which is applied to either side of the rip with basting and heavily sewn in place. Basic. I also get large scraps of the same cloth my sails are made of from my sailmakers, so I can make larger patches. I've also had good luck with contact cement, and have known many others to swear by it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:06   #317
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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You can read through the gentleman's posts here and answer all three of those questions, he was looking to buy a boat under 22k, and he was looking for an insurer, so I'd say yes insured, no note, paid for and current. He removed the CG Documentation, paid his sales tax and registered in Texas.

Looks like he got tired of fooling with installing his instabreeze wind gen that never worked, and went sailing without it. He made many posts looking for electronic charts of his intended cruising areas before transiting the canal. He sought help with Opencpn. I will bet all of his navigation was electronic, no paper charts. He was at least without a chart for the coast to his lee.

Seems he sailed from South Padre Island to Cayman Islands from whence he made the final voyage.

Since he is returning to Texas to buy another boat, he must have gotten the insurance (that's why my rates are so high), and believes they are going to pay.


He went to sea with power dependent systems, which only had one charging source. He was unprepared without even basic backup navigational equipment, backup sails/repair kit, duly diligent study of destination coastline and alternate landfalls, back up fuel/separator filters, sail chafing protection, etc.. Even his food supply depended on refrigeration, without backup. He could not retrieve water without power either,without backup.

His unpreparedness has consequences. A beautiful boat is lost. Parts of a delicate ecosystem were destroyed. Money will have to be spent, or further damage to the reef allowed. Honduran authorities may look differently toward US flagged vessels (even though a Swiss Ecuadoran was responsible). If his claim is paid, the entire pool of insureds will pay it. A merchant ship had to stop engines, lose time, steam away, then return to pick him up, none of which is without costs.

He participated in a thread here discussing Boat US's requirement for 3 aboard while offshore. Perhaps now he can see why we are all penalized with clauses like that. His crew bailed on him early, yet neither his plan nor preparations changed.

Unless his Hunter was insured for more than he paid for it, we can assume his next try will be in a boat that costs much less than the "under 22k" he had in the Hunter. Looks like next time he'll have to sail to Panama direct.

Is this constructive criticism? The question is, constructive for whom? For the OP? Certainly not, but his active use of this knowledge base didn't help much before, and for him the only culprit is bad diesel fuel.

Is this discussion constructive for the many who come here to learn? Hell yes. We all learned primarily by reading and hearing of the triumphs and tragedies going back to Slocum. The story and this discussion would have surfaced anyway, now that the wreck is on the reef. The OP's other internet postings are there for all to see, and reveal his preparations and decision making processes in detail.

There may be another person who just signed up, with 22 grand for a Hunter, who just may learn something from this discussion that will save a boat, a reef, maybe even a life or two.

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In Passagemaker there is a story about another ship abandoned - this a 40 foot trawler with 3 people on board. Synopsis - the skipper was towing a Boston Whaler in the ocean, the line snapped and when it snapped back fouled the prop. The boat began rolling in the swell and 2 800# water tanks 'broke loose' as well as the refrigerator, so the skipper thought the vessel might well turn turtle as it rolled back and forth with a ton of weight sliding from side to side. He was probably right. He was experienced and had spent a lot of money refurbishing this boat. Fortunately, he was rescued, with crew, by a passing cruise ship that answered his Mayday.

While the OP deserves our sympathy for his loss (he has mine), it is hardly helpful to newbies to characterize his actions as anything resembling appropriate, or suggesting that sailboats depending on electricity for survival make any sense. The value in understanding this case is to instruct others to do the opposite the OP did in a similar situation, and not much else. In the case of the trawler loss, a newbie can take the lesson that buying a tender too big to ship onboard is not a good idea if you travel off shore. In fact, the trawler captain gave this advice to newbies: Never tow a skiff offshore. As an experienced person, he acknowledged his error. The OP's reaction to his tragedy indicates that he didn't learn much from the experience, although I hope he has time to reflect and prepare better the next time.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:09   #318
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

I referred to 3 possibilities: sea sickness, panic, or simply being overwhelmed by the cascade of problems. Any one, or combination, could have been the cause. I tend to think it was the latter, but barring further input from the OP it is an open question. Regardless, his decision-making was not up to scratch in the event.

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Old 01-08-2013, 19:12   #319
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

It would be interesting to hear from the OP's previous crew. They might be able to shed some light on this unfortunate incident.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:15   #320
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pirate Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Okay.... there's a few that have bashed forum members for the critique that's been posted on here regarding this guys loss... some have said we gave him no chance to tell his story... 'Bollocks'... he told it at the start but could not take some ribbing and basic info on what could have been done... this would have been useful for his next attempt... which I doubt he'll try.
Instead he stomped off in a huff... as I said.. if you can't take the pressure at sea... or on an internet forum for sailing take up golf... or darts... and don't watch movies like Captain Ron where every cock-up ends in glory or a bikini clad babe waving from the beach...
Life aint like that for most...
I personally have found CF members to be supportive above and beyond the call of membership and they've rallied round to save my ass when I've been stuck halfway round the world..
As for the OP... as far I'm concerned he weighed in first... about as clever on here as he was on his boat.
Redundant systems... it has been stated DR, basic navigation knowledge and a paper chart could have solved all his problems.. but likely he was an avid reader of the thread that paper was redundant and powered screens was the way to go...
Fine if your to lazy to learn Nav and having a GPS in your car saying "Turn right in 100 yards"... "Roundabout 100 yards turn left" makes you think your a Nav master... sure... go sailing..
That's as intelligent as the power boater in the UK who set out down the Thames headed for Eastbourne with a road Atlas for the UK... his logic was... "as long as I keep the shore on my right I'll get there just fine"... 10 hours later he'd run out of fuel after circling the Isle of Dogs countless times...
Don't take short cuts... learn what's necessary to go out there... otherwise stick to day sailing... there's few second chances for idiots..
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:15   #321
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Oars!!!...Ya, that's it...we should all carry long oars and row 18 miles to shore...What was I thinking?
P.S. Zinger to the zingers
Actually that is what Columbus would have done. Rowed in.

All criticism and joking aside, I applaud the OP for his dissemination of his story in such a shark tank and also for his decision to get out when he realized he was beyond his means. A life saved is worth more than all the sail tape and baja filters in the world.

I think the the real benefit is the learning aspect here. It appears all too many have become reliant on electronics and engines, refrigeration and batteries and such than basic sailing skills, trip preparation and multiple redundancy systems of the non-electric or manual type. Sailors have laughed when they saw me buy paper charts and taffrail logs, sextants and such, and yes...even a sculling oar. There will always be unexpected events at sea, but there can always be expected pre-planned responses to known possible events and the basic tools to carry them out. A good boy scout or a good sea scout...always prepared. At least that way you knock down the probability of unsolvable events to a bare minimum.

I wish the OP luck in his future sailing dreams and that he may learn from this experience as we all might.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:32   #322
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Time for compassion folks.

I hope Hans will return to the forum for the vast pool of knowledge here, as I'm certain from reading his posts on other threads, he will return to cruising with another boat. Here is a guy who is a dreamer like the rest of us, and started on that dream. Before getting off he had more than his share of bad health, marriage, and job that would cause a lesser man to just chuck it, but not Hans. It appears from his posts in other threads he was truly enjoying the cruising lifestyle, and felt like he made friends here on CF. With this thread he probably wonders how sincere those friendships were.

Some of us cruised and then decided it wasn't what we wanted and sold the boat. Others have taken off on a tight budget in a modest boat, and got hit by a big wave that damaged the boat beyond repair, and got out.

Others have been very successful right from the start. My point is this, Hans was enjoying his cruising right up to the point of this thread. I think it would be commendable of the CF community to reach out to him, offer up your experience so that his next outing is successful.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:35   #323
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Since none of us know what happened and none of us can find out, there are no valid lessons here. There is only speculation, and the words of politicians have more value.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:43   #324
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Time for compassion folks.

I hope Hans will return to the forum for the vast pool of knowledge here, as I'm certain from reading his posts on other threads, he will return to cruising with another boat. Here is a guy who is a dreamer like the rest of us, and started on that dream. Before getting off he had more than his share of bad health, marriage, and job that would cause a lesser man to just chuck it, but not Hans. It appears from his posts in other threads he was truly enjoying the cruising lifestyle, and felt like he made friends here on CF. With this thread he probably wonders how sincere those friendships were.

Some of us cruised and then decided it wasn't what we wanted and sold the boat. Others have taken off on a tight budget in a modest boat, and got hit by a big wave that damaged the boat beyond repair, and got out.

Others have been very successful right from the start. My point is this, Hans was enjoying his cruising right up to the point of this thread. I think it would be commendable of the CF community to reach out to him, offer up your experience so that his next outing is successful.
I hope this forum wasn't his enabler. We must be careful not to encourage the incompetent dreamer to set out on a voyage they clearly are not capable of making safely. The consequences could be everything.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:47   #325
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Since none of us know what happened and none of us can find out, there are no valid lessons here. There is only speculation, and the words of politicians have more value.
The story was told by the OP. Its not speculation, it came from the horses mouth so to speak.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:51   #326
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Please note...the OP has not posted since post #139. Maybe time for everyone here to let go.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:53   #327
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Since none of us know what happened and none of us can find out, there are no valid lessons here. There is only speculation, and the words of politicians have more value.
If Hans returns we will all learn more. I have a hunch his DR skills might have been lacking and that is a skill set that is so easy to learn. I hope on his next cruise he has paper charts that he keeps updated and when coastal he polishes his DR skills by using them first then checking the GPS.
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Old 01-08-2013, 19:56   #328
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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I hope this forum wasn't his enabler. We must be careful not to encourage the incompetent dreamer to set out on a voyage they clearly are not capable of making safely. The consequences could be everything.

I do think we need to think about this. I'm not pointing fingers as I don't remember who it was, but someone was suggesting that a relatively new sailor could round the tip of South America in a 33' Hunter. To me that's just irresponsible -- and I really love my Hunter -- but never would I take such a trip, even with the best sailor on the planet.
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Old 01-08-2013, 20:04   #329
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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The story was told by the OP. Its not speculation, it came from the horses mouth so to speak.
The initial story, yes, what there is of it.

The facts we know can be listed in one short paragraph.

None of the conclusions drawn are valid, they are all based on speculation.

When the time arrived for thoughtful questions, flames were used. Now the questions will never be answered, and the rest will always be mere arm-waving.
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Old 01-08-2013, 20:04   #330
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pirate Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Since none of us know what happened and none of us can find out, there are no valid lessons here. There is only speculation, and the words of politicians have more value.
Here is what happened and I hope, that Boatman61 can stick up to the attitude of a "real" seaman, to keep his judgements at his own home.

Serenity departed from Cayman Island via sails at a course of 242 degrees towards Rio Dulce - Guatemala, planned final destination for the next 1 month. Having lost the Windgenerator IstaBreeze500 (mentioned before in another threat), I started the engine entering night time. After a while the engine stopped and I checked the Racor filter and found a half of a glass full of water. I cleaned the glass, I purged the filter at the entrance of the engine and I purged the injectors. Then, I started the engine and after verifying she worked properly, I turned her off. The next day, during afternoon I repeated the action, this time to support the sailing as per slow wind and almost downwind sailing, which was actually very annoying slamming the Jib and Boom all the time. After 2 hours, the engine again stalled and I found exactly the same. I repeated the procedure adn druing the next day I repeated the procedure 2 more times, finding horrible amounts of water in the fuel. I wasn't sure if the tank was contaminated, or if I bunkered at Mexico bad fuel. However, the last time the engine did not start up again and about 4 hours of cleaning and working on the fuel system, did not help at all.
So, I turned off the refrigeration and almost all electrical system in order to safe power for communication and navigation instruments. The forth day, at noon time, battery 1 was at critical 9,5 volt and battery 2 had to be activated. At that time I started transmission to Port Authority of Isla Roatan, 18 miles south, without success. Thiswise, I changed the communication to SSB and got the response on one side from a vessel Dole Costa Rica, leaving Puerto Castillo and on the other hand from US Coast Guard. USCG informed not to have any vessel close by and urged, to use the communication power of the vessel Dole Costa Rica, to inform PA Isla Roatan. Dole Costa Rica requested deployment from Roatan, while I informed to sail at course 225, straight to the northern coast of Roatan. I hadn't observed, that the slamming at the lifeline had ripped the sail and when I realized what happened, the sail was already 1/3 ripped. In the meantime, the vessel Dole Costa Rica took course onto me and after 1 hour, they stopped their engines on my side, since Roatan had informed to send a ship, which would arrive in 2 more hours. The Captain of Dole Costa Rica invited me on board of his boat, to rest and recover, while the rescue team would arrive. Thatfore, I unpacked my dinghy, inflated it manually and put it in the water with the outborder. However, because of increasing sea, I decided to stay on board of Serenity and wait for the Rescue ship. The Captain of DCR nformed not to leave me, untill the team would arrive. At about 1700 hours he informed, Roatan had informed not to deploy any rescue team as per lack of fuel for their ships. Perplex, the Captain of DCR requested information from USCG, who at that point informed, that it would be best to advice me to abandon ship, since my boat was running out of electricity, without refrigeration for food preservation and without power for navigation and a damaged foresail, that the sailing in Honduran waters covered with Coral reefs, was risky. I requested via the Captain of DCR to locate Admiral Vallejo from Ecuador Navy, which as friendly Latin American Government might could convince Honduras to deploy a vessel. As per existing registers, Ecuador Navy immediately intervened with Honduras to assist me as Ecuadorian citizen and cousin of the second Navy Commander of the country. Unfortunately, without success! From here on I was advised from the USCG and from the vessel DCR, to abandon my ship and aboard the DCR vessel. I denied this advise and stayed on board of Serenity at drift, when at 2000 hours the Captain of DCR left to his course towards Gulfport. 30 minutes later and with the last power of my SSB radio I contacted him and asked, if I was entitled to change my opinion, as I understood, that without deployment from any Navy, with the Islands northern reefs, 300 NMi course east to Guatemala and no electricity, instruments, communication and sail, I would face to deploy my life raft with chance to drift for long days and face life threat. The Captain very decent changed immediatly his course and returned and at 2200 hours the rescue took place. Serenity was at drift adn we informed Isla Roatan, from the vessel DCR I spoke immediately with my cousin, Admiral Vallejo, who did several phone calls, so far without success. From that moment on, Hondruas did not respond any communication anymore to our vessel DCR.
As per now, the Honduran Government gives no statement, informed not having equipment to realize a rescue and that until this very moment, no Serenity had been found. This seems pretty incredible, since we left all the coordinates and we indicated the drift observed during 1 1/2 hour in the radar as a pattern.

At this time, the case has been informed to the Council for Maritime Affairs at Bahamas, where Honduras will have to inform as per international maritime treaties. At this time I believe, OR Serenity is at some Port and being taken apart in her equipment, or she sunk, since the day after the sea became pretty rough. However, to me she is lost as, whoever finds her in the sea is entitled to claim her.

Me for myself, I am on my way to Port Isabel, where I want to go for another boat and then re initiate my goal, to sail out into the South Pacific.

As I stated above, I don't need the opinion of Boatman1 nor anybody else. There is plenty documentation about this unfortunate incident. On one side it helps you people, t see what you can face if navigating down in Honduras, on the other hand because I believe we can learn from incidents like this one.

My lesson is, Radio and Instruments require to be independent each one from one battery and supplied from solar power, so Radio and Instruments are able to continue to operate. I realized, how a boat has to be overlooked, if it is a placer boat or a living cruiser and that Racor filters have to be at a position, where they become daily check. I realize how important it is, to check each and every can of diesel I fuel, so I can detect before filling, if there is water in larger amount. I realize, that sailing is not a question of having fun, it is a hard work of checking engines, instruments, communication and to analyze the boat permanently, since a disaster is here sooner than we think. Finally, I learned how important it is to manage the communication instruments like SSB, to check if antenna and equipment has the reach.

Which bit did you not understand...
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