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Old 01-08-2013, 20:39   #331
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Having read every post (or nearly everyone one) since this was started, I have to say I think the critical comments and even harsh ones really hold the most value. I think many people think its simple to just set sail without really understanding what it takes and what is needed to be fully prepared. There's a few books that make it all sound very easy, I think those writers we're simply very lucky in their early days. If the harsh comments help one person be more prepared when they set sail than this is all well worth while and I think its unfortunate the OP took things personal.

Seems like one thing that could have helped the OP would have been to have a solar panel, didn't see that mentioned in any of the posts. Not leaving port with a broken wind generator would have been a good idea as well.

On the flip side though, I don't think we can blame the OP for doing what they did - people do make mistakes all the time, we just have to hope he learns from it. Given his presumed mental state and ability, he probably made the safest decision for himself, unfortunately leaving his boat floating could have been an unsafe decision for someone else and clearly was not a great decision for the reef.

I wonder how many people would re-think abandoning their boat if they were required to sink it when abandoning it?
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Old 01-08-2013, 20:41   #332
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

cheoah-
The repairs I've had to make have been "fix it" not "get it back to the loft". So what a loft would do was a moot point. They'd probably eventually stop laughing and ask what kind of new sail was wanted. Offhand I'd have to think that once you've torn a panel, you'd want it replaced, not patched, unless the damage was really minor.

On 5200, the stuff is great but "goop" cures faster and is more flexible. There's one specific verison of it called "shoe goop" which is used for repairing shoe soles, that seems to stay nice and flexible while curing damn tough.

Minaret-
If you're going to use sail repair tape (we're talking about the same thing, heavier white dacron) but then do a proper job of stitching all around...Kinda defeats the purpose of the adhesive, which often sticks to the needle and makes the sewing harder too. I *can* sew, with thread or the hand stitcher, I'd just rather make like Airbus and glue the damned wings on.

Gorilla tape sounds interesting, but "Gorilla Glue" was a 100% marketing magic to sell what was really just good urethan furniture glue. (The kind that sets up hard.) So I figure their tape is more marketing magic, probably a good gaffers' tape instead of duct tape. (Gaffers' tape being about 3x the price of duct tape, but with a better adhesive that doesn't leave goo on expensive carpets.) Of course with the riot of colors and patterns that duct tape comes in these days...damn, it just BEGS you to take hostages, so you can wrap 'em up with the pretty stuff!

One of the points the OP made, which is easily missed, is that without power he had no refrigeration, and apparently all or most of his provisions depended on that. No provisions? Yeah, that complicates the ride too. Being solo, considering reefs, rescue being "here right now, ain't gonna be back later"... Sometimes it comes down to "run away, live to fight another day."
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Old 01-08-2013, 20:41   #333
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

If you are having trouble with the facts here, please do us all a favor and find another form a recreation or pursue a more fitting lifestyle. There are consequences of poor judgement not just to yourself but others and the environment. If you need this or any forum to gain the courage to "go" you have no business "going". Post puberty most of us are able to take responsibility ourselves and lead self sufficient lives. No one here knows when "you" are ready.

What do you think the insurance company is going to do? Cut a check because someone abandoned a seaworthy vesel because of water in the fuel, or it had a torn headsail, or my battery was dying. Well dreamers, I could be wrong but I think I hear them laughing from here.

I know I have shown no mercy and neither did the sea. (or reef in this case)
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Old 01-08-2013, 20:49   #334
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Custom-
Don't assume he got paid out by an insurer. He bought a cheap boat and may be buying another cheap boat and the often means no insurance. Buying a cheap old boat can make it impossible to insure. Sailing it SOLO in international waters, may make it doubly impossible to insure again.
Only the OP can tell us.
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Old 01-08-2013, 20:54   #335
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Here's what you know:
  • The boat Serenity was a mono-hulled sloop.
  • The boat departed the "Cayman Islands" enroute Rio Dulce. The way the sentence was written, it may mean "Grand Cayman Island" or not. There are three inhabited "Cayman Islands".
  • The intended course was 242 degrees. We don't know if that's magnetic or true.
  • The boat was at sea for 4 days and 3 nights.
  • The windgenerator failed.
  • The engine failed.
  • There was "half a glass full" of water in the Racor filter.
  • The "glass" was cleaned, the filter purged and the injectors purged.
  • Following this, the engine ran.
  • The next day, the engine ran, and the "action" was repeated-- it's not clear what the action was.
  • Running downwind, the jib and the boom were "slamming... all the time".
  • The engine ran for two hours. It then stalled.
  • Serenity "found exactly the same".
  • Serenity then "repeated the procedure."
  • This happened twice more, and Serenity repeated the procedure twice more, each time finding "horrible" amounts of water in the fuel.
  • The last time, the engine did not start again, after "4 hours" of working on it.
  • Serenity switched off refrigeration and other electrical systems to conserve battery power.
  • At noon on day 4, battery one was at 9.5 volts, and battery 2 was switched on.
  • At noon on day 4, Serenity "started transmission" to Port Authority of Isla Roatan, 18 miles south. There is no mention of a mayday call. There was no answer.
  • Serenity switched to SSB, and made contact with the Dole Costa Rica, leaving Porto Castillo and with the U.S. Coastguard.
  • Costa Rica asked for a "deployment" from Roatan.
  • Serenity set a course of 225, for the northern coast of Roatan. Again, no mention of true or magnetic.
  • It was discovered that the headsail "slamming at the lifeline" had ripped.
  • The Costa Rica arrived and stopped engines.
  • A ship from Roatan was due to arrive in two hours.
  • Costa Rica invited Serenity on board to rest and recover.
  • Serenity decided not to leave his boat because of the increasing sea.
  • At 1700, Costa Rica informed Serenity no ship was coming from Roatan because of fuel.
  • Costa Rica contacted USCG, who advised abandoning the boat Serenity.
  • Serenity chose to stay with his boat.
  • Costa Rica departed at 2000.
  • Thirty minutes later, Serenity changed his mind, and asked Costa Rica if he could pick him up.
  • Costa Rica returned at 2200 and took Serenity off his boat.
  • Serenity was abandoned at 016-047.3 N, 086-003.3 W.
The assumptions started two posts later.

In post 115, a boat that may be Serenity is shown on a reef, with a mainsail set.
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Old 01-08-2013, 20:58   #336
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
cheoah-


Minaret-
If you're going to use sail repair tape (we're talking about the same thing, heavier white dacron) but then do a proper job of stitching all around...Kinda defeats the purpose of the adhesive, which often sticks to the needle and makes the sewing harder too. I *can* sew, with thread or the hand stitcher, I'd just rather make like Airbus and glue the damned wings on.


Basting ain't adhesive, the whole point of it is to fix the work piece in place while you are sewing without inhibiting your ability to sew. The really heavy duty "tape" is always non-adhesive. Lots of ways to skin this cat.
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Old 01-08-2013, 21:10   #337
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
In post 115, a boat that may be Serenity is shown on a reef, with a mainsail set.
Pity there wasn't someone on board to throw out an anchor. Boat seems ok, except for the hard on a reef part.
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Old 01-08-2013, 21:12   #338
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
Pity there wasn't someone on board to throw out an anchor. Boat seems ok, except for the hard on a reef part.
I wonder what the result would have been if the anchor had been thrown out when abandoning - maybe it would have caught before hitting the reef?
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Old 01-08-2013, 21:39   #339
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
Here's what you know:
  • The boat Serenity was a mono-hulled sloop.
  • The boat departed the "Cayman Islands" enroute Rio Dulce. The way the sentence was written, it may mean "Grand Cayman Island" or not. There are three inhabited "Cayman Islands".
  • The intended course was 242 degrees. We don't know if that's magnetic or true.
  • The boat was at sea for 4 days and 3 nights.
  • The windgenerator failed.
  • The engine failed.
  • There was "half a glass full" of water in the Racor filter.
  • The "glass" was cleaned, the filter purged and the injectors purged.
  • Following this, the engine ran.
  • The next day, the engine ran, and the "action" was repeated-- it's not clear what the action was.
  • Running downwind, the jib and the boom were "slamming... all the time".
  • The engine ran for two hours. It then stalled.
  • Serenity "found exactly the same".
  • Serenity then "repeated the procedure."
  • This happened twice more, and Serenity repeated the procedure twice more, each time finding "horrible" amounts of water in the fuel.
  • The last time, the engine did not start again, after "4 hours" of working on it.
  • Serenity switched off refrigeration and other electrical systems to conserve battery power.
  • At noon on day 4, battery one was at 9.5 volts, and battery 2 was switched on.
  • At noon on day 4, Serenity "started transmission" to Port Authority of Isla Roatan, 18 miles south. There is no mention of a mayday call. There was no answer.
  • Serenity switched to SSB, and made contact with the Dole Costa Rica, leaving Porto Castillo and with the U.S. Coastguard.
  • Costa Rica asked for a "deployment" from Roatan.
  • Serenity set a course of 225, for the northern coast of Roatan. Again, no mention of true or magnetic.
  • It was discovered that the headsail "slamming at the lifeline" had ripped.
  • The Costa Rica arrived and stopped engines.
  • A ship from Roatan was due to arrive in two hours.
  • Costa Rica invited Serenity on board to rest and recover.
  • Serenity decided not to leave his boat because of the increasing sea.
  • At 1700, Costa Rica informed Serenity no ship was coming from Roatan because of fuel.
  • Costa Rica contacted USCG, who advised abandoning the boat Serenity.
  • Serenity chose to stay with his boat.
  • Costa Rica departed at 2000.
  • Thirty minutes later, Serenity changed his mind, and asked Costa Rica if he could pick him up.
  • Costa Rica returned at 2200 and took Serenity off his boat.
  • Serenity was abandoned at 016-047.3 N, 086-003.3 W.
The assumptions started two posts later.

In post 115, a boat that may be Serenity is shown on a reef, with a mainsail set.
The wind generator didn't fail, it never worked, he posted here all about it. Most of his posts here have been related to berating the manufacturer. He testified here to it's uselessness and ineffectiveness, and still set sail dependent on electricity for food, water, and navigation.

If he had left with a functional wind gen, he would have been sailing instead of fooling with the motor, and noticed the chafe (maybe). Given the amount of time the engine ran before the first problem, he may have anchored before he knew about the water in the fuel.

I'm not knocking electrical systems, I'll never be Larry Pardey, but you have to have alternatives regardless. Larry always carries a backup sextant.

,
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Old 01-08-2013, 21:48   #340
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pirate Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
Here's what you know:
  • The boat Serenity was a mono-hulled sloop.
  • Hunter 30... sail pretty well..
  • The boat departed the "Cayman Islands" enroute Rio Dulce. The way the sentence was written, it may mean "Grand Cayman Island" or not. There are three inhabited "Cayman Islands".
  • Unimportant
  • The intended course was 242 degrees. We don't know if that's magnetic or true.
  • Likely magnetic but only a few degrees either way..
  • The boat was at sea for 4 days and 3 nights.
  • The windgenerator failed.
  • Was not working from the get go it seems
  • The engine failed.
  • There was "half a glass full" of water in the Racor filter.
  • The "glass" was cleaned, the filter purged and the injectors purged.
  • Following this, the engine ran.
  • Good man...
  • The next day, the engine ran, and the "action" was repeated-- it's not clear what the action was.
  • Running downwind, the jib and the boom were "slamming... all the time".
  • No boom preventer... so drop the main and sail with jib only...
  • The engine ran for two hours. It then stalled.
  • Serenity "found exactly the same".
  • Serenity then "repeated the procedure."
  • This happened twice more, and Serenity repeated the procedure twice more, each time finding "horrible" amounts of water in the fuel.
  • The last time, the engine did not start again, after "4 hours" of working on it.
  • The penny should have dropped sooner and an emergency tank set up and clean diesel syphoned off and transfered
  • Serenity switched off refrigeration and other electrical systems to conserve battery power.
  • A reasonable move..
  • At noon on day 4, battery one was at 9.5 volts, and battery 2 was switched on.
  • At noon on day 4, Serenity "started transmission" to Port Authority of Isla Roatan, 18 miles south. There is no mention of a mayday call. There was no answer.
  • Why not turn S and make for Half Moon Bay before calling... 3-5 hrs sail.. he's just switched to his 2nd battery... enough power I'd have thought for basic navigation CP... if my memory is correct his draft is only around 4ft 6inches..
  • Serenity switched to SSB, and made contact with the Dole Costa Rica, leaving Porto Castillo and with the U.S. Coastguard.
  • Wasting juice...
  • Costa Rica asked for a "deployment" from Roatan.
  • Serenity set a course of 225, for the northern coast of Roatan. Again, no mention of true or magnetic.
  • Will assume Half Moon Bay..
  • It was discovered that the headsail "slamming at the lifeline" had ripped.
  • That's usually the stitching gone on an old sail...
  • The Costa Rica arrived and stopped engines.
  • A ship from Roatan was due to arrive in two hours.
  • Costa Rica invited Serenity on board to rest and recover.
  • Serenity decided not to leave his boat because of the increasing sea.
  • At 1700, Costa Rica informed Serenity no ship was coming from Roatan because of fuel.
  • No mention of distance covered... if any.
  • Costa Rica contacted USCG, who advised abandoning the boat Serenity.
  • Pretty standard...
  • Serenity chose to stay with his boat.
  • Safety close by can be back stiffening...
  • Costa Rica departed at 2000.
  • Precious time wasted thumb twiddling..
  • Thirty minutes later, Serenity changed his mind, and asked Costa Rica if he could pick him up.
  • Dark and the light of safety disappearing over the horizon broke what nerve he'd recovered
  • Costa Rica returned at 2200 and took Serenity off his boat.
  • Serenity was abandoned at 016-047.3 N, 086-003.3 W.
The assumptions started two posts later.

In post 115, a boat that may be Serenity is shown on a reef, with a mainsail set.
Later verified...

Okay so I'm an evil sod... but he had every chance to save himself and the boat... 7 hours of daylight to cover 18 miles... if he furled half his jenny it would likely have solved the stich failure which would have been in the forward quarter of the jib... that's the bit that gets lifeline punishment normally.... even with just the full main 18 miles was achievable before dark if his wind reports are factual.
1 mile of the coast he could have had a 'pilot' in a small rib set up to guide him in...
Sorry but its a no brainer... old saying...
'Time and Tide wait for no man'
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Old 01-08-2013, 21:50   #341
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
I wonder what the result would have been if the anchor had been thrown out when abandoning - maybe it would have caught before hitting the reef?
What is curious is why he left the sails up in the first place. If, as you say, he laid out his entire rode after stowing his sails perhaps the vessel would have been drifting and could be recovered. Even without a rode hanging off the bow, vessels abandoned by people thinking the boat is doomed roam around by themselves for months.

A Swan Adrift Abandoned Sailing Yachts Drifting on the Deep Blue Sea | Old Salt Blog a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

Here's what Wolfhound looked like 9 weeks after being abandoned in a storm.
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Old 02-08-2013, 00:00   #342
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Couple of comments from someone who hasn't all done it yet (let me say that upfront).

1. Brave of the OP to come on here and tell his story. Kudos.
2. It is hard to take criticism but I feel that this is the only way to learn properly. No person can analyse their mistakes subjectively. Should the OP have had the courage to engage in constructive debate, I think it would have been hard initially but made him feel better in the long run.
3. The OP was prudent to have a backup battery. However, the wind gen was not working. A single battery as backup seems then a bit light.
4. If sailing in Central America, it seems prudent to have clean, checked, diesel in cans as a backup
5. Fail to understand why a headsail and boom NEED to be slamming. A preventer on the boom is just a matter of a couple of lines. Furling the headsail a little helps too. And - amazingly - you can change course...
6. The boat was abandoned with main sail up, if the picture of Serenity on the reef is indeed the same boat. First off - why would you not douse the sail? And second - she could still sail (and made it to Mexico). So why abandon? At no point in his story does the OP say that it was impossible to sail her.

The most strange thing I find in the "Lessons learnt" given by the OP. Not once does he mention anything about sailing. He only mentions things affecting the radio and engine. But a sailboat's primary function is sailing. If she can sail, you don't need the rest - they are backup systems. So why didn't he feel that he needed to learn how to prevent the sail from ripping, how to sail on just the main, to repair sails, or to have backup sails on board? How about taking down the genoa, cutting it smaller, and putting it back up again?

I hate to criticise people that have made more miles on the ocean than I have, particularly solo. But it seems to me the OP didn't think things through.

I also think that sailing and shoestring budgets often come together to create this kind of situation. Having good sails, good inverters, good navigation equipment and so on and so forth is expensive. Perhaps the monetary pressure can lead to corner-cutting or flawed decision making.

Thanks are in order to the OP for getting this story out, because I am learning a lot from these situations. The key, it seems to me, is to be prepared for key situations BEFORE you set out.

1. What do I do if the engine fails?
2. What do I do if the sails fail?
3. What do I do if I have no power on board?

Have a plan ready. If you're sailing alone, this is even more important.

Onno
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Old 02-08-2013, 00:10   #343
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Amateur. I can screw up that many times just raising anchor.

Mark
Yes, that's more like it! 1001 ways to screw up!

More seriously, I second to sit down and have a cuppa proposition. If you screw up once then following screw ups are coming in tens
Won't do it in a blow on a lee side though.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:45   #344
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
Here's what you know:
Actually we don't know any of that.......we are just assuming what OP said is true (IMO a reasonable assumption - at least for the purposes of discussion, perhaps not if getting onboard as crew)......not to say that he is lying, but recollections are not always accurate - including by omission.


In any event, upon reflection I think this thread turning out less favourable than OP (and some others) wished for is simply bad luck - it's nobody's fault, it could happen to anyone..........perhaps trying the same approach again might work?
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:56   #345
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Later verified...

Okay so I'm an evil sod... but he had every chance to save himself and the boat... 7 hours of daylight to cover 18 miles... if he furled half his jenny it would likely have solved the stich failure which would have been in the forward quarter of the jib... that's the bit that gets lifeline punishment normally.... even with just the full main 18 miles was achievable before dark if his wind reports are factual.
1 mile of the coast he could have had a 'pilot' in a small rib set up to guide him in...
Sorry but its a no brainer... old saying...
'Time and Tide wait for no man'

Do all Hunters have swept back spreaders? My guess is that at $22k he had an older one, which would have.

My older Hunter with swept back spreaders sails much better zig-zagging downwind, and makes more speed. In addition, it's much more comfortable in hot weather. Apparent wind is your friend in summer heat! When single-handing, there's not anything much easier than handling an occasional gentle gybe traveling slightly off downwind.

Sailing straight downwind could indeed be really hard on the mainsail on my boat -- but I thought it was the headsail that failed. As I've said, because it provides so much power and so much balance, personally I would have repaired the sail. While I went into detail about how I would make a really secure repair, if I was only 5 - 6 hours from shore I might well do it fast and dirty. Then if I didn't make it in that night I could heave to or (possibly) anchor (depending on how much I trusted my available anchors and tackle on that bottom. I would take that into consideration when deciding what point to sail to next. If I wasn't going to make it in in one night, I'd sail to a place where it was safe to either anchor or heave to.

NEVER HAVING DONE THIS, my plan if heaved to well would be to set the alarm for once an hour to check my position. Well, yeah, I would have had a backup hand-held. Without the decades of experience so many have here, I would want to be confident of my position.

I don't leave Boca Ciega Bay without paper charts.
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