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Old 31-07-2013, 07:27   #61
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Im installing a better water seperator/ filter with a back up that I can access with the turn of a valve, and some sort of canvas repair because of your story. Thank you for posting.
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:28   #62
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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This is one situation where a handheld gps and spare batteries could have been a life saver, I sailed 900nm with no engine and it does take a toll on the sails, luckily enough our solar panels handled the batteries just fine and we had a portable genny a a last resort. it pays to have back ups of the back ups!
Well said. When I converted to electric propulsion I went through a lot of what if scenarios. Ended up with a three legged stool approach to energy production and keeping the two separate battery banks charged. Solar, wind and a small Honda 2000 generator provide the redundancy needed. Having a small Honda generator can solve a lot of problems even on a diesel engined boat when the engine says good night! On my electric boat it does triple duty and is much more reliable than the old diesel.
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:30   #63
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

separate from last post.

If faced with catastrophic water in fuel problem....

Could one remove the Racor filter element,
Use the manual fuel feed pump to fill a gerry can,
Let settle (at sea!) and decant the fuel at the top thus filling a few gerry cans,
Place gerry of clean(er) fuel in the line before racor (still with filter removed if its stuffed) and run the engine on the separated fuel direct without the filter?

Would that work? Or is it so unlikely to work its not worth a try? Sounds like it would take a day to make a few hours of fuel.
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:32   #64
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

got into this thread late but also want to say I am truly sorry for your loss.
but hey....YOU ARE ALIVE!!!!!!
all the rest of the "what could have happened" are only scenarios and you have to take them for what they are.
you will live to sail again and NO one can say that would have been the same outcome if you had stayed with your boat so......you made the right decision!
good luck on your future travels.
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:38   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
separate from last post.

If faced with catastrophic water in fuel problem....

Could one remove the Racor filter element,
Use the manual fuel feed pump to fill a gerry can,
Let settle (at sea!) and decant the fuel at the top thus filling a few gerry cans,
Place gerry of clean(er) fuel in the line before racor (still with filter removed if its stuffed) and run the engine on the separated fuel direct without the filter?

Would that work? Or is it so unlikely to work its not worth a try? Sounds like it would take a day to make a few hours of fuel.
Perhaps... take the line from Lift pump into a Jerry Can and fill the can. Taking care to drain Racor at least once during process. Reconnect the lift pump to the engine and then using the Jerry as a supply to the Racor might work.

Basically double filtering


NOT CRITICIZING!! Just kicking around plans of what to do if....
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:40   #66
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Re: Regret to inform have lost my boat off Honduras...

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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
That is terrible!

Here, maybe this will help,...
ooo, I want a can of that....
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:43   #67
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Baja filters are dime a dozen, and mentioned here on CF often. You don't need a Bruce Bingham for that, we're talking basics here. This is my problem with "go small, go now", it encourages people without the necessary skill sets to leave early in an untried vessel. Often that works out fine in the end, but sometimes this happens instead.

They are not expensive, and they may be a dime a dozen, but you are applying YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE when you walk through a chandlery and know what it is, what it's for, and why it might be important.

I had walked by them many times in West Marine and not realized what it was or why it was worth the money. No, it didn't have to be Bruce Bingham, but it could have been any number of other friends of mine who would not have realized that *I* needed to know what it was and why it might be important. He's not the only person I've been in West Marine with. He IS the person who took the time to explain it to me. In fact, I suspect that I know quite a number of sailors who either don't know what they are or don't realize what a good thing it is to have a couple of them tucked away. It may have been on lists people have posted here of needed spare parts for cruising, but I would not have recognized "Baja filter" as the things I have tucked away in my lazarette by the fuel port.

And I've been here a while and in spite of the eye-opening experience it was for me at that flea market, I don't recall a discussion here about a fuel separator (what it's called on the shelves of the store) that goes into your fuel port. Someone might have mentioned a "Baja filter" but I might well not have known what it was. I just went to google and found that it is often called a "Baja filter" here, but not in the catalogs. Easy to make a disconnect there. I didn't know they were called "Baja filters" until now. I probably skipped the threads.

Sorry, but just because you knew, and I knew, doesn't mean everyone knows. That's exactly my point.

It's also the point I made the other day about us not knowing what we don't know. We learn a lot of lessons the hard way. I was just lucky on that one. If I cruised on your boat I would bring mine with me, because I would have no way of knowing if you had them or not, and I wouldn't get into a debate with you about what your boat would be stocked with. I'd just bring it along, and pull it out if it were needed.

People are encouraged here all the time to go out and cruise, sometimes beyond their abilities. There was someone here not that long ago encouraging a newer sailor to go 'round Cape Horn in a 33' Hunter.

This went badly for this fellow. I would have probably repaired the headsail with multiple layers of bedsheet (not just one if the tear wasn't at the seam, but I have done simpler repairs by hand and have confidence in my sewing ability.

But then I would test that sail as severely as I could, knowing those reefs were actually not all that far away.

I could list a number of things I might have done, but I have had the benefit of 1) being surrounded by a number of really expert sailors and 2) between the OTHER sailors I've met and -- frankly -- some here -- have a heightened ability to detect BS and sort the good advice from the bad. But I didn't when I first started out, and it got me into a peck of trouble.

This place is not tolerant of people who are not yet expert sailors, and that's the truth.

There are a LOT of basics, and NO organized way to learn them all. You can take all the ASA classes and probably not hear about a Baja filter. I've taken a number of boating safety and other classes through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, plus a number of privately given seminars without them ever being mentioned. It was just a chance find at a flea market followed by me saying "What's this?" -- probably because I had just replaced the Racor on my boat -- that caused me to ask about it. Dumb luck.

This is how it looks from the seat of a newer sailor. We're not fully welcomed, and there are people just waiting to pounce on us -- sometimes quite nastily -- just to prove they know more.
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:45   #68
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
separate from last post.

If faced with catastrophic water in fuel problem....

Could one remove the Racor filter element,
Use the manual fuel feed pump to fill a gerry can,
Let settle (at sea!) and decant the fuel at the top thus filling a few gerry cans,
Place gerry of clean(er) fuel in the line before racor (still with filter removed if its stuffed) and run the engine on the separated fuel direct without the filter?

Would that work? Or is it so unlikely to work its not worth a try? Sounds like it would take a day to make a few hours of fuel.
very clever, and that seems like it would work. Sailors have come up with jury rigged solutions to save their boats for a very ling time. Sailing literature has scores of examples.
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:47   #69
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
And that is why we never repaired our SSB, have no EPIRB and no life raft. But plenty of spares, tools and alternative systems.

Lo siento mucho, Serenity, por lo que paso. Ojala que vuelves pronto al mar con otro velero!

And it is why I WOULD have a good SSB, an EPIRB, and rent a life raft AS WELL AS plenty of spares, tools, and alternative systems. But I only know of some of those things we should have because of a HANDFUL of good sailors who had the patience to tolerate the presence of a newer sailor.
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:53   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
separate from last post.

If faced with catastrophic water in fuel problem....

Could one remove the Racor filter element,
Use the manual fuel feed pump to fill a gerry can,
Let settle (at sea!) and decant the fuel at the top thus filling a few gerry cans,
Place gerry of clean(er) fuel in the line before racor (still with filter removed if its stuffed) and run the engine on the separated fuel direct without the filter?

Would that work? Or is it so unlikely to work its not worth a try? Sounds like it would take a day to make a few hours of fuel.
I'd vote for screw the engine and sail the sailboat. Pop the water tank open and use a cup to get it out if he only had electric pumps.

And paper charts with basic piloting techniques you could learn in an hour (or simply read out of a book) would suffice for navigation.

$20 says there was an outboard and dinghy onboard. If he got close enough in dead flat water he could hip tow it.

The other day someone on here said you should be able to survive, make miles, and go where you want (not necessarily in comfort) with no engine, no power, and no gadgets.

I love my watermaker, yanmar, ais gear, ssb, sat phone, and multiple GPS receivers. I would never purposefully put to sea if they were offline.

But to need them to get home?
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Old 31-07-2013, 08:38   #71
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'd vote for screw the engine and sail the sailboat. Pop the water tank open and use a cup to get it out if he only had electric pumps.

And paper charts with basic piloting techniques you could learn in an hour (or simply read out of a book) would suffice for navigation.

$20 says there was an outboard and dinghy onboard. If he got close enough in dead flat water he could hip tow it.

The other day someone on here said you should be able to survive, make miles, and go where you want (not necessarily in comfort) with no engine, no power, and no gadgets.

I love my watermaker, yanmar, ais gear, ssb, sat phone, and multiple GPS receivers. I would never purposefully put to sea if they were offline.

But to need them to get home?

And does everyone have your level of experience? "Dead flat calm?" Where is that guaranteed, given that we're talking about reefs that can lead to the kind of calamity that can kill people as well as boats?

I got myself into a peck of trouble by letting someone hip toe me at the wrong time. It didn't stay "dead flat calm." The wind and the water picked up, and I had to anchor out with a front coming through, and I ended up in a real mess.

I should have put my foot down and said "I TOLD you we had to go early morning before the wind picked up," but I was desperate to have my boat not laid up any longer and I trusted a more experienced sailor's -- WISHFUL THINKING. He WANTED it to be do-able, and so in his mind it was still a go.

Should have listened to myself, but I would have come across as an upstart newbie sailor. Hmmmm.... and since the major problems that followed wouldn't have happened, that's the perception that would have remained.

Sometimes we learn things the hard way.
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Old 31-07-2013, 08:44   #72
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

There have been several threads regarding the Baja filters, and I purchased one as a result of the information I gleaned here, and have used it with good results. I am not criticizing anyone, only relating my experience in this area. I am truly sorry that Serenity had to be abandoned. No second guessing on my part, I wasn't there.
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Old 31-07-2013, 08:45   #73
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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Thanks for telling us the circumstances.

It is a little difficult when its your first few months cruising at sea.

But for those with more experience faced with similar circumstances there are other ways to dig oneself out of the situation... but as I say they require quite a bit of experience...

The plotted point of the loss should be easily navigated to safe waters Bahia de Trujillo and therein Puerto Castillo.

All waters between the abandoned boat and that port are clear and open except for a few islands that are deep close to the islands so no nav problems. Getting into the towns on those islands would be tricky without any chart at all, but one could stand off and wait for a local fishing boat.

One doesnt need even a paper chart in emergency to do it, nor a full set of sails. Its the sort of thing a quick glance of the computer should have been done before the passage started at all... opt out points and general coast line. And, of course when things were getting sketchy to reinforce it in writing.

It does show the value of MULTIPLE back-ups. I have a few GPS independent of ships batteries including a hand held plotter.

The other thing someone with more experience can consider is time: If there aint no impending dange then take it slowly, very slowly, who gives a damn if you're at sea an extra day or two? A few extra days may also let someone good with engines work out a solution to the water problem.
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Old 31-07-2013, 08:46   #74
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

After reading these comments, the thing that comes to mind is "Serenity now". Couldn't resist.

I see lots of "helpful" suggestions, but the fact is that he must have felt his life was threatened in order to call for help, so it may have been as much about his own physical or mental condition than what he had on his boat. You have to know your limitations. The goal is clearly not to get into this situation, but once you're there, you have to have the courage to make the correct decision. How many lives are lost because someone DIDN'T call for help, but instead pushed beyond their limits?

If I were ever faced with a "my boat or my life", I hope I'd make the same decision. Your boat can be replaced, and rather easily.

The guy is still breathing, so he did SOMETHING right. I can list a few things he did right:

-- He went for it. He didn't stay home and type about wanting to go cruising, he actually went cruising.

-- He called for help when he felt his life was threatened. You can debate the risk he faced and recovery action, but you weren't there, and don't really know what he was up against at the time.

-- He shared his story. Sail magazine has a feature where sailors tell about a harrowing situation. Normally, it's a few paragraphs about the situation, followed by a few paragraphs describing why it's someone else's fault, and a paragraph about how you learned not to trust other people to do the right thing. I find this a better case study because it's raw and doesn't include the excuses. I've heard or read a fair number of these stories, but I generally learn something new from each story, particularly if the story hasn't been overly "massaged" to escape ridicule.

I appreciate the sailor's candor, and hope the peanut gallery will ease up on the armchair advice in favor of a bit of sympathy for his plight. Although some of the commentary is legitimately "how do do things better next time", some of the comments appear to be simple trolling, which says more about the author of the post.

And it really does come down to "If you've got nothing positive to say, better to say nothing at all."
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Old 31-07-2013, 08:57   #75
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Re: Regret to Inform Have Lost my Boat off Honduras...

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WE OUGHT TO CUT THIS OUT. This man will never be able to explain things to everyone's satisfaction. if someone here feels there's a lesson to be learned maybe they should just keep it to themselves. this isn't some stranger. It's a real person with a terrible loss.
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And it is why I WOULD have a good SSB, an EPIRB, and rent a life raft AS WELL AS plenty of spares, tools, and alternative systems. But I only know of some of those things we should have because of a HANDFUL of good sailors who had the patience to tolerate the presence of a newer sailor.
I am not sure how it is possible to have it both ways?..........Either folks simply say sorry for the loss and / or Yeehah! well done!.......or they point out suggestions (as you have above) for avoiding a repeat (by both the person concerned and equally importantly for others, like you and me).

We have no control over how an OP reacts to suggestions to avoid a repeat of a story such as this, some will take anything as criticism (and clearly others are willing to do so on his behalf ) - but my starting point is that if someone offers up a story to the internet (including CF) that is obviously going to involve second guessing and even criticism that they have the wit to have understood that at the getgo and are willing to suffer a few barbs with the goal of helping others also learn - and self......nonetheless all within the play nice rule and not forgetting that someone losing a boat is gonna be suffering (especially if also kicking self)...

.......I have read all this thread and apart from the initial Don chain yanking which has now been deleted (perhaps a bit early, perhaps ) I honestly don't see anything that OP should be upset about . Some things written may well be irrelevant or nonsense, but they seem to be meant well - and even if not, it's only the internet .
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