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Old 15-02-2007, 06:07   #1
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Post Sad news about the Flying Pig - The Redux

Although the aforementioned thread contained much interesting and useful information and opinion, it did not entirely conform to CruisersForum standards of conduct.

We (CF Mod/Admin team) have discussed at length and believe the situation, and issues surrounding it, deserve a full hearing. Accordingly, we invite everyone to participate in the reinstated thread.

Here's the original post that got it all started.
Originally posted by bottleinamessage:

"Skip & Lydia were blown off course near Marathon and their boat, Flying Pig" ran aground on a reef. The coast guard air lifted them off and the red crossed put them up for 3 days. The boat was pulled off yesterday ($30K) and towed to Keys Boatworks in Mararthon. Insurance will pay $7K of the $30.

These people need help. Anyone wishing to help may send $$ to:
Skip Gundlach
c/o Keys Boatworks
700 39th St.
Gulf Marathon, FL 33050

Trust me, they are too proud to ask. I'd never met them, just followed their preparation progress online. I took them to dinner Thurs. nite.

They really need $$ help. Hope many can do a little.

Thanks, Jay"

More info on "The Flying Pig" ~ Skip & Lydia Gundlach:
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Morgan 461 #2 Disaster link: Morgan 461 Flying Pig
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TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig

Originally Posted by GordMay
Play nice.

Nota: The original thread remains in our quarantine file. If there was something specific that you remember having been posted and would like a copy, send me a personal message (knottybuoyz) and I'll retrieve it for you. Disclaimer: we tried to edit the original thread to remove some of the contentious posts but it left the thread somewhat disjointed and unintelligable so there may be some content that was lost.


Yours Aye! Rick
"It's not the boat "you built" until you've sworn at it, bled on it, sweated over it, cried beside it and then threatened to haul the POS outside and burn it!"
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Old 15-02-2007, 07:20   #2
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I see this as a genuine request from someone who feels for the predicament he finds fellow sailors to be in. I feel it is totally appropriate to make this request in this forum. As with any solicitation, it is up to me to make my own mind up as to whether or not I should respond.

My own guidelines to which I hold myself about all charitable responses is that I do not share how I respond with the public. That means I would not have mentioned that I took them out to dinner as I feel this is bordering on coercion or self promotion. It's a fine line and therefore I don't take any issue with this request.

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Old 15-02-2007, 07:58   #3
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Knowing 'bottleinamessage' personally I know the original post was done to make people aware of a fellow sailor in need with the best of intentions.

As 'ess105' says what you do or don't is your choice and no justification required.

In that spirit - Skip of Flying Pig is trying to get some quick repairs done and the boat back to his original marina so he can control costs to a more reasonable level while making repairs.

If anyone is down in the Keys and can offer physical assistance he is asking for help. The full text of that request can be found here on the SSCA board.
SSCA Discussion Board :: View topic - A Call To Arms (or, getting the heck out of Dodge, revisited
S/Y Sirius
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Old 15-02-2007, 09:13   #4
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Bumfuzzles II

Accordingly, we invite everyone to participate in the reinstated thread.
I don't see this thread going well.......but am ever the optimist

Just been reading a thread on SSCA where they are talking about patching the boat up and floating her somewhere cheaper.


The comments suggesting running aground is "normal" for cruisers are disturbing, in addition to those about being "blown off course" and sailing into uncharted waters..........begs the question to me as to whether being asleep in these circumstances was (is??) also considered "normal".

On a related point, although perhaps harsh, should anyone actually be encouraging / assisting them to go back to sea? let alone in a boat that is not 100%?

At the very least maybe they should be encouraged to sign up for some training or encouraged to get some seatime in under supervision? Although it is not illegal for anyone to set sail in anything to anywhere from the UK (and I would not want it to be) their have been a few high profile cases over the years that involved the rescue services going out for certain people almost as often as these folk left port - I dunno what the situation is in the US?

Has also raised in me a question I have asked myself before, when dealing with folk on the internet with dreams of boats and sailing off into the WBY, do I assume a bit too much common sense by expecting folk to realise that they need to learn themselves in practice? rather than just getting trained by reading 2nd (or 3rd) hand accounts on the Internet.......and that they realise that the sun does not always shine on a blue sky and need to be prepared for this??...............I ask this cos' I do try and be broadly encouraging of folk with dreams - and if I included caveats about everything I would be writing a book..........

But good to see that they have got their Donations Website up and running........
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Old 15-02-2007, 13:20   #5
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I originally posted a reply to this thread, and would like to repeat it again. On the day in question, the winds were 5 to 10 and the seas 2' to 4'. Pretty much perfect conditions for a nice sail in my book ... uh ... conditions for being "blown off course ...."
I had the last boat insured for $70K, and know only too well what that cost, if these kind folks had their boat insured for twice that much ... well? They're pockets are one Helluva lot deeper than mine!
Put the two items together and I smell something very fishy here. I will go a loooong way to help my fellow cruiser, and I'm within walking distance of where the Flying Pig now sits .... but they will not be seeing a penny of my money!
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Old 15-02-2007, 13:47   #6
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Just curious about the winds that night? Personally, I don't care if you choose to donate or not. To each his own. Have you stopped by ( you're obviously close) to look at the boat or, better yet, speak to them?
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Old 15-02-2007, 14:28   #7
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Structural Issues...

I had a look at the photos and the boat was very nicely presented. Very nice indeed.
I make the following comments from the point of view of a concerned potential cruiser, not as an expert of any kind.
My interest was caught by the description of the damage, which mainly seems to be caused by bulkheads coming away from the hull, the tabbing having given way.
One of the pre accident photos seemed to show a fair few patches of existing hull damage below the waterline.
Now Morgan 461 hull #2 must be getting pretty old with the issues attendant in an old fibreglass boat.
Hugo du Plessis in his book "Fibreglass Boats" lists physical failure, destructive influences, fatigue, factors of safety, effects of heat, and fire as considerations in the understanding of how fibreglass can fail.
Dave Gerr in his book "Boat Strength for Builders, Designers and Owners" states at the beginning of chapter 5:
The hull shell we specified in chapter 4 is only part of the picture. The shell requires internal structure for adequate strength. The principal components of this internal structure are engine beds, longitudinal stringers, bulkheads and/or ring frames, and floors."
My thoughts went to how I would repair a hull with such possible sustantial damage.
My opinion (as a concerned cruiser and amateur boatbuilder/restorer) on a serious repair/renovation of an old boat that has been in the water for a long time and has suffered structural damage is that substantial stringers could run the full length of the hull (if sound ones do not already exist), consideration should be given to beefing up the entire interior with additional layers of vinylester fibreglass and tabbing the bulkheads to the stringers.
Engine beds and floors (the structural member, not the cabin sole) might need to be carefully inspected and beefed up as necessary.
The outside fibreglass could be stripped right back, faired and then new vinylester resin/glass and gel coat applied.
Essentially I imagine considering the exististing below the waterline fibreglass as core material with new fibreglass either side together with beefed up internal structure to give the boat strength.
Would other forum members consider this necessary?
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Old 15-02-2007, 15:41   #8
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I didn't roll up my screacher soon enough. The seas were flat and I was having too much fun. I exceeded the max apparent wind speed and blew out the leech. Anybody want to send me some money for a new sail?

I didn't think so.
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Old 15-02-2007, 15:46   #9
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Old 15-02-2007, 16:33   #10
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There seems to be discrepancies between what the weather and winds were that night - has anyone consulted the records? If the seas and wind were manageable, it begs the question as to why there was no proper watch at the time the vessel foundered. She states that exhaustion was the cause however, would any of us experienced sailors put out on a run that would wind up exhausting us even in calm weather?

Obviuosly I wasn't there and cannot speak to the immediate conditions at the time of the grounding, however, I strongly believe that there are enough questions in the experience level, planning, judgement and execution of this voyage that this couple should not embark on an extended voyage until they build up their experience levels by daysailing and short runs along the coast. Whatever other formal training in navigation and seamanship is required as well.

I feel for their plight and we have all made errors in judgement - theirs luckily did not result in any casualties but in an expensive towing charge and fine and now expensive repairs.

I wish them well and implore them to get the skills they need before voyaging again and as for as a donation, I'm sorry but as stated in my original post, I have endured financial hardship by having to sell boats and houses and considering the problems they had, it may be a good thing to take some time repairing the boat while they build their skills and go back to land based life for a bit to pay for the fines and repairs and build up the kitty again.
Randy Benoit
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Old 15-02-2007, 16:33   #11
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Having not read the original melee, I am just looking at todays posts and the beginning of their updates to their adventure. I have to agree with David, they seemed to be way over their head and ill prepared for this adventure.

1. The point that if this would have happened out in deeper water they would have sunk. If they were on a course in deeper water they would not be on a reef!

2. Even if it was 8' seas and 20kts of wind, instead of 50/10 Kts and 2' seas, for someone setting off on this adventure they should have certainly been prepared for this much weather at a minimum.

3. They were on the boat for 4 hours before the CG took them off and did not take anything with them? No money, no clothes? Did they have a ditch bag ready, or not have anything to put in the bag in the first place?

4. In her first note she was obviously very happy to be off on this adventure after 8 years of preperation. She mentioned that they had slipped all lines instead of others who kept attached to shore as well. As sad as their plight is, it certainly sounds as if their preparation was not enough.

Admittedly, I have not read all the background. Based on the little I do know, I feel badly for them, would take them to dinner to hear their story, but don't think I need to contribute to fixing their dream.
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Old 15-02-2007, 19:54   #12
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Senormechanico wrote "Anybody want to send me some money for a new sail?"

Well, if you have a compelling story, perhaps some people will want to. As long as you are open and honest about it, there's nothing wrong with that.

Example: Bruce Schwab put together a campaign to race around the world in the 2004/2005 Vendee Globe. He actively solicited contributions for this and many people sent money, donated equipment, and provided free labor. He was hardly in distress, but was doing something that apparently provided inspiration for many.

Some here have contributed their time and effort to help Skip and Lydia get Flying Pig ready to sail, and now to repair her. I've not seen criticism of those contributing time and energy, nor have I seen criticism of Skip and Lydia for accepting this help. Is one person's time any less precious than another person's money?

I have helped friends and sailors with equipment, labor, advice, and occasionally money. Some of these people were in desparate straits, and others were doing fine. I have also gratefully received help from others, and I certainly have nothing significant to complain about in my life. I harm no one when I help someone else, regardless of their circumstances.

For the record, I have not donated time or money to Flying Pig, but it makes me glad that there are people who have done so. If Skip was making false claims about their situation, then public criticism would be deserved. From what I've seen, he has been honest to a fault about all this. Criticism of their sailing skills and this blunder is another thing altogether -- in my opinion that topic is fair game, although I am sure that they would appreciate a little tact.

So, make me care about your blown-out sail -- you never know what might happen. While we're at it, let me tell you about my shredded spinnaker. Now that was traumatic!
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 15-02-2007, 20:02   #13
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Ooh ooh, and what about when I hit the reef in New Caledonia.

Send $$$$ urgently.

Need Beer to dull the nerve's

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Old 15-02-2007, 20:08   #14
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How bout the fact I need a new mast :-) At NZ$10K, I can't even dream to afford a new one, so I am just waiting for it to come crashing down around my ears and hope like heck it doesn't do damage elsewhere when it does.
So you see, were does it end?? We all need something that is outside our normal "wear and tear" list I am sure. So how do you decide who gets what when and why? So I really think it comes down to each own. If you feel your self lead to help Skip, then great, if you don't, I don't think anyone should be made to feel guilty of it.

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Old 15-02-2007, 20:13   #15
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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
I don't think anyone should be made to feel guilty of it.
Could'nt agree more,


"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
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