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Old 03-09-2005, 09:30   #1
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Presumed Lost at Sea

Back in June, we had some nasty weather cover the country. Several Yachts on their way up to the Isalnds were caught out. A few that had weather fax and were still close enough to land, made it back before it hit. Several of the ones that were too far out had to be rescued. But it seems that sadly, one has been lost. Gary Cull and Verona Hunt left Nelson NZ on June 8th, sailing a 12m Trimaran built by Gary in Australia. The last contact with the couple was June 9th, when they sent a text message to a Nelson friend. They intended to sail 500-600Nm out to the East of NZ and then turn North towards the warmer temperatures. Unfortunetly, they had no clear course and had variouse possible routes.
The Trimaran "Manoah" had an SSB reciever, (not Transmiter) and a tested EPIRB. Unfortuanely, the yacht did not have to obtain the Cat 1 safety requirements, as she was an Australian registered vessel. As of August 1st, the law has changed in NZ and all liesure vessels must come up to a Cat1 standard before being allowed to leave NZ.
After an extensive search of 371,000square Kms of ocean, no one has found a trace of them, nor any EPIRB signal and they are presumed missing at sea. Sadly, Verona has two young daughters waiting for her back in Nelson.
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Old 04-09-2005, 01:22   #2
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Truly sad, and I feel for her kids.
Just another reminder that the life we choose is not without risk.
As tight as the cruising community is, we all feel it when a vessel goes missing.
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Old 04-09-2005, 05:53   #3
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Homemade trimaran? I wonder about the build. I get an image of this thing breaking up at sea.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:08   #4
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Yeah I have to say, it's a bit of a strange looking thing. It's ketch rigged for starters and the pontoons don't look all that more than large kayaks supported to the main hull via aircraft grade runners. The main hull was supposedly well engineered and is supposed to be able to stay afloat even if ruptured.
Gary has been described as a "clever guy" by a close freind. They have no liferaft, as Gary considered it surplus to requirements.
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Old 04-09-2005, 18:27   #5
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Swans sink too. I would not condemn the design, considering the circumstances.
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Old 04-09-2005, 20:40   #6
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Oh no, certainly not condeming the design. That would be very wrong of me, seeing as I have no design experiance myself for a starter.
Plus I would like to add, if it still possible, maybe remotely, but still possible they are still afloat and alive out there somewhere. They do have a watermaker. 371,000sqKm's is not a big area when viewed in the bigger scheme of things. The big problem is, just where the heck DO you look. They could be adrift anywhere and much of the southern waters down here have very little shipping lanes. We have currents and weather patterns running North (towards the equator for our friends on the top of the world) If they did drift North to warmer waters, they have a bigger chance of being found. If not, they either hit a Pacific Island like Tahiti or bang into South America eventually.
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:56   #7
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Here's a vote for accidental landfalls.
And I know you weren't Wheels. It just seems anytime you hear of something like this, that is one of the first things people critique.
It is so easy to forget, that only 800 years ago the Europeans considered a sailing monohull an experimental craft.
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:59   #8
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Any chance it was a Wharram design?
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Old 09-09-2005, 01:49   #9
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Ummm, that name sounds familiar. I can't check though, as I have left the Mag with the story in, out on my boat. I will look tomorrow. However, why did you suggest this name? Is it a bad idea of a desging or something???
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Old 09-09-2005, 02:31   #10
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Wharram designs are loosely based on polynesian vessels. As far as I know there has never been a trimaran.

The query is probably because most of them are home built out of ply, with wooden cross beams held to each hull by rope. Notwithstanding this, the designs are very seaworthy, unless standard recautons against rot have not been taken.

They are also a cheap way into ocean crossing, however, the design does not lend itself to upwind travel!
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Old 09-09-2005, 14:59   #11
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What you describe is certainly what it looks like. However, The Article did not mention a name, apart from the guy building it. It had been metioned many times in the article that the boat was home built and variouse aspects were unusual in it's design. One main concern were the outriggers. Apparently they acted more like wave piercers. The comment from yachtsman interviewed, "What I didn't like was the fact they projected a bit of fore and aft pressure if they hit a wave and that left too much reliance on the cross-wires then".
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Old 16-11-2005, 23:57   #12
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Nah James Warram doesn't do tri's.. and there very few professionally built tris anywhere.. I read an account of a tri that took a similar course with similar result in late eighties... they (skipper and 3 male crew) drove her in and drifted with current for over 100 days and wound up in the bay of Islands.. to the astonishment of all.. they carved a huge oval.

I wonder if this crafts water maker was electric only or had a manual option.

They could still be out there... one hopes.
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Old 14-02-2006, 12:53   #13
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good blow on Minerva

That was one hell of a blow that sprang up -- even ol' Bob from MetService didn't see it 'til too late.

We met the crew of SY Music who came through the 80-90kts in Minerva reef. The skipper lost a finger in his battle to save the crew and yacht. It was a shame since it was their first real cruise with the boat and ended up having her delivered back to NZ from Vuda Pt a couple months back.

The most weather I've seen in 10k miles is 54 knots at anchor while in the relatively protected harbor of Pago Pago in my wildest nightmares I can't imagine what conditions are like in that much wind at sea (or for the six hours a day at Minerva when the sea comes over the reef).
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Old 27-02-2006, 11:31   #14
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One of the previous posts described the amas as wave piercers. This idea was tried at one time and although it may have certain applications it would be disasterous in a cruising boat when combined with a low displacement ama design as it seems these were. The early trimarans had something near 100% displacement amas, more modern designs might be in the 150% range and racing boats approaching 200% or more. What works and what does not was figured out long ago and to ignore that is courting disaster. These boats are a very complex balance of beam, lenght, center of bouyancy, sail area, hull shape, strenght to weight ratios, and many other factors. I have seen boats designed by uninformed amatures and most make me recoil in horror.
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