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Old 01-03-2014, 20:19   #106
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Re: Bad Bad Day

As it happens, we've crossed all the NSW bars that will accept a vessel of our draft except Ballina. So we've been in to Narooma, following the instructions in Alan Lucas' Cruising the New South Wales Coast.

We have also taken a look at the break at Camden Haven and continued on south to Port Stevens rather than wait for 2-3 hrs, slopping around waiting for it to calm itself. There's quite a bit of impounded water back there, and it can take quite a while for the outflow to slow, and that outflow really peaks up the seas.

So, guys, when you're planning your coastal escapades, I suggest you consider the volume of water in back (on the landward side) of the bar, 'cause high water slack doesn't tell you everything you need to know. In areas of wide tidal range, you'll have to try to figure out if there'll be enough depth for you if the water level is descending,

Willen, waves can toss a boat around like a cork in a bathtub when kids are kicking up the water. In the video of the catamaran coming in at Gold Coast Seaway, if he'd buried a hull, his boat would have pitchpoled, and been dismasted, most likely. We know someone that happened to on Wide Bay Bar, further north in Qld.

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Old 01-03-2014, 20:31   #107
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by wellin View Post
Well hopfully you could clip your harness to the chair and maybe give me some explanation as to why it [my plan] wouldnt work.
When you try your bass-ackwards sailing experiment, please be sure nobody else is onboard your vessel at the time.... It'll be much easier for the recovery team.
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Old 01-03-2014, 20:58   #108
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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'Guess I'll need to look over my shoulder next time for the BIG ONE.
My only criticiSm.
I was hollering at the screen, "LOOK BEHIND YOU DUMMY !! STEER DOWN !!
They might have made it without the knockdown.

On a previous thread, a catamaran did just that.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:30   #109
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by ausaviator View Post
These guys handled it a little better

The one I mentioned, but didn't link.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:53   #110
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Re: Bad Bad Day

I don't think there is any comparison between the original incident and that catamaran.... the Bavaria was engulfed and overwhelmed.

The helmsman should have looked over his shoulder? How can you steer a boat while looking over your shoulder????
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:30   #111
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Re: Bad Bad Day

[QUOTE=Nicholson58;1480770]
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Originally Posted by wellin View Post



You should do this experiment in good flat weather. Back into your basin all the way to your slip. Sailboats rarely back well and have terrible control. If the boat has a folding prop, there will be very little help from the engine.
I actually do this on a skinny old IOR 33 footer with an Atomic 4 engine and a two-bladed Gori folder once or twice a season. If I'm visiting some tight YC or marina, it can make more sense to back out and reverse all the way out. I have a tiller and so it's very easy to sense any deviation from "dead astern". In fact, to overcome the slight prop walk, I have to counter steer a touch, although usually I just slip in and out of neutral to keep my speed around 2 knots astern. Anything else causes the locals to spill their drinks.

We also do MOB and "sail into the slip" drills each spring. I should refamiliarize myself with sailing onto a mooring as I haven't done it for a few years.

It's only seamanlike prudence to muck about with these sort of less-often-used maneuvers. I've sailed over rope and plastic bags, etc. and had to get on a wall or out of danger in a hurry enough times that having a well-practised "Plan B" is (nearly) second nature.

I have to admit that it was a series of "new boater screwups" that persuaded me to drill these sort of things in the first place.

Bad days can happen any day. The more you practise useful responses to them, the fewer days they seem to happen. Dunno why that is!
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:35   #112
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Just to clarify, the apparent quote source in N58's post is misleading.

He gives good advice, I reckon, Andy.

Many modern boats are very controllable while backing (deep spade rudders in combination with saildrives tend to offer this characteristic) - in some cases, it's a better bet to thread your way through a marina backwards than forwards, because you can "hover" on one spot indefinitely stern-to the breeze, especially in a sloop, if another boat is blocking your manoeuvre.

It's much easier, too, when chatting to people on an anchored boat, to back your transom up (from leeward) within talking distance of their cockpit. You can then let the boat weathercock the bum into the wind, and all you have to do is snick it into reverse, at idle, for brief periods whenever the distance become uncomfortable for talking.

The alternative, in any sort of breeze, is either to raft up, or stand off and shout, or jiggle about, perpetually vigilant to avoid the bow falling off on the wrong tack and (if they know what's good for them) causing the people you are visiting to leap to their gunwhale and prepare to fend.
I am generous with our fenders, and our 12 year old is usually on the bow with the longest bow hook. If we are being blown off the dock, and I can't walk the boat astern before we would prang the boat in the adjacent slip. I simply ease a midship dock line until we are fenders-to-fenders, and then walk us back using the other boat (informing the owners if they are present what we are up to and why).

If even that is dangerous, I have been known (once) to have warped off the dock, but that can be tricky itself.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:36   #113
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Yeah! Drill, baby, Drill!
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Old 02-03-2014, 13:08   #114
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
2/28 evening PST.
I DIDN'T read forward in the thread.
I watched about 30 seconds.
Imho, if the genoa was rolled out, and trimmed for the waves, they would have made it.

I'll now read forward to see the outcome which doesn't look good.


Sails would have contributed nothing , this is power boat territory

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Old 03-03-2014, 06:30   #115
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Once this sailor made the commitment to enter this channel there wasn't anything different that he could of done to prevent the knock down. By the way the wave was breaking in front of him he needed to make a turn to starboard or stay on that side on the channel. If he did try and ride the wave i believe he would put the boat and crew on the rocks making this a much more dangerous situation. That second and third wave would of seriously injured or killed someone. Overall, the ocean is a dangerous place and bad things happen. The captain made a mistake that they learned from and assume won't make again.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:16   #116
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Yeah! Drill, baby, Drill!
Are you implying that if you improve enough, you'll be blown offshore?
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Old 03-03-2014, 19:57   #117
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Re: Bad Bad Day

I have only props for the powerboat operator. He used the advantages he had and used situational awareness to pull those people out of the water. I don't think I would have deployed a line either in his situation, wouldn't want to foul the prop, he was dodging waves and using a conservative approach to achieve the goal in mind, all the while watching the surf. All the people in the water had life preservers, they were good for the time being. Often trying to rush a situation just makes it worse. He judged the conditions correctly and avoided making it worse.
Picking and choosing his attempts, often patience and a cool, logical approach wins out. One of the best sailing pieces of advice I ever received was that if you don't know what to do, do nothing, stop, take a deep breath and think it through, you usually come up with a better line of action. This has helped me through two knockdowns with no damage or loss of crew, it isn't the first time I had to tell everyone on the boat to shut the f#*k up and listen, panic is contageous, I've seen too many people make situations worse by taking action before thinking. Running situations, no matter how far fetched, through your mind beforehand and thinking through the possible solutions can often aid in an emergency situation, actually practicing some of those actions can reinforce that; thinking about it for the first time when it happens doesn't usually work out well.
I still don't know why they had crew on the foredeck and cabin house in those conditions.
Give credit where credit is due, the power boat operator did a good job of pulling them out of a bad situation, I've had both sailing and powerboat experience and know what he did was not easy. Good thing someone had a cool calm demeanor.
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Old 03-03-2014, 20:15   #118
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Re: Bad Bad Day

I watched the video. Overall nothing too wrong. Mostly just bad luck. Really the problem was going out in those conditions in that boat. Swell was running. The skipper clearly knew the harbor and entrance but got clobbered. The rescue was fine.

Experience --what you get after you need it........
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Old 03-03-2014, 20:21   #119
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Yes, I've thought about the powerboat's actions, too.

Given that we now know that the people in the water were not panicking (which is backed up in the clip by their calm body language when paddling), and not being swept into danger, I think it would have been very imprudent to use a line, from such a small boat (where you couldn't get the line far from the prop).

The moment they had to take action to negotiate with a breaking crest, they would have been at imminent risk of dragging (at best) the line towards the prop, and (at worst) the live meat hanging onto the line towards the prop. It doesn't bear thinking about.

A boat is tossed hither and yon in a breaking crest; discretionary boat-placement is an aspirational goal, at best.

Apart from flipping the rescue boat and compounding the situation dramatically -- given it was presumably the best boat available on short notice, seeing no others had arrived -- I think the gravest risk was from the prop.

A jet boat, even if no bigger, and not a proper rescue boat, would have been so much safer.

But you do what you can with what you have, and I personally cannot fault anything I saw on that entire clip, without having quizzed some experienced waterman, familiar with the limitations of keel yachts running bars under auxiliary power, and intimately acquainted with the locality (including San Salvador) in all swell directions and sizes.

I was a child last time I was on that coast, in the era of steam locomotives and cave paintings.
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