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Old 14-09-2013, 14:17   #16
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Re: Demasting of an Atlantic 43.

Actually, guys, I looked at the pictures again, and it looks as if they did salvage the boom and the mast, and most likely got the sails aboard after they got in the marina. Good on em!

And no reason to impugn them for wastefully getting rid of all of it.
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Old 15-09-2013, 08:27   #17
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Re: Demasting of an Atlantic 43.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
"Apparently the mast was of little value to these people and there is no penalty where they live for tossing it overboard (or else their insurance pays the entailed costs)."

I'm sorry, but it is not apparent to me.

In the examples you gave, I'm really impressed! I wonder how the singlehander managed the feat all alone. Where did the event take place? Water temperature? What kind of boat? GRP? HOW did he do it? And the same questions apply for the couple. Also, what length were the masts involved?

(...)
The single-hander was a couple of days off Martinique when he noticed a rigging failure, he dropped the main and hoisted a small inner jib and let the boat sit beam-on; he started up the mast to attach a new line when the boat tacked and the mast decided to go overboard - together with the skipper. He was able to climb back aboard though. The mast was deck stepped and was OK (neither broken nor apparently bent) and as it fell its base came off from the step and ended up to the windward with the whole mast sitting roughly over the boat and its top in the water. That guy winched the mast back onboard and set up jury rig with the spinnaker pole and a jib. He sailed on to Martinique. The falling rig did some damage and this guy spent over one year there sorting things out. He sailed on but I know that he used another mast in the end.

The couple were sailing from Reunion towards Richards Bay and were well offshore still beyond the Agullhas when disaster struck. They retrieved the mast and started powering towards the landfall but they run low on fuel and asked support from a passing ship. They got some fuel and made the mistake of adding it to the tank. It turned out it was heavy grade and the engine stopped. They cleaned the engine and got it started again and with jury rig and very small amount of clean fuel left they made it across Agullhas, across the shipping lanes, to Richards Bay. They fixed the spar in Richards Bay with some help from local and international sailors and they continued round the Cape to the West Indies and then onwards to Europe.

Both boats were GRP, older boats, alloy spars. The single hander was about 35' the couple were about 30'.

It is all in the mindset. Different people, different situations, different decisions.

I can only add that in Mangareva we met a Norwegian (Maxi type, GRP, alloy stick, about 30-32') boat that lost her stick not once but twice, and the couple retrieved twice. How they did it? I can only imagine they attached lines round the mast and winched hard.

On the other hand, as you can read in my earlier post, such re-dismasting is more common - showing either a hardware/design issue (or a mindset/design?) issue.

b.
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Old 15-09-2013, 09:11   #18
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Re: Demasting of an Atlantic 43.

Hi, Barnakiel,

I guess we're the only ones interested in this. And thanks for the "thanks" msg.

I guess my focus mostly comes from having been dismasted, where the skipper did decide to let everything go. We were about 65 n. mi. from land. It was past dark, and with heavy overcast, but the water was warm enough for immersion not to be life threatening. There was not a large sea running, only about 10 ft. or so, and diminishing. The dismasting was the third in a series of fairly major events: a knockdown that resulted in windvane breakage, and dodger damage. It actually took place when we were hove to waiting for the wind to abate before sailing in for some marina time and repairs.

The mast went over the side to leeward, double-reefed mainsail and staysail set. The furler with the headsail was all bent over the now-bent bow pulpit. And the spinnaker pole was mounted up the mast, so it was in the water, too. The boom was supported by the now-crushed down port side lifelines, and the mast, which had broken off about 8 inches above the deck, was lying vertically, bearing against the hull. It was about 49 ft. long at that point. It did take three men to carry it on land. I was not strong enough to be able to carry my end of it with just two of us. We got rid of it by pulliing the clevis pins, then cut the mainsheet and stays'l sheet. It was sunk in very deep water. There was no question of insurance. Both of us were functional. The decision was made on the basis of having an intact hull that we perceived as being endangered by the mast sawing on it, and the perceived impossibility of recovery. Access to halyards was under water, as were gooseneck, sail slide stopper, etc. I honestly don't know if recovery of it would have even been possible had we waited for daylight, if it didn't hole us in the meantime. Saving it would have saved a heck of a lot of $$.

I can see how if the mast lands across the boat, one might be able to winch it around, and good on all those guys who managed to salvage their masts. But, I really don't see how we could have done it in our situation, there sure were a lot of impedimenta.
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Old 15-09-2013, 09:56   #19
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Re: Demasting of an Atlantic 43.

I am under the impression that as the mast gets bigger/longer, the task becomes next to impossible in but the slightest conditions. Our mast is only some 30' long and I am not sure if we could retrieve it. I would definitely try, but I am ready to do whatever I might find the situation dictates. (No need for hacksaws - ring pins here).

Our own choice was for a mast with twin lowers placed below the spreader sockets and for internal halyards - hoping somehow that, should an accident happen, we may rather lose the top 50% of the stick and that the falling parts would do less damage than when the parts are free to pop apart and then bounce around.

We had a very bad knock-down (135 or thereabout) on the slope of a breaking wave and, surprisingly, the mast was "OK". We lost the spreader on the side where the mast hit the water and then the wave pushed us along for a while. I say 'surprisingly' as we had damage on our lowers backing plates prior to the knock-down and even so the mast stayed up. Apparently the failure mode of some technical solutions plays a part.

We have replaced our no-name backstays (hes, we have twins) last week along with their turnbuckles (Stalok bronze now). This week replaced our fore lowers ... I hope to have it all new before our next adventure. "How old is too old?" I do not really care as I think brand new, quality, and thoroughly checked makes the odds of being a subject of a CF thread lower ;-)

Bueno. So glad we can swap our experiences and know-how here. There is no end to learning. Life is good.

All the best, sail safe,
b.
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