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Old 14-11-2013, 20:27   #16
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

I have witnessed and assisted vessels that get a sheet over the side and wound in the prop. There is no up side to that. It tends to make me think one of those spur devices on the shaft might be able to help in that situation. There has been a lot of back an forth here regarding these fixtures, but in this instance it could have been useful.
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Old 14-11-2013, 20:43   #17
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

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I have witnessed and assisted vessels that get a sheet over the side and wound in the prop. There is no up side to that. It tends to make me think one of those spur devices on the shaft might be able to help in that situation. There has been a lot of back an forth here regarding these fixtures, but in this instance it could have been useful.
Our last boat had one, after the 8 millionth time we had to cut a 1/4" polypropylene line from the wheel I figured out they were more marketing than valuable, so I traded our old one for a sharper knife the next time we hauled out. With good line I think they are even less effective.
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Old 14-11-2013, 20:47   #18
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

Okay, well they do make several different types of units, are they all that ineffective?
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Old 14-11-2013, 21:00   #19
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

I would have opted for better crew. I once had a crew that couldn't even steer by compass, only by line of sight. Imagine that in an open sea. What a pain that was, especially at night. Next crew will have to pass a test!

Sometimes it's just better to single-hand sail.
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Old 14-11-2013, 22:39   #20
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

Now that's the kind of story that makes a cold beer taste really good, afterwards. If we ever meet, I owe you at least one. Thanks!
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Old 15-11-2013, 00:16   #21
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

I have appreciated all the replies, some with condolences, some with tips, some praise for getting through, and some recalling their own similar experience. As for Roy M, I'll share a beer with you anyday.
Without making too much out of what many might consider a modest mishap (as they go) I have several more thoughts.
In the midst of it all, the most important thing was for me to pause, take a moment, breathe deeply and to think calmly, simply considering what options did exist and what the priorities were. You sometimes feel helpless, but there are nearly always options. You just need to identify them and pick the right one and the right sequence.
Also, I'm a relatively fit and strong 55 year old, but the effort involved, initially struggling with the sail and particularly when in the rough water freeing the rudder and prop left me quite exhausted. Keeping fit and robust as I age must be a priority if I keep going to sea.
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Old 15-11-2013, 00:23   #22
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

Been there, done that (sigh). We managed to save the gennaker though. Extremely valuable lesson and one we learned from - amongst other things "Do not start the engine"

That's for the story - we have probably all tried some variation of it - and learned from it
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Old 15-11-2013, 02:45   #23
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

Thanks for sharing your misfortune so that we may all learn from it!

Agree about being fit and robust - it will get you out of all sorts of problems.
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Old 15-11-2013, 13:33   #24
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

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Also, I'm a relatively fit and strong 55 year old, but the effort involved, initially struggling with the sail and particularly when in the rough water freeing the rudder and prop left me quite exhausted. Keeping fit and robust as I age must be a priority if I keep going to sea.

Or you might consider a boat like ours, where a rope fouling the prop and rudder can be removed without even getting wet.
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Old 15-11-2013, 15:53   #25
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Or you might consider a boat like ours, where a rope fouling the prop and rudder can be removed without even getting wet.
Sounds great! How so?


(or a boat like mine where the rudder is unfoulable and the prop is nearly so.
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Old 15-11-2013, 16:09   #26
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

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Sounds great! How so?

Outboard motors, and kick-up rudders.
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Old 15-11-2013, 19:06   #27
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Didn't realize your great cat had OBs. What size? Do you have genset also, or other way to charge batteries?
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Old 15-11-2013, 21:03   #28
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

We have 600 Watts of solar, and carry a Honda for the times the sun doesn't shine. The outboards do also provide some charging, although not a lot.
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Old 15-11-2013, 21:13   #29
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

Not to criticize the OP, as most of us have done something similar and perhaps gotten off lighter. It was a good honest description.

But it should be a reminder to us NEVER to forget the things we learned as dingy and beach cat sailors: Pay attention to the wind and never forget to sail the boat (steer) while dealing with problems. A beach cat or even a performance cat would have capsized several times during this exercise.

Failure to sail the boat while dealing with a problem is epidemic with inexperienced crew. Maintaining a heading is basic, perhaps the most important thing, and often to be forgotten.

Good story. Needless to say I've had guest helmsmen make the same mistake in milder conditions. Now I ALWAYS reinforce before turning over he helm to HOLD COURSE and to tell me if there is a problem. They often simply underestimate the seriousness, not understanding the forces.
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Old 15-11-2013, 21:22   #30
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

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A beach cat or even a performance cat would have capsized several times during this exercise.
LOL!!!
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