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Old 12-02-2015, 07:17   #346
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Single-masted ketch

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Originally Posted by Poozer View Post
If we follow the theory that it was a crew decision error, then perhaps some lessons learned and best practices can be determined.

These are conditions where a monohull would likely experience a knockdown, and such conditions are not uncommon when crossing the world's oceans. So in these conditions what should they have done?

a) Dropped the mainsail and continue on staysail or storm jib?
b) Dropped all sails and use some engine to keep the boat as much on course as possible?
c) Drop the sails and run under bare poles?
d) ???
I would have rolled up my mizzen (likely it would have already been doused), rolled up my genoa, and continued on under mainstaysail

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Old 12-02-2015, 07:19   #347
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I'm curious to understand your reasoning. Series drogues are active steering devices with the boat moving downwind at reduced speed, so one doesn't really lie to them like a parachute. A mono - particularly a Westsail 32 - is a rollamatic machine down-seas, while a catamaran hardly notices them.

Having a lot of experience with both monos and multis, I would vastly prefer running with a series drogue on a multi than a mono. I would not prefer a parachute on a multi unless one really did need to stop dead in the water.

But with either one, I would suspect the multi to have vastly more comfortable motion than a mono.

Mark
I'm not sure what you mean by an active steering devise because the SD is a passive system not requiring any activity on your part other than launching it, locking the steering and going below and securing yourself.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:22   #348
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Wow. I had also missed no windshield wipers. And deeply tinted glass. With the boat buttoned up to keep the water out, they would have had no way to see the wave sequence. They may have buried the bow into the back of a wave at the moment the gust tried to accelerate the boat. That would have put any mast at risk.

Even hull #3 that's at the Miami Boat Show has no wipers. I assume they'll clean the salt off the lower left of the windshield before the show.
Aside from the potential vulnerability of those acres of glass offshore, there I see at least 2 other possible downsides...

That amount of glass represents the bane of megayacht crews everwhere. Namely, the amount of time spent keeping it looking pristine, to the standards the owner of such a boat is likely to demand... The hired help on that boat is gonna spend half their time on Squeegee Patrol... Every time I've run a motoryacht or sportfisherman with large glass windows, it's amazing how much effort is required at the end of the delivery removing the salt, and bringing all that glass back to pristine...

Also, tinted windshields - on boats where there's no way of looking around or over them - can be a huge downside at night... I have a fair bit of time on a Trintella where the doghouse glass was tinted, and on a dark night, it was astonishing the degree to which that glass compromised visibility, you really needed to stick your head outside to really be able to see...

Yeah, the lack of windshield wipers on that boat is a bit hard to fathom...
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:24   #349
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Parachute Anchor

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Losing the mast was the best that could have happen to them: With a 70 knots wind wall and sails up, if the mast would not have broke they would capsize.

I still don't understand why the Mayday or abandon ship: they cut the mast off, the hull was sound and it seems odd new engines having a problem. Surely they had enough diesel, they were near the coast on a seaworthy boat with a big tankage.
I would NOT go offshore in potential big storms without a parachute anchor. I am a firm believer in them as an ultimate piece of survival gear.,...monohull or multihull.

Parachute Anchors, Para-Anchor, Sea Anchor - Boat Design Forums
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:29   #350
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Personally I would not get too excited about the failure. These boats are a rich boy go fast toys and pecker extenders that were never designed for tough offshore conditions. They like their breathern lightly built mono hulls are just fine for most offshore trade wind sailing but probably not really designed for the ass kicking they got on this trip.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:31   #351
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
With triple reefed main and reduced jib, and running downwind, I really don't think a 70 knot gust would capsize that boat. When you deep reef, the centre of effort gets so low it would take phenomenal force to capsize a boat, especially end over end.

Simple fact is, the rig shouldn't have failed.

I think the earlier poster got it right - that rig didn't have enough stays on it to keep it in column.
Keeping he mast in column is a key point, and sometimes the 'reefed condition' is not properly addressed.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:58   #352
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
.....In addition, and this is just me, having seen what happened with the Alpha 42 last January in the Atlantic--also an untried vessel, I would be extremely leery of being on any maiden voyage of any untried boat into those conditions. Like they say, YMMV To me the prospect is closer to suffering than great adventure.
Ann
I agree with you there Ann.
It's exactly the thing I was MOST concerned with in 2000 when Randy Smyth and Cam Lewis were preparing to race non-stop around the world in the 'RACE'. Their 110' catamaran 'Team Adventure' was one of the last ones to be launched, and only a couple of months before the start of the RACE.

My fear was this was insufficient shake-down time before this major undertaking.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:15   #353
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by an active steering devise because the SD is a passive system not requiring any activity on your part other than launching it, locking the steering and going below and securing yourself.
I meant that the boat is still making way under steerage - typically 3-4kts in strong conditions. Thus the boat is being actively steered.

Granted, the drogue keeps the boat pointed and one doesn't just steer anywhere, but it is not a passive dead stop device.

Many people use them with small sails to simply keep from surfing or going too fast while still making progress toward an off-wind destination by actively steering (well, autopilot usually).

Mark
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:23   #354
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Let's put this in perspective, If you could buy a state of the art gunboat 55 right now at say $5,000 and set sail 200 miles of North Carolina at speeds you never imagined and ran into an unpredictable or non imaginable weather condition lost your rig and engines and lives could be at risk. I would be the first to say come get us, get right back to shore and say we are almost there. Here is $7,000 this time lets do it again with these modifications.
Well, here is what they "ran into... Hardly "unpredictable":





Here's what they were looking at in the days to come... At the relative snail's pace they were traveling, they would not have "sailed around that storm", as per the Gunboat hype...




In addition, until one has sailed in the dead of winter at that latitude, it's often under-appreciated how much "heavier" those winds speeds might be in actuality, due to the density of the much colder air... 35 can be much more like 45, in the North Atlantic in January...

The conditions they encountered were hardly "non-imaginable"... Not off Hatteras, on January 30th, as one of the biggest northeasters of the winter of 2015 was being spawned...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailingcouple13 View Post
Thank goodness we have the risk takers with the resources to push the envelope. Why would anyone want to go to the moon? Insane for sure no water or air.....
Amen to that... ;-)

Why would anyone want to jump out of a helicopter into the North Atlantic in winter, in the course of a mission that so stretched their "resources" that they didn't have enough fuel remaining to make it back to their base in Elizabeth City?

"Insane, for sure..."


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Old 12-02-2015, 08:49   #355
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Boy, you guys sure do go on and on��. Has anybody heard any salvage updates?
What "salvage" effort would that be? Mr Johnstone is busy selling Gunboats in Miami, at the moment... :-)

As best I can tell, there has been no update since a posting on Facebook 8 days ago from a Meagan Jones, who was preparing to join others on a light plane flying out of Dare County Airport - equipped with "high powered binoculars" - to try to locate RAINMAKER...

My guess is if that boat - or pieces of it - is ever seen again, it will be entirely by accident... And, I'd also wager that at this point, the expense involved in locating and retrieving her has likely exceeded her value, at this point... If a merchant ship happens to spot her and offer a precise location, OK, maybe they'd give it a shot...

Otherwise, maybe someone over in Ireland, or Brittany, might hit the lottery next summer... ;-)
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:06   #356
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I meant that the boat is still making way under steerage - typically 3-4kts in strong conditions. Thus the boat is being actively steered.

Granted, the drogue keeps the boat pointed and one doesn't just steer anywhere, but it is not a passive dead stop device.

Many people use them with small sails to simply keep from surfing or going too fast while still making progress toward an off-wind destination by actively steering (well, autopilot usually).

Mark
I don't know how series drogues are used on MH's but on Mono's you don't have to steer, just lock the wheel and the boat moves slowly downwind on its own. That was the whole point of them that they are passive and not active. They are a great option for a cruising couple that might be exposed to stronger winds and larger seas.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:52   #357
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
What, you mean to say you wouldn't trust Gunboat's "Auto Dump" feature?

;-)


Hell, I'll bet on the 55, you can dump the main while lying in a berth below, using an iPhone...

;-)

Too bad the pinger isn't working, sounds like they haven't a clue as to its whereabouts, now...
The tradeoff for performance and complexity is often fragility.

As a pragmatic engineer i'll gladly add some complexity to give me redundancy, comfort or ease of use.

The sailing part I like to keep traditional. My first reaction on seeing these push button boats is what a maintenance nightmare. My second reaction is how do I sail the boat when it fails...

So many mission critical activities cant be reduced to a simple set of parameters that can be controlled by simple sensors and effectors. Sailing is one of them.

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Old 12-02-2015, 10:05   #358
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Re: Parachute Anchor

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Originally Posted by beiland View Post
I would NOT go offshore in potential big storms without a parachute anchor. I am a firm believer in them as an ultimate piece of survival gear.,...monohull or multihull.

Parachute Anchors, Para-Anchor, Sea Anchor - Boat Design Forums
How about using a drogue on a multihull instead of a parachute?
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:11   #359
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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That amount of glass represents the bane of megayacht crews everwhere. Namely, the amount of time spent keeping it looking pristine, to the standards the owner of such a boat is likely to demand... The hired help on that boat is gonna spend half their time on Squeegee Patrol... Every time I've run a motoryacht or sportfisherman with large glass windows, it's amazing how much effort is required at the end of the delivery removing the salt, and bringing all that glass back to pristine...
Good point. And the marketing claim is that the GB 55 was designed to not require crew. So I guess the owners are expected to do Squeegee Patrol.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:57   #360
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Re: Parachute Anchor

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How about using a drogue on a multihull instead of a parachute?
I'm not a real big fan of drogues as they require a bit of steering and speed adjustment along with their use. I've been swamped by a wave over the stern when my speed was not correct for the conditions (actually had to speed up so I would get the wave crest over the stern cockpit).

And remember the surface waters rotate in the opposite directions at the crest verses the trough,...that is one big contributor to our vessel's 'slewing' to the side as we surf down a big wave.

....steering and speed control required.


On one occasion I was down right tired after 2 days of 3-hour helm shifts, and without a chute anchor decided to just ly-ahull for 6-8 hours. I could have well imagined having a chute at that point.
....virtually no tending other than keeping an eye out for chaff

There is a lot of interesting discussion in that subject thread I referenced, so I won't take up any more of the subject here.
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