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Old 15-02-2015, 14:56   #466
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Fully agree that some take very strange positions. But amusing to read.


On a more serious note.
After almost a month still not found? Maybe it did the unth(s)inkable and the crew knew alraedy when they called the CG.

Like with the other US built number 1.

Cheers Rob
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Old 15-02-2015, 15:21   #467
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
I've read through most of this thread, primarily because of the entertainment value. The one thing I will contribute is that my guess is that the folks at Gunboat are chomping at the bit to defend their brand. However, I think it is likely that they have a team of attorney's that are strongly advising them to keep their mouths shut for now. I'm assuming the boat was insured and I doubt the insurance company really wants to simply write a check for $2.5 million and call it good. Where do you think the insurance company is going turn to once they pay out their claim? My guess is either the company that manufactured the boat and/or the professional crew that was on the boat at the time of the incident. With so much on the line can you really blame Gunboat and the crew for not offering any information at this point? Furthermore, I am sure that Gunboat has their own liability insurance, in which case the lawyers from their own insurance company are surely demanding they they stay tight lipped about the incident.

Maybe I'm way off base here, but I suspect our top notch US legal system may have something to do with the lack of information flow.
I suspect you are right on the money.
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Old 15-02-2015, 15:38   #468
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Wow Ann I didn't know this. According to your husband Jim if you lose your mast your boat isn't a true cruiser as it hasn't taken care of its owners. Would you consider your boat to not be a true cruiser or was his statement just concerning catamarans?
Ann and Jim Cate speak (write) from Real Experience.
While I don't know the circumstances of Ann and Jim's dismasting, it is apparent from her comments that she knows something about the effects a dismasting can have on the crew and boat.

She knows about dismasting (and MANY other topics) from personal experience, something I value reading on a forum like this, much more than snide or snarky remarks or insinuations.

I read her reasonable comments as coming from real experience. Same with Jim's.

____________

What do I know about Dismastings?

I have been about 50 meters from a 40+ foot boat that dismasted in 30+ knot winds and big ocean waves during a race in the Pacific. It is over very quickly. Snap! Boom! Crash!

Witnessing it (as close as I want to be to one) and the movement of the boat as it rolled and pitched up and down the waves immediately after the mast went down, gave me an appreciation that "ship happens" and that a dismasting can be scary and dangerous. It will ruin your day.

It is something to be prepared for, anytime one goes offshore. It can happen. And IF it happens, I saw with my own eyes that one does NOT start the engine, because there will be lines in the water.

The question is, what will you (captain and crew) do AFTER the dismasting? That is where "seamanship" comes in.
____________

What about a dismasting on a Gunboat?

If one is to believe the marketing hype of Gunboat (inc.) then one would expect that boat to be the safest available and "unsinkable."

If I were on an "unsinkable" Gunboat, even if it were dismasted, I would think the "professional" and experienced Gunboat crew would "sit it out" (the squall) and unfoul the props when conditions allowed, then motor back to port using one or two of the motors (Redundancy is built into a cat, right?), rather than hit the "come get me" button and expect a USCG helicopter crew to fly hundreds of miles in poor weather to come to pick them up.

If one believes that Gunboat design to be truly "unsinkable" then why ask for a rescue?
Worried about capsizing? Worried about sinking (on an "unsinkable boat")?

In the "Rainmaker" case, it appears that the USCG took care of the Gunboat crew, more than the Gunboat.
_________

Given the example of Rainmaker, would I want to:

1. Go into a storm on a Gunboat? No.

2. Go with a crew and skipper that proposes to leave port to sail into a predicted severe winter storm in the North Atlantic? No.

3. Go with a professional crew or skipper that calls for helo rescue when no one on the boat is injured and when the boat is not sinking? No.

4. Buy a Gunboat as a cruising boat I expect to survive (safely) a storm and keep safe the crew? No.

YMMV
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Old 15-02-2015, 15:54   #469
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

What is coming to light slowly is that a big wave hit. Someone thought there was a 70knot squall. The mast came down. Damage was sustained to the front of the boat. All statements from the crew.

Could we be now seeing the Gun Boat being Swift Boated.


We all know how the truth eventually came out by the Swift Boat crew that sunk the lies of one of its famous crew members.
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Old 15-02-2015, 16:16   #470
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Ann and Jim Cate speak (write) from Real Experience.
While I don't know the circumstances of Ann and Jim's dismasting, it is apparent from her comments that she knows something about the effects a dismasting can have on the crew and boat.

She knows about dismasting (and MANY other topics) from personal experience, something I value reading on a forum like this, much more than snide or snarky remarks or insinuations.

I read her reasonable comments as coming from real experience. Same with Jim's.

____________

What do I know about Dismastings?

I have been about 50 meters from a 40+ foot boat that dismasted in 30+ knot winds and big ocean waves during a race in the Pacific. It is over very quickly. Snap! Boom! Crash!

Witnessing it (as close as I want to be to one) and the movement of the boat as it rolled and pitched up and down the waves immediately after the mast went down, gave me an appreciation that "ship happens" and that a dismasting can be scary and dangerous. It will ruin your day.

It is something to be prepared for, anytime one goes offshore. It can happen. And IF it happens, I saw with my own eyes that one does NOT start the engine, because there will be lines in the water.

The question is, what will you (captain and crew) do AFTER the dismasting? That is where "seamanship" comes in.
____________

What about a dismasting on a Gunboat?

If one is to believe the marketing hype of Gunboat (inc.) then one would expect that boat to be the safest available and "unsinkable."

If I were on an "unsinkable" Gunboat, even if it were dismasted, I would think the "professional" and experienced Gunboat crew would "sit it out" (the squall) and unfoul the props when conditions allowed, then motor back to port using one or two of the motors (Redundancy is built into a cat, right?), rather than hit the "come get me" button and expect a USCG helicopter crew to fly hundreds of miles in poor weather to come to pick them up.

If one believes that Gunboat design to be truly "unsinkable" then why ask for a rescue?
Worried about capsizing? Worried about sinking (on an "unsinkable boat")?

In the "Rainmaker" case, it appears that the USCG took care of the Gunboat crew, more than the Gunboat.
_________

Given the example of Rainmaker, would I want to:

1. Go into a storm on a Gunboat? No.

2. Go with a crew and skipper that proposes to leave port to sail into a predicted severe winter storm in the North Atlantic? No.

3. Go with a professional crew or skipper that calls for helo rescue when no one on the boat is injured and when the boat is not sinking? No.

4. Buy a Gunboat as a cruising boat I expect to survive (safely) a storm and keep safe the crew? No.

YMMV

What Jim said about the Gunboat because of the dismasting. "She failed, plain and simple, to be a successful cruiser.".This is his opinion of the Gunboat losing it's mast in 70kts of wind and square waves in the gulf stream. Yet his own boat loses its mast in benign conditions and it remains a successful cruiser. Hypocritical? I would say so.
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Old 15-02-2015, 16:38   #471
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
What is coming to light slowly is that a big wave hit. Someone thought there was a 70knot squall. The mast came down. Damage was sustained to the front of the boat. All statements from the crew.
I still don't see how we know that... While certainly not hard to imagine, the 'official' explanation still appears to be that a 70 knot "wall of wind" took the rig down. I have yet to see a single statement attributed directly to anyone who was aboard RAINMAKER, we only have Mr Johnstone's second hand account... (Of course, it's quite possible I've missed something) And, various 'hints' dropped on the threads on SA from anonymous posters assumed to be 'Gunboat Pros', and who have presumably spoken with the skipper and crew...
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Old 15-02-2015, 16:44   #472
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
What Jim said about the Gunboat because of the dismasting. "She failed, plain and simple, to be a successful cruiser.".This is his opinion of the Gunboat losing it's mast in 70kts of wind and square waves in the gulf stream. Yet his own boat loses its mast in benign conditions and it remains a successful cruiser. Hypocritical? I would say so.
Jim was not forced to abandon his boat. That would make a difference in my view. But whether the GB 55 is a successful cruiser isn't the point anyway. We don't have all the facts. Opinions without facts are pretty much worthless. Can't we who have no facts give GB and the spar company a little time to gather the facts and figure it out?
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Old 15-02-2015, 16:44   #473
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
What Jim said about the Gunboat because of the dismasting. "She failed, plain and simple, to be a successful cruiser.".This is his opinion of the Gunboat losing it's mast in 70kts of wind and square waves in the gulf stream. Yet his own boat loses its mast in benign conditions and it remains a successful cruiser. Hypocritical? I would say so.
As with anything discussed and opinions, it can be a matter of point of view (POV).

For example, my POV would be that a boat that successfully completed its cruise or was taken back to port, even if damaged, while keeping the shorthanded crew safe, was a better "cruiser" example, over a multimillion dollar, state of the art (or bleeding edge) with " professional and experienced" crewed boat that was deemed unsafe and abandoned.

------------
On another POV:

I know I would feel safer cruising with Jim and Ann, based on their attitudes about sailing and boats and prudence, rather than the skipper and crew of Rainmaker, based on their apparent level of judgement and seamanship.

YMMV
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Old 15-02-2015, 17:08   #474
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Jim was not forced to abandon his boat. That would make a difference in my view. But whether the GB 55 is a successful cruiser isn't the point anyway. We don't have all the facts. Opinions without facts are pretty much worthless. Can't we who have no facts give GB and the spar company a little time to gather the facts and figure it out?
Yes, but given that the failed rig will definitely never be seen again, and it's looking increasingly likely that the boat itself may never be found, what additional "facts" are likely to be forthcoming?

Over 3 weeks after the incident, I would presume the 'de-briefing' of the crew would have been concluded by now, no?

One thing I think is safe to assume, however... I'll bet Mr Johnstone is counting his lucky stars that there wasn't an OBR like Charlie Doane along for that ride, the narrative might have been just a bit more difficult to control...

;-))
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Old 15-02-2015, 17:14   #475
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Jim was not forced to abandon his boat. That would make a difference in my view. But whether the GB 55 is a successful cruiser isn't the point anyway. We don't have all the facts. Opinions without facts are pretty much worthless. Can't we who have no facts give GB and the spar company a little time to gather the facts and figure it out?

Probably no reason to abandon a boat that has been dismasted in benign conditions, plenty of time to cut the rig loose and sort things out. I'm sure the conditions the Gunboat was in were a little more disturbing?
You're right, we have no facts to base our opinions on. I was giving the Gunboat the benefit of the doubt, I don't believe Jim was.
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Old 15-02-2015, 17:15   #476
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
As with anything discussed and opinions, it can be a matter of point of view (POV).



For example, my POV would be that a boat that successfully completed its cruise or was taken back to port, even if damaged, while keeping the shorthanded crew safe, was a better "cruiser" example, over a multimillion dollar, state of the art (or bleeding edge) with " professional and experienced" crewed boat that was deemed unsafe and abandoned.



------------

On another POV:



I know I would feel safer cruising with Jim and Ann, based on their attitudes about sailing and boats and prudence, rather than the skipper and crew of Rainmaker, based on their apparent level of judgement and seamanship.



YMMV

Read above post, totally different circumstances and conditions.
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Old 15-02-2015, 17:33   #477
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I see I've been taking this thread the wrong way. I thought some of you were serious! Really I did. But now I read this silly stuff about setting the boat on fire, I realize you're taking the piss.


At least I REALLY hope so. It would be sad to think there were genuinely people so stupid out there.


Oh yeah, the insurers would love reading that on the claim form wouldn't they? "I deliberately set the boat on fire"
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Old 15-02-2015, 17:50   #478
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Wow Ann I didn't know this. According to your husband Jim if you lose your mast your boat isn't a true cruiser as it hasn't taken care of its owners. Would you consider your boat to not be a true cruiser or was his statement just concerning catamarans?
Hello, smj,

No, I believe you have misunderstood what Jim meant. Actually, though, to stick to my own story, I have to admit that the boat we cruised in for 18 yrs. was not designed as a cruising boat, but for ocean racing. IIRC, there were about 20 of them built, at the most, and about 14 of them used for circumnavigations. With the addition of roller furling, refrigeration, and a hard dodger, a cruising boat: it was cruised extensively. Sort of it walks like a duck, etc. Incidentally, if you think Jim dislikes catamarans, it isn't so. But he will speak his mind.

I think you will find, if you re-read Jim's posts, that he questions the suitability of the GB for cruising for a variety of fairly clearly stated reasons.

Ann
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Old 15-02-2015, 17:55   #479
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
What Jim said about the Gunboat because of the dismasting. "She failed, plain and simple, to be a successful cruiser.".This is his opinion of the Gunboat losing it's mast in 70kts of wind and square waves in the gulf stream. Yet his own boat loses its mast in benign conditions and it remains a successful cruiser. Hypocritical? I would say so.
My goodnes, SMJ that's kinda harsh.

Points:

1. I never said a word about my boat being a successful cruiser. In fact, that boat was a retired IOR one-tonner, and had been severely criticized by many as being totally unsuitable as a cruiser. At the time of the dismasting (June 1996) she was 22 years old, and we had done around 65000 miles in her. The proximate cause of the dismasting was a split pin somehow being removed from the clevis at the bottom of the starboard lower shroud, and then the clevis coming out. the mast failed with the center section falling to leeward until the tube broke off just above the partners. The mast ended up upside down along side, with the jagged end scraping away at the topsides with a horrible grinding noise. We didn't think twice about cutting it away.

2. Following the dismasting, we managed to get to our destination unaided, and set about re-rigging the boat. Did the boat fail me? That's one way to look at it. More likely, I failed the boat. I don't know how the split pin came out and never will, but it was my responsibility to be sure that it was in place. It wasn't. You are free to interpret that however you wish. After replacing the mast, we did another 20,000 miles in Insatiable before buying Insatiable II.

3. The conditions at that time were relatively benign... about 35 knots and 6-10 foot seas, bigger swells. But it was at the end of 5 days of storm force winds and much bigger seas, conditions which had resulted in one full knockdown, a couple of near knockdowns one of which broke the auxiliary rudder for the windvane in two. All the above occurred about 50 to 100 miles north of Lord Howe island. The dismasting was 75 miles SE of Cape Moreton, where we had hove to for a rest, for we were knackered.

3. If you care to compare this with the Rainmaker event, I wonder if you still would accuse me of hypocrisy? If so, be my guest. I have been called worse things than that by better critics than you.

Jim
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Old 15-02-2015, 18:05   #480
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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My goodnes, SMJ that's kinda harsh.

Points:

1. I never said a word about my boat being a successful cruiser. In fact, that boat was a retired IOR one-tonner, and had been severely criticized by many as being totally unsuitable as a cruiser. At the time of the dismasting (June 1996) she was 22 years old, and we had done around 65000 miles in her. The proximate cause of the dismasting was a split pin somehow being removed from the clevis at the bottom of the starboard lower shroud, and then the clevis coming out. the mast failed with the center section falling to leeward until the tube broke off just above the partners. The mast ended up upside down along side, with the jagged end scraping away at the topsides with a horrible grinding noise. We didn't think twice about cutting it away.

2. Following the dismasting, we managed to get to our destination unaided, and set about re-rigging the boat. Did the boat fail me? That's one way to look at it. More likely, I failed the boat. I don't know how the split pin came out and never will, but it was my responsibility to be sure that it was in place. It wasn't. You are free to interpret that however you wish. After replacing the mast, we did another 20,000 miles in Insatiable before buying Insatiable II.

3. The conditions at that time were relatively benign... about 35 knots and 6-10 foot seas, bigger swells. But it was at the end of 5 days of storm force winds and much bigger seas, conditions which had resulted in one full knockdown, a couple of near knockdowns one of which broke the auxiliary rudder for the windvane in two. All the above occurred about 50 to 100 miles north of Lord Howe island. The dismasting was 75 miles SE of Cape Moreton, where we had hove to for a rest, for we were knackered.

3. If you care to compare this with the Rainmaker event, I wonder if you still would accuse me of hypocrisy? If so, be my guest. I have been called worse things than that by better critics than you.

Jim

I would suggest you take your experiences in mind before criticizing the Gunboat or their crew. Their failure may have been as trivial as yours but in much worse conditions. Once again, the loss of the mast doesn't mean the Gunboat can't be a good cruiser, they may have had a stroke of bad luck as you did on Insatiable.
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