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Old 16-02-2015, 07:11   #496
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by Tx J View Post


While (mostly informed) speculation rages on (hey, it's fun).

Gunboat is/will assiduously study this 55 series design and its integrity, then quietly drop the model from their line. And shortly thereafter introduce a de-facto market slot replacement of a somewhat 'improved' design, to much fanfare.
I dunno about that... They supposedly have orders for a dozen 55s already, and as we have seen, at least one poster here who seems eager to wire a deposit... :-)

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Originally Posted by Tx J View Post
While I'm here, somebody (I'll try to edit this shortly...musta been xmtrdan ref here: GUNBOAT Dismasting) mentioned the USCG debriefing the crew, assuming a report will follow.
Trouble is, this was a pretty routine incident, don't expect too much. Not that many Coasties are sailboaters, the investigation and interviews are unlikely to get very technical or detailed.
Even most of the CG Academy (and OCS) graduates, who spend a fair amount of time sail training aboard their fleet of 44's and smaller craft (and the big barque the Eagle) don't really get into being 'yotties'. So their handling of this probably isn't going to name a root cause. If it had been a commercial incident far more resources would be brought to bear.

I wouldn't hold my breath for the "official CG report"... has anyone ever seen the one for the abandonment of the Alpha 42 last winter, for instance? The grounding/dismasting of the Hylas 70 ARCHANGEL in Penobscot Bay the summer before, practically within a stone's throw of the CG base in Rockland? The boats abandoned in the Salty Dawg Rally in 2012? The list seems to go on and on, of all these incidents for which an official CG report never seems to be forthcoming, the inquiry into the loss of the BOUNTY would appear to be the rare exception...

;-)
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Old 16-02-2015, 07:52   #497
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
...excerpt...
Fact: It was abandoned after sailing a couple of hundred miles total (exact value unknown), with a catastrophic rig failure.
Isn't there a video of this vessel and its owner sailing around the NYC area after taking initial delivery of this vessel,...and prior to this trip?

Perhaps they had stopped by the factory in NC prior to embarking on this ill-fated trip offshore.


Ah yes, here it is:
Rainmaker and her owner
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Old 16-02-2015, 08:07   #498
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

I lifted this reply by PJ of GB off the SA thread.

This thread has some wild speculation. We'd prefer that the Captain get his account written and out there. We led this story with as much information as we could glean with the goal to promote safety from the learnings.

Some clarifications to various speculation:

1) The longeron is held by the side-stays. It can only drop about 150mm from its tensioned position. Crew were able to walk on the nets and knock the forestay pin out. The longeron was not an issue during her brief time under power after the rig was cleared away.
2) The roof took the load of the boom and rig on it, including the leverage of the mast and sails in the water. There may have been damage, and one window broke, but it safely protected the five crew.
3) The open layout does not appear to be an issue in this incident. Water has not been mentioned as a contributing factor in any way.
4) Rainmaker was 240 kgs over her planned lightship of 12,500 kgs due to the original owners extensive additions. Her loaded displacement prior to passage appeared well under her designed full loaded displacement of 15,250 kgs. Her loaded displacement does not appear to be a contributing factor.
5) According to the Captain, rigging and attachment points were all intact after the incident.

In summary, a sizable weather event hit Rainmaker. It was either a microburst or a water spout. The crew saw 75+ knots but have no idea of top gusts. There was no visibility, just a complete white out.
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Old 16-02-2015, 08:24   #499
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by SailingMum View Post

And then later on somebody can explain Rainmaker's passage time. Because as things stand, a 10 year old outremer 55 light looks to me to be a lot faster and a lot safer in breaking seas. And seems not to need pro crew. And you can pick one up for about 350k. And spend the USD2.15m left from the GB55 budget on planting trees to offset the carbon footprint of jetting around to gunboat regattas.
Most of what follows is pure speculation, of course, based on what little we know at present...

Right from the moment I read Mr Johnstone's initial post on SA, that's been one of the most perplexing questions surrounding this incident. If anything, sounds like in carrying a triple reefed main, they may have been over canvassed for the conditions, they why so little distance covered down range towards their destination over 36 hours, in a boat that likely could have maintained close to such an average running under bare poles alone?

As yet, I've heard no reasonable explanation offered for this... Only thing I can presume, is that there may have been a lengthy 'stoppage' somewhere along the way, most likely to dealt with some 'issue' with the boat or rig that has not thus far been mentioned...

2 other aspects are mystifying, to me... Seems that to get "lines wrapped around the props", the engines must have been running in gear to do so. They are folding or feathering props on the 55, after all - so while it's possible a line might get snagged or hung up on one, you're unlikely to get a true wrap that could not be freed without the shafts turning... With a professional skipper and crew aboard, it's hard to imagine they would have ever started the engines without first ensuring the props were clear. Something quite easily assessed from the transom steps on that boat...

So, that leads to the more plausible suspicion that the engines were running when the rig came down... Hmmm, why would that be? Again, a likely scenario might be that they were having to deal with some 'issue', perhaps having to motor head to wind in an effort to get the main down, perhaps? There was some vague reference, after all, made to "not being able to reduce sail quickly enough", or words to that effect... With the 3 pros working on deck, and the owner at the helm, seems possible if the rig came down at that moment, a relatively inexperienced and shocked helmsperson may not have had the presence of mind to take the engines out of gear before running up over all the mess that had gone over the side...

Finally, the biggest elephant in the room, that no one seems to want to address... If there was indeed no other serious problem with RAINMAKER beyond merely the loss of the rig, why were they prepared to abandon her for the liferaft, if the CG hadn't arrived in the nick of time? There are very few good reasons why someone would elect to step off into a liferaft in the North Atlantic in late January, with darkness quickly approaching... "Lines wrapped around the props", or "worsening weather" are most certainly not among them...

;-)

Quote:
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter arrived at about 5 p.m. and hoisted all five people from the water.

“The mission today was challenging for our crews due to the distance from shore and the weather conditions,” Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Facenda, an operations specialist in Portsmouth who worked on the case, said in a statement.

“The crew we rescued had a registered and up-to-date emergency position indicating radio beacon that told us their exact position. All five people were wearing life jackets and were prepared to abandon their vessel in a life raft. We were happy to get there before that became necessary.”
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Old 16-02-2015, 11:00   #500
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Jon,

You are making us think about what people tend to do in stressed situations and I think that's healthy. But again, we have no way of knowing what was in their minds or happened in previous hours to create the stage for abandonment.

I "suspect" the statement all five "were prepared to abandon their vessel in a life raft" is a code phrase. I can't imagine the satphone call wherein the crew says, "Hey CG if you send a helo we'll leave the boat otherwise we'll hang out here." We'll never know if they actually would have launched the raft if the helo did not take off. But if I were into speculation I would speculate they would not have done so unless the boat was clearly sinking beneath them. So I don't put a lot of stock in the supposed crew's fear of the boat sinking. I can't imagine anyone favoring a life raft over a drifting 55 foot cat with an enclosure even if it had a broken window. I can easily imagine someone wanting to get off the boat though.

Will the CG do an official report? Probably not but they might answer the queries of an inquisitive journalist interested in getting all the facts out there. Would be nice if sailing had such journalists...it might end the seemingly endless speculation. Oh wait, this is the internet so I take that last bit back.
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Old 16-02-2015, 11:35   #501
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by beiland View Post
Isn't there a video of this vessel and its owner sailing around the NYC area after taking initial delivery of this vessel,...and prior to this trip?
....
Ah yes, here it is:
Rainmaker and her owner
You forgot to mention the part about drinking Martinis while doing 30K...pity they don't show that on the video. I would like to see that.
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Old 16-02-2015, 11:44   #502
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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You forgot to mention the part about drinking Martinis while doing 30K...pity they don't show that on the video. I would like to see that.
Not all rich are smart and not all boats are good. Some people have more money than good sea sense and some builders hope for that one person that is born every minute. And while I'm on perhaps mindless sayings my father used to say, a fool and his money is easily parted.

I'm enjoying the mindless defence of the indefensible. Boat owners sure are a diverse mob.
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Old 16-02-2015, 13:56   #503
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

GB55 is a gorgeous boat for 100% of the sailing and cruising I'd LIKE to be doing. But for the 1% of multihull sailing I'm be scared to contemplate, I'd prefer an enclosed cabin and an overall more conservative design.

I think my preferences mirror those of the owner, and this should have been taken into greater account during route planning. Once the bad weather hit, this was a foreseeable, albeit disappointing, result.

All boats are a compromise, as this example has demonstrated. The GB55 is still a worthy design, just don't play tag with winter storms off Hatteras!

The other GB designs embody different design choices, and shouldn't be lumped into this discussion just because they have the same manufacturer.


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Old 16-02-2015, 14:09   #504
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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All boats are a compromise, as this example has demonstrated. The GB55 is still a worthy design, just don't play tag with winter storms off Hatteras!
I don't understand this or do you mean that it is a worthy design for a show-off boat to impress customers and neighbors? Because it isn't a worthy blue water design before a whole bunch of them have proven themselves for years. These fall apart so it failed the test.

From what I've seen and read, the GB55 is just a toy and an expensive one at that. No prudent sailor is going to select this design for wandering around the worlds oceans for the rest of their lives, that's for sure.

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Old 16-02-2015, 16:59   #505
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Finally, I'd like to say once again: I'm not anti-multihulls. If our present boat had not come up for sale exactly when it did, well, we were well into the negotiating stage for a stretched Catana 44, and would likely be sailing her today. I like multis, and appreciate their many good features. I do not think they are faultless nor that they are superior to monohulls in every way. I get cranky when folks say that my postings are driven by anti-multihull feelings.


Jim
Ah yes, you're not anti multihulls. It's just that we can only gauge your views from what you say, and virtually every single one of your posts in the multihull forum (and there would have been hundreds) has been negative. Not a single positive thing to say about them. But yeah, you're not anti... right, got that.
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Old 16-02-2015, 17:03   #506
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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I'm getting bored with this discussion, but...

Fact: This was a brand new, professionally prepared and crewed boat.

Fact: It was abandoned after sailing a couple of hundred miles total (exact value unknown), with a catastrophic rig failure.

Fact: The weather was severe but not unexpected. The professional crew must have thought the boat should be strong enough to survive. It didn't.

Fact: We don't know what specific bit failed to bring down the rig.
'
Jim
The vast majority of boats are professionally built, but failures still occur.

The rest of your post is quite amusing. You're basically saying that "One thing we REALLY know is that we don't know much."
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Old 16-02-2015, 18:24   #507
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

That first GB55 vid is from July so it was completed before then. I wouldn't exactly call it "brand new". Just like the new car you bought in July.
I prefer almost new.
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Old 16-02-2015, 18:51   #508
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Ah yes, you're not anti multihulls. It's just that we can only gauge your views from what you say, and virtually every single one of your posts in the multihull forum (and there would have been hundreds) has been negative. Not a single positive thing to say about them. But yeah, you're not anti... right, got that.
Man, you are losing it.
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Old 16-02-2015, 19:31   #509
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Ive been a boatbuilder for over 40 years so I know a bit more of what im talking about than most boatowners. I would suggest that anyone who could not figure out how to set a boat on fire probably cant tie their own shoelaces.

Steve.
Would you suggest a ZIPPO lighter?
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Old 16-02-2015, 19:59   #510
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Hi all, Jim, you are not going to win this one, haha! Think school of thought. I have never sailed a multi but my last career move as driving freighters around was skippering a 350 ton landing craft on the B.C. coast, thinking that would be ideal, paid to cruise as it worked out. Similar to a big cat, think wide and flat bottomed.
That boat was 37 feet wide and about 150 feet long. Put it beam to the Hecate Straits, even with 2-300 tons of freight aboard, she would snap roll us right out of the galley seating. It must have been nasty for the G55 crew trying to deal with a tipped over stick and no engine power.
I noticed on Rainmakers video that going into a tiny chop passing the S. of Liberty, that skinny little bow was dancing up and down like a toy. I would think that Nick's Sundeer would hardly move. I think a bit of weight is a good thing in certain conditions.
I am not sure what my point is, but I think that even if a vessel is never intended to be used for certain conditions ie. offshore, there is still the re-positioning aspect to get her from one playground to another. A lot can happen out there in a brief voyage. This logic is after 45 or so years on the water, mostly commercial for maybe a million or so miles, then 70-80- for pleasure, who cares.
Incidentally, the freight boat was about the same price as the Gunboat, a super tough ship, not a toy. I look at something like the G55 and I am shocked about what you get for what you pay, think Ikea furniture. The boat I am currently building and nearly finished is a 55' alloy expedition vessel, 3/8" aluminum plate. Everything is custom built, super tough, looks great, good pilot house like the Kanters with all the toys and less than 300 grand including a good rig. check out www.expeditionsail.com for a similar type. This of course doesn't take into account the 7 years I have been working on it, heheh All worthless retired time.
I also would say, I would love to sail on a G55 and looks like it would be a great live aboard in the tropics.
Hope that I draw some of the flak my way, Jim!
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