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Old 02-02-2015, 09:31   #106
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

I have sailed both upwind and downwind in conditions that match or exceeded what has been reported. Never in a big cat such as this.

In my experience the guy driving has to be 100% on it. Even more so at the kind of speeds I would have expected them to be doing. Not a job for the timid or the inexperienced who don't have the intuition required to input the helm controls preemptively to stay ahead of the game.

Consider the helm station on this boat is located in the middle of the boat. 15 feet from the water minimum. Enclosed. No sense of what the wind is doing. Can't see the waves behind you very well.

I can easily imagine someone driving the boat off in a big gust too deeply plus bad timing with the wrong wave, causing a chinese jibe to bring the mast down forward when some part fails. Boat sails over rig, someone fires up the engines, props fouled. Not the first time that kind of thing has happened.

Personally, I don't understand the logic behind wanting to abandon an excellent survival platform like a big multi with lot's of water tight compartments in favor of a life raft. That's just crazy talk in my mind.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:51   #107
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Where from did you get this info ?
From a previously posted link: RAINMAKER ABANDONED: Gunboat 55 Hull No. 1 Dismasted, Crew Evacuated by Helo

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:11   #108
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post

I can easily imagine someone driving the boat off in a big gust too deeply plus bad timing with the wrong wave, causing a chinese jibe to bring the mast down forward when some part fails. Boat sails over rig, someone fires up the engines, props fouled. Not the first time that kind of thing has happened.
Well, that's possible, of course... A bit hard to picture "a very experienced chief Gunboat captain" making such a rookie mistake, however... :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Personally, I don't understand the logic behind wanting to abandon an excellent survival platform like a big multi with lot's of water tight compartments in favor of a life raft. That's just crazy talk in my mind.
Yup, that's a head-scratcher, for sure... However, I can't seem to find at the moment the exact reference for the life raft, just going from memory that "they were preparing to take to the life raft" when the Coasties arrived...

Only 2 decent reasons for doing so that I can imagine:

It could have served as a safer means of effecting the transfer of the crew to the merchant ship, if that was still the plan...

Or, it might have been thought to be a safer means of hooking up with the CG rescue swimmer, perhaps?

You're right, however, the only rational justification for stepping off that boat into a raft, would seem to be that she was damaged far more seriously than we've been led to believe... Lines wrapped on props can often cause damage to shaft logs, compromising shaft seals, leading to flooding of the engine compartments, and so on...

Which in turn could have triggered a panicked response, most likely from the owner aboard. Based on what I've gleaned of Mr Cohen's sailing experience, this was quite likely his first ever offshore passage. Not hard to imagine that there may have come a time where it was no longer the 28 year old paid skipper who was calling the shots, but rather the guy who signs his paychecks, and who had his own son aboard RAINMAKER, as well...

Insert [Pure Speculation Disclaimer] here... ;-)
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:42   #109
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

If one looks at the following video, one will see the sailing and sea conditions that Gunboat owners must expect.
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Old 02-02-2015, 13:04   #110
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Is it right to expect the coast guard to risk their lives to save people that obviously made a bad choice on time of year to make this voyage?
Also, I wonder if they debated wether to be rescued while enjoying a fine bottle of wine.
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Old 02-02-2015, 14:29   #111
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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We may not find out what really broke. I'm sure the GB folks will try hard to figure out what happened.

As to all the armchair people looking for malfeasance or incompetence just try to imagine if someone important was on a boat that had major damage (lost the rig) and you had many millions of dollars. You might care more about the potential loss of life than a stupid boat. There are lots of things that motivate people and we can't know all of them. Jumping to the conclusion that the motives are nefarious is not warranted IMO.
So true!!! Give that man a bill!! Someone important, wow that really bugs me.. Important to who? Millions of dollars, a bill should not be a problem.. What if someone got hurt trying to help them? What makes him more important? All I am saying is that is not a 1000.00 dollar boat & holy crap drop me on that thing & I will deal with it!!! I would sail that thing home with a blanket for a sail,,, of course maybe I would go for waiting for a chance to unfoul or something,, anything!! point I guess I am trying to make is myslef, I would have tried to make something work or save the boat, & yes maybe risk my life, to save everything & everyone.. Now someone that can afford that rig,, well if that was me maybe I would bail also, But I am not & DAMN I HATE TO SEE THAT THING GO TO WASTE!!!!! To all the rescue fokes, I think you are pretty important,,in my mind.. Thank you! I hope I meet you at the BAR!!!
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Old 02-02-2015, 14:50   #112
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Coast Guard or another mariner out there will rescue whoever calls. I noticed in the rescue video the last guy hoisted was the oldest. Probably the owner and the "full steam ahead" person. Hope he gives the CG more than the mission costs, they are under funded. Congress just outlawed a long standing practice of using tax $ to pay for large paintings of themselves.
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Old 02-02-2015, 15:21   #113
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Sheese. Where to begin?
Huh? Not a direct line flowing SE to NW? Who said that? Maybe you should start over after you have your meds?

The stream most certainly does generally run SW to NE in the general area where they crossed. And they may have already been thru it.

Nothing else you said is worth addressing.
2 Hulls Dave

My mistake. The current runs vaguely SW to NE. I should have proof-read my post. As to the vessel having passed east of the stream, the incident description posted at the beginning of this thread discusses the Gulf swells they were encountering.

As to "Maybe you should start over after you have your meds?":

I had hoped for at least a mature response, if not a thoughtful one. Too much to ask of you?

The Internet: Where comity goes to die
The fact remains that many of the novice readers of this forum seek advice and guidance (a scary thought in itself) regarding ocean passages, and the result of the voyage as experienced by the Gunboat only accentuates the need for an objective, critical analysis when making offshore voyages. Glib remarks such as you made regarding crossing the stream during opposing winds need to be challenged, or at the least clarified.

I stand by my earlier comment that the decision making of this crew needs scrutiny.
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Old 02-02-2015, 15:31   #114
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

If there was, in fact, a wind gust of 70 knots, the wind load on the sails and rig would be more than 3x the load in 40 knots of wind. My guess is that would bring down the rig even if triple reefed and in excellent condition.


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Old 02-02-2015, 15:31   #115
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
Glib remarks such as you made regarding crossing the stream during opposing winds need to be challenged, or at the least clarified.
Glib or not, how's this for clarification: where exactly did I say crossing with opposing winds?

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Old 02-02-2015, 15:35   #116
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Is it right to expect the coast guard to risk their lives to save people that obviously made a bad choice on time of year to make this voyage?
Yes, I'm afraid it is.. And, I'm pretty sure that those brave CG helo crews would be the first to admit that - it is their JOB, after all... Do first responders and paramedics discriminate between assisting crash victims who were driving 'carefully', and those driving recklessly?

I think the notion of "obviously making a bad choice on the time of the year" is not as clear cut as many would make it out to be... That passage in winter has been completed successfully many times before, by boats and crews likely less capable that that aboard RAINMAKER... I doubt I would have left on the forecast they did, but I would not rule out entirely the notion of making that passage, this time of the year... They had 2 big advantages with such a boat, that most bluewater monohulls do not enjoy. With her speed potential, and her shallow draft allowing them to depart directly from Hatteras Inlet as opposed the the Chesapeake Entrance or Beaufort Inlet, with a bit of patience, it could certainly be possible to find a window that could make for a quick, safe passage... That ability to depart from Hatteras directly, getting across the Stream immediately, gives them a huge leg up over those of us making the same passage in more 'conventional' boats...

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Also, I wonder if they debated wether to be rescued while enjoying a fine bottle of wine.
In this particular instance, I tend to doubt it... ;-)
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Old 02-02-2015, 16:00   #117
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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So true!!! Give that man a bill!! Someone important, wow that really bugs me.. Important to who? Millions of dollars, a bill should not be a problem.. What if someone got hurt trying to help them? What makes him more important?
It may bug you but who is to say one person's life is more important than another? At least in the US rescue zones, the decision to continue on or request rescue is left to the person in distress and not someone sitting in a nice warm dry office. The next decision, whether to launch a rescue effort or not, is made by the rescuers and their supervisors based on conditions and other technical factors. But thankfully they don't base that decision on the presumed worth (either monetary or to society in general) of the individual requesting rescue. Let us hope that system doesn't change into some kind of merit system where only "smart" or "worthy" or "rich enough" or "poor enough" persons deserve rescue. I think few of us would measure up to someone else's standards in that regard.
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Old 02-02-2015, 16:10   #118
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Is it right to expect the coast guard to risk their lives to save people that obviously made a bad choice on time of year to make this voyage?

You could ask that about so many things.

Is it right to expect a fireman to risk his life rescuing someone who fell asleep smoking in bed?

Is it right to expect an ambulance driver to risk his life rushing a drink driver to hospital?

How about rescuing sailors in trouble in yacht races in bad weather? Or even in good weather?

You could go on and on..

Thankfully we have dedicated people in emergency services who do not cast judgement on others before going out and doing their jobs.
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Old 02-02-2015, 17:36   #119
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
You could ask that about so many things.

Is it right to expect a fireman to risk his life rescuing someone who fell asleep smoking in bed?

Is it right to expect an ambulance driver to risk his life rushing a drink driver to hospital?

How about rescuing sailors in trouble in yacht races in bad weather? Or even in good weather?

You could go on and on..

Thankfully we have dedicated people in emergency services who do not cast judgement on others before going out and doing their jobs.
Very well said.

I was rescued by helicopter after an ice climbing accident. The guy on the end of the rope risked his life for me. He also fought to get that job and went home afterwards to tell his wife and friends what a cool day he had and how much better it was than sitting around in the office wishing somebody needed to be rescued.
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Old 02-02-2015, 17:36   #120
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Sorry, I must have missed that..
Gunboat web site doesn't give the exact measurements of the main but from mast height I would have guessed something like 120 sqm. The specs again says that the standard is 2 reef points. So, if they were really sailing on 3 rd reef, they should have had a custom made sail with a 3rd reef which GB says is possible.
We don't know in this case how deep is the 3rd reef but let's make a guess, 30-40 sqm. + 40-50 sqm gib (if not rolled at all..) =max 70-80 sqm of sails up. This shouldn't bring down the mast, even at 70 kts of wind which I find hard to believe (not to 70 kts but to a jump from 35-40 to 70 in a matters of seconds) ..
I was cought in a 40-45 kts of wind from nowhere while I was sailing at sustained 20-22 kts of wind with full sails up (110 sqm) in an ordinary charter cat with alu mast. It lasted less than a minute or so, I just steered to run down wind, I have seen 12-13 kts of speed for a moment but that's all, nothing went down..(Remember that GB can easily make 25-30 kts when overpowered)

Just to speculate;
1-they were on AP and the skipper didn't have enough time to steer and depower the boat,
2-they had a very confused sea, very steep waves,
3-they were carying way too much sails than what was declared (they only had standard two reefs sail and not the custom 3rd one..)
4-the wind was even more than 70 kts, 80 maybe 85 ??
5-they overlooked something when setting up and tuning the rigging,
6-non of the above
7-all of the above..

Hope that GB management will make public the outcome of their investigation..

Cheers

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