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Old 11-05-2010, 20:25   #31
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Very interesting story which really seems to underline that when things go wrong it's often a cascade of small problems which culminate in a disaster. What if???

It seems current storm strategy for cats favours running downwind and slowing the boat using warps or drogues. We've got a drogue ready rigged for really heavy weather, and in less hectic conditions warps with a spare kedge anchor would be the preferred strategy. Though I hope to never have to deploy either in anger!

We carry PLB's and those long floating orange ribbons on our safety vests. The ribbons are an amazing visual aid to rescue. And with PLB's now being so available it seems sensible to have those for each crewmember. If you're really tight for money and can't afford a PLB I would imagine even a Spot would be better than nothing. It strikes me that the two men swept overboard in the survival suits would have stood a chance of rescue if they could have been located.
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Old 11-05-2010, 21:59   #32
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"The other families would ask why I was the one to survive. Why me. And really it was because I was a big fat ****. I had more body fat, so I could cope with cold water. And I had a few lucky breaks, wearing the life jacket and not going into the water.”
You heard it hear first. Down those jalapeno poppers, potato skins, french fries, and soft drinks -- for safety.
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Old 11-05-2010, 22:37   #33
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The escape hatch position is worth addressing and I wonder how many cats are out there with the hatch under the bridgedeck. I have installed a hatch in each hull on my Spirited 380 which will provide access into and out of the hull while still allowing air to be entrained. They are also up front of the bridgedeck and close to the major sealed compartments, so should float high out of the water if the boat has capsized.

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Old 12-05-2010, 07:21   #34
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I had read once that the purpose of the "escape hatch" isn't so much to allow you to get out as it is to get in. If that is the case, we would be wise to position a box or bag with a minimum amount of gear next to the hatch.

It is hard to imagine sleeping in a storm violent enough to capsize a catamaran. If the normal situation is your standing in the cockpit and the boat pitchpoles, you are outside trying to get in. Having an additional jackline run under your hull and pulled somewhat tight really should be rigged.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:43   #35
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Wouldn't having a bunch of stuff, even just lines or a small bag, under the hull cause drag problems? Or just get ripped off in certain kinds of conditions?
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:54   #36
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The bag would be inside the hatch. You break the window from the outside then grab the gear bag. As far as a line run under the hull, I would go with flat webbing pulled tight.

You really have to put all this in perspective. Very few cruising catamarans ever flip. They may get swamped as we've seen in some pictures lately, but I've only seen or read of about 5 cruising cat's that actually flipped. I'm sure there's more, but it's just not common.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:30   #37
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One thought this article brings to mind is my experience on the China Sea Race this year - we had a pretty lively day with about 30-35 knots and it made for a very wet ride. I'd perhaps foolishly just put on my wet weather jacket only and after about 4 hours on watch I was freezing despite the tropical climate. It made me think that if things had deteriorated I was already handicapped by being really cold.

In retrospect it might have been a good idea to put on a shorty wetsuit underneath my jacket as you can leave the front of the wetsuit and jacket partly open to keep cool. In addition to warming you, the neoprene gives a bit of padding when the boat is horsing around. And if things needed some effort in a hurry I would have been warmer and more energetic.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:54   #38
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It can be learned that a thick wallet can substitute skills and experience only if it allows for a pro skipper to sail us thru all those horrible dangers of the deep blue sea.

Otherwise learn before you go.

b.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:34   #39
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Barny, I didn't get that from the article. According to the writer, two of the sailors where experienced. To me, what it shows is you never can be too prepared and even if prepared, s*(t happens.

Accidents happen. It's how you react to them that sometimes can change the outcome. I would guess that the reaction has less to do with time at sea, or "learning" but more about a persons mental makeup. Some people freeze when confronted with horror or pain, others process it and decisively react. I've been involved with two life and deather's and it is serious brain overload. I would rank my reaction as above average but not instinctive. All I can say is it sucks to see someone die right in front of you.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:59   #40
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There are several other ways to get in a jam. Remember the boat that had a jammed rudder, mid-atlantic. Being prepared is a matter of thinking things through in the calm, like now, so you have more options in your mind when it goes wrong AND the right equipment to deal with most things. Lines under the boat, checking the liferaft is actually tied to the boat, keeping the fore hatches latched/locked shut so you don't loose everything in them when the boat goes roly-poly. Cushions in the cockpit that wont block the nice big drains.
Thinking about the things that can go wrong helps.
Not drinking at all seems harsh but it doesn't do driving or survival any good at all.
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Old 12-05-2010, 15:20   #41
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A timely reminder to us all. They did the right things for the right reasons, each of them. The one who got it right most did best, just, by chance, and a splash of orange!!!
Paint something ORANGE on your boat. Big enough to be seen whichever way up you are. And wear something ORANGE when the wind gets up.
NOT a smart 'team colours' outfit like the 'professional racers' in the Solent, but ORANGE.
And set the markers for your boat.
Do a Wind Speed Safety Chart that states what safety steps you need to take and what gear MUST be worn as the windspeed increases.
Step 1: (Casting off for some) A harness first, with lifevest and warm jacket attached by clips or worn. SeaSick pills for tender persons for all people not indoors, and allocated and given to those below.
Step 2: (Taking a reef or reducing sail) Lifevests MUST be worn on deck with harness and or crotch strap. SeaSick pills for most persons. Cook up hot drinks to themos, stew and sandwiches. Take a serious look at the boat, the passage plan and divert options and discuss where you are, where land is, MOB system now in place, double up watch, assign a Number 2 to take command and makes sure they understand what their limits are and what the alternatives are, then the skipper gets some rest!!! Be ready for it to get worse even if it's not likely to.
Step 3: 'Batten Down The Hatches' drill.
Advise the skipper and review the passage plan options and alternate destinations. Advisory contact by radio with Coastguard and or nearest shipping. Ready the boat for bad storm conditions, it's good practice anyway!

I make no comment on the article, it can happen to anyone. Luck is the biggest factor in when it happens to us.
I think this is a great idea. It would provide concrete instructions that would be easy to follow even if the brain is not working properly due to fatigue or stress. Part of my "Step 3" protocol would be to put on a wetsuit which would provide flotation, protection from the elements and still allow free movement.
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Old 12-05-2010, 17:07   #42
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Barny, I didn't get that from the article. According to the writer, two of the sailors where experienced.
"...Five friends who have done well in their business, working together in finance. This trip a celebration, a reaping of the rewards. Jean-Claude and Philippe come from a famous and well-off family; their father, Claude Batault, a distinguished diplomat. But this is their own triumph, this business, and Jean-Claude is the proud new boat owner, a Catana 44 catamaran named Bayete. With all their electronics and safety gear, they are to be the lead boat in the Transat des Passionnés regatta that will take them to the Canary Islands and then across to the Caribbean. But their first stop is only the Spanish Balearics, not far away at all. (...) Slow rollers, and after about noon, Richard and Philippe, the two novice sailors, throw up overboard, but it isn’t until after 2pm that the wind picks up and the other crew begin getting seasick...."

The above to back up my statement.

And where is the passage on two of them being experienced?

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Old 12-05-2010, 18:14   #43
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....You break the window from the outside then grab the gear bag.... .
Break the window? Wouldn't this be Open the hatch? I would hate to have to try and break the acrylic hatch by hand, don't think that is possible or necessary?

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Old 12-05-2010, 19:07   #44
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Break the window? Wouldn't this be Open the hatch? I would hate to have to try and break the acrylic hatch by hand, don't think that is possible or necessary?

Chris
Mine has a locking bar across it which would make it impossible to open from outside without breaking the acrylic or whatever it is.
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Old 12-05-2010, 19:26   #45
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And where is the passage on two of them being experienced?
b.
From Page 1:
Hervé has been knocked out of the hatch. He’s slipping down the hull, clinging to a piece of rope. Jean-Claude leaves the hatch to try to pull him back in. He and Hervé are experienced sailors.

From Page 2:
Slow rollers, and after about noon, Richard and Philippe, the two novice sailors, throw up overboard, but it isn’t until after 2pm that the wind picks up and the other crew begin getting seasick.
Draws conclusion that the other 3 are experienced

From Page 3:
“We thought we’d be fine and didn’t need to alert the coastguard. We should have called, of course.” Three of the crew have strong sailing experience, and Richard feels confident in their judgment.

Conclusion from Page 4:
But at the time, all Jean-Claude’s actions were what he thought would be the best for us. He thought he was taking us to the life raft, for instance, and couldn’t have known that it wouldn’t deploy. It was a terrifying situation, and he was doing his best. We were all doing our best to survive.”

Your statement was: "It can be learned that a thick wallet can substitute skills and experience only if it allows for a pro skipper to sail us thru all those horrible dangers of the deep blue sea."
I still don't see where that is the lesson learned from this story
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