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Old 25-11-2013, 15:40   #121
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Re: Unsinkable

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.... but still better than a life raft!

No way! The interior would be dangerous, with a toxic mix of fuel and battery acid sloshing around inside and the sole sloped at a steep angle. The exterior would be even worse. Put me and my kids in the soft raft with no hard corners or sharp stuff poking out, thank you very much. I can see the appeal in still keeping the wreck nearby to dive on for supplies when conditions allow, but that's about all its good for. I'd much rather have a modern well equipped raft and ditch bag, especially with my hard sailing dinghy with positive floatation on a tether.
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Old 25-11-2013, 16:20   #122
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Re: Unsinkable

Geez, this is a somewhat depressing thread.

In regard to the OP's statement "survivability is paramount" I would suggest he does not get into a motor vehicle as the chances of rolling the vehicle and dying are significantly higher than capsizing a catamaran with or without additional means of flotation.

This is something I remind every person who comes on to either of my boats. Providing you do not fall overboard this boat is safer then the car you came here in.

Yes I know you will say there is a finite risk here, especially with gear failure allowing water ingress, but like everything in life you balance risk against value, and in my view modern boats do not have a lot of risk, and it seems to me these extra measures offer little value.

Its like the old salt who lectured me on the merits of additional safety and risk to life and limb as he puffed away at the tenth cigarette for the hour we talked. I reckon the chances of him dying of lung cancer in the next year were far greater than my chances of getting into difficulties with the boat. It is all a matter of perspective.

Just my 2c. Let the tales of woe and doom continue.
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Old 25-11-2013, 16:24   #123
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No way! The interior would be dangerous, with a toxic mix of fuel and battery acid sloshing around inside and the sole sloped at a steep angle. The exterior would be even worse. Put me and my kids in the soft raft with no hard corners or sharp stuff poking out, thank you very much. I can see the appeal in still keeping the wreck nearby to dive on for supplies when conditions allow, but that's about all its good for. I'd much rather have a modern well equipped raft and ditch bag, especially with my hard sailing dinghy with positive floatation on a tether.
Now there's a thought that makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. A hard dinghy tethered to an inflatable life raft In rough weather! I wonder if that hard dinghy may get a little untenable in rough weather and start ramming you in the head while your warm and cozy in your life raft. That is if it's still floating instead of being full of water trying to pull you to the bottom. Get real.
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Old 25-11-2013, 16:39   #124
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Re: Unsinkable

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Now there's a thought that makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. A hard dinghy tethered to an inflatable life raft In rough weather! I wonder if that hard dinghy may get a little untenable in rough weather and start ramming you in the head while your warm and cozy in your life raft. That is if it's still floating instead of being full of water trying to pull you to the bottom. Get real.


No, it's been done plenty. A quality offshore raft (I have three aboard) has a ballast bag, the dinghy doesn't. Couple hundred feet of tether and the dinghy (which, as I said before, has PF and floats high when swamped) will ride at the length of the tether dead down wind. Worst case scenario the tether parts. I also have two dinghys, both with PF, and two sea kayaks with float bags. All of which would have better survivability than an almost sunk cat.
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Old 25-11-2013, 17:03   #125
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[QUOTE="minaret;1399977"] No, it's been done plenty. A quality offshore raft (I have three aboard) has a ballast bag, the dinghy doesn't. Couple hundred feet of tether and the dinghy (which, as I said before, has PF and floats high when swamped) will ride at the length of the tether dead down wind. Worst case scenario the tether parts. I also have two dinghys, both with PF, and two sea kayaks with float bags. All of which would have better survivability than an almost sunk cat.[/QUOTE

And of course you state this having the experience of riding out a storm on an almost sunk cat? Have you ever been in a life raft in adverse weather? Do you have three life rafts aboard knowing that they have a terrible reputation for actually inflating when needed?
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Old 25-11-2013, 17:24   #126
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Re: Unsinkable

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No, it's been done plenty. A quality offshore raft (I have three aboard) has a ballast bag, the dinghy doesn't. Couple hundred feet of tether and the dinghy (which, as I said before, has PF and floats high when swamped) will ride at the length of the tether dead down wind. Worst case scenario the tether parts. I also have two dinghys, both with PF, and two sea kayaks with float bags. All of which would have better survivability than an almost sunk cat.
Good luck with that theory.

I'd much rather hang out on the trampoline till the weather subsides and then go foraging in the hull and set up housekeeping.

I suspect your theory about a toxic mix of diesel and battery acid is just that...a theory. The acid will be so dilute you could drink it with no harm. The diesel will make a mess but unless you try drinking it, it should be pretty harmless.
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Old 25-11-2013, 17:25   #127
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Re: Unsinkable

[QUOTE=smj;1400004]
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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
No, it's been done plenty. A quality offshore raft (I have three aboard) has a ballast bag, the dinghy doesn't. Couple hundred feet of tether and the dinghy (which, as I said before, has PF and floats high when swamped) will ride at the length of the tether dead down wind. Worst case scenario the tether parts. I also have two dinghys, both with PF, and two sea kayaks with float bags. All of which would have better survivability than an almost sunk cat.[/QUOTE

And of course you state this having the experience of riding out a storm on an almost sunk cat? Have you ever been in a life raft in adverse weather? Do you have three life rafts aboard knowing that they have a terrible reputation for actually inflating when needed?

Not too worried about mine. Ones brand new, the other two just inspected, tested, and repacked. If all three fail, I guess Poseidon is just against me.


Dougal Robertson and his family survived for quite awhile in their dinghy. Eight people in an 8' dinghy for 36 days IIRC. Our sailing dinghy is 12.5' with PF. It sleeps two comfortably and has a full cover. The RIB is 11.5' . Lots of options. The Robertsons got in the raft with the dinghy on a tether. Even Steve Callahan credits Robertson for teaching him how to survive at sea.
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Old 25-11-2013, 17:46   #128
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And because of his time spent aboard a life raft Steve Callahan now sails on multis. I wonder why.
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:05   #129
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Re: Unsinkable

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And because of his time spent aboard a life raft Steve Callahan now sails on multis. I wonder why.


Wish we could ask him if he chooses to sail on a multi with or without a life raft. I bet he takes one. Especially after keeping one afloat in all weather for 76 days most of the way across the Atlantic. And that was an old raft.
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:09   #130
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Re: Unsinkable

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I suspect your theory about a toxic mix of diesel and battery acid is just that...a theory. The acid will be so dilute you could drink it with no harm. The diesel will make a mess but unless you try drinking it, it should be pretty harmless.
He is correct about the acid, but it isn't the acid itself that is a problem (you are correct about the dilution). The problem is seawater with sulfuric acid creates hydrogen chloride, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen sulfite and hydrogen sulfate gasses, which are very toxic. However, with moderate ventilation, these will dissipate fairly quickly. But for a while, it will be toxic in there.

Assuming you have flooded cell batteries, of course. Gels, AGMs, LiFePO will not have this problem.

Diesel isn't really very toxic. I suspect Minaret himself spends quite a bit of time in contact with it. And I know of no catamarans with their diesel tanks vented into their cabins, which through the vent or fill is about the only way diesel is going to get out of the tank. If the multi is capsized, this isn't a problem at all, since the diesel will then be floating above the fill and vent.

Regarding life rafts - it is apparently a good idea to have three of them! I recently watched a "survivorman" TV show (or something like that name), where he was attempting to survive in a liferaft at sea. He bought from a boat a quality liferaft in a hard shell that was 6 months out of service date. He threw it in the water, pulled the cord and it would not inflate.

So they bought a brand new quality liferaft in a hard case, threw it in the water, pulled the cord and it inflated. For a minute, then deflated.

Then they bought a third brand new quality life raft in a hard case, threw it in the water and pulled the cord and it inflated. Upside down. He had a terrible time in calm water getting it to flip over even though it had an inflated canopy (I didn't understand why this alone didn't flip it). It stayed inflated for a day and then deflated so that he was pumping it up constantly.

I do not know what brands of rafts these were. The only things apparent were that they all had white hard cases, were 6-person rafts, had 3 tubes, had full inflatable canopies, had steps to enter them and tether points to tie things to. Again, one was 6 months past inspection date and the other two were brand new gear.
The eye-opener for me was how difficult it actually was to get into these things (well, the eye-opener after I had recovered from the spine-chilling paralysis I suffered from viewing the above). He fought and fought to get into it, even though it had a webbing ladder on it. And this was a younger person in excellent physical condition in dead calm water in daylight. When he finally got into it, he laid on the bottom gasping like a fish out of water.

The remainder of the show of him "surviving" in this raft was horrifying. He actually didn't make it through the time he was trying to. It was the only "fail" of his show, if I understood that correctly (it was the first and only time seeing his show, so I don't know much about it).

We will carry a liferaft, but will now never deploy or get into it unless absolutely everything, and I mean everything, sinks out underneath us and we get tired of treading water. If even one of our coolers are floating nearby, I think I would get in that before a raft.

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Old 25-11-2013, 18:13   #131
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Re: Unsinkable

Again I am trying to work out why its either or. Surely either is an option and both is better? Have a life raft by all means and if the awash multi is habitable, stay there, if it isnt then life raft but still with the multi upwind and providing a source of food water etc maybe.

I just dont get the stridency of a "life raft is it" with a decent multi, you get the choice of raft, multi or both? Surely that is better, What am I missing?
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:17   #132
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Re: Unsinkable

Les Stroud, "Survivorman", Season 1, Episode 9.
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:24   #133
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Re: Unsinkable

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Again I am trying to work out why its either or. Surely either is an option and both is better? Have a life raft by all means and if the awash multi is habitable, stay there, if it isnt then life raft but still with the multi upwind and providing a source of food water etc maybe.

I just dont get the stridency of a "life raft is it" with a decent multi, you get the choice of raft, multi or both? Surely that is better, What am I missing?



Both is undeniably better. It's just not what some here are making it out to be. The odds of staying inside an almost sunk boat, such as some of the ones pictured here, in any kind of conditions other than pretty calm, are slim. I certainly never said its a useless feature, just that I personally don't think it's all that some like to make it out to be. For instance, in the case of the last almost sunken cat pictured, it seems they were fortunate in that conditions were ideal and they were towed in and probably salvaged. Another boat might not have been in the same situation, who knows. It's not a bad feature, that's for sure. Just not one that I would base my decision on "what boat" on. And suggesting you don't need an offshore raft because you are making ocean passages on an "unsinkable" craft would be foolish and a disservice to others, IMHO. I think the idea that you can stay long term in a boat in this condition is probably misguided and should not be propagated, as it may tend to cause people to come less prepared in other ways.
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:44   #134
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Re: Unsinkable

Waiting for a rescue on a catamaran has to be better than when Nick Schuyler, a former University of South Florida football player, was found clinging to a propeller after 2 days on a capsized 21 foot boat.

Nick Schuyler was the lone survivor. His three friends slipped away into the water over the course of the two days.

The vessel carrying Corey Smith, a Detroit Lions free-agent defensive end and
Marquis Cooper, an Oakland Raiders linebacker;
Will Bleakley and Nick Schuyler, both former University of South Florida players.
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:55   #135
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Re: Unsinkable

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Waiting for a rescue on a catamaran has to be better than when Nick Schuyler, a former University of South Florida football player, was found clinging to a propeller after 2 days on a capsized 21 foot boat.

Nick Schuyler was the lone survivor. His three friends slipped away into the water over the course of the two days.

The vessel carrying Corey Smith, a Detroit Lions free-agent defensive end and
Marquis Cooper, an Oakland Raiders linebacker;
Will Bleakley and Nick Schuyler, both former University of South Florida players.


Did they have a raft? Might one have helped?
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