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Old 13-10-2008, 13:27   #151
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We've seen at least 2 others make absurd announcements about how they would circumnavigate with no offshore experience or with an completely unseaworthy boat in the last year. The the Northsea 27 gal and the aluminum tri. Each of these with a whole herd of internet cheerleaders. There is nothing wrong with dealing with the reality of what these folks propose to do and making clear statements about the issues and problems they will likely face. You are not negative just because you are not an online cheerleader.



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Then too, there was another long blog circumnavigation announcement about a real estate agent from Florida on a Flica. Out into the gulf (when advised not to on account of the weather etc.) and back in a short time. Haven't heard anything lately.
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Old 13-10-2008, 13:29   #152
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Well, quite apart from the problems with the boat, he apparently had no parachute or drogue. With one of those, he might have been able to keep her bow (or stern) to the wind. He could have also jury rigged a steering oar out of a whisker pole or spare spar with a piece of plywood lashed to it. It might have been enough for him to sail back to CA.

Most importantly, he should have turned back as soon as the windvane failed-- or maybe even sooner.

I realize that it is easy to propose nifty solutions from the comfort of one's keyboard. But he simply wasn't prepared.
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Old 13-10-2008, 23:48   #153
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To the members of cruisersforum.com

Now that that emotional time is behind us, we want to thank everyone for their support and even their constructive criticisms. Hopefully we will learn from this experience and from the advice of the seasoned sailors on this forum. Hopefully others will learn from our mistakes. Now that we’ve had some time to think about it, we have decided that Donations are not appropriate. To continue to fund our venture, we are working on some other ideas. Those ideas will be addressed on our website as they develop. In the meantime, we’ve heard that some of the members here have questions for Ronnie. He will do his best to answer all those questions and provide photos and video whenever possible. While the website might require membership for full access to all material, that doesn’t apply to this forum; which is obviously an open forum for the free exchange of information. I’m sure what we learn from the many years of experience on this forum will be priceless
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Old 14-10-2008, 02:41   #154
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While the website might require paid membership for full access to all material, that doesn’t apply to this forum; which is obviously an open forum for the free exchange of information.
RJ, you forgot a word, I put it in for you. Otherwise I didn't make any sense.

I looked up what happened to Skip Allen, here's the link for those interested:

Decision Many of you know of ocean racing legend Skip Allan's trauma in scuttling his Wylie 28 "Wildflower" while sailing the boat back from Hawaii after his win in the Single Handed Transpac. We dropped Skip a note and he was good enough to share th

It is clear from this that Skip encountered much worse conditions than Ronnie. Though I do find myself asking why Skip chose to press on when the reports were all bad, and projected to remain so for several days, and the situation was getting worse.

I got the sense he was just not willing to wait it out when the ominous Gale was first announced. Instead, he appeared to be lamenting his loss of speed.

BWS
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Old 14-10-2008, 09:39   #155
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I'm trying to stay out of this debate, but... Has anyone that advocates making a steering oar or lashing a piece of plywood to a pole actually TRIED doing this? I haven't - but I've heard about those that HAVE. Basically, it comes down to this: It doesn't work. At all.
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Old 14-10-2008, 09:51   #156
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I can't imagine it working as we think of steering. I am thinking that if you slow the boat down you could make some adjustment in direction of the boat. I would think the keel, or keels would be your major directional stability. Once you are going in the desired direction there will be trimming of the sails for fine tuning. ANYTHING is worth a try to keep from abandoning the boat.
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Old 14-10-2008, 10:08   #157
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Just looked it up. Evans Starzinger wrote an article I remembered for Cruising World, back in Dec 2006. Basically, he found that the old floorboard and a pole was totally unworkable. He found next to no solutions that worked. Steering with a drogue IS possible, but you would have to rig a pole perpendicular to your stern, and a tackle system to use it.
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Old 14-10-2008, 10:18   #158
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I'm trying to stay out of this debate, but... Has anyone that advocates making a steering oar or lashing a piece of plywood to a pole actually TRIED doing this? I haven't - but I've heard about those that HAVE. Basically, it comes down to this: It doesn't work. At all.
I'll defer to those more experienced, but there must be some way to jury rig a steering device. How did the polynesians steer their seagoing rafts?

You can also steer a boat with the sails, albeit badly. I've done this in a dinghy, and don't see why it couldn't be done in a larger boat when the weather moderates.

The fact is (unless I missed it) he never deployed a parachute or a drogue. If he had heaved to under a parachute as soon as the self-steering broke, with his tiller lashed to head her up into the wind, he might still have his boat.
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Old 14-10-2008, 10:21   #159
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I've heard that the big problem with lashing or "U-bolting" a cabinet door or locker top on a whisker pole is that the board rotates and thus won't steer.

There's another method that does work, though. On the 2005 Caribbean 1500 (Virginia to Tortola), two boats had rudders damaged, and one lost his rudder entirely. He was able to steer for 400 nm or so with warps trailing astern on a bridle rigged to the cockpit winches. The warps could be adjusted to one side or the other by winching in a leg of the bridle, and the drag would change the heading of the boat. Balancing the sails was a key part of the strategy. This method has a good track record of success, as long as you're sailing off the wind.
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Old 14-10-2008, 10:47   #160
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From what I have read, attaching drouge to bow is a bad idea.You want to slow boat but keep it travelling the way it is meant to,FORWARD!If you are bow upwind and boat gets moving downwind it puts huge reversing forces on rudder ,resulting in loss of rudder altogether.You dont string out warps from bow,why would you put drouge on bow?
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Old 14-10-2008, 10:54   #161
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Because you have heaved to and the parachute keeps the boat from moving very fast. The idea is to go as slowly as possible with your bow pointed into the wind, or at some acute angle off the wind.

I think the experts are split on this one. With catamarans, there seems to be a consensus that a sea anchor works best. With monohulls, some advocate a sea anchor, others a drogue.

It seems to me that if you use a drogue astern in a situation where you have lost your rudder, it better be one hell of a drogue, because if you get moving too fast you are dead.
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Old 14-10-2008, 12:05   #162
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For those that say you cannot rig a steering oar. I have news for you, it does work.

I was racing across the English Channel as crew in a 32ft Joet. We were in the lead on as narrow a track as we could manage with the spinnaker and in mid channel (about 40 miles from a decent harbour), when she suddenly rounded up, went back on course and rounded up again. We realised that we had no steering. In 25 minutes we had taken a washboard from the top of one of the lockers under the bunks, and secured it to the spinnaker pole using a large number of cable ties.and other lashing through a series of holes we drilled .

We mounted the pole nearly vertical over the stern, with a lashing at the pivot point, and additional lashing from the top of the pole to the backstay in order to keep the board in the water.

We then started to motor back. It was force 6, and our best track was through the needles. The biggest problem was how to turn the spinnaker pole, and for this we added a couple of adjustable wrenches. Admitted we had to trade jobs about every 30 minutes, but we were going through a pretty narrow channel so needed a lot more steeering than open ocean.

It worked so well, that instead of stopping in Lymington to seek succour, we just carried on to our base in Portsmouth.
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Old 14-10-2008, 12:59   #163
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Talbot,

Only pictures could make it better.
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Old 14-10-2008, 14:42   #164
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First post on this site, but I'm the DAN that posted on the OPH site and stirred up a bit of a hornets nest -- not anyone else on this site.I had just found the OPH site and thought it was interesting so I read back to some of the early blogs and was astounded by some of the brothers' attitudes and some of the reactions to them. Clearly no one on the site really had Ronnie's best interests at heart, folks just kept encouraging him to "go for it" "you only live once", etc. Ronnie documented his preparations well and it was clear that he had no business embarking on any kind of bluewater trip.Anyway, I posted nothing until I saw that he had been rescued. Looking back at it, my two posts could have been a little more tactful, but the points are accurate none the less. Either way, they stirred up a bit of a hornets nest.Here is what I posted:____________DANJust found this site, read most of it and I'm glad he's safe, but I'm sorry, what an airhead! He basically considered himself fit to sail around the world after a few "booze cruise" shakedown sails along the coast, are you kidding me???? With a marginal amount of research he could have seen that he was sailing right into Cyclone Season. One of the most important pieces of safety equipment aboard an ocean going boat is a storm anchor, why none? Would have made his life tremendously more comfortable and likely would have even saved the rudder from breaking. Perhaps spending less money on a new stereo and flat panel TV and focusing a bit more on education and safety equipment would have faired him well. Please don't set off on another half-brained mission like this again, we'll end up having to spend more tax dollars and risking more lives for a rescue.__________________CAPT. MWell... Bless your poor cold Obamian loving nonempathetic heart that this young man and his brother BOTH CHOSE TO FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOMS in Iraq and Afghanistan so that you could sit there and express your small minded views openly. As far as tax dollars, THEY and their families are probably paying for you to sit there and run your mouth EVEN THOUGH there were NOT ANY tax payer dollars spent on this wounded AMERICAN VETERAN'S rescue. THANK GOODNESS SOME OF US STILL HAVE DREAMS and are free to live them -- the only risk to lives, was his own. This IS AMERICA! Wonder what YOUR service record for protecting these GREAT UNITED STATES looks like... OF COURSE that is a rhetorical question... You CAN read, can't you? Don't forget to vote.___________________DANObamian loving? Where did that come from? Yes, I applaud his sacrifice in the war, as I do all of the great Americans who have joined our volunteer military to protect our rights and freedoms. The fact that he's a wounded American veteran has nothing to do with the fact that he acted like a flighty teenager acting on impulse with no planning. Sure, he is free to do whatever he likes, he can jump off a bridge if he wants, but he better be prepared to suffer the consequences. He got lucky this time, hope he thinks through his "dream" a little better before striking out again. And yes, other lives were at risk because of him. The lives of the brave Coast Guard team that was heading out to rescue him, the lives of the crew on the commercial ship who had to alter their route to perform a rescue in less than ideal circumstances. The point is, people should put a little more thought into something before acting on an impulse. Oh, and yes, I was doing my part to keep this country safe, both before and after 911._________________A few more posts directed at me disparaging my patriotism____________________DANWell, good luck.___________________On another note... don't most of you responsible blue water cruisers carry insurance on your boats?
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Old 14-10-2008, 15:26   #165
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We “Palen” comparison to your wisdom Dan…thank you for bringing this discussion to a new level.....
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