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Old 09-10-2008, 15:13   #46
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The reason why he hasn't rigged the emergency tiller is the reason I started this thread. He's having trouble dismantling the steering. He can't figure out how to remove a particular piece. Unfortunately, I don't have any other information than that. I checked out his website and saw that he was having problems that don't have to be so terrible. He just doesn’t have the required experience to make repairs. Either do I. I hoped someone here could offer some help. Some have tried, but I don't think we're getting enough information from him to help.

Thanks to all who have offered constructive advice.
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Old 09-10-2008, 15:29   #47
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From his website:

"The Coast Guard just called. They said that Ronnie had activated his emergency beacon. I do not have anyother informatio, but will keep the site posted"
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Old 09-10-2008, 16:04   #48
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Website says rudder post sheared off.
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Old 09-10-2008, 16:11   #49
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It says the rudder is still in place, and straight inline with the boat. FEAR got the best of him. Unfortunately it happens to even the strongest. I think it was Alan that said not knowing what to do, lack of experience, makes everything worse!
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Old 09-10-2008, 16:33   #50
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Confusion is rampant. I can't tell, after three readings, what is broken and what is attached. Could be the rudder post broke but the rudder is bouyant and still "in" the tube. Or...maybe it is just the steering that's broken and the rudder is undamaged, or jammed.

"I hoisted the sails back up and started to get going, but I have no steering. the rudder post is broken. not the linkage, but the post. it is broken. if i turn the wheel, everything works, but you can see it turning on the rudder post. it sheared off. it was old, fatigued metal i guess. i dont know. i am on a boat, 700 miles from land, WITH NO STEERING. there is nothing that i can do. i am going to call mayday and try to get rescued. i am going to be activating my EPIRB with the Unique Identification Number 2DCC56C554FFBFF. notify the coast guard with that number, and let them know it is me. I am at 28*21' N, 129*44' W. No matter which way i turn the rudder, or how hard, I loko over the side, and it's staying same position. dead ahead. boat is just rocking too. fear its going to roll over in these seas, because i am beam on to the ocean."

More to the point if he is beam on, he's going to get rolled and hurt. Surely one of them would think to ask some professional sailor "How to I get off this beam-on position?" and start down the damage control list.

Wx between SD and HI does not look like a good place to be in a broken boat. If I read his position properly, he's more than 100 miles beyond helo range and the winds are just going to take him FURTHER away from it. A Herc can't help him, so he'll either have to sit it out, or wait for surface assets, probably some 30 hours more IF they can steam something from SD, less only if they can steam something with a rescue helo on deck--and able to get off.

May the Gods protect madmen and fools, I don't envy him out there.
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Old 09-10-2008, 17:29   #51
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At this point the Coast Guard has probably diverted a merchant ship to his last reported position. I suggest keeping a good lookout for ships and standing by with a VHF on channel 16. Be ready with a flare.
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Old 09-10-2008, 17:52   #52
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Ronnie can try lashing a spinnaker pole to the toe rail or rail cleat. Use the pole like an oar to hold a course.
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Old 09-10-2008, 19:07   #53
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I think the blogs comm link back to Ronnie is no longer working but that he is communicating with the USCG via SSB.

He could also rig some kind of sea anchor, but I suspect that right now hes just sitting it out and hoping they find him soon.

Wonder if we'll ever find out what happened with the steering, would hazard a guess that the final problem was related to the windvane issues.
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Old 09-10-2008, 19:19   #54
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Maybe he has a video of the steering.
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Old 09-10-2008, 19:45   #55
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Others might disagree, but given his level of experience, I think Ronnie did the right thing by activating his EPIRB. Without getting into the whole discussion of whether or not he should have gone, what would you more experienced sailors have done? He mentioned winds of 30 Ė 35 kts and a broken rudder post. He hasnít mentioned sea state lately, but I think in an earlier post he said seas were about 15 - 20 feet. He didnít have any options, but would a well seasoned sailor have been able to continue? What could have been done? I know this requires some assumptions, but Iíd be interested in hearing what the experts have to say.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 09-10-2008, 19:46   #56
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Maybe he has a video of the steering.
I think it's beyond fixing the steering now. He pulled the ripcord. I can't see them not talking him off the boat. I don't think he wants to stay anyway.

As I said before, a few coastal shakedown cruises, delay the trip a couple of weeks, and this would be a completely different story.
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Old 09-10-2008, 22:41   #57
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From his website:

"Ronnie was picked up about 30 minutes ago by a frieght ship headed to Shanghi, China. He is in good spirits but very shaken. The steering on his vessel was destroyed and he was in 20 to 30 foot seas. The official wind report was 35 to 40 knots with gusts higher. The ship ran into Ron's boat on the first attempt dismasting and crushing the front of the boat. The second attempt they snatched him with a rope and pulled him up. His leg was injured in the hoist by his solar panels banging him in between the two vessels. He has all video in tact and his laptop, which is wet. He called me from a sat phone aboard the ship and was grateful to have been rescued. He is now heading to China, but the capatain is attempting to re-route to Hawaii. I will keep you posted. The journey is not over, but it has taken a twist. One site said that the trip was no longer "eco" friendly, this may be true, but this is just the first leg!

-RJ
Yes, there are small obstacles to him continuing, like, no boat, but were working on that...
He said the mast went under water four times, but his boat did not roll. He admits he was not mentally prepared for this and is happy to be alive."
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Old 09-10-2008, 23:47   #58
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This is where the experience makes things easier. All those little things like how to set up emergency steering, how to trawl warps to steer, how to use sails to steer, what to expect with seas, and so on and so on. Without having any of that experience, it suddenly becomes all too big and demoralising out there.
Can anyone remember a certain couple on a certain cat that made a journey around the world not knowing any of this and fortunately they made it. But mate didn't some of us get a right royal roasting by them and some others for the comments made. But this here story is exactly what many of us were trying to say. It can go horribly wrong and the difference between making it the journey or not is simply knowing the tricks.
And another reason why NZ requires a certain level of safety standard and Crew knowledge before Kiwi's are allowed to head off.
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Old 10-10-2008, 00:06   #59
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Old 10-10-2008, 00:25   #60
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This is where the experience makes things easier. All those little things like how to set up emergency steering, how to trawl warps to steer, how to use sails to steer, what to expect with seas, and so on and so on.
How to turn back when a critical boat system fails 200 miles out...

Not to be cruel as he's suffered enough but damn...
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