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Old 07-10-2008, 17:46   #1
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Offshore Sailor Needs Advice

Has anyone else been following this? He's three days out from CA and lost his self steering. Maybe someone here could offer some advise.

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"Things are deteriorating very very quickly aboard La Cenicienta. I no longer have self steering. I tried jury-rigging the steering hub about 6 seperate times yesterday, but I spend more time doing that while hove to, than under sail. I was going to put on the emergency tiller and rig up the wind vane to it, but I can't figure out how to get one piece off of my steering system, so I can't mount the tiller. I know, I know, I should have done all these things before I left, and familiarized myself with the boat. I didn't. It looks like I will have to hand steer to Hawaii."

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Old 07-10-2008, 18:08   #2
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Three days out of CA and he plans to hand steer to Hawaii instead of turning around and sailing a few hundred miles back to make repairs? He lost my sympathy.
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Old 07-10-2008, 18:19   #3
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Lost my steering 24hrs out of Chesapeake 2 years ago - steering cables jambed. I turned around and went back to Annapolis.
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Old 07-10-2008, 18:22   #4
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Any reason why the helm can't be jury rigged to the lines from the monitor?

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Old 07-10-2008, 18:49   #5
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Don't you just love wheels. Just what every cruising boat needs.

It'll be a long boring trip but doable. Put in 14-16 hours a day on the helm and heave to at night. Very little out there run into.

Should try and play around with sail trim and balancing the boat to see if he can get it to self steer.

If he can hook up the emergency tiller, it would be an easy way to get the self-steering back. If that works, I'd sell the Wheel pedestal in Hawaii and install a permanent tiller.

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Old 07-10-2008, 19:44   #6
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I was going to put on the emergency tiller and rig up the wind vane to it, but I can't figure out how to get one piece off of my steering system, so I can't mount the tiller.
How do we find someone to help him figure out how to dismantle his steering system?
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Old 07-10-2008, 20:04   #7
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Someone could attempt to help him fix the steering. What happens when the next thing fails.

He's been at sea a couple of days and has had fuel fumes, bilge pump and steering problems. His water supply is contaminated. He posted his sailing plans here before. He's done no ocean sailing. He's done no shakedown cruise. The steering is being held by zip ties.

I hope he doesn't hit a storm and I hope he doesn't need a rescue.

Going to sea requires a certain level of preparedness. And this fellow has not prepared.

He is getting a fair amount of action on his blog so good luck to him.

My advice is come home and do some coastal cruising for a while.
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Old 07-10-2008, 20:26   #8
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"How do we find someone to help him figure out how to dismantle his steering system?"
We don't. As Chuck said, he should have TURNED BACK TO PORT and then he can safely appraise the damage and effect repairs. The tipoff is:
""Things are deteriorating very very quickly"
That's not the way to embark on a solo bluewater crossing. When the gods give you a chance to take a Mulligan, you TAKE THE HINT.
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Old 07-10-2008, 21:08   #9
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Makes sense to me. I'd turn around. But if he's determined to go on...
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Old 07-10-2008, 21:16   #10
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Quote:
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How do we find someone to help him figure out how to dismantle his steering system?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
......
We don't. As Chuck said, he should have TURNED BACK TO PORT and then he can safely appraise the damage and effect repairs.......

When the gods give you a chance to take a Mulligan, you TAKE THE HINT.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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......... But if he's determined to go on...
Then he can't be helped - sorry but that is just the way it is!
But I do wish him good luck and he WILL learn something!
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Old 07-10-2008, 21:23   #11
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If the position is correct on the blog, it would be faster to continue on to Hawaii. It will be a long slog back to San Diego from that far out.

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Old 07-10-2008, 21:29   #12
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I couldn't find coordinates or distance traveled on the site. Google Earth calls it 2300+ miles to Honolulu. Eyeballing it, he looks less than 1/5th of the way. I call it 300-400 miles.

I don't think he is dangerously in distress. He's just got adversity going on and may not be sleeping enough.

He will learn. I think if he gets weather he is in big trouble.
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Old 07-10-2008, 22:25   #13
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.......

I don't think he is dangerously in distress. He's just got adversity going on and may not be sleeping enough.

He will learn. I think if he gets weather he is in big trouble.
OK my armchair view coming up . Weather shouldn't be a problem if he is well prepared and boat is able to hove to satisfactory.
Seems like the evidence to date would indicate the boat will "hove to" but not sure about the evidence supporting his preparedness.
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Old 07-10-2008, 22:29   #14
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OK my armchair view coming up . Weather shouldn't be a problem if he is well prepared and boat is able to hove to satisfactory.
Seems like the evidence to date would indicate the boat will "hove to" but not sure about the evidence supporting his preparedness.
This seems to be key.

I remember when he first posted and read his early stuff. I have not followed his blog. I did not want to read things similar to what this thread brought up.

I wish him luck.
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Old 07-10-2008, 23:00   #15
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This topic is also circling a very key issue. Sure there is preparing the boat and preparing the sailor to sail. Then there is preparing the sailor to fix things that break - because things will break.

The issue is decision making. He is making decisions as he goes along. He is viewing the trip as task management. He is getting overloaded with repair tasks and not doing the task that he wants to do and that is monitor the self steering, kick back and drink beer.

OK I am being a little unfair but the crossing is about managing a boat inlcuding the sailing, the repairing and the crew (even a crew of one) and he doesn't seem to be viewing things that way.

He also clearly underestimated single handed watch standing. The passages I read about talk about 2 hour watches and 30 minute rests with course and waking alarms set. I reckon in fair winds and weather the sleep cycles get extended.

It is a good learning lesson to watch this.
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