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Old 10-07-2017, 22:42   #1
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Boats lost in the Pacific.

I had previously reported that two of the 200 boats, that we know personally, sank during the 2015 east to west crossing of the Pacific. One between Galapogags and Marquesas and one when the boat hit Tonga.

Since then two more boats belonging to friends have been lost. One was abandoned somewhere near Tahiland and one hit a reef in Fiji.

That is close to an annual loss rate of 1%!

Does anyone know the loss rate of world cruising boats?
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Old 10-07-2017, 23:21   #2
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
I had previously reported that two of the 200 boats, that we know personally, sank during the 2015 east to west crossing of the Pacific. One between Galapogags and Marquesas and one when the boat hit Tonga.

Since then two more boats belonging to friends have been lost. One was abandoned somewhere near Tahiland and one hit a reef in Fiji.

That is close to an annual loss rate of 1%!

Does anyone know the loss rate of world cruising boats?
Presumably you meant Thailand? If so, that is hardly part of an E-W Pacific crossing.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:56   #3
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

The boat was one that crossed the Pacific in 2015 and they were friends we had eaten dinner with on our boat and they were still part of a nearly annual 1% loss rate of boats we know that are actively cruising the Pacific and beyond.

Does anyone have any factual information on cruising boat losses.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:09   #4
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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Does anyone have any factual information on cruising boat losses.
There are a few (only a very few) people in the insurance business who have some relevant information; but it is not public and it does not include a fully representative sample of the entire fleet.

Your 1% number is at least in the right order of maginitude. The number is definitely higher than .1%, and definitely less than 10%.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:25   #5
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

I have pondered this issue, the real risk of transoceanic crossings. This question I have had for number of years after becoming a member of CF. A number of posters touch on risk and several attempted to catalog the losses but real risk numbers are hard to come by. We more or less know about the missing but how many cross the Atlantic or the Pacific each year? We don't know the denominator well. One can make estimates I guess?

It is my gut feeling that crossing oceans is a substantially higher risk than most are aware especially relative to driving cars or flying commercial or SCUBA diving or sky diving for example. In general, perceived risk is higher than real risk but with regard to crossing oceans I think the perceptions are reversed.

One lost yacht with only 100 crossing the Atlantic in a season is a 1 percent rate. This is a huge risk number. Consider that three or four yachts were just lost on the Atlantic this last month in the east to west UK race.

On our 2010 Halifax to Oban planned crossing we ended up 300 miles off the coast of Spain and landed in Cork while dodging 4 very powerful lows. The last low that went by was 970 mbar. FWIW this low is between a Cat 1 and Cat 2 hurricane center pressures. It pays to have good weather forecasting and a strong boat when offshore.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:40   #6
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

I do not have exact figures but my estimate is about 1% in the Atlantic. I have quite decent view over the area over last 10 years as we sail here and I also work here (wx routing). There are fewer boats, but apparently more accident reports in the Pacific.

The Indian then is under-reported. Two years ago a friend crossed and there were 4 (sic) abandons in his pack. There were 7 major fails. This is heaps given the very few boats that cruise / cross that ocean.

So my guesstimate would be possibly more than 1%, way less than 5%, with quite some regional / seasonal variation.

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Old 11-07-2017, 08:47   #7
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

It does not seem like crossing is high risk per se. Mind plenty of contributing factors like poor equipment, age issues, skill level, etc.

Sitting on a sofa is high risk when you are 99, too.

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Old 11-07-2017, 08:53   #8
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Ask Rebel Heart.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:21   #9
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

A plain figure doesn't mean much if there is no "why" and "how". Valuable learning comes from the chain of events that lead to disaster - otherwise it's like judging the risks of driving a truck based on bicycle accidents. Sailing boats are very different, cruising grounds/weather patterns are very different, and maybe the most important: skippers are very different.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:27   #10
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Two of the lost boats had structural failures, one hit Tonga while the sick skipper was asleep and one hit a known reef in the daylight.

Half boat and half human failure.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:38   #11
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Two of the lost boats had structural failures, one hit Tonga while the sick skipper was asleep and one hit a known reef in the daylight.

Half boat and half human failure.
I can't see how it was even a little bit the boats fault in either case you mention above? It sounds a lot more like 100% operator error to me. I do understand how being sick aboard a boat would be a huge distraction so am not suggesting he was a bad skipper at all, but it wasn't the boats fault either.
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:01   #12
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Yes, it's about right

I just crossed the Atlantic and the OSTAR race had about 3 lost/abandoned and the sorry ass or 3 that dragged themselves into Horta were lucky/magnificent not to have gone the same way.

During my Pacific crossing there were a few that I remember: Jan Socrates into a beach on wind vane; another boat into a reef entering 1 of the Somas, Moondancer tried to stay at anchor in a hurricane. They were all 2009 when I did it.

And of course the people who hit the Red Button when they get sea sick.

This stuff gets scary... And for good reason.

Sometimes I wonder why I do it.


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Old 11-07-2017, 12:25   #13
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Seems to be a lot offloating junk out there. In the current Transpac a fast tri lost a rudder to a collisipn with junk and they mention the proliferation of junk in the water.
I crewed from Vanuatu to Honolulu and never saw a single thing....
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:36   #14
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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Moondancer tried to stay at anchor in a hurricane.
Not this Moondancer.
Maybe it was just a similar name? Sailing Anarchy dude.
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Old 11-07-2017, 13:06   #15
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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A plain figure doesn't mean much if there is no "why" and "how". Valuable learning comes from the chain of events that lead to disaster - otherwise it's like judging the risks of driving a truck based on bicycle accidents. Sailing boats are very different, cruising grounds/weather patterns are very different, and maybe the most important: skippers are very different.

So if you study and know all the whys and hows and you do perfect boat and passage preparation and are an excellent skipper making perfect decisions then the risk is zero?
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