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Old 12-09-2012, 05:37   #1
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Getting Aboard in the Rough?

First post - so please be gentle I want to cruise the world on a small-moderate cat with my partner. I have yet to turn my want into our objective - but I am working on it. So I saw this story monday on sailing anarchy / cross current. It is about boarding a monohull at anchor in chop of Pitcairn Island - and links to a frightening video. I hope the link works Dangerous attempt to board Yacht off Pitcairn Island during storm - YouTube ... I saw this and thought - how would I do something like this with the wife. one of us would drown. If we didnt then the boat might drag the anchor. I am after thoughts from those that have been out there, and how they would approach this problem. Dave
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:05   #2
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Welcome-the short answer is don't be stupid like these people. First/ better have a really big reason to leave your boat at anchor in conditions like this. Stay on the boat; that is not a protected anchorage! Also- these fools do not know how to board their own boat! Have a system! Don't be hanging off and trying to climb on in any conditions.

And- don't back up outboard motors into your hull! How many hits did that boat get? Unreal!
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:31   #3
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Yeah, really. Don't let this video scare you. This is not something that the average cruiser ever experiences.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:44   #4
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

I saw that video and spent the next half hour uncurling my toes. Jesus how dumb can you get?

The guy is very lucky he didn't get killed out there. You should always have a safe way of getting back onto you boat when you leave it. The major problem is that these folks waited much too long ashore before going back out.

I'm surprised the guy in the water didn't get run over by the outboard motor.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:47   #5
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, dafid.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:50   #6
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Most cruisers who are not Olympic gymnasts leave a boarding ladder down.

I would also have taken off the life jacket to get aboard--it was really getting in the way.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:49   #7
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Life jacket was useful when he would fall down - it allowed him to rest before climbing in the dinghy.


I'm more curious how he actually got the boat off anchor by himself. Really hope he had windlass control at the helm or a good auto-pilot (preferably with remote) to keep the boat slowly motoring towards the anchor as he was picking up the chain. Otherwise it would be no fun.
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Old 12-09-2012, 21:42   #8
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Wow - awesome real life video. Easy to call them idiots but there are a ton of lessons to learn.

Equipment - Imagine a dodgy dinghy engine. One engine failure away from disaster. Boarding ladder - definitely needed one. Throwing ropes - no backup plan on the dinghy side if the swimmer got separated. What about fore and aft lead lines rigged on the boat so the dinghy can be brought aboard the dinghy and still allow the dinghy to stand of in the bad swells.

The Boat - Say what you want about anchoring but I want his ground tackle. You don't sail off that shore. How stirred up do you think his diesel tanks were? Clean tanks, clean fuel, reliable diesel - check!

Technique - Certainly helped to be young and fit. Clearly though boarding this boat from the stern was a bad idea. That was the most concerning moment for me aside from the fatigue factor that must have been setting in. Fatigue is insidious.

Like Katiusha I am curious about "the rest of the story." How did the skipper eventually get on board? No davits so I presume they had to tow the dinghy out. I can't see hoisting it on deck in that washing machine.

Sometimes you get yourself in a bad situation, there but for the grace of God and all that.

Was the weather and sea state predicted? I certainly don't know. Leave a crewman on-board. Sounds the go unless short handed.

Amazing video for safety awareness...

Oh and speaking of cats - Sure made me think about an alternate boarding plan if the stern was pitching like this one...
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Old 12-09-2012, 22:44   #9
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

To get on the boat I agree with the boarding ladder but given the situation I think that it is a matter of timing. You need to wait till the boat is has a minimum of freeboard showing and then get the heaviest part of your body over the rail so that when the boat pops up it takes you with it.

I really would like to know what happened afterwards. I would be tempted to stay at anchor with the engine running to "help" the anchor hold.

Here is more info on the boat but no mention of how they got the anchor up. http://svsoutherncross.co.nz/testimonials.php?id=60
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Old 12-09-2012, 22:44   #10
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Ex-Calif hit a lot of the points I was thinking about. Especially stirred up diesel tanks. I just can't imagine motoring off from there and the engine dying from sludge. Then having no sea room to fix the problem. I think the boat was better off on the end of it's ground tackle.


I always have my boarding ladder rigged with a slip knot I can yank and pull the ladder down from outside the boat. Not for this reason but because I am terrified of drowning on the end of a jack line. Although it sure would have helped here.
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Old 12-09-2012, 23:22   #11
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

I would like to know what the end result was of that fiasco. Unless the boat was such a slug that it would not make any progress to windward in those conditions then the traditional method would have been to bouy the anchor and hoist the main and have a jib ready to hoist or roll out and then slip the anchor and get the hell out of there. Even if you have to tack back and forth for a few days before you can retrieve your anchor, that is still better than sitting there waiting for the chain to break or the anchore to drag as conditions get worse. If your engine wont work when you are leaving, then it wont work when your chain breaks or the anchor drags. Think of that option! WE HAVE SAILBOATS, the engine is called an auxillary engine and can be wonderful, but we need to know how to SAIL. Just another 2 cents worth._____Grant.
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Old 13-09-2012, 07:57   #12
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

I contacted the guy who climbed on to the boat and here is his reply as to what happened afterwards.
Dear Charlie,

Thanks for your message,

Yes as soon as i got on board the yacht i pulled my Captain up and he went to the helm to start the engine and put her in gear. He drove her forward into the wind and waves and eased off the anchor lines from further weakening the structure of the boat. I lifted the main anchor meter by meter as i straddled the bowsprit. I was thrown about a lot but managed to clear the bottom and hoist the anchor up.

The secondary anchor we had in place had to be pulled up manually, but as Captain Paul had slackened the lines it was not impossible.

Once both anchors were raised we took the boat to the lee side of Pitcairn and anchored off Ginger Valley/Ted side if you know Pitcairn.

Hope this answers your question, thanks for visiting Dyslexicnomad.

Cheers,

Felix
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:11   #13
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

Stay ashore until the conditions moderated....

But, that's not what you really need to take away from this. What you need to grasp is the fact that when "out there" you will encounter lots of POTENTIALLY dangerous situations that will require YOU and ONLY YOU to make the safe decision.

As you have observed yours and you wife's life may hang on that decision.

EXPERIENCE helps... Being really really cleaver is also a help...
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:29   #14
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

For all the 8' Walker Bay hard dinks with 2 hp motors. Try this in conditions half as bad.
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:42   #15
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Re: Getting Aboard in the Rough?

At that point I'd say the boat was on its own to weather that storm. It would have been better to have been on board before the weather got that bad and move to the anchorage on the lee side of the island before going ashore.

Once it's that bad, get a hotel room and hope your ground tackle holds.
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