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Old 03-12-2011, 18:53   #1
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Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

It took 7 hours on Wednesday to fix the steering on my Gemini.
Thanks to people on here and a couple of video's one of the members sent me.
Thank you all for your very invaluable help, It was most appreciated.


I was anchored on the west side of Broughton Island.
Up anchor and head for Port Stephens, 3 hours away. To buy new parts.
A very black storm was directly in my path,
So I called Port Stephens Marine Rescue, They had an all ships warning out for severe winds in excess of 35 knots coming from the north west.

Not wishing to risk a dodgy steering in 35 knot winds, I simply sailed around into Esmeralda Cove on Broughton Island,
Safe and sound tucked away in Esmeralda Cove, Dead calm waters as he storm raged around elsewhere.
The only weather that could effect me here was directly from the south east. I was surrounded by high hills. Lovely spot I might add, 100 feet off the beach.

3-00 AM Thursday, Heather was up and looking at the fish with the spotlight, Still dead calm in there,

4-00 AM Thursday, Heather woke me and said we were on the beach and the rocks,

A screaming wind had come directly up the cove from the south east, dragging both anchors and putting us half on the beach and half on the rocks,
We were in no danger of sinking as we were on the beach, all I could do was tie us up to a B-B-Que table on the beach and a mooring bouy out in the Cove, to stop us going sideways onto the rocks,
A big rock has come through the Starboard hull and filled us with water.
Marine Rescue from Port Stephens took us off the beach at about 12 oclock and took us back to Port Stephens,

A very big thank you to the Volunteer Rescue Service from Port Stephens, They do a marvellous job in totally crap weather.

The Broughton Island Bay is not a place to be in bad weather, The big waves and chop were horrendous on the way out,
Fortunately I am Insured and the insurance company and the Broker were right on the ball and got every thing happening Immediately to salvage my boat before it could be further damaged,
It will be towed into Port Stephens on Tuesday, depending on the weather.

PSC Coast Wide Insurance Brokers.
Bundall Qld.

Trident Marine Insurance.
Mt Hawthorn, Perth.

Both these Companys have been extremely helpfull and informative on getting my vessel salvaged as quickly as possible.
They have been excellent.

Thats all the info I have for now,
I will keep you posted on further events.
I am stuck here at the Nelson Towers Motel for week till I know what is happening with my boat, and then I will drive home to Melbourne,
7 weeks at sea and then this happens,
I am very dissapointed in the extreme,
I just hope they dont write my lovely boat off, as I love it.

Mr B.
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Old 03-12-2011, 19:20   #2
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Re: Just when you think you are safe, CRASH.

That's horrible! Good luck getting everything all put back together.
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Old 03-12-2011, 19:21   #3
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Re: Just when you think you are safe, CRASH.

Sorry to hear of your misfortune Mr B. Good luck to you in the future.
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Old 03-12-2011, 19:24   #4
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Re: Just when you think you are safe, CRASH.

I am sorry to hear of your troubles mate; such is the joys (not) of the boating life.
But you and Heather are safe and I hope it turns out OK for your boat.
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Old 03-12-2011, 20:33   #5
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Re: Just when you think you are safe, CRASH.

So sorry to hear that. I'd been waiting for the post to tell us you had safely arrived at Yaringa as I was super keen to come and take a closer look at your new acquisition! As my wife just said you got so close.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:34   #6
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Re: Just when you think you are safe, CRASH.

So sorry to hear about your experience Mr.B – it must have been truly bewildering. Hope you can get everything back in order, and save your beautiful Gem. Glad we could help with the steering (I'm guessing that's not a big deal at the moment!). Good luck, and keep in touch.
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Old 05-12-2011, 23:43   #7
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Sorry for your grounding and being beat up on the rocks , hope you can get it fixed and get on your way soon. How big was the hole ?
I see you got some info on the stearing and rudder assembly, I just got back from our boat for the weekend and forgot the info again. I read about another Gemini 105Mc doing the same, getting washed up on the beach and hitting rocks this year, I think it was patched up and sailed away after about a week.

One thing we were doing this weekend was to work on our anchor rode and splice it to our 75 ft of chain so we'll have 325 ft of rode total with a 35 lb CQR anchor on our windless. We set up our second anchor the same length of chain and rode but with the 27lb claw anchor that came with our boat. I know this sounded a bit heavy but not after reading your story I think it's about right.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:21   #8
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Just so we can all learn from this...

... How deep was the water and what was the ground tackle? Where there big waves coming up the cove?

And even if the insurance does decide not to fix her, that doesn't mean you can't, not if you're handy with FRP and a few other things. They have to repair her to "like new", whereas you can accept structurally unimportant warts.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:32   #9
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

There but for the grace and all that...

So sorry to hear about this. Totally sucks.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:13   #10
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Two anchors, A Bruce and a Danforth, The sand anchor out the front and the big cast steel one out the back, Dragged both of them.
7 feet of water, 100 feet off the beach, dead calm at 3-00 AM, Screaming wind and waves from the south east at 4-00 AM, I was asleep when Heather woke me and said we were on the beach, I could hear we were on the rocks, It was crunching, All I could do was tie it to a picnic table up the beach and a bouy out the back when it got light, That was to stop it moving sideways down the beach onto more rocks,

It is repairable, I have one big hole in the starboard hull where a rock has come through, It was rocking on it, A few smaller ones in the port side,
I wont know the full extent till they get it here to Port Stephens and up on the lift.

Stuff all damage inside, Invertor, motor battery, regulater, and a couple of switches,
Pumps are all sealed types, so should be still good, House batterys are all AGM fully sealed, so should also be good still,

The expensive stuff, GPS, Radar, Autopilot, Etc, are all well above the water line and should be undamaged,
The Gemini has 2 complete fiberglass bodys, Hull and super structure
one is the bottom, From front to back and side to side.
One is the top, from front to back and side to side,
They stick them together in the middle, where the hand rail goes around, so its a very strong hull,
So a hole is just a repair,
It was sitting on the beach and the rocks, more on the beach than the rocks, so saving a lot of damage, not any severe structural damage as it was sitting flat on the beach,
$1500-00 will replace the inverter and regulater and switches, 10,000 watt 12 volt DC 240 Volt AC 100% duty cycle full cine inverter is $500-00 plus postage, It also includes 4 fully submersible 1100 GPH pumps for future peace of mind,

If the insurance dont repair it, I will, Up on blocks, Its a weeks work to fully patch the holes.
There is nothing else wrong with the boat,
The motor can be drained of oil and water if any got in to it and refilled, The gear box might have water from the breather on top, and the diesel tanks may have got water in them, But that can be syphoned out,
The fridge is gas and needs a good wash off with fresh water,
The timber wasnt submerged long enough to get any damage, a good week to dry out and a bit of teak oil, brand new again,
Cushions, Mattresses and bedding, just need a fresh water wash and dry out, good as new, and they will be clean as well.

Microwave will be Kaput as it went under,
Thats it,

So the biggest expense will be the salvage and getting it back here after temporary repairs to make it sea worthy,

It will probably be here Thursday if the weather is good,

Nearly 3000 Nautical miles and then this happens, Bugger, Bugger,Bugger,
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:26   #11
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Mate, you didn't loose your boat (or yourself) so all is good. Once you have come to terms with the repair and see it coming together again, you will feel better about it all.

Sometime in the future you will actually enjoy telling the story about the night you nearly lost your boat so close to home!

And although now is not the time to reflect on anchoring techniques, you will start thinking "how could I have done better"? Perhaps the Danforth out the front was not the best idea without having a anchor / weather watch etc etc etc.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:44   #12
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Mate, you didn't loose your boat (or yourself) so all is good. Once you have come to terms with the repair and see it coming together again, you will feel better about it all.

Sometime in the future you will actually enjoy telling the story about the night you nearly lost your boat so close to home!

And although now is not the time to reflect on anchoring techniques, you will start thinking "how could I have done better"? Perhaps the Danforth out the front was not the best idea without having a anchor / weather watch etc etc etc.
First cab off the rack when I get home is two new anchors I will make myself,
Copys of the Rocna type anchor, These ones wont drag as they will be heavy enough to sink in anything and stay there,
The ones I make, are the same type on a boat That I was talking to the owner, he said he was in 170 knot winds and they did not move an inch, It was on a Monohull about 50 feet long.

There are a few things that I will change on her when I get it home,
Then it will be a truly safe boat,
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:35   #13
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

My buddy sails his Gemini out in BVI and uses his danforth and 30 ft of chain that came with the boat but he says he has to dive and make sure the anchor is really set to hold because it will drag in sand. We sold the danforth that came with our Gemini for $15 bucks about what it was worth sence were in too cold of water to dive in. Hitting rocks is our worst nightmare, sorry you did.
Were drying out small water bottles to put in the aft under the beds in the empty cavity with the small round hatch, I put almost 200 16 oz bottles in one and it's not full yet and will fill the starboard cavity, this is suspost to help keep the boat floating if holed.

How did you keep the boat afloat while towing it off the beach?

On another subject I just read on CF that some guy sailing around Australia had hit a sunkin shipping container they think and lost there boat and was rescued in there dingy. Sailing has it's risks at least your both safe.
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Old 06-12-2011, 16:15   #14
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Its still on the beach getting temporary repairs, so they can bring it to Port Stephens and lift it out for the assessor to go over it,
They have blow up bags under it,
If the danforth is the sand anchor, its bloody useless, It get rocks caught in the swivel and wont work.
The other one rolls on its back and is also useless, The big cast steel one, Might as well throw out the anchor chain with nothing on the end of it.

Its a learning curve, I have only used the anchors a couple of times, I am usually tied to a mooring bouy,
Tuesday night. I sat up all night because I was worried that the anchors would drag.
on the west side of Broughton Island before fixing my steering, They didnt, but I was stuffed on the Wednesday night and was asleep when they let go and we ended up on the beach on Thursday morning in the dark.
It wont happen again,
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Old 06-12-2011, 16:31   #15
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Re: Just when You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Mate, you didn't loose your boat (or yourself) so all is good. Once you have come to terms with the repair and see it coming together again, you will feel better about it all.

Sometime in the future you will actually enjoy telling the story about the night you nearly lost your boat so close to home!

And although now is not the time to reflect on anchoring techniques, you will start thinking "how could I have done better"? Perhaps the Danforth out the front was not the best idea without having a anchor / weather watch etc etc etc.
I will do better, new anchors that will hold in any conditions,
Heather was watching fish with the spotlight at 3-00 AM, it was dead calm,
Then she went back to bed,
4-00 AM That screaming south easterly came up and blew us onto the beach.
Its the only wind direction that could have effected us where we were.

I had the GPS set on 50 feet anchor drag. But I turned it off as we were only 100 feet off the beach.
There would have been no damage if it had of gone straight onto the beach as it was all sand in front of us, But it went sideways onto the rocks just off the beach.
I am lucky. we are not injured, we are safe,
But I have since been told of some very bad cases where they didnt fair so well.
One went through the propellor, another got dragged on his harness and could not get back on the boat, Both fatal.
Make sure your harness is short enough to keep you on the boat and not over the side, That water is so powerfull, you cant drag yourself back on board.
And usually your other crew if you have them are asleep when you go over, or cant hear you in the water.
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