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Old 19-02-2015, 16:22   #1
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Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

This is an interesting read. Woke me up to a few things.

- Handheld comm gear is a must have
- Secure your gear - Finding stuff after a roll over was a problem for this couple.
- Spare batteries etc. should be in waterproof zip bags
- Their abandon ship means was their dinghy - it was no inflated and was stored in the v-berth - Could have been disastrous

Be ready at all times to leave the boat in a big hurry.

Voice of Experience: Staring into Oblivion | Sail Magazine
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Old 19-02-2015, 16:33   #2
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

Useful story.

Its looks like it might have been a BWB.
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Old 19-02-2015, 16:53   #3
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

A chilling story. Many useful lessons.

Among them -- strength and structural integrity of a boat is not a trivial question, in that moment when you really need it.

EPIRB.

Life raft.

Autonomous comms gear with spare batts.
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Old 19-02-2015, 17:24   #4
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

Another thought is actively helming when in tough conditions. Had he stayed at the tiller (lashed in) he may have been able to take the wave on the bow and not the beam.


Maybe no drama at all.
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Old 19-02-2015, 17:41   #5
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

I read about this boat a few years ago on James Baldwin site, he has a link to their travels and blog. If you look at the pictures of the damaged area it appears that the fiberglass tore near the top of the side if the hull right below the hull to deck joint. the hull to deck joint appears to be intact. I am only basing this off of picture only.

On my Alberg 30, very similar design to the of the Pearson Triton, my fiberglass is about 3/8- 7/16" in thick. I could not imagine to force it took to do that. Having even less fiberglass in an area such as that would be even scarier to me.

As a result of that story I decided to add knees below deck all along the area/joint, in addition to the bulkheads and chainplate knees which already support that area. I will completely fiberglass the hull to deck joint as well, my boat was built with glue and rivets in the hull-deck joint with about a 5ft section on each side through bolted on the genoa track. In the event I found myself in the same situation I will know I did the best I could to secure the area that failed on the Pearson.
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Old 19-02-2015, 17:43   #6
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

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Another thought is actively helming when in tough conditions. Had he stayed at the tiller (lashed in) he may have been able to take the wave on the bow and not the beam.


Maybe no drama at all.
I had wondered that if a drogue or sea anchor were used, if the results would have been different.
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Old 19-02-2015, 17:54   #7
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

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I had wondered that if a drogue or sea anchor were used, if the results would have been different.
They were not in drogue conditions at all. They were sailing comfortably -- comfortably enough that the guy went below, something you'd never do in really tough conditions. He was really unlucky -- caught an extra large (won't say "rogue") breaking wave just at the wrong moment. Tons and tons of water.
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Old 19-02-2015, 17:57   #8
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

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They were not in drogue conditions at all. They were sailing comfortably -- comfortably enough that the guy went below, something you'd never do in really tough conditions. He was really unlucky -- caught an extra large (won't say "rogue") breaking wave just at the wrong moment. Tons and tons of water.
I agree - Just really bad timing to go below and join the missus for a "nap" - LOL...

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Old 19-02-2015, 18:06   #9
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

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They were not in drogue conditions at all. They were sailing comfortably -- comfortably enough that the guy went below, something you'd never do in really tough conditions. He was really unlucky -- caught an extra large (won't say "rogue") breaking wave just at the wrong moment. Tons and tons of water.
I suppose you may be right but what one person considers comfortable may be completely different than that of another. Thats some pretty heavy damage for not so terrible weather
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Old 19-02-2015, 22:15   #10
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

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I suppose you may be right but what one person considers comfortable may be completely different than that of another. Thats some pretty heavy damage for not so terrible weather
Guess that one of the issues with some of the older vessels. Not to dissimilar to the leak Rebel Heart had.
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Old 19-02-2015, 22:55   #11
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

Come on now. Have experienced several knock-downs (and not always while racing) on the SF estuary in the 60s and 80s. Isn't that expected with sailboats? Being monohulls, they never turned turtle.
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Old 19-02-2015, 23:50   #12
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

No they never turn turtle because of wind but they can with just the right wave.

In theory a wave only 1/3 the length of the boat could do it. 1/2 the length or more and breaking and it's a legitimate possibility.

Steer the boat/Heave-to/or hang on a sea anchor are your best bet.
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Old 20-02-2015, 08:38   #13
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

Every sailor's nightmare. A well written account. I'm sorry they lost the boat.

They were in a 28ft boat in breaking seas of 20ft. That is a pretty serious place for a small boat. It's the breaking bit that sets off alarm bells. The 20ft breaking seas alone can roll them, but they should expect the odd wave at 30ft and a rare one a little bit more, perhaps like the one that got them. As mentioned by 4music3, boat length is a guide as to its ability to withstand capsize. The figures I recall are 30 to 55% of the boat's length depending on other factors such as beam, keel design, ballast etc. Anyway, small boats are vulnerable and they were way into the red zone. It's all with the benefit of hindsight of course, but I think a drogue for example would have been a good move and may well have prevented the knock down.

Other than that, a lot of good stuff mentioned already and by the writer himself makes sense: following the weather forecast, not being there, taking an EPIRB, life-raft, portable radio, securing the boat, making the boat tougher etc.

I just found their blog: 3knots | Man, Wife and Dog drifting to warmer climates. It turns out the story was from 2013 and they have a new boat now.
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Old 20-02-2015, 09:28   #14
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Re: Knock Down Off Colombian Coast

Great, thought provoking post. Thanks
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Old 20-02-2015, 09:44   #15
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Great, thought provoking post. Thanks
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