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Old 23-07-2009, 03:48   #31
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Some folks just shouldn't be cruising. You don't have to be wealthy, and you don't have to have a quarter-million-dollar boat, but you've got to at least have the smarts to figure out whether your bulkheads are attached, and whether your ground tackle is up to the task.
Wise words.
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Old 23-07-2009, 14:23   #32
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i deffinetly feel for the guy but i have to wonder what the h he was doing for 5 years fixing the boat w/o knowing the bulkheads werent attached
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Old 24-07-2009, 11:37   #33
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I’d like to think that the bulkheads were not loose when he started and they failed during the voyage. As to whether imminent failure could have been predicted during the refit or with more protracted shake down sailing; or whether, given the intended use, the bulkheads should have been reinforced regardless of apparent condition are different questions. More disturbing for me is the belated discovery of the contaminated water supply after embarking on a multi 1000 mile passage.

My longest passage ever was from N.J. to Bermuda. It’s a small target in a very big ocean. In this case the skipper committed to several days of down wind sailing in large short period beam seas. The result was sustained pendulum-like strain on the rig and ultimately the hull support system.

The obvious advantage of cruising in the Bahamas/Caribbean is that when the inevitable nasty weather surprises occur, you are usually only a few hours from safe harbor or at least the lee of some island. But perhaps more importantly, you can often change course to reduce strain on the boat and make the ride more comfortable. You may wind up going to some place you never planned on, but the choice is rarely one between one small island or 2000 miles of open ocean.
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Old 29-07-2009, 05:06   #34
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I feel bad for the guy. But as the saying goes "you cann't fix stupid".
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Old 30-07-2009, 04:23   #35
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I find it interesting that several people mention this. Who is asking for sympathy? Is not the point of lesson learned stories... to learn? While some may throw stones because they are without fault, recognize that there could be at least one person on the forums who may have something to learn. By throwing rocks at people who post such stories, you just discourage them from doing so. In the long run this does great harm.



I 100% think this is the case. I have pondered this many times when viewing reactions to these types of stories. It seem we get very strong, visceral, reactions to many stories of loss. I think we all have a deep need to believe that we could not have lost a boat in such a way as person X, that we would have made a better decision.

Bernard Montissier lost 3 boats, and I will not pretent to be the Seaman he was.
I think all this sensitivity and all these feelings are childish. The sea is not sensitive, nor is it merciful, when we meet it without the right preparation.

These real life stories are incredibly valuable to the rest of us -- there but for the grace of God go I? -- likewise our responses are equally valuable to the poster, who will want to know, if he is not a complete idiot, more and more about what went wrong.

These stories are vitally important to help prevent others of us from having similar tragedies. In that regard, I am extremely grateful to this guy for posting his story. Nonetheless, I think that emotionally mature people will prefer a completely frank discussion and analysis of what went wrong, without mincing words. If I were the guy who had lost his boat, I would definitely not want someone coddling my feelings; I would want to hear "that was the stupidest thing I ever heard -- you really went out without a fresh battery in the EPIRB?" if that was really what he was thinking.
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Old 30-07-2009, 05:43   #36
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I feel bad for the guy. But as the saying goes "you cann't fix stupid".
Doing something stupid and being stupid are not always the same thing. All of us make mistakes; some of us actually learn from them. That the guy posted his story with all of the gory details already shows an eagerness to learn from his own mistakes, which is the opposite of stupid.

That being said, of course, it was a horrendous scenario. God help all of us from ever getting into such a mess.
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Old 30-07-2009, 09:43   #37
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For all you cruisers out there - How are your bulkheads attached? no peeking. Not looking for a reply. I was just pondering if this story, that we all agree we can learn from, initiated an inspection of a bulkhead or two.

I have never abandon ship but I have done some pretty stupid things. I would not of found it helpful for someone to come up to me, after watching my life float off into the horizon, and say how stupid I'd been. Trust me, I'd have a clue by then when all I own is on my back and in a little trash bag at my side. On the other hand, I would find it comforting, after posting my story, to see a thread about proper bulkhead attachments or how to check your epirb battery. Maybe what I'm describing is constructive criticism compared to just criticism.

Erika
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Old 31-07-2009, 22:07   #38
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Interesting stuff. I've just got home (therefore catching up on lots of threads and a bit late on commenting on this one) after delivering a 53 footer to the Chesapeake via Bermuda. I was approaching Bermuda from the South and listening to Gringo and Bermuda Radio. All I can say is that it was extremely lumpy and uncomfortable and that Bermuda Radio was describing sea conditions (with somewhat typical British understatement) as "rough to very rough". It crossed my mind to try a bit of salvage but we were all a bit knackered and had our own share of defects to contend with. The Marion - Bermuda race was also finishing at the same time and they had their share of problems too. Tony
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Old 01-08-2009, 23:23   #39
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This has been a very interesting thread and I wonder what I would have done.I think he held on till loss of life seemed close. Did he not prepare his boat, or just not understand what would be required of it? I will not judge him till I have made a similar voyage myself.
Now as to lessons learned... I think an inspection port for my fuel tank is in order. And maybe I will look around a bit more in my other tanks.
And how about only using my engine when there is an emergency or- "saving it" for getting into port? Blast when I'll get there, maybe motoring is not a good idea for convience and or schedule.
Oh- and now I know jerry cans on deck are not a good idea.
And Erika- all my chainplates and bulkheads and hull to decks are overbolted with 9/16's S/S 316 bolts. (I didn't have to look cause I just replaced a bunch of them) I would not set off offshore without a new battery in my EPIRB- just change it (its not worth having one go bad) For that matter, just buy a new one- the technology is getting better. I agree with you- lets see what can be learned from this tragic outcome.
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Old 11-08-2009, 16:10   #40
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For all you cruisers out there - How are your bulkheads attached? no peeking. Not looking for a reply. I was just pondering if this story, that we all agree we can learn from, initiated an inspection of a bulkhead or two.
Without looking, I can tell you: welded.

And welded well, in plain sight where I can see it.





Sorry. Could not resist. And your point is well taken too. In survival storms bulkhead separation is not an infrequent event, most unfortunately.
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Old 11-08-2009, 16:20   #41
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Father: "Son, I will always be there for you, but you will have to take responsibility for your actions. If you end up in jail, I won't use my influence to get you out but I will bring my sleeping bag and sleep beside you".
As the father of a sometime wayward 17 year old boy/man, I must say that is brilliant.

If only I could get his mother on board with that.
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Old 11-08-2009, 16:24   #42
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I think

I think it can possibly be hard for sailors to forgive STUPID acts on the sea, because sailors LOVE their vessels. They are your only survival on the sea, and a sailor must respect that, and if they don't they are more prone to do stupid things or over look issues that the vessel may have than if they had a more healthy respect for the sea.
I believe a good sailor respects the sea, and respects their vessel and the crew.
If there is respect you are more prone to make good decisions while on the sea. That I think is why sailors are so critical of each other.
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Old 11-08-2009, 16:24   #43
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Good point on the "how are your bulkheads attached" my guess is at best most of us know that we "see some fibreglass tabbing there" .. but is it brittle? Roving or chopper gun or mat? did the bulkhead fit well in the first place? was the wood dry so that the tabbing really isnt adhered well? are there enough bulkheads to make the boat stiff when the sea twists it longitudinally?...or were some not put in to accomodate what the buyers would like to see? I think the only people who get a free pass here are the steel and aluminum boat owners!
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Old 11-08-2009, 20:19   #44
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Good point Cheechako, some tabbing is to the teak bulkheads or some other wood surface which doesn't take well to FBG.
Erika

Great thread
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Old 11-08-2009, 21:53   #45
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Going off to sea without being prepared is stupid and reckless.

If the allegations of bad fuel etc etc are true....no sympathy here.

Just a few days ago, I told a customer that if you want your boat delivered by my FRIENDS....it will be as near to 100%.....nothing less.
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