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Old 17-11-2013, 08:51   #31
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

One thing about the conditions that was different than a lot of other situations was that the boats had to beat, or close reach, for up to 24 hrs to get through the Gulfstream prior to the winds turning north. This is a long time for things to happen when the winds are over 30kts and the seas are pounding. Falling off, ie heading more Northerly, would put the boat into the worse of the pre-frontal trough. Slowing would mean getting caught in the GS when the frontal winds shifted north. The GS probably made the seas rougher too for many, but I would not call it a confused sea. Just a sea that was traveling over the decks regularly. In the past for something this long I have been able to run off - a way more comfortable situation.
And just to empahsize, the Salty Dawg Rally has no start time. Boats left from Hampton anywhere from Sat to the following Friday based on their own reading. Many left on Tues eve and Wed. Those boats got the worst of it. We left on Wed and given the info we had at the time, might/probably would have ended up making the same decision to do it again. Unfortunately the info at the time was not that accurate for the period past the front passage.
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Old 17-11-2013, 09:20   #32
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Re: Salty dog rally incidents

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Originally Posted by maine50 View Post
From the CG news release, identified Nyapa (HansChrisian 38) lost mast but ok motoring south, Ahisma (Morgan416) taking on water- people taken off boat by helo, Zulu (Alden 54) lost rudder/steering- towed in by CG, and Jammin- (Catalina 42) lost rudder.waiting for tow. Does any body know of boat that had delaminated bulkhead and taken on water? Any other daage reports?
After reading many discussions on boat build and quality......Please read the above list that includes "Alden" "Hans Christian" , This just goes to show that breakdowns happen in any and all quality boats. Buy what you feel comfortable in buying, then baby it. This, however, won't guarantee that you will not have a major catastrophe at sea. Just sayin!
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Old 17-11-2013, 09:27   #33
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
another thing -

I like the idea of ralleys but I am warry of commiting to a departure schedule. My expeience is that lots of bad stuff happens on boats decause you tried to keep a schedule.
Incorrecto, Nicholson58. The Salty Dawg rally leaves the departure to the individual captain. There is no schedule. The reason there were so many breakdowns was that they all (Caribe 1500 and Salty Dawg) got pounded this year, by heavy winds and waves. And I mean really POUNDED. 30-40 mph winds and 15-20 foot waves.
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Old 17-11-2013, 15:06   #34
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Boats get dismasted every cruising season, what's new here?

Engines and cruising boats mechanical systems fail every day out in the real world of cruising, what's new here also?

As cruisers we like to lie to ourselves and say, "oh I maintain my boat and systems well...excrement won't happen to me because I know what I'm doing". To make ourselves feel safer we also have the need to imagine that things went badly for others because of a mistake they made that we would never had made. We would have taken a trip up the mast to inspect the rigging before leaving on any sizeable passage. We would have been smarter about the weather forecast. We would have...could have and should have.

I'm just a self described Bozo folks, but I've spent enough time in the cruising community to know that sometimes **** just happens to good people, with well found boats with captains and crew that know what they are doing.

We should all learn what can be learned from our cruising brothers and sisters misfortunes. However, speaking as our ship's captain with about 11,000nm under our keel I have PLENTY of screw-ups that could have ended badly but turned into just a funny cockpit cocktail story. I also know that every other honest cruiser has their list of stores as well.
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Old 17-11-2013, 15:43   #35
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

[QUOTE=SV THIRD DAY;1393268]Boats get dismasted every cruising season, what's new here?

Engines and cruising boats mechanical systems fail every day out in the real world of cruising, what's new here also?

As cruisers we like to lie to ourselves and say, "oh I maintain my boat and systems well...excrement won't happen to me because I know what I'm doing". To make ourselves feel safer we also have the need to imagine that things went badly for others because of a mistake they made that we would never had made. We would have taken a trip up the mast to inspect the rigging before leaving on any sizeable passage. We would have been smarter about the weather forecast. We would have...could have and should have.

I'm just a self described Bozo folks, but I've spent enough time in the cruising community to know that sometimes **** just happens to good people, with well found boats with captains and crew that know what they are doing. /QUOTE]

Well said!!! There are lots of gunners on the internet. They all are theoretical sailors.
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Old 27-11-2013, 21:28   #36
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

I don't get it . The conditions were not that bad.
Does anyone know if the abandoned and damaged boats were offshore before?
Also, why was the 54 footer towed in, it looks like it was able to sail from the photos.
Fair Winds,
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Old 28-11-2013, 04:39   #37
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

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Originally Posted by kimberlite View Post
I don't get it . The conditions were not that bad.
Does anyone know if the abandoned and damaged boats were offshore before?
Also, why was the 54 footer towed in, it looks like it was able to sail from the photos.
Fair Winds,
Eric
I don't know if under your terms "The conditions were not that bad", but the conditions were gear breaking conditions. Most of the boats that left on Tue/Wed had gear failures -- not that stopped them going on, but something broke. All of the boats that were lost or required outside assistance had significant gear failure.
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Old 28-11-2013, 04:49   #38
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

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Originally Posted by kimberlite View Post
I don't get it . The conditions were not that bad.
Does anyone know if the abandoned and damaged boats were offshore before?
Also, why was the 54 footer towed in, it looks like it was able to sail from the photos.
Fair Winds,
Eric
Regarding "conditions were not that bad" . . . . I got this from a friend (very experienced delivery guy). Note this was a Sunday departure, later departures would have had tougher conditions:

“As you may know “Wynot” left Hampton Sunday (11/3) AM in the company of “Pratique” (another Outbound), “Freestyle”, and “Distant Star” – both Hylas 54s. Our decision was based on the clearing northerly Sunday that was forecast to clock to the NE then E east in 24 – 48 hours. We wanted to get east before the wind shift. The wisdom of waiting until the next front was lost on me, as it was thought to be more intense, and the forecast models for it were 4 -5 days out at best. I went based on the current 2 -3 day forecast, with clearing the GS quickly the prime consideration. We crossed the stream on a course of about 115 and after sailing about 200 miles, turned SE, about on course for the BVI. In the stream we saw waves 8 – 12, with an occasional 15 – and we did have one cockpit filler that snuck aboard in the dark.

We had more wind than forecast from the start with 35 – 45 for about 48 hours. The highest we saw was 51 knots. We started with wind just aft the beam, and two days later had the wind just forward of the beam. We kept good wind (25 – 35) and close reached until Wednesday when it shut off and we then motored for about 36 hours.
. . . .
During and after the sail, we monitored the status of the fleet, and are thankful that everyone was OK – but I’m aware that many had a very hard time of it. In reflection, one thing that I was very aware of was the “herding instinct” present on the dock in Hampton – to delay. I almost succumbed too, because there were a few unattended chores aboard my boat, but then went for a walk by myself to clear my head, reassess, weigh the info (pro & cons), and made my call – glad I did."
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Old 28-11-2013, 05:39   #39
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

One big difference between the boats that left on Sat/Sun vs the ones that left on Tues/Wed was that the latter boats were close hauled for 20+hrs in tough conditions getting across the Gulfstream to position themselves for the frontal passage. The combo of close hauled, broading GS seas and sustained winds above 30kts over a relatively long period created gear breaking conditions on a lot of boats.

As far as the 'herd instinct', here's my rationale as to why we left on Wed AM and why we might do it again given the info (from a blog post)
Quote:

Given the number of boats that were lost, abandoned or with serious damages on this rally–-- 2 lost, 2 dismastings, 4-6 with serious steering issues, 2 lost rudders, 1 broken arm (person), 1/2 dozen boats diverted to Bermuda--- you have to second guess the choice of leaving when we did. Given the info I had at the time, I would most likely make the same choice. It would still be the wrong choice, but at least consistent. The Salty Dawg Rally does not have a fixed date to leave and leaves it up to the entrants to each make the call. Boats left from Sat to the following Friday. A large chunk went out on Tues/Tues night and Wed. We left on Wed. morning. This is the day that the weather router for the rally, Chris Parker, had pushed as a good target date and was discussed at the Rally weather briefings. The weather prediction was that a strong cold front was moving south, with pre-frontal winds at 30 kts, gusting to 40kts. After the front the winds would swing to NW at 30kts and the trip to the Virgins should have been a classic downwind run, with 2-3 days of strong NNW wind followed by the NE Trade Winds filling in for a fun close reach to the islands.

I figured the 2 days of tough sailing would be way worth it to get the sleigh ride down to the islands. We had sat in the Exumas (Bahamas) last year and listened often to Chris Parkers predictions of coldfronts. He would call for 30kts, gusting to 40kts. We would go find a good, secure anchorage and sit-out 25 kts for a few days. I’m sure somewhere in the Bahamas it gusted to 40kts, but we never saw it in probably half a dozen of his coldfront calls. So we took Parkers’s call for 30-40kts and giving it a haircut, figured we’d be in sustained 25kts for 2 days. The GRIB weather files predicted something close to this. In reality, the cold front was preceded by a ‘pre-frontal trough’ that kicked butt and that Chris (Hunter) claimed was more closely related to a pre-frontal lobotomy.

Before we left I did a fair amount of dock walking – checking out the other boats in the rally. There were a few boats and crew that I had some real doubts about it being appropriate for them to go out in these predicted conditions. Either ill prepared boats or crew with little or no offshore experience. Turns out, there seems to be absolutely no correlation between my doubts and the boats that actually got into serious issues.
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Old 28-11-2013, 11:09   #40
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

I do not know what gear breaking conditions are. I have sailed solo from St martin To Long Island beating into 50 knot winds for 3 days and strong wind for most of the trip. When I was nearing Long island I sailed directly into two 70 foot rogue waves, also with no damage and No problems.

I have also been in hurricane force winds for 36 hours just north of the stream with 60 foot seas and winds gusting to 100 knots.
see Prepare for survival conditions - Ocean Navigator - May/June 2011
We were underwater every watch at least once.

I was also in the area of the NARC rally in 40-50 knots and had to sail to 60 degrees to get around that low. That was the rally where a crewmember of Triple Stars was lost.We actually go to arrived in St Martin ahead of the Narc rally leaving a day after they left. I had taken a different route than the NARC.

I believe if you are totally prepared for the most horrible conditions in a well found boat, you will most likely survive the worst possible conditions.

If you happen to run into a 100 foot wave then I guess it is over but otherwise, I believe a well prepared, well found boat will survive without damage.

Fair Winds
Eric
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Old 28-11-2013, 11:17   #41
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

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I do not know what gear breaking conditions are. I have sailed solo from St martin To Long Island beating into 50 knot winds for 3 days and strong wind for most of the trip. When I was nearing Long island I sailed directly into two 70 foot rogue waves, also with no damage and No problems.
......
In my mind what you describe is gear breaking conditions. Many boats would have had some breakage after those 3 days. Great that you didn't. 95% of the SDR rally boats had no significant issues. It was still gear breaking conditions by definition, as many boats broke gear. We had minor stuff, but nothing that slowed us down.
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Old 28-11-2013, 11:32   #42
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

We broke absolutely nothing in all 3 serious storms, However one of the zippers on the "doghouse" did part and we sewed it back together.

The only time we had a problem is when we were heading south down wind in 30 knots . A very large wave came aboard and flooded the cockpit. We have a fresh air intake for the cabins locate in the cockpit and it was open,in error.

We probably took on 300-400 gallons of water through the fresh air blower system. Nasty below for a few hours but we cleaned up and I thought everything was ok, until I entered my aft cabin.
The entire carpet was soaked. I discovered that the wave that knocked us down blew out some of the rudder post packing .
It was a difficult repair as there is a plate hooked into the aft autopilot drive and the steering cables just above the rudder stuffing box. It took some time but it was repaired.

Then again an Amel is an unusual boat and has an enormously strong rudder. I have heard that no Amel has ever lost its rudder , and I know of only one Amel that did a 360 off of Panama and lost its rig. It was however able to motor into port unassisted.

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Old 28-11-2013, 11:34   #43
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Yea, we had some chafe on our Bimini too Must be a heavy weather thing.
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Old 28-11-2013, 11:52   #44
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Paul,
I after the hurricane I had my sailmaker sew on looped webbing in a number of places on our doghouse on either side of the zipper. In the future if we have a zipper break we can just tie the loops together.
The rear cloth of our doghouse goes from the Bimini to the deck totally enclosing the cockpit with a zip in door and large plastic windows.. It faced into the hurricane with just a broken zipper.
We rarely use foul weather gear. Unless we have to go on deck in weather.
Fair Winds,
Eric
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Old 28-11-2013, 13:43   #45
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Re: Salty Dog Rally Incidents

Some might say this was the curse of Herb.

/joking.
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