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Old 10-03-2015, 16:06   #166
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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Originally Posted by med View Post
Try doing that in a Force 9 or more when you have completely released the main as well (as is the case here - it is out against the stays).

I have. I can't luff much beyond a beam reach in my boat in those circumstances. And to bear away again to head dead down wind I had the pressure relief value in my hydraulic steering open. It is rated for 2000psi. And I had managed to haul in some of the jib to help.

Anyway in the situation I was caught out in (went from a F2 to F9 in the space of about 200m/5 minutes), where the Pyrenees go down into the Med, I had a hairy few minutes to get the jib furled and hove to be able to put all three reefs into the main. That was the first and only time I have got water into the boat through the saloon hatch.
Do you mean on the Bristol Channel Cutter?

I could believe that would struggle to turn.
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Old 10-03-2015, 16:06   #167
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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I'm struggling to accept that you can't luff up if you have enough speed.
I was almost stationary when the gust hit. I am also 34 tons so it takes a while to accelerate.
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Old 10-03-2015, 16:10   #168
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
You've either got an enormous headsail or a very badly balanced rudder. JMHO, of course.
Everything properly balanced in normal conditions.

I.e. I can put the helm in the middle and leave it there for several minutes at a time without having to correct the course or adjust the sails.

On several occasions I have got annoyed at the autopilot because it started drifting of course after 15 minutes or so, and then checked and found that I had forgot to turn it on.
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Old 10-03-2015, 16:47   #169
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

That which doesn't kill us only makes us stronger...

A couple of years ago I met a guy, nice fellah and I took him sailing. Seemed skilled so I let him steer. We were close hauled on starboard tack. We get a lot of ship traffic and there was a ship coming up our channel 180Deg opposite track.

I estimated we could pass upwind and leave him to port. I fixated on the ship and didn't notice we were pinching more and more. My bad totally.

At the critical moment the boat basically stalled, the bow blew down and I was facing straight at the side of the ship. Probably 2 boat lengths (15m).

We had 15knots and I knew we couldn't head up (no boat speed) so I kept the genoa full, dumped the main and the bow blew down. There were a couple of crew on the rail of the ship and we could have passed them a beer.

Stuff happens. I was lucky. I could have fallen off in front of the ship, I could have collided with the ship. I did learn my lesson.

Back to the ferry. I don't know when the wind in the harbor that day became a F9 - LOL
I can go with panic" theory but unless there was a steering failure he had options.

The chop he is in is what 0.5m? The wind is no higher than 20kts. That boat was making way at least 4kts and definitely could have turned down and passed astern of the ferry. Unless there was panic or steering failure.
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Old 10-03-2015, 17:35   #170
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Which, if the sailor on the boat were superman and capable in such conditions to sheet the main to that point, illustrates another factor related to the potential problems encountered by choosing an upwind effort.

Med suggests the rudder in these conditions is 'incidental', taken to mean innefectual. Whether true or not would depend I believe upon the size of the rudder and ability of the sailor to overcome any opposing force, such as that introduced by weather helm. There's definitely enough forward speed that water passing against the rudder is going to impose lots of pressure...
You don't have to be anything close to superman to partially sheet in a mainsail in 40 knots of wind, especially with a winch to help. Yes, I'm speaking from experience and no, my "physique" doesn't even remotely resemble superman's. It's not like anyone, including myself, is sailing around in 40 knots of wind on a very regular basis, but lots of folks are doing it every day and they don't throw up their hands and stop trimming the sails because they aren't "superman" either. Also, it's not like he would have to trim it in to anything like close hauled, just get the boom a bit off the shrouds and the boat will start to want to head up, and as that happens, he can more easily sheet it in a little more, until he is able to turn head to wind or tacking.

Unless he had rigging problems that would prevent him from turning the rudder or sheeting in the main a bit, there IS no problem with "choosing an upwind effort" as you say. There's very little effort required, on a beam reach like he is on, you just sheet in the main a bit, which both moves the sails center of effort aft AND causes the boat to heel more, the perfect recipe for inducing weather helm. Ready or not, up you go! Try it sometime in strong winds and I promise you, it'll seem like magic!
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Old 10-03-2015, 17:41   #171
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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Also, it's not like he would have to trim it in to anything like close hauled, just get the boom a bit off the shrouds and the boat will start to want to head up, and as that happens, he can more easily sheet it in a little more, until he is able to turn head to wind or tacking.
Just 0.02 - Based on the direction of travel of the ferry and the sailboat the conflict would be better resolved by both vessels altering to port.

To clear the ferry the sailboat needed to make at least a 90* heading change to starboard. Maybe 15-20* to port.

And if he did head up, to clear the ferry he would have to go at least head to wind and probably tack. He'd end up in irons with no boat speed or worse...

But then I don't believe that boat in those winds could not steer down 20 degrees.
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Old 10-03-2015, 18:18   #172
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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Just 0.02 - Based on the direction of travel of the ferry and the sailboat the conflict would be better resolved by both vessels altering to port..
For the ferry to turn to port, the stern would have swung to starboard and into the sailboat. If the ferry had turned to starboard and gone full throttle at just the right instant, the sailboat might have passed behind the ferry.

Just as in the last football Superbowl, it's pretty easy to sit in front of our keyboards or in front of a TV camera and talk about "if so and so had done this or that, things would have turned out differently".

In a perfect world, nobody would ever make a mistake and there would be no accidents. I think there are things to be learned from this incident although we might each learn something different. I learned that sailboats don't have brakes!
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Old 10-03-2015, 18:24   #173
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

It looked to me to be rather simple, the captain of the sailboat screwed up. Perhaps he wasn't paying attention or perhaps he misjudged the speed and distance to the ferry. It looks to me like he released his sheets in the hope of slowing or stopping the boat, but that wasn't enough. He then tried to turn upwind to come parallel to the ferry, but ran out of momentum. If he was going to turn upwind he should not have dumped the main, but hindsight is 20/20. Once he dumped both sails a down wind turn was probably likely the correct course. As for sheeting in the main after he dumped it, I don't think there was enough time. Hand sheeting it in in those winds probably would not have been enough and by the time he got the thing around a winch and started cranking, this whole incident was over. People, including boat captains occasionally screw up. Nobody got killed so learn from it and move on.
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Old 10-03-2015, 18:29   #174
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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For the ferry to turn to port, the stern would have swung to starboard and into the sailboat. If the ferry had turned to starboard and gone full throttle at just the right instant, the sailboat might have passed behind the ferry.
Well according to the news report the ferry skipper did alter to port. Just not much because there was a reef on the port side.

So it's the ferry dirver's fault! He did not hold course and speed and "swung" his stern into the sailboat which was clearly going to pass harmlessly astern!
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Old 11-03-2015, 14:49   #175
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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It looked to me to be rather simple, the captain of the sailboat screwed up. Perhaps he wasn't paying attention or perhaps he misjudged the speed and distance to the ferry. It looks to me like he released his sheets in the hope of slowing or stopping the boat, but that wasn't enough. He then tried to turn upwind to come parallel to the ferry, but ran out of momentum. If he was going to turn upwind he should not have dumped the main, but hindsight is 20/20. Once he dumped both sails a down wind turn was probably likely the correct course. As for sheeting in the main after he dumped it, I don't think there was enough time. Hand sheeting it in in those winds probably would not have been enough and by the time he got the thing around a winch and started cranking, this whole incident was over. People, including boat captains occasionally screw up. Nobody got killed so learn from it and move on.
Pretty much how it looks to me too.

From having been on Sydney harbour, there are some real idiots out there.

People who think they can park their boat like a car. Just stop, switch the engine off, and it will stay put. So they think.

And sailors who think just because they have sails up they have right of way over everything.

Wouldn't be surprised if he was yelling "Starboard" at the ferry.
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Old 11-03-2015, 15:27   #176
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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Pretty much how it looks to me too.

From having been on Sydney harbour, there are some real idiots out there.

People who think they can park their boat like a car. Just stop, switch the engine off, and it will stay put. So they think.

And sailors who think just because they have sails up they have right of way over everything.

Wouldn't be surprised if he was yelling "Starboard" at the ferry.
I don't believe many experienced sailors deny the one in the video ended up in a tough situation, with most agreeing escape was unlikely due to hotly contested viewpoints concerning his available options.

My take is the lesson learned is sailors must always be alert to their surroundings, in particular other traffic and indications of changing weather. If the sailor in the video is to be faulted, it's for his failure to notice the approaching cloud, or if he saw it in time to have reefed and at least dropped the spinnaker pole in advance of its arrival. Because my boat will not heave to reliably in the classic way that includes backing the foresail, the sail is doused and I'll fore-reach under main alone. For me it's the fastest way to prepare for the arrival of potentially damaging wind. How the sailor in the video may have prepared for the impending change I am not sure. But after reefing and dropping the pole, readying the boat to heave to seems like the most reasonable next step to take...

I wonder if he suffered any injury from the impact with the ferry? Hope not.
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Old 11-03-2015, 15:29   #177
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

I don't agree. You don't get that close to a ferry in the first place.
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Old 11-03-2015, 15:52   #178
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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I don't agree. You don't get that close to a ferry in the first place.
Hmmm. You don't agree with what?

The video does not show how far he was from the ferry before his day went pear shaped.

At the rate his boat was travelling, on a course he apparently could not change, closing with the ferry happened very quickly. None of us know how far away he was before he ended up on that beam reach. Unless that is, you know something the rest of us have missed.

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Old 11-03-2015, 18:12   #179
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

Where do you get the idea he couldn't change course? He in fact DID change course, just before he hit. He turned to port slightly.
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Old 11-03-2015, 18:17   #180
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Re: T-boning a Ferry in Sidney

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I don't agree. You don't get that close to a ferry in the first place.
I don't have a sailboat, but that is my policy also. And it applies to any large vessel.
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