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Old 01-04-2015, 10:51   #31
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Too bad the boat is lost.

Sounds like a series of mistakes on the side of the owners and then a couple of mistakes on the side of the CG. Then again, we all make mistakes and we often see our mistakes only in retrospective. It would be all too easy if we knew our mistakes, as such, beforehand.

I hope the insurance pays up and the loss gets covered.

I am glad the abandoned boat is not floating around.

b.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:56   #32
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

It wasn't my Hunter. I saw the post on Facebook. After a bit of research, I'm pretty sure this is the boat and crew - S/V Sunshine

The names and cruising grounds fit, but the blog hasn't been updated recently.

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Old 01-04-2015, 11:18   #33
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

I do not want to second guess either the owner of that cat or the USCG. I ask, though, what I can learn from this experience, given the details we know. At a minimum, it reinforces a couple of pre-existing beliefs.

First, is the importance of maintaining a well-rested crew when on a passage, and trying to avoid making important decisions when not of clear mind.

Second, is to always ask what the possible solutions might be, to ask what is constraining those solutions, and to then question those assumptions. For example, might there be alternate ports to divert to that don't require beating against the current.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:34   #34
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

I just had a friend who is a member of that group look and it is the obvious. It was a catamaran. ergo two engines
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:14   #35
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
It wasn't my Hunter. I saw the post on Facebook. After a bit of research, I'm pretty sure this is the boat and crew - S/V Sunshine

The names and cruising grounds fit, but the blog hasn't been updated recently.

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They moved their blog here;
https://sunshinepdq36.wordpress.com/
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:18   #36
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
It wasn't my Hunter. I saw the post on Facebook. After a bit of research, I'm pretty sure this is the boat and crew - S/V Sunshine

The names and cruising grounds fit, but the blog hasn't been updated recently.

Ralph
That is a nice blog, good descriptions of travel in Mexico and in Rio Dulce.

The boat on the linked blog is a PDQ36 Catamaran.
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Old 01-04-2015, 13:28   #37
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Will a PDQ not sail to windward?
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Old 01-04-2015, 14:03   #38
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Seasickness and the misery of the smell of diesel, combined with fatigue, will lead to bad decision making. I will make bad decisions in such situations, you will make bad decisions in such situations.

The big danger of diesel is this: the smell of diesel makes people seasick, and the likelihood of fuel issues is dependent on sea conditions -- big seas make people sea sick, and make diesel engines stop from fuel contamination.

So two minor issues combine to cause a big problem. People are notoriously bad at dealing with problems caused by multiple issues. You are too.

The fact the clog was not at the filters is clear. Yet due to the debilitation from diesel fuel fumes and motion of the boat, none of the 4 mechanics (owner + 3 CG mechanics) could detect that obvious problem.

Again, everybody had serious problems doing cognitive activities when smelling diesel in rough sea conditions.

Poor decision making led to the loss of the boat. Poor decision making by many people suffering from some level of debilitation: due to fumes and sea conditions (on the S/V Sunshine), and from fatigue and sea conditions (on the CG Cutter).

This is why YOUR operating procedures must include "stop and confirm that your decisions make sense" using an approach that requires re-assessing perceptions. When debilitated, even slightly, you may make incorrect perceptions (the problem is the full filter) and unless you later challenge that perception (maybe the fuel clog is somewhere other than the filter -- maybe the pickup in the tank, maybe the inlet on the pressure pump, maybe any junction anywhere in the intake or return fuel lines, etc.), you can be stuck and unable to solve the actual problem.
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Old 01-04-2015, 14:08   #39
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Don't PDQ36's use gasoline outboards?

Mark
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Old 01-04-2015, 14:48   #40
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Quote:
Originally Posted by u4ea32 View Post
Seasickness and the misery of the smell of diesel, combined with fatigue, will lead to bad decision making. I will make bad decisions in such situations, you will make bad decisions in such situations.

The big danger of diesel is this: the smell of diesel makes people seasick, and the likelihood of fuel issues is dependent on sea conditions -- big seas make people sea sick, and make diesel engines stop from fuel contamination.

So two minor issues combine to cause a big problem. People are notoriously bad at dealing with problems caused by multiple issues. You are too.

The fact the clog was not at the filters is clear. Yet due to the debilitation from diesel fuel fumes and motion of the boat, none of the 4 mechanics (owner + 3 CG mechanics) could detect that obvious problem.

Again, everybody had serious problems doing cognitive activities when smelling diesel in rough sea conditions.

Poor decision making led to the loss of the boat. Poor decision making by many people suffering from some level of debilitation: due to fumes and sea conditions (on the S/V Sunshine), and from fatigue and sea conditions (on the CG Cutter).

This is why YOUR operating procedures must include "stop and confirm that your decisions make sense" using an approach that requires re-assessing perceptions. When debilitated, even slightly, you may make incorrect perceptions (the problem is the full filter) and unless you later challenge that perception (maybe the fuel clog is somewhere other than the filter -- maybe the pickup in the tank, maybe the inlet on the pressure pump, maybe any junction anywhere in the intake or return fuel lines, etc.), you can be stuck and unable to solve the actual problem.


I totally agree! Or, "We think alike on this issue."

I am glad you added that POV to the discussion on this thread.
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Yesterday I wrote something with similar message for another thread on a similar topic, but have not posted it yet. Here's an excerpt:

"The combination of mental fatigue, physical exhaustion, and seasickness (e.g. due to diesel fumes and boat motion) WITH some broken boat mechanicals, is likely to overwhelm most people, and could do that to even very experienced sailors."

People can only process so much, even in the best of conditions and even if they are in the best condition.

When the sea conditions or environmental conditions worsen (e.g. diesel fumes), and if the sailor's physical and mental state is stressed (e.g. tired, dehydrated), and if the task is physically or mentally challenging (e.g. trouble shooting, navigation problems), the process of making a good decision or performing even simple physical tasks can become very difficult to impossible."
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Old 01-04-2015, 15:09   #41
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Hello,

I think that adversity and extreme discomfort are not things people are accustomed to anymore. Like the saying goes, they'll "drown in a glass of water." Losing a sailboat because of an engine failure far from land just doesn't make sense. Of course it's easy to say while sitting in a coffee shop as I am now, but still...

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Old 01-04-2015, 15:38   #42
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Quote:
Originally Posted by u4ea32 View Post
Seasickness and the misery of the smell of diesel, combined with fatigue, will lead to bad decision making. I will make bad decisions in such situations, you will make bad decisions in such situations.

The big danger of diesel is this: the smell of diesel makes people seasick, and the likelihood of fuel issues is dependent on sea conditions -- big seas make people sea sick, and make diesel engines stop from fuel contamination.

So two minor issues combine to cause a big problem. People are notoriously bad at dealing with problems caused by multiple issues. You are too.

The fact the clog was not at the filters is clear. Yet due to the debilitation from diesel fuel fumes and motion of the boat, none of the 4 mechanics (owner + 3 CG mechanics) could detect that obvious problem.

Again, everybody had serious problems doing cognitive activities when smelling diesel in rough sea conditions.

Poor decision making led to the loss of the boat. Poor decision making by many people suffering from some level of debilitation: due to fumes and sea conditions (on the S/V Sunshine), and from fatigue and sea conditions (on the CG Cutter).

This is why YOUR operating procedures must include "stop and confirm that your decisions make sense" using an approach that requires re-assessing perceptions. When debilitated, even slightly, you may make incorrect perceptions (the problem is the full filter) and unless you later challenge that perception (maybe the fuel clog is somewhere other than the filter -- maybe the pickup in the tank, maybe the inlet on the pressure pump, maybe any junction anywhere in the intake or return fuel lines, etc.), you can be stuck and unable to solve the actual problem.
Good post. I'm going to disagree on a point. The guys sent aboard the Cat may have been made uncomfortable by deisel and rolling, but from the CG side, those men weren't making decisions. The shots were being called by senior officers on the bridge (or in their comfy offices) on the CG cutter.

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 01-04-2015, 16:21   #43
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Some people can't stand diesel or kero fumes. I'm one of them. But in my diesel-fumed hallucinations, I've seen plenty of other people who can stand there smoking a cigarette and drinking beer, and never notice the diesel or turn the slightest shade of green.


One should hope that three Coasties who are trained in diesel systems, would include at least one such person.


And if the diesel fumes really were making THEM confused too...A cutter should be equipped with Scott bottles or other canned air. If not, you go up on deck, air the brain out, talk over what you found, before you go back to work. Sure, I've seen simple diesels repeatedly baffle reasonable men (ahem) and stump alleged professional mechanics, even highly recommended ones, with the damnedest little quirks.


But this whole story...come one, easier to believe the engines fouled because someone hid the strawberry ice cream in the fuel tank.


Pointless to speculate when there's obviously a big piece of the picture missing. Anyone who is put in command of a cutter should have enough brains, and enough crew with brains (XO, OOD, watch officer, pretty much everyone above the cook) to know that when you're towing a boat and it starts to LIST TO ONE SIDE that's the time to wake someone up, including the owner, and do something about it. And supposedly that wasn't done here.


Sounds like the USN minesweeper than ran aground, what was it, in a Phillipine eco-nature preserve coupla years ago? And the USN claimed what, five officers were incompetent and canned as a result of that?


This is why ordinary polite civil sailorspeak includes the universal time-honored saying, "**** happens". Especially when everyone thinks it is OK to go to sleep and let someone else deal with things.
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Old 01-04-2015, 16:38   #44
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Re: The Sinking of Sunshine

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Don't PDQ36's use gasoline outboards?

Mark
PDQ36 Classic had gasoline outboards, later LRC model had diesel inboards.
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Old 01-04-2015, 17:00   #45
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The Sinking of Sunshine

The judgement and conduct of the CG crew can also seriously be put into question from that description, how they failed to fix the engine issue and how they were unable to successfully execute a tow of a boat with full hull integrity.
The fact that they used machine gun fire (!) to try to sink the boat further underscores bad judgement, bad seamanship and plain recklessness. But I am sure these kids had fun.
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