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Old 27-03-2013, 07:14   #31
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
One of the latter contingent wrote this:
[...]
I'm wondering if this was a purely semantic point for this poster, because he had already described using a couple of Fortress anchors in a way which seemed to me to fit the usual definition of 'kedge' anchoring, when he laid them as kedges to hold station in order to recover his main anchor after his bowsprit and roller were damaged.

So it occurred to me it might be worth seeking accounts from others who had NEEDED to resort to kedging, or seen someone else do so: under what circumstances, and with what degree of success, and would you do it differently today?
What have I done! lots to fix here

Let me start with removing some of the polarization that is introduced here:

1. I state that in 99% of all cases, only one anchor should be used. This means that there is 1% overall where more than one anchor should be used. Do not remove that 1% from my line of view because it is vital.

2. When I say that a kedge anchor is obsolete, I do NOT say that a second anchor is obsolete. I mean "kedge anchor" as in the traditional sense as I know it: at the stern, ready to be deployed with a quick slit of a knife through a lashing of small stuff, after which it self-deploys. Old salts will know this: you cut the lashing as soon as you realize you're running up a shallow, bank or reef.

Now let me expand on these two points a bit:

1) 99%/1%

If you always anchor on a tidal river, then you are always in that one percent I wrote down: it is about every possible anchor scenario, not about this or that boat.
If you have had an incident that prevents you to use your primary anchoring gear then you will have to do with what you have left. Please don't try to find silly examples like that; I mean, if the moon falls on top of us then yes, you can use two anchors too.

For the tidal river scenario I would only put down a Bahamian moor. Note that this has nothing to do with a stern anchor nor a kedge anchor. I mean a proper Bahamian moor and guess we don't have to further define that.

Then there is the hurricane scenario. I see four possibilities: run away; haul and secure; into the mangroves; anchor out. If you go into the mangroves, you are not anchored even if you use 20 anchors. You are spiderwebbed to mangroves. That leaves the anchor out. This is why I have three anchors. You also need some very big shackles and extra pieces of heavy chain. That chain can be used to wrap around mangroves, pilings etc. for spiderwebbing but also to create a true hurricane mooring with three anchors at 120 degrees to each other; each with a length of chain and all shackled to each other from which point one anchor chain leads to the boat. Let me repeat that: one anchor chain to the boat.

2) kedge

I find a single proper kedge anchor setup for every thousand boats I see. This includes a stern stowing position that works, an anchor roller, a chain stopper and a windlass. Also, a system to stow the rode so that it can automatically deploy.
One in a thousand is pretty obsolete, isn't it?

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Old 27-03-2013, 07:30   #32
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
i've anchored in many bays where there is a bit of swell coming in and set the main anchor out to sea with the kedge holding the boat into the swell and stern to prevailing wind
I've done that too and always abandoned it when the squalls come through. It'll put you broadside to the wind if you refuse to give it up which is the recipe for disaster I think. I remember one single time it worked until we left as planned and that was in the Exuma's. The weather was such that a bucket from each end would have worked

I have since switched to a bridle from the main anchor chain to a primary winch aft to create a triangle that allows me any position to the wind or current incl. stern into it. When it gets out of hand it is remedied by only throwing that one line loose.

Okay, I do the stern line to palm tree now and then and may use a Fortress when the tree is missing on the beach. Put it in the 1%

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Not sure what you are asking. I've used an anchor walked or dinghy'd out to pull me off accidental groundings. Have mostly used a 20H Danforth or Fortress 16 to pull off boats around 13,000# displacement. Has worked without getting others involved though sometimes had to wait for the next high tide. Always ran aground on a mud bottom.
Exactly, I call that kedging off a grounding using a second/spare anchor because it's more convenient to row out than the primary anchor. Still, I have dinghied my primary out which is easy as well even at 80kg. Just let it down to just under the surface, tie a small line to the chain and a strong point in the dinghy, maneuver it where you want and cut the small line.

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Old 27-03-2013, 07:43   #33
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
As a paid up member of the BIB brigade I still think a kedge anchor is essential.

A Fortress is ideal.

There are situations where a second anchor is necessary.
Such as
Aligning the boat with the swell
Running aground
A stern anchor
Reducing swing
Loaning to those boats that have inadequate main anchors
Etc etc

My concern over the use of two anchors relates to those cruisers that use two anchors to make up for the inadequate holding of their main anchor, especially when this is used on a regular basis.
I think a single adequate anchor that will hold the boat in all, or least the vast majority of expected conditions, is a better solution.

The kedge serves a very different purpose to second main anchor and I suspect most members of the BIB camp would encourage having such an anchor available.
From your list I would only use it after running aground and a stern anchor when the palm tree is missing. Those are 1% cases. I use my 2nd anchor for it as would you when your 2nd anchor would be a Fortress.

Your concern about inadequate anchors and compensating with multiple anchors out puts the finger on the exact sore spot that my 99% rule is about. I recognize those boats from afar: they anchor too shallow, push their boats around with the dinghy every morning, are up on lee shores every little breeze etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
The Sailor's Illustrated Dictionary, Thompson Lenfesty

Don't see how you can cruise anywhere without a kedge anchor.
Yes if you take the definition that wide then my second anchor can be called a kedge anchor when I use it for kedging. I becomes 2nd anchor again when used for Bahamian moor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSailingChannel.TV View Post
Check out this short video clip by Lin & Larry Pardey demonstrating deploying and setting a stern kedge anchor.

THERE!! one in thousand!! See how the anchor deploys from the stern?! That is a kedge anchor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlugmasterP View Post
Would setting two anchors in line on one rode be an option? Obviously you'd probably attach the two rodes together to form one long rode. I've never done it but I was in a seminar where they talked about doing it.
No. When you need to set two anchors in line for more than an incident like a hurricane or lost primary anchor etc. then it means that none of the two are suitable as your primary anchor. Get rid of both and buy a good primary.

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Old 27-03-2013, 07:51   #34
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

It seems there are various different perspectives on what kedging actually is. So . . .

The Ancient Art of Kedging from George de Witte

In my recent articles in the Telltale on NSC Marine Safety I mentioned the expression “kedging” a few times assuming that everyone knows what it involves and when to use it. However from personal observations it seems this is not necessarily the case. So I have taken the liberty to delve into the subject a little deeper. Hopefully old salts are not insulted by this writing.

Kedging in the Golden Era.

The Manual of Seamanship for Boys and Seamen of the Royal Navy, 1904 (a recent fathers day gift) defines kedging as follows: “Laying the kedge anchor out in a boat and warping ahead to it”. In more practical English it meant that sailing ships in the days before steam power was invented, used kedging as the only way to enter harbours at the heads of river estuaries or tight anchorages, if sailing was not feasible. How was it done? Well, a long boat with a bunch of strapping young sailors was sent out with a light kedging anchor and rowed ahead as much anchor line as the ship had, dropped the anchor and then a crew on the ship used the capstan to pull the ship ahead. The same book mentions that HM shipyards made anchor hawsers to a maximum length of 113 fathoms (678 ft), so one gets the impression that it was a laborious exercise to bring a ship to its final destination.
Kedging principles for recreational sailboats.

The secret weapon on all sailboats is the strong genoa winch. For instance the Lewmar ST30 2 speed winch has a power ratio of 29.2 in 2nd gear. That means that with a force of 50 pound applied to a standard 10 inch winch handle, a force of 1460 pound is exerted on the line wrapped around the winch. To play a little more with numbers : a 12 pound hi-tensile Danforth has a holding power of 1800 lbs, a 22 pound delta is good for 3800 lbs and the Lewmar 35 pound CQR is advertised at 3400 lbs. Proof coil 5/16 inch chain has a working load of 1900 lbs. Most healthy sailors male or female can exercise a force well in excess of 50 pound so it clear that with the all powerful winch and some decent ground tackle one can easily kedge oneself out of a run-aground situation without calling for 3rd party help. Does it work? I am honest enough to admit that during our trip south we ran aground on numerous occasions. Sometimes due to daydreaming, but quite often due to factors beyond our control. The most significant event was when we were unceremoniously dumped on a 2 ft deep mudflat in the ICW by a 60 knot squall, which the US Coastguard warned us about by the time we saw it coming. After it was all over, a couple of good Samaritans tried to help us with up to 100 HP outboard powered zodiacs, but Whiskeydream was not going anywhere. So when the Samaritans finally gave up, I convinced one of them to take my Danforth anchor out a 100 ft or so and before the Samaritans were back in their powerboats, Whiskeydream was floating again in her normal happy fashion. I am also happy to report that there was no damage to keel, rudder or hull apart from some missing bottom paint.
Some kedging tips.

After you have revved your engine full rpm forward and reverse and realize you are really stuck in the mud, what do you do? Take your sails down , swing your boom out and have someone heavy hang at the tip of the boom to heel the boat and rev engine again. If that does not work as well, it is time for some fancy display of old-fashioned kedging The idea is to set your favourite anchor out with a scope of at least 1:10 in a direction where you think the water is deeper, generally the direction you came from. Wrap you the standing end of your anchor rode around the winch and slowly but surely winch yourself afloat again. Et voila, you are on your way to the NSC bar again. The biggest challenge in kedging off is actually getting the anchor out far enough. If you have a dinghy you are laughing. Just row the anchor out as far as the anchor rode will let you and carefully lower the anchor so that it will set with a minimum amount of drag or have the rode wrapped around the shank. If you don’t have a dinghy, life is a little more challenging. First see if you can get the attention of someone with a low draft powerboat or runabout. If that does not pan out, you need to get more creative. This time of the year it is no great hardship to go for a swim and take your anchor out as follows. First remove the chain if you have any in your ground tackle. It serves no purpose when kedging as you are going to put so much strain on the anchor that scope determines the holding power of your anchor, not the weight of any chain. Turn the rode around if the nylon rode is eye-spliced to the chain. Put your Ring Buoy in the water and see if it has enough flotation power to keep the anchor afloat. The standard 24 inch buoy has a flotation spec of at least 16.7 lbs, so it holds a 12 lb Danforth. If it sinks, you need to add some more flotation stuff like PFD’s or bleach bottles. Don yourself a PFD and go for a leisurely swim to drop the anchor as far as possible from your grounded vessel. Go aboard and winch yourself off. With a bit of luck nobody at the bar will have noticed that you were on the wrong side of the green Brittannia Shoal buoy (again). However if it is early in the season and the water is too cold for a swim, this may not be a good idea. Sorry I have run out of ideas. You will have to call the boys at the bar, request some kedging assistance with a club boat and admit to the old salts that you were daydreaming again.
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Old 27-03-2013, 07:55   #35
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
How would a boat without a kedge get off a leeward dock when the engine cannot be used (tsunami warning, good sailing breeze, engine in bits) ?
Your example of a tsunami... wouldn't that be a 1% case you think? How often you get tsunamis? Also, I would never use an anchor to get off a dock. If it is leeward then I would tow it off; with my own dinghy if no other help around. Your example could only work if you abandon the anchor and manage to claw away from the dock without crashing back into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
How would a boat without a kedge (and without thrusters or twin screws) get off a leeward dock when boxed in by big beamy unattended trawlers close ahead and astern?
Now that is basic boating skill. You never use an anchor for that but just power into a spring line until perpendicular to the dock and then reverse and off you go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
What would a boat without a kedge use as a temporary handbrake in light winds over foul ground (say after an unscheduled engine shutdown in an ancient mooring basin with bottom chains everywhere) ?
Handbrake? How about releasing the main anchor?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
What would a boat without a kedge use to anchor in very deep water in a calm when it was necessary to wait for a tide change?
The main anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
What would a boat without a kedge use for box-hauling (which generally involves abandoning the anchor, at least temporarily) ?
box hauling?! Send me back to school, I thought you only do that when you move from one house to another house. Never used an anchor for that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
How would a boat without a kedge place or retrieve an anchor in a location the mother ship could not safely reach - people who are implacably wedded (welded) to "One Anchor (at a time)" will not find this notion comprehensible....
They dinghy out their second anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
I can tell ya a Danforth off the stern will stop ya in your tracks! if the bottoms sticky enough for it to bite ! Ive had to do it twice to keep my boat from being run down by BAB (bigass boats) once in the Columbia river. once over the bar in Coos Bay Or. you youngsters really don't know the stopping power of a Danforth in a good sticky bottom! In fact, if I have to use an anchor in a big blow I will use a Danforth if it's big enough! I used a 80 lb Danforth on a 42 ft steel boat for years and except for a complete reversal of wind and tide I never had any problems with staying put ! Again I like to either use a stern anchor or a line to shore with either a rock or a tree or a Kedge anchor buried on the beach ! But then Im old fashion and won't spend money trying new things when I have stuff that works just fine !!
I have seen people do that and it ends in a big PANG as the rode breaks or it suddenly slacks and comes back up later with just a shank attached

this is too easy guys
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Old 27-03-2013, 08:26   #36
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As several others have mentioned, whether or not you use two anchors at the same time for whatever purpose, whether or not you would ever use a kedge to "kedge off" of a grounding situation, you really, really will want to have an anchor somewhere close to hand, ready to deploy with rode attached, something light enough to handle yourself without a windlass, in case of emergency.

Imagine your engine dies and you're being blown or swept towards a rocky shore, for some reason you can't get sail up in time, or you're embayed and couldn't sail out anyway, or for whatever reason you just have to stop now and get control of the boat. Most electric windlasses won't operate unless the engine is running (this is idiotic; I keep meaning to rewire mine so it will), and with many of them it's not that easy even to drop the anchor without power. And what if the windlass jams, as in someone's example above?

I take great comfort from knowing that big Fortress is right there in my anchor locker ready to go -- in case the carp hits the fan, I can throw it over the side in a few seconds, without relying on any mechanical devices at all, just with my bare hands.

The Fortress' setting behavior is also perfect for this use -- it almost always just bites right in without any need of backing down on it, quite unlike my bower anchor.

IMHO, it's an essential safety item.
Let's look at this scenario, which sounds very reasonable. "Your engine dies and you can't get sail up in time" this sounds as an error already because you ought to have sails up or at the ready to unfurl or hoist quickly. When I approach a lee shore to enter a boca or river with little room I may douse my sails but will unfurl my jib in a second in case of trouble or even do that anyway, just because we're a sailboat.

"electric windlass won't work when the engine isn't running": that is two more mistakes in one go. First, like you say, the windlass should work without the engine running. Second, I'm pretty sure your windlass will have a clutch and will deploy your anchor without the engine running. If it does not, or the clutch is frozen up, then this should be fixed before sailing again.

"windlass jams": while I don't agree that it's normal to put stuff in plastic bags on the chain inside the locker, the chain itself could tangle and lock up the windlass. However, it would still work the other direction in that case, making it easy to clear. But the windlass could just fail; fall apart etc. Now you are into the 1% of my rule like there is no tomorrow. You do anything to survive.

Now, about your big Fortress: what you have in mind will not work. I know, I once tried it and failed and I've seen it often and it always failed, often with damage and even personal injury as a result. Let me tell you what happens: "You grab the big Fortress and throw it overboard": I have seen that go wrong but let's suppose this works as planned. This means some chain bangs after it damaging the chain locker lid, the deck and the lifelines. Next it all goes down to the seabed. You think. But, if you are moving downwind towards the lee shore fast enough, this only works when you're paying out rode as fast as the boat moves. When you don't, the anchor will not set, or the big flukes and light weight even make it come all the way back up to the surface! Yes I've seen that happen... even with myself once But let's say we pay out as fast as we move. You better have 8-strand rope in it's own chain locker, sail bin or whatever else that makes sure it pays out without entangling on itself. In at least half the times I see this "throwing the anchor out" happen, there is a bunch of 3-strand that looks like a skippy ball that flies up and overboard and is gone a second later. This is the better result because it gets worse: sometimes this paying out rode works well, we're talking less than 50% now, and the time comes to stop the boat. I have see panic where they try tie off the end of the rode but alas, too late and everything is gone and overboard, game over (this actually never happened to me ). Then I have seen people who got it secured or were quick enough to secure it. It ends with lifelines and stanchions destroyed, ripped off the boat etc. because the anchor rode goes over the lifelines instead of over the toe-rail. But, this normally is where the mayhem ends except for some cases where the panic is big enough that they throw off the rode trying to save a destroyed lifeline
Then there are those who think ahead and get the bitter end out before it's too late and bring it over the lifelines back on deck to tie it off to a cleat. This is where personal injury happens. I have seen people get caught into the rode paying out and I have seen people getting their fingers between rode and cleat. Pretty bad results in both cases, I still get sick to the stomach when I think back.

So, no, do not throw an anchor over the side like that. The smartest thing to do is to have no chain, all 8-strand rode, flaked out into it's own bin with the end secured to a strong point. I mean strong enough to lift the boat with. Then the light Fortress anchor on top of that, grab it while sitting on deck and push it out over the toerail after making sure the rode will not touch you as it starts paying out.
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Old 27-03-2013, 10:45   #37
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
A second anchor also increases your chance of a boat dragging into you.

Dragging boats generally travel directly downwind. A boat lying at a single anchor represents close to a point source. Two anchors set at 30 or 45 degrees represent a much bigger target for the the anchor dragging along the bottom to snare.
Interesting... I'd not considered that. Thank you.

And yes, I do have a second anchor and have used it as a brake (bad fuel, outgoing tide) -- my kedge is a 16 pound Hydro-bubble though I admit a hankering for a Fortress 25 pounds or so as a secondary (no problems with the Hydro-bubble, but having two different types of anchors seems smarter and the primary is a 33 pound Rocna on all chain (1/4" high-test)
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Old 27-03-2013, 11:53   #38
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

I have kedged off a soft grounding. Used my fx to hold me after grounding to prevent further washing up into shallows while waiting for tide to turn.
Used 2 anchors in predicated storm conditions. Usually I lay on the primary with multiple snubber and chafe. I lay out second and or third anchor and killett the lines to the bottom. If primary fails the boat can fall back on the other pre set anchor or anchors. If I need to detach from the primary such as another boat has drifted down on me. I can swing away and load up the secondary anchor which has already been set. This does not create more exposure but adds a back up if the primary fails.
Used this also before named storms and left the boat with the set up. Trick is to not leave it out to long or the lines will wrap up something awful. dont leave tons of slack to drift around on the sea floor.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:42   #39
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pirate Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

I like to carry 2 anchors of different types.. Bruce and CQR.. each capable of being the main anchor.. each capable of being used to kedge..
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Old 27-03-2013, 13:41   #40
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

I've known two skippers who used anchors in tandem, the second one shackled to the "main" anchor's chain. In the more recent case, the secondary anchor was a Fortress, used closer to the catamaran. His combination held him safely in flood stream on the Clarence R. in NSW. He did not get the buildup of trees and weed on his spot in the river that we thought he might. This is at a wide-ish place, and the other side, with slower-moving water had less trash in it.

From reading this collection of posts, what I think happens is that before-handed people think out strategies before hand; it it worked on that occasion, one is likely to become a proponent of the strategy. There may or may not come a time when one needs to alter it.
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Old 27-03-2013, 13:46   #41
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

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From reading this collection of posts, what I think happens is that before-handed people think out strategies before hand; it it worked on that occasion, one is likely to become a proponent of the strategy. There may or may not come a time when one needs to alter it.
You need to keep an open mind and have a quiver full of options, techniques and equipment to use for different situations that require different approaches. There isn't a one-size-fits-all anchoring technique.

For example, one occasional use for a kedge anchor is when your boat is swinging or yawing a lot at anchor. You can sometimes lower the kedge off the bow until it just reaches the bottom, but with not enough scope to really dig in. This can sometimes dramatically reduce yawing.

I saw another interesting use once. A sailboat anchored off a marina I was in caught fire and eventually burnt through his anchor rode. The current began to take the flaming boat towards the marina, but a local fireboat was able to get close enough to throw a small Danforth into the flames where it grappled something on deck, allowing the boat to be towed away from the rest of us who were running around rigging up hoses and grabbing fire extinguishers.
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Old 27-03-2013, 14:02   #42
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

kedge absolete? Do you mean the noun or the verb? It seems like the days when most sailors whipped out a huge folding fisherman anchor and called it a kedge anchor are gone. As far as the act of kedging goes, that'll be around as long as idiots like me run aground. Wether I call it my storm, backup, primary, or stern anchor doesn't much matter as long as it gets me floating again.
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Old 27-03-2013, 14:26   #43
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Like markj we have rarely used our kedge , better to find another anchorage and you risk someone anchoring too close and swinging into you,
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Old 27-03-2013, 22:13   #44
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
...I met a French sailor once who had several claims to fame, one of which was that he'd pinched Joshua... from the maritime museum at La Rochelle to use it for his qualifying solo sail for the OSTAR (transatlantic solo) race....
In the interests of historical accuracy, I should point out that I mis-spoke: it was the solo Mini Transat, not the OSTAR, in 1981, that he was qualifying for. Joshua was wrecked, IIRC, in 1982
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Old 28-03-2013, 00:03   #45
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

OOoops, this is getting truly embarassing:
He did sail in the 81 Mini Transat - did very well, ...in fact he won it.

But it seems from a French newspaper report that he actually pinched Joshua from the museum to sail in "the English Transat" (presumably the OSTAR) in order to qualify for the the Vendée Globe. The report is dated 2000, which is when his case came up in court (1 month in the slammer!)

So it seems Joshua must have been fixed up after Cabo San Lucas well enough to race again.
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