Eric mentioned that the boom went over in a broach. Were preventers rigged, and if so, were they rigged forward? Or did they fail or otherwise give way?
I had preventers rigged, from the end of the 19' boom through a pad-eye on the deck
about even with the mast
, that came back and attached to a cleat at the starboard quarter. I have a hard time believing that enough load was transmitted through that to cause the leaking that we had, but I really don't have any data either way.
I had ocassionaly also rigged a preventer all the way forward to the sampson posts which actually worked fine in more gentle weather
, but when things got gross it just wasn't manageable. I'm not sure if we ever did that on the Pacific crossing.
I would and did have the staysail prevented out to the sampson posts, running through a freeport
on the gunwale.
How did the boom damage the hull/deck joint (that was the impression I got, but it seemed a touch unlikely)?
I really don't know, and possibly it didn't. I know we broached pretty violently, I know we started to have leaking at the joint after that, and I know it got worse as time kept ticking. Especially when shipping
Was Eric hand-steering when the broach happened, or was an AP or windvane in use?
. I was in the companionway
Did you havestern drogues/para off the bow of any sort, and were they used to slow or otherwise help to keep the boat in a "broach minimizing" direction?
No. We went through a few different mindsets:
1) Try to keep the speed up so we can get through the area and make time. We had reduced canvas
but in general the ITCZ strategy is to try to cut through it as quick as possible, or certainly not linger.
2) Stay hove-to to get some rest, cook dinner, do things that it helps to not have the boat banging around (showering, etc).
3) Actively steer when the wind/waves changed direction and strength when squalls came through.
4) Try to actively steer around the squalls to make your life much easier.
Could RH have heaved to effectively and was that considered or attempted?. From what I could see from the lines, it looked pretty heave-to friendly.
Yeah we did and it was fine, except when we got into mixed swells. The prevailing wind
would have us hove-to, but there was another swell that would break that would catch us beam-on. I'm pretty sure that's actually what broached us.
Were the batteries and SSB in an unusual position? You mentioned water ingress damaging both, and I wonder if positioning came into this? Was your SSB antenna the backstay or an antenna carried aloft on a halyard? The SIM card fiasco just out and out sucks...
Backstay antenna, nothing special, insulators installed maybe three years previous. The batteries
were in the standard under-the-quarter berth location and the SSB was mounted with the back of it hitting the bulkhead.
To give you an idea of the amount of water that entered the boat on that big broach, an auto-inflating life jacket inflated in the cabin
. It was just pure green water, and that hit the radio
as well (I can't imagine it not). To imagine the location of the radio, if you were to walk down the companionway
facing forward and stick your arm out to starboard, it was right about there along the bulkhead aiming amidships (towards the port bulkhead).
I gather you had both manual and electric bilge pumps. Would you consider that a PTO on the diesel to run a engine-powered pump would have been a decent option, or just a further complication?
I think it would have complicated it further. The manual we had was something I bought because I read about it in a book and the author said it was the only pump
he could really rely on. In truth, it actually cleared a decent sized toy one of my kids managed to jam in there without us noticing probably months before.
The integrated systems, even just needing electrical
power or the engine
, were definitely the most vulnerable. When the electronics
started to fail it was circuit by circuit it seemed, and somethings would come back online and then fail twelve hours later.
We were a pretty "old school" boat in our equipment choices, with a lot of manual or otherwise simple electronics
. Even at that, losing even just a couple of pieces of critical gear
causes a lot of problems.