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Old 17-05-2021, 10:33   #1
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Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

As some of you know, a chemical exposure caused massive stress on my system after burning my lungs a bit. This stress caused a tiny piece of plaque to break off in one of my coronary arteries. My body sent blood clotting in to fix the wound, but it plugged up my coronary artery. I had the “widow maker “ heart attack as a result.

I went for a post 2-week recovery sonogram and the results are in. They aren’t good. I have some heart failure. I don’t have enough plaque on my arteries to register as a percentage, I’m 150 lbs, I eat the Mediterranean diet without dairy and mostly all plant proteins, I’m active. The gas released caused this heart attack and heart failure.

I’m assuming some people here have had heart failure. I’m noticing I can’t do very much without getting dizzy or exhausted. Hot weather feel like it’ll knock me unconscious. In other words, I’ve lost my physical abilities due to the damage.

I guess I can try to get the heart stronger over the next year with exercise/rehab but the parts of my heart that died are probably always going to stay dead from what I understand.

Boat stuff

Given my physical output seems to be affected by all of this, I’m thinking I might not be able to sail a big cat anymore. The effort required when things go wrong with the rig, using my manual windlass, even provisioning seems out of reach.

I know sailing is a very physically demanding life with bursts of energy required just when you are the most tired. I no longer seem to have this energy as of the gas and resulting heart attack.

So I’m considering 3 options:

1) I might get lucky and get my physical abilities back after a year of rehab type exercise. Maybe I can still sail. My lungs are a million times better thanks to a kind member of this forum who helped diagnose the issue and solve the problems. So I’m still keeping hope.

2) Sell the nearly complete boat and get an RV to travel with, just flying to other countries for the 90 days at a time you can stay.

3) Make the catamaran into an extremely efficient trawler. Get custom large props on the outboards, no chainplates needing to be done, no rig work, no new sails, no struggling with the rig when I’m weak, electric windlass, electric dinghy hoisting, easier little front cross beam since it’s only to hold up people hanging out on the tramp, etc. basically the boat is already almost done to be a trawler. Huge savings in time and money. Something I can handle without as much physical effort. I figure I can use temporary fuel tanks to go far, such as transatlantic via the Greenland route. I currently have a 500NM range at 8 knots with the wrong props slipping the whole way. If I can get custom props to work well. I could probably get a lot better range. The weight wouldn’t go up at all. It’s lighter than the sailing boat would have been. In fact, all the extra fuel to go to Europe via Greenland route would weigh less than the rig. I have a REALLY good trawler on my hands here.

Question:

Am I nuts???

Building boats has caused literally all my heath problems.

Should I just give up? Or does the trawler idea make sense? No more fun sailing. No more snowboarding either from what I can tell. But maybe I can get my heart going a little better through rehab.

Or is this all nuts and should I sell the boat and get an RV to travel?

You all know why boats are better, but there is some practicality to be taken into account.
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Old 17-05-2021, 10:58   #2
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

So...if you keep up your diet, and carefully improve your exercise regimen, you will feel better. Interesting note...many elite athletes have reduced EF at rest. Their tissues are so well adapted to functioning efficiently in an oxygen debt that the heart reduces its output at rest.

Obviously not telling you to go train marathons, but regular exercise will improve your body’s ability to function with reduced cardiac output.

That said, if sailing your boat is physically demanding, it may be time to move on. Maybe transition to more local sailing on a smaller boat? Sailing with friends? Or trading in for a powerboat?

RVs are cool, but those of us who need salt air tend to find RVs a poor replacement for a boat.
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Old 17-05-2021, 11:25   #3
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

seems a shame as you worked hard on the boat.

have you thought of finding someone young and strong to help finish and sail the boat.

work out a deal such as part ownership etc that makes sense to you.
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Old 17-05-2021, 11:43   #4
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

Sorry about your health problems, Chotu.

I hope you get some strength back, but my opinion you are right to be considering less strenuous way to do your voyaging.

Catamarans make awesome motorboats. Only problem with your set up is the outboards. If you are going to have only (or primarily) motor power, you really want diesels, in my opinion. Can you spend the money you were planning to spend on rig and sails, plus proceeds of sale of the outboards, on diesel propulsion?

I like outboards but not for long-term, continuous use. A cat with two diesel engines is the best of all worlds -- you have redundant power for safety, and long distance motoring you shut down one of them and work the one in a more efficient regime. You don't need a generator because you can put second alternators on both main engines. You don't need massive tankage to have massive range.

Another variant -- if you can afford it -- is to have BOTH the diesel engines AND the sails. You don't have to use the sails all the time. But in good weather AND when you're feeling good, it might not be a lot of physical stress to put some sail out.

Good luck. All of us will face what you're facing, sooner or later. My father swallowed the anchor a couple of years ago; it was hard for him.
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Old 17-05-2021, 11:49   #5
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

Convert your catamaran into a trawler. Less stress on your body and you can still accomplish what you started out to do.Good luck either way.
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Old 17-05-2021, 12:26   #6
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Sorry about your health problems, Chotu.

I hope you get some strength back, but my opinion you are right to be considering less strenuous way to do your voyaging.

Catamarans make awesome motorboats. Only problem with your set up is the outboards. If you are going to have only (or primarily) motor power, you really want diesels, in my opinion. Can you spend the money you were planning to spend on rig and sails, plus proceeds of sale of the outboards, on diesel propulsion?

I like outboards but not for long-term, continuous use. A cat with two diesel engines is the best of all worlds -- you have redundant power for safety, and long distance motoring you shut down one of them and work the one in a more efficient regime. You don't need a generator because you can put second alternators on both main engines. You don't need massive tankage to have massive range.

Another variant -- if you can afford it -- is to have BOTH the diesel engines AND the sails. You don't have to use the sails all the time. But in good weather AND when you're feeling good, it might not be a lot of physical stress to put some sail out.

Good luck. All of us will face what you're facing, sooner or later. My father swallowed the anchor a couple of years ago; it was hard for him.
It’s not a bad design. I like the idea, but the boat is already done and I don’t want to waste more years of my life redoing it.

Just go now is the mantra. Or at least as now as possible.

This means saving time on going now. The outboards have done just fine for 1500 nautical miles so far. I’ll keep using them in the States until they aren’t working well anymore.

Some key advantages to outboards (assuming I can prop them correctly):

1) modular. As the times change, I can get a fusion powered outboard and slip it in place in 30 minutes.

2) redundancy. At 300lbs for my entire 60hp propulsion system, I can afford to carry a complete spare outboard.

3) They’re sort of disposable. Sort of. Diesels are forever. People replace them because they can’t find parts or they just feel like it’s too old even when it’s running fine. With the outboards, I don’t have to think or have some huge project. If it dies at a level it can’t be fixed, just drop a new one in. I like this approach a lot better than the permanence of diesels.



I love what you’re proposing, but don’t want all the complexities, years of my life wasted on doing it, difficulty replacing engines, through hulls, heat exchangers, raw water pumps, etc etc. Selling my generators, outboards, all the fiberglass work that has to be done in epoxy.. I just prefer the simplicity of leaving it as it is.
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Old 17-05-2021, 12:27   #7
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

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Convert your catamaran into a trawler. Less stress on your body and you can still accomplish what you started out to do.Good luck either way.
Really leaning this way. Itís already a trawler now. All Iíd have to finish is the interior, basically. And a few odds and ends
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Old 17-05-2021, 12:30   #8
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

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seems a shame as you worked hard on the boat.

have you thought of finding someone young and strong to help finish and sail the boat.

work out a deal such as part ownership etc that makes sense to you.
This one is a no go. I wouldnít want the boat if it had random people on it. Thatís a charter and costs big money. Itís very stressful to have random people on your boat. Itís like having a roommate in your house. Itís not something Iím willing to do.
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Old 17-05-2021, 12:37   #9
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Itís not a bad design. I like the idea, but the boat is already done and I donít want to waste more years of my life redoing it.

Just go now is the mantra. Or at least as now as possible.

This means saving time on going now. The outboards have done just fine for 1500 nautical miles so far. Iíll keep using them in the States until they arenít working well anymore.

Some key advantages to outboards (assuming I can prop them correctly):

1) modular. As the times change, I can get a fusion powered outboard and slip it in place in 30 minutes.

2) redundancy. At 300lbs for my entire 60hp propulsion system, I can afford to carry a complete spare outboard.

3) Theyíre sort of disposable. Sort of. Diesels are forever. People replace them because they canít find parts or they just feel like itís too old even when itís running fine. With the outboards, I donít have to think or have some huge project. If it dies at a level it canít be fixed, just drop a new one in. I like this approach a lot better than the permanence of diesels.

I love what youíre proposing, but donít want all the complexities, years of my life wasted on doing it, difficulty replacing engines, through hulls, heat exchangers, raw water pumps, etc etc. Selling my generators, outboards, all the fiberglass work that has to be done in epoxy.. I just prefer the simplicity of leaving it as it is.

I would never suggest spending years on anything. How long does any of us have for actual cruising? And a man with heart failure all the more?


Yes, outboards are great exactly because they are modular, and "disposable", as you say. But they have far less, like 5x if not 10x less resource -- MTBF, hours between major overhaul, or whatever you want to call it. That is a significant disadvantage if you're using as a motorboat and will be running them for weeks at a time crossing oceans. Not even to get to the fuel efficiency. So if it WERE to be feasible to hire a yard to pop a couple of diesels in, not years, but a couple of months - that would be worth considering. If not, then not. Hell yes, go now. Good luck; we're pulling for you. Sooner or later we will all face what you're facing.
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Old 17-05-2021, 12:40   #10
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

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I had the “widow maker” 7 years ago with a 99% blockage, am over weight, eat whatever food I want, don't get enough exercise.

I sail just fine. I am not alone and meet lots of sailors who have had triple bypasses and valve replacements.

If you chose to believe it is over for you tha5 is your choice. But it isn't due to a widow maker event that didn't leave any measurable hart weakness.
I have heart failure. Part of my heart is dead now. The apex and a piece up the side. I believe this counts as “measurable heart weakness?” Or am I missing something?

When I do things now, I get dizzy.

I only just got released from the 2 week mandatory bedrest, so I’m kinda new at this. Never had any health problems before, other than the epoxy stuff.

Since you had a similar thing, can you tell me how long the weakness and dizziness lasts?

I’m on 3 blood thinners, a statin and a beta blocker. Are you still on all of that?

What kind of cardio rehab did you do and how long did it take you to get back to normal, which it sounds like you’re saying is possible?

My reading tells me that once parts of your heart die, that’s forever. Am I wrong?

Why are you so angry at me? Leftover emotions from your own experience? Do I represent a part of you you had to conquer to continue on? I don’t get the hostility.

Or am I misinterpreting your tone?
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Old 17-05-2021, 12:48   #11
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

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I would never suggest spending years on anything. How long does any of us have for actual cruising? And a man with heart failure all the more?


Yes, outboards are great exactly because they are modular, and "disposable", as you say. But they have far less, like 5x if not 10x less resource -- MTBF, hours between major overhaul, or whatever you want to call it. That is a significant disadvantage if you're using as a motorboat and will be running them for weeks at a time crossing oceans. Not even to get to the fuel efficiency. So if it WERE to be feasible to hire a yard to pop a couple of diesels in, not years, but a couple of months - that would be worth considering. If not, then not. Hell yes, go now. Good luck; we're pulling for you. Sooner or later we will all face what you're facing.
Ok. Iíll consider this plan prior to ocean crossings. Iím sure itíll be a couple years in the states still cruising around and getting things in order to come over your way. Iíll use up the current engines here and explore the diesel conversion when itís time to cross.

I figured Iíd just do the Greenland route so itís not such long hops too.
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Old 17-05-2021, 13:06   #12
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

Strange how Charlie Morgan and I believe Butler from Catalina area all now in their 90s. I believe Everett Pearson lived into his 80s atleast.

All the Gougeons have now died in the 60s/ 70s or one is still alive?
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Old 17-05-2021, 13:09   #13
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

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Ok. Iíll consider this plan prior to ocean crossings. Iím sure itíll be a couple years in the states still cruising around and getting things in order to come over your way. Iíll use up the current engines here and explore the diesel conversion when itís time to cross.

I figured Iíd just do the Greenland route so itís not such long hops too.

The Greenland route is major awesome experiences. If part of my heart were dead and I were counting out my remaining days and strength, and I loved the sea as I do, and I wanted to spend those days in an especially concentrated way -- that's the kind of thing I would choose.


Note that those latitudes offer unexpected and extreme weather, not to mention sea ice and other challenges. In your position I would have an entirely different view of risk, but I would also think twice about having some qualified crew on board.
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Old 17-05-2021, 13:19   #14
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

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The Greenland route is major awesome experiences. If part of my heart were dead and I were counting out my remaining days and strength, and I loved the sea as I do, and I wanted to spend those days in an especially concentrated way -- that's the kind of thing I would choose.


Note that those latitudes offer unexpected and extreme weather, not to mention sea ice and other challenges. In your position I would have an entirely different view of risk, but I would also think twice about having some qualified crew on board.
I’ll go in August or whenever the best timing is.

I don’t think I’ll up and die in a little timeframe like crossing that area. What are the odds?

But I’ll make sure my girlfriend is trained up to get anywhere she needs to. She’s a smart one and a quick learner. She’s done great already.m

I know a guy from Denmark who did this route in a big old powerboat he bought in the states. He carried some extra cubes of diesel on deck. The pictures were stunning. They approached an iceberg. I’ll have to dig up the picture
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Old 17-05-2021, 13:31   #15
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Re: Heart Results Are In - Boat Options?

Healthy cardiac muscle can step up to the plate. The human body is an incredible piece of machinery, and can overcome many things. Will you ever be 100% again? No.

What often happens is guys suffer an infarct like this, suffer some damage, and write off the rest of their lives. “I have a bad heart” becomes an excuse to sit around all day and do nothing. The weight begins to accumulate, remaining good cardiac muscle atrophies, cardiovascular fitness drops off, and they die. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Take a proactive approach with your cardiologist. Get on a rehab program, and keep gently pushing your fitness. This isn’t an ‘I did rehab, I’m good’ type thing—this is now a lifelong commitment.
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