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Old 04-01-2020, 00:42   #1
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The loss of Walkabout

So itís taken me a while to post about this but with a couple of fellow CF members asking what happened, here it is.

Some of you will remember my cat was dropped by the boat yard due to shoddy lifting practices earlier this summer (pic #1). Basically they picked it up with a crawler trailer using extensions and insufficient straps, which then snapped and punctured a hull.

Anyway, that was all repaired after two months out of the water, a new paint job went on, new rigging, new trampolines, new wiring, engine refreshes, interior updating, steering system rework - basically the lot got done.

Managed a few more trips out in the Solent and tweaked a few more bits, and all was looking good to head south. Then my dad was diagnosed with emphysemia and I had to make the tough decision to enlist the help off a delivery skipper to get the boat to southern Spain, while I went back to Aus for three weeks to do the family thing. This was it for me in the UK as well, so off went the car, work was wrapped up, a house full of gear given away / donated to the local charity shop, and goodbyes said.

Delivery skipper and crew duly arrived and after a handover, I left them to it to set sail on the Monday. All looked good for the first few days as the boat headed south - a few niggles popped up (cupboard doors popping open, the main VHF decided to develop a fault) but otherwise progress was pretty good until Thursday night when the tracker stopped. Nothing on Friday either. And then the message came on Saturday morning, just as I left the Southampton Boat Show, that theyíd been run down by a fishing boat 60nm north of Viviero at 0430. The fishing boat had towed them into port but the boat was a write off.

As details came to light, it turned out to be such an unlucky situation youíd barely believe it - a 1200nm trip spanning 5 days, 1 min or 50m either way and it wouldíve been a near miss. The insurance company gave it a 0.00005% chance of happening...

Anyway, the boat ended up tied to a dock in Viviero where I finally managed to get to it six weeks later and it was a mess. Rig gone, crossbeam gone, forward lockers gone, both bows damaged - but still afloat. When she was built, originally the boat had a large fore and aft box section crossbeam and the rest was built around it. This made for narrow hulls, but a strong as f*ck boat that meant the damage was fundamentally superficial.... but expensive to fix. The Spanish quotes to fix came in at double the insured value, so it was a simple numbers game for the insurers to write her off in the end.

I managed to salvage some of my personal items and for this, Iím thankful to the delivery skipper for not abandoning ship. The marina then sent me photos of the haul out at the wreckers last night and it kills me to see, as the boat is 90% still fine... had I been able to take 3-6 months off Iíd have gone down and fixed it, but life gets in the way and thatís just not possible. It was especially hard as Iíd just managed to get the boat 100% right and this was my home, but sometimes life has other plans and itís out of your control (see insurance percentage above).

So there you have it. Many thanks to all you who offered to crew with me to the Canaries and beyond. Iím going to take a break from boats for a bit but will be back soon enough.

N
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Old 04-01-2020, 00:50   #2
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

Blimey, you haven’t had much luck with that have you.

At least no-one was hurt. I with you better luck with your next boat, although that wouldn’t be difficult...
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Old 04-01-2020, 00:55   #3
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

bummer, thanks for the update.did the collision happen in thick fog as is common in the area?
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:05   #4
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

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bummer, thanks for the update.did the collision happen in thick fog as is common in the area?
I donít believe so. Conditions were perky 2-3m of swell, relatively dark (0430) and a brisk breeze.

The skipper was on watch but had foresail out which limited forward vis, and the fishing boat approached at circa 15kts but hereís the killer - never deviated from course (we obtained their GPS track) and admitted to having no-one on visual watch.

It shouldnít have happened BUT the insurance co has agreed itís the fishing vesselís fault entirely and is proceeding as such.

N
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:08   #5
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

terrible luck...our sympathy. don't let it get you down...onwards and upwards as they say...plus you've had a life times worth of bad luck now, so the future should be all good !

but can i ask was the boat fitted with AIS ?

i have personal experience of the lack of watch keeping by fishing boats, and always assume they are either asleep or out the back working - NOT keeping a look-out

cheers,
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:49   #6
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

That's really sad to see. Sorry it has happened to you.



Years ago I was bringing a friends boat back from France to Ireland. In the channel in the dark I saw a white stern light so no problems, it's going away from me. Something made me check under the genoa again and all I saw was a bow wave coming straight at me. Slammed the boat into a tack and did a very quick 180.



Looking behind me I saw a bow , rivets and steel. Not only did they not have any watch but no nav lights either. I got away with it but you found out the hard way. These guys don't maintain reasonable/any watch.


Question - no AIS on your boat?
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:12   #7
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

Nice looking boat. Sad.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:45   #8
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

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terrible luck...our sympathy. don't let it get you down...onwards and upwards as they say...plus you've had a life times worth of bad luck now, so the future should be all good !

but can i ask was the boat fitted with AIS ?

i have personal experience of the lack of watch keeping by fishing boats, and always assume they are either asleep or out the back working - NOT keeping a look-out

cheers,
No AIS at the time. Iíd found a nice McMurdo unit but was having trouble pairing it with Navionics on an Ipad, so was leaving it Ďtil Spain.

Regardless, I doubt the fishing vessel would have seen it.

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Old 04-01-2020, 02:55   #9
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

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Old 04-01-2020, 07:02   #10
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

Wow, that's heartbreaking! Glad everyone survived and you even recovered some personal belongings.

Now, if it's not too rude to start second-guessing...

Yes, the fishing boat was at fault. I've seen it too often; they'll set the auto-pilot and go below. Big steel hull, why should they care? I'm glad they were assigned blame.

But... If you can't see a big steel fishing boat heading your way, never deviating course, then you don't have an adequate watch. At a minimum, they should have been seen both visually and by radar. Clearly the skipper knew the sail was obstructing his/her view. I'm really surprised some of the blame wasn't attributed there. I wonder what the fishing vessel's insurer will say? Probably not a big enough deal that they'll waste any effort on it, fortunately.
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Old 04-01-2020, 10:17   #11
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

What rotten luck - take some time to regroup and then find the next thing that makes you happy.
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Old 04-01-2020, 14:46   #12
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

Sorry to hear about your boat and crewís accident caused by the ďunseeingĒ fishing boat. Good to see that no one was injured and good choice of delivery capín, given he stayed with her. Hope all goes well with your dad and that you will be on the water in the future.
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Old 04-01-2020, 16:27   #13
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

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Wow, that's heartbreaking! Glad everyone survived and you even recovered some personal belongings.

Now, if it's not too rude to start second-guessing...

Yes, the fishing boat was at fault. I've seen it too often; they'll set the auto-pilot and go below. Big steel hull, why should they care? I'm glad they were assigned blame.

But... If you can't see a big steel fishing boat heading your way, never deviating course, then you don't have an adequate watch. At a minimum, they should have been seen both visually and by radar. Clearly the skipper knew the sail was obstructing his/her view. I'm really surprised some of the blame wasn't attributed there. I wonder what the fishing vessel's insurer will say? Probably not a big enough deal that they'll waste any effort on it, fortunately.
Youíre working on the basis that the fishing boat was displaying correct (or any) lights. Iíve done the Biscay leg before on my last boat and can assure you they donít.

Radar? Not every sailboat has radar.

The fishing vesselís insurer has failed to respond to any forms of communication but having been presented with the facts - including statements from the delivery skipper and the fishing vesselís crew - my insurance co have deemed them entirely at fault and are actively persuing them through the Spanish court system. While I donít attest to know everything about boat insurance, I do work in the industry and know the comparative size of each insurer, and I daresay theyíll end up paying out the claim.

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Old 04-01-2020, 17:32   #14
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

What happened to your cat now? She looks like a good project for the right person?
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Old 05-01-2020, 00:19   #15
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Re: The loss of Walkabout

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What happened to your cat now? She looks like a good project for the right person?
Cheers
Well the Spanish port decided to put a repair fee on her that was double the insured value, along with an absurdly high initial minor repair cost just to move the boat to a port where full repairs can be done, so as it stands theyíre cutting it up this week.

Had the accident happened in the UK or France I suspect a repair wouldíve been possible but that part of Spain isnít really sailing yacht friendly, and the sheer logistics of shipping a mast, working out what replacement centre and cross beam needed to be installed, sorting the steering, repairing all the damage from the recent huge rain fall... needless to say Iím pretty gutted about it, but thatís how it goes sometimes.

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