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Old 17-11-2017, 07:14   #16
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Thank you all for your kind words. Fortunately, the yachts is insured and I today informed the Insurance Company of the loss.
Although the exact details are still as sketchy as yesterday, I received an e-mail from his girlfriend informing me that the stern gland broke which resulted in the vessel taking on water and sinking.
I still have not been contacted by the skipper which I find strange as he seems to be in contact with his girlfriend and also another friend who also e-mailed me to inform me that the crew will be arriving in Comoros and don't have any money.....I will reserve judgement on the absence of communication from the skipper until I hear from him personally....as experience sailors, I would welcome your insights on this
The rescue seems to be making the news in South Africa. Here are two online news reports:

https://southcoastherald.co.za/24903...ff-mozambique/
https://blog.samsa.org.za/2017/11/

Neville
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Old 17-11-2017, 10:24   #17
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

So sorry to hear of your loss, and as others have said, well done to the sar staff.
After reading your link it appears the delivery captain is quite young, and it's his first big delivery. If that's the case, it would explain his reluctance to contact you. It's gotta be intimidating to tell your first customer that you lost his yacht.
Hopefully he can use it as a learning experience and grow.
And hopefully you can collect on insurance soon and start shopping again.
Don't give up on the dream:-)
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Old 17-11-2017, 10:30   #18
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Hi Chris Mac
The guy in the article is not actually the skipper. I suspect he was the first mate. The skipper is quite experienced with a few international deliveries and came highly recommended.
A friend who showed me the link had the same reaction as you. she came storming into my office with an opening line of...."Your skipper was only 20 years old and had never done an ocean crossing"........I guess it's the way the article was written :-)
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Old 17-11-2017, 10:45   #19
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

The news had it wrong:-? That never happens
I guess I don't have any insight then.
Possibly still anxiety of admitting he lost your boat. or maybe just wants the discussion to be in person. Time will tell.
Good luck
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Old 17-11-2017, 22:57   #20
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannadrift View Post

I still have not been contacted by the skipper which I find strange as he seems to be in contact with his girlfriend and also another friend who also e-mailed me to inform me that the crew will be arriving in Comoros and don't have any money.....I will reserve judgement on the absence of communication from the skipper until I hear from him personally....as experience sailors, I would welcome your insights on this
I think this is quite understandable from a human perspective.

After a near potentially deadly event, his family comes first and he probable had limits on his calls from Sea from the rescue ship.

Let him recover, get his head back in the game after the shock as you will need his cooperation with the insurance claim.
It is actually quite wise to speak with the Captain from a secure shore line when he reaches port, so that you can recover your investment.
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Old 18-11-2017, 05:28   #21
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Sad to hear mate. The great news is your insured, your dream lives. I'm in the Seychelles until May. It's a fantastic place to learn to cruise on your next boat.
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Old 24-11-2017, 11:42   #22
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

I have been in contact with the skipper a few time now, and although I was wondering why he didn't contact me, I think Pelagic was correct in stating that he had more pressing priorities than I could imagine sitting on shore waiting for my boat to arrive.
He was clearly shook up by the events and once I spoke with him I realized that he and his crew's ordeal was harrowing. Here is his initial report which he wrote as soon as he got back to South Africa:

This document states the order of events regarding the sinking of sailing vessel Kinda Magic
Before departure I had the following checks done on the vessel:
Renew ship station license for 5 years
Register and tested Epirb
Had the necessary SAS inspection and cerification done

Checked Liferaft certificate
Tested all electronic and mechanical systems on board
Went through the entire vessel with the previous owner
Inspected all through hull fittings and stern gland
Had a diver inspect rudder play, anodes, propeller and general health of the hull.
Inspected rigging and replaced all split pins
Set up emergency steering

We departed on the voyage delivering the vessel from Houtbay Cape Town to Victoria Seyschelles on 25 October 2017.Our flight plan was handed in to Port Control as well as customs and immigration with all relevant detail of the voyage and next of kin detail. The weather system was in our favour for the first 72 hours and we made our way to the port of Mosselbay where we waited out a weather system for 2 days. With the next available weather gap we continued to East London where we had to wait out strong Easterly winds. Approximately 5 hours before East London a sudden change in wind direction and a rise in temperature brought a gust that knocked the vessel down without even carrying any sail area, we were just motoring at this stage due to no wind. We continued going downwind for the duration of the gust and I asked the Port control of the experienced any radical weather in the harbour, their reply was only 12 Knots of wind. I chose to wait 3 days for the Easterlies to subside due to the very strong Agulhas current coming down the coast and by experience I know it is advisable to stay very close inshore. When the weather system turned in our favour we departed East London as our last port of call on the South African coast and we filed another flight plan with the SA Police service, as required by the port of East London, we also asked for clearance on VHF channel 12 from the port captain with our details.
On board we had the following means of communication to ensure safe passage and get the most out of updated weather forecasts and routing:
Marine VHF Radio
SSB Transceiver
Iridium Go Sat router (Unlimited SMS and Email service with 150 minutes)
Emergency Secondary Sat phone
All crew had excellent training with the minimum of Coastal level. All crew also had Valid STCW certification with survival and Liferaft training. I have sailed in excess of 30000Nm as skipper with 3 ocean crossings. We went through a storm that lasted about 48 hours, the wind was from the south, with current coming from the North, we sailed with only a small piece of foresail out in order to keep the vessel in control, two consecutive swells one of 10meters and one of 14 meters were recorded, I was at the helm and the last swell caused the vessel to broach at the bottom. Two days Later when the weather permitted I dove underneath the vessel to inspect the rudder and propeller, this diving inspection was repeated twice before the sinking of the vessel.
At approximately 04:10 UTC whilst I was on watch helming, a crew member reported some water in the galley area. He started manually pumping out the water by means of the bilge pump located in the cockpit, and requested that the other two crew members assist with a sponge and a bucket. Within less than a minute it was determined that we have serious water ingress, and I instructed the crew to close all through hull fittings and lift floorboards to determine the origin of the leak. Soon it was discovered that the water was coming through an area in the engine compartment and I handed the helm over to him. Together with another crew member I tried to stop the leak by all means with towels and linen. It was extremely difficult to find the exact leak and the vessel was taking on water rapidly. Whilst I was still busy trying to find the leak I instructed the crew to get ready to abandon the vessel, I called 10 Mayday calls, he deployed the Liferaft, another crew member manned the radio with repeated Mayday calls while another crew member was busy packing water and food for the raft. I continued to look for the source of the leak and stop it, or at least slow it down. The Bilge pumps could not cope with the amount of water. I disconnected the inverter for fear of electrical shock, the crew member was perched on top of the navigation table with the VHF radio. The water inside the vessel was at this stage about 600mm high. He got confirmation from MT Mersini that they had our GPS location noted, and we continued to prepare for abandoning. I was still trying to stall the water ingress. At this stage the life raft’s tether broke loose from the vessel and blew away. I tried to sail the semi submerged vessel, water now just below deck level in the general direction of the raft. I managed to get the vessel within 15 meters of the raft and instructed all crew to jump and swim to the raft. I made one last inspection and grabbed the dedicated grab bags with some equipment as well as 4 life jackets. When I got to the raft the vessels deck was submerged and it took less than a minute for the rest of the vessel to sink. The vessel took a mere 6 minutes to sink.
Excellent training kicked in and we followed procedures in the raft. I double checked the Epirb for activation and we posted a lookout for 2 hours at a time. Within 3 hours I saw a vessel on the horizon (the wind was blowing 25/30 knots with 3 meter swells) I shot a rocket flare and minutes later the vessel turned to port, towards us and gave a short blast on their horn. The rescue operation took another 2 hours.


As I mentioned before, I have no idea what it's like to sail or handle a yacht, leave alone a sinking one. I am just grateful that they made it out safely


My overwhelming feeling is that it could have been a lot worse and very thankful that the only loss was the boat


Thanks for reading this. I hope the crew and the skipper will not be haunted by this for long


Regards
Neville
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Old 24-11-2017, 12:08   #23
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

What a tale! And a good reminder how to be ready for something like this. Sounds like your skipper did a great job.
I have my theories, but I'll wait to see if you have more information from the skipper. Again, glad to hear they are all ok.
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Old 24-11-2017, 13:37   #24
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Seems like a very capable and competent chap ( irrespective of age ) and crew , good on them .
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Old 24-11-2017, 14:53   #25
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

In my youth, as a delivery captain, taking a 19 year old boat to sea is a risk and if something structural let's go, then trying to stop a hidden leak under the rising bildge water is very harrowing with not a lot of time!

Risk is compounded in that scenario with a tough location of counter currents and wind, and your options are very limited. Age of yacht matters less as any latent defect even from a new build can cause a sinking.

Key lesson to be learned when making a tough delivery.... is the capacity of your bildge pumps.... Worth searching here on CF about the general inadequacy of electric pumps.

For that delivery scenario, I would have recomended that the Owner buy a gas driven scow pump and camlock suction hoses.

It may not have saved the boat...but certainly would have given the skipper more time to plug
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Old 24-11-2017, 15:31   #26
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Also, reading the delivery captain's report, he did as much pre-checks as he could, without hauling the boat and testing shell condition.

I had a commercial tug delivery sink under me in a winters gale within 10 minutes of the bildge alarms sounding
...I am quite sure this captain is running every detail of his trip thru his head, wondering what he missed, what he could done better to save the boat.
Where he failed!

From one survivor to another
...the answer is "nothing".
...you saved the crew which is your primary responsibility.

It will haunt you and luckily in my case, because the new owner of the tug had just increased hull insurance significantly, the adjusters sent a remote sub down to inspect the wreck. I got the answer.

They found that the main fastenings had let go on some of the stern plank's and had sprung open in the Gale.

No amount of pumps or heroics in those gale conditions would have saved the boat and we stepped into the life raft from the roof of the wheelhouse minutes before she went down.
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Old 24-11-2017, 19:36   #27
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Neville, yes, harrowing. First the skipper was fighting for the life of the boat, then for his crew's and his own. This all happened after a worthy effort at prepping for the voyage, and appropriate caution about weather windows. And it was still awful. So glad they lived to tell the tale.

Pelagic, that was a scary one, too. Glad you survived to reassure the delivery skipper for the Kinda Magic.

Ann
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Old 24-11-2017, 19:48   #28
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

Makes me reflect, would I have handled that situation that well?

Well done skipper!
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Old 25-11-2017, 10:35   #29
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

I hope we will get to hear what the skipper suspected was the source of the leak. Given what he wrote I can imagine 3 or 4 scenarios, not to criticize or incriminate him at all, he did a great job, but it is very useful I think. This kind of thing, a boat sinking in 6 minutes with no collision and unknown reason does not happen everyday!
In my case the boat was brand new and had sustained some kind of rudder post damage (they "backed into something"), that had been repaired supposedly, in some place in the Red Sea. Then, at 3 am, beating upwind for 4 or 5 days in the South China Sea it just fell off. The boat was so well balanced, we weren't even sure what was wrong for a quite a few minutes. Luckily it did not rip a hole in the boat in the process or I would have had a different tale to tell.
Many years ago there was a boat here locally that disappeared on a windy day and later it was figured it was a heavy item like a battery that had fallen against a thru-hull when the boat was knocked down and none of the crew were below to see the water coming in. It was a small boat so no life raft and there was no distress call. I don't bring it up to scare folks, just that I think it helps us all to analyze things when they don't work out well.
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Old 25-11-2017, 10:57   #30
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Re: New lifestyle; New to sailing; New for me boat

On a 19 year old 'ordinary' steel hull, the usual suspect in a fast sinking is metal fatigue and rust around the steering gear.

That area often has some kind of bitumastic coating for cavitation sound deadening purposes. This can hide serious rust issues over the years.

The skipper was obviously worried about sloppy steering as he dove on the rudder a couple of times. That area peeling open with rudder torque then water running forward to flood up from midships, would have been hard to locate in those conditions with an open bildge
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