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model 10 11-05-2014 12:19

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1538695)
I'm pretty positive the boat itself could have made it, although the water was exceeding the electronic bilge pump's capacity so it would have needed manual pumping at least once (and more like three times) a day.

If I suppose the sea state stayed the same. Hopefully you would not have had the rail under water for too much longer.:flowers:

rebel heart 11-05-2014 12:21

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by goboatingnow (Post 1538649)
Would you care to comment on the mental state of all concerned, was there a will to continue, it would definitely seem from the blogs, that it was tough going for all concerned.?

dave

I actually found some videos of us having a grand old time dancing around the cabin around day 7 or so I think, when we were just entering the easterly trades. Our mood only really went south in the last few days when Lyra got worse and the boat took some hits. The weather got crummy around then too.

We definitely were in a beefy seaway at the equatorial counter current and ITCZ so it was as much fun as foul weather and breaking seas are with a sick kid, but not so much that we wanted to walk the plank.

Charlotte has always been fairly honest about the good times and bad times, I just think that's in stark contrast to most sailing blogs which tend to only mention beautiful sunsets and morning mimosas.

rebel heart 11-05-2014 12:25

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mrm (Post 1538696)
So, to rephrase it, some of the rails were ripped out from deck when solar panel submerged. IMHO this explains the forces acting on/near the hull-deck joint nicely. From engineering pov this leads to questions, how strong (and where) should solar panels attachments be? What should fail first? Certainly, a food for thought. Thank you, Eric, and it is good to see you all safe and be able to tell the story.

The vertical stanchions were still in the deck, so I don't think it wrenched the deck if that's what we're talking about. Oddly enough, the outboard was actually off it's bracket as well (starboard side), so you can imagine the amount of heel and wave energy you'd need to dismount an outboard that was clamped onto a piece of wood on the rails.

A few days earlier I had lazily put the fishing rod lanyard onto the outboard when I removed my fishing pole, and the outboard in the morning was just gliding around in the water by a piece of thin dacron.

CPseudonym 11-05-2014 13:01

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Welcome back to the forum Eric, I've been praying for you and Charlotte since seeing the initial news reports prior to the rescue team reaching you. Your family is together and safe, that's all that matters to me.

Be well. ~Craig

goboatingnow 11-05-2014 13:30

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1538700)
I actually found some videos of us having a grand old time dancing around the cabin around day 7 or so I think, when we were just entering the easterly trades. Our mood only really went south in the last few days when Lyra got worse and the boat took some hits. The weather got crummy around then too.

We definitely were in a beefy seaway at the equatorial counter current and ITCZ so it was as much fun as foul weather and breaking seas are with a sick kid, but not so much that we wanted to walk the plank.

Charlotte has always been fairly honest about the good times and bad times, I just think that's in stark contrast to most sailing blogs which tend to only mention beautiful sunsets and morning mimosas.

Thank you for responding, Yes I agree Charlottes blog was very interesting window into her thinking. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Im always interested in the human side to rescue/abandonment, rather then the technical side .

Again best of luck with your next adventure

dave

malbert73 11-05-2014 17:37

I really appreciate when blogs contain more raw thoughts and emotions. The worse is reading all the "life is great" when you know everything has its ups and downs.
RH tell Charlotte that her blog posts are a great insight into "true" sailing spouse thoughts which any of us wanting to sail further with less experienced sailing spouses need to appreciate and plan around. Not so much a "don't do it" as a "think about this..."

Adodero 11-05-2014 19:52

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
My wife and I have followed your story since we first saw it here. I am disgusted by many of the responses you received and broke the most important rule of the internet, never read the comments, which furthered my disgust. We are glad for your safe return.

I am curious about your situation with the satphone, have you reached out to the provider/manufacturer and "explained" your situation with them? I find it really disturbing that a service that is provided for "off the grid" communications would pull the plug like that. I think I'd be throwing a bit of a stink about it and it may sway future decisions for us in comms equipment.

thuss 11-05-2014 20:30

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
We went cruising with our young daughter on our Hans Christian 38 and would do it again in a heartbeat. Our second time sailing to Hawaii we had 2 predominant swell directions (north and east) that would occasionally really pile up to make huge seas that could have caused a broach.

What I can't believe is some of the ridiculous criticism Rebel Heart have been subjected to. The only tragedy that occurred here was the media and armchair sailors criticizing a family who dared to live and ask for more out of life than a mediocre job and a house in the suburbs. Bravo Rebel Heart!

I look at taking young kids cruising on a sturdy offshore boat like Rebel Heart as the most reasonable and caring things a family can do for their kids!

Cheechako 11-05-2014 20:34

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey (Post 1538006)
:thumb: :viking: :viking: :D :devil:

:thumb: I pretty much dead reckon'd from Washington to Cabo San Lucas. My Sat Nav rarely came up with a location. I tried Celestial but the seas were too bouncy for me to have any accuracy.. if I could locate the sun at all anyway. I was surprised how accurate long distance DR was. Of course I was probably within 100 miles of the coast the whole time anyway.
Kinda surprised the Tayana 37 had a hull/deck joint issue from broaching though! I've heard of it on Cheoy Lees. Wonder if the chainplate forces from the knockdown did it?
I do feel better knowing they abandoned the boat for a major crisis though.. although it shouldn't matter.. their decision!

smackdaddy 11-05-2014 21:11

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1538688)
The media has been a whole crazy bag all in of itself. In general you feel a bit like a ragdoll: you wake up and can pull up Google News and see what new bs has been generated by whomever. You watch the loser of the family on his porch steps, who managed to put the bong down long enough to run his mouth on a camera.

The media response itself was incredibly telling. I was getting texts from cute 25 year old producers who wanted to take me "no strings attached" for drinks, fly us to NYC, put us back on the air for our (non existent) book deal, etc.

I gave the wheel to the 129th as a momento, and someone in some newspaper laid into me for wasting Navy time with me taking it as a souvenir for my own.

Eventually you just start laughing at it, curiously wondering where it all will go. It's like watching a drunk stagger down a street. Will he go left, right, stop for a bit? Puke? Turn around and punch you?

Where you guys take it from here will make all the difference. If you slide into the media thing, the thing you've just described in not-so-glowing terms, it likely won't end well for any of you.

It's your call. It's your family. So what's important to you guys?

SaltyMonkey 11-05-2014 21:33

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheechako (Post 1539034)
Kinda surprised the Tayana 37 had a hull/deck joint issue from broaching though!

Typo maybe? It was a Hans Christian 36.

Celestialsailor 11-05-2014 22:19

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Hey Eric...Glad you've resurfaced and your term Armchair admirals was spot on. I see they're slowly crawling back under their rock. Anything is possible when it comes to hydraulic forces. Epecially when rail are acting as levers from the force. Wish Charlotte a happy Mother's day.

Palarran 12-05-2014 06:00

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1538688)
If I had to do it all over again I obviously wouldn't leave the dock, but there's not a whole hell of a lot I think in hindsight I could have reasonably done or any glaring oversights I made.

Glad you made it. It's interesting that after all that happened and given time to reflect, you don't have any should have, could have's. I must live too much with contemplation and analysis because even day sails will produce one or two.

Your not the first guy on this forum that lost their boat and you won't be the last. I'm sure it will give you a different perspective when the next one does.

mbianka 12-05-2014 06:55

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
I'm struck by the difference in outcome of Eric's ordeal and Ciro Stellges a sailor on Long Island Sound last week.
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-125645-2.html
Rebel Heart 900 miles off the coast and MAC a sailboat just a few miles off the coast of Long Island within sight of homes on the bluffs. Coast Guard and other marine resources within a half hour and helicopter rescue literally minutes away but, very different outcomes. Eric hit the EPIRB and Stelleges used his cell phone.
Rebel Hearts VHF was working but, useless where they were and for some reason MAC's was not used or did not work though it probably would have been the better choice for a Mayday call in that location rather than the cell phone.
Another irony is that at Stellges cell phone worked while Eric's Sat Phone failed due to a change in corporate policy regarding the sim card. Though the "heads up" Eric was able to give the Coast Guard before the phone failed may have help expedite his families rescue. Having multiple backups in Rebel Hearts case lead to a successful outcome not having one in MAC's case tragedy.
Lesson Learned: I'm putting a personal EPIRB on my shopping list.

cburger 12-05-2014 07:17

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by minaret (Post 1538227)
Why? The hull/deck on the Union 36 is heavily overbuilt. The deck flange is 3/4" solid glass, the hull over 1" solid. It is bolted and then heavily glassed on the inside. If this joint failed, the event which caused that failure would have been catastrophic to a lighter built boat. This fact would seem to prove the point on those threads, rather than the opposite.


Union 36 Boat Review - Practical Sailor Article

Agreed.

Cormorant 12-05-2014 07:20

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mbianka (Post 1539278)
I'm struck by the difference in outcome of Eric's ordeal and Ciro Stellges a sailor on Long Island Sound last week. [...] Lesson Learned: I'm putting a personal EPIRB on my shopping list.

This one, too:
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...na-126027.html

You've got to read the blog post linked in that thread. Really a miracle save by the helicopter guys, all made possible by an EPIRB. A few minutes more and we would've had two dead sailors, boat gone missing, maybe no answers ever for family and friends.

fryewe 12-05-2014 08:46

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1538700)
I actually found some videos of us having a grand old time dancing around the cabin around day 7 or so...

Eric - If you have the patience to answer I have a few questions that might help me in preparing my boat and myself for ocean sailing...

Did you video or take photos of the damage topside or below decks?

You mentioned in a post that the water in the boat exceeded the capacity of your electric bilge pump. Common ones for small vessels are rated at 250 gph and 500 gph and some are higher. These ratings seem to be above the estimates of the rate of flooding I have seen. What was the rating of your pump?

Do you think its flow rate was limited by fouling of piping or obstruction? Did you deliberately shut the electric pump off to conserve power and shift to the manual pump?

Were you able to see the damaged area and take damage control actions to limit the rate of water ingress? What actions did you take? Were they effective? Were you limited in your actions by the number or type of damage control materials you carried with you? Would you recommend any specific equipment be carried that you had or didn't have?

Were your rigging/boom/vang/preventer/sails or other equipment damaged when the rail/hull damage occurred? If not - where within the system would you recommend a "weak point" be designed to selectively fail to prevent damage to more critical components/systems?

Thanks for answering in advance. If there are other recommendations you may have or other insights into the equipment issues that may be helpful to those of us who may be a year or two behind you in our planning and execution they would be appreciated.

Happy you and your family are home safe and wish you well in all your endeavors.

rebel heart 12-05-2014 09:44

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
I put my answers in blue.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fryewe (Post 1539350)
Eric - If you have the patience to answer I have a few questions that might help me in preparing my boat and myself for ocean sailing...

Did you video or take photos of the damage topside or below decks?

No, the weather was atrocious and the last thing on my mind was the camera. I think I have a couple of shots but none that really show the starboard quarter in any detail. Some of them show the rail all banged up, I'll post those when I find them again.

You mentioned in a post that the water in the boat exceeded the capacity of your electric bilge pump. Common ones for small vessels are rated at 250 gph and 500 gph and some are higher. These ratings seem to be above the estimates of the rate of flooding I have seen. What was the rating of your pump?

I hate to say this but I don't know; it was a small unit that came with the boat. I had two spares waiting to go but they never went into service. I know that whatever the rated speed is, the head was probably 6' or so (deep bilge), so I think the actual output was much lower as those GPH ratings (I think) are calculated at no or a minimum of head.

I remember the pump not working at all sometimes; initially I thought it was fried as a lot of electronics were going out. Later on after I had removed a lot of bilge water it was on; I just randomly noticed it when I stuck my head over the side. How often it was on and off I'm not sure, but even when I motored away I saw it pushing water out.


Do you think its flow rate was limited by fouling of piping or obstruction? Did you deliberately shut the electric pump off to conserve power and shift to the manual pump?

I don't think anything slowed the pump, although I lost my voltage readouts and I think the batteries got pretty bad in the last couple of days. I put everything towards the VHF, watermaker (Katadyn 40e), and nav lights. Even with that, I could see the lights dimming and the watermaker was barely enough for us to drink.

I guess in hindsight I'd advise people that if you have flooding, you probably will have lost your electronics or you will soon.


Were you able to see the damaged area and take damage control actions to limit the rate of water ingress? What actions did you take? Were they effective? Were you limited in your actions by the number or type of damage control materials you carried with you? Would you recommend any specific equipment be carried that you had or didn't have?

I tried using 4200 but the area was so wet I couldn't get it to adhere. I had the leftovers of 5200 but that didn't seem to work too well. What was really needed would have been something almost like tar. Super thick, super gross, adheres to a seawater wet surface, and cures in moisture. A few quarts of that and I suppose I could have just put a huge hunk of goo over everything. No idea if it would have worked, but that's what I wanted.

Also, I could see the area the water was going down (crack between the gunwale and the deck), but a simple caulking failure like that wouldn't cause water intrusion so I felt like I would have needed to pull up the teak boards to fix the issue.


Were your rigging/boom/vang/preventer/sails or other equipment damaged when the rail/hull damage occurred? If not - where within the system would you recommend a "weak point" be designed to selectively fail to prevent damage to more critical components/systems?

I really don't know. It was dark and my first concern was people-safety, getting our course re-established on a broad reach, and safety checking everything to make sure it wasn't going to get worse. As weird as it sounds I didn't really think about what caused it for a while as there was a lot to deal with after the fact that took priority.

Two things I think I learned:

- Heaving to is great, except in squalls, where the wind speed changes so much. You get a good hoveto position in the regular winds, then that changes for thirty minutes and you forereach or get knocked around, which you adjust for, then the squall is over, and you restart the whole thing again. We had great luck heaving to and I think in a more "standard" heavy weather pattern it's more appropriate but in shifting conditions where the seastate and wind are shifting more than twice an hour, it's not that great.

- In mixed up seas you need to have someone on the helm. Your auto pilot or wind vane, at least on my boat, just can't be as smart in a mixed swell with breaking waves as a competent helmsman can.

- You still need to make miles. If you slow the boat down too much you basically just stay in the crappy weather longer, exposing you to worse conditions for a long period of time. Again, with a weather system that is moving over you I think "stopping" the boat makes sense, but if you need to cross through a bunch of crap that's going to stay there, you can't be totally conservative else you'll be there longer.


Thanks for answering in advance. If there are other recommendations you may have or other insights into the equipment issues that may be helpful to those of us who may be a year or two behind you in our planning and execution they would be appreciated.

I think the biggest thing for us in hindsight is that we had a lot of emergency equipment and although we had a lot of things go wrong, ultimately we were safe and fine (minus losing the boat). I never imagined I would be a guy hitting an EPIRB, as a first responder and veteran I've always been the guy going to help others.

Keeping people aware of our situation, in particular being able to call the USCG and give them all of our information, ended up being (possibly) the difference between all of us making it off the boat alive.

I think a lot of people focus on the boat issues (this thread is a good example), but medical issues can manifest just as quickly and you can't jam 4200 on a heart attack victim to fix him or her. Boats are built tough, even mine I would have been able to limp along.

The reality that I would need to lose everything material to save someone onboard was a simple calculation to make, but one that had never crossed my mind before.


Happy you and your family are home safe and wish you well in all your endeavors.


fryewe 12-05-2014 09:56

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1539386)
I put my answers in blue.

Thanks. Some things to think about.

MrBillFLL 12-05-2014 10:19

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by savoir (Post 1538503)
It means that in deep water the waves will always follow a strong wind except for a short period after the wind changes direction. Shallow water is different.


it doesn't work that way in the gulf stream.

:banghead:

foolishsailor 12-05-2014 10:21

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Most GPH ratings on pumps are "unencumbered" ratings. This is what it pumps with no hose attached and definitely doesnt inculde the loss in efficiency due to lift (distance it moves water vertically).

Most pump installs for the average sized rule pump will move from 1/3 - 1/2 or even less than their rating.

smackdaddy 12-05-2014 10:27

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1539386)
I put my answers in blue.

One thing I don't get here...if the weather was so sporadic and you were heaving to (and having trouble maintaining that), why did you have a preventer on in the first place? Especially if you weren't actively helming in such conditions? I'm still learning about this whole sailing thing, but that seems like a bad combo.

msponer 12-05-2014 10:32

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Eric -- Are satellitephonestore.com the folks who mailed a new Iridium SIM card to you and then terminated the old one a week later while you were at sea?

Everyone -- Are there any other airtime providers who have done that? I had an Iridium account with Mackay Communications for three years, and they never did anything that bone headed, but I could have just been lucky.

natew 12-05-2014 10:42

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Just thought I would share a land based perspective on the thoughts that a parent goes through when their child is sick or injured.

Recently my 18 month old daugher injured herself and actually managed to partially sever the end of her finger off. We were about 6 miles from the nearest hospital when this happened (so not really far especially compared to being offshore). Seeing our poor daughter in such distress and pain like that, not to mention bleeding all over we jumped in the car which was an old dodge caravan with almost 200K miles on it and I basically floored it as fast as I could. At about halfway to the hospital I heard a loud pop out of the engine followed by a low oil light, I turned to my wife and said honey I think I just killed the car.. But eh, it was still driving despite some rather horrific sounds from the engine.. We carried on and made it to the emergency room. The car was towed back to our house that afternoon. It now sits in our driveway awaiting me to replace the engine.

Yup, I killed the engine in the car by basically abusing and beating it to death on the way to the hospital. Yup, it will cost a bit of money and time to fix. Yup it sucks... But ya know what they fixed my lil' girl up and she has all her perfect little fingers still. And you know what else? I'd do it again without a second thought. Cars, boats, and other posessions can be replaced. YOUR child never can be.

Eric's decision to call for help and abandon their boat in the pacific was the best decision they could have made at that very moment given the circumstances and I hope that they too see it that way despite all the criticizm. Don't look back you two, look forward. Know that you made the best decision for your family and that you should look forward to what the future holds for your family.

LakeSuperior 12-05-2014 10:45

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by msponer (Post 1539420)
Eric -- Are satellitephonestore.com the folks who mailed a new Iridium SIM card to you and then terminated the old one a week later while you were at sea?

Everyone -- Are there any other airtime providers who have done that? I had an Iridium account with Mackay Communications for three years, and they never did anything that bone headed, but I could have just been lucky.

We are also traveling with kids, one of them medically complicated (though rarely), and if this means that to dot all the I's and cross all the T's we have to carry two different kinds of sat phone, in addition to a HAM radio, I guess we will do it. It just seems a little silly that there might even be a reason to because some airtime providers are idiotic about handling SIM cards. I've liked satellite phones as backup because they can stay safely tucked away in a pelican case and are thus so independent of the boat's systems.


The only time I know of when they shut you down is when the SIM card expires so indeed it is of great interest to know why they shut down service in this instance. Yesterday I got an email notice 30 days in advance letting me know that my Iridium SIM card will expire.

We had a lot riding on our satphone so we paid special attention to every detail concerned keeping operable on our crossings.

IMHO, the satphone trumps a SSB on most fronts. My wife knows how to dial help on an satphone. I'm not sure I could get help on an SSB without some serious training. In her case, no way. Then again with the satphone in play we didn't have to make the onerous effort to be smart on the SSB.

Cheechako 12-05-2014 11:36

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey (Post 1539049)
Typo maybe? It was a Hans Christian 36.

Yeah, brain fart! The 36 isn't the boat the 33,38 etc are, but still stout boat!

rebel heart 12-05-2014 11:50

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1539416)
One thing I don't get here...if the weather was so sporadic and you were heaving to (and having trouble maintaining that), why did you have a preventer on in the first place? Especially if you weren't actively helming in such conditions? I'm still learning about this whole sailing thing, but that seems like a bad combo.

Any time I'm offshore I have a preventer on. You can pick a boom break otherwise, but you can suffer serous injury and break the gooseneck from an accidental gybe.

Imagine nothing keeping the boom out, and you heading into a dark and stormy cockpit with the boat rolling about, 19' of timber flying across.

rebel heart 12-05-2014 11:54

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by msponer (Post 1539420)
Eric -- Are satellitephonestore.com the folks who mailed a new Iridium SIM card to you and then terminated the old one a week later while you were at sea?

Everyone -- Are there any other airtime providers who have done that? I had an Iridium account with Mackay Communications for three years, and they never did anything that bone headed, but I could have just been lucky.

Yep. No email notification, and in fact I was on the phone with our account lady a few days before we left to update our billing info and ask some other info about account status, zero conversation about a new SIM card.

It actually got postmarked 13 days before we left, to our SBI address in Florida.

Palarran 12-05-2014 11:57

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by msponer (Post 1539420)
Eric -- Are satellitephonestore.com the folks who mailed a new Iridium SIM card to you and then terminated the old one a week later while you were at sea?

Everyone -- Are there any other airtime providers who have done that? I had an Iridium account with Mackay Communications for three years, and they never did anything that bone headed, but I could have just been lucky.

I bought my 9555 from satellitephonestore.com a little over 2 years ago. My two year contract on the airtime expired about 4 months ago and up to that point it always worked and I'd never received a notice about the sim card. They did constantly e-mail me about renewing my minutes and it was a bummer because I lost about 600 of them when I didn't. But I won't need it for another couple years and it wasn't worth buying another package just to extend the minutes I already had.

Why was it that the sim card needed to be replaced? It seems like a liability issue to just up and disconnect service. I thought they just provided identification for the phone.

smackdaddy 12-05-2014 12:04

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1539470)
Any time I'm offshore I have a preventer on. You can pick a boom break otherwise, but you can suffer serous injury and break the gooseneck from an accidental gybe.

Imagine nothing keeping the boom out, and you heading into a dark and stormy cockpit with the boat rolling about, 19' of timber flying across.

I can understand that as a general practice, but in shifting winds and seas like you describe it sure seems like a knockdown waiting to happen...especially if no one is at the helm.

Just a curious detail.

cwyckham 12-05-2014 13:09

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1539478)
I can understand that as a general practice, but in shifting winds and seas like you describe it sure seems like a knockdown waiting to happen...especially if no one is at the helm.

Just a curious detail.

I'm not sure I understand your point. People usually use preventers for two things: Light winds to keep the bloody boom banging around in the swell, and to prevent accidental gybes (actually to prevent the boom swinging across in an accidental gybe).

Shifting winds and confused seas seem to be the exact time that you would want a preventer rigged. I've never heard of structural damage from a gybe with or without a preventer rigged (rig damage, yes, but not boat structure).

Dipping a boom while prevented usually isn't such a big deal, and occasionally might break the boom. A bummer, for sure, but not dangerous. Crash gybing the boom with no preventer can bring down the mast, break the boom, or kill a crewmember. Seems worse to me!

Red Sky 12-05-2014 13:22

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1538688)
When we decided to scuttle the boat I told my wife that for the ~$100k that we'd spent on the boat, we had a home for 8 years, had amazing adventures, and experienced life more than most do in a lifetime. So for the money, we got plenty out of it.



I told my wife we could buy another boat, I can't buy another family. Boats are just money.


Eric, :Thumb::Thumb::Thumb: The most sensible thing said in the thread. Met Charlotte & Cora, one of the cutest kids I've ever met, in La Cruz early last year. Glad all of you are safe.

onestepcsy37 12-05-2014 13:31

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LakeSuperior (Post 1539434)
IMHO, the satphone trumps a SSB on most fronts. My wife knows how to dial help on an satphone. I'm not sure I could get help on an SSB without some serious training. In her case, no way. Then again with the satphone in play we didn't have to make the onerous effort to be smart on the SSB.

same here. satphone and epirb. rebel heart had it right...

Zeb 12-05-2014 13:50

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1539386)
I put my answers in blue.
- The reality that I would need to lose everything material to save someone onboard was a simple calculation to make, but one that had never crossed my mind before.

This certainly struck me. Thanks for sharing your experience.

- Zeb

smackdaddy 12-05-2014 14:16

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cwyckham (Post 1539523)
I'm not sure I understand your point. People usually use preventers for two things: Light winds to keep the bloody boom banging around in the swell, and to prevent accidental gybes (actually to prevent the boom swinging across in an accidental gybe).

Shifting winds and confused seas seem to be the exact time that you would want a preventer rigged. I've never heard of structural damage from a gybe with or without a preventer rigged (rig damage, yes, but not boat structure).

Dipping a boom while prevented usually isn't such a big deal, and occasionally might break the boom. A bummer, for sure, but not dangerous. Crash gybing the boom with no preventer can bring down the mast, break the boom, or kill a crewmember. Seems worse to me!

It all depends on the conditions really. If winds are light - you're absolutely right. But that wasn't the case. Here's RH's description of the conditions:

Quote:

No, the weather was atrocious and the last thing on my mind was the camera. I think I have a couple of shots but none that really show the starboard quarter in any detail. Some of them show the rail all banged up, I'll post those when I find them again.

I really don't know. It was dark and my first concern was people-safety, getting our course re-established on a broad reach, and safety checking everything to make sure it wasn't going to get worse. As weird as it sounds I didn't really think about what caused it for a while as there was a lot to deal with after the fact that took priority.

Two things I think I learned:

- Heaving to is great, except in squalls, where the wind speed changes so much. You get a good hoveto position in the regular winds, then that changes for thirty minutes and you forereach or get knocked around, which you adjust for, then the squall is over, and you restart the whole thing again. We had great luck heaving to and I think in a more "standard" heavy weather pattern it's more appropriate but in shifting conditions where the seastate and wind are shifting more than twice an hour, it's not that great.

- In mixed up seas you need to have someone on the helm. Your auto pilot or wind vane, at least on my boat, just can't be as smart in a mixed swell with breaking waves as a competent helmsman can.

If you're getting hit by repeated squalls that significantly change the wind/sea direction and you have your boom prevented for one specific direction - you're very, very vulnerable to a knockdown when that squall hits...especially if no one is at the helm.

Crash gybes are certainly dangerous and destructive as you say, but this set-up (preventer in wildly shifting conditions and no one at the helm) has just been shown sufficient to cause catastrophic structural damage to a (seemingly) heavily built boat.

The thing I still don't quite get is using the preventer in the first place if you're hove to. Don't most boats fore-reach in a hove-to condition, correct? And if so, why use a preventer? Maybe that's what you mean, RH, by saying you should have stayed more active on the helm.

JPA Cate 12-05-2014 14:22

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LakeSuperior (Post 1539434)

IMHO, the satphone trumps a SSB on most fronts. My wife knows how to dial help on an satphone. I'm not sure I could get help on an SSB without some serious training. In her case, no way. Then again with the satphone in play we didn't have to make the onerous effort to be smart on the SSB.

Hi, Lake Superior,

Honestly, it is not difficult to learn how to operate an SSB enough to handle emergency communications. And, it is always a good deal to have backups to your backups when you're well away from civilization. If your cruising is confined to the Great Lakes, you're never very far away. If you're crossing oceans, you may be very far from support.

k4wja (regular CF radio master) probably could teach the both of you together how to operate SSB, or possibly could suggest someone closer to you. Don't make the mistake of thinking your wife couldn't learn it. If you plan to go offshore she may really want to help out that way.

Just my two cents. I have a bias towards wives becoming competent in new areas because it helps both of you, and builds her confidence, as well.

Ann

avb3 12-05-2014 14:40

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by goat (Post 1538658)
Could SV Rebel Heart have continued on and made it to her destination? Maybe, maybe not. But we do know that Charlotte is enjoying Mother's day with her children. Losing a boat is a bad thing. Things could have turned out a lot worse.
Could Eric have sailed her solo the rest of the way? Maybe, maybe not. Father's day is coming up.

goat

One of the best posts on this subject IMHO

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

Matt Johnson 12-05-2014 14:55

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
My guess is that he is talking about being hove-to after the incident. Don't know about his boat, but our boom isn't out far enough when hove-to to hit the water like happened to them.

Also, with our fin keel, we use no jib and just the third reef to heave-to, but we also set our preventer as we need to hold the boom out and down for it to work.

Matt

Andrew Troup 12-05-2014 14:57

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Like so many rush-to-judge scenarios, (and from a bemused distance) this seems to have been a salutary example of Chinese whispers, but even now we have some solid info, it continues:

Eric mentions a broach, and a bunch of people start talking "knockdown"
One is caused by a stalled rudder, the other by a breaking crest abeam, and/or a sudden spike in windstrength. Most sailors, even cruising sailors, will see more broaches than knockdowns, generally by one or more orders of magnitude.
Eric mentions water ingress as a result of the broach, and a bunch of people start talking "failure of the hull-deck join".
Unless you have a metal boat with nothing through-bolted (standoff brackets or tapped external doubler plates), any major overloads to deck gear can result in loss of sealing around the fasteners, with water ingress which cannot be rectified until you have a spell of settled weather (and until more pressing priorities have been dealt with).

I don't understand this impulse to see catastrophes
where there are only apostrophes.

boatman61 12-05-2014 15:03

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew Troup (Post 1539600)
Like so many rush-to-judge scenarios, (and from a bemused distance) this seems to have been a salutary example of Chinese whispers, but even now we have some solid info, it continues:

Eric mentions a broach, and a bunch of people start talking "knockdown"
One is caused by a stalled rudder, the other by a breaking crest abeam, and/or a sudden spike in windstrength. Most sailors, even cruising sailors, will see more broaches than knockdowns, generally by one or more orders of magnitude.
Eric mentions water ingress as a result of the broach, and a bunch of people start talking "failure of the hull-deck join".
Unless you have a metal boat with nothing through-bolted (standoff brackets or tapped external doubler plates), any major overloads to deck gear can result in loss of sealing around the fasteners, with water ingress which cannot be rectified until you have a spell of settled weather (and until more pressing priorities have been dealt with).

I don't understand this impulse to see catastrophes
where there are only apostrophes.

?????:(


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