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smackdaddy 13-05-2014 12:54

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

Originally Posted by goboatingnow (Post 1540290)

But I don't think heaving to was the issue in RH anyway.


dave

Dave - what are your thoughts on the primary issue for the damage?

Azul 13-05-2014 13:04

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Regarding the hull to deck joint, from Practical Sailor:

Construction
From a structural standpoint, the boat is typical of Taiwanese-built boats from that era. Displacing 22,000 pounds, the hull is heavily constructed, almost to the point of being over-built.
The hull is thick, hand-laid fiberglass, while the deck is 5/8-inch teak planking over a sandwich of 3/8-inch fiberglass, 3/4-inch plywood, and another 3/8-inch glass layer. The cabintop is slightly lighter composite, using half-inch plywood as the core. The hull-to-deck joint is both through-bolted and glassed over on the inside. Rarely used in today’s production boats (which rely on high-strength adhesives at this joint instead), this labor-intensive approach yields a long-lasting watertight joint.
....
I am now going to add the irrational fear of my hull to deck joint failing during a knockdown to my preexisting cetaphobia, large ship collision phobia and fear of ramming a container in the dark at 6 knots.

rebel heart 13-05-2014 13:16

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
That Practical Sailor is incorrect. Our deck was teak over plywood over wood beams. There was no fiberglass in the cabintop either; it was plywood as well. The only fiberglass was in the hull itself; the rudder, spars, cockpit, and everything but the hull itself was wood.

I've seen a few official-sounding write up of boats that are a bit different from what you see when you're standing there looking at the material yourself.

sailorboy1 13-05-2014 13:27

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
What does it matter what the boat construction was?

The facts as I understand them are the boat took a knock down and developed a leak from it. The damage was enough that given the combination of the boat and crew condition that a rescue was called for and the boat was abandoned.

SV THIRD DAY 13-05-2014 13:31

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
I think Eric has said it now several times...but people just keep glossing over it for what ever reason I can't figure out.

The boat took a hit...sure...but that isn't why they hit the EPIRB button. If their little girl had not gotten sick, they would by now be at an Island in the South Pacific making repairs after a rough crossing. Boats get damaged on passage all the time folks it's part of cruising.

The lesson here to me isn't that **** happens, but that when **** does happen if you don't have good communications you or someone you love could be dead. I think people want to ignore this Kobayashi Maru "no win scenario" because they don't want to admit some things are just out of their control. Eric faced the ultimate Kobayashi Maru test and made the right decision.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6Gp2Ir7n9M

colemj 13-05-2014 13:46

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

Originally Posted by sailorboy1 (Post 1540403)
What does it matter what the boat construction was?

The facts as I understand them are the boat took a knock down and developed a leak from it. The damage was enough that given the combination of the boat and crew condition that a rescue was called for and the boat was abandoned.

Nobody is questioning abandoning the boat - particularly because of a health issue. Like all threads, this one drifted a bit to try to understand a problem and what one might be able to do to mitigate the issue. The boat construction came up because Eric said he had a non-trivial hull-deck leak and others with experience with his type of boat described that construction as needing extreme violence to cause an opening there. Now, apparently, we find that not all of these boats were built as stated.

This is very good information and a valid discussion for everyone. Particularly for those with a HC36 :)

Mark

goboatingnow 13-05-2014 13:57

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

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1540381)
Dave - what are your thoughts on the primary issue for the damage?

I don't know, I find it perplexing. I think eric had his hands full so perhaps he didn't investigate a lot.

The fact there was stanchion damage, and solar panel ripped , may have caused stanchions to work loose and provide a water path in.

I find it hard to accept that a bolted and glassed over hull joint leaked after a knockdown. One that Eric said DIDNT put the mast in the water.

I mean Ive been slammed off a wave into a trough twice in a biscay crossing, the second we had a mast beyond 90, as far as we could tell ( tiny furled main) , we came back up, very messed up below, but no hull damage. we had a damaged hatch due to the anchor somehow contacting it ( Sailing 101 stow anchors - doh)

and wait for it .... this was a 2000 jeanneaux Deck saloon. !!!! ( man...)

Its perplexing, had she existing damage somewhere. ?

furthermore I think its also to really difficult to appreciate what happened, it tends to be a blurr

I remember being hit by a massive breaking wave, all foam and jets of water, luckily hitting us square on the bow ( well not lucky , by design) . I saw the wave roll up the bow and remember thinking thats interesting, next nothing but foam, water, all over us, Im tall 6'5", so my head surfaced first, whole boats under the water, with the mast sticking up over the foam, Then she surfaces like a U-boat.!! . sorry reminiscing now. ( its a sign Im getting old !!)



None of the crew had the same story of what happened.!!

**** happens, stuff breaks.

Dave

sailorboy1 13-05-2014 14:02

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

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 1540414)
Nobody is questioning abandoning the boat -


I haven't questioned abandoning the boat, ever. Even on the earlier threads.

I have always felt that most discussions here about abandoning boats was nothing but armchair sailing because none of us were there. I don't believe abandoning a boat is EVER some little easy decision to make or is taken lightly by the crew that were on the boat.

I am starting to have other questions about this whole thing, but since I wasn't involved in making any of the the series of decisions that led up to them I am just making them a note to self to not do that.

goboatingnow 13-05-2014 14:06

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

The lesson here to me isn't that **** happens, but that when **** does happen if you don't have good communications you or someone you love could be dead. I think people want to ignore this Kobayashi Maru "no win scenario" because they don't want to admit some things are just out of their control. Eric faced the ultimate Kobayashi Maru test and made the right decision.
LOL... You mean (a) he had Klingons... ( b) it was all a simulation.......

what eric made was a decision, it turned out too be right. equally anything could have happened, he could have made other decisions , they could have turned out to be right to wrong. Hindsight is a great benefit.

Merely because he was right , doesn't (a) mean we shouldn't debate the nature of his decision, because its helps illuminate it for all of us, and (b) suggest and debate alternatives

I do not second guess any skippers decision to abandon ship, not wolfhound, not the Alpha, not RH. ( and my record is hear to read). But that not the issue.

dave

oldragbaggers 13-05-2014 14:22

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
I know this is interesting for all the old salts to kick around and apply what happened to what they thought they knew or understood. But I think it is also a great discussion for wannabes to read. Probably even more so for the wannabes because mostly the old salts already understand the forces at work "out there."

I think sometimes dreamers have an idealistic view of Pacific trade wind sailing (the Coconut Milk Run??) and conjure up images of languishing on deck in the sun with a book and a cool drink while the water shimmers like crystals and playful dolphins frolic at the bow, only rising to put on more sun screen or get another cool drink. So they commence to preparing their coastal racer/cruiser for the trip....not realizing that, while many of these said boats do make it (I would image MOST of them do), and even with inexperienced and unprepared crews (grace be to God and a lot of good luck) they need to prepare for the reality of what could possibly await them out there if they don't plan their trip and prepare their boat and themselves properly.

Considering what a robust vessel the Rebel Heart was, there is a great lesson to be learned here about the power of the ocean. It's not a lesson that can really be learned doing day sailing in protected waters or where a run back to shore is easy when things turn to sh!t. Hopefully others making important decisions about cruising, on which boat, where, when, and with or without children aboard, can take something away that will prevent them from having to learn a similar lesson the hard way.

We've all read it a thousand times, and I am sure it is true, that most well built production boats today can take far more than the crew can, but that doesn't negate the fact that there are still boat hulls littering the bottoms of waterways all over the world. We should all take heed, if for no other reason than to assure we have the proper respect for the forces we may encounter out there and prepare ourselves accordingly.

goboatingnow 13-05-2014 14:29

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

Considering what a robust vessel the Rebel Heart was, there is a great lesson to be learned here about the power of the ocean.
The lesson is to look at how the boat suffered damage, not just to summarise and say "the power of the ocean " because we all know that we are not on the top of the food chain at sea.

for example

(a) did the sail configuration contribute to the issues

(b) what was the wind and sea state

(c) Eric states the boom may have touched the water, but the mast didn't, that really isn't a knockdown. so where did the forces come from

(d) Was the damage on the wave side or the other side.

(e) 60-70 ( a day ) ( an hour) isn't a lot of water, the leak could have been small enough


but I think we have gone around a bit here and theres not much left but conjecture.

dave

Mambo 13-05-2014 14:31

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

Originally Posted by oldragbaggers (Post 1540449)
I know this is interesting for all the old salts to kick around and apply what happened to what they thought they knew or understood. But I think it is also a great discussion for wannabes to read. Probably even more so for the wannabes because mostly the old salts already understand the forces at work "out there."

I think sometimes dreamers have an idealistic view of Pacific trade wind sailing (the Coconut Milk Run??) and conjure up images of languishing on deck in the sun with a book and a cool drink while the water shimmers like crystals and playful dolphins frolic at the bow, only rising to put on more sun screen or get another cool drink. So they commence to preparing their coastal racer/cruiser for the trip....not realizing that, while many of these said boats do make it (I would image MOST of them do), and even with inexperienced and unprepared crews (grace be to God and a lot of good luck) they need to prepare for the reality of what could possibly await them out there if they don't plan their trip and prepare their boat and themselves properly.

Considering what a robust vessel the Rebel Heart was, there is a great lesson to be learned here about the power of the ocean. It's not a lesson that can really be learned doing day sailing in protected waters or where a run back to shore is easy when things turn to sh!t. Hopefully others making important decisions about cruising, on which boat, where, when, and with or without children aboard, can take something away that will prevent them from having to learn a similar lesson the hard way.

We've all read it a thousand times, and I am sure it is true, that most well built production boats today can take far more than the crew can, but that doesn't negate the fact that there are still boat hulls littering the bottoms of waterways all over the world. We should all take heed, if for no other reason than to assure we have the proper respect for the forces we may encounter out there and prepare ourselves accordingly.

The substance of it only comes when you discuss the actual tactics. To get the nonsense out of the way, I don't pass any judgement on Eric for doing anything he did in taking this challenge on or deciding to cut it short to protect his family. I think his kids are lucky to have a father who made both decisions.

I asked a question last night about the sail set and Eric's interest in preserving his ability to heave-to because I have encountered a similar situation (passing front rising winds steep seas . . . wishing I could get main up to heave to but unable to with crew uncomfortable holding the bow to weather with me at the mast in 35+ and steep seas). I have questioned why I made a mistake in getting caught without any main up in that situation. Eric indicated that he was thinking along the same lines when he got in thrown onto his beam. I remain curious how others (those who don't see "heaving to" as heresy) view dropping the main in these circumstance. Does it equate to giving up the ability to head up and heave to or do you simply re-raise it?

-M

oldragbaggers 13-05-2014 14:40

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
I get all that about the sail set, the handling and all that. I really do. I understand what you are all saying that from a tactical standpoint maybe he could have done other things that would have changed the outcome. Got it. Horse is dead. Stop beating the poor bloody thing.

But this is part of the point. They had been getting the crap beat out of them by the seas for days. It took a toll on the boat (Erics log from his website), it took a toll on Charlotte and the kids (her own blog, not my speculation), it no doubt took a toll on Eric. Maybe it affected his decision making, maybe it didn't. I can't speak to that, and frankly, neither can anyone else. I was only making the point that the inexperienced should take it to heart that things can get darned nasty out there and when it does EVERYTHING becomes important; the condition of your boat, the condition and experience of the crew, and the decisions you make to deal with the situation.

I was stating there were lessons to be learned and that maybe one of those lessons would be to put aside any misconceptions an inexperienced cruiser might be harboring about it being all like a Jimmy Buffet song out there all the time, or thinking that if they just know when to reef and how to heave to they can take their Capri 18 and go. What the heck. Are you suggesting I was wrong about that?

Mambo 13-05-2014 14:55

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

Originally Posted by oldragbaggers (Post 1540466)
I get all that about the sail set, the handling and all that. I really do. I understand what you are all saying that from a tactical standpoint maybe he could have done other things that would have changed the outcome. Got it. Horse is dead. Stop beating the poor bloody thing.
<<snipo>>>
What the heck. Are you suggesting I was wrong about that?

I think you're misreading what I wrote. I wasn't making a point at all. I was asking a freaking question.

Jim Cate 13-05-2014 15:00

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Getting back to the technical analysis of the leaking situation for a moment, Eric's revelation that the deck was NOT fibreglass, but teak over ply certainly changes how I envision the leak developing as a result of the wave strike (or whatever force was involved). As an amateur, that sort of hull to deck joint seems far more vulnerable to wrenching stresses (like from stanchions with solar panels mounted being struck) than the massive glass to glass joint described by Minaret. I would be interested to hear what he (Minaret) or any other knowledgeable person would say about that.

And Eric, if you have time and the interest, could you comment on whether the damage was on the windward or leeward side of the boat? I know that when we suffered a superficially similar knockdown/rolldown in our previous boat, the damage was all on the leeward side... the side that struck the water when we rolled down and "fell off" a wave face.

Finally, I'd be interested to know if other HC designs had that deck structure.

Cheers,

Jim

goboatingnow 13-05-2014 15:11

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Ive been reading about some of these far east boats, and older HCs, etc. I think i will stick to french boats !!!!.

dave

smackdaddy 13-05-2014 15:29

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

Originally Posted by goboatingnow (Post 1540424)
I don't know, I find it perplexing. I think eric had his hands full so perhaps he didn't investigate a lot.

The fact there was stanchion damage, and solar panel ripped , may have caused stanchions to work loose and provide a water path in.

I find it hard to accept that a bolted and glassed over hull joint leaked after a knockdown. One that Eric said DIDNT put the mast in the water.

I mean Ive been slammed off a wave into a trough twice in a biscay crossing, the second we had a mast beyond 90, as far as we could tell ( tiny furled main) , we came back up, very messed up below, but no hull damage. we had a damaged hatch due to the anchor somehow contacting it ( Sailing 101 stow anchors - doh)

and wait for it .... this was a 2000 jeanneaux Deck saloon. !!!! ( man...)

Its perplexing, had she existing damage somewhere. ?

furthermore I think its also to really difficult to appreciate what happened, it tends to be a blurr

I remember being hit by a massive breaking wave, all foam and jets of water, luckily hitting us square on the bow ( well not lucky , by design) . I saw the wave roll up the bow and remember thinking thats interesting, next nothing but foam, water, all over us, Im tall 6'5", so my head surfaced first, whole boats under the water, with the mast sticking up over the foam, Then she surfaces like a U-boat.!! . sorry reminiscing now. ( its a sign Im getting old !!)



None of the crew had the same story of what happened.!!

**** happens, stuff breaks.

Dave

I agree. There are several things that just don't line up. For example, if you're hove to and a monster wind gust lays you over, the prevented boom goes under and potentially scoops up a lot of water...hence the strain on the rigging. But this would mean too much sail up and/or very big winds.

Alternatively, if the variable winds RH mentions got around him and filled the opposite side of the prevented main with the wheel lashed and no one helming - I could see a pretty violent broach there which would also strain the rigging. But the prevented boom wouldn't be anywhere near the water - it would be on the high-side. So the forces don't make as much sense...unless the tops of the sails went under a wave and filled.

That leaves a wave strike like Charlotte mentioned, leading to a knockdown. I could definitely see the rigging damage in this scenario, but this would be a pretty violent motion, and they don't mention anything like that being inside the boat.

I suppose I'm going with scenario 1 and throwing in a bad chainplate and/or knee. You can see the area in this photo of a Union 36's chainplate openings and imagine what RH is talking about in terms of the damage ripping up around that:

https://www.svmasquerade.net/images/chainplate_prep.jpg

Were RH's chainplates external or internal? Here are a couple post of his talking about it...

https://www.therebelheart.com/blog/20...esnt-rust.html

And this one which sounds a bit scary in hindsight...

https://www.therebelheart.com/blog/20...omment18816538

As you say, perplexing.

smackdaddy 13-05-2014 15:40

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

Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY (Post 1540408)
I think Eric has said it now several times...but people just keep glossing over it for what ever reason I can't figure out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldragbaggers (Post 1540466)
I get all that about the sail set, the handling and all that. I really do. I understand what you are all saying that from a tactical standpoint maybe he could have done other things that would have changed the outcome. Got it. Horse is dead. Stop beating the poor bloody thing.

You know, you guys really don't have to keep reading along if it makes you uncomfortable.

GoBoat is right - it's a valid, worthy discussion. The only horse I see is in your posts.

Terra Nova 13-05-2014 15:41

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
It was neither a Union Polaris nor a chainplate.

SV THIRD DAY 13-05-2014 15:58

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

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1540498)
You know, you guys really don't have to keep reading along if it makes you uncomfortable.

GoBoat is right - it's a valid, worthy discussion. The only horse I see is in your posts.

Uncomfortable...no.
Laugh...yes.

smackdaddy 13-05-2014 15:59

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Okay - HC36. I'd heard it was a Union (essentially the same boat according to the history). Here's RH's post on the matter:

https://www.therebelheart.com/blog/20...istian-36.html

Take it up with him.

In any case, how do you know it wasn't a chainplate and/or knee?

oldragbaggers 13-05-2014 16:18

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

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1540498)
You know, you guys really don't have to keep reading along if it makes you uncomfortable.

GoBoat is right - it's a valid, worthy discussion. The only horse I see is in your posts.

I'm enjoying the thread and learning a lot, so if it's all the same to you, I'll continue to read. I was just a little taken aback by the immediate negative response to my post. I am not taking issue with anyone else's viewpoint, just didn't understand why a contribution that took the conversation away from the tactical for just a moment was dismissed so out of hand as irrelevant.

minaret 13-05-2014 16:28

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

Originally Posted by Terra Nova (Post 1540499)
It was neither a Union Polaris nor a chainplate.



Exactly. The link I posted early on to a practical sailor review of the Union 36 is correct as to construction. If this boat had all ply decks and house, it was not a Union 36, but one of the many knock offs. This is essentially a half timber boat, and a whole different animal as to construction. Since almost no one appears to have used the link, here it is again with an excerpt some may find enlightening.



Union 36 Boat Review - Practical Sailor Article




"According to naval architect Robert Perry, the basis of the Union 36 design was conceived in the early 1970s by Hans Christian Yachts founder John Edwards, a former high school teacher from Long Beach, Calif. Edwards commissioned Perry to design a 34-footer to be built at the Union Ship Co. in Taipei, Taiwan, and marketed in the United States as the Hans Christian 34. Although Perry is now well known for double-ended cruising boats like his ground-breaking Valiant 40, he was just beginning to earn his reputation at that time.

Before the first HC34 was launched, however, Perry said, he learned that Edwards had the yard build a second set of molds, adding about a foot in the center and aft of the cockpit, in order to stretch the design to a 36-footer (the Hans Christian 36). Hans Christian informed Perry that he would not receive royalties for the new 36-footer, but the company continued to associate him with the design, Perry said.

Under Edwards’ Taiwan arrangement, Hans Christian "owned" the designs and controlled distributorship. But after a falling out with the Union Ship Co. in the mid-1970s (at which point Edwards relocated his business to another Taiwan yard), Edwards learned that Union held ownership of the molds and would continue to build the boat and market it as the Union 36.

After building a few 36s, Union Ship Co. changed its name to Union Yacht Co. and entered into various distributor arrangements on the West Coast, where the boat was marketed under names chosen by the importer, among them the Mariner Polaris 36.

In a blog by the late Terry Bingham, a Union 36 owner, Perry is quoted as saying that "the yard went on to continue building the boat, but they marketed it under whatever name the individual broker wanted, so that’s why you find the same boat with so many names ... Hans Christian 36, Mariner Polaris 36, Union 36, EO 36—all the same boat. The Mao Ta 36 is a variation on the same hull but built by a different yard. [The Union 36] is a very good boat and in every way very similar to most of my early double-enders. It’s a bastard child of mine, and I will continue to feel like the father."

Union 36s can be identified by a hull number beginning with USC or UYC, and their production run reportedly was about 160 after Edwards’ departure, with the last being sold in 1988."




If I had to, I would guess that RH was much more likely of the Mao Ta family of Hans Christians than the Union.

minaret 13-05-2014 16:42

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

Originally Posted by Jim Cate (Post 1540479)
Getting back to the technical analysis of the leaking situation for a moment, Eric's revelation that the deck was NOT fibreglass, but teak over ply certainly changes how I envision the leak developing as a result of the wave strike (or whatever force was involved). As an amateur, that sort of hull to deck joint seems far more vulnerable to wrenching stresses (like from stanchions with solar panels mounted being struck) than the massive glass to glass joint described by Minaret. I would be interested to hear what he (Minaret) or any other knowledgeable person would say about that.

And Eric, if you have time and the interest, could you comment on whether the damage was on the windward or leeward side of the boat? I know that when we suffered a superficially similar knockdown/rolldown in our previous boat, the damage was all on the leeward side... the side that struck the water when we rolled down and "fell off" a wave face.

Finally, I'd be interested to know if other HC designs had that deck structure.

Cheers,

Jim



Just to make construction details clear:

The hull/deck joint on the Union is solid glass. As described in the link, the deck is ply core with 3/8" of glass on either side. However, the ply core is not carried all the way out to the deck flange. It stops short of the flange, and the two 3/8" skins meet to form a solid 3/4" deck flange. The same is true of the hull, except it is over 1" at the joint. This is standard procedure in cored fiberglass construction. It isolates the core from the through bolt penetrations, and also provides a very strong joint which cannot fail due to rot. This is why this is the least likely failure point in the boat, most of the rest of it is cored with organic material and therefore subject to failure due to rot. Not so the hull/deck joint. Unless, of course, one side of this joint is built of ply which has been trapped under teak planking for forty years....

rebel heart 13-05-2014 17:05

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

Originally Posted by Jim Cate (Post 1540479)
And Eric, if you have time and the interest, could you comment on whether the damage was on the windward or leeward side of the boat? I know that when we suffered a superficially similar knockdown/rolldown in our previous boat, the damage was all on the leeward side... the side that struck the water when we rolled down and "fell off" a wave face.
Jim

Yep, leeward side. We were on a port tack, broad reaching. Damage was on the starboard quarter.

Quote:

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1540495)
Were RH's chainplates external or internal? Here are a couple post of his talking about it...

Rebel Heart - Eric's Blog - stainless steel doesn'tÂ*rust

And this one which sounds a bit scary in hindsight...

Rebel Heart - Eric's Blog - i still can't believe this isÂ*happening

As you say, perplexing.

Internal, replaced in 2012. No obvious problems in the ones I removed but I replaced them, and their fasteners, for good measure. The "bit scary" part of bringing some spare chainplate material and fasteners doesn't sound scary to me at all. Unless you're planning on bring full replacements for every chainplate onboard it seems rather straight forward to bring a strip of stainless with a hole in the top, and the ability to drill holes and make up a temporary (but pretty damn strong) chainplate.

rebel heart 13-05-2014 17:06

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

Originally Posted by minaret (Post 1540529)
Just to make construction details clear:

The hull/deck joint on the Union is solid glass. As described in the link, the deck is ply core with 3/8" of glass on either side.

I'm not sure if you're talking about my boat, but there was zero fiberglass on my decks. Teak over plywood over wooden beams. No glass in the deck, cockpit, cabin top, rudder, or anywhere other than the hull.

Andrew Troup 13-05-2014 17:15

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Anyone wanting to make their own chainplates en route, just make sure your drilling method allows for high torque and low speed. If you can lay your hands on an old-school single speed metal-bodied Desoutter with a deep reduction ratio (or similar from other industrial-strength m'fers) they stand up to neglect and abuse and corrosive conditions better than most modern drill motors.

Failing that, with the luxury of time, you could conceivably drill pilot holes (4mm or 5/32") in the desired locations with a conventional drill gun, then open them up in one or two steps with cobalt HSS bits, held in a brace and bit.

And remember to keep the feed pressure on, relentlessly, whenever the bit is touching the metal and turning.

Once you create local hardening, even cobalt bits can start to struggle and squeal.

I think it's a great idea to predrill the top hole, as Eric suggests.

cwyckham 13-05-2014 17:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer (Post 1540337)
First I think that Eric's decision to call for help was 100% correct and while he obviously got into a situation beyond his experience level I have done that too.

The Navy and rescue people showed how exceptional they are and I do not begrudge the money spent.

However, Azul's point about taking small children off-shore is worth addressing.

The decision to take a small child trans-oceanic is obviously a parental decision and I think that it does not reach the level of governmental intervention. However, I personally, as a pediatric intensive care doctor and a sailor, do not think that the medical risk is acceptable.

If we take a serious but usually non-lethal pediatric problem like febrile seizures it is possible to fairly accurately calculate an estimate of the probability of a child between the age of newborn and 5 years having a seizure that will result in unconsciousness. One study I have used followed 18,500 newborns for 5 years. (University of California, Berkeley).

The risk of a febrile seizure in any one month period for a child in the first 5 years of life is approximately 1 in 3000. Eric had two children in that age group so his chances of that problem were 1 in 1500. There are other studies that suggest the risk may be almost twice as high as the study I quote. And febrile seizures is just one of dozens of diseases a child can develop.

After 25 year of practicing high risk pediatric medicine and sailing, taking care of a pediatric seizure on a short handed boat in bad weather is more excitement than I would care to experience.

ps Eric you should give the donated money to a pediatric charity or to the Coast Guard benevolent fund. I for one certainly thought the money was being donated to a charity.

Great post right up to the ps.

How can anybody counsel a homeless father of two young kids to give away $18k?

That would be irresponsible. It's his money, and he can do with it add he likes, but I would hope he would use it as it was intended: to support his young family in a time of crisis.

AKMark 13-05-2014 17:40

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Eric, I think I speak for the majority of people reading this thread (but mostly not posting) when I say "thanks" for giving us some post-incident information/analyses (which we can use in our own adventures), and thanks for ignoring all of the arm-chair experts who act like they would have done something better/smarter. It would be easy to become defensive and spend more time defending your actions rather than giving good info. Thanks for not doing that.

Please keep up the good info!

smackdaddy 13-05-2014 18:25

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

Originally Posted by rebel heart (Post 1540542)
Yep, leeward side. We were on a port tack, broad reaching. Damage was on the starboard quarter.



Internal, replaced in 2012. No obvious problems in the ones I removed but I replaced them, and their fasteners, for good measure. The "bit scary" part of bringing some spare chainplate material and fasteners doesn't sound scary to me at all. Unless you're planning on bring full replacements for every chainplate onboard it seems rather straight forward to bring a strip of stainless with a hole in the top, and the ability to drill holes and make up a temporary (but pretty damn strong) chainplate.

This is what I mean about being a bit scary in hindsight:

Quote:

I'm eyeing the chain plates now, and initially I was a little spooked out about them but now I see them just as some stainless steel bars with holes drilled through them. I've got an angle grinder and maybe not the cobalt bit I'd need, but I bet I know a welder who could knock them out for me if I begged.

There are a few deck cracks that will leak once the rain starts, which is really only about two and a half months away. I might put it off until we get back to San Diego and just enjoy the summer, but I'm a little nervous about it.
I'm just saying I'm with you. Based on those posts, photos, etc. I would have been a bit nervous too...especially with homemade stuff. It sure sounds like something failed there. Just sayin'.

SaltyMonkey 13-05-2014 19:19

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
I concur with SV Third Day. :thumb:

Tantalus 13-05-2014 19:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by AKMark (Post 1540578)
Eric, I think I speak for the majority of people reading this thread (but mostly not posting) when I say "thanks" for giving us some post-incident information/analyses (which we can use in our own adventures), and thanks for ignoring all of the arm-chair experts who act like they would have done something better/smarter. It would be easy to become defensive and spend more time defending your actions rather than giving good info. Thanks for not doing that.

Please keep up the good info!

Ditto!

smackdaddy 13-05-2014 20:04

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
Now, now - there's no reason to start name-calling and getting personal fellas. You don't like my communication style - fine. I understand. But keep it civil.

The bottom line is that something obviously failed in that area. I'm trying to figure out what that might be. RH mentioned leaking cracks in that area in his previous blog posts - and in his summation of the incident. Same cracks that got worse? Repaired but reappearing cracks? A vulnerability in this type/brand of boat?

He also mentioned (if I recall) that this area (caprail, etc.) was pretty torn up after the broach/knockdown. Based on what you've read thus far, what do you think the issue was here if not chainplates/knees/etc.?

If RH, who was there, doesn't know, all we can do is try to figure it out as best we can with what's available. No harm in that.

These are important issues if you're sailing a HC/Union/Polaris/Hasbro/Whatever 36, don't you think?

Simply commenting.

SaltyMonkey 13-05-2014 20:30

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
"We need more subplots. (Even just one.) Instead we get a life sentence of staring at SDdy's face while the actor, as skilfully as he can, goes through the 12 steps of disenchantment in his one-man LA therapy classes."
-- Nigel Andrews - Financial Times

Her – film review - FT.com

:D :D :D :devil: :D :D :flowers:

Andrew Troup 13-05-2014 20:54

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

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1540680)
Now, now - there's no reason to start name-calling and getting personal fellas. You don't like my communication style - fine. I understand. But keep it civil.

The bottom line is that something obviously failed in that area. I'm trying to figure out what that might be. RH mentioned leaking cracks in that area in his previous blog posts - and in his summation of the incident. Same cracks that got worse? Repaired but reappearing cracks? A vulnerability in this type/brand of boat?

He also mentioned (if I recall) that this area (caprail, etc.) was pretty torn up after the broach/knockdown. Based on what you've read thus far, what do you think the issue was here if not chainplates/knees/etc.?

If RH, who was there, doesn't know, all we can do is try to figure it out as best we can with what's available. No harm in that.

These are important issues if you're sailing a HC/Union/Polaris/Hasbro/Whatever 36, don't you think?

Simply commenting.

Even speaking as someone with a vested interest in persuading people that they should get me to make stuff for them

(typically because they are too ill equipped, or lack the necessary knowledge)

I can't think of any way I could make a case that if they drilled their own chainplates instead of having me make them, their boat would leak.

I simply don't get where you're coming from, with disparaging inferences about "home-made stuff".

The way a chainplate is FITTED, now that's a different topic, and sure that could be leak related, but it just doesn't seem to square with

"Eric stated the leak .... was on the starboard side near the stern" and other comments he's made about the location.

ON EDIT : unless he replaced the backstay chainplates. I overlooked that possibility.

Ryan H 13-05-2014 21:09

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

Originally Posted by colemj (Post 1540178)

I believe his assessment. Do you really think that some goop soaked spare underwear and a 4" tube of epoxy putty is going to help the situation he describes?

Mark

Given the situation, I think most of us would have goop in our underpants anyway so why not give it a try? Only semi agreed upon emergency repair method here so far puts Douglas Adams at the wheel. Towel or sink I suppose. Any other ideas?

Andrew Troup 13-05-2014 21:36

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

Originally Posted by Ryan H (Post 1540706)
Given the situation, I think most of us would have goop in our underpants anyway so why not give it a try? Only semi agreed upon emergency repair method here so far puts Douglas Adams at the wheel. Towel or sink I suppose. Any other ideas?

I don't know about others, but I have had zero luck dealing with minor leaks (which I would class this as) by ANY sort of goop applied from inside the boat, except under certain circumstances in metal boats.

Given a boat with a fiberglass hull, a ply subdeck and teak planking and (as usual under the circumstances) a diffuse leak or leaks: I would not personally have put any time or resources into trying to staunch it, in what I understand to be Eric's situation.

And that's not because I don't care: I care very much about keeping the water out.
The demoralising effect of water inside a boat, even without the effect on equipment, is considerable. But it's my opinion you can't magic up a repair, even a temporary one, in this set of circumstances.

Furthermore, I would urge people not to invest their ultimate trust in electrical gear (in fact, any gear) which is not rated by a reputable manufacturer for long-term submersion in corrosive liquids, when sailing offshore.

- - -

Another take-home lesson is the risk of trading away autonomy.

Now that we know (thanks, Eric) that some anonymous clerk can mysteriously, capriciously and unilaterally terminate anyone's satphone comms from their desk in Poughkeepsie or wherever, that's clearly not a method of communication which should be built into our plans and expectations.

Unrealistic expectations, as others have said, lead to bad outcomes.

And it's better to have a small number of options which are reliable and well understood than a plethora of options which are not under our control.

chall 14-05-2014 02:55

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

Originally Posted by smackdaddy (Post 1539416)
I'm still learning about this whole sailing thing

:whistling::whistling::whistling::

LakeSuperior 14-05-2014 05:08

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

Originally Posted by Andrew Troup (Post 1540715)
Now that we know (thanks, Eric) that some anonymous clerk can mysteriously, capriciously and unilaterally terminate anyone's satphone comms from their desk in Poughkeepsie or wherever, that's clearly not a method of communication which should be built into our plans and expectations.

I don't think we yet have an answer from RH as to the reason for the satphone cutoff. These phone are routinely used by 10's of 1000's of folks in all walks of life for emergency communications in dangerous backwaters of the planet. Arbitrarily cutting service does not seem to fit the business model.

captain58sailin 14-05-2014 05:15

re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)
 
As with any disaster or accident there is a chain of events, and usually there is a point which if something had been different, would have changed the outcome completely. Not saying that is what happened here, but if the phone had been working then they would have been able to communicate with someone directly to possibly help their daughter, and or equip the rescue squad with the needed medications to alleviate her suffering. Maybe not, it is all speculation at this point. Being that far at sea, the only real option for keeping the daughter safe was send up the epirb, regardless the condition of the vessel. As far as sticking with the vessel. There are many factors here that are working against you, even if you managed to stem the water ingress. I don't know if there was enough solar panel left to revive the batteries, that would have been a pretty big part of it. Trying to sail a badly damaged vessel, and pumping out the vessel continuously with a hand pump, and no one to relieve you would result in severe exhaustion fairly quickly even for someone in as good as shape as Eric. You are not going to be able to get any true rest, nor decent nutrition. With the constant rolling of the vessel takes a toll all by itself. 900s miles out and close to 2000 to go, you would have your work cut out for you.


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