The Marine Flower 2 is a Sundeer 64 ketch. They were designed as a couple boat and are rigged for sailing from the cockpit. They have probably completed more circumnavigations than any other boat their size, often only sailed by 2.
There was nothing wrong with the boat.
The owner/skipper was inexperienced, at least with this boat.
He should not have been there.
This link catalogs boats and mileage.
SetSail» Blog Archive » Deerfoot and Sundeer History
How do you know the experience of the Marine Flower 2 Skipper?
Even the designers of the Sundeer 64 say they now do not feel comfortable handling such a boat and now have designed a similar power boat:
DashewOffshore.com - the serious cruising sailor's website
This quote from the Dashew's;
"But we've past the point where we were comfortable handling this much sail by ourselves, and we did not want to take crew. The FPB was the next step for us, and perhaps for others facing the same dilemma.
When we started this new project Linda was all for it. Steve, on the other hand, felt he was being forced in this direction by the march of time. At 62 years and counting, it was no longer prudent for the two of us to cross oceans, dealing with the spinnakers and reachers that are part of our sailing equation."
Also, some reports state Marine Flower II was taking on water. Even the CG rescue swimmer stated this in one of his posted interviews. Also wikipedia reported the vessel taking on water:
Offshore, a family of four required rescue from the Coast Guard after their boat began filling with water in the midst of 17 ft (5.2 m) surf. A 49 ft (15 m) sailboat was disabled about 115 mi (185 km) offshore Norfolk, Virginia, and the crew of three were also rescued by the Coast Guard. The sailboat was sailing from Bermuda to Oxford, Maryland, but was halted after the engine failed, the anchor was ripped off, and the mainstay was torn. The interaction between Gordon and a ridge over New England produced coastal flooding in eastern Virginia. Tides reached 4 ft (1.2 m) above normal in Virginia Beach, which washed away 100 ft (30 m) of a fishing pier. The high tides caused road damage and minor housing damage.
Also, Hurricane Gordon was a very complex system. The weather bureau could not accurately predict its path or fomation. Go online and look at its track- it made 6 landfalls:
Hurricane GordonCategory 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration November 8 – November 21
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min) 980 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Gordon (1994)
Hurricane Gordon was the final storm of the season. The system formed near Panama in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on November 9. Strengthening into a tropical storm, Gordon wound its way north into the Greater Antilles. Despite warm waters, persistent wind shear prevented significant strengthening. Executing a slow turn to the north and then the northwest, Gordon made two more landfalls, on eastern Jamaica and eastern Cuba. As Tropical Storm Gordon made its fourth landfall crossing the Florida Keys, it interacted with a cyclone in the upper-troposphere and a series of cyclonic lows which lent the storm some sub-tropical characteristics. After a few days as an unusual hybrid of a tropical and a subtropical system in the Gulf of Mexico, the storm re-claimed its tropical storm status and it made another landfall across the Florida peninsula and continued into the Atlantic Ocean. In the Atlantic, Gordon rapidly strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. Gordon's characteristic briefly approached North Carolina, but ultimately the storm headed south, weakening into a minor tropical storm before making its sixth and final landfall on Florida's east coast. Overall, the storm made six separate landfalls.
Those Sundeers look like amazing boats, never herd of them before. Interesting no one went out after Gordon to try to claim the boat. Looks like the value was over $500k. Also interesting the boat did not show up in Europe later in the year, unless it was taking on water. Boat has at least two water tight bulkheads.