The fact that he went to sea with a damaged pump system (one Genset out of service) and without a back up system is just unacceptable for them, hurricane or not.
Finally this makes sense to me. While following this thread, I kept on wondering if Sandy was a 'red herring' - an important element, sure. But not root cause. Looking at the video, the weather conditions did not look *too* bad. This boat had sailed to Tahiti and had many miles under the keel, and had surely faced such weather before. Sure, there was a hurricane in the area, and perhaps he should not have been there, but it did not seem bad where they sunk - thankfully, as the USCG chopper was still able to safely recover them (yay USCG!).
Sure they took on water - these older wooden square riggers did. Constantly. In a heavy storm, pumping out every hour does not sound excessive; from my reading - no direct experience in a boat like this - manual pumps were often working 24x7 in a storm. Of course they had the crew to do this.
However, having only one way to empty the bilge - no backup - bad. Very bad. On my tiny boat I have 2 electric pumps, one manual, and a bucket
. You guys know boats - something always fails, and generally at the worse possible moment. Rehearsed backup plans are key.
My heart goes out to the people who lost their lives. The dangers of having a critical system without backup is a lesson we all can learn from. Personally, I am less interested in who is to blame; as with all of these tragic accidents, my interest is what I can learn to avoid a similar calamity.