Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...
It's a shame they didn't stick closer to the original design.. and install big manual lift pumps like they used to use on these ships back in the good old days: "Man the pumps!!".. Sure the old-style pumps had blockage issues similar to modern ones, but at least they don't rely on diesel fuel and electrics to work.
Joking aside, safety requirements for most modern yachts dictate a manual bilge pump be fitted - to avoid exactly the scenario quoted above. Is this not the case for something like the HMS Bounty?
Absolutely. I looked for a picture to show manual pumps but could not find either a picture or a description of any manual pumps. With a small crew, it is doubtful if they could have manned them for long but at least it may have delayed the sinking. As the old saying goes, the best bilge pump is a scared sailor with a bucket
As far as the crew's description of the sea condition, "three stories high"=24'--just about what has been documented. A 180/120' ship (she was even shorter on the wl) can handle a 24' sea but not with a bilge full of water. Equate it to a 60 footer in a 12' sea, uncomfortable but not dangerous. The ship becoming uncontrollable is a given with the bilge full of water. A "huge" wave, with the deck almost at sea level already was likely just one of the larger waves in a set that broke over them. Those sea conditions should not have sunk this vessel if she had not filled up with water.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.