Boat lost off Hawaii - SailNet Community

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Old 03-16-2007
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Boat lost off Hawaii

I was just reading about a recent Hunter which was lost en route to Hawaii due primarily to its loss of a rudder in heavy conditions. Here is the link to the news story:
http://www.mauinews.com/story.aspx?id=28269

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Old 03-16-2007
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Wow, doesn't say much for the structural integrity of the Hunter.
I sailed one when I was a kid . . .good boat, but clearly not an ocean crosser.
I'd love to see pictures of the bow, to see how the anchor chain ripped through it. Question, though. . . why did the CG attach to the anchor chain, why not run a couple of heavy lines to the bow cleats?
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My understanding is that the sailboat captain tied the ROPE from the coastguard to his anchor chain. Unclear why...but that is certainly why the boat was lost.
The rudder breakage on a (since discontinued) composite rudder post was a KNOWN problem to Hunter and they issued a bulletin to owners on the subject in 2005 after 16 reports of failure. The captain of this particular Hunter apparently did not know of the problem or chose to ignore it.
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Old 03-16-2007
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Presumably, the USCG would have instructed the Hunter's crew to cleat off the anchor rode, before attaching the tow line. The crew either failed to do so, or the cleat snapped from the strain - not surprising, considering the boat's typically lightweight hardware.

There's a late model 45 Hunter at my dock - never goes out and is used as a summer condo. By comparison, my 33 foot boat's bow cleats are over twice as big.
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Old 03-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
By comparison, my 33 foot boat's bow cleats are over twice as big.
Roger that.

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Old 03-16-2007
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That's not a cleat. It's a friggin' bollard!
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Old 03-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
Presumably, the USCG would have instructed the Hunter's crew to cleat off the anchor rode, before attaching the tow line. The crew either failed to do so, or the cleat snapped from the strain - not surprising, considering the boat's typically lightweight hardware.

There's a late model 45 Hunter at my dock - never goes out and is used as a summer condo. By comparison, my 33 foot boat's bow cleats are over twice as big.
I'm a novice, but from what I've read I don't think I would ever attempt to tow from any single point, regardless of how robust a cleat appeared. I hope to never have to test my theories, but if I ever have to be towed in rough conditions, I think I would use my rock climbing background to try to rig a load equalizing, 3 point harness to spread the load over both bow cleats and the base of the mast. Hopefully, such a bridle tied into a long enough tow line would spread the shock load and keep anything from failing, but any single point of failure would not leave me adrift again.
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I am certain Cam's intent with this thread was not for us to compare our deck hardware to the ill-fated Hunter's. But if it were my boat being towed, each eye of the USCG tow boat's bridle would be led through the port and starboard bulwark chocks and secured to the bow cleats.

Certainly, I would never suggest using the anchor chain and do not know why that decision was made.


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TB,
That's one cool looking deck.
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Old 03-16-2007
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thanx sailhog . . . taken while singlehanding to Block Island last summer. Wife's below fixing lunch, Otto's at the helm (Otto's my autopilot).
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