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Sorry, I gave up on getting through this thread from start to finish at about page 28 (Piker, I know)
There has been much made of how he could hit a running container ship and only bend the bowsprit and how do you get hit by one anyway...type posts.
two things, the damn great things are almost silent until they are really loud..and then they are already too close. Sailboats live in a surpirising amount of noise, you just blank it out and call it peaceful silence...but a freighter makes almost no noise that is not read by your mind as "situation normal" from the front or even front quarter. They can be heard from the aft quarter or directly astern for about 200 meters....
One time (this was always going to lead to a story) We had six people up on deck at 11pm, were keeping a good and attentive watch between us (which means we were sight seeing and having a good conversation, but people were looking out in all directions to do it), the sea was a bit rolly but the sky was marvelously clear and we got that thing of Milky Way stars atop the horizon blazing with a city's lights...And then a ruddy big freighter went past (I think it was a car carrier) and we all had a pucker moment because nobody saw it coming. It got to about 350-400meters away, cut across our course at about 18+ knots and gave us a huge wake to bounce over (The sandwitches on deck got wet).
Everyone talked about how that could have happened for the rest of the trip....But it definately happened.
As to how could only the bowsprit get damaged...Ships make WINDSHADOWS, and eddies and currents. either the boat attempted to steer around to dodge the ship and then got caught out by the wind getting blocked and got sucked back around and had the ship's side drag against the bowsprit for a moment or they plowed straight into the side of a moving container ship while asleep below-decks...but they would have lost power as soon as the ship blocked their wind, would have crashed past the bow-wave on momentum and would have had very little forward way left by the time they actually hit the side and bounced back, the side waves pushing out would then have been sufficient to push the boat back away a little.
I don't recommend this as a sport in its own right, but I do no see any inconsistencies...
We have an idiot here in Melbourne that is famous for running into the Spirit Of Tasmania (A huge passneger and vehicle ferry that runs as regular as clockwork and is bright red to boot) on board his Adams12 (I think) during a Saturday afternoon race in perfect weather conditions. Interestingly enough, someone managed to get the photos of the impact as it was happeneing. he hit just in the spot where a sign on the hull had an X and the words "PUSH HERE" for tugs. We figure he was trying to nudge it out of the way so he had a shorter leg to finish the race.
Despite what lots of poeple say "should have" happened, he did not get rolled and destroyred by the bow wave, he did not get sucked under by the props...etc...he just went bang and crunch and palpably embarrassed against the side of the ship.
Regardless of the rest of what is going on aboard the Ship Of Fools, I have no real problem with the freighter accident, and the way it only managed to bend a fairly sturdy steel bowsprit (that is welded into the general frame of the boat, so is tougher then most people think, when they think "bowsprit". It is built not so much as a spar but as a battering ram or extended bow.
P.S If I had to d thisina 70foot boat whee weight consideratios have obviously been thrown out the window, I would bring cow..or mayb sveral goat, they ould be good for more then one meal...actualy,I think breeing population of guinea pigs.They don't taste bad once you get used to it, and hey would be handy for eating the sprouts!
Oh yeah, there were a bunch of experimental geneators made for boats in the '70s that used pendulums to capture and even deaden the rocking motion of a boat in waves and to convert that to rotary energy for driving a generator. Nothing ever came of it commercially, but you can still find some of the plans and blueprints on-line. I would not put it past this guy to have made some of these or to have salvaged one from some fellow garage hippy.
Last edited by Sasha_V; 10-07-2007 at 11:23 AM.