Discussion of bluewater seaworthiness\missing sailor ordeal - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 36 Old 01-29-2008 Thread Starter
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Discussion of bluewater seaworthiness\missing sailor ordeal

Regarding the sailor who went missing from Dana Point, CA in October and who's Catalina 30 ended up in Hawaii 90 days later.

There has long been a hard and fast opinion regarding bluewater boats, including the fact that vessels such as those built by Catalina are not included in this category mostly for reasons relating to catastrophic structural failure or water intrusion and subsequent crew peril.

I would like to hear experienced opinion and conjecture as to how a non-bluewater vessel made a 90 day ocean crossing to Hawaii intact, with no mast or pilot.

It can be argued that the vessel was in fact dismasted, which dimishes the perceived integrity if the rigging, however the vessle itself survived. Conversely, it can also be argued that the rigging was sound, but 1,000 uncontrolled gybes and unnavigated wave crashes may have been able to dismast even heartier rigs.

How is it that this coastal cruiser did not roll(See interior pictures online, which show some gear still in place) and\or sink while being tossed about in open water for 3 months with no mast?
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post #2 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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DanaDragoon, one point you missed was that the Catalina 30 arrived in Hawaii without a mast. So who knows what happened.

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I had a dream, I was sailing, I was happy, I was even smiling. Then I looked down and saw that I was on a multi-hull and woke up suddenly in a cold sweat.
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post #3 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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Dana...I hope you are not trying to say the C30 is a suitable offshore boat based on one floating around the Pacific. When a mast comes down...it can hole the boat. Answer: LUCK

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post #4 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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I think the Catalina ending up in Hawaii just helps prove that the boats can normally take more abuse than the sailors/crew can.

Also, "catastrophic structural failure or water intrusion and subsequent crew peril" are often caused by crew error.

Lastly, just because the Catalina made it to Hawaii, possibly all by its lonesome, doesn't necessarily change the fact that Catalinas aren't designed for bluewater. Plenty of sailors have made successful bluewater passages on boats that most don't consider as true bluewater vessels. Just because a boat isn't designed for bluewater doesn't automatically make them sink when they venture offshore.

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post #5 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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Good boat + bad sailor = bad news

Bad boat + bad sailor = no news - at least not till the boats found

Bad boat + good sailor = OK cause he knows the limitations

Good boat + good sailor = need any crew?

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post #6 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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Dana,

You got a link to those pictures for us?
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post #7 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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Worth considering is the fact that when boats are just drifting there is less stress on them than when they are being sailed. Presumably, beating to windward or running fast is much harder on the boat than lying ahull. Therefore, boats with much less structural integrity might last longer if left alone than if sailed.

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Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #8 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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How, then, to explain the 1979 Fastnet?

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post #9 of 36 Old 01-29-2008 Thread Starter
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Good points

By all.

Freesails: I made that point 4 times.

Comrad: Am only saying that it made it, with no mast and no pilot. Luck? Sorry, luck may be good for awhile, but not a 90 day ocean crossing.

Kwaltersmi: Excellent analysis

Robby: Generalised, but interesting

LBDavis: Google Dana Point missing sailor Hawaii.
Also good news viseo here:
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/mi...aii/3084255067

Plumper: hmmm..

All: Am not making statements. Just find it interesting that is made it, in the worst of possible senarios for any vessel.
No arguing, just looking for an explanation, considering 90 (ninety) days plus at deep sea with no stabalizing rig and nobody to maintain or monitor it.
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post #10 of 36 Old 01-29-2008
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I think there is a significant difference between the once in a lifetime '79 Fastnet storm and the relatively benign waters between California and Hawaii this past October.
Although the boat was dismasted, the interior seemed fairly tidy. Not the way you would think a boat that had been rolled would look.
Strange story.
I was once on a ship that found a yacht a couple hundred miles out to sea. It had broken its mooring and was drifting south from the PNW. The boat was fine. We hoisted it on board and the owner eventually got it back.

Gaz

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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