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  #151  
Old 04-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_L View Post
3. We have taken what some consider an extreme position regarding life rafts (not to carry one), but it is in fact a supremely practical position and not a purist position. After a lot of study and evaluation, I honestly believe that carrying a life raft decreases the likelihood of saving a vessel and decreases crew safety.
This is from Evan S's site, Seamanship
So there is clearly a wide range of opinion on Liferafts even among those who have clearly studied the issue and have serious experience.
Evans' take on the life-raft issue is really much more nuanced than the limited quote above. There's a lot more, for example:
This is a distinctly personal choice, based on our own assessment of the likely true risks and how to most effectively minimize them. We rarely even mention this decision to others, as we do not want others to base such an important decision on our reasoning and logic.
Those who are interested should really read the whole FAQ...
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  #152  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catamount View Post
Evans' take on the life-raft issue is really much more nuanced than the limited quote above. There's a lot more, for example:
This is a distinctly personal choice, based on our own assessment of the likely true risks and how to most effectively minimize them. We rarely even mention this decision to others, as we do not want others to base such an important decision on our reasoning and logic.
Those who are interested should really read the whole FAQ...
Yep, that's why I included the link.

Paul L
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  #153  
Old 04-27-2010
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Oh come now people! Do you really want to take the advice of someone who has such disdain for a liferaft that he calls it a "magic black box"? What I call that is being paranoid about whether or not the unit he spent his money on (which would be soo much better spent elsewhere) is going to deploy. If money were that big of a concern for a cruising sailor to be penny pinching about liferaft cost OR maintenance/system upgrade cost; I got news for you: You can't afford to go cruising!

There are lots of good things that Evan says in his article about being self reliant and not getting in the situation of needing to go aboard the raft. I also agree with what he says about the intense need to find and stem a leak BEFORE the water has filled the hull to where it cant be found. You need to know exactly where all of your hull penetrations are and be able to access them quickly and systematically; because this is where water will likely be entering unless you hit an object.

What I don't agree with is the argument that a raft will negate the need to find or stop the leak. In addition I don't agree with the notion that if your boat sinks you should accept your fate. The only chance you have of being found alive in survival conditions would be in a liferaft or other craft that was specifically designed to weather heavy seas. To highlight my comment that Evan is not working with a full deck here is to point out that he also is skeptical about the value of an EPIRB in it's ability to effect a successful SAR. Well there are roughly 22,000 people who have been rescued thanks to the EPIRB's implementation in 1982. That's roughly 800 people per year who are alive that may not have been. I wonder how many of those people were aboard liferafts? Evan himself includes "boarding a raft" in his ditch procedures (LOL).

Again; statistical data that was compiled following the big offshore races like Fastnet are limited and flawed data sets. This was ~30 years ago! Many of the problems that are associated with liferaft design and survivability were developed AS A RESULT of races like Fastnet and continued research and development has been done to improve the performance and survivability of liferafts in heavy seas and wind.

As I have said before; should you RELY on the raft to save you? Absolutely not. Should you be prepared with a life saving raft or lifeboat to give yourself a chance of survival if you can't stop your boat from sinking or burning? Absolutely.
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  #154  
Old 04-27-2010
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Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
The scenario posted by Smack is a bit melodramatic. Who is gonna take their family out into the sea and put themselves into the position of survival sailing with their children aboard? YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID!! NATURAL SELECTION AFTER THE FACT! (sadly for the children involved)
Once again, sorry if this represents a thread hijack, can't resist a response

Anyone who is planning voyaging which will include an ocean crossing or two and thinks that Smack's scenario can't happen to them would do their family a great service by disposing of the boat ASAP. It can happen to anyone and you don't have to be stupid.

Once again I come back to the Sleavin event and their weather wasn't even that bad - they just happened to get in the way of a ship. Judith Sleavin gives a chilling account of how her family was sequentially drowned in a fashion not disimilar to Smack's hyperbole.

Seriously bad weather is in all voyagers' destinies, those who manage to consistently escape it are lucky.
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  #155  
Old 04-27-2010
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Sleavin's book is a very chilling tale. If you don't know about the story, it was detailed in a book called Ten Degrees of Reckoning by Hester Rumberg. The dust jacket intro says:

Quote:
In 1993, Judith and Michael Sleavin and their two children set out to live their dream: to sail around the world. But one night, a freighter off the coast of New Zealand altered its course by a mere ten degrees. And changed everything. After surviving forty-four hours in the water, with a back broken in several places and paralyzed below the waist, Judith miraculously survived. Doctors would later say she suffered one of the worst cases of post-traumatic stress syndrome ever documented. News of the collision made headlines around the world, but, distraught, Judith never talked to the press. Her body was broken, and so was her soul.
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  #156  
Old 04-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
To highlight my comment that Evan is not working with a full deck here is to point out that he also is skeptical about the value of an EPIRB in it's ability to effect a successful SAR. Well there are roughly 22,000 people who have been rescued thanks to the EPIRB's implementation in 1982.
And where were these people when they were rescued? Probably near the coast of the "developed" world, where there are search and rescue resources available. There are counter examples where people have set off their EPIRB and no help was forthcoming, at least not in a timely fashion -- these are in areas that might be considered "third world" or otherwise very remote regions. Evans' point is not that EPIRBs are useless, rather that they do not necessarily guarantee rescue, and that one should take that into account in their thinking.
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  #157  
Old 04-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Once again, sorry if this represents a thread hijack, can't resist a response

Anyone who is planning voyaging which will include an ocean crossing or two and thinks that Smack's scenario can't happen to them would do their family a great service by disposing of the boat ASAP. It can happen to anyone and you don't have to be stupid.

Once again I come back to the Sleavin event and their weather wasn't even that bad - they just happened to get in the way of a ship. Judith Sleavin gives a chilling account of how her family was sequentially drowned in a fashion not disimilar to Smack's hyperbole.

Seriously bad weather is in all voyagers' destinies, those who manage to consistently escape it are lucky.


To live is to experience danger. If your goal is to minimize it, get a work that can be made at home and don't go out

I doubt that, crossing the Atlantic, in the right season, with good weather information, on an oceangoing boat (assuming you are an experienced sailor) is not more dangerous than making the same number of miles on European Country roads. You can also be smashed to pieces, on a narrow road, by a truck out of control. That’s what happened to a neighbor of mine.

Accidents happen everywhere, and I don't think that crossing the Atlantic (assuming the conditions I have mentioned) is particularly dangerous.

But I would say that doing that with kids with less than 6 years (sometimes with babies) would be inacceptable (for me). Not only young kids are more prone to physical accidents but mainly, they need more frequent medical attention and sometimes even an hospital. Denying young kids an eventual need of medical attention for 15 days or more, is not (for me) an acceptable risk.

Regards

Paulo

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  #158  
Old 04-27-2010
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Originally Posted by wunhunglo View Post
Brian,
My post had no intent to belittle. My apologies if you felt that.

Your original topic's title made this almost mandatory reading, so I entered the hallowed halls of SN, cap in hand as a newbie on this forum . I see an extravagant claim that essentially says don't use liferafts, they will kill you. I read on ... seeing many sing your praises and hardly a person had commented on your damning and inaccurate generalization.

You are right... it's a very sobering and serious issue and given that, I was more focused more on calling out the dangerous, and incorrect generalization than perhaps thinking too much about how it might be received.

When it comes to issues like this, perhaps I can be a little abrupt. My intent is to offer facts. However, my first post had no scathing criticism and simply focused on stating some other facts that rafts can be righted. I also posted a non-controversial post showing some real-world examples of rafts that do what you claim they can't.

Later posters rallied to your "defense" criticizing attempts by anyone to correct you on the death trap claim. I found it bizarre on a subject that's about saving lives, that posters were more concerned about taking a "thin blue line" stance than possibly seeing any merit in opposing views. Most of those responses were pretty pompous and dismissive (including one of yours) by implying that opponents clearly didn't have a clue, were wet behind the ears, and should post some real world experience i.e. any criticism can't possibly be real world !! My obviously useless input must have come from sitting on the couch reading sailing magazines or using Google.

That's why I posted an admittedly sarcastic summary of this entire topic. It was cynical because it does come across as a dramatic sea rescue of an empty raft, a non life threatening situation, yet received by the SN disciples as "sobering" and heroic. The serious point you raised of self righting, was virtually ignored. That revelation of the thin blue line was more sobering !!

Standing back from it, you must surely see this unhealthy pack behavior on this important topic? Even proponents of the Pudgy seemed blinded by product loyalty than seeing all the flaws with that solution as a viable alternative to a raft.

It's too important to be glib with inaccuracies and it's more important to get input from sources that have something to contribute. Sorry if you feel bruised, but in a way, you brought criticism on yourself. Contrary to your post, I don't get off on "lashing" as you put it, and frankly see your point on that as a bit of dramatic defensiveness. I am more motivated by reality and accuracy.

Going forward, I'll probably resort to more lurking and less posting if the thin blue line is more important in SN than more tolerance of opposing and experienced views.

Smack D:
You know my posts from other places... hopefully you can see through my sarcasm on mine in this topic.
WHL,

That was a very nice post. Thank you for the clarification.

First, if I have in any way painted that Liferafts are dangerous or will kill you, then I have poorly presented my point of view. That was in no way my intention - at all. I wanted to make clear that not all rafts are created equal. A raft is not a raft. In the example we saw, that raft could not have been righted unless done so by a freak accident of mother nature. I suspect any raft of similar design would face the same challenge. It was obvious from what we saw that no one was crawling up on that raft. The fact that it was also partially deflated was another damning. Anyonje who might have trusted their lives in that product (or God forbid left their not yet sunk vessel for that raft) were in for a terrible realization. My other point that I wanted to make was that even a few hours later, with an exact fix and drift, only a few hours from the USCG station, the coast guard could not find that raft. More than anything, that was sobering.

Does it mean that anyone died in that raft? No. Most likely not. I never said that. Whether there was or was not someone in there I believe is not the point. The point was a more generalized discussion about rafts and what I saw in the real world, versus the really nice pictures you see when going through the internet or any marketing propaganda. This is not, once again, to say that all rafts have problems. However, I think there may be some inherent short comings worth discussing. In all things there are tradeoffs, but the point of all of this is a hard lined view at what might make a good raft, a bad raft, or even options outside of a raft and where it might be acceptable (or not). The 'Pudgy-type', as I discussed in a previous post, has many short comings too and is not the right thing for everyone. However, I do not think it should be dismissed out of hand.

With the exception of the raft I saw, please do not missunderstand my criticism of a product as me not liking the product. I criticize my C400 - but would not hesitiate to buy it again depending on some factors. I also criticize Valiants - a boat I love and know well. Would I buy one? You betcha, depending on the use and some factors. Tradoffs. Everything has them. Rafts are no different.

But this discussion is about safety. Safety has to take a higher ground in my opinion. You see something you dissagree with - TELL ME! This is serious stuff. I take it very serious. Everyone should. And what I saw, again in my opinion, was very important. It was the basis of a very good discussion and and some opposing views. And I hope that, nieve or not, someone might actually read this thread and consider it when deciding on what raft to purchase to potentially save their families/crew. How big are the balalsts? How is it deployed? It is theoretically 'rightable', but will that happen in teh real world? Can the 'self-rightable' really work in teh real world, and what has to happen for it to be righted? Maybe they make an informed decision to buy a raft-boat instead? Maybe they do neither. But it at least is a more informed decision.

Paul commented earlier about me (and excuse as I do not have the exact quote) refining my opinion more in line with the point you and he were talking about. He called it a Internet miracle. Well Paul & WHL, I have never had a problem doing that. I have had some darned good debates on here before which really did end up changing my point of view. I am not here to win any arguments. If I feeel strongly about something, I may stay my ground. But I have always tried to stand back and see alternative point of view. I have also managed to get through to a few people and change them.

I believe the failure of the internet is that you cannot inflect tone, that people will do and say things that they would not do in person (God forbid), and that some people pretend to know stuff but have only discovered it via the web which can have biased information, if accurate at all. There also seems to be this pride on the internet of winning the argument, through whatever means necessary, and geting in the last word. I don't buy that - though I am as guilty as anyone of letting some commetns get under my skin. I'm still human!

I hope you will not restrict yourself to browsing. Not here. That is not what this place is about. We try to have a more friendly and gentlemanly discussion, but that does not always work. I will say that the atmosphere here is different than SA which is why I participate here and not SA. The atmosphere here is generally very friendly. I have met many people here and call them on the phone from time to time to say hello. We joke around, but more family-friendly than other places.

Get to know us and me. Don;t let a very contentious debate shadow your view on the whole. And do not be afraid to tell me I am wrong if you feel I am! I am not perfect - just a guy cruising with his kids again and enjoying a little blessing and fortune that we have been given. You cruised with your family. I bet you know what I mean!

All the best to you and Paul and thank you for your participation and first hand input.

Brian
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  #159  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Sleavin's book is a very chilling tale. If you don't know about the story, it was detailed in a book called Ten Degrees of Reckoning by Hester Rumberg. The dust jacket intro says:
The story sure is a sad one, although not that well written. Looking at this one in a simplistic way, the choice to mount the radar display below decks was the small item that started the whole chain of events that caused the disaster.

Paul L
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Old 04-27-2010
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I'd point out the writing was mostly done by Hester Rumberg, not Judith Sleavin. I'd also agree that having radar aboard but not easily visible from the helm is a mistake at best. What is the point of having it, if it cannot be used while underway??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_L View Post
The story sure is a sad one, although not that well written. Looking at this one in a simplistic way, the choice to mount the radar display below decks was the small item that started the whole chain of events that caused the disaster.

Paul L
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