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  #1  
Old 10-03-2010
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Tall ship sinks

Well its the end of our first season sailing on Georgian Bay and its been great, but not without its downside. The downside in this case is that when the wife is watching TV she gets all excited whenever she see's a sailboat. It could be in a program or commercial, as soon as a sailboats spotted she lets out a huge cry, then screems for me to come quickly( no lewd jokes please). I run to the family room thinking there's an intruder, or a bat got in the house, or the Toronto Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup only to find out its a commercial. Luckily I'm an easy going guy or I'd be dead of a heart attack by now. Well this happened agian last night only this time it was a current event program dealing with Canadian tall ship that sank of the coast of South America last year with a crew of school kids, so I stayed and watched. The large sailing ship ( don't ask me what size, I may sail but I'm no sailior ) was knocked down in a gale by what looked to be a downburst, then sank in about 15 min. Everybody got off the ship and where eventualy rescued. Unfortunatly the show was short on details of what happened and long on human intrest stories.
My wife starts to get concerned about our own sailing, asking if a sailing ship that size sinks in a Gale what chance has our 30' sailboat got in bad weather. As a husband and father I'm required to have answers to any question, luckily they don't have to be correct, so I babbled on about keels, sail area, how tough small sailboats are etc., anything to reassure the wife. However the question is still in on my mind, how can small sailboats get knocked down, capsized, and survive terrible storms yet a large sailing ship gets knocked down and sink in 15 minutes? So if any of the old sea dogs, or salts or whatever can answer this question it would help reassure me so I can do a better job of reassuring the wife.
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Old 10-03-2010
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That is why, you as the head of the family should ban your wife watching news and reading papers. Just give them the credit cards and all the sales flyers to keep them busy. It works for me for 29 years.

Some dare devils live to the the old age, some die so young, many different situation. Likewise when it comes to boating or voyage. Without knowing exactly what happen to the tall ship in question, there is not much to say. All I can say is sailing into the open sea has never been safer than it is now. Of cause, if the multiple mistakes and bad luck fall upon you, it can be fatal.

One more thing, ride a motorcycle is far dangerous than sailing in the open sea. Just look around you, how many are talking or texting while they drive.
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Old 10-03-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chamonix View Post
.
.
I run to the family room thinking there's an intruder, or a bat got in the house, or the Toronto Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup
.
.

The Leafs winning the cup

As to your question, a couple of reasons, as you have already said;
- Tall ships have a lot of sail area and rigging making a righting after a knock down harder.
- Tall ships tend to have multiple entry points to below decks allowing for quicker flooding.


Tell the wife that her odds of dieing from a capsize are about the same as the leafs getting past the second round and she will be ok.

John

Last edited by johnnyandjebus; 10-03-2010 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 10-03-2010
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Don't tell about this.

Three British charters weren't so lucky. According the the linked BVI Platinum news article, they experienced a knock-down, with in-flooding through open hatches. Their Moorings charter boat sank in about 160' of water in the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The charterers called a "Mayday", abandoned ship into their dinghy, and were picked up by a nearby boat.

I spoke with someone on a cat about 250 yards from the boat that sank. They were hit with a 50 MPH plus gust that blew out their jib. The accident boat was knocked flat. They watched the entire sinking. It appeared the sails scooped a lot of water and were not released. The boat sank in about 1 minute. The boat was re floated about a year later.
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Old 10-03-2010
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It can happen but so can a lot more things and the probability of those is a lot higher. A friend was hit by a microburst in the North Channel a few years ago. Windy enough that his inflatable and outboard were blowing in the air a few feet above the water like a kite on the painter. It didn't last long, only a couple of minutes, and no one in the anchorage died or was injured. There was some property damage though.
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A boat with a lot of beam can be knocked down and flooded. A lot of boats have large companionways and nothing to prevent water entering from the cockpit . A narrower beam boat with closed hatches etc can survive a knockdown even a roll. But wide beam comes at a price.
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Old 10-03-2010
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If you would like to reassure your wife that it is safe to go out sailing on your 30 footer then simply explain that she will more probably die from heart attack, cancer, stroke, emphysema, and borchitis than from accidental death. Accidents account for only 4.4% of deaths each year. The drive to the boat is the most dangerous part of your day of sailing as automobile accidents account for about one half of all accidental deaths and that drowning only accounts for about 3% of accidents. That makes drowning about 3% of 4.4% or 1.32% of all deaths annually. We can assume that motor boats and swimming pools take the lion's share of drowning deaths. Would be my guess that death by sailing would be about 0.000n% of all deaths each year.
All that considered, keep a weather watch and be safe and maybe none of the above will come your way.
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Old 10-03-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonSailer View Post
A boat with a lot of beam can be knocked down and flooded. A lot of boats have large companionways and nothing to prevent water entering from the cockpit . A narrower beam boat with closed hatches etc can survive a knockdown even a roll. But wide beam comes at a price.

Could you explain this a little further please
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Old 10-04-2010
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Moonsailer, what boat are you sailing? Just curious....

Any boat that gets enough water in it to cancel out its "empty space" buoyancy is going to sink. That's a given. Some boats (think lifeboats) have enough intrinsic, un-floodable buoyancy built into the hull to prevent them from sinking this way, as long as they're not overloaded with heavy items that would overwhelm that buoyancy; some are built of naturally buoyant materials, such as the reed boats of Lake Titicaca in South America.

Intrinsic buoyancy is "expensive" in terms of the space it robs from the interior of a boat - take my MacGregor 26X as an example; most of the storage space under the V-berth, plus a lot of spaces where I might be able to add storage space otherwise, are filled with flotation foam. Roger MacGregor was quoted by Larry & Lin Pardey (in The Capable Cruiser) as having said that the flotation foam "helps him sleep sounder at night."

With the hatches closed and latched and the companionway closed, I'm pretty sure most if not all monohulls could be rolled 360 degrees and still wind up afloat on their keels. It would not be a comfortable ride, though. This happened to an old friend of mine, sailing solo from Bermuda to England - he managed to rig a jury mast and sail back, though he needed and received help from at least one passing freighter. When he did get back to Bermuda, his wife made him sell the boat....

(And on the other hand, whatever did happen to Joshua Slocum?)
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Old 10-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chamonix View Post
Well its the end of our first season sailing on Georgian Bay and its been great, but not without its downside. The downside in this case is that when the wife is watching TV she gets all excited whenever she see's a sailboat. It could be in a program or commercial, as soon as a sailboats spotted she lets out a huge cry, then screems for me to come quickly( no lewd jokes please). I run to the family room thinking there's an intruder, or a bat got in the house, or the Toronto Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup only to find out its a commercial. Luckily I'm an easy going guy or I'd be dead of a heart attack by now. Well this happened agian last night only this time it was a current event program dealing with Canadian tall ship that sank of the coast of South America last year with a crew of school kids, so I stayed and watched. The large sailing ship ( don't ask me what size, I may sail but I'm no sailior ) was knocked down in a gale by what looked to be a downburst, then sank in about 15 min. Everybody got off the ship and where eventualy rescued. Unfortunatly the show was short on details of what happened and long on human intrest stories.
My wife starts to get concerned about our own sailing, asking if a sailing ship that size sinks in a Gale what chance has our 30' sailboat got in bad weather. As a husband and father I'm required to have answers to any question, luckily they don't have to be correct, so I babbled on about keels, sail area, how tough small sailboats are etc., anything to reassure the wife. However the question is still in on my mind, how can small sailboats get knocked down, capsized, and survive terrible storms yet a large sailing ship gets knocked down and sink in 15 minutes? So if any of the old sea dogs, or salts or whatever can answer this question it would help reassure me so I can do a better job of reassuring the wife.
Have her read about Jessica Watson. Her 34' S&S suffered several knockdowns in her circumnavigation (at least one of which was 180 degrees), but she was never dismasted and was able to complete her journey.

Now...that is a testament to her skill and fortitude, the strength of the S&S 34 design, her team's preparation for the voyage, and the ability of her rigger. And of course luck.

Old Navy Story: I was riding the back of one of my squadron's P-3s (large 4-engine prop patrol plane) as a safety observer while some pilots got in touch-and-go training. On one approach, the pilot (an experienced Lt. Cdr no less!) came in very hot and literally bounced us down the runway. I was seriously surprised we didn't lose a tire. He quips "If we were an F-18 that would have been a 3-wire (landing on a carrier)" The other pilots laughed until I quipped "Yes, sir. But if you throw a cat off the roof it lands on its feet and walks away. Throw a cow off, and somebody's gonna get hurt"

Here... your 30-foot boat is the cat, and the tall ship is the cow.
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