Sinking of Rule 62 - Page 51 - SailNet Community
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post #501 of 636 Old 12-20-2010
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One poster even wants to be in an Alden??? Do they even make those things anymore? I agree, it didn't matter what boat Dick Ross was sailing, it had no bearing on the outcome of his sheer stupidity: Entering a cut at night in a Rage. PERIOD. Please close the thread now.
Yo, lighten up Crankypants. I mean, on the one hand, you're right (as are others above) that it was the decision, not the boat, that caused the tragedy.

However, there are many, many factors that led to that decision. That's what is being discussed. And it's a pretty damn good discussion.


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post #502 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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I have enjoyed this discussion. I was on passage to Tortola when Rule 62 hit the reef. During that time, once we got across the Stream, the seas were at least 15 feet from the NW, and very regular, with a 14 second interval. If the skipper of Rule 62 had continued SE, keeping those big seas on his quarter instead of heading SW with the seas on his beam, then his ship would have had a very comfortable motion, and three things would have happened: the crew would have been less seasick and exhausted, they would probably have made better decisions, and they would have wound up in Tortola.

I agree that the boat didn't cause the shipwreck, but I think she contributed to crew failure, with those low cockpit coamings, lack of adequate handholds, narrow side decks, open transom, and exposed helm stations.

Consider also the interior. We don't know what provision the skipper made for rigging lee cloths, but the promotional photos of this boat make me wonder where the crew could possibly have obtained rest. The master's bunk looks like a big hockey puck. I doubt that one could stay in that bunk, much less sleep, with 15 foot swells on the beam. The crew must have been rolling their guts out. Before going offshore it is important to set the boat up so the crew can rest securely. Failure to do so will lead to crew exhaustion.


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post #503 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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Originally Posted by doublewide View Post

I agree that the boat didn't cause the shipwreck, but I think she contributed to crew failure, with those low cockpit coamings, lack of adequate handholds, narrow side decks, open transom, and exposed helm stations.

Consider also the interior. We don't know what provision the skipper made for rigging lee cloths, but the promotional photos of this boat make me wonder where the crew could possibly have obtained rest. The master's bunk looks like a big hockey puck. I doubt that one could stay in that bunk, much less sleep, with 15 foot swells on the beam. The crew must have been rolling their guts out. Before going offshore it is important to set the boat up so the crew can rest securely. Failure to do so will lead to crew exhaustion.
This is probably the first post on the boat having a factor that I agree with. Does not matter how stable the platform or to what degree it was built to the 'old' cruising style, if you have not made sure you have good sea berths etc. you will get no rest and decision making will go downhill quickly.

For example my boat was built back when wide open spaces were not the norm however making sure we had good handholds and lee cloths for every berth was a task. We added additional lee cloths so centerline queen aft could be two offshore berths, both settee's in the saloon had lee cloths etc. In fact off the wind the aft stateroom queen was one of the best spots in the house.

But most important as said above and many times before if the skipper had not made the turn to the Bahamas everyone would probably be safe in the BVIs.

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post #504 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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But most important as said above and many times before if the skipper had not made the turn to the Bahamas everyone would probably be safe in the BVIs.
The turn to the Bahamas wasn't the issue IMHO...it was the final turn to enter the reef passage in a rage that was. There were options in the Bahamas that would have been safe in those conditions.

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post #505 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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One of the benefits of a forum such as this is that the time between a fatal incident and the benefit of understanding the potential causes and learning from it is greatly reduced.

This underscores the old tenet that 'in bad weather it's usually safer to stay out unless there's a damn good reason not to' for me.

AI
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post #506 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Assuming an experienced crew, for sure the crew is always the critical element, their skills and knowledge will usually be able to offset or overcome problems arising from the shortcomings of a boat… However, the balance of that equation can shift considerably when you’re talking about sailors with lesser experience, it is then that various attributes/characteristics of various boats can, indeed, become more important, and begin to "override" the skill of the sailors aboard…
With all due respect Jon I think we are coming at the same point from different directions. Crews and owners seem to focus on spending money on boats and gear. If they spent money instead on guided experience two things would evolve: 1. the "cut and paste" sailors who pontificate at length (not you Jon) would rapidly lose credibility and 2. they would be in a position to make better decisions based on education and experience.

Oh - and anyone that doesn't think that making a right turn and heading for anywhere in the Bahamas wasn't the causal factor needs to go back to Step 1. Period dot. Sure there were less bad choices that could have been made than the particular inlet that led to tragedy. The fact is that a poor choice was made to head for the Bahamas when staying in deep water and away from land was the better answer.

On this subject, since we don't have all the facts and we weren't all there, we can only evaluate what we do know. We don't know if Mr. Ross actually made the decision to run to the Bahamas. We only know that the decision was made. On a boat with friends and family the chain of command can be complicated. All we know is that the boat changed course and (second-hand) they reported that decision on the rally SSB Net. Demonstrably a bad choice.

I sat in Little Creek the day the Carib 1500 left (not part of the rally, just coincidentally heading to BVI at the same time) and made a different choice. I went home. Next week I'm going to make the run. The devil is of course in the details, but policy on the boat will be "when in doubt go out."

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post #507 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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Just wonder

1. If the coastguard has completed their investigation of this incident
2. If the Laura's family has spoken to the crews and captain of Rule 62.

I understand that the captain and crews have no obligation to keep us informed on the internet. But to the family, they should and they must. It is the right thing to do.

My deepest condolence to the family of Laura. May her tragedy teach us a lesson, so many will live.


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post #508 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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IConsider also the interior. We don't know what provision the skipper made for rigging lee cloths, but the promotional photos of this boat make me wonder where the crew could possibly have obtained rest. The master's bunk looks like a big hockey puck. I doubt that one could stay in that bunk, much less sleep, with 15 foot swells on the beam. The crew must have been rolling their guts out. Before going offshore it is important to set the boat up so the crew can rest securely. Failure to do so will lead to crew exhaustion.
Great post double. And a great follow up by sirius.

Is there a thread on SN (or good resource elsewhere) that discusses how to rig lee cloths on newer boats? Sirius' post about rigging lee cloths for a centerline berth (seemingly a bit more a challenge than a quarter berth) got me wondering how you'd do it.


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post #509 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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Quote:
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Is there a thread on SN (or good resource elsewhere) that discusses how to rig lee cloths on newer boats? Sirius' post about rigging lee cloths for a centerline berth (seemingly a bit more a challenge than a quarter berth) got me wondering how you'd do it.
On my boat, the lee clothes are attached to fittings below the settee in the salon and attach to fittings, including the overhead handrail, overhead. Aft around the centerline berth the lee clothes go to fittings on the inside of the transom and on the overhead near the forward bulkhead of the aft cabin. Those work great. We also end up with people sleeping on the floor in the salon and the walkthrough. Those end up being the most popular places. Camping pads work great there.

I often end up on the floor somewhere on deliveries of boats that aren't necessarily fitted out well for sailing offshore for days on end.

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post #510 of 636 Old 12-21-2010
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Quote:
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LOL!

It’s outside the scope of this thread, of course, but perhaps some other time you can elucidate the shortcomings of such a boat for sailing offshore?



FWIW, John G. Alden is tied with Carleton Mitchell at the top of the list of multiple Newport-Bermuda Race winners, with 3 wins apiece… However, I’m sure he never learned much about what characteristics, design, or construction elements might make a decent offshore sailing yacht, right?
Take a look at the boats that today (not 20 or 30 years ago) win the Newport-Bermuda race. That's a good begining. They are very different from that one.

Then you have to consider that a boat that is massively seaworthy but that it is conceived to be sailed with a crew of 10 is not normally a good option for a solo or small crew. It is a better choice to look at the Ocean racers that are conceived to be solo sailed or with a duo crew. That's better but not enough because those boats are very powerful and demand expert sailors to tame that power. You should look at the boats that are designed for being ocean raced by a small amateur crew (solo or duo)...and voilá, you have arrived to the boat that I had posted, the Elan 350.

Regards

Paulo

PS. I will not be able to reply for some days, I am going to France.

A Merry Christmas to everybody
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