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  #31  
Old 12-03-2012
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Re: Follow the ARC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
A question/comment about the log entry broke sailor posted. The watch person determined it was a sailing vessel because he saw no masthead light. I am guessing he was sailing on a starboard tack and the approaching vessel was to windward, and that he how he established he was the standon vessel. I don't think I would have relied on having the right of way as long as he did. I think I would have at least prepared to take actions a lot sooner....probably as soon as I realized I couldn't make radio contact with the boat and it wasn't altering course.
I'm with you on this one, Slayer. I used the fleet tracker to look back at who passed close to Little Pea (the UK boat who posted the log brokesailor referenced). The situation was as Slayer guessed. A Dutch boat, Lady Ann (LA), passed close to Little Pea (LP) twice that night. Once coming from the south of LP's track heading WNW and passing ahead of her about 5 miles and then again several hours later LA approached LP on a SWerly course from north (LP's starboard side). The winds at the time were on each boats quarter and both were obviously broad reaching / running. From the wind angles it appears that LP was leeward boat and on a starboard tack, LA on port. As downwind, starboard tack boat, LP had rights!

Whether either boat waited too long to make a move is a tough call. I've found that at night it's really hard to judge distance, especially when it's a single light you're seeing. Hard to tell if the light is 2 nm or 1/2 nm away. Radar will resolve this quickly, which is why I always have it on and in standby at night. If the target is two miles away I can ponder the situation, if it's 1/2 I will need to make a decision quick.

It's also hard at night to judge a constant bearing. I've noticed during the day that what seems like a constant bearing on a boat 1-2 miles away becomes a rapidly changing bearing once they're inside a 1/4 mile. In a big sea like that LA and LP were in, it's particularly hard to judge a constant bearing because the boat's moving around so much.

When I'm in a situation like that LP found herself in, I do as Slayer recommends and start to take action early. I might not change the rig or course immediately, but I will think about getting additional crew on deck (especially if it's night and they're asleep as they will need additional time to dress and get ready). I'll also start reviewing the steps to take, which in this case would be to first roll up the genoa (assuming you have roller furling). I rig the pole-out genoa so that I can leave the pole in place while rolling up the sail. This will slow you down a bit, and permit a quick tack if the need arises. (Yea, I know, rules say the stand on boat maintains course and speed). Next, I'll make sure the preventer is ready to be let go or slacked (I rig the preventer so it can be controlled from the cockpit) in case I need to tack or gybe. Then I'd do what LP did -- try to raise them on the radio and then with lights. I should note that shining a spot light on the bridge of another ship is not allowed in the rules, but flashing it on your sails or in their general direction is certainly OK -- and if that doesn't get a reaction, well...... [The reason you shouldn't "embarass" (see Rule 36 Interntional) another boat is is could cause them to lose night vision and see nothing but spots for the next ten minutes. Not good if you're in a possible collision situation].

LP said they got a reaction from LA with the light but LA took no action. It could have been that LA was getting ready to take action, like I mentioned above, but was waiting until they got within a few hundred yards to see which way the crossing was going to happen. LP had no way of knowing whether this was happening or if LA was tracking them on radar, as they got no reply on VHF. I think that's were LA messed up -- how hard is it to get on the radio to call the boat that's "at Lat X, Long Y and just flashed a light at me"?

Finally, LP said in their log post they were concerned that backing a prevented main would break something. If your preventer might break when it suddenly goes aback, you need a stronger preventer -- because that's what it's supposed to do. Intentionally backing a prevented mainsail can be tricky in a situation like LPs because you may or may not have full control of the boat once the main's aback -- remember they had a 12-15 ft sea running at the time and 25-30 kts of wind. Backing the prevented main may put the boat across the swell, broaching with the main on the wrong side of the boat. Might be just a tad dangerous. Could produce a knock down and with the main on the wrong side of the boat, it's not good. It may have been a better move to do a controlled gybe and then continue away from LA before gybing back.

So there you are....see how easy it is, sitting in your warm den with keyboard at hand and with a glass of wine at easy reach, to second guess a skipper who's tired, sleepy and rudely awakened by a helmsman who's allowed another boat to get within a 1/2 mile on a collision course in a 15 ft sea and 30 knots of wind?

All's well that ends well.
PCP and Faster like this.
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  #32  
Old 12-03-2012
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Follow the ARC

Great post Billy!
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  #33  
Old 12-03-2012
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Follow the ARC

I noticed that one boat on the ARC retired due to being dismasted and is in the Cape Verde islands. Anyone know any inside info?
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  #34  
Old 12-03-2012
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Re: Follow the ARC

I saw a boat that returned with electrical trouble.
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  #35  
Old 12-03-2012
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Follow the ARC

That's another boat. Put your cursor on top of the boat at Cape Verde and it says it retired due to dismasting. Also look at its track.
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  #36  
Old 12-04-2012
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Re: Follow the ARC

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post

LP said they got a reaction from LA with the light but LA took no action. It could have been that LA was getting ready to take action, like I mentioned above, but was waiting until they got within a few hundred yards to see which way the crossing was going to happen. LP had no way of knowing whether this was happening or if LA was tracking them on radar, as they got no reply on VHF. I think that's were LA messed up -- how hard is it to get on the radio to call the boat that's "at Lat X, Long Y and just flashed a light at me"?
Yeah, that's the inexplicable part of this encounter, to me...

Well, at least they were showing their tricolor light... These kind of encounters seem to happen every year in the ARC, but I remember a few years ago one boat being similarly "stalked" by another that was running dark, showing no lights whatsoever... Perhaps after shooting their wad on the entry fee, they had nothing left over for those pricier LEDs, huh? (grin)

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
It's also hard at night to judge a constant bearing. I've noticed during the day that what seems like a constant bearing on a boat 1-2 miles away becomes a rapidly changing bearing once they're inside a 1/4 mile. In a big sea like that LA and LP were in, it's particularly hard to judge a constant bearing because the boat's moving around so much.
You've certainly got that right... Mark has asserted that this close encounter "clearly" would have been averted had only both boats been equipped AIS and transponders, and mocks us wankers who might still rely on such a hopelessly outdated tool as a hand-bearing compass in such a situation...

However, with the sea state and conditions as described, and the courses being steered by both at the time fluctuating constantly and markedly, the utility of a technology as accurate and precise as AIS will be greatly diminished... The information displayed will be fluctuating wildly, between showing a collision course, and a safe crossing, or no crossing at all... And, of course, the effort to interpret the information displayed, and "average it out" in order to determine the proper course of action, will necessarily involve an inordinate amount of time staring at an AIS display screen, rather than across the water, as the situation is developing...

In this particular situation, I think a well-dampened hand bearing compass - used in conjunction with a pair of trusty old Mark I eyeballs, by a wanker who fully appreciates the danger of a "Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range" target at sea, at night - might have still have been the most useful tool for either crew to have had at their disposal...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-04-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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  #37  
Old 12-04-2012
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Re: Follow the ARC

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
You've certainly got that right... Mark has asserted that this close encounter "clearly" would have been averted had only both boats been equipped AIS and transponders, and mocks us wankers who might still rely on such a hopelessly outdated tool as a hand-bearing compass in such a situation...

However, with the sea state and conditions as described, and the courses being steered by both at the time fluctuating constantly and markedly, the utility of a technology as accurate and precise as AIS will be greatly diminished... The information displayed will be fluctuating wildly, between showing a collision course, and a safe crossing, or no crossing at all... And, of course, the effort to interpret the information displayed, and "average it out" in order to determine the proper course of action, will necessarily involve an inordinate amount of time staring at an AIS display screen, rather than across the water, as the situation is developing...

In this particular situation, I think a well-dampened hand bearing compass - used in conjunction with a pair of trusty old Mark I eyeballs, by a wanker who fully appreciates the danger of a "Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range" target at sea, at night - might have still have been the most useful tool for either crew to have had at their disposal...
A radar with MARPA would have been the best tool in my opinion, in conjunction with the eyes and the constant bearing. It would not only have showed you if it was a collision course but also the other boat speed and eventually the time for the collision. At night it is difficult to calculate distances but not with a radar. I had MARPA on the radar on my previous boat and not on this one. That reduces greatly the radar's efficiency as a navigation tool.

Regards

Paulo
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  #38  
Old 12-04-2012
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Re: Follow the ARC

It's interesting that a cursory glance of the leaderboard is showing all monos out front. The multis are pulling up the middle.
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  #39  
Old 12-04-2012
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Re: Follow the ARC

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
It's interesting that a cursory glance of the leaderboard is showing all monos out front. The multis are pulling up the middle.
Don't forget that the racing division set sail two days before. Size by size the fast cats are ahead of monohulls as it was to be expected on a downwind sail "kind" of race.

Last year a XC 42 made a fantastic passage. This year we have a XC 50 doing the same. I guess that I am not being wrong into considering the X yacht cruising range as one of the best range of contemporary blue water boats

Check out its position, in the middle of the fastest performance boats, without being one. It is the magenta one with a crown. Next to it, also with a crown a light grey one, a Swann 48 is also making a great crossing.

Regards

Paulo
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  #40  
Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Follow the ARC

From Cruising Compass:
Three yachts taking part in the ARC transatlantic rally have diverted to the Cape Verde Islands, one after being dismasting, another after complete rudder failure and a third with a crew injury.

Racing yacht Spock, a Farr 585CC owned by German sailor Thomas Schumacher, lost her mast on Friday and the crew managed to cut it away before motoring to Mindello. World Cruising Club (WCC) manager Andrew Bishop comments: “They dealt with the MRCC and were very self-contained.”

She will be joined by Modus Vivendi, a Motiva 49, a cruising division boat skippered by Norwegian Dag Rorslett. The entire rudder of the boat dropped out of the boat, a heavy Danish steel-built pilothouse cruiser. The crew reportedly managed to stop up the hole.

Fortunately they have Hydrovane self-steering gear, which has a transom mounted auxiliary rudder, so they are sailing gently under staysail to the Cape Verdes.

On another yacht a crewmember dislocated his shoulder. His crewmates were unable to get it back in the socket and they have also diverted to the Cape Verdes for medical help.

The rest of the cruising fleet has had good tradewinds since their first day at sea on Tuesday after a delayed start, with strong north-easterlies driving them quickly on their way to Saint Lucia.

Meanwhile, the racing division has had a mixed bag of weather, but the leading group including a Swan 80, the JP54 and new Pogo 50 could be on course to finish in around 11 days, possibly close to the record.

But the big story is a real David and Goliath battle being fought by the Class 40 Vaquita, skippered on this third ARC by ex-VOR sailor Andreas Hanakamp and crewed by some top dinghy sailors. This crew is making a stand-out performance by sticking, on their own, to a very northerly route.

The Akilaria Class 40 is currently the race leader and lying well ahead of the 2nd placed boat, Berenice a Swan 80.
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