I could not find in a quick scan of this thread - where and when he bought the boat. If it was in the time frame 2005 to 2007 and in the southern/eastern USA or the Caribbean, it is likely that the boat was a Hurricane Ivan boat.
- - It is very important when searching for a boat to get the history of where the boat was during its life. Over 600 boats were wrecked on Grenada during Hurricane Ivan. More than half were in boatyards and simply fell off their jackstands. Being there in the aftermath of the Hurricane I saw up close and personal how just falling off jackstands can severely damage the insides of a boat. The most typical damage was fractured tabbing on all the bulkheads. Even when the outside hull looked intact the insides were a mess.
- - These boats were declared total losses and then packed onboard DYT and taken up island or motored down to Trinidad or other places. A few were locally repaired but most went back to the USA for sale to companies specializing in cleaning up the boat cosmetically and selling the boat, as is, where is at very attractive prices. Even the locally repaired and other repaired boats were not correctly repaired and thus were candidates for future disasters should they encounter large seas.
- - So add to your list when considering buying a used boat - what is its history? Get a legally binding clause in the sales contract that it was not a hurricane wrecked/damaged boat. Make your surveyor check bulkheads and other damage hidden inside if you suspect the boat was ever in a hurricane zone.
11-06-2009 02:58 PM
I agree that time is running out. I know the boat well and I am actualy amazed that its been out there this long and hasn't gone under yet. That said, if the water just got to the floor boards after 4 months it will be another month before the main house battery bank will be under water; from there its all over. Im sure that motoring it anywhere is out of the question as the starter and aux bank are gone by now. Anyways, in speaking with george he's pretty much had it with Gringo and has said his farewell. If anybodys know of somebody out there, re-direct them to the boat as there's plenty of goods on booard. Im sure George would be happier if somebody got something rather than the abyss. If done maybe they culd send him his photo album (family photos and stuff) as a thanks....
11-04-2009 03:44 PM
If there is water above the floorboards; she might be gone before you get there. It's closer to 550 miles due east of Bermuda (~80deg bearing) so the best possible way would be to fly to Bermuda and then hire a salver to go retrieve it. But that is all at the discretion of the salvage company as it was when he was trying to get in to Bermuda to begin with.
For the most part I think the vessel is lost; unless it turns up off the coast of the Azores in a few months.
Sorry to hear this story; but it does serve as a reminder that the devil is in the details when it comes to going out across oceans and into unknown ports.
11-04-2009 03:23 PM
Found at Sea
Hello all, I wanted to share some further details on the subject. First and foremost, the Vagabond now rates higher in my books as good off shore sailing vessel. The reason I say this is because we have just recieved information from the US Coast Gaurd that the E-pirb on GRINGO activated and was located at 33-12.8N & 055-22.4W at approx 1900z on the 1st of November 09. In communicating with George he stated that "the E-pirb was placed in a duffel bag and left on the cabin floor when he was about to abandon ship" he left it there because the rescue team did not allow him to take anything but critical documents and paperwork. It's in Georges opinion that the boat is still taking on water and the water has reached the floor boards where he left the duffel bag with the E-pirb and it self activated.
As for my primary purpose and question; does anyone know of the cost and feasibility in rescuing a vessel some 525 miles ENE of Bermuda. It would be great to offer some real information as to the possibilty of recovering Georges boat. I understand that this is far reaching to say the least but I have to ask.
As for logistics, well water evacuation (gas pump) and a tow would be the quickest answer but with the weather off shore in these waters I don't think it's possible. If anyone has any input please share it. I will update later with detailed information as it's made available. Until then lets learn from our mistakes.
10-23-2009 01:59 PM
I too feel very deeply for George and his loss. He is a hell of a man IMHO. It is quite a feat to singlehand a 42 footer under ideal conditions.
No second guessing here, I was not there either and have never had to deal with his situation. If we sail long enough our turn will come, through lack of perfection, illness, weather, system failures, or some combination of those.
Walk a mile in my shoes comes to mind. And when my time comes, and it will, I know George and Gringo will come to mind.
10-22-2009 09:28 PM
A boat that is weighted down too much (and 4" below the bootop qualifies) is just not going to react properly to the waves and will begin a chain of events that is not headed in the right direction.
I completely agree with the train of thought that states that the most dangerous thing on a boat is a schedule. While being stubborn and strongheaded can get you out of some problems it probably serves to get you into a whole bunch of others. I feel bad for George and the end of the dream he worked so hard for, but......
10-22-2009 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by ericread
Where can I access the video? I was unable to find it in perusing this thread...
Eric - see the first post for the links to the videos.
Gil - another thing that struck me in all this was the comment that at hearing all the banging below during the storm that George felt that the boat was coming apart.
This mental aspect of single-handing in bad conditions is very interesting I can just imagine that kind of tricks your mind plays on you when you're on high alert 24 hours a day with little sleep and little control over your situation.
I think I dig the idea of crew. As you can see, I need my beauty sleep.
Great write up Gil - thanks for the insight.
10-22-2009 08:34 PM
About the original thread:
I am a newbie. As one poster said, "This SHOULD be required reading." It is very sobering from all directions; both the log and the commentary by Melrna.
I am sure many of us have made the same decisions about an event as George at some point in lives. George merely chose this event. It was dramatic.
Thanks George and also Melrna, It was both inspiring as well as tragic. It was real!
10-22-2009 07:18 PM
Makes you think about the effect a sailor's personality has on his or her boat and their ability to make safe passage. A big part of seamanship would seem to be the ability to master your unseamanlike impulses. Note to self: when at sea, think first and foremost of my ship's well-being. Heave-to and drink rainwater for a few days. Make for Spain when my boat tells me she wants to go to Spain.
I have to add that George's story is one hell of a good read. He seems rather modest as he tells the story.
10-22-2009 03:56 PM
How increase a boats performance
Smackdaddy; not sure if the captain was intentionally trying to sink her, but you are right she did get a bit of a beating. I don't think that the contact you hear and see would have done so much damage to that boat, it was pretty stout, but I could be wrong. As Melissa stated earlier and I agree, the boat was a tank, it felt solid under your feet and had very little movement to it. Of course this could be due to the following.......
As for the bootline depth, well you have a good eye. It's funny that you mention this as it has always been one of our funny comments with George and Gringo. The man had the boat loaded up with soo much stuff (tools, materials, dive gear, extra parts, supplies, etc, etc, etc....) that the top of the bootline sat a good 4 inches below the water while in the slip.
I often joke about how he secretly and knowingly was making his boat a better performing sailboat; we sailors know that there are many way to make a boat perorm better of which two are to reduce our lateral windage or area from water line to the deck and secondly we could increase Keel depth. That said, doesn't overloading a boat enought to sink her by 16" decrease the windage and increase the keel depth by the same amount.... If you agree and/or you are laughing, you now know how we loved to and will continue to joke with our friend George.
On a serious educations note: I made a comment to a few friends including George about how overloading a boat by so much could affect the roll frequency of the boat. It seems to me that the wave influence on the boat would not be in time with the motion or movement of the boat. Or in other words the boat would be traveling, lets say to port from a previous wave and linger in its motion so long that the next wave would hit it ackwardly. I also feel that the boat would plow through a wave rather than float up over it, which is may be why his deck was constantly awash. I'm no nautical engineer, but I'm sure that a boats boyancy is important and altering it by so much may affect its performance if not safety. Again, this is only my opinion, I may be wrong and if so someone please do not hesitate to educate me on this matter.
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