6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea - Page 10 - SailNet Community
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post #91 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

"The biggest mystery to us is why no EPIRB signal has been received"
No mystery there, EPIRBs fail. There is the fmaous and well-documented case of ACR EPRIBs that did not transmit--even though the test light said they were working. And I've seen externally mounted EPRIBs on commercial vessels, hanging upside-down intheir cradles (which is normal) with WATER in the strobe capsule, indicating the interior and electronics probably were waterlogged and useless. Move the EPIRB below where it is safe and dry, and it may never surface to transmit.

All it would take is one rogue wave (I have no idea if there are rogues in the Tasman Sea but would expect so) to roll the boat, trapping all the electronics and crew in the hull.

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post #92 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

Wow, those observations about the mast step deforming the hull enough to open the garboard seam is revealing. It suggests major structural problems with the backbone of this boat. Mast pressure should not be able to deflect the keel.

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post #93 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

The stupid thing about EPIRBs is they can't be tested except for once.

The test uses so much battery that it reduces its life. Every other bit fo safety kit you can test every trip (except flares)

The other problem is they are so expensive that the rip-off companies who make them are feathering their nests while we suffer.
They should eb $100 each and then we could have lots.

Finally, they are a waste of time being stuffed below attached to some wall or in the Nav station. They should be attached to each and every sailor.

I dont rely on one of anything.... except my EPIRB.

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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 07-10-2013 at 09:12 AM.
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post #94 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
The stupid thing about EPIRBs is they can't be tested except for once.

The test uses so much battery that it reduces its life. Every other bit fo safety kit you can test every trip (except flares)

The other problem is they are so expensive that the rip-off companies who make them are feathering their nests while we suffer.
They should eb $100 each and then we could have lots.

Finally, they are a waste of time being stuffed below attached to some wall or in the Nav station. They should be attached to each and every sailor.

I dont rely on one of anything.... except my EPIRB.
It's like so many things that stifle safety in favor of corporate profit. These companies think since we sail, we must have deep pockets. Not only should they be more affordable, they should be rechargeable or have simple battery replacement capability. Liferafts are the same story. I almost gagged when I got a quote on updating my raft cert. Safety comes second when these companies choose to rip off consumers. Capitalism at its best.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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post #95 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Some interesting and rather provocative observations/hypotheses from the legendary Warwick Tompkins, Jr, a guy who definitely knows wood boats, and was somewhat familiar with NINA...
Quote:
Thirdly, he told me that they had sheathed the entire hull, and I believe the keel, in a quarter inch of fiberglass. 'That's what enabled us to do this trip,' he told me. That suggests to me that the underlying 86-year-old hull was not in the best condition."
If this and the other things Tompkins said are true, and I have no reason to doubt them, I retract and rethink everything I have said about this event here.
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post #96 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

"The stupid thing about EPIRBs is they can't be tested except for once."
Check again, the newer ones can be tested repeatedly. Yes, each test uses one burst of battery. A battery that is supposed to be making repeated bursts every minute for 48 hours. If the Wiki is right, they transmit once every 50 seconds, which would be some 3400+ transmissions in the course of 48 hours. So if you tested it once a month and consumed 24? 36? bursts? You'd still only be shaving 1% off the battery life.
You could, of course, also use a 406MHz receiver to monitor your own test of an old one, just do it in the basement of a room with a stamped-tin ceiling to keep the signal in. (No, actually, the USCG had promised to look into providing "casks" for that purpose in each district, but apparently dropped the ball.)
Actually...any "Class 1" cell phone or land-mobile radio service business, a place where they actually do real repairs not just swappie-swappie, has a room with copper-sheathed walls that they use for transmitter tests, you could always try to chase down one of those and offer some compensation as well.

Sheathing a wood boat in frg, dunno. I've heard folks with professional reputations say that's guaranteed to TRAP water and compromise what is left of the hull. And if the glass cracks for any reason, you're helixed. (PG-13 acronym.) Not to mention, unless they vacuum bagged the boat or rotated the hull upside down...really, glassing something that big while restraining gravity?? I think the phrase is "Yeah, but..."
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post #97 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

I've known three people who have completely sheathed a large boat in glass but NOT with only 1/4" which is totally insufficient. The entire hull was sheathed on these boats with enough glass to create a structural shell. This method works very well and can essentially build a hull around a hull, fastening the new glass hull with bronze ring nails after the first couple of layers spaced closely. If they did indeed put a thin layer of glass over a failing structure, it indicates there were huge structural problems. Maybe the keel was worm-eaten/soft which would coincide with the mast step problem. It would also explain a quick, catastrophic splitting apart of the hull.

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post #98 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

I confess to limited experience here, but if I was to ever consider sheathing a timber hull in glass then I'd want to make damn sure the timber was good and dry with any areas of rot or worm excised. Surely (as noted by HS and Smurph) trapping an existing problem inside a fibreglass covering is bound to create ongoing problems, surely.

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post #99 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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I occasionally find Mr. Long egotistical, arrogant and argumentative, but he gets a pass because he is far more often right than wrong, and has the practical experience and credentials to back his play.
Thanks. Nicest thing anyone has said about me all day.
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post #100 of 196 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
If this and the other things Tompkins said are true, and I have no reason to doubt them, I retract and rethink everything I have said about this event here.
Very good of you! Not many people ever return to such a thread when "new" info comes up. It is hard to rethink things!


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Thanks. Nicest thing anyone has said about me all day.
Now this is funny!
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