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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Vessels Lost, Missing, or in Danger
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  #71  
Old 07-06-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
These arguments are largely based upon the assumption that EPIRBs never fail to activate, or the system is somehow immune to failure...

I believe that's a mistaken assumption...

EPIRBs Ain?t Necessarily EPIRB-ing Ľ Maritime Accident Casebook
This certainly could have been the case. An EPIRB that did not work would make a slow sinking scenario plausible. The only things I question in that case are what became of the liferaft? I assume they had one and why was no flotsam found? Maybe some will turn up but it is puzzling that in a full-scale search with a fair idea of position, nothing turned up. I don't know what kind of EPIRB they had but I am also assuming it was one which can be self-tested and that the captain did perform a recent test. This seems to have been a capable boat and crew, unlikely to have equipment neglect/failure of this nature.

We can only hope that the crew will be found floating in a liferaft with a malfunctioning EPIRB.
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  #72  
Old 07-06-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

Lost Yacht Nina An Unsafe 'Lead Mine' - national | Stuff.co.nz


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  #73  
Old 07-06-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

When wooden boats sink, they sink very quickly, especialy if they hit something. That is why I would never go to sea in anything which is not made of steel.
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Old 07-06-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
When wooden boats sink, they sink very quickly, especialy if they hit something. That is why I would never go to sea in anything which is not made of steel.
Titanic...enough said.
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  #75  
Old 07-06-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I do hope the family dont read this thread. I know they are reading others on the net.

I have a rule which I hold very strongly and I offer it to those about to cruise as a rule they should set in stone. Everything about cruising, or sailing is pretty flexible really, do things the way you like and the way they work for you.... except this rule:

Only sail in the correct season.

I use the Pilot charts and basically only ever sail when there is a 1 or a 0 in the % Gale maps. The most I have ever sailed in was a 2 for about 100 nms.

I hope this incident works out and the boat arrives in harbour soon. However, there is some story to their long passage... and most likely related to their late departure. The late departure was due to replacing the engine. They should have waited till next season.


The Pilot below is June. Ninas course was from the east side of New Zealand, over the top and due west to Newcastle just north of Sydney.


Mark
Very sad! Serious EIJ! Mark is correct! Nuf said.

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Old 07-06-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I read the article, which seemed to me to be very snotty, especially in light of the several souls now presumed lost and most likely perished. It also seemed that whoever wrote it had no idea that "several tons" of lead in the keel is what keeps the boat upright, and will also return the boat to an upright position in the event of a knockdown.

We have all seen video of powerboats with no weighted keel turned turtle, but sailboats will roll, and then especially if dismasted, right themselves more often than not. I cannot speak to the accusations against the Captain/Owner of Nina having been negligent in his maintenance, though others here do know him and may be able to give firsthand accounts of his maintenance habits. I can say that those who continually state that wooden ships and especially very well built wooden yachts are somehow inferior to vessels using metal in their hulls are both disingenuous and dishonest. A well designed vessel using quality wood will in fact often outlast a metal hulled vessel. Period. Metal actually does suffer from micro-fractures caused by repeated stress and in every single case metal will eventually suffer to the point which it will become brittle and crack. Wood has its drawbacks, but stress fractures in quality timbers are far less likely than one might imagine. The reason for this is that metal molecules align themselves in the process of manufacture and cyclic loading and cause cracks to occur, as seen in the photo here:




Note how the image shows the material is striated and layered, when metal does this it will literally pull apart and tear, that is what a crack is, it is a tear that begins at the molecular level as the material is repeatedly compressed under loads. This is what metal fatigue looks like under a scanning electron microscope, and you can see that it is not a good thing.


Wood is a very different material,wood is the product of the metabolic and physiological activity of woody plants. Because of its function in live plants, wood must be mechanically resistant (it sustains the weight of the crown, leaves, water, wind, snow etc.) and at the same time it must be porous: photosynthesis in the leaves requires water and inorganic substances (sap) to pass through the wood from the ground. Both these functions, mechanical support and sap conduction, are supplied by cells. Wood is composed of cells which are characterized by a solid wall surrounding a lumen. The wood cells are fusiform and about 90% of the cells in the wood have a vertical orientation. The cell wall has a good mechanical resistance to traction and compression, and the cell lumen can be covered by the sap. When dried in a kiln wood still retains most of its original characteristics, and in fact it is never truly dry it retains a 6% to 15% moisture content by weight even when dried, this prevents honeycombing and collapse of the cell walls.

Because wood is an organic polymer it is extremely resilient and will bear a great deal more cyclic loading without damage than steel. A polymer is a large molecule formed from many smaller identical units called monomers linked together at the molecular level. This linking acts like a chain to hold the cells together, and is what makes wood the most widely used material in the world. It is strong yet flexible, and it is one of the most perfect materials from which to construct a boat.

Wood is a fiber woven together at the molecular level, it remains flexible yet retains its hardness, will retain the form it is shaped into and not loose its strength when formed correctly. Steel is made up of interlocked crystal lattices, carbon is used to harden the steel and keep the lattices interlocked, preventing the lattices from sliding over one another. This hardening also makes it more brittle, so either low carbon steel and it is too soft, or high carbon steel and it becomes more brittle. This also means that every single method of forming steel once it has cooled and is tempered will also damage the molecular structure and cause the lattices to begin sliding.

Wood is certainly damaged in forming it, but just like a polymer rope, the frayed ends can be kept from unraveling by applying heat, through sanding or polishing. It must be sealed and treated properly to maintain the proper level of moisture in the cell walls, and it must be maintained to keep the moisture level where it needs to be.


Personally, I would not go to sea in a metal boat.
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  #77  
Old 07-07-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

As per usual Brent tends to go overboard with his pro steel ranting. We sailed a VDS 34 steeler for some six years and loved that old girl. I'd sail her anywhere, I'm sure her abilities far outweigh mine. We actually bought her because we liked the VDS34 not because she was steel. That said when we went up in size we ended up with glass, I'd sail her anywhere as well and again I'm sure her abilities outweigh mine.

I do wonder though whether or not the modern practice of putting high tech rigs and sails onto old timber boats is maybe putting too much stress on the hull.

(apologies for repeating myself ... I think i mentioned all that on another thread quite recently)
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post

I think this article brings new light to the event. How often should a wood boat be pulled out of water and inspected? I think this detail is even more important given the boats plan for an offshore voyage in the wrong season.
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
I think this article brings new light to the event. How often should a wood boat be pulled out of water and inspected? I think this detail is even more important given the boats plan for an offshore voyage in the wrong season.
I agree. Inspections and maintaining a seaworthy craft are the bottom line. Any skipper / owner ignoring good engineering and maintenance practices is making the fundamental EIJ. Going to sea in a boat that shouldn't is unforgivable. Ignoring obvious weather avoidance safety precautions is another unforgivable mistake. If you are a solo sailor, you are betting yourself against old Mother Nature. O-well! If it endangers others.....

A lesson with implications for all kinds of adventurous pursuits.

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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
The consensus on the Wooden Boat Forum, where one of the people has met the “Master Mariner”, is that this article is complete horse pucky. From what I’ve seen of the structure around the engine in the repowering pictures and gleaned in general, it smells that way to me.

Most older wooden vessels are hogged to some degree. It is a gradual deformation of the entire structure and does not necessarily cause weakness of the kind that would be significant in this event.

WBF brings up another mystery. There was a SPOT Beacon on board which I use consistently and this has an EPIRB function. It is small enough to carry in a pocket. Coverage is pretty good in that part of the world.



They don't appear to have been using the tracking feature which would have narrowed the search area considerably even if they had not gotten off an emergency message. If they were alive and the SPOT beacon was in a pocket, one push of the button and searchers would know where they were to within about 100 feet. It's the first thing that will go in my pocket if I see water over the floorboards.

Last edited by Roger Long; 07-07-2013 at 07:09 AM.
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