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  #301  
Old 11-15-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Smack, yes, I haven’t been caught up in one of your fur balls since the time you tried to lecture me on the use of sea anchors, drogues and heavy air tactics. If you do some basic research first, then we might have a useful dialog over the efficacy of Cat1 regs for cruisers. First and foremost, the special regs is a racing document. It stated as such on the title page. Yes, I have to follow Cat1 for all races past Bonita Point. Do I like that? Not really insomuch that no non-racing boats have to be covered for sailing the same waters. Read the regs, fill out the checklist, then we can have an intelligent conversation about them. Did you know that from the photos you posted from Sequester, that it is not Cat1 compliant? Should they not have been allowed to go offshore let alone around the Cape?
George, I know full well that the ISAF Cat1 Regs are for racers. I have a copy on my desk of the 2010-2011 issue, along with the USS' "Safety Recommendations for Cruising Sailboats" both of which were generously sent to me by Ron Trossbach when I was talking with him. And I've read them both - and continue to do so ("basic research" you know).

The C1500's regs are ISAF-based - from their website:

Quote:
Our requirements are based on the ISAF standards, and include: an offshore liferaft with a more than 24 hour pack, 406MHz EPIRB, a means of sending and receiving email at sea (satellite phone or SSB/pactor), AIS receiver and man-overboard equipment. We also require every person onboard to have an inflatable combined lifejacket-harness (PFD) with a spray hood, crotch strap and safety line.
ISAF is used in these cruising rallies for cruisers. It's modified for their use, of course, but it's still ISAF. That's a good approach and is all I've been advocating since the beginning.

So, if you can get past the personal digs, then, yes, we can have a useful dialog on this. It's not like I'm making this stuff up.

As for Sequitur, he wasn't participating in a rally. He can make his own calls...and has done very, very well doing so - precisely because he has the experience to do so (not just a single bluewater passage). You keep conflating what I'm talking about in terms of rally organizations with individual cruisers. Enforcing regs on individual cruisers has never been my point. Personally I don't care what individual cruisers choose to do (though I think it would be a great idea for us cruisers as a whole to get more safety training). I do care what rally organizers choose to do...especially when things go pear-shaped.

(PS - I don't remember lecturing you on that stuff. Where was it?)
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-15-2013 at 03:42 PM.
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  #302  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Smack- Chris and George have been trying to point out simple stuff that makes life easier and safer. We did race in the past. We don't race now. But it's the same ocean with the same risks even for us cruisers. Abstracting wisdom from the racers seems like a real good idea. Just like other stuff not in the rules such as keeping weight off the ends of the boat. Lashing down the dinghy of the fore deck and doing everything possible to decrease windage. Getting rid of anything possible that may hurt you in a pooping or knock down. Smack I think you are a smart guy. ?Why are we arguing about this? When I leave the boat is set up for all foreseen possibilities contingencies. I sailed during the no name storm. There was a missing buoy report. We left Rockport Maine for Duxbury Mass and caught holy hell. Like Ronnie said "trust but verify" and the kids say sh-t happens- deal with it.
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  #303  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Smack- Chris and George have been trying to point out simple stuff that makes life easier and safer. We did race in the past. We don't race now. But it's the same ocean with the same risks even for us cruisers. Abstracting wisdom from the racers seems like a real good idea. Just like other stuff not in the rules such as keeping weight off the ends of the boat. Lashing down the dinghy of the fore deck and doing everything possible to decrease windage. Getting rid of anything possible that may hurt you in a pooping or knock down. Smack I think you are a smart guy. ?Why are we arguing about this?
Out, I agree with everything you just wrote; especially the bolded part - and especially in the context of a cruising rally.

So I don't know why there's so much argument against it. I think you're asking the wrong guy on that one.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

my bad smackie
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
So maybe it's not the boat.
And sometimes, maybe it is...

From JAMMIN', the Catalina 42 that lost its rudder...

Quote:

Sorry for the delay in getting more out about our experience. The insurance company sent the surveyor within 24 hours of our arrival. So now we wait and see. Ten loads of wash were done to get rid of the salt water soaked items. Dehumidifiers are removing the moisture within the boat and the floor boards. We have had a few days of sleep and are more coherent. Our plan is get fixed, get back in the water, and head south…see you when we get there. A rum drink sounds great but I don’t think I’ll be drinking any Dark and Stormy’s in the near future.

So what happened?

Thursday was one of the foulest days we have ever encounter. We came out of the Gulf Stream, things were calm enough to think about cooking. Dave was having trouble with the auto pilot–it kept beeping off so he had to reset it–that lasted about 20 minutes. Then we heard two noises, one off the stern and one above our head. The latter was the traveler and boom swinging to port, and the former was the buzzer for the auto pilot. Dave went first to the wheel and found it unresponsive, next he inspected the connection between the wheel and auto pilot and it was not the problem. Which meant…that’s when the boom took off and the connection between the traveler and the main sheet pulley system broke. He went forward and with rope was able to connect the two parts. Now back to figuring out why we have no steerage, it seemed obvious that we were rudderless. To confirm that would mean putting Dave in the water and night had fallen as well. We called into the DoDah net and let them know we had some damage. That’s when we heard other boats were in trouble and in worse shape than us.

We were never in danger of sinking but we lacked the ability to set a course and get anywhere. We also lacked the conditions to build a rudder out of cabin doors and get the whisker pole due to the state of the seas. The seas were anywhere from 2 to 6 feet for an hour or less, and as much as 10 to 15 feet the rest of the time. The winds were an issue as well. But it was the confused waves breaking over all sides of the boat, tossing us back and forth, pitching us forward and backwards, and swaying us on a diagonal every now and then. Water, water, everywhere. I counted how often they were occurring and occasionally I reached 55 seconds but most of the time it was every 5 to 12 seconds.

Friday morning we tried the bucket and anchor method but the confused seas would send the bucket airborne and it would entangle itself to the anchor rode. That is when we contacted Dick and together decided a call to the towing company should be made. They declined to come out that far even though we had bought their “unlimited” 200 mile plan. That left the Coast Guard. We were told we were third or fourth in line for assistance.

For two days my husband and I drifted further south and east out to sea. Help was coming but we had to wait our turn, many boats were caught by the weather stalling and developing into something nasty. On November 9th the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Forward arrived mid afternoon. They first established that we were not injured and not taking on water, then they wanted to know if our engine was in good working condition and it was, next they had to check if we had two points to tow from and that they were reinforced metal plates with strong bolts. After assessing us and our equipment, they were able to install a tow line. That began a 44 hour tow job with quite a few more exciting moments. Jib unfurled and Dave retrieved it, tow line chaffed, inverter stopped working, boarding a zodiac rescue boat and climbing up the side of a 200+ cutter…but we made it back bruised but not broken to Cobb’s Marina, Little Creek, Virginia.

About 2 hours after the marina hauled us, Zulu was pulled out at Cobb’s Marina. We talked to him the next day and guess what? He had the same auto pilot story as us before his rudder broke off in a similar place.

We are now making up for lost sleep and working with our insurance company on repairing Jammin’, our home of 7 years. We are the fortunate ones, but the USCG crews are the true heroes. They managed to get all sailors to shore and out of the danger that unpredictable weather can create. They are truly our Coast Guardian Angels.

The crew of USCGC Forward were amazing. Their story is much more interesting than ours. Here is a link to the article and photos of the rescue they performed. Feature: Coast Guard crew answers the call

2013 Fall Rally Yacht Logs | Salty Dawg Rally
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  #306  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
And sometimes, maybe it is...

From JAMMIN', the Catalina 42 that lost its rudder...
It seems they did not hit anything but I could not understand what was the problem with the ruder. Do you have understood?

Regards

Paulo
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  #307  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

I didnt read the whole report...BUT I read the first paragraph regarding again AUTOPILOTS

it is possible you know to break a tiller or wheel or any part of of the steering system by IMPROPER use of an autopilot

we once cracked the tilller easily by simply not paying attention to what our basic little tiller pilot was telling us

if it was beeping it can be a number of errors, sever weather helm or being overpowered is one of them
again JUST SAYIN
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  #308  
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Thanks for the additional first-hand info, Jon. It's good to see how the distress call went. So there's one off the "Mayday first" list.

Do you (or anyone else) know of any other rudder failures like this on the C42? I assume this is pretty rare?

BTW - on our recent off-shore in the 10'-12'ers, the linear-drive AP broke off its mounts (on a Pearson 365 Ketch). We thought we'd lost steerage for while (helm was stuck hard over) until I jumped into the lazarette and figured out the problem.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-15-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

This is a good step. From the SDR site:

Quote:
In summary, of the 116 boats that started the SDR last week, seven had serious gear failures and had to return to the U.S. for repairs or in two cases were abandoned. These emergencies are a cause of concern for all of the Salty Dawgs and will be addressed by the board of the SDR in the aftermath.
The CG listed the 5 calls as follows (http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/...Va-NC-coasts):

"Ahimsa": Distress signal via a satellite tracking device, stating that they were taking on water approximately 230 miles east of Virginia Beach and were in need of assistance. (Abandoned and presumed sunk)

"Nyapa": Distress signal via a satellite tracking device stating that they had lost their mast and were taking on water approximately 275 miles east of Virginia Beach and were in need of assistance. (Cancelled call after CG arrived and continued on.)

"Aurora": Emergency position indicating radio beacon registered the sailboat Aurora. The alert positioned the Aurora 230 miles east of Elizabeth City, N.C. (CG unable to find them - another boat radioed that Aurora was fine.)

"Brave Heart": Contacted Sector North Carolina watchstanders, reporting a 67-year-old man aboard had a arm injury. (Cancelled call after CG attempt at medevac.)

"Zulu": Contacted Sector North Carolina watchstanders via satellite phone, reporting that they were disabled and adrift. (Towed back to shore.)

Then these from the SDR site:

"Wings" : Unknown distress call method. (CG rescued crew - boat abandoned.)

"Jammin'" : Call to CG after jury-rig attempt and other avenues exhausted. (CG towed back to shore.)

"Like Dolphins" : Unknown if CG called. Boat was dismasted and made it back to port.

They also mention other boats having serious damage (e.g. - Pixie Dust, etc.). It's unclear whether CG calls were made in these cases. And it's unclear which are the 7 (there seem to be more - unless some of the boats listed by the CG weren't in the SDR - such as "Aurora"?.)

This tracks relatively well with this earlier report:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
I have read through this whole thread and in all the finger pointing and blaming weak/scared crews boats not ready for the voyage and all, not one person has gotten the facts right. I love how people are so quick the judge others when they do not have a clue as to the facts. I have listened to these boats everyday on the SSB. I have heard the distress calls as they came in. I have a good friend on one of the boats towed in. So I will summarize.

First boat down a Cartalina 54? catamaran, lost mast, made it back in under their own power. Distress call but refused help just wanted CG aware.

Second boat down Braveheart. Injury broken arm. Distress call but made it in under their own after they found it unsafe for injured crew transfer.

Third boat down Alden 54 ketch, lost rudder, was towed to Chesapeake after drifting for 2 days.

Fourth boat down, Morgen 41 Outisland, Taking on water (beyond what pumps could keep up with), Bulkheads coming apart, severely sick crew. Crew of 4 air lifted to Elizabeth City

Fifth boat down, Hans Christen 38, lost mast, vessel still underway under their own power to Norfolk, No assistance given. Reported in this evening all is well aboard.

Sixth boat down, Catalina 42, lost rudder, waited 3 days for tow should be back in this evening. (I personally spoke with this skipper while at sea and he simply was not equipped for makeshift repairs.)

Seventh boat down Catalina 38, lost steering and engine. tried to make Bermuda but had to give up with no help from private tow (their first choice) They were advised to abandon by USCG because of worsening weather condition and little hope of other help. 3 crew air lifted today to Elizabeth city. (so they tried for 3 days to make a go of it)

Lastly Aurora had a false alarm on their EPIRB, Capt. admitted mistake while checking gear. No assistance needed however a plane was sent to their location before the mistake was found.

So 2 boats had air rescues only 1 with sick crew and they were breaking up. Second air lift at the assistance of CG as there was little hope for anything else.

2 boats towed back due to no steering.

The fleet left knowing a cold front was to pass but it was supposed to pass fast and then good conditions, Instead it stalled and the fleet was stuck in the stream with 20-25. The problems came in the squalls with 30-40 against the stream.

I do not think the skippers did that bad if anything maybe they were not fully prepared to do jury rigs and make emergency repairs.

At least now this thread can have some real facts to work with. For those that belittle those out there claiming they were just seasick you can see now there was more to it. Until you have been there maybe we should not be so quick to judge.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-15-2013 at 07:46 PM.
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  #310  
Old 11-15-2013
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Interesting note on the autohelm issues. Were they running in a confused following or quartering sea? I wonder if the two Cat boats had the Raymarine ST7000 or 7000+? Even with the fast heading sensor and computer “brain”, my experience is they are a little slow to react even with the sensitivity, and response times set all the way to the max. They never really anticipate a wave especially in a really confused sea and they do more reactive than proactive steering. The boat then tends to yaw more than my liking. Also, were they set to a wind angle or course heading? My guess is the autohelm put the rudder all the way over to hard stop on a stalled rudder and the resulting water pressure from the next wave snapped the blade. Sometimes it is better to momentarily steer into the round up (or round down) to reestablish water flow over the rudder before you make your correction. A good helmsman can do it but I’m not always sure that a computer can.
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