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post #11 of 110 Old 10-13-2019
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Re: Sailing failures

Was doing a simple weekend favor for a friend. His brother bought a Hinckley Pilot. Had it wooded and totally restored at their Maine yard to use it as a gentleman’s day sailor. We were to take it from there to Duxbury Ma. CG had buoys out. Forecast was benign. Snowed while leaving. Turned to freezing rain. My friend and his brother went below to sleep after dinner. I took the second watch. Other crew (4 aboard) stuck his head out “hey the floorboards are floating!!!”. Turned on the engine which was still hot from leaving. Woke everyone. Owner started yelling “we’re going to die...we’re going to die... we’re going to die...”. Brother punched him out. Duck taped him into a sleeping bag and put him in the v berth. Everyone searching for the leak. Pitch black. Winds and seas building. Reefed but headsail blew out. My friend found leak. Engine through hull partially sheared at flange. Presumably struck by milk carton filled with spare anchor chain. Water up to settees. Everything floating. Water over tanks and batteries with pitching. Made wrapping with oily rags then Spanish windlass around it to tighten. Leak slowed. Block failed. Boat jybed. Main gone. Friend hypothermic. Boat stank. Diesel fumes and crap. No nav. No radio beyond low watt handheld. No one around. Big wind and seas. Into oilworkers suit. Augment barepoles with warps. Blown east north east. Rain and sleet and sea smoke. Drive blind. Two functional. Can’t go below as stench makes you puke. 15m on then off. When off pump. 48 hours. Things quiet. Cut away tatters of sails. Friend in bad shape. Was in cold water fixing leak. Attend to him. Check his brother. Make tea. Drink heated coke. Eat sneaker bars. The rest slop. Throw out what we can. Sleep. Next day take cockpit sun cover. Fold it on diagonal and make a sail. Try to make westing. Can’t do better then a near reach. Hit land a couple of towns north of Duxbury in situate. All go to hospital. All get hydration, electrolyte correction, warming beds.
Find out we were called overdue. Search given up. My first wife had already called on the life insurance (says why she ended up the first). Two weeks later go to see boat. All varnish gone. Inside and out. All mold. Still stinks. Glass crazed. New name done in leaf gone. Trashed.
Says why I won’t do passage by myself. Will single but not passage.
That June do Marion.
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s/v Hippocampus
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Last edited by outbound; 10-13-2019 at 05:09 PM.
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post #12 of 110 Old 10-13-2019
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Re: Sailing failures

@outbound

Luxury!

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post #13 of 110 Old 10-13-2019
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Re: Sailing failures

Quite a story.

The heaviest thing than could contact a thu hull in my boat is 24 packs of toilet paper. Im very sensitive about them...the thru hulls..
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Re: Sailing failures

I simply do not have any storage, let alone anything heavy, in a locker with a thru hull. Period. Fashion a divider, if they storage space is so critical. Anchor chain?! That’s just asking for trouble. Lost count of damage stories. Out’s takes the cake.


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post #15 of 110 Old 10-13-2019
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Re: Sailing failures

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Survive the Savage Sea and 117 Days Adrift. However, both these stories reinforced my resolve not to abandon my vessel until I had done everything within my power to stop her sinking, and then only to step UP into my life raft/boat, and not a second earlier.
Note that since the wide uptake of EPIRBs there has been no, none, zilch, zero long lifeboat survival incidents of cruising boats (that I can remember).

Whilst I'm not suggesting that we take lesser liferafts to sea, nor equip them any less, nor have a lesser grab bag, how relevant are those old survival books?

Even Allard Coles Heavy Weather Sailing is out of date with modern hull shapes, isn't it?

I certainly agree with not stepping down from the boat into the life-raft. I'm sitting on deck firing off both EPIRBs and ringing the Coast Guard on the Sat Phone whilst launching the dinghy with the 18ph OB on it.
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post #16 of 110 Old 10-13-2019
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Re: Sailing failures

Before I scare people away.
Above occurred decades ago. Now just wouldn’t happen. CG would report if buoys were out. They caught big static for this event as other boats also got in trouble for this forecast. Forcasting is currently not even dependent on buoys. Personal and boat epirbs are cheap and everywhere. Handheld nav and comm exists, works and is cheap. Stop leak tapes, putty’s, quick set epoxy exist. The whole thing would be a non event and we wouldn’t have left in the first place.
Still, single passage is way dangerous even now. Just having an able bodied adult even if not skilled totally changes everything. I’m alive because there was one with me.
Slocum was good. In fact a great sailor. But he was also lucky.
Think the most dangerous sailing is coastal. People set off in a different mindset. Boat and crew may not be set up for what can happen even now. We go coastal with all the stuff and the mindset as we would for passage. Think you should too. Won’t leave on a iffy forcast. If not feeling good. With things broke. With out spares. Be a boyscout. Want you posting on SN.
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Re: Sailing failures

Any man who can eat Sneaker bars is too tough to die!
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Re: Sailing failures

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.... the 18ph OB......
Very expensive, latest stuff.
Can only buy direct in person at factory in monte carlo.
Envious
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post #19 of 110 Old 10-13-2019
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Re: Sailing failures

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how relevant are those old survival books?

Even Allard Coles Heavy Weather Sailing is out of date with modern hull shapes, isn't it? .
Given the possibility of electronics failing, I don't see how reading a couple of well written sea stories could hurt.
I've never been a fan of Allard Cole's Heavy Weather Sailing, even though I have owned it since the '60s. It is certainly out of date today.
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Re: Sailing failures

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Very expensive, latest stuff.
Can only buy direct in person at factory in monte carlo.
Envious
Because every one of those long sea survival stories say how they saw multiple ships go past them while they were stuck in an immovable life-raft. With a fast dinghy I can motor over and bang on the hull while firing rockets into their bridge.
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