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Master Mariner
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I just don't get it. You are moving a 75' motorsailor up the New River in Ft. Lauderdale and you run into the power lines?
Sailboat strikes power lines, causes widespread power outage - Sun Sentinel
How do these guys get these great jobs? Did he get hired for his personality or good looks? He certainly did not get hired for his competence as a mariner!
Obviously this captain can't read a chart, calculate the tide and/or didn't know his mast height.
I just don't get it.
 
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Over Hill Sailing Club
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The news piece says they "miscalculated" the height of the wires. If it was that close, who in their right mind would even chance it. If you need to calculate tide height to get under a power line it's probably too close to attempt.
 
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I imagine Tom Zydler is having a good chuckle over this one... He and his wife Nancy used to run SEA ANGEL, even had her up to Alaska, if memory serves...

I've never had the pleasure of meeting them, but they strike me as being some of the more accomplished and capable mariners to be found anywhere, today... The extent of their voyaging is amazing, they had their Mason 44 up in Greenland last summer, and have been to Antarctica, and circumnavigated as captain aboard large expedition motor yachts...

Perhaps most impressive, they published the definitive cruising guide to the coast of Georgia... Their research was conducted aboard the boat they owned at the time, an ENGINELESS Pearson Invicta named MOLLYMAWK, if memory serves...

My hat's definitely off to anyone who explores the sounds and rivers of Georgia without an engine...

:))

Tom and Nancy Zydler interview: Skills most needed for offshore sailing - Ocean Navigator - March/April 2003

Around the World Aboard Whale Song: Part Three | Yachting Magazine

 

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One of the bridges shown is in Baltimore, and it has been hit at least five times a year, every year, during my lifetime. A couple years ago, the city actually dug the roadbed deeper to prevent this from happening. But, it wasn't long before some overheight truckers tried it again. Amazing!

Gary :cool:
 

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Freedom isn't free
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What I like in the video are A) the 2 hay trucks, where the 1st hay truck lost the top layer, and the 2nd one drove through it and proceded to do the same thing! B) the one truck who figured out he can't make it, tried to turn at the last minute and clobbered the corner instead!

LOVED the video.
 

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I'm unfamiliar with Ft Lauderdale. Is this the power cable showing "auth cl 80 feet", west of Andrews St bridge?

Chart 11470

I do rely on stated clearances for fixed bridges. I'm wary of the stated clearances for cables, which typically have a catenary (sag) in the middle and may have less clearance than stated. What's the tide height?

I wonder if this capt has a license at risk? This is about as "high" profile as non-deadly marine accidents get, you've (arguably) screwed up right downtown and everybody with electricity--meaning *everybody*--knows it.

I once attended a ship which "nicked" the underside of the bridge just above New Orleans. They had dutifully and correctly calculated the height of the ship's mast on top of the aft accommodation house, and the clearance was ample. But they failed to realize that due to their ballasted trim aft (empty "stick" general cargo ship), the high point was instead the boomed-up no.1 cargo boom forward.

Oops. Fortunately damage was minor but it made the evening news because the State had to close rush-hour traffic on the bridge to survey it.
 

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What prudent mariner would trust a posted clearance in Broward County, where literacy in any known language is not assured at any time? And translating measurements into those ARAB numbers....when they still haven't figured out the English or Spanish ones?? Come one, give the guy a break.

It also wouldn't be the first time some cheap*** Florida contractor hung a line a few feet short of where it was supposed to be. Down in North Miami, 1/2 hour away, there was a good chuckle a few yeas ago when a new mayor was going over the books and found the city had paid for a new sewer line to be installed...but no one could find any manhole covers, or sewer lines, or any trace the work had actually been DONE. Turns out it never was, someone went to jail.

Not unique to Florida, sadly. There's a major AF base out west where they let a contract for runway improvement on a very long runway...something like two miles long. And the contractor "accidentally" paved it a foot narrower than it was supposed to be. You can save an awful lot of expensive concrete that way, not to mention labor.

So one powerline? In Broward? Good thing the evidence got torn down, isn't it?
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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With all the errors on charts, it's not surprising a power cable height would be off by a significant amount. Scary to attempt to transit anywhere on the ICW with 75' air draft! There must be a way to triangulate visually to confirm what's on a chart. With a good estimate of distance to a vertical structure, wouldn't it be possible to calculate a critical angle if there was any question? If a fairly accurate fix can be obtained (which should be possible on a narrow waterway), wouldn't it be possible to estimate a maximum angle formed by the observed triangle? Sounds like a lot of work to do this but the consequences of hitting a power line probably warrant a bit of extra caution.
 

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What prudent mariner would trust a posted clearance in Broward County, where literacy in any known language is not assured at any time? And translating measurements into those ARAB numbers....when they still haven't figured out the English or Spanish ones?? Come one, give the guy a break.

It also wouldn't be the first time some cheap*** Florida contractor hung a line a few feet short of where it was supposed to be. Down in North Miami, 1/2 hour away, there was a good chuckle a few yeas ago when a new mayor was going over the books and found the city had paid for a new sewer line to be installed...but no one could find any manhole covers, or sewer lines, or any trace the work had actually been DONE. Turns out it never was, someone went to jail.
Not to mention, perhaps the best example of how vertical clearances can be 'Different' in South Florida...

There is only ONE fixed bridge over the ICW between Norfolk and Miami that does not meet the 65' minimum air draft (with the exception of the Wilkerson Creek Bridge in NC, reputed to be closer to 64', than 65')... Somehow, the Julia Tuttle Causeway turned out to have a vertical clearance of FIFTY-SIX feet...

Hmmm, I wonder how that might possibly have happened? It's not like they were lacking for right-of-way on either side of the approach to build to the requisite ICW standard, no?

:))

 

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if you have a sexton or other way to measure angles) can get true height either with simple trig if you can get length of either of the two other legs or by comparing angles to other objects of known height in the same plane
 

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Panoramio - Photo explorer

I think the above are the lines in question. Chart says 80' clearance. Click the photo to enlarge.

The tidal range is around 2'

I believe I read on one of the brokerage sites that the mast was refitted, so who knows what the real specs are. The newspaper says 75 ft. but, that's pretty meaningless without a true measurement.

The current coast pilot lists the cable clearance as 80' as well. Someone needs to take some measurements. The cables are back up and Sea Angel will need to leave eventually.
 

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Long power cables can have different clearances on different days. Metal expanding and contracting really matters on long cables. Is the stated clearance on a really hot day, or a cold one? Who knows? It matters.
 

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Tidal range in that area, although not specific to NR, more like 2.5' for high tide which was roughly that same time Monday afternoon. So the clearance would have possibly been near minimal, but when a newspaper says "75' mast" that often means the mast is 75' above deck level, not the same thing at all as a 75' air draft.

"Sailboat explodes, knocks out power for thousands" sells Nooze. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the facts to come out in the media, when and if anyone figures it out. And the guy driving the boat, might have simply been given the wrong information about his clearance.

Wait a month or three, the USCG might have some information. Rashly assuming they might be investigating this?
 

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Your limits of approach for power lines is ten feet plus one inch for every 1000 volts.
I don't know how many volts we are dealing with here but let's say there is 100,000v in the those lines. That would make your limit of approach 18 feet.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Your limits of approach for power lines is ten feet plus one inch for every 1000 volts.
I don't know how many volts we are dealing with here but let's say there is 100,000v in the those lines. That would make your limit of approach 18 feet.
Maybe not 100,000 volts in those lines but even if they are only relatively low 12,000v, it would be unwise to try getting under them within 10'. The folks on the boat are lucky they were not zapped. Scary stuff. FPL safe clearance web page:http://www.fpl.com/safety/working_with_power.shtml
 

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Your limits of approach for power lines is ten feet plus one inch for every 1000 volts.
I don't know how many volts we are dealing with here but let's say there is 100,000v in the those lines. That would make your limit of approach 18 feet.
The vast majority of power lines are either 7200 volts (distribution) or 115,000 or 750,000 volts (transmission lines). Most of the 750,000 volt ones are the ones you see with triple wires with spacers holding the three wires together every so often and are on the towers that look kind of like Eiffel towers)

I worked for a power line company for a year between college semesters and the one thing I walked away with was a healthy respect for the conductivity of super high voltages.
 
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