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Yep I get that - but I've spent 5 weeks at sea alone on a tough sail east-bound across the Indian Ocean and I said then that only if my life depended on it would I ever do that again.

So I had to ask the question . . . .

This fellow is obviously headed for Southern Ocean territory - eeehh , that's a tough call. If half his systems are down after 1200nm in the Atlantic, he's in for some stick.

And even the best support team in the business ain't gonna be of any value down there. Ask Abby Whatsherface - despite her pro support team and $¼m rescue effort, her a$$ (but not her boat) was saved by a smelly old fishing boat.

But that event does highlight the value of a high-profile voyage. The Australian government sent a passenger jet with a team of specialists 2300nm to see what they could do (From a passenger jet? Geez, I could have told them for just $20k :p). When I got into trouble 800nm from Australia they told my wife "Sorry but he's out of our area - we can't help him, he's on his own".
I question why folks climb mt Everest. It is not only freakin cold, but you have a constant headache from the low oxygen level. On top of that quite a few peeps die trying each year. And for what they pay for this experience, you could have a nice boat. But I do not think sir Hilary would agree with my train of thought.

And if Abby Southerland had used an s&s 34, she would have had a much better chance with her lap, as Jessica Watson had done.
 

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I question why folks climb mt Everest. It is not only freakin cold, but you have a constant headache from the low oxygen level. On top of that quite a few peeps die trying each year. And for what they pay for this experience, you could have a nice boat. But I do not think sir Hilary would agree with my train of thought.
Well, I wouldn't place any bets on what Sir Edmund would think of the 'Climbing Rallies' up Everest, today... :)



And if Abby Southerland had used an s&s 34, she would have had a much better chance with her lap, as Jessica Watson had done.
Not necessarily... And she would have lessened her chances of breaking "The Record", which is what these things are about, after all...

What ultimately did her in was running late in the season, and leaving Capetown dangerously close to the onset of the southern hemisphere winter... a dicey decision, no matter what she was sailing...
 

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Well, I wouldn't place any bets on what Sir Edmund would think of the 'Climbing Rallies' up Everest, today... :)



Not necessarily... And she would have lessened her chances of breaking "The Record", which is what these things are about, after all...

What ultimately did her in was running late in the season, and leaving Capetown dangerously close to the onset of the southern hemisphere winter... a dicey decision, no matter what she was sailing...
Yes, and the reason she was running late is that the boat could not produce enough electricity for the electronic auto pilot, among other high tech issues. I believe the auto pilots were failing and thus she pulled into Cape Town. These delays led to a late meeting with the Indian Ocean. That high tech carbon fiber mast that already had a bunch of southern ocean miles probably did not help much either. If it had not broken, perhaps she could have kept going. Now Jessica's boat used a wind vane -all low tech, note that an open 40 cannot sail by wind vane, speed too fast. Kinda like the turtle and the hare.

And I still would not climb Everest, whether just me and Hilary, or with two hundred paying customer.
 

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Uh-oh...

One autopilot down, 2 to go...

man, you gotta love a boat that is so complex, that the AP keeps trying to function after the main breaker is turned off...

"Open the pod bay door, Hal..."

:))

On the first attempt last year the challenges I had to continuing were mainly mechanical: loss of battens from the sail, damaged staysail furling, extensive damage to the end of the boom. These I repaired and felt comfortable they would not be show stoppers. However it was the failure of the fixtures that hold the shrouds that support the mast that caused the alarm. Farr Yacht Design said they were unsafe and that I had to quit - soon all team members agreed and so I put in to Cape Town.

This time it's the electronics that are taking a toll. I have two sets of winds instruments atop the mast. They give both wind speed and true wind direction. One set has failed and I am on the second set - so soon. Next I have three auto pilots and now one, the primary Auto Pilot has given up the ghost. Let's hope I have seen the last of my electronics problems, but I fear not.

The autopilot did not quietly into the night. Once it failed it simply would not turn off at the breaker on the electrical panel and kept sending out load beeps every seven seconds. Then for no reason at all, perhaps I was being too calm about it all, the dying Auto decided to sound the Man Overboard alarm which really screeches. When I finally figured out to turn it off, it found another way of coming on. Eventually however it totally died and I had peace and quiet.

My Project Manager Steve Pettengill said "Look after the boat and it will look after you." Believe me Steve, I am doing my best but while I am somewhat mechanical, electronics are just a black box to me.

Attrition and Black Boxes | Dr. Stanley Paris ? Kiwi Spirit, a custom designed 63-foot yacht
 

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Then for no reason at all, perhaps I was being too calm about it all, the dying Auto decided to sound the Man Overboard alarm which really screeches. When I finally figured out to turn it off, it found another way of coming on. Eventually however it totally died and I had peace and quiet.
An audible man overboard alarm on a singlehanded boat? Thats kinda funny..
 

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An audible man overboard alarm on a singlehanded boat? Thats kinda funny..
Well, in fairness, the boat isn't always being singlehanded... :)

Her first major shakedown was the Bermuda 1-2, when he had his son Alan along on the return leg...

And, he has always intended to cruise the boat with his wife and family or friends after this trip, so...

Look closely, you'll see he also carries a Lifesling, and what appears to be a MOB module...



Even for a solo sailor, however, such gear is not necessarily superfluous... As one who does a fair amount of singlehanding, I'm occasionally ribbed about carrying a Lifesling... As in, "What's the point?" However, You Never Know... Although it's unlikely Paris might need either on this particular voyage, it's not hard to imagine the variety of circumstances where any singlehanded cruiser might need such gear to assist a person in the water from a vessel other than his own...
 

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NKE? Wow. They are used by the Vendee Globe folks and they are pushing their boats I lot harder. I must say I am surprised.
Agree, I looked at their web site and they must have a good history of reliability. Kiwi must just have a bad batch. Needed to burn those things in for six months to be sure they don't break prior to departure.
 

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Agree, I looked at their web site and they must have a good history of reliability. Kiwi must just have a bad batch. Needed to burn those things in for six months to be sure they don't break prior to departure.
A "bad batch"? Like, a tin of blueberry muffins that came out of the oven burnt? Hmmm, sounds a bit unlikely, to me... :))

A problem with the installation sounds more likely, to me... After all, an AP wired correctly should shut down when the breaker is tripped at the main panel, no?
 

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A problem with the installation sounds more likely, to me... After all, an AP wired correctly should shut down when the breaker is tripped at the main panel, no?
Agreed. There is a good reason that 90%+ of the Vendee Globe folks use NKE autopilots. And while they certainly carry spars just in case (think singlehanding in the Southern Ocean in a blow in an open ocean 60), they generally don't have to use them. And they have enough confidence in the NKE units that they will set them on the "course to wind" setting with the shoot up and go below and sleep for 4 hours. You really have to have faith in your autopilot to do that.
 

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A "bad batch"? Like, a tin of blueberry muffins that came out of the oven burnt? Hmmm, sounds a bit unlikely, to me... :))

A problem with the installation sounds more likely, to me... After all, an AP wired correctly should shut down when the breaker is tripped at the main panel, no?
Jon, do you ever wonder why, when there is a electronic product recall, they give you serial number range? Could that be a batch number?

Also I see where some nke aps have built in 12vdc to 12 Vic power supplies and include power conditioning. This may account for the delayed power shut down of the electronics. Looking at nke manual, the ap has 2 power supplies, one to hyd pump and other to the computer. They must. Be tuned on/off in correct sequence. This could also be part of problem. Not familiar with the unit.

And if you think failures of nke ap are that rare, do a search of nke ap failures. There are many, some leading to crash jibes and knock downs. They may be excellent, but everything breaks at some point.
 

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Jon, do you ever wonder why, when there is a electronic product recall, they give you serial number range? Could that be a batch number?
Good point... Your guess might be better than mine, in that regard :)

Also I see where some nke aps have built in 12vdc to 12 Vic power supplies and include power conditioning. This may account for the delayed power shut down of the electronics. Looking at nke manual, the ap has 2 power supplies, one to hyd pump and other to the computer. They must. Be tuned on/off in correct sequence. This could also be part of problem. Not familiar with the unit.
Again, another good point... However, according to Paris' account, it seemed to take an abnormally LOOOONG time for him to finally disable the thing... There's a Poltergeist aboard KIWI SPIRIT, perhaps? :)

And if you think failures of nke ap are that rare, do a search of nke ap failures. There are many, some leading to crash jibes and knock downs. They may be excellent, but everything breaks at some point.
Of course... However, I still rate them as highly reliable as autopilots go, especially given the demanding applications they typically see...

BTW, a Google search of "NKE autopilot failures" produces 69,000 hits...

Substitute "Raymarine" for NKE, the number spikes to 388,000...

:))
 

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Good point... Your guess might be better than mine, in that regard :)

Again, another good point... However, according to Paris' account, it seemed to take an abnormally LOOOONG time for him to finally disable the thing... There's a Poltergeist aboard KIWI SPIRIT, perhaps? :)

Of course... However, I still rate them as highly reliable as autopilots go, especially given the demanding applications they typically see...

BTW, a Google search of "NKE autopilot failures" produces 69,000 hits...

Substitute "Raymarine" for NKE, the number spikes to 388,000...

:))
I agree the nke must be the best and most reliable considering the Vendee folks trust them to steer a boat in the southern ocean at 30 knots while they sleep. But I also imagine raymarine must sell a lot more units due to price and thus higher number of failures. Raymarine also uses an electric ram for most installs that is normally exposed to elements, and thus higher failure, but much cheaper to purchase and install. But few raymarines are used in southern ocean on an open 40 or 60.
 

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I doublehanded in the Newport-Bermuda Race this year and the Raymarine ram died 300 miles from Bermuda. (Hand steering while racing is difficult with only 2 on board.) Granted it was a 17 year old unit. The Raymarine dealer in Hamilton replaced it with a new one for the return delivery. Five weeks later it died too. Prior to the race we had trouble with the new Raymarine E-120 unit. The local electronic repair shop in Connecticut where we took it for diagnosis said that thankfully he worked on Raymarine products as repairing them provided for a comfortable living. In general I stay away from Raymarine these days.
 

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+1 For Jeanne Socrates being a total baller. Three times around now and into her 80's. We have had the good fortune to kick it with her a few times and she is one of our favorite people. Inspirational.

Also, she can handle a night out better than me and my wife, and I'm only 34. The first time we all went out, I thought I was just going to have a drink and a chat with someone's grandma. It ended up with her dragging us into back alley pool halls in Ensenadsa's red light district.

I wish this guy and his insanely, giant boat the best of luck.
 

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I doublehanded in the Newport-Bermuda Race this year and the Raymarine ram died 300 miles from Bermuda. (Hand steering while racing is difficult with only 2 on board.) Granted it was a 17 year old unit. The Raymarine dealer in Hamilton replaced it with a new one for the return delivery. Five weeks later it died too. Prior to the race we had trouble with the new Raymarine E-120 unit. The local electronic repair shop in Connecticut where we took it for diagnosis said that thankfully he worked on Raymarine products as repairing them provided for a comfortable living. In general I stay away from Raymarine these days.
Maybe the old raymarine were built better. My 10 year old auto helm has 30,000 miles on it and works great. But I'll stay away from the new stuff.
 

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Maybe the old raymarine were built better. My 10 year old auto helm has 30,000 miles on it and works great. But I'll stay away from the new stuff.
Well that is true of most electronics. They are now built on meeting a cost, though that cost savings is often not passed onto the customer. Less effort put into waterproofing, and more into "features." It is all put out to bid to the cheapest contract manufacturer. How many 40 year old VHF radios do you see out there, yet I read all the time about 4 and 5 year old ones giving up the ghost. So keep the old stuff for backup when the new stuff bites the dust!
 

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My only question is "Why Not?" He obviously has the funds, and he is obviously in good health, and he purchased a boat that is not only quite comfortable, but very seaworthy. So, Why Not? If I were in his position, I damned sure would do it, but I'm crazy as a $hit house rat, so that may explain it. ;)

All the best,

Gary :cool:
 
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