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Sailing Junkie
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My wife and I had heard about the great reviews of this movie so went to see it last night and although you could feel his emotional turmoil throughout the movie and his personal demons, he made some very critical errors early on that could have prevented, or at least diminished, the end result......stupid, stupid, stupid. I really wanted to knock him in the head myself, but the mast beat me to it!

Looks like the boat used in the movie is an older Cal 39.
 

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Ones my admiral and I picked up
did not use jacklines-
saw storm coming but waited until fully developed before rigging storm jib.
did not have safety water set up before leaving land
no EPIRB, spot or anything.
no SSB nor handheld VHF
No ditch bag
Didn't have raft up on deck as conditions worsened.
was drifting north and wanted to drift north but still left sea anchor in water when in raft
Left companionway open instead of closing it immediately upon exit
had dodger but not set up

Things that were not believable
where he was holed- if hit aft to amidships ?how did it happen. Wakes to water coming in. ?prior storm and fell off wave. Don't understand scenario
Knock down and roll- did not seem it was in slow motion but he had opportunity to prevent harm by changing his position. Would expect much more sudden motion with him and things flying around.
Absence of even his hair blowing and him being jerked around by sea state in the storms
Absence of wind noise.
When he falls off boat and is clipped he can pull himself back on. Freeboard would make that extremely hard
When he falls off boat he is able to swim back to it. Boat would be moving forward. He would never be able to catch up.
At end he sinks down. This would only occur if his lungs were empty of air. Then he would be dead and not able to swim back up.

Still, I gave them poetic license (same as when watching a medical TV show) and totally enjoyed the movie.
 

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Sailing Junkie
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Discussion Starter #3
The amazing thing was that he hit the container hard enough to hole the boat but he only awakened by the sloshing of water and not the impact??? Must have hit that rum bottle too hard!

One thing that was a total loss of judgement was not getting the water out of the boat before pulling off the container and getting the engine going, if possible
 

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Sorry but the movie was b-o-o-o-ring despite the excellent acting.
All was lost were my expectations of a masterpiece about sailing.
 

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We finally saw it last night. It played at a local independent film theater, the big multi-plex is not showing it.

I really wanted to like it, but thought it was so-so. Clearly, it's a story of human survival, not sailing and I knew that going in. Redford does a good job communicating without any words. I guess that turns on the movie-nerds. It was good acting, but didn't necessarily make the movie. There are many times where life or death choices had to be made, such as exiting the liferaft to right it. An all in, one shot deal. We all know that you could never ever pull yourself back aboard, if you were over the rail being dragged by your tether, but I'll give them license that it makes for drama.

While I'm completely good with some factual errors and others that are necessary license to film a movie, it was so filled with errors and inconsistency, one must assume there wasn't a single offshore sailor in the state it was filmed within.

For example, I'm fine with no dodger. Some don't use them anyway, but I'm sure it was left down so that movie angles could be better shot. All okay there. It starts getting odd out of the gate, however. The seas are totally calm and wind seems light, but he hits a container on the beam?

What makes him even think to climb the mast in the first place? Oh well, I guess getting some shots like that was good video. They he screws on the round antenna plug, but pulls out an adjustable crescent wrench to tighten it?

Seeing the incoming storm was not reason to deploy a storm jib before being tossed about?

The sea anchor is deployed off the stern? I guess they didn't want to film from the bow?

Who makes an SOS call? Did anyone else notice that he either never pressed the PTT button or never released it.

I have a conspiracy theory about the fact that he apparently had no Epirb. For anyone that might otherwise not be able to get their significant other to sail with them again, they allowed the stupid simply reply that he would have clearly been rescued, especially by either of the two passing cargo ships, if he had one. How about even just a simple ditch bag with a waterproof gps/vhf? No, Honey, that could never ever happen to us. :)

I give the movie a generous B- overall. It's not set up very well and I think even non-sailors are going to say, that couldn't happen.
 

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Evidently, the Screen Writer didn't know diddly boop about sailing but, for 99% of the audience, that doesn't matter. For Redford, I suspect this may have been a nautical reprise of his '72 roll in Jeremiah Johnson with the sea fulfilling the role of the Indians. And, again, he didn't have to bother memorizing dialog, eh?
 

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Finally saw the movie with the Admiral.

It just out and out sucked! I actually nodded off at one point.

Let me say that again; IT WAS AWFUL,, waste of money.

Robert Redford was awful. How did someone with mental issues make it all the way to the Indian Ocean without going thru bad weather!
Taking on water but don't turn on the bilge pump?
No jacklines?
Willing to curl up into a ball every time something bad happens?
Sea anchor off the stern?
Set the storm sail after the storm hits?
No back up VHF or GPS?

Many more.

As a movie it wasn't even that good. Redford's acting was awful. The reviews had said that he put in a stellar performance. Wow! He can retire now. I had read that the Pardey's had consulted on this film; what part?

Should have seen gravity instead; i'm sure Sandra Bullock was at least entertaining.
 

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For example, I'm fine with no dodger. Some don't use them anyway, but I'm sure it was left down so that movie angles could be better shot. All okay there. It starts getting odd out of the gate, however. The seas are totally calm and wind seems light, but he hits a container on the beam?
Same reasons as no dodger, Hollywood. The container had to hole the boat where it did to ruin his radio and other electronics, else the story gets too complicated.

The sea anchor is deployed off the stern? I guess they didn't want to film from the bow?
It's a drogue when deployed from the stern, it's meant to keep the boat stern to the wind, a common technique in big seas.

No excuses for the other stuff (no EPIRB, no hh VHF, etc.)
 

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You guys are a really tough audience.

He tried his bilge pump it didn't work as the batteries were covered with water.

That trick of rolling with the boat and ending up in the cockpit has happened to at least one person I read about in real life.

The idea that he was sinking after going in the water is what happened to our own Doug S. So apparently it can happen. Something about swallowing a lot of salt water. Don't understand it but like I said it happened to someone I met.

Stern drogue as someone else has mentioned is a technique some time used.

I think the life lesson the purpose of the show was to demonstrate someone who just keep plugging away. One step at a time and didn't give up.

Lots of people have been caught with too much sail up and not enough time to douse it before the wind hits.

Yes he was more that a little bit short on modern equipment. Maybe it was supposed to have happened in 1960, did they give a year?

The bit about hauling himself back up with his tether shows how tough he was.:)
I was sailing a 22 O'day from Naples to Marathon key back in '85. I was on the fore deck doing something with the hank-on jib. The boat lurched I lost my footing and next thing I know I was hanging with my feet in the water with one hand on the bow pulpit.

It became very clear to me that my new bride was probably not going to be much help as she was completely occupied screaming. I hung on long enough to get my second had on the rail. I could not pull myself up at first. I noticed that since the bow was plunging up and down several feet that on the down stroke I got a little help from the waves. So at just the right time I gave a mighty heave and landed on the deck. I was a little tired and scratched up but made it so I suspect Redfords pull your self up by the tether is technically possible but I doubt I could do it now.
The parkour guys or the rock climbing guys could do it easily.
 
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I wish they show these movies around here

ps.
to the comments about the dodger(I have not seen the boat or movie) standard practice in hurricane force winds is to eliminate as much windage as possible from decks...as more than likely they will be ripped off and could cause more damage and personal injury too...

there are boats with integral dodgers that can be released very quickly and tied down flat, my old folkboat had this design...

just my 2c

cheers
 

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Sailing Junkie
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Discussion Starter #11
It's a drogue when deployed from the stern, it's meant to keep the boat stern to the wind, a common technique in big seas.
What he had was a parachute anchor, which is meant to deploy from the bow. A drogue has multiple cones streaming on a line. I suppose one could use a parachute anchor off the stern but it would cause breaking waves to hit stern/ aft quarter first instead of bow first. Maybe that's why the boat rolled the second time.
The biggest issue I had was that he didn't seem that concerned about keeping water out of the boat. Every time he went through the companion way, he left the drop boards and hatch open which is what ultimately allowed too much water in after the second roll.
When you have too much water in a vessel, the stability changes significantly and once the water level reaches the top of the galley sink, you're sunk without closing off the seacock.

And yes, I noticed the Crescent wrench mistake too.

It was amazing the his epoxy/glass patch held. Amazing.

It's my opinion that Redford's character was out at sea trying to figure out his life and the mistakes he made with his wife/kids etc. This character obviously had some(emphasis on some, as in little) sea experience, but was capable of making bad decisions at the wrong times. I guess he is displaying the fact the we humans are not infallible.
 

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My issue mostly was that the character was so melancholy and had no sense of urgency when anything happened. It appeared to me this character had a death wish; as demonstrated at the end. Gave up, even though help was on the way.
This could have been a great movie if they had cast someone else and had acutually spent some time on special effects. The "roll over" machine was terrible. Slow motion?
I don't doubt that any of this stuff could happen; it was just how the movie was filmed. Wrong director, wrong lead actor! What a shame.
 

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We were driving home from dinner last night and passed the theater where we saw the movie. Often, after a day or two, we begin to appreciate a movie more. Just the opposite this time. While trying to identify with the human element of the story, it just wasn't set up well at all. We like it less today than when we saw it.

Perhaps the most entertaining part has become the fun of thinking about all that was wrong with the sailing. I have no problem with the lack of accuracy itself, since it really isn't a sailing movie. But finding errors has become the only enduring entertainment.

So, back to pulling oneself up on their tether. As I recall, the boat was underway at the time he fell over and he had a long enough tether to be submerged (again an error). I don't care if you're the greatest free climber in the world, you're not going to pull yourself against a few knots of water.

Considering the chute anchor as a stern drogue is a bit of a stretch, but I'll grant it. I just can't recall if he had sails up and was running downwind. If that was done after de-masting, it was just wrong. Period.

I recalled a couple of others. When he first hit the container and holed the boat, he jumped onto the container with no tether nor pfd, as I recall. Would anyone do that? Tying the sea anchor to the container to pull it off was clever, nevertheless. Then, when he returns for his anchor, he rams the container. Magically, this does not hole the boat this time. :)

Cutting the rig away was the right thing to do, but what happened to all the standing rigging. A quick slice of a halyard was pretty convenient.

Also, what are really the odds that a cargo ship would pass that close and not grab the raft on radar and investigate. They don't want to hit things in the water either.

I think the good ratings, on rotten tomatoes for example, are really from the movie nerds that are just into a movie without spoken words.
 

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Also, what are really the odds that a cargo ship would pass that close and not grab the raft on radar and investigate. They don't want to hit things in the water either.
I'm a compulsive reader of survival stories and it seems as though big ships going right by small ships or hitting them is not as unusual as you would think.
"Pink Lady" for example.

I think that what happens is that a couple people are supposed to be on watch. One goes for coffee and the other reads a couple pages in his book or looks at the instruments that may not see something too close, etc. etc.
IOW is is not unusual.

There are a number of social issues too. If the captain is not on the bridge and the culture is one of complete deference to the captain the watch may not be willing the wake the captain unless they are 100% sure they should.

The reality is often more complicated and interesting than imagination.
 

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I'm going to go against the tide here. I enjoyed it. It is not a Bruce Willis frenetic action flick.

It was more a guts and determination, I can handle anything that comes my way until I can't, type of movie.
It is different and I respect the director for trying something different.

I've never been in a role over but I've been in a knock down.
I suspect a role over might be slower that one would think, the knock down sure was.
 

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I'm a compulsive reader of survival stories and it seems as though big ships going right by small ships or hitting them is not as unusual as you would think.....
Fair enough. Then what are the odds of missing two, both of which don't see your flares as well? :)
 

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Fair enough. Then what are the odds of missing two, both of which don't see your flares as well? :)
Well if no one is watching you could be Miley Cyrus doing your wrecking ball routine and no one would notice.

If the ship is doing it's normal 28 MPH and the life raft is visible from 8 miles away, which is real strech our lookout would have to make sure not to get a snack, read a couple pages in his book, get into an animated discussion with someone else for only 15 minutes or so.

Once he passed the raft its all over, how many lookouts look behind themselves often, not many I suspect.

I think the disconnect is the difference between coastal and ocean sailing.
Coastal we expect that someone has a lookout at all time, often they do.

On the Ocean however these guys are are on the water for days and days with nothing to see. A 15 minute lapse I would guess is more the norm than the exception.

I think is it probably worse now than ever before.
If they are going to see something the most likely thing they will see is another big boat. Probably a 100 to 1 odds. The other big boats all have AIS and radar. These boats all have automatic AIS and radar detection so actually looking out the windows is just by human nature going to seem less important.
When you are looking at your radar a raft or a sailboat is often just not seen or if it is seen is not considered important.
How many times are you going to divert to get close to an unidentified object to find out it is piece of debris and be raked over the coals by some bean counter watching your track before you don't investigate unknowns at all.

I would like to have one of those laser flares with which I could light up the inside of his bridge. If there's someone even in the bridge you might have a chance.
 

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No offshore radar alarms for converging target or interest in the blip on their screen either?

I will grant the temporary snacking of bridge crew, but still find the premise of two ships passing unnoticed to be highly unlikely. Twice.

But to each their own. We went with a friend who also disliked the film.
 
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