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Bill E Goat

FIshing boat pulls up yacht mast and sails in its nets off Western Aus

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Police are concerned unidentified bodies may lie beneath the Timor Sea, after a fishing trawler pulled up part of a yacht in its nets.

The mystery yacht, which may have links to Sydney and New Zealand, was discovered by a ship owned by Australia Bay Seafoods in about 90m of water last week.

Co-owner of the company Bill Passey said the crew of the ship realised their nets had a giant snag last week while trawling about 170kms from Darwin.

"They hooked up there and it took about six hours to get off and eventually when they did get off something gave way," Mr Passey told the ABC.

"They pulled up ... and amongst all the tangled mess was a sail and a mast off a yacht," he said.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/03/27/3972648.htm?site=darwin

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Is there any proof the rig was still attached to a yacht when it was pulled up?

One of the entries in the Freo to Bali race last May lost its stick at the gooseneck. Pretty sure it was cut free and let go.

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How many blue masts were in that race? Not that big a community - was the freo boat blue-masted?

 

"Mr Passey said the stainless steel rings on the blue mast that was recovered were made in Auckland."

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ah, the top fell off..

 

 

 

 

A mollusc expert told police he believed the vessel had been in the ocean for 8-10 months, and the sail was a type made by a boutique sailmaker from Sydney.

 

 

what the hell is a boutique sailmaker?

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Wouldn't it be easy really? If they know who the sailmaker is, then they can go back and check their records. If it was a big boat it's possible the the sails would be memorable enough that the sailmaker would be able to identify them. Also on the sails, no sail number, no sponsorship stickers?

 

If the whole yacht is down there that would be a very different search than just the mast. And fittings could be made anywhere, doesn't mean that's where the boat is. If you checked most masts you could find bits from 2 or 3 origins around the world...

 

No word on the material? A blue mast is going to be rare, any chance it was discoloured by almost a year on the bottom?

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If there was a fresh wreck in 300 ft of water around here, the rec divers would be chomping at the bit to be the first to find it. Seems like the dive clubs would be more than happy to investigate.

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Walk on the Wildside lost its mast along with rigging and sails north of Carnarvon in May 2013 during the Fremantle to Bali race. Carbon fibre mast made in Auckland. Long way from where the fishing boat picked it up, but a strong northerly set in those parts.

 

Another yacht Froia II from the same event foundered and broke up on Cape Talbot whilst returning to Australia in June 2013. Cape Talbot is approx. 100 south of where the mast was found. Froia II was a Dufour built in La Rochelle, France and a white mast, so doesn't fit the bill.

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If there was anything to do with the size of the rig that'd help, Walk on the Wildside sounds plausible, wasn't there a strong South-west'er last year when it lost its rigging? Might seem far but could have pushed it from Carnarvon to that area...

 

Walk on the Wildside lost its mast along with rigging and sails north of Carnarvon in May 2013 during the Fremantle to Bali race. Carbon fibre mast made in Auckland. Long way from where the fishing boat picked it up, but a strong northerly set in those parts.

 

Another yacht Froia II from the same event foundered and broke up on Cape Talbot whilst returning to Australia in June 2013. Cape Talbot is approx. 100 south of where the mast was found. Froia II was a Dufour built in La Rochelle, France and a white mast, so doesn't fit the bill.

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If there was anything to do with the size of the rig that'd help, Walk on the Wildside sounds plausible, wasn't there a strong South-west'er last year when it lost its rigging? Might seem far but could have pushed it from Carnarvon to that area...

 

 

Walk on the Wildside lost its mast along with rigging and sails north of Carnarvon in May 2013 during the Fremantle to Bali race. Carbon fibre mast made in Auckland. Long way from where the fishing boat picked it up, but a strong northerly set in those parts.

 

...

 

 

yeh... but not exactly blue.

 

Carbon_fibre_rig.jpg

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Discussion with the representative from the company that found the rig, confirmed the mast was blue and made of aluminium. This discounts both Froia II (white mast) and Walk on the Wildside (black carbon fibre). Further discussion with the rep is the mast was definitely connected to a yacht when the trawler picked up the mast. The trawler has a 10 tonne capacity which resulted in extensively damage during the lift.

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That is really weird. I'm amazed they couldn't find out from the sailmaker pretty quickly what happened, and a blue mast isn't too common.

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Walk on the wild side dripped their 20m rig, 50 miles from the coast, 1500 miles away from that spot.

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This should have wrapped up already if they actually knew who the sailmaker was. A blue mast much be less than 1% of boats, so that should be easy to track down too. And as was mentioned, the depth is not beyond many diving crews, I'm sure somebody could go down there and read the name of the boat.

 

8-10 months is relatively recent, with sails from Sydney, how hard could this really be...

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Did the trawler bring the rig home, or just dump it again ? Its possible the fishermen mistook the blue undercoat on the top (where it would have been subjected to the most abrasion as the sails dragged it for a few hundred kilometres) as the actual colour of the mast.

If they have the rig, and the sail is without markings, measure the sail.

Sailmakers keep measurement records if nothing else.

 

Its probably refuse caught up on a reef. If you were a fisherman lifting a net, seriously would you keep trying to do it after reaching the swl which would be well under the 10 ton breaking strain of the gear ?

 

Something fishy with this story. Sounds like the fisherman is looking for an insurance job, net and gear replacement claim.

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A boat called 42 (literally) sank on the return to Darwin from the Ambon Race in 2012. From memory she had a blue mast - hull was definitely blue. Boat was a Van de Stadt 34 owned by Peter Charles of Bundaberg, Qld. From memory though she sank near Sermata, about 300km NNE of where the trawler hooked up.

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TTT, Trawlers get their nets "fast" on the ground on a regular biases, the only option is to pull and hope that you only tear the net a bit and you can fix it on deck. No way is a skipper going to just abandon thousands of dollars of money catching equipment because of a SWL sticker on a bit of kit, If the net is real stuck fast hopefully you'll get the trawl doors back and you can switch to a spare net. Most boats don't carry spare trawl doors.

Quite possible that they just dumped it again, not really the space on a 70 ft (guess from photo) work boat to bring home a yacht rig, disappointing yes but likely.

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A boat called 42 (literally) sank on the return to Darwin from the Ambon Race in 2012. From memory she had a blue mast - hull was definitely blue. Boat was a Van de Stadt 34 owned by Peter Charles of Bundaberg, Qld. From memory though she sank near Sermata, about 300km NNE of where the trawler hooked up.

http://www.darwinambonrace.com.au/forty-two/

 

White mast, with "loops"

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