Peter Johnstone

PLEASE SAY A PRAYER FOR RAINMAKER'S CREW

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Well, in fact, they are. You would have to come up with some extremely gross sail handling abuse to exceed the design parameters of a proper rig.

 

Getting caught in bad weather with the sails up most certainly does not qualify for an acceptable reason for a rig failure.

 

It is your post that is both the troll post and ridiculous.

 

Ridiculous. What a complete joke of a post. We, as consumers, don't have the right to question a sailboat's engineering? Since when did it become appropriate for improper sail handling to cause rig failures?

Ha, that will be the day when that fool is a "consumer" in the market for a Gunboat....

I have never, ever heard of a rig designed to withstand gross sail handling abuse. Likewise, wings fall off airplanes when they are flown past VNE or maneuvered harshly at high speeds. It's expected and nobody can design around it.

Ironic when a post starting with Ridiculous is Ridiculous...

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One difference between a mono and a multi is the mono will heel and get rid of the pressure. When the breeze suddenly goes from 35 to 70, the dynamic pressure increases 4x. Unless you are carrying 4x too little sail, the mono will get a knockdown and the multi will either go over (like the Atlantic) or the rig come down (like the Gunboat). I'm not sure there is a great way to defeat the physics.

 

I think if I had the choice, I'd rather the rig came down than the boat turn over.

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Ok, that is a question I asked before. Is the rig coming down a designed in safety feature to prevent capsize? Maybe that would be a reasonable feature, but I suspect pretty difficult to engineer it to only come down when you want it to and stay up when you don't.

 

Don't forget about the auto dump features. Did they work? Does the gunboat have rig tension monitors? Is that data available? Are there situations where the auto dump features would not work?

One difference between a mono and a multi is the mono will heel and get rid of the pressure. When the breeze suddenly goes from 35 to 70, the dynamic pressure increases 4x. Unless you are carrying 4x too little sail, the mono will get a knockdown and the multi will either go over (like the Atlantic) or the rig come down (like the Gunboat). I'm not sure there is a great way to defeat the physics.

 

I think if I had the choice, I'd rather the rig came down than the boat turn over.

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So, what happens when you are going downwind,and you get hit by a 70 knot gust, and the auto dump features blows the mainsheet?

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Not sure how quick an auto dump would work. Most I have seen or read about basically uncleated the sheet. On a sharp edged gust that would likely be too slow - sheet has to be faked, has to run at lightening speed, etc. The engineering is there to do something fast, but not fast and quickly reversible.

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don't know about this particular boat, but some of them have a hydraulic main - there is no purchase

 

auto ease is pretty fast, as there is not much sheet to run

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But questions about the engineering of the rigs are fair game

No, not really.

Why not?
  • You don't know shit about their engineering, other than GB has an excellent reputation in that dept.
  • The other factors here related to weather and route planning are far bigger factors.
  • Sail handling questions would come before engineering.
Ridiculous. What a complete joke of a post. We, as consumers, don't have the right to question a sailboat's engineering? Since when did it become appropriate for improper sail handling to cause rig failures?
Isn't almost every dismasting caused by improper sail handling?

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Not sure how quick an auto dump would work. Most I have seen or read about basically uncleated the sheet. On a sharp edged gust that would likely be too slow - sheet has to be faked, has to run at lightening speed, etc. The engineering is there to do something fast, but not fast and quickly reversible.

It might even be flaked. But a fake mainsheet would be fun

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don't know about this particular boat, but some of them have a hydraulic main - there is no purchase

 

auto ease is pretty fast, as there is not much sheet to run

 

to be clear - what eases is the ram.., there is no cleat or anything on the sheet

 

it is a lot like an emergency release button on a hydraulic vang, in that the load is released almost instantly

 

as i said, there is no purchase (visible at least.., a single part leads into the boom and forward, where it attaches to a ram - which may be in the boat somewhere, not in the boom.

 

as far as i know, there is no purchase anywhere in the system - all the mechanical advantage comes from the hydraulics

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for some reson i can't edit the above post - i can't remember where the ram is on the GB's - i was on another big boat recently that had the mainsheet ram somewhere other than the boom.

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Not sure how quick an auto dump would work. Most I have seen or read about basically uncleated the sheet. On a sharp edged gust that would likely be too slow - sheet has to be faked, has to run at lightening speed, etc. The engineering is there to do something fast, but not fast and quickly reversible.

It might even be flaked. But a fake mainsheet would be fun

 

New to sailing? You need to review your nautical terms...

 

fake vs. flake

founder vs. flounder

etc.

 

 

don't know about this particular boat, but some of them have a hydraulic main - there is no purchase

 

auto ease is pretty fast, as there is not much sheet to run

 

to be clear - what eases is the ram.., there is no cleat or anything on the sheet

 

it is a lot like an emergency release button on a hydraulic vang, in that the load is released almost instantly

 

as i said, there is no purchase (visible at least.., a single part leads into the boom and forward, where it attaches to a ram - which may be in the boat somewhere, not in the boom.

 

as far as i know, there is no purchase anywhere in the system - all the mechanical advantage comes from the hydraulics

 

 

I have a hydraulic vang, and the only reason that works on a vang is that it only has to move a couple of inches to relieve the load. On a mainsheet it has to travel a long way, very hard to make hydraulics work that fast. Or there has to be a reverse purchase (much more likely) in which case the problems are still there.

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Id be interested to know how much sail was up that they couldn't 'get it down fast enough'. . They said they had seen several 'white out squalls' with 40 kts' that day and this was another one but it had 70. I think I would have had just a hanky out. I had the same question re mono vs. multi heel. Also 70 knots of a cold northerly hits a lot harder than a warm southerly. There just has to be a lot more to this story.

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My experience is on the new 60's. A lot is the same but a lot is different.

On the GB60 there is a reverse 2:1 purchase. Ram moves 1' sheet moves 2'. I would bet the 55 is the same but don't know for sure. Unless you are hard on the wind to tight reach the release of the main is not going to do that much in that much breeze. Note the cap shrouds keep the sail from going all the way out.

 

Not sure if Rainmaker had something for the jibs and code sails, but on some of the the 60's there is an electrocam that is basically a harken cam cleat the flips up. To release you have an oh shit button but also works automatically by software. You put a few wraps around the winch and then put sheet in cam cleat and then flake sheet. And hope if you every have to hit the oh shit button knowbody is standing on the sheet because it would not be pretty.

 

don't know about this particular boat, but some of them have a hydraulic main - there is no purchase

 

auto ease is pretty fast, as there is not much sheet to run

 

to be clear - what eases is the ram.., there is no cleat or anything on the sheet

 

it is a lot like an emergency release button on a hydraulic vang, in that the load is released almost instantly

 

as i said, there is no purchase (visible at least.., a single part leads into the boom and forward, where it attaches to a ram - which may be in the boat somewhere, not in the boom.

 

as far as i know, there is no purchase anywhere in the system - all the mechanical advantage comes from the hydraulics

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Uhhh, a route crossed by fixed bridges 19 feet lower than the air draft of a Gunboat 55?

 

The math does not appear to favor the ICW as an option...

Should be easy enough to unstep the rig, motor down the ICW, and restep in Charleston. Result: no rig loss, no boat damage, no CG lives risked. They took a big gamble, and lost. I have to question that decision.

 

Sorry, but dropping the rig and motoring down the Ditch, well... that's never gonna happen with a Gunboat 55, in The Real World... :-)

 

The were apparently bound for the Miami Boat Show, so that helps explain the schedule they might have been sailing to... What i have to question, is what they were doing so far offshore... (Anyone know their precise position, btw?) I hadn't been paying close attention to the weather around the time of their departure, so this is all in hindsight, without benefit of what they were dealing with in their initial passage planning, but...

 

Not everyone endorses this (Don Street, among others, thinks it's nuts to round Hatteras inshore of the Stream), but my inclination going around Hatteras when continuing down the coast, is to just run down the beach to that red nun #2 right off Diamond Shoals, then angle off towards Cape Lookout Shoals to remain inshore of the Stream. The biggest additional benefit of doing so, of course, is keeping Beaufort/Wrightsville/Charleston, etc. close at hand as potential bail out/pit stops...

 

But again, if there were indeed Easterlies in the initial forecast as someone has already indicated, that turns the Outer Banks N of Hatteras into one of the most feared lee shores anywhere... but in a boat capable of such speed, hovering around the Chesapeake Entrance until conditions favor making the dash around Diamond Shoals inshore of the Stream can be a pretty good way to go, in my opinion...

 

If nothing else, it might have resulted in a shorter ride in a CG helo... ;-)

 

You have been misinformed of the destination and the posts before you have a lot of misinformation as well. Best to read what PJ writes and get the facts.He's a straight shooter. Probably ought to look at a chart as well, Chesapeake Bay is North of Hatteras and never would have been an option as they would have had to depart from Hatteras or Ocracoke inlet to leave the Gunboat yard, as he said they had.

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Uhhh, a route crossed by fixed bridges 19 feet lower than the air draft of a Gunboat 55?

 

The math does not appear to favor the ICW as an option...

Should be easy enough to unstep the rig, motor down the ICW, and restep in Charleston. Result: no rig loss, no boat damage, no CG lives risked. They took a big gamble, and lost. I have to question that decision.

 

Sorry, but dropping the rig and motoring down the Ditch, well... that's never gonna happen with a Gunboat 55, in The Real World... :-)

 

The were apparently bound for the Miami Boat Show, so that helps explain the schedule they might have been sailing to... What i have to question, is what they were doing so far offshore... (Anyone know their precise position, btw?) I hadn't been paying close attention to the weather around the time of their departure, so this is all in hindsight, without benefit of what they were dealing with in their initial passage planning, but...

 

Not everyone endorses this (Don Street, among others, thinks it's nuts to round Hatteras inshore of the Stream), but my inclination going around Hatteras when continuing down the coast, is to just run down the beach to that red nun #2 right off Diamond Shoals, then angle off towards Cape Lookout Shoals to remain inshore of the Stream. The biggest additional benefit of doing so, of course, is keeping Beaufort/Wrightsville/Charleston, etc. close at hand as potential bail out/pit stops...

 

But again, if there were indeed Easterlies in the initial forecast as someone has already indicated, that turns the Outer Banks N of Hatteras into one of the most feared lee shores anywhere... but in a boat capable of such speed, hovering around the Chesapeake Entrance until conditions favor making the dash around Diamond Shoals inshore of the Stream can be a pretty good way to go, in my opinion...

 

If nothing else, it might have resulted in a shorter ride in a CG helo... ;-)

 

You have been misinformed of the destination and the posts before you have a lot of misinformation as well. Best to read what PJ writes and get the facts.He's a straight shooter. Probably ought to look at a chart as well, Chesapeake Bay is North of Hatteras and never would have been an option as they would have had to depart from Hatteras or Ocracoke inlet to leave the Gunboat yard, as he said they had.

 

My bad, I had missed that they had departed from Wanchese, I was thinking they might have been coming down the coast from the boat's home port...

 

What was the destination? No one seems to know that for certain, I haven't seen it stated anywhere...

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For all the folks questioning the crew's decision to leave given the forecast, normally a Gunboat wouldn't blink at that forecast. We've knowingly stepped out into far worse plenty of times without hesitation. It actually looked like a fun forecast, a downwind sleigh ride and a trip to the E. Caribbean without tacking once. I was jealous, if my wife hadn't given birth to our baby boy a week ago I would've been there with them. Taking off on the backside of a low, in advance of the next one, is a valid strategy and one we've used many times. You use the dying breeze on the backside to get down the track and away from the next one.

 

My first delivery on a Gunboat we cast off the dock lines from Newport in Dec in 35-40kts, saw 40-50, and hit a top boatspeed of 36.6. We were still sleeping off watch, still cooking, still "living easy". The only part that was scary was that it wasn't scary. Hitting 30's in the dark, alone on watch, coffee cup in hand and not panicking just felt wrong. But it was safe, fast, and fun. There was no reason to believe this delivery wouldn't be the same.

 

As for why dismastings occur (a naive question, but...), masts, standing rigging, and the various rigging components are 3rd party designed and supplied equipment. Gunboat doesn't pretend to know more about mast engineering and construction than their chosen designers and suppliers. Gunboat is no more to blame for a dismasting than they are when a watermaker breaks or a winch breaks. Marstom built the rig for Phaedo, and Hall the rig for Rainmaker. Swans dismast, Oysters dismast. It happens. A lot. I'm sure there'll be some analysis in house, but there are any number of failures that could result in a downed rig. Furler failure, shroud terminal, lashing chafe, tang, etc. 70 kts will find the "fuse" pretty quickly.

 

I'm sure there are stories that will come out in the next couple of days that will explain their decision. For now I'm grateful to the CG, happy that my buddies are safe, and hoping that the recovery happens quickly.

 

For the record, I've never worked for Peter or Gunboat. I'm not part of his "PR machine". But one of the great "value added" things about GB is it's a family, from owners, to permanent crew, to delivery, and race crew. And like in any family, I'll rush to the defense of my brothers. I can understand the rush to judgement, but I also hope most of you know the cascading chain of events that can take a situation from just bad to truly shitty.

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Destination: BVI, i think, and SXM afterwards. I think I would have sat that storm out in Beaufort, but I know nothing about the actual schedule for Rainmaker.

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NC to BVI. It looked like a great weather window in my book. Hindsight is 20/20, but I checked passageweather.com before they left and didn't see anything too worrisome. NW 25-30, locally to 40. 40 on the nose sucks, but 40 from behind is great. Port gybe for more breeze, stbd for less. I'd argue a real seaman doesn't sit under the porch when it's 25-30, he goes out and runs with the big dogs.

 

We are all one squall away from the headlines.

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And let's say you come up with a way to just instantly let the boom fly - exploding bolts on the mainsheet block for example, or a proper weak link at the clew. Is that necessarily what you want? Now you got an awfully big boom and/or huge sail not under control, just when the cup custard is hitting the electric fan.

 

I doubt the shock loads on a big cat it a big seaway have ever been reliably measured. It would require the combination of some very unusual instrumentation on a boat sent out looking for nasty conditions. Impossible I think with normal rigging load sensors, response rate is insufficient.

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For all the folks questioning the crew's decision to leave given the forecast, normally a Gunboat wouldn't blink at that forecast. We've knowingly stepped out into far worse plenty of times without hesitation. It actually looked like a fun forecast, a downwind sleigh ride and a trip to the E. Caribbean without tacking once. I was jealous, if my wife hadn't given birth to our baby boy a week ago I would've been there with them. Taking off on the backside of a low, in advance of the next one, is a valid strategy and one we've used many times. You use the dying breeze on the backside to get down the track and away from the next one.

 

My first delivery on a Gunboat we cast off the dock lines from Newport in Dec in 35-40kts, saw 40-50, and hit a top boatspeed of 36.6. We were still sleeping off watch, still cooking, still "living easy". The only part that was scary was that it wasn't scary. Hitting 30's in the dark, alone on watch, coffee cup in hand and not panicking just felt wrong. But it was safe, fast, and fun. There was no reason to believe this delivery wouldn't be the same.

 

.

The Bounty captain bragged about seeking out hurricanes and using a slingshot effect from them for a speedy passage. Uh, if you keep tempting fate, sooner or later the odds catch up with you.

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And let's say you come up with a way to just instantly let the boom fly - exploding bolts on the mainsheet block for example, or a proper weak link at the clew. Is that necessarily what you want? Now you got an awfully big boom and/or huge sail not under control, just when the cup custard is hitting the electric fan.

AIUI, The French use the UpSideUp automatic anti capsize system.

 

http://www.oceandatasystem.com/?mode=developpement-ods-upsideup

 

 

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For all the folks questioning the crew's decision to leave given the forecast, normally a Gunboat wouldn't blink at that forecast. We've knowingly stepped out into far worse plenty of times without hesitation. It actually looked like a fun forecast, a downwind sleigh ride and a trip to the E. Caribbean without tacking once. I was jealous, if my wife hadn't given birth to our baby boy a week ago I would've been there with them. Taking off on the backside of a low, in advance of the next one, is a valid strategy and one we've used many times. You use the dying breeze on the backside to get down the track and away from the next one.

 

My first delivery on a Gunboat we cast off the dock lines from Newport in Dec in 35-40kts, saw 40-50, and hit a top boatspeed of 36.6. We were still sleeping off watch, still cooking, still "living easy". The only part that was scary was that it wasn't scary. Hitting 30's in the dark, alone on watch, coffee cup in hand and not panicking just felt wrong. But it was safe, fast, and fun. There was no reason to believe this delivery wouldn't be the same.

 

.

The Bounty captain bragged about seeking out hurricanes and using a slingshot effect from them for a speedy passage. Uh, if you keep tempting fate, sooner or later the odds catch up with you.

 

What's a safe forecast in your world, RK?

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For all the folks questioning the crew's decision to leave given the forecast, normally a Gunboat wouldn't blink at that forecast. We've knowingly stepped out into far worse plenty of times without hesitation. It actually looked like a fun forecast, a downwind sleigh ride and a trip to the E. Caribbean without tacking once. I was jealous, if my wife hadn't given birth to our baby boy a week ago I would've been there with them. Taking off on the backside of a low, in advance of the next one, is a valid strategy and one we've used many times. You use the dying breeze on the backside to get down the track and away from the next one.

 

My first delivery on a Gunboat we cast off the dock lines from Newport in Dec in 35-40kts, saw 40-50, and hit a top boatspeed of 36.6. We were still sleeping off watch, still cooking, still "living easy". The only part that was scary was that it wasn't scary. Hitting 30's in the dark, alone on watch, coffee cup in hand and not panicking just felt wrong. But it was safe, fast, and fun. There was no reason to believe this delivery wouldn't be the same.

 

.

The Bounty captain bragged about seeking out hurricanes and using a slingshot effect from them for a speedy passage. Uh, if you keep tempting fate, sooner or later the odds catch up with you.

What's a safe forecast in your world, RK?

One that doesn't involve a CG rescue as Plan B.

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Agree with Soma here after sailing down this part of the coast a fair few times in December, January and February from Newport you really have such small windows for weather that you have to jump on the back of the passing low. And if your not happy to experience 40-50kts you shouldn't be out there. Remember these things do good speeds and with forecasting these days being fairly reliable 3 days out your looking at being able to cover nearly 1000nm in that time which should be plenty of distance to get away from anything extreme.

 

I'm not a GB lover, love the speed and innovations but not the look, inside helm or glass house mounted on deck but hey it's still afloat didn't go over and the crew are all alive what's not to like.

 

How about everyone that's jumping to conclusions write there experience before their comments then we can work out how big your arm chair is.

 

 

quote name="soma" post="4828862" timestamp="1422742609"]

For all the folks questioning the crew's decision to leave given the forecast, normally a Gunboat wouldn't blink at that forecast. We've knowingly stepped out into far worse plenty of times without hesitation. It actually looked like a fun forecast, a downwind sleigh ride and a trip to the E. Caribbean without tacking once. I was jealous, if my wife hadn't given birth to our baby boy a week ago I would've been there with them. Taking off on the backside of a low, in advance of the next one, is a valid strategy and one we've used many times. You use the dying breeze on the backside to get down the track and away from the next one.

 

My first delivery on a Gunboat we cast off the dock lines from Newport in Dec in 35-40kts, saw 40-50, and hit a top boatspeed of 36.6. We were still sleeping off watch, still cooking, still "living easy". The only part that was scary was that it wasn't scary. Hitting 30's in the dark, alone on watch, coffee cup in hand and not panicking just felt wrong. But it was safe, fast, and fun. There was no reason to believe this delivery wouldn't be the same.

 

As for why dismastings occur (a naive question, but...), masts, standing rigging, and the various rigging components are 3rd party designed and supplied equipment. Gunboat doesn't pretend to know more about mast engineering and construction than their chosen designers and suppliers. Gunboat is no more to blame for a dismasting than they are when a watermaker breaks or a winch breaks. Marstom built the rig for Phaedo, and Hall the rig for Rainmaker. Swans dismast, Oysters dismast. It happens. A lot. I'm sure there'll be some analysis in house, but there are any number of failures that could result in a downed rig. Furler failure, shroud terminal, lashing chafe, tang, etc. 70 kts will find the "fuse" pretty quickly.

 

I'm sure there are stories that will come out in the next couple of days that will explain their decision. For now I'm grateful to the CG, happy that my buddies are safe, and hoping that the recovery happens quickly.

 

For the record, I've never worked for Peter or Gunboat. I'm not part of his "PR machine". But one of the great "value added" things about GB is it's a family, from owners, to permanent crew, to delivery, and race crew. And like in any family, I'll rush to the defense of my brothers. I can understand the rush to judgement, but I also hope most of you know the cascading chain of events that can take a situation from just bad to truly shitty.

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My experience pales compared to Soma and the RAINMAKER crew. But I have done some deliveries and passages and actually laid abeam in a hurricane one time. It is a very humbling experience. I am with RKoch on this one. It is a fine line between confidence and hubris. And the weather gods will not hesitate to feed you humble pie.

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Until you are no longer able to do 1000 mi in 3 days for some reason, like no rig. It doesn't appear the owner/delivery crew relished the prospect of motoring in 40 knots. When their optimistic plan went in the shitter, Plan B was lighting off the EPIRB. Unseamanlike behavior like that is only going to invite greater scrutiny and regulation from the Govt and underwriters, imo.

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i found another question.

How did they leave Hatteras flying down wind and only go 200 miles in 36 hrs. They should have been 1000 miles into the journey if they were flying downhill at 30 for 36 hours.

The first question being why the big hurry to get off the boat if it wasn't sinking? Trying to tie up to a freighter out there sounds crazy desperate.

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NW 25-30, locally to 40. 40 on the nose sucks, but 40 from behind is great. Port gybe for more breeze, stbd for less. I'd argue a real seaman doesn't sit under the porch when it's 25-30, he goes out and runs with the big dogs.

 

I'd say that 25-35 knots with gusts to 40 against the Gulf Stream is going to produce some very nasty conditions.

 

A real seaman doesn't go out and "run with the big dogs" in those conditions, especially when the weather has been so unstable.

 

If I was an owner I'd never let you deliver my yacht.

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Well I maybe wrong, and I normally am, BUT,

(a): why was this a front page story?

Answer: Because "Gunboat is one of SA,s prime advertisers.

( B) Was this story of the urgency it was purpoted to be?.

Answer: No, It would seem that the crew were inexperienced and had not prepared sufficiently for the possible conditions likely to be encountered. This reflects the anxiety of "Mister Johnson" in trying to limit collateral damage to the "Gunboat" Marque by expressing such disbelief at the "TERRIBLE" conditions the boat was encountering which in reality seem to be about "Monohull" normality.

© Why was the SAR called out.?

Answer: In all probability no one will own up to the final decision, but, it is better to make the call than to wait if you are in a situation you cannot deal with. My opinion is that the crew on board were either totally inexperienced in the art of survival at sea (in which case they had no right to be there) or that they were totally seduced by the "Gunboat" philosophy that your new investment is faster, more comfortable, stronger, and absolutely bomb proof against anything that the world can throw at you, and also, due to it's phenomenal speed, it can outrun tornados, monsoons and twisters on Jupiter, "so long as it happens in sight of another boat who can help when the shit hits the fan". The Gunboat is a wonderfull machine,,, but it isn't foolproof, and Mr Johnsons efforts at diverting the actualities from the causes is demeaning to both himself and to "Gunboat" itself. It lost a mast 200 miles from shore. The reported conditions were 60Kn wind speed max. (nothing special). The boat, (OR THE CREW) were not of sufficient capability to survive the conditions. If neither were able to support the conditions,,, What the fuck were they doing there????

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Gunboats are so amazing they go flying across the Gulf Stream when the wind is 40+ from the north when everyone else is afraid of waves 20 feet tall and 30 feet long. They are the big dogs and the rest are the pups hiding under the porch.

--- Until the mast falls off :rolleyes:

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IMO, with cats off shore in serious wind it's all fine until it isn't. The line is very sharp.

 

I nearly lost my boat working a stationary front when ~that one squall that looks the same but is a LOT bigger~ got us. Right up 'till then it was easy sailing. I thought I was sailing conservatively. It was certainly comfortable sailing. I believe that if I'd been pushing even a tiny bit harder or hit a wave wrong or had a bit more wind or had more trouble with the sails I've been a casualty.

 

Doesn't happen often. Just the once for me. I don't think the odds of getting caught out are all that high. But I think it's hard to judge how close to the edge things are just by how comfy it feels when it's going right.

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There are well known ways to get across the Stream without wind against current. It requires waiting. Impatience has been killing sailors off of the Carolinas since the Spanish treasure fleets and been killing pilots since the second airplane.

 

 

For all the folks questioning the crew's decision to leave given the forecast, normally a Gunboat wouldn't blink at that forecast. We've knowingly stepped out into far worse plenty of times without hesitation. It actually looked like a fun forecast, a downwind sleigh ride and a trip to the E. Caribbean without tacking once. I was jealous, if my wife hadn't given birth to our baby boy a week ago I would've been there with them. Taking off on the backside of a low, in advance of the next one, is a valid strategy and one we've used many times. You use the dying breeze on the backside to get down the track and away from the next one.

My first delivery on a Gunboat we cast off the dock lines from Newport in Dec in 35-40kts, saw 40-50, and hit a top boatspeed of 36.6. We were still sleeping off watch, still cooking, still "living easy". The only part that was scary was that it wasn't scary. Hitting 30's in the dark, alone on watch, coffee cup in hand and not panicking just felt wrong. But it was safe, fast, and fun. There was no reason to believe this delivery wouldn't be the same.

.

The Bounty captain bragged about seeking out hurricanes and using a slingshot effect from them for a speedy passage. Uh, if you keep tempting fate, sooner or later the odds catch up with you.

 

What's a safe forecast in your world, RK?

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This isn't some sort of "Gunboat cowboy" mentality. This is SOP in the industry. If you doubt it just sit at Belle's Cafe at Newport Shipyard in November after a NE'r. You'll see a steady stream of yachts departing the moment it clears after a front. Big NE/N/NW winds, 25-30 in the harbor, 30-40 outside. If you want a 15 kt beam reach all the way from the E. Coast to the Caribbean you'll never get it.

 

"If I was an owner I'd never let you deliver my yacht"

 

Noted.

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Until you are no longer able to do 1000 mi in 3 days for some reason, like no rig. It doesn't appear the owner/delivery crew relished the prospect of motoring in 40 knots. When their optimistic plan went in the shitter, Plan B was lighting off the EPIRB. Unseamanlike behavior like that is only going to invite greater scrutiny and regulation from the Govt and underwriters, imo.

Are you really positing that these guys had abandoning the boat as part of their plan?

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Newport <> Hatteras ;)

This isn't some sort of "Gunboat cowboy" mentality. This is SOP in the industry. If you doubt it just sit at Belle's Cafe at Newport Shipyard in November after a NE'r. You'll see a steady stream of yachts departing the moment it clears after a front. Big NE/N/NW winds, 25-30 in the harbor, 30-40 outside. If you want a 15 kt beam reach all the way from the E. Coast to the Caribbean you'll never get it.

"If I was an owner I'd never let you deliver my yacht"

Noted.

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This isn't some sort of "Gunboat cowboy" mentality. This is SOP in the industry. If you doubt it just sit at Belle's Cafe at Newport Shipyard in November after a NE'r. You'll see a steady stream of yachts departing the moment it clears after a front. Big NE/N/NW winds, 25-30 in the harbor, 30-40 outside. If you want a 15 kt beam reach all the way from the E. Coast to the Caribbean you'll never get it.

 

"If I was an owner I'd never let you deliver my yacht"

 

Noted.

Thank you SOMA for reminding us of the realities of how/when boats move.

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i found another question.

How did they leave Hatteras flying down wind and only go 200 miles in 36 hrs. They should have been 1000 miles into the journey if they were flying downhill at 30 for 36 hours.

 

I'm guessing the "large South swell" Mr. Johnstone mentioned might have had something to do with that... :-)

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IMO, with cats off shore in serious wind it's all fine until it isn't. The line is very sharp.

 

I nearly lost my boat working a stationary front when ~that one squall that looks the same but is a LOT bigger~ got us. Right up 'till then it was easy sailing. I thought I was sailing conservatively. It was certainly comfortable sailing. I believe that if I'd been pushing even a tiny bit harder or hit a wave wrong or had a bit more wind or had more trouble with the sails I've been a casualty.

 

Doesn't happen often. Just the once for me. I don't think the odds of getting caught out are all that high. But I think it's hard to judge how close to the edge things are just by how comfy it feels when it's going right.

This is my point "Rule69". These boats are great until the shit hits the fan but when the line is crossed you are in the real shit without the fan. My anger is at Mr Johnson and Gunboat for propogating this falsehood that you can outrun any problem and still beat a VOR70 to the finish line whilst stuffing your face with "Filet Migñon and Chateau Nuef de Pape served on a Thai masseuses shaved bikini line. It's all bollocks and Mr Johnson knows that. He should take some responsability in the fact that his cruiser/racers are more racers than cruisers and should be treated as such with the appropriate crew abord to meet the conditions. The coastguards are there to help as are the RNLI,,, but it is the responsability of the boat owner/skipper/crew,,,, NOT to call them out until it is obviously a last resort. This is after all a recreational pastime. No matter how much money you have in the bank.

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Isn't almost every dismasting caused by improper sail handling?

No. Most dismastings are caused by poor maintenance.

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IMO, with cats off shore in serious wind it's all fine until it isn't. The line is very sharp.

 

I nearly lost my boat working a stationary front when ~that one squall that looks the same but is a LOT bigger~ got us. Right up 'till then it was easy sailing. I thought I was sailing conservatively. It was certainly comfortable sailing. I believe that if I'd been pushing even a tiny bit harder or hit a wave wrong or had a bit more wind or had more trouble with the sails I've been a casualty.

 

Doesn't happen often. Just the once for me. I don't think the odds of getting caught out are all that high. But I think it's hard to judge how close to the edge things are just by how comfy it feels when it's going right.

This is my point "Rule69". These boats are great until the shit hits the fan but when the line is crossed you are in the real shit without the fan. My anger is at Mr Johnson and Gunboat for propogating this falsehood that you can outrun any problem and still beat a VOR70 to the finish line whilst stuffing your face with "Filet Migñon and Chateau Nuef de Pape served on a Thai masseuses shaved bikini line. It's all bollocks and Mr Johnson knows that. He should take some responsability in the fact that his cruiser/racers are more racers than cruisers and should be treated as such with the appropriate crew abord to meet the conditions. The coastguards are there to help as are the RNLI,,, but it is the responsability of the boat owner/skipper/crew,,,, NOT to call them out until it is obviously a last resort. This is after all a recreational pastime. No matter how much money you have in the bank.

That is a bit of a stretch, no? Is being able to outrun problems a nice feature? Can the Gunboat outrun problems better than most? You fault them because, while they can outrun problems better than most boats, they can't out run every problem? Having a boat with really good features leads to a false sense of security? So it is better to have a crappy boat? Did Gunboat make them go out to sea in those conditions?

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Until you are no longer able to do 1000 mi in 3 days for some reason, like no rig. It doesn't appear the owner/delivery crew relished the prospect of motoring in 40 knots. When their optimistic plan went in the shitter, Plan B was lighting off the EPIRB. Unseamanlike behavior like that is only going to invite greater scrutiny and regulation from the Govt and underwriters, imo.

Are you really positing that these guys had abandoning the boat as part of their plan?
Plan A appears to have been haul ass south. Then the mast fell down. The best Plan B they could come up with was light up the EPIRB.

Perhaps a Plan A that didn't require maintaining a high rate of speed would have been a good idea. And a Plan B in advance, of where to run when Plan A hits the shitter.

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This isn't some sort of "Gunboat cowboy" mentality. This is SOP in the industry. If you doubt it just sit at Belle's Cafe at Newport Shipyard in November after a NE'r. You'll see a steady stream of yachts departing the moment it clears after a front. Big NE/N/NW winds, 25-30 in the harbor, 30-40 outside. If you want a 15 kt beam reach all the way from the E. Coast to the Caribbean you'll never get it.

 

"If I was an owner I'd never let you deliver my yacht"

 

Noted.

 

The last time I checked there isn't a north-running Gulf Stream just outside of Newport Harbor to bash into...

 

I've been in this industry and delivering yachts for 36 years and what you're talking about is definitely not SOP... not amongst professionals anyway...

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Not bashing PJ or GB... but I suspect what we are seeing is a Wall St mentality. Bet the farm on risky derivatives, then when your bank fails ask the Govt to bail you out. For all I know, Wall St are GB's target customers.

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IMO, with cats off shore in serious wind it's all fine until it isn't. The line is very sharp.

 

I nearly lost my boat working a stationary front when ~that one squall that looks the same but is a LOT bigger~ got us. Right up 'till then it was easy sailing. I thought I was sailing conservatively. It was certainly comfortable sailing. I believe that if I'd been pushing even a tiny bit harder or hit a wave wrong or had a bit more wind or had more trouble with the sails I've been a casualty.

 

Doesn't happen often. Just the once for me. I don't think the odds of getting caught out are all that high. But I think it's hard to judge how close to the edge things are just by how comfy it feels when it's going right.

This is my point "Rule69". These boats are great until the shit hits the fan but when the line is crossed you are in the real shit without the fan. My anger is at Mr Johnson and Gunboat for propogating this falsehood that you can outrun any problem and still beat a VOR70 to the finish line whilst stuffing your face with "Filet Migñon and Chateau Nuef de Pape served on a Thai masseuses shaved bikini line. It's all bollocks and Mr Johnson knows that. He should take some responsability in the fact that his cruiser/racers are more racers than cruisers and should be treated as such with the appropriate crew abord to meet the conditions. The coastguards are there to help as are the RNLI,,, but it is the responsability of the boat owner/skipper/crew,,,, NOT to call them out until it is obviously a last resort. This is after all a recreational pastime. No matter how much money you have in the bank.

That wasn't exactly the point I was trying to make. To be clear, I think cats can be plenty seaworthy. Mine's a good sea boat. The GB's look like good sea boats to me too. The "problem" I was trying to bring out is that on a boat that's comfy when it's shitty out it's easy to get complacent. It's happened to me. It's happened to others. Complacency is dangerous. I'm sure the GB's can be navigated safely running in a gale. Just saying they can be navigated unsafely but comfortably in those conditions too.

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AIUI, The French use the UpSideUp automatic anti capsize system.

 

http://www.oceandatasystem.com/?mode=developpement-ods-upsideup

 

 

 

Catchy name, but they have mostly developed a control system. Their release offerings are a electromagnetic snap shackle ("exploding bolts") and an electromagnetic cleat - so the problem remains.

 

Remember these things do good speeds and with forecasting these days being fairly reliable 3 days out your looking at being able to cover nearly 1000nm in that time which should be plenty of distance to get away from anything extreme.

 

In idea sailing conditions, boats like this can sail at a 1000nm/3day pace. There is quite a body of race results and tracked passage results that demonstrate average progress to be considerably more modest, and affected by weather. So using that metric as a weather management scheme is suspect. Weather systems on the other hand, can do 1000 miles in 3 days routinely.

 

On the east coast I rarely saw a three day forecast that was accurate beyond day 1 1/2.

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Sounds like they hit the epirb because someone had to be at work on Monday. I doubt heaving to or drifting for a few days until conditions improved were considerations.

Cbs tv news has the owner as a founder of PInterest (useless info dept).

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This isn't some sort of "Gunboat cowboy" mentality. This is SOP in the industry. If you doubt it just sit at Belle's Cafe at Newport Shipyard in November after a NE'r. You'll see a steady stream of yachts departing the moment it clears after a front. Big NE/N/NW winds, 25-30 in the harbor, 30-40 outside. If you want a 15 kt beam reach all the way from the E. Coast to the Caribbean you'll never get it.

 

"If I was an owner I'd never let you deliver my yacht"

 

Noted.

The last time I checked there isn't a north-running Gulf Stream just outside of Newport Harbor to bash into...

 

I've been in this industry and delivering yachts for 36 years and what you're talking about is definitely not SOP... not amongst professionals anyway...

And there's no inside passage or safe inlets until Delaware. S of the Chesapeake, there's no reason to be bashed around offshore. just do a coastal hop south, jump over to the Bahamas, wait for a nice window at Marsh Harbor.

Hell, a couple years ago an owner called me wanting his boat taken Bahamas to BVIs in Oct. I convinced him to wait until late Nov. A bit lumpy trip, but we missed the 50 knot tropical storm 2 weeks earlier. And several years before that I flatly refused a Cartegena to Florida delivery in late August.

With a little patience and common sense, there's no reason to be beating up and losing boats, and hollering for CG rescues.

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IMO, with cats off shore in serious wind it's all fine until it isn't. The line is very sharp.

 

I nearly lost my boat working a stationary front when ~that one squall that looks the same but is a LOT bigger~ got us. Right up 'till then it was easy sailing. I thought I was sailing conservatively. It was certainly comfortable sailing. I believe that if I'd been pushing even a tiny bit harder or hit a wave wrong or had a bit more wind or had more trouble with the sails I've been a casualty.

 

Doesn't happen often. Just the once for me. I don't think the odds of getting caught out are all that high. But I think it's hard to judge how close to the edge things are just by how comfy it feels when it's going right.

This is my point "Rule69". These boats are great until the shit hits the fan but when the line is crossed you are in the real shit without the fan. My anger is at Mr Johnson and Gunboat for propogating this falsehood that you can outrun any problem and still beat a VOR70 to the finish line whilst stuffing your face with "Filet Migñon and Chateau Nuef de Pape served on a Thai masseuses shaved bikini line. It's all bollocks and Mr Johnson knows that. He should take some responsability in the fact that his cruiser/racers are more racers than cruisers and should be treated as such with the appropriate crew abord to meet the conditions. The coastguards are there to help as are the RNLI,,, but it is the responsability of the boat owner/skipper/crew,,,, NOT to call them out until it is obviously a last resort. This is after all a recreational pastime. No matter how much money you have in the bank.

That wasn't exactly the point I was trying to make. To be clear, I think cats can be plenty seaworthy. Mine's a good sea boat. The GB's look like good sea boats to me too. The "problem" I was trying to bring out is that on a boat that's comfy when it's shitty out it's easy to get complacent. It's happened to me. It's happened to others. Complacency is dangerous. I'm sure the GB's can be navigated safely running in a gale. Just saying they can be navigated unsafely but comfortably in those conditions too.

And that's the point I was making as well. Any boat is reasonably seaworthy if you know the boat and treat it as such and within its limitations. These boats are "SOLD" as such, and the owners/crew treat them just as the brochure says. Bad move. Its not just Gunboat. I had a look at a Jeanneau 53 ocean A1 classified and to be honest I was tempted to suggest that it was just about sufficient for cocktails at the quayside. Anything more and it was worth an extra insurance rating in anything above 20Kn of wind.

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For Fuckssake Gusmus, if you're going to blindly trash a guy, at least get his fucking name right

Why bother? He's only trying to get his fucking story right. I thought I had it down to a "T", The "E" makes no difference to a Scot. Blindly trashing I'm not. I've been watching the "Gunboat" shit for quite a number of years (since they first appeared) after MR Johnsons Laser fracaso, and have been waiting for something to happen. You seem to forget that some of us can sit on the sidelines and watch as you yanks send each other "Kalishnikovs" as Xmas gifts and are surprised when we comment apon the sudden influx of casualties at the local A&M after the new years day party. Well this is the same. Give a flying machine to a cocktail waitress and you're surely going to get a "Gin Fizz" that no one wants to swallow unless it's served with fresh lime at a sunny anchorage in St Martins..

Yes, gun control would have prevented this. WTF.

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For Fuckssake Gusmus, if you're going to blindly trash a guy, at least get his fucking name right

Why bother? He's only trying to get his fucking story right. I thought I had it down to a "T", The "E" makes no difference to a Scot. Blindly trashing I'm not. I've been watching the "Gunboat" shit for quite a number of years (since they first appeared) after MR Johnsons Laser fracaso, and have been waiting for something to happen. You seem to forget that some of us can sit on the sidelines and watch as you yanks send each other "Kalishnikovs" as Xmas gifts and are surprised when we comment apon the sudden influx of casualties at the local A&M after the new years day party. Well this is the same. Give a flying machine to a cocktail waitress and you're surely going to get a "Gin Fizz" that no one wants to swallow unless it's served with fresh lime at a sunny anchorage in St Martins..

Yes, gun control would have prevented this. WTF.

You really must learn to not take things so literally. So touchy when it comes to a bit of light hearted criticism. Poor dears. Do tell me. Are you a gun lover per chance? Or just a touchy Yank who looks for excuses to fly the flag when it's not too windy?

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Remember these things do good speeds and with forecasting these days being fairly reliable 3 days out your looking at being able to cover nearly 1000nm in that time which should be plenty of distance to get away from anything extreme.

 

In idea sailing conditions, boats like this can sail at a 1000nm/3day pace. There is quite a body of race results and tracked passage results that demonstrate average progress to be considerably more modest, and affected by weather. So using that metric as a weather management scheme is suspect. Weather systems on the other hand, can do 1000 miles in 3 days routinely.

 

On the east coast I rarely saw a three day forecast that was accurate beyond day 1 1/2.

 

 

DDW - I disagree - even the 5 day forecast is now generally pretty reliable.

 

last october, someone made essentially the same statement as you did, and i posted this image - it is the 18Z surface analysis for that day, and superimposed is the GFS 120 hour forecast from 5 days earlier

 

the agreement is excellent

 

i make these comparisons all the time, and this is not at all unusual

 

post-290-0-03761500-1422754919_thumb.png

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just for kicks.., i did it for the latest surface OPC analysis from today - again, the 18Z - it is also overlain by the 120hr GFS forecast for 18Z today, from 5 days ago



notice how good it is - look at the position of the two cold fronts on the surface analysis, and note the veer in GFS wind on the southern part of the fronts - they are located very well.



also note the position of the low - very close



what more do you want?



post-290-0-23381300-1422755083_thumb.png


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Me, I'd much rather be in a gale in a Gunboat with no mast than a 4 ksb. I think that it is too easy now to buy a boat and go to sea. Too many people treat it like a car. What do you do when your car breaks down? Call for a tow! What do you do if you are in an accident? Call 911!

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Here's a good write-up from Charlie Doane, with a few details not yet reported... Lines wrapped on the props, for one...

 

http://www.wavetrain.net/news-a-views/647-rainmaker-abandoned-gunboat-55-hull-no-1-dismasted,-crew-evacuated-by-helo

 

Rainmaker was 36 hours into a passage that began at Gunboat's North Carolina yard, bound for St. Martin, when she was dismasted. Sustained winds at the time were 30-35 knots, with 40-knot squalls coming through at intervals. The crew, led by skipper Chris Bailet and owner Brian Cohen, were flying a triple-reefed mainsail and a storm jib. Also aboard were Cohen's son and two other professional crew. The coup-de-grace was delivered by one 70-knot squall, a microburst Johnstone termed it, that looked no different from the other squalls as it approached. In Johnstone's words: "The mast came down with the wall of wind."

 

According to Johnstone, the rig was cleared with no damage to the hull, and the crew salvaged the storm jib in hopes of putting up a jury rig later. There were lines around the props, which precluded any motoring until they could be cleared.

 

On A Gunboat Catamaran, You Can Have Your Martini And 30 Knots, Too

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2014/09/11/on-a-gunboat-catamaran-you-can-have-your-martini-and-30-knots-too/

 

“What I love about this boat is it’s so disruptive, in so many ways,” says Cohen, a 59-year-old Boston University-trained journalist who made his money on the personal computer revolution in the ’80s and ’90s, then doubled down as an angel investor–famously, he was the first to invest in Pinterest.

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just for kicks.., i did it for the latest surface OPC analysis from today - again, the 18Z - it is also overlain by the 120hr GFS forecast for 18Z today, from 5 days ago

notice how good it is - look at the position of the two cold fronts on the surface analysis, and note the veer in GFS wind on the southern part of the fronts - they are located very well.

also note the position of the low - very close

what more do you want?

1-30.png

A mast that stays standing?

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just for kicks.., i did it for the latest surface OPC analysis from today - again, the 18Z - it is also overlain by the 120hr GFS forecast for 18Z today, from 5 days ago

notice how good it is - look at the position of the two cold fronts on the surface analysis, and note the veer in GFS wind on the southern part of the fronts - they are located very well.

also note the position of the low - very close

what more do you want?

1-30.png

A mast that stays standing?
A keel that stays on is a big plus.

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DDW - I disagree - even the 5 day forecast is now generally pretty reliable.

 

I disagree with your disagreement :rolleyes: . At least last year, between end of January and beginning of April, 5 days was hopeless, three days marginal. I looked at the gribs, forecast, and actuals every day. I kept the last weeks worth of gribs and compared it as they changed. Quite honestly a dart board would have been more accurate. 12 hours out they were pretty good. 24 hours still kind of OK. By 36 hours it typically diverged quite a bit. At 48 hours no correlation.

 

Now maybe my expectations are too high. I am a West Coast boy, and (at least between May and Oct) I can predict the weather out here 4 years ahead of time with near perfect accuracy. Back on the east coast, the job is a difficult one - and one they don't get right much better than chance.

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just for kicks.., i did it for the latest surface OPC analysis from today - again, the 18Z - it is also overlain by the 120hr GFS forecast for 18Z today, from 5 days ago

notice how good it is - look at the position of the two cold fronts on the surface analysis, and note the veer in GFS wind on the southern part of the fronts - they are located very well.

also note the position of the low - very close

what more do you want?

1-30.png

A mast that stays standing?
A keel that stays on is a big plus.
A fridge that keeps the beer cold?

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DDW - I disagree - even the 5 day forecast is now generally pretty reliable.

I disagree with your disagreement :rolleyes: . At least last year, between end of January and beginning of April, 5 days was hopeless, three days marginal. I looked at the gribs, forecast, and actuals every day. I kept the last weeks worth of gribs and compared it as they changed. Quite honestly a dart board would have been more accurate. 12 hours out they were pretty good. 24 hours still kind of OK. By 36 hours it typically diverged quite a bit. At 48 hours no correlation.

 

Now maybe my expectations are too high. I am a West Coast boy, and (at least between May and Oct) I can predict the weather out here 4 years ahead of time with near perfect accuracy. Back on the east coast, the job is a difficult one - and one they don't get right much better than chance.

May to Oct pretty easy here also. It's the winter that's tough. Figuring out if a front is going to push through to Fla, how soon, or will it fizzle out is tricky. I just listen to people better at it than I. However, the fronts have been marching through the past few weeks...windows have been tight. Peep need to be prudent and not be a slave to a schedule. I see the GB rescue as entirely preventable. Whoever made the call was in a big fucking hurry, and it bit them in the ass. No wonder offshore insurance is hard to get and expensive.

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Until you are no longer able to do 1000 mi in 3 days for some reason, like no rig. It doesn't appear the owner/delivery crew relished the prospect of motoring in 40 knots. When their optimistic plan went in the shitter, Plan B was lighting off the EPIRB. Unseamanlike behavior like that is only going to invite greater scrutiny and regulation from the Govt and underwriters, imo.

certainly insurance rates go up.... regulations getting tighter can be self inflicted too...both have happened locally in response

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Until you are no longer able to do 1000 mi in 3 days for some reason, like no rig. It doesn't appear the owner/delivery crew relished the prospect of motoring in 40 knots. When their optimistic plan went in the shitter, Plan B was lighting off the EPIRB. Unseamanlike behavior like that is only going to invite greater scrutiny and regulation from the Govt and underwriters, imo.

certainly insurance rates go up.... regulations getting tighter can be self inflicted too...both have happened locally in response
Exactly. At least the GB had a couple professionals aboard, and despite dismasting remained afloat. That saved their lives. Imagine an ignorant but cocky Jersey Boi heading out in a 75yo Angleman ketch, with preparation consisting of sanding and painting the interior, and no survey. He'd die for sure. The more stupid people doing stupid things there are, the more we're gonna get increased regulations.

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Were the mills turning, in 30 knots? How did lines wrap the fucking props?

 

 

Here's a good write-up from Charlie Doane, with a few details not yet reported... Lines wrapped on the props, for one...

 

http://www.wavetrain.net/news-a-views/647-rainmaker-abandoned-gunboat-55-hull-no-1-dismasted,-crew-evacuated-by-helo

 

Yeah, there could be more to that one... Maneuvering alongside that merchant ship, without the use of the engines, would have been 'tricky', to say the least... ;-)

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Jon, you know, the key doesn't turn till you make sure no lines are draped over board. Were they motor sailing or did they hit the starter before every thing was squared away? How long does it take to clear the deck with 5 guys? 3~5 hours? On a boat that size... Did some one get anxious?

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The more stupid people doing stupid things there are, the more we're gonna get increased regulations.

Not so sure about that. I think that the regulations are caused by the stupid people doing stupid things which then involve the rescue services.

 

Not all stupidity involves a rescue mission.

 

Maybe the solution to this stuff is to impose some sort of qualification for access to EPIRBs and other comms equipment? You can set to sea however you like, but if you want to be able to call for help, you need to meet certain standards.

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Not so sure about that. I think that the regulations are caused by the stupid people doing stupid things which then involve the rescue services.

 

Not all stupidity involves a rescue mission.

 

Maybe the solution to this stuff is to impose some sort of qualification for access to EPIRBs and other comms equipment? You can set to sea however you like, but if you want to be able to call for help, you need to meet certain standards.

 

LOL

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I've gotten myself into all sorts of situations that scared the crap out of me from the Worrell 1000 to a 60 knot papagayo off of Nicaragua on my Seawind catamaran. Recently aboard my Maine Cat I got into dangerous conditions in the Gulf Stream between Key West and Cuba heading for the Panama Canal. No mainsails and tiny jibs got me through severe weather while on my cruising "7 knot shitbox" catamarans. Triple reef mainsails were too much sail area and made the boats surf way too fast.

 

Weather is pretty difficult to dodge when sailing the slow catamarans that I can afford, and I expect the get the crap kicked out of me once in a while.

 

Now here is my wtf about rainmakers dumbass pro Capt. Allowing that freighter to come along side that seaworthy Gunboat was reckless and showed extreme poor judgement. The crew was safe until he pulled that move. There is no condition I would ever let a ship near me in a seaway unless I was climbing up out of a life raft. At least he changed his mind after some smashing, and didn't try to get his crew up a ladder in those seas. There's plenty of history of boats being sunk and crews being smashed between the hulls trying to pull this off. If the owner was pressuring him,and was out of control, he should have tied him up and put him to bed.

 

The Capt. has to make the big calls when the time comes.

 

Rory Mc Dougal sailed around the world in his little Tiki 21 foot catamaran, and has finished top 5 in the singlehanded Jester transatlantic race more then once.

 

 

Catamarans make very stable rafts in bad weather. Rig or no rig, lines in prop, whatever. Being hoisted up into a Coast Guard helicopter flying at the edge of its fuel range just can't be as safe as drifting along aboard the most expensive stable carbon fiber raft ever built.

 

Many many characters and elderly sailors have made it around the world in their home built plywood epoxy Wharram catamarans enduring all sorts of worse weather including some full force hurricanes.

 

And that photo of Rainmaker's crew posing with the Coast Guard rescuers with their shit eating stupid grins on their faces......JFC.

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Well I maybe wrong, and I normally am, BUT,

(a): why was this a front page story?

Answer: Because "Gunboat is one of SA,s prime advertisers.

( B) Was this story of the urgency it was purpoted to be?.

Answer: No, It would seem that the crew were inexperienced and had not prepared sufficiently for the possible conditions likely to be encountered. This reflects the anxiety of "Mister Johnson" in trying to limit collateral damage to the "Gunboat" Marque by expressing such disbelief at the "TERRIBLE" conditions the boat was encountering which in reality seem to be about "Monohull" normality.

© Why was the SAR called out.?

Answer: In all probability no one will own up to the final decision, but, it is better to make the call than to wait if you are in a situation you cannot deal with. My opinion is that the crew on board were either totally inexperienced in the art of survival at sea (in which case they had no right to be there) or that they were totally seduced by the "Gunboat" philosophy that your new investment is faster, more comfortable, stronger, and absolutely bomb proof against anything that the world can throw at you, and also, due to it's phenomenal speed, it can outrun tornados, monsoons and twisters on Jupiter, "so long as it happens in sight of another boat who can help when the shit hits the fan". The Gunboat is a wonderfull machine,,, but it isn't foolproof, and Mr Johnsons efforts at diverting the actualities from the causes is demeaning to both himself and to "Gunboat" itself. It lost a mast 200 miles from shore. The reported conditions were 60Kn wind speed max. (nothing special). The boat, (OR THE CREW) were not of sufficient capability to survive the conditions. If neither were able to support the conditions,,, What the fuck were they doing there????

Wow, your lack of sailing experience is showing through.

 

I would suggest a good ocean passage, on a dagger-board catamaran, to open your eyes to what you have been dissing.

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This isn't some sort of "Gunboat cowboy" mentality. This is SOP in the industry. If you doubt it just sit at Belle's Cafe at Newport Shipyard in November after a NE'r. You'll see a steady stream of yachts departing the moment it clears after a front. Big NE/N/NW winds, 25-30 in the harbor, 30-40 outside. If you want a 15 kt beam reach all the way from the E. Coast to the Caribbean you'll never get it.

 

"If I was an owner I'd never let you deliver my yacht"

 

Noted.

I`d sail with soma anytime, and bet I would learn plenty.

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If this were one or two in particular of my old owners, here's how it went down:

 

Owner asks skipper how long it takes to get to SXM, skipper replies "on a good run 7-9 days". Owner books a flight for the evening of day 9 and schedules very important meetings from 9 am on day 10. Skipper, too young to argue for the weather window against the self-made, ego rich millionaire, grits his teeth and heads out. Crew back him as their only experience offshore is 'that time we slingshot off a freekin' huge low and were in Marigot for happy hour'. Shit then hits the fan and owner screams blue murder down the sat phone for his Senator to 'Get a %$£@*& helicopter here NOW!

 

Obviously I'm being lighthearted. I'll leave you to judge if this is blind cynicism or factually based on 25 years as a large catamaran skipper ;-)

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If this were one or two in particular of my old owners, here's how it went down:

 

Owner asks skipper how long it takes to get to SXM, skipper replies "on a good run 7-9 days". Owner books a flight for the evening of day 9 and schedules very important meetings from 9 am on day 10. Skipper, too young to argue for the weather window against the self-made, ego rich millionaire, grits his teeth and heads out. Crew back him as their only experience offshore is 'that time we slingshot off a freekin' huge low and were in Marigot for happy hour'. Shit then hits the fan and owner screams blue murder down the sat phone for his Senator to 'Get a %$£@*& helicopter here NOW!

 

Obviously I'm being lighthearted. I'll leave you to judge if this is blind cynicism or factually based on 25 years as a large catamaran skipper ;-)

 

Sounds plausible to me... ;-))

 

As I just noted in the other thread, based on what I've read of the Cohen's sailing resume, there seems a good chance this may have been his first ever offshore passage...

 

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If this were one or two in particular of my old owners, here's how it went down:

 

Owner asks skipper how long it takes to get to SXM, skipper replies "on a good run 7-9 days". Owner books a flight for the evening of day 9 and schedules very important meetings from 9 am on day 10. Skipper, too young to argue for the weather window against the self-made, ego rich millionaire, grits his teeth and heads out. Crew back him as their only experience offshore is 'that time we slingshot off a freekin' huge low and were in Marigot for happy hour'. Shit then hits the fan and owner screams blue murder down the sat phone for his Senator to 'Get a %$£@*& helicopter here NOW!

 

Obviously I'm being lighthearted. I'll leave you to judge if this is blind cynicism or factually based on 25 years as a large catamaran skipper ;-)

Having designed, built and run a big cat for a client with a similar background to this owner, the minute I read that the crew had abandoned the boat, I had a similar suspicion. While both of us could well be wrong, I can easily see a situation where the owner, inexperienced with the ocean in an ugly state, finds himself in a dangerous situation when the mast comes down. Worse - he's gotten not only himself, but also his son into the situation, so he's really freaked. The captain knows that they're on a great big raft and if they all just sit tight, the weather will get better, they'll get the motors going, and they'll get home. But the owner is freaked, and he's demanding that they be rescued ( from his perceived certain death...). The captain knows that the coast guard is not going to spend the resources unless it.s a life threatening situation. If it's a life threatening situation, they are going to collect everyone off the boat, not just the scared owner and son. So the captain, intimidated by the owner, calls the CG, and has to get off of a boat he knows is perfectly safe.

 

...And the owner goes home to his New York friends, bragging about what a hero he is for surviving a disaster at sea...

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So my take FWIW:

 

1) someday sailing on a GB is still on my bucket list. AMAZING machines. Right up there with AC72's and flying moths in level of "I can't believe what I am seeing in sailing these days"

2) having been in a dangerous sailing situation that non-participants judged differently and cast aspersions...but I wouldn't have acted any differently...unless you were there you don't have all the facts. Generalize away, but think about it before you judge the character or intelligence of those who were there.

3) maybe these big carbon cats need a little flex built into the system - maybe some elastic/shock absorbing built into the main shrouds for deliveries?

4) "wall of wind" - you can sail a LOT of miles and days and never experience this....from one who has let me say that this is an incredible experience and display of natural physics. We had the breeze go from 15 to fully developed 70+ in less time than it takes to put on a PFD. If you haven't been through one of these then maybe temper your judgement of these folks. NONE of us has seen everything Mother Nature can bring.

5) 100% agree that the most dangerous thing on a boat going offshore is a calendar

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Latest 'Lectronicto receive emails when 'Lectronic Latitude is updated.SPECIAL REPORT: Flyin' Hawaiian Abandoned and Adrift

 

January 31, 2015 – Pacific Coast

 

 

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

 

North Bay boaters first heard of Hot Rod Lane's plans to sail to Hawaii shortly after he and his son, Michael Johnson, brought their partially completed amas to the San Rafael build site in 2011.

 

© 2015 Andy

 

 

For years, James 'Hot Rod' Lane had dreamed of sailing to Hawaii on his homebuilt boat, then living the good life afloat in some friendly anchorage. That dream ended today, as Lane and his crew were air-evacuated from the 65-ft Flyin' Hawaiian catamaran 120 miles west of Monterey, and the huge, unconventional craft was left to drift. According to the Coast Guard, she had been taking on water; sea conditions at the time have yet to be clarified.

 

Activation of a crewperson's personal locator device this morning after 8 a.m. triggered a Search and Rescue (SAR) response that included flyovers by a Coast Guard C-17 and a C-130 aircraft, the diversion of a large tanker to the scene, and activation of three CG helicopters — one from San Francisco and two out of L.A. After the sailors were unable to transfer to the tanker, all five crew were reportedly hoisted to safety within the waiting helicopters and flown to the mainland. None suffered injuries.

 

Although the trip was a failure, we hope Lane can take some comfort in knowing that he at least got his self-designed creation out into the open ocean. Since the cat's launch in May 2013 at San Rafael's Loch Lomond Marina, he'd had numerous problems maneuvering her, and keeping her moored without dragging. If you happen to spot this vessel offshore, please alert the Coast Guard to its whereabouts.

 

- latitude / andy

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mmmm , , , ,200nm in 36 hrs = 5.5kts, seems that must be part of the story. I suspect they were counting on/routing for 8 or 9 kts. Why so slow?

 

Why did ropes end end up around the props? Were they motor sailing?

 

And USCG reports weather as "approximate 40mph (35kts) 13 foot seas" . . . .I am a bit skeptical about the story of 70kts. . . . perhaps a gust or two to 50 seems rather more realistic in that weather pattern.

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mmmm , , , ,200nm in 36 hrs = 5.5kts, seems that must be part of the story. I suspect they were counting on/routing for 8 or 9 kts. Why so slow?

 

Why did ropes end end up around the props? Were they motor sailing?

 

And USCG reports weather as "approximate 40mph (35kts) 13 foot seas" . . . .I am a bit skeptical about the story of 70kts. . . . perhaps a gust or two to 50 seems rather more realistic in that weather pattern.

 

 

sure.., 70kt gust seems very high.., but I wouldn't rule it out in the gulfstream - if that's where they were - the very cold air behind the front could set up some pretty good convective action when it crosses the warm water

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So far, the only useful thing I have learned from this thread is that there is something called "Multihull Anarchy".

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mmmm , , , ,200nm in 36 hrs = 5.5kts, seems that must be part of the story. I suspect they were counting on/routing for 8 or 9 kts. Why so slow?

 

Why did ropes end end up around the props? Were they motor sailing?

 

And USCG reports weather as "approximate 40mph (35kts) 13 foot seas" . . . .I a