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Old 03-14-2015, 01:00 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post

The sloop was left abandoned, drifting in the mid-Pacific.
Well, thanks for helping me to relax and not worry needlessly.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:07 AM   #42
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My boat is 100% reliable until something breaks or I do something stupid. I have redundant systems so there is more to break. I have some sophisticated stuff so there is more I don't understand. A simple sailboat with a single sail free standing mast and a small diesel motor with minimal through hulls and no electronics that is my idea of reliable.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:13 AM   #43
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In the not-very-distant future we will start boating in a totally different environment, one we have no experience in whatsoever. We have surpreme confidence in the boat because it's brand new.
Ironic that I should discourage you, but across most technologies, mean time between failures is highest in the initial life of the unit. And when the system (ie, boat) contains a multitude of complex units, the risk of failure approaches certainty, during the early life.

I have given a great deal of consideration to the question of when my risk will bottom out. For several years, and several thousand engine hours, I have been looking forward to this day. And yet, I am consumed by doubt. As you say, it is a software problem (me).
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:28 AM   #44
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First of all Traveler, forgive me if I'm reading between the lines too much in your posts in this thread. Could you be trying to talk yourself into building a new boat? 2,000 hours in 6 years for (I assume) a non full time cruiser sounds as though you use your boat more than many folks do.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:18 AM   #45
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One approach to deal with the worry aspect, particularly for an older or new to you boat, is to get a second opinion.

Get a really good surveyor to visit, with a brief of "I want a list of preventative maintenance items to tackle. List items for this season, then another list for the next season and then another for the year after. What else might be necessary over the next 5 years or so." Afterwards you can prioritise, budget, plan, get additional spares and skills if required etc. Or do all three lists immediately, or before going anywhere remote. There will likely also be a list of "keep an eye on that", "this is an early warning sign".

In any event you will worry less given an experienced second set of eyes has given everything a good look. Sure, stuff can still happen, but a planned PM program worked up with someone independent will provide a lot of comfort.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:09 AM   #46
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To the OP, in the nicest way I can say this, worrying may be part of your persona. If I owned a fleet of tugs on the Pacific coast and offered unlimited towing for $10k per year, you might buy it and think, ok that problem is solved. Then on your next big off shore trip you worry, "if the boat takes a near hit by lightning, will all my communication systems be wiped out? How will I contact the towing company? " At some point you have to say, "the risk level is acceptable, or it isn't........and I can't do it."

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Old 03-14-2015, 10:31 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post

Ironic that I should discourage you, but across most technologies, mean time between failures is highest in the initial life of the unit. And when the system (ie, boat) contains a multitude of complex units, the risk of failure approaches certainty, during the early life.
Reliability curves in real life applications are a bit of a fallacy though, aren't they?

However, I will concede that infant mortality is relevant to electronics, as the P to F time is short, if not instantaneous.

That's why condition based maintenance, along with a handful of preventative maintenance tasks are the way to create a reliable system.

In this case, a boat.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:53 AM   #48
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This may sound odd and it may not be helpful to you, but I'm going to say it anyway!

In the end it comes down to this for me: I'm ok with dying. I have raised my children and so if it's my time to go, I've led a wonderful life and I'll have died doing what I love.

There, I said it.

Life is full of risks. Statistically, driving down the freeway probably puts your life in more danger than taking your boat down the coast or even across an ocean. We're all doing our best to make sure we have boats that are as reliable as possible. Once you've done all that, then sit back and enjoy the ride. What will be, will be.

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Old 03-14-2015, 11:53 AM   #49
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This may sound odd and it may not be helpful to you, but I'm going to say it anyway!

In the end it comes down to this for me: I'm ok with dying. I have raised my children and so if it's my time to go, I've led a wonderful life and I'll have died doing what I love.

There, I said it.

Life is full of risks. Statistically, driving down the freeway probably puts your life in more danger than taking your boat down the coast or even across an ocean. We're all doing our best to make sure we have boats that are as reliable as possible. Once you've done all that, then sit back and enjoy the ride. What will be, will be.

Richard


Ted
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:25 PM   #50
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Ironic that I should discourage you, but across most technologies, mean time between failures is highest in the initial life of the unit.
That can be true but it is not an automatic rule. It all depends on the design and the components used in the systems. In this particular case it is not a risk we are concerned about.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:51 PM   #51
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Things MAY break or not. If you are not sure about your boat go over it with a good marine surveyor and a separate engine surveyor. Carry manuals spare parts and tools. Be conservative about where and when you go. Know how to use your radio and instruments and what they will and will not do and cross reference your navigation. Check your engine room with a critical eye regularly and particularly on long runs use a heat gun on standard check points. Do all the rec. maintenance. Then go out and enjoy your boat.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:01 PM   #52
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,,,,, I can't help but be concerned by the prospect of a debilitating failure when I am days from anywhere. Do you all worry about that, or do you regard that sort of failure (ie, critical, that you can't repair) unlikely? I really wish I could stop worrying about it.

Traveler - I hear ya!
I'm crapping myself, most of the time. We've cruised Mag Bay & Turtle Bay, and I understand your fear, you're on your own dude. I mean yeah, you could get on the sat phone or SSB, but gooood luck! When we crossed the Pacific, over to Hawaii, I prayed every few hours, not kidding. I spent hours down in the engine room just staring at the engine imagining it sounded 'different'. I could really freak myself out. I mention this sometimes to my wife but she thinks I'm joking.

I'm planning a trip from Hawaii (this July), through the Line Islands and onto Marqueses, which is really stretching our range. When I think of everything that could go wrong, I mentally start searching for the panic button. Just want to know where it is so I can hit mid ocean.

But then I calm myself down by considering what I do know. Our vessel is well seasoned, so immediate failure of equipment is not likely. She has a wing engine and I've got spares. So, I think "Chill Dude" everything is gonna be OK,,, It's been a dream of mine to circumnavigate God's blue earth, so we're pressing on, but I have to agree, sometimes it just freaks me out.

So, nothing of any value to add, except - I share your concern.

One last thing, perhaps most of your concern is for your wife?
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:02 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post


Ted

Originally Posted by Britannia View Post
This may sound odd and it may not be helpful to you, but I'm going to say it anyway!

In the end it comes down to this for me: I'm ok with dying. I have raised my children and so if it's my time to go, I've led a wonderful life and I'll have died doing what I love.

There, I said it.

Life is full of risks. Statistically, driving down the freeway probably puts your life in more danger than taking your boat down the coast or even across an ocean. We're all doing our best to make sure we have boats that are as reliable as possible. Once you've done all that, then sit back and enjoy the ride. What will be, will be.

Richard



I agree with virtually everything that has been expressed so far.

Know your boat:

If you have gone 2,000 without failure, why would you expect failure all of a sudden?

I can now tell by sound when my water tank is almost empty just by the different pitch of the water pump before it starts sucking air. No longer must I get out of the shower to change tanks.

When anything, sounds, looks, smells wrong, find it and fix it.

I sniff my engine room, as much as look.

Know real risks:

The CLOSER you are to land, the higher your risk of accident or death.
I have afar greater chance of being killed crossing the street in NY or Waterford, than of crossing the Atlantic.

Part of knowing risks, is understanding dangers. Is your boat ready for the worst weather? Here is a quick course in weather forecasting:

Notwithstanding any forecast you may be getting, assume you and count on whatever weather your are currently having will last three hours and after that, it could be the worst the season can do. If you are not prepared for the worse weather, stay home.
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:20 PM   #54
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All you need to be able to say in any language is "where is an ATM?" That will get you to a town and $$, which you will need for the repair.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:28 PM   #55
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Richard,
I agree with you.
I am just completing a trip from the Gold Coast down to Tasmania and return.
This ain't no ocean crossing but there isn't any tow service for a lot of it.
Mine you I was one of many power boats to do the trip.
Check your boat from top to bottom ensure she is ready for the worst, use a weather routing system(John of Flemingo) put me on to Predict Wind which I have found excellent.
I never think of having to get towed ,propulsion gear if very well maintained is very unlikely to let you down,if you have that and the hull everything else are just extras to make you comfortable.
Complete spare inventory ,tools and capability to use same are also very important..
I do worry ,more so when the Boss is on board as I don't want her in any life threatening situation.
Get it all together,don't worry be happy and go for it.
Cheers
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:40 PM   #56
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First of all Traveler, forgive me if I'm reading between the lines too much in your posts in this thread. Could you be trying to talk yourself into building a new boat? 2,000 hours in 6 years for (I assume) a non full time cruiser sounds as though you use your boat more than many folks do.
I don't think that is it. I believe the boat is as reliable now as when it had 500 hours. In fact, I worried more during that first 500 hours -- thinking that failure rates were higher in the initial life. Also, I have no desire to go through the build process again.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:45 PM   #57
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So, nothing of any value to add, except - I share your concern.

One last thing, perhaps most of your concern is for your wife?
Richard,
Sounds like your feelings are about like mine. My concerns (worries) don't stop me from using the boat, but I don't enjoy big trips as much as I should -- I often find myself reflexively thinking X% done without a failure -- risk is now reduced to (100% - x%). My wife is never on board for long trips -- she flys in when the boat arrives, and I don't have any concern that I will widow her even if the boat sinks.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #58
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Know your boat:

If you have gone 2,000 without failure, why would you expect failure all of a sudden?
My concerns are probably irrational, but IME mechanical stuff (even well maintained and well within its service life) fails randomly. And I don't really have any statistical understanding of the chance of a random engine or transmission failure.

[/QUOTE]
I can now tell by sound when my water tank is almost empty just by the different pitch of the water pump before it starts sucking air. No longer must I get out of the shower to change tanks.

When anything, sounds, looks, smells wrong, find it and fix it.

I sniff my engine room, as much as look.[/QUOTE]

Ironically, I do and that probably increases my anxiety. If anything changes I start to wonder why. If I pick up a little kelp, I am likely to feel the vibration. If someone shuts a hatch hard, I hear it and need to figure out if something fell (or broke) or if it was just a hatch. And the list goes on.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:55 PM   #59
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To the OP, in the nicest way I can say this, worrying may be part of your persona. If I owned a fleet of tugs on the Pacific coast and offered unlimited towing for $10k per year, you might buy it and think, ok that problem is solved. Then on your next big off shore trip you worry, "if the boat takes a near hit by lightning, will all my communication systems be wiped out? How will I contact the towing company? " At some point you have to say, "the risk level is acceptable, or it isn't........and I can't do it."

Ted
Ted, you may be right.
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Old 03-14-2015, 06:04 PM   #60
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Maybe a bit of the anxiety will wear off with more time spent at sea. The more you know your boat's peccadilloes, the more relaxed you'll find yourself. Also, being captain brings with it a lot of responsibility that you obviously take very seriously, as every captain should.

I remember being a junior pilot and feeling a bit of anxiety at every unexpected vibration, turbulence or sound. That came from inexperience and eventually passed after many hours of flying. During that time, I was trained to deal with emergencies of all kinds...electrical malfunctions, engine failure, fires, hydraulic problems, control system jam, etc. That training brought about a natural reaction to emergency that was logic- and fact-based and devoid of emotion. We learned that the emotional response to the unexpected occurences causes delays and diversions to clear decision making. Like Sgt. Friday used to say on Dragnet, "Just the facts, Ma'am." Our checklists aid in providing a road map to follow to the solution to predicted emergencies. Sometimes things arose when the emergency encountered was not addressed in the checklist, but our training and thorough systems knowledge allowed us to work through the issue to a safe conclusion.

An advantage I had in my early training was that I was young and with that youth came the unrealistic feeling of invincibility. Now that I'm older and wiser, I realize just how invincible I am and do my best to avoid the errors of many others. That's what drew me here originally to TF. Here I found a wealth of experience and a helpful group of mariners willing to share their collective knowledge. That shallowed my learning curve and allowed me to gain the confidence to tackle many of the DIY maintenance and repairs myself. Now I feel like I know my boat pretty darn well and can rectify many issues that might need attention along the way.

Of course, I'm boating in the protected waters of the SF Bay and CA Delta so if I start taking on water, all I need to do is call the USCG and head for the nearest shore to step off. I don't mean to compare my mild waters to your world of the big ocean. It's a different story when you're a couple hundred miles offshore.
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