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Old 02-26-2015, 04:42 PM   #1
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Island Packet SP Cruiser ditched at sea

This is not a new video, but I find it interesting since this is the same basic boat I have, but mine is the trawler version without the sail rig.

The captain claimed the engine quit when the boat heeled 50 degrees, and they could not get it restarted.
I'm wondering if this situation could have been avoided with a better fuel system setup. These boats do NOT come from the factory with dual Racor type filters that can be changed quickly without killing the engine. I suspect the one Racor got stopped up due to the wave action and killed the engine, but that's just speculation.

My other question is why didn't they raise a bit of sail to reduce roll and get pointed into the waves, or possibly throw out a sea anchor and attempt to change the filter and restart. Or maybe just heave to and wait it out?

Also, the captain says at about the 14 minute point that he tried to launch the dingy but couldn't. Why would you want to be in the dingy in that weather-- or were they just trying to get it ready in case the boat sank maybe?

I am not an experienced bluewater guy, and maybe it was just too rough, but the boat in the Coast Guard video doesn't seem to be listing, sinking, etc.

What, if anything, did the captain do wrong on this trip? Weather forecast seems a little suspect in my opinion, but again I really don't know all the facts. I am not criticizing these guys, but just trying to figure out how to never get caught in this situation on my boat.



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Old 02-26-2015, 05:52 PM   #2
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Island Packet SP Cruiser ditched at sea



Another video, mobile friendly, but not as much info.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:37 PM   #3
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I'm baffled. That boat should have been able to sail through that weather without too much problem with a reefed mainsail. It appears a sail was never raised during the entire trip.

I can understand getting air in the fuel system when heeling hard, but with some planning one can keep fuel levels up on the leeward tank to minimize the risk of this.

Good the keep the coast guard informed of the situation, but IMO he called a Mayday way too early. Especially when alternative propulsion is available.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:46 PM   #4
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Island Packet SP Cruiser ditched at sea

That's why I wanted some experienced blue water sailers to chime in. I was thinking what you were AusCan about them ditching too early, and the more I have read on other sailing sites that seems to be the consensus.

More questions:

The fuel tank was only 1/2 full, so maybe that's why it sucked air. Why only 1/2 full already?

The biggest question sailors from that area of NC asked is WHY try to go around that cape when a bad storm is in the area? They said the ICW route was actually 70 miles shorter.

The captain did say at one point the boat heeled completely over and his 300 LB body fell on the pilothouse windows, but they never did leak. So that's some good news about my windows I guess.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:00 PM   #5
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I watched the whole video. There are lots of questions that need to be answered here. Based on what I can see in the video the only conclusion that I can draw is that these guys are total clowns. I know that the Hatteras area can have sudden unpredicted weather but these idiots left Norfolk just a little while before this weather hit them. Then they are getting a little uncomfortable and turn around to enter Ocracoke Inlet when they are experiencing 12 ft ground swells with heavy chop swell also. Any idiot knows that Ocracoke Inlet is impassable in those conditions. Essentially all inlets from Cape Henry around to Beaufort NC are impassable in large swells. Then the engine quits. Well they are in a sailboat with a very nice rig. They call for helicopter evac! What a sad excuse for a delivery captain this moron is! A simple understanding of weather combined with good skills would have told this idiot to take the ICW south until the weather was better. But the most disgusting thing is his taste in Sea Chantys after losing a fine vessel due to incompetence and being a pussy.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:06 PM   #6
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The more I listen to that idiot the more I want to smack him around. The USCG rescue team risks their lives to pick a couple of chicken shit idiots out of the ocean. He is a "captain" on Banana Wind Yacht Charters......they offer clothing optional cruises!!! http://lnvtblog.blogspot.com/2015/02...ker-panel.html I can't imagine........
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusCan View Post
I'm baffled. That boat should have been able to sail through that weather without too much problem with a reefed mainsail. It appears a sail was never raised during the entire trip.

I can understand getting air in the fuel system when heeling hard, but with some planning one can keep fuel levels up on the leeward tank to minimize the risk of this. Good the keep the coast guard informed of the situation, but IMO he called a Mayday way too early. Especially when alternative propulsion is available.
Just from the clues they give you in the video and the state of the boat in the FLIR pics. . . . It would appear to be the old scenario of the boat being a lot tougher than the crew.

Doesn't say what the experience of the crew is, but they're sea sick, it's dark, the seas are threatening and they've lost main power. They're in panic mode trying to do anything to get off the boat including launching the skiff, which would be suicide given the seas. Doesn't look like any attempt was made to hoist any sail. Would love to see the Coast Guard inquiry!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:16 PM   #8
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Island Packet SP Cruiser ditched at sea

And what's with the cheesy video complete with lame metal music to dramatize the incident?

Seriously, if I lost a customer's boat on a delivery, I don't think I would make a video of it.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quit candy coating it and tell us what you really think, Billyfeet.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:25 PM   #10
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One of these guys "attended" the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. He is also supposedly Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve!
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:27 PM   #11
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Have a friend in our marina who sold his sailboat to an experienced blue water sailor. He outfitted the boat properly and left for New Zealand, via South American route to the Marquesas', with his new wife.

Somewhere around Tahiti they got caught in a period of gale force weather and the boat lost a portion of it's rigging. After a couple of days, a fishing boat passed by and offered them assistance. They still had engine power and the weather had improved, but they were so physically and mentally beat down, they opted to abandon ship. They made no further attempt to save their boat, even though it was water tight, capable of making way and only a couple of days from land.

The human body and mind are relatively frail things and are not as durable as many would want to believe.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:31 PM   #12
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First of all there is a reason that 99% or more of the boaters run inside to Morehead City before going offshore. Only an idiot would try Oregon, Hatteras, or Ocracoke inlets in stormy seas. They are some of the worst inlets on the coast. Also to get in Hatteras Inlet you have to get around Diamond Shoals that extends about 12 miles out to sea. They probably got tangled up in those seas.

These guys appear to be just like weekend boaters who don't have a clue. I hope Scott with chime in on this as he was on a USCG rescue chopper.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:39 PM   #13
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Maybe it was an insurance thing?
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:45 PM   #14
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I thought that insurance might be the reason until I saw where they were picked up and the time of year. If it was a sinking to collect a fat insurance settlement there are plenty of reefs in the Bahamas waiting to be blamed for tearing out the keel after an engine malfunction clearing a pass. I think it was just lack of understanding weather and the realities of offshore seamanship.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:45 PM   #15
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Don't know how close they were to the lookout shoals, could have been drifting toward them at a good clip. Sails might not have been available for whatever reason. Should not be out there unless capable of changing filters and repriming a Yanmar. And should not be anywhere near NC shoals unless you have a dang good read on the weather.

Don't know the whole story, but does look like a tough boat and soft crew. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, though. I wasn't there.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:48 PM   #16
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Without doing a bunch of research and interviews...hard to say anything at all...


The videos reveal some info..but not enough to make serious assumptions...


As tidbits filter in...a more clear picture will emerge.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:20 PM   #17
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I remember this when it happened. The men were seasick and scared. Apparently setting a bit of sail was out of their skill set even on a good day. Not a good choice of skippers by the owner who probably saw the captains resume and thought he was getting a great deal. I dont remember if the boat was recovered.
Very nice boat, though, except for the hot tub cockpit amidships.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:27 PM   #18
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That hot tub is bad ass. 😳
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:42 PM   #19
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Without doing a bunch of research and interviews...hard to say anything at all...


The videos reveal some info..but not enough to make serious assumptions...


As tidbits filter in...a more clear picture will emerge.

You are absolutely right. I definitely should not be making any assumptions since I'm a newbie.

Just goes to show how things can quickly domino on the inexperienced I guess.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:58 PM   #20
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And the moral of the story is......be a fair weather cruiser. Oh boy, what an Einstein moment!
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