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Old 09-08-2019, 10:41 AM   #1
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PM story on a sunken GB in Hopetown

This story irritated me. Why didn't these people run from the storm? They sunk a nice boat, consumed resources that could have gone to others and put their lives at risk.

And a somewhat broader question, why did I see so many large boats get ruined? I can understand someone not being able to flee a storm in a tiny center console, but there's a 70ft Marlow overturned in GTC and I saw several convertibles. Could the owner of a 2m boat not afford a captain to run it stateside? In the end, these sunken boats damage the environment around them, take time and money to remove and ultimately drive up insurance rates for the rest of us.

https://www.passagemaker.com/trawler...MIu4LZKVlM_7ZE

What am I missing?
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:56 AM   #2
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And a two part youtube video of a couple guys that took their boat out of harms way





These guys were prepared to go to Cuba if necessary to get away from the storm.

Every year, every storm that happens, seeming intelligent successful people, loose their boats, while others save their boats.

The difference is the people that save their boats actually try.

Slightly different subject, but along the same lines.

The date was June 3 1996. A forest fire came through my neighborhood. 37,000 acres burned, along with over 400 homes.

Myself, my wife and our son did not evacuate. We stayed. We took the time to prepare. We cut down all the trees in our yard. We drug those trees out of the yard. We used a trash pump and wet down our home and our yard.

We created a defendable space around our home and the homes on each side of ours, and we defended that space. When the fire got REALLY close we hunkered down in a boat in the middle of the lake for several hours.

We saved our house, and both neighbors homes. Everybody else's houses burned to the ground.

Some say we were lucky. I say we were prepared.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mod45 View Post
This story irritated me. Why didn't these people run from the storm? They sunk a nice boat, consumed resources that could have gone to others and put their lives at risk.

And a somewhat broader question, why did I see so many large boats get ruined? I can understand someone not being able to flee a storm in a tiny center console, but there's a 70ft Marlow overturned in GTC and I saw several convertibles. Could the owner of a 2m boat not afford a captain to run it stateside? In the end, these sunken boats damage the environment around them, take time and money to remove and ultimately drive up insurance rates for the rest of us.

https://www.passagemaker.com/trawler...MIu4LZKVlM_7ZE

What am I missing?
Based on what he wrote, he had been through a number of hurricanes with out issue. He felt he was in a protected harbor. By the time it became apparent (cat 4 going to cat 5) that it wasn't going to be a safe harbor, it was too late to leave.

IMO, named storm coverage in higher risk areas is going to be getting very expensive or deductibles for named storm coverage will dramatically increase.

Ted
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:29 AM   #4
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Based on what he wrote, he had been through a number of hurricanes with out issue. He felt he was in a protected harbor. By the time it became apparent (cat 4 going to cat 5) that it wasn't going to be a safe harbor, it was too late to leave.

IMO, named storm coverage in higher risk areas is going to be getting very expensive or deductibles for named storm coverage will dramatically increase.

Ted
Yet two other guys saw the exact same storm, recognized the risk, and took action.

Unlike the folks in the Grand Banks they actually flew to the Bahamas, provisioned up and left the area.

Two different sets of people, two different outcomes. One recognized a potential risk and took action.

The other decided that the risk was minimal, took no action when they had the chance, and are lucky to be alive.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:37 AM   #5
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Yet two other guys saw the exact same storm, recognized the risk, and took action.

Unlike the folks in the Grand Banks they actually flew to the Bahamas, provisioned up and left the area.

Two different sets of people, two different outcomes. One recognized a potential risk and took action.

The other decided that the risk was minimal, took no action when they had the chance, and are lucky to be alive.
And if there boat had become disabled after leaving, we would be referring to them far differently. The difference between smart and stupid in this scenario only comes down to whether you were successful.

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Old 09-08-2019, 11:45 AM   #6
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And if there boat had become disabled after leaving, we would be referring to them far differently. The difference between smart and stupid in this scenario only comes down to whether you were successful.

Ted
Ted, there are always what iffs. A boat should be seaworthy to always go to sea, so I do not buy the “they could have broken down” reasoning.

It only takes one excuse to not take action.

The key takeaway I see from both accounts is that one was willing to try.

We all had the same data available to us. We all saw the storm approaching.

one tried and succeeded, one failed to try and failed.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:02 PM   #7
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Slightly different subject, but along the same lines.
Not really the same at all. While I'm glad your efforts paid off, and I'm certainly not diminishing your efforts, it's entirely different than +20' storm surge rolling through an entire area, wiping damn near everything off the map. Other than evacuating the area entirely, there IS NO measure that would have worked.

So, yeah, it boils down to the gamble of 'do we spend to evacuate' or 'do we risk the loss'. Humans are often terribly bad at effectively evaluating risks like this.

And there's perhaps an even more terrible trait of seeking almost vengeful delight in criticizing those whose choices didn't 'measure up'.

Me, I side on avoiding the hassle of having to re-acquire a boat, and often 'waste' money/effort prepping/moving/hauling-out. I do it because I don't want to have to undergo the hassle of finding a replacement. But I keep decent insurance coverage, and recognize the deductible hit I'm going to take, just in case. For me, it's a luxury item. If it was a live-aboard, I'd probably be among the 'get out ahead of time' crowd. Better safe than sorry. But at the same time I'm not eagerly looking to savage the decisions other people make if their choice goes wrong.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
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IMO, named storm coverage in higher risk areas is going to be getting very expensive or deductibles for named storm coverage will dramatically increase.

Ted
I agree Ted, We are in the process of changing Insurance carriers because the carrier we have had for the past 4+ years is no longer able to cover the areas that we want to cruise in. Yes, its a hassle. Now an in water Survey is needed.
Plus the annual cost is going up.
We choose to avoid nasty weather, so next summer we will head up North into the Sea of Cortez and haul Pairadice out to as safe as possible area. Then after the hot summer and the hurricane season is over, we will continue south.

It’s apparent that communication with your insurance Rep becomes more important than ever when cruising those areas.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:06 PM   #9
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Gambling is gambling. Claiming you were right because the preferred outcome was achieved does not indicate that you were not gambling. Some win. Some lose.

Complacency might be a better term, and none of us are immune to it.

I’m not immune and can tell some simple but very recent ones on myself that by the roll of the dice could have ended in loss of boat.

Yesterday, I was close inshore taking pictures of a lighthouse, then a large container ship passing in the opposite direction. Next thing I know, I’m drifting in a fast current through a kelp bed because I took my eyes offshore watching the nearby ship. I rarely take chances while single handing, but there it is. Only gets about 20 feet at its shallowest, but that was more by luck than design. Bottom line, I got lucky, but that doesn’t mean I made the right choices. Could have lost the boat in that momentary lapse and I have a lot of experience operating high current near rocks, high awareness. <sigh>

Last Sunday, I had thick fog, again single handing. I had to alternate time out on the bow to keep an audible watch, look for the telltale wake from low cross section boat on radar, then quickly back to Radar, ais, rinse, repeat. I was still dark, so also fiddling with the display brightness on my new to me furuno too (not their best unit ever) and I was task loading more than I was aware. I had two ferries sneaking up behind me and proactively got on the radio to make sure they had me on ais and make passing arrangements. I stated my vessel name and location and then said I was going eastbound when I was going West. Never in my life have I routinely mixed up right/left, east/west, but there it is. They read back “we have you at xxx course at 6 knots” and I confirmed, it was only when I spoke with a buddy of mine a few minutes later that I realized what I had done. I was shocked. Again, complacency. I had not run the boat/these electronics/these conditions for almost a year and I was out of practice and it showed.

We all suffer from complacency. We all credit our skills at a surplus and everyone else at a deficit, that’s just normal human behavior. None of us are immune. The best antidote is to train often and debrief courageously. But if anyone thinks that clear decisions the the heat of the moment will result without specific recent practice you are kidding yourself. Practicing for a fluidly changing weather pattern while being human is no cakewalk. Better to learn than to criticize. Mistakes were made and he paid the price, but he is not hiding but debriefing as honestly as he can. Sounds like someone trying his best to embrace what happened. I can’t help but empathize.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:13 PM   #10
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And if there boat had become disabled after leaving, we would be referring to them far differently. The difference between smart and stupid in this scenario only comes down to whether you were successful.

Ted

Well said.


The thing to keep in perspective is that a boat or a house can be replaced, your life or a loved ones cannot.


and hindsight is 20/20


Would I be the one that takes the risk to save the boat.. probably.

Luckily I do have the Voice of Reason ( the Admiral ) to keep me from doing more stupid shit than I do.


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Old 09-08-2019, 12:24 PM   #11
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Ted, there are always what iffs. A boat should be seaworthy to always go to sea, so I do not buy the “they could have broken down” reasoning.
There is a difference between "I broke down and had wait for a tow" versus "I broke down in front of a hurricane and it cost me and my buddy our lives".

The time to have departed would have been when it became a tropical storm. The problem IMO, is that the insurance companies make it to reasonable to say, "whatever, it's insured". If policies had a 20 to 30% deductible for named storms during hurricane season in high risk areas, think owners would take a more proactive approach to the safety of their vessels.

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Old 09-08-2019, 12:26 PM   #12
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Well, I applaud the two guys that made the choice to leave the area.

Good decision on their part.
Good decision to think the situation out and have more than one place in mind to run to.

Here is another youtube video of a couple that thought this out, took action, and saved their boat. They ended up in Nassau but I am suspecting that they would have been ready, willing, and able to continue their sailing to get their boat out of harms way.



I’m going to get flamed but I have no sympathy for those that have the means to make a decision when faced with a critical situation and choose not to take action. Letting insurance take care of it is not a valid decision IMO.

My sympathy goes out to those without the means to make a decision that were actually trapped in place.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:43 PM   #13
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Me, I am a runner. At 3 days out, running SW was a pretty good bet this time. Especially how tight this storm was.


Had they just gone 100 or so miles, their story would have most likely been different.


Even if they broke down 50 miles from departure or arrival there was still time for a tow either way. One way would have been the same outcome, the other much better.


I have a single, older engine. So I too fear leaving one good hurricane hole for a better one or outside the real danger zone...but being in the bullseye or likely bullseye...not many holes are really CAT 1 safe in my book.


I ran 30 miles or so pending Sandy and wound up having the eye go right overhead. BUT...I went from a zero hurricane hole (where damage did occur to bats) to a great hole and had no damage.



Sure its a gamble to move.....to me it's a way bigger one to sit and probably stare down the barrel.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:46 PM   #14
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One fail and one success makes for a very small sample. I was a professional mariner for over 40 years and my decision making process would have been similar to the boat that stayed. They did what they could to prepare the boat and then sought shelter for themselves. I would never have put out to sea in a small boat even in the face of even a category 1 hurricane and I would suggest that anyone who does is foolhardy. Hurricanes strengthen and alter course. Predicted paths change every four hours. Only two years ago this board was full of disparaging comments regarding the decisions of a captain whose 900’ containership was sunk and lost off the Bahamas because a hurricane did not follow the predicted path. History is full of such horror stories. If Dorian had not strengthened or had not stalled over Abaco our intrepid Captain and crew would have been heroes with another great hurricane story to tell. But it did strengthen and stall neither which was accurately predicted in time to affect his decision making.
Most of us carry insurance on our boats. Boats are things. Like cars and airplanes. It’s not wise to become emotionally attached to inanimate manufactured things. They won’t cry when they go to the great scrapyard in the sky. Save the attachment for people you care for, they are much harder to replace. It’s THEM that should be your first thought in the face of impending danger. Taking friends out in a small boat to an already rough sea with a hurricane bearing down on you is NOT a prudent thing to do even if eventually you are successful, you will have risked their lives or broken limbs for what? A financial investment that is insured and recoverable if lost?
One last question. How much resources would have been wasted if fifty boats had taken tthe OP course of action and departed Abaco and got caught in heavy weather? If even two of the fifty didn’t make it, the USCG would still have had to go search for them.
Second guessing decisions after a disaster can be a full time occupation. The main thing I took away from the Passagemaker blog is that four boaters and their dog survived a direct hit by a Cat 5 hurricane. That in itself is a tale of fortitude and courage and one that no one on this board should hope to experience.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:47 PM   #15
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I'm a Vietnam veteran. It is pure luck that I am still alive. Skills, intelligence, preparation, caution, decisions, had nothing to do with it. Death was inches away. Nobody could have predicted Dorian was just going to sit and spin at 160mph around Abacos.

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Old 09-08-2019, 12:52 PM   #16
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My only experience with a hurricane was in 1969 with Cat 5 Camille in Biloxi, MS when I was in the USAF. We had just gotten back from an overnight trip (by car) to New Orleans and were planning on staying in the mobile home we lived in as the storm passed. At that time the winds were about 50-75mph.


As the day wore on the winds increased to 100mph then quickly rose to 125. We made the decision to go to the base and stay in a hurricane proof building. As news reports came in showing the winds again rose to 175+ we knew we had made the right choice.


The hurricane passed during the night with the eye directly over Biloxi. The next morning, the drive home which normally took about 15 minutes took us over an hour. When we arrived home we found our trailer intact with no damage at all.


Would I have stayed at home during Camille? Ain't no freaking way. Our lives were worth more than braving it out at home during the storm.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:09 PM   #17
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There is a very fine line here in my mind.

I don't think any "runners" would say put to sea in the face of a hurricane.... but trading up hurricane holes when possibly they aren't too far away I don't consider the same thing.

Puddle jumping to go another 50-75 miles to get out of Cat 2 or better winds to the Cat 1 or TS circle of winds...and more importantly getting out of an area subject to bad surge would definitely be tempting.

Especially if there are equal or better spots along the way. The biggest detriment I see along the Atlantic seaboard of the US is the early closing of bridges...even before their posted wind speed restrictions.....being trapped in a bad spot would be an issue.


Otherwise...and in some cases...yes like the one I just faced...staying was the better option (plus I was out of town at the time it made its big turn )
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:12 PM   #18
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These guys had guests staying for the week who presumably had tickets for a flight off the island in a couple of days. If they moved the boat to Nassau or wherever, their guests would have missed their flight or had to re-book from elsewhere.

I wonder how much of that went into their decision to stay?
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:16 PM   #19
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There is a very fine line here in my mind.

I don't think any "runners" would say put to sea in the face of a hurricane.... but trading up hurricane holes when possibly they aren't too far away I don't consider the same thing.

Puddle jumping to go another 50-75 miles to get out of Cat 2 or better winds to the Cat 1 or TS circle of winds...and more importantly getting out of an area subject to bad surge would definitely be tempting.

Especially if there are equal or better spots along the way. The biggest detriment I see along the Atlantic seaboard of the US is the early closing of bridges...even before their posted wind speed restrictions.....being trapped in a bad spot would be an issue.


Otherwise...and in some cases...yes like the one I just faced...staying was the better option (plus I was out of town at the time it made its big turn )
I am unfamiliar with that area, but my quick look shows about 90 miles to Miami. Add another hundred to that and you are in the keys. Another hundred and you are on the other side of florida.

Seems to me that a prudent person especially with their boat moored would boogie on outta there.

The last video I posted of the boat that fled Marsh Harbor showed a largely empty marina. Seems that these folks were not the only ones that decided to leave town before the storm.

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Old 09-08-2019, 02:15 PM   #20
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Believe me it's not an easy decision to run...there's a fine line on many levels.


The average boater wouldn't really feel comfortable doing it...that's why it behooves one to get past that beginner or average level or expect the worst in many cases.


One of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther King "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."


That to me means if you can make a well thought out, calculated move...not to do so would be foolish. If not so clear cut or other factors weighing heavily....then stay put....not to do so would be foolish.
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