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Old 10-18-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
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Who's Tougher - You or Your Boat?

Interesting Article in Seaworthy Magazine:

Photo: Daniel Carpenter

The aptly named Running Free washed up on a sandy beach on Martha's Vineyard on July 5, 54 days after being abandoned off Bermuda. The boat's owner, Bill Heldenbrand, left Jacksonville, Florida alone in May, bound for the U.K. with a planned layover in Bermuda. On the seventh day, he encountered heavy weather some 400 miles west of Bermuda. After battling 40-knot sustained winds and 15- to 20-foot waves for 18 hours, he hove to in order to get some rest. He woke to find the jib sheet chafed through and the jib flogging. A passing tanker offered to take him off the boat, and given the continuing deterioration in the weather, he decided to leave his belongings and the uninsured vessel, never expecting to see either one again.
But, as so often happens, boats prove to be much stronger and more capable than sailors expect. Not only did Running Free manage to survive the storm, but she ran the gamut of the busy East Coast shipping lanes, dodged the myriad rocky ledges and outcroppings along the New England coast, and beached herself on a sandy shore some 700 miles from where she was abandoned. The jib was shredded and the boom broken, but otherwise she was in fine shape. The solar panels had kept the batteries fully charged, and the electronics were all still working when Daniel Carpenter from TowBoatUS Falmouth set to work freeing her. "It took three days to remove, and the hull was still in very good shape," Carpenter told Seaworthy.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Finder's keepers on derelicts, right?

(That's how I got stuck with my wino, Gus.)

This sort of thing happened to a pilot in Florida, he ejected from an old F-105 out over the gulf of Mexico. There were several fire warning lights on so the procedure is to bail.
The aircraft came home, did a water landing and slid right up on the beach, intact, just like this sailboat.
Very embarrassing for him, I guess.

I don't blame her skipper, he was probably scared to death so far out.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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The boat is tougher than me.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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The boat.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:24 PM   #5
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The admiral and I once spent most of a 11 day passage in the S.Pac in storm conditions, seas 20'+ and winds steady in the 50's and gusting above the limits of the anemometer. 36 hours were spent hove to and dropping off the face of massive seas. The boat survived completely unscathed... not one thing broken. Around day five I think we both would of walked away from the boat if we had the chance. Fortunately for us we were so in the middle of nowhere we didn't have the opportunity..

After that episode we really stepped up the acceptable level of being on a boat in uncomfortable weather. Also any weather since has seemed totally doable and a non issue.
In the time frame of that passage we both lost a bunch of weight, got seriously dehydrated and most importantly found we really needed to be cautious as one's ability to reason becomes effected from the combination of all the factors.
We survived and became better sailors because of it.. although the Admiral hasn't had the desire to venture offshore after we returned to the U.S. I still do offshore passages and deliveries as much as time and schedule allow but every now and then something will trigger a memory associated with that passage and it gives me the willies
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hollywood8118 View Post
The admiral and I once spent most of a 11 day passage in the S.Pac in storm conditions, seas 20'+ and winds steady in the 50's and gusting above the limits of the anemometer. 36 hours were spent hove to and dropping off the face of massive seas. The boat survived completely unscathed... not one thing broken. Around day five I think we both would of walked away from the boat if we had the chance. Fortunately for us we were so in the middle of nowhere we didn't have the opportunity..

After that episode we really stepped up the acceptable level of being on a boat in uncomfortable weather. Also any weather since has seemed totally doable and a non issue.
In the time frame of that passage we both lost a bunch of weight, got seriously dehydrated and most importantly found we really needed to be cautious as one's ability to reason becomes effected from the combination of all the factors.
We survived and became better sailors because of it.. although the Admiral hasn't had the desire to venture offshore after we returned to the U.S. I still do offshore passages and deliveries as much as time and schedule allow but every now and then something will trigger a memory associated with that passage and it gives me the willies
HOLLYWOOD
That doesn't sound like anything I would want to experience. Life has plenty of challenges as it is.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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The boat. Definitely.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Finder's keepers on derelicts, right?

(That's how I got stuck with my wino, Gus.)

This sort of thing happened to a pilot in Florida, he ejected from an old F-105 out over the gulf of Mexico. There were several fire warning lights on so the procedure is to bail.
The aircraft came home, did a water landing and slid right up on the beach, intact, just like this sailboat.
Very embarrassing for him, I guess.

I don't blame her skipper, he was probably scared to death so far out.
No finders keepers.
The Salvors (Boat US) have right to compensation but not title. This is called "pure" salvage. When no contract exists between the owners and the salvors.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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The boat clearly. Took Bay Pelican out in heavy weather conditions to see her weaknesses. As expected I found a few items which could be fixed or improved. What I found in addition was that my stamina dropped after a couple of hours of manhandling the steering while carving the waves. Don't know how long I could continue to steer under those conditions.

We did this in controlled conditions off the Miami inlet (for non East Coasters this is a very wide inlet as in a couple of aircraft carriers could pass at the same time) and in the company of a much larger vessel.

The boat was fine, could have handled much worse, but I would have needed two or three strong helmsmen to handle the boat for any length of time.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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Can't claim either as neither has reached her/his limits.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #11
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Being a relative novice to you guys, I can still say "the boat", as I fought a 6 ft. confused chop with a seasoned delivery Captain for hours. According to the Captain, the boat was simply wonderful, but I was totally exhausted. He actually ate while instructing me at the helm. Waves were coming in so many directions at once that I had no idea how to make the ride any easier. We lost everything that wasn't tied down, including my breakfast and lunch. He never blinked. I guess I'm a wuss.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:59 PM   #12
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The boat no doubt. As a dedicated pleasure boater I like my boating without big lumpy bits on the surface of the water.
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