The Loss of Kelaerin

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    My response was to your claim of what you claim was your main mistake. I have been in boats that got knocked down and rolled over too. I rolled over in the southern Caribbean and my boat had no damage or major problems because everything was stowed away for the worst possible scenario.
     
  2. Kelaerin
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Lynden,wa

    Kelaerin New Member

    I don't think you have a good understanding of what actually happened. We were not fighting for our lives, we were just working our way through some cruddy weather, the wave, and there was only this one, that caused the capsized was bigger and traveling perpendicular to the waves we were on. We did not slew off or broach, this one wave hit us broadside with huge force, picked us up and threw down the wave face almost upside down. A lot of the water was scooped up over the low side. When the wave passed and the boat righted we continued steering squared off with the waves as before only this time the Edsoon steering pedestal was broken off At. it's base.
    There was no need to screw plywood over anything the hatches were all there and no ports were stove in. Kelerin is fitted with 4 electric bilge pumps and one large manual pump as well as several manual portable pumps. As far as crew there are quite a few mom and pop cruising boats out there who would disagree with that - extra food, extra water consumption not mention attitudes.
    To the guy who said he capsized his boat in the Caribbean and everything stayed in place..great! My gimbaled stove didn't jump off the gimbals it tore the finals off the bulkhead, How do you lash that?
    out of 45 solid teak doors only 4 remained in place and they all had turn button locks not just snap holders, they were ripped off their hinges and some were broken others had broken door jambs. Some waves are bigger than others-some capsized are more violent
     
  3. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Hi Kelaerin, it would not be a bad idea to explore the Omega 45 vessel you were sailing. I don't see a lot of info on it. If you have any details please share. Some wooden boats can break to bits when hit by a hard wave. The type of wood used and how it is joined really makes a difference. On the flip side, a fiberglass hull with integral fiberglass bulkheads, stringers & frames hold their own much better in rough seas. I recall Ken Barnes back in 2007 with his steel hulled 44ft ketch he bought from Italy. Very solid hull, but the wooden interior was poorly constructed and nearly killed him. After a big wave hit him and capsized the vessel, quite literally, all hell broke loose on the interior.

    Ref: Sailor’s ambitious dream goes down with his boat https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/sailors-ambitious-dream-goes-down-with-his-boat/

    He would have been safer in a proven bluewater boat (e.g. Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org http://bluewaterboats.org). Hopefully you'll get back on the water soon in a tough, proven boat. Don't settle for less.
     
  4. Remmlinger
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Remmlinger engineer

    Thanks Kelaerin for the first-hand information. The circumstances of the accident become a bit more clear now.
    I worked as a delivery skipper an still have my check-list, that I used for boat inspection prior to a blue water crossing.
    Door locks and hinges are already on my list, but I guess the weight of the goods behind the doors plays a role, when assessing the strength of the hinges.
    In the end the small details are crucial and need the most attention.
    From the investigation of airplane crashes one can learn, that an accident is never caused by one big mistake, but instead by a chain of malfunctions, mistakes , carelessness, misjudgement, etc.
    It is never bad luck.
    Thanks for sharing
    Uli
     
  5. Kelaerin
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Lynden,wa

    Kelaerin New Member

    Kelaerin was hull #11 from a run of 15 boats built for the Smith-Herbert brokerage in Seattle. The hull was hand laid in the Formosa 46 mold in Taiwan, S-H had an American surveyor supervise the construction of the whole run. Kelaerin was a strong well-built boat, meticulously maintained and well found. As far as my seamanship, I guess I didn't learn enough in my 30+ years as Captain on a deep sea salvage and rescue tug. You've criticized everything except the ocean, I hope there is not a rogue wave out there with your name on it, If there is your ego is going to be severely bruised
     
  6. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Now wait a minute. You've gone from acknowledging several mistakes to blaming the wave. It was both to be sure. I would also blame any structures structures that failed. Nothing wrong with cursing those! As a tug captain, hopefully you can recover the vessel and get it repaired.
     
  7. Remmlinger
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Remmlinger engineer

    No! As the skipper I can only blame myself. I, as the skipper, have the responsibility for inspecting the boat (seaworthiness), choosing the crew, choosing the route and the season (pilot charts), the safety equipment and I make sure, that everybody on board follows the required drill. If something goes wrong, it is my fault, because I was in command.
    As I said before, everybody can make mistakes, but if you want to learn something, the first step is to be honest to yourself and question all the decisions you made.
    Blaming "the ocean" is totally misleading, will prevent any learning and will get you only in trouble again.
     
  8. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Kelaerin, At first, it just looked like this was the usual tough crowd. Now it seems that some have an axe to grind and cannot let go of the handle for fear it may damage their ego. I think you might just walk away from a fight you can't win. Its the internet.
     
  9. gilberj
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    gilberj Junior Member

    Quite a harrowing story. Those not there ...arm chair critics....we all can be wise (critical) after the fact.......I have been there, as have others, but not that day. Most folks I talk to prefer running off in foul weather....it feels good. The problem from my point of view is that thing can go from good to disaster in seconds.
    I am firmly in the "heave to in big seas camp" either using well reefed working sails, or a tri-sail or as the Pardeys recommend a sea anchor on a bridle. FWIW I would save the sea anchor till last.... The biggest problem for me with a sea anchor is getting the thing back on board when it is no longer needed
     
  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  11. Lula
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Brasil

    Lula New Member

    Dear Jim, as a fellow commodore at SSCA and having lived on board a 33' and cruised extensively for 20 years, together with my wife, I am appalled by many of the comments, people, apparently with experience, have the gall to criticize you guys, without knowing the full story; you probably know what happens when we assume...Very little you can do when you are hit broadside by a rouge wave.
    I can imagine the feelings of you and your family when you heard that they have recovered Kelaerin !!!,where you able to recover the HD drive, hope so.
    A strong, heartfelt embrace to you and your family.
    SV Kiwimar
     
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  12. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    An abandoned boat that is found floating on its own without serious damage tell the story better than words.
     
  13. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    I've had a similar experience in a much larger boat sailboat in a gale in the Tasman. A cross sea hit us. We were knocked down close to horizontal by a massive breaker, the boat actually fell off the wave which then broke right over boat. We bent the main mast compression post from the the force of water in the sails. Staunchions on the lee side were buckled. I'd gone around and made everyone below put up their lee sheets only 10 mins before. All the ports were shuttered.

    To get off or not is entirely the masters call at the time. There are many personal factors too: Anxiety, tiredness Shock, personal injury that have to be considered. Then there's an unknown level of damage to the boat and it's systems. Just because the boat's floating after the event doesn't even remotely suggest the call to get off was the wrong call.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
    Doug Lord likes this.
  14. Lula
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Brasil

    Lula New Member

    Absolutely, writing that finding the boat tells the story is pure lunacy. Thanks for your contribution
     
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  15. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    A voice of experience !

    On one boat I had two tracks on the mast and the trisail track ran down to the deck, the sail stayed attached, the third reef for the main was to drop and lash the main and raise the loose footed sail. Now I just use a triple reefed heavy main and a staysail as storm sails. I do like the booms on both.

    Heaving to is a really good tactic, at least up to the point where you have no option but to run before it. When heaving to, (as you'll be aware I'm sure) one tack is safer and that's to put the cross sea on your bow or as close as possible. A lot of people I've talked to don't think of that.

    We lost an expensive drogue which was deployed to try and ease the work of the helmsman downwind in a blow, even the vain hope that we could leave most of the work to the autopilot ( ha). It worked really well for a start but after 10 hours of building wind and seas occasional large waves were sweeping the boat from the stern. We had no steerage and tried to reduce the amount of drogue that had been perfect earlier but couldn't get it in at all, (by then it was blowing 40 knots continuous, not gusts ) and had to cut it away . I have never carried one since and as a survival tactic heave to and then run when the weather builds.

    The Fastnet inquiry reported that none of the craft of any size that properly hove to had any problems.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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