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Jonathan W. November 28th 05 05:41 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
We had occasion two weekends ago to reconsider the matter of removing
large amounts of water from a boat in a hurry. This event caused by
crossing inside of the green day mark #3 marking the Middle Ground ledge
in Woods Hole, MA.

While the events leading up to this are still being debated among those
onboard, part of the problem appeared to be a fixation on the part of
the skipper/helmsman with electronic charting over the real world. If
the course had been adjusted when the alarm had first been raised,(by
humans) or the second or third time, there would have been no incident
to reflect on.

Driving a 20,000 lb, 38 foot sloop drawing about 6 feet over a ledge
with 3 or 4 feet of water over it is an experience I would not wish to
repeat. The full keel and skeg hung rudder took the brunt of the impact
and the bottom of the ruder skeg with it's gudgeon were left on the
ledge (presumably).

The rudder dropped straight down and the now two extra feet of leverage
given overcame the strength of the interface between the rudder's
stuffing box and the hull, ripping open a 2-3 inch hole, depending on
where the rudder/shaft assembly was leaning at any given moment.


The two 2500 GPH bilge pumps were immediately overwhelmed. It is a
sobering sight to see salt water rising inexorably toward the air intake
on a diesel engine. In the confusion, I could not decipher which hose was
the raw water intake to add the engine cooling capacity to the bilge
pumping (and I did not wish to risk my hands in the belts of the dual
alternators). During this, others managed to leverage the rudder
quadrant/shaft into the upright position, mostly closing the hole, and
slowing the ingress of water to a point where the pumps could almost
hold their own. The arrival of a local fisherman in response to the
radio call was comforting, in that a tow line kept us from additional
impact with other natural hard spots in the passage.

The Coast Guard 41 footer has impressive dewatering capabilities in both
portable and built in pumps. We only needed the portable gas pump to
establish equilibrium. It was a long 30 minutes until they arrived from
their training mission off of Edgartown, however.

Once we were dewatered, and all the floorboard hatches were put back in
place (they tend to float off at some point) TowBoat US took over. While
our pumps were mostly capable of holding us while we were under tow to a
boat yard, they had put aboard two of these:
http://www.starmarinedepot.com/detai...duct_id=RU1416

You have to look a little harder to find these to purchase, than the
2500 gph, but I think one will be high on my list of must haves for the
coming years. It is interesting to look at the loss due to "lift" and
voltage, even this powerful appearing pump actually has. 6 foot lift
would not be uncommon in a boat that has standing headroom in the cabin.
Between lift and the voltage drop to 12v vs 13.5 when an engine is
running, even this pumps capacity gets reduced by about 30%

Just thought I'd share.

Jonathan


--
I am building my daughter an Argie 10 sailing dinghy, check it out:
http://home.comcast.net/~jonsailr




Roger Long November 28th 05 07:03 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
Ah, that brings back the memories. It was a hoot sitting in my
waterfront office at Woods Hole Oceanographic and watching boats hit
and miss that ledge. People would come down with the tide behind them
alarmed at the shore going by faster than the boat usually could move.
They would throttle back, and back, and back trying to slow down until
they were dead in the water and then wonder why nothing happened when
they turned the wheel to swing into the right channel.

Others would come down that nice lane of red and green buoys without a
chart and then head between the next red and green they saw. It's
just that one is in one channel and the other in the opposite leg.

Some of us once worked through a Labor Day weekend just so we could
watch the show.

I remember a big Dutch botter yacht towing a fair size I/O powerboat
with an outboard behind that and then a dinghy. He got fooled by the
current, slowed below steerageway, hit the buoy just before the ledge
broadside, bounced off, and then towed the whole assemblage upstream
and around the buoy (he must have used stout towlines) as the current
carried him before sticking briefly on the ledge and then heading off
into Vineyard Sound like he did this every day.

I wonder if there is a spot in New England where more boats, many with
very experienced skippers, have come to grief.

--

Roger Long



Jonathan W. November 28th 05 07:14 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
Roger Long wrote:

Ah, that brings back the memories. It was a hoot sitting in my
waterfront office at Woods Hole Oceanographic and watching boats hit
and miss that ledge. People would come down with the tide behind them
alarmed at the shore going by faster than the boat usually could move.
They would throttle back, and back, and back trying to slow down until
they were dead in the water and then wonder why nothing happened when
they turned the wheel to swing into the right channel.

Others would come down that nice lane of red and green buoys without a
chart and then head between the next red and green they saw. It's
just that one is in one channel and the other in the opposite leg.

Some of us once worked through a Labor Day weekend just so we could
watch the show.

I remember a big Dutch botter yacht towing a fair size I/O powerboat
with an outboard behind that and then a dinghy. He got fooled by the
current, slowed below steerageway, hit the buoy just before the ledge
broadside, bounced off, and then towed the whole assemblage upstream
and around the buoy (he must have used stout towlines) as the current
carried him before sticking briefly on the ledge and then heading off
into Vineyard Sound like he did this every day.

I wonder if there is a spot in New England where more boats, many with
very experienced skippers, have come to grief.


Yes, the CG was pretty blasČ about the whole thing. Their remark, "Oh,
we get about one a week in season, it's been a little slow the last few
weeks."

I kept thinking, "He's gonna turn now, he's gonna turn now". But, he
didn't He later said that when the "picture finally "clicked" into his
head, he was afraid of getting swept into the daymark and adding
tangling the rigging, bringing down the rig, on top of the now certain
collision.

So he figured the strongest part of the boat was probably the leading
edge of the keel anyway.

The prelim estimate is 25K on the boat, he paid 60K for, just about 20
hours earlier. Ouch.....

Jonathan


--
I am building my daughter an Argie 10 sailing dinghy, check it out:
http://home.comcast.net/~jonsailr

Terry Spragg November 28th 05 07:29 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
Jonathan W. wrote:

We had occasion two weekends ago to reconsider the matter of removing
large amounts of water from a boat in a hurry. This event caused by
crossing inside of the green day mark #3 marking the Middle Ground ledge
in Woods Hole, MA.

While the events leading up to this are still being debated among those
onboard, part of the problem appeared to be a fixation on the part of
the skipper/helmsman with electronic charting over the real world. If
the course had been adjusted when the alarm had first been raised,(by
humans) or the second or third time, there would have been no incident
to reflect on.

Driving a 20,000 lb, 38 foot sloop drawing about 6 feet over a ledge
with 3 or 4 feet of water over it is an experience I would not wish to
repeat. The full keel and skeg hung rudder took the brunt of the impact
and the bottom of the ruder skeg with it's gudgeon were left on the
ledge (presumably).

The rudder dropped straight down and the now two extra feet of leverage
given overcame the strength of the interface between the rudder's
stuffing box and the hull, ripping open a 2-3 inch hole, depending on
where the rudder/shaft assembly was leaning at any given moment.


The two 2500 GPH bilge pumps were immediately overwhelmed. It is a
sobering sight to see salt water rising inexorably toward the air intake
on a diesel engine. In the confusion, I could not decipher which hose was
the raw water intake to add the engine cooling capacity to the bilge
pumping (and I did not wish to risk my hands in the belts of the dual
alternators). During this, others managed to leverage the rudder
quadrant/shaft into the upright position, mostly closing the hole, and
slowing the ingress of water to a point where the pumps could almost
hold their own. The arrival of a local fisherman in response to the
radio call was comforting, in that a tow line kept us from additional
impact with other natural hard spots in the passage.

The Coast Guard 41 footer has impressive dewatering capabilities in both
portable and built in pumps. We only needed the portable gas pump to
establish equilibrium. It was a long 30 minutes until they arrived from
their training mission off of Edgartown, however.

Once we were dewatered, and all the floorboard hatches were put back in
place (they tend to float off at some point) TowBoat US took over. While
our pumps were mostly capable of holding us while we were under tow to a
boat yard, they had put aboard two of these:
http://www.starmarinedepot.com/detai...duct_id=RU1416

You have to look a little harder to find these to purchase, than the
2500 gph, but I think one will be high on my list of must haves for the
coming years. It is interesting to look at the loss due to "lift" and
voltage, even this powerful appearing pump actually has. 6 foot lift
would not be uncommon in a boat that has standing headroom in the cabin.
Between lift and the voltage drop to 12v vs 13.5 when an engine is
running, even this pumps capacity gets reduced by about 30%

Just thought I'd share.

Jonathan


Interesting point. I built a "golf club" bilge pump, so I can empty
the dinghy without getting into it. It has a small battery pack
from a bag phone, and I though to improve it's operation my adding a
flexible tail long enough to drop in the water whilst in use. The
effect on pumping capacity was remarkable. The "down" side of the
hose helps with a syphon effect to reduce the workload on the tiny
bilge pump at the end of the stiff pipe handle. Now, the only work
the pump does is effectively to move the water sideways, not up.

All bilge pumps would benefit from this configuration, but
permanently fixed bilge pumps so arranged must include a vented
loop, defeating the syphon assist, it seems, and, I might add,
rightly so, unless diligently supervised. So much for safety
regulations.

Your pump would be more efficient if it has a tail down to the water
to be used only while actually trying not to sink. Unattended pumps
must not offer any possibility of syphoning water into the boat.


Terry K


rhys November 28th 05 07:56 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
On Mon, 28 Nov 2005 12:41:53 -0500, "Jonathan W."
wrote:

We had occasion two weekends ago to reconsider the matter of removing
large amounts of water from a boat in a hurry. This event caused by
crossing inside of the green day mark #3 marking the Middle Ground ledge
in Woods Hole, MA.


Thanks for another instructive lesson on why eyes trump electronics.

You were lucky and you didn't lose your head, which probably saved
your boat.

Did you consider fothering a sail around the stern, or did you know
that you could restore the rudder?

R.

Don White November 28th 05 07:59 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
Jonathan W. wrote:
snip...

Driving a 20,000 lb, 38 foot sloop drawing about 6 feet over a ledge
with 3 or 4 feet of water over it is an experience I would not wish to
repeat. The full keel and skeg hung rudder took the brunt of the impact
and the bottom of the ruder skeg with it's gudgeon were left on the
ledge (presumably).

The rudder dropped straight down and the now two extra feet of leverage
given overcame the strength of the interface between the rudder's
stuffing box and the hull, ripping open a 2-3 inch hole, depending on
where the rudder/shaft assembly was leaning at any given moment.

snip...

We did the same thing with a Viking 28 about 5 years ago. I was at the
helm but blame it on the owner because he insisted we sail up a narrow
channel with the wind on our nose. I went a bit wide past the red buoy
while tacking and ran into a large boulder field. What a sound smashing
into boulder after boulder while trying to sail out forcing the boat to
heel as much as possible. Luckily we weren't traveling too fast and
suffered no permanent damage.
Another time ran into a ledge during a regatta race opposite our
clubhouse on a Mirage 33. Had to be towed off in fromt of the entire
fleet.....oh the humanity! Again damage minimal.

Wayne.B November 28th 05 10:16 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
On Mon, 28 Nov 2005 14:14:23 -0500, "Jonathan W."
wrote:

The prelim estimate is 25K on the boat, he paid 60K for, just about 20
hours earlier. Ouch.....


===================================

The insurance company is going to love that. Hope he has an iron clad
binder in place.


Dry November 28th 05 10:26 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
Yoe Don where were you Halifax Harbor or Mahone Bay or Prospect?? What
ledge. Mooron will probably wish to know. Ha Ha.

Don White wrote:

Jonathan W. wrote:
snip...

Driving a 20,000 lb, 38 foot sloop drawing about 6 feet over a ledge
with 3 or 4 feet of water over it is an experience I would not wish to
repeat. The full keel and skeg hung rudder took the brunt of the impact
and the bottom of the ruder skeg with it's gudgeon were left on the
ledge (presumably).

The rudder dropped straight down and the now two extra feet of leverage
given overcame the strength of the interface between the rudder's
stuffing box and the hull, ripping open a 2-3 inch hole, depending on
where the rudder/shaft assembly was leaning at any given moment.

snip...

We did the same thing with a Viking 28 about 5 years ago. I was at the
helm but blame it on the owner because he insisted we sail up a narrow
channel with the wind on our nose. I went a bit wide past the red buoy
while tacking and ran into a large boulder field. What a sound smashing
into boulder after boulder while trying to sail out forcing the boat to
heel as much as possible. Luckily we weren't traveling too fast and
suffered no permanent damage.
Another time ran into a ledge during a regatta race opposite our
clubhouse on a Mirage 33. Had to be towed off in fromt of the entire
fleet.....oh the humanity! Again damage minimal.


Jeff November 28th 05 10:54 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
Jonathan W. wrote:
We had occasion two weekends ago to reconsider the matter of removing
large amounts of water from a boat in a hurry. This event caused by
crossing inside of the green day mark #3 marking the Middle Ground ledge
in Woods Hole, MA.

While the events leading up to this are still being debated among those
onboard, part of the problem appeared to be a fixation on the part of
the skipper/helmsman with electronic charting over the real world. If
the course had been adjusted when the alarm had first been raised,(by
humans) or the second or third time, there would have been no incident
to reflect on.

...


Thanks for the description. I go through there several times a year
and each time I have to remind my crew that things will come at us
very fast. First of all, its hard to appreciate what a 6 knot current
can do. And the chart normally used is a much larger scale than most
people are used to; the marks at the corner are only about 75 yards
apart. Normally, you can figure it out as you go, but this is a spot
best handled at slack the first time through.

The first time I let my wife take the helm she made the turn OK, but
then looked over her shoulder, marveling at the buoy being pulled
over. In that second we were swept across the channel almost into Nun 2.

I've learned to give everyone a *very* wide berth there.

Don White November 28th 05 11:59 PM

On serious bilge pumping........
 
Dry wrote:
Yoe Don where were you Halifax Harbor or Mahone Bay or Prospect?? What
ledge. Mooron will probably wish to know. Ha Ha.


Ist time in the Viking was off Barrie's Beach, Eastern Passage.(south of
Lawler Island.
The second time, in the Mirage 33 was at a 'Dr. ???'s ledge', East side
of the Northwest Arm opposite the Royal NS Yacht Squadron.

The one other time we grounded with me aboard was just north of Barrie's
Beach on a sandbar as we were preparing to enter the narrow channelfrom
the South. A large fishing boat was motoring south and our helmsman got
nervous..edging too far over to Starboard. We were able to power off.


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