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(Martha's Vineyard Times)   Man with no sailing experience buys 36 foot sailboat, heads out to sea, abandons ship in storm. Boat sails better without him and gently comes ashore on sandy beach 700 miles away   ( divider line
    More: Strange, rescue boat, Falmouth, Edgartown, official residence, shipping lanes, boats, storms, Martha's Vineyard  
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6835 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jul 2013 at 3:56 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-07-14 10:54:24 AM  

Erik_Emune: PunGent: bratface: I have never been on a sailboat or a tanker so I'm not sure if it is/was possible, but why didn't he/they attach the sailboat with a rope (or whatever) to the tanker that picked him up, instead of setting it adrift?

It MIGHT be possible, but if I were the tanker captain, I'd say "hell, no".   Odd are good that, underway, the sailboat would breach, capsize, etc, and wind up fouling the tanker's props as it sank/came apart.  At a minimum, you'd have to detail guys to watch it towing behind 24/7.   They already run with minimal crew to save money, so the added workload isn't negligible.

You'd also need a long enough, but light enough line to reach from the sailboat bow up to the tanker stern; any lines on the tanker will be WAY too heavy.  Sailboat's anchor line might do it, but in those sea conditions, you'd be doing well just to rig the damn thing in the first place.

Yep. The typical tanker stern has no gangways below the main deck, so there's a height difference akin to a 3-5 story building. Getting a line that can handle that, that's problem #1.  A tanker will be moving at 12-15 knots,  which is fast for a sailboat on flat water, let alone one that has to traverse waves. Problem #2.  And with the differences in mass, a small nudge in the tanker translates to a ridiculous shock force on the sailboat. Chances are the cleats would rip straight out. Problem #3  - that this not very experienced sailor can think off.

Yep...I've not sailed that particular model of boat, but a tanker-tow at 12 - 15 knots is probably above hull speed...not sure what happens at that point, but it's probably not good even in a flat calm...
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