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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1392

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: No Fool Like an Old One! Reply with quote

Life boat rescue from couple of miles out on a longboard sea cruise yesterday, in a fully powered 7.5 offshore blow. The 2 foot long alloy mast track in the 20 year old Bic Bamba ripped clean out of the board. (Screw holes had corroded and split from 20 years of salt water reaction with the stainless screws.)

It wasn't being there that was the mistake since that is normal practice, but complacency. When it's become second nature to be out at sea, and nothing much has gone wrong for several years, it's only human to start taking liberties with safety rules.

Number one rule of cruising of always being able to get back in safely under your own steam, means carrying powerful and 'man for the job' split kayak paddles, but in trying to keep the nuisance weight over the front deck down, I'd stupidly made up some flimsy lightweight ones and just assumed they would be up to the job without ever trying them. They were not!

The pull needed against a rising wind and choppy sea, even without dragging the rig through the water, would just have snapped them. Luckily I'd been spotted by someone ashore with binoculars, and the inshore inflatable crew were out within half an hour. Lesson well learnt. Back to the REAL paddles!

As for the Bamba, the Ace Tec construction is still sound and undamaged, and the mast track screws are still firmly in place. It aint finished yet. The track just needs shortheneing an inch or so, and redrilling. It is used turn about with the Kona 1.

The Bamba has the quieter less swishy sub plane glide, but the Kona is the nicer planer. Both can easily top 20 m.p.h. on the plane. Mind you, the new Phantom seems to have cracked the construction issues of the older ones, and grows more appealing by the day. I think I need one. Rolling Eyes
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Boardhead1



Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 58
Location: St Petersburg Fl

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GURGLETROUSERS
Wow! Glad it turned out well. Reminds me of a Search and Rescue case I flew on, when I was stationed at US Coast Guard Air station Corpus Christi. In the mid 1980's a kid went windsurfing off Galveston Beach Texas in 20 to 25 knot offshore breeze and never made it back to shore. We searched for three days and never found him. Off shore winds can be trouble so ya check your gear, sail with a buddy and I wouldn't venture to far off shore.
Thanks for sharing your story and I think a good tip is for sailors to check these older boards and even new ones after a few years of sailing. Remove those mast track screws and check for corrosion on the countersink screw hole on aluminum mast tracks. I saw another post about a Mistral Prodigy mast track ripping out of the board. My guess on that one it did the same thing! Glad it all workout. Fair wind and following seas! Cheers! Very Happy
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1518

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gurg, Good to see that all worked out well.

It's easy to get complacent and not consider what happens if there is equipment failure or an injury. I doubt that many of us check our gear often enough.

I almost always sail lakes, so there is a shore line somewhere near by (up to 3 km) away). However, I always sail with buddies, plus I have checked out access to the possible "drift to" shorelines if all goes bad. On a couple of our lakes and north winds, rocky dams can be the "drift point". This would not be good in 20+ knot winds because of the wave action on the .5+ meter boulders.

Winter is the dangerous time when it could get serious, so wearing the proper wet/dry suit could save a life if you get stuck drifting for a few hours.

The point is, that on every outing, we should give up a few seconds to considering what happens/solutions if we have equipment failure and have to self-rescue.

In 28 years, I have never been blown away, but I have been "rescued" three times by boats during 3 different regattas. Twice when the fleet got flattened in quickly increasing winds and once when the wind went to 0.

Sail smart and stay alive.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1392

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies Boardhead, and Techno. I should stress that I'm not particularly brave or stupid, and that I take safety very seriously indeed. It was purely a 'brain malfunction' on my part to even imagine that those puny lightweight paddles could tackle a difficult situation, where power was needed.

Having come from a sea kayaking background, with many solo crossings and long camping journeys 'in the bag', I saw longboard cruising as kayaking, with a sail stuck on top. Proper kayak split paddles have always been carried on the front deck in the past, and have often had to be used when left becalmed, out at sea. I've always been prepared to ditch the rig in a dangerous situation, and get the hell out of it by paddle power (as by kayak) if necessary. It's no problem with proper paddles batting against a strong wind.

I honestly can't figure what the hell I was thinking in suddenly trying to make do with those weaker paddles? It doesn't make sense. You often read accounts of other experienced people in other walks of life making stupid schoolboy errors, and imagining you could never fall for such stupidity. I now know better.

I'm not trying to push a point of view onto anybody else, but on the issue of doing things alone, I personally feel much safer and more in control in tackling trickier situations, than when in a group. It's psychological. When alone, and having to do things in cold blood, you rarely push your limits, and always leave something in reserve. Group behaviour can be very different. The (false) security of numbers can often push people beyond their limits, and into grief.

I realise my view isn't generally accepted (not in my fellow kayaking circles at anyrate) but I honestly do believe that being a loner (to those of us of that nature) can normally give a greater awareness of dangers. Relying on those flimsy paddles was stupid. It WON'T happen again!
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5969

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G.T., I'm glad things worked out well in what could been a very dicey situation. Offshore winds can really get spooky if things unexpectedly go wrong. To be honest, I now tend to pass on sailing in some of the strong offshore winds at Port Hueneme I used to eagerly pursue. Seemingly others did too, as last few times I sailed there a number of years back, I was out alone. Like you, I often sail alone, but these days it's usually in more favorable winds not too far from shore.

I think I see a trick carbon kayak paddle in your future.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1392

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, S.W.C. ....My surfski paddle is a carbon beauty. I should buy a new split one to go with that brand new Starboard Phantom I'm lusting over. Who needs company with a great sexy beast like that begging for a loving home!

Starboard really have upped the long board game at last. I'm all of a quiver at the thought of it. Laughing Laughing
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outhaul



Joined: 27 Sep 2011
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, don't feel bad, ship happens, glad everything worked out.
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Bluejaytoo



Joined: 21 Apr 2012
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the '80s I got blown out on Lake Erie on a 180L funboard with a 7.0 cambered speed sail. Perfect conditions when I went out: blue skies, steady breezes, slight chop. I was rigged just right with the 7.0. Then a thermal kicked in and the wind shifted off-shore. As the chop got bigger, I started having problems. When it got to 5' swells, I was getting both seasick and sunstroke. By the time they dragged me in, the swells were hitting 8'. I got a nice lecture from the Coast Guard on the beach about preparedness.
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rexi



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that story, a good reminder of how things can go all wrong. I get your point with the false security of sailing with a buddy.

I had a session early this spring, was sailing in a pretty closed bay and bailed out of a overpowered 4.0 jump. Long story short, my kit got blown away and i just could not get back to it no matter how hard I swam. I was sailing with some kite friends and they noticed I was "missing" and started sailing back and forth in the small bay to look for me. It took them quite some time before spotting me although they had sailed past me a few times really close by. It left me wondering about all those sessions with friends were conditions are more critical and chances are getting blown out to sea if things go wrong, and how hard it is to spot a missing friend. But a friend can always call the rescue teams if he canīt find you..

I had often sailed alone in sideoff conditions in that same small bay before my little swimming incident but i donīt any more, just realized how draining it is to swim for long periods of time in cold water. -and how fast things can go bad.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2467

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.exocet-original.com/2013/rs380-elite.php

i want to try one of these real bad.

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