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View Diary: HMS Bounty sinks in Atlantic (41 comments)

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  •  You can't sail a ship like this (1+ / 0-)
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    live1

    in heavy weather with a total crew of 17. So it was equipped with 2 John Deere Diesels and 35kw generators - but reportedly the engine(s) failed. Could have been fuel feed problems (think low tanks and sloshing fuel, or fuel pump failure...). Even losing one engine out of two is a problem in heavy weather - because a sailing ship, even without sails up has lots of windage - meaning a lot of square feet of hull for the wind to push around. Normally you'd use the engines to keep the ship at the correct angle to the waves and wind to minimize being swamped, broached or pooped. If the engines fail, and you lose generators to run bilge pumps, you can't avoid taking in water over the rails and you can't pump it out, so it's over...

    There are many techniques that were used in the old days to cope with this (not always successful) but those required a lot of supplies and a lot of manpower - a replica ship this this probably doesn't carry those supplies and certainly does not carry the number of crew needed.

    For instance, if the wind was from the right direction (not towards land) you could run downwind trailing a "sea anchor" to help keep the ship straight before the wind, and it's still a very tricky maneuver, but you need supplies (maybe old sails and anchors), lots of strong line, winches, and plenty of crew.

    But if you have to depend on engines, and you are worse off than a newer ship because of the old design, and your engines fail, not much you can do except abandon ship....

    Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

    by blindcynic on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 09:42:48 AM PDT

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