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Old 28 August 2012, 10:38   #21
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How calm does it have to be?

Also I was with the Rib Raid to Ireland in June, and we picked a pretty good weather window, and in places, Kish being one it the sea state became very lumpy.

Whilst, I'd love to help out I think my two stroke would die after an hour on tick over, let alone 48.

I wish you all the very best with your attempt, and for a very worthwhile cause.
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Old 29 August 2012, 03:17   #22
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We're monitoring for maxes of 5 and also 7 kts wind, with nil headwind component.

Our work contacts got us some historic wind data from RAF Valley, which shows daily average wind over the last ten years. For us at 5 kts the averages work out at just less than one weather window per month. (December strangely being the historic best).

Confirm I've been doing plenty of research on Kish! (But would love to hear more any first hand experiences). Can you remember what state of tide you crossed Kish on?
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Old 29 August 2012, 10:27   #23
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We're monitoring for maxes of 5 and also 7 kts wind, with nil headwind component.

Our work contacts got us some historic wind data from RAF Valley, which shows daily average wind over the last ten years. For us at 5 kts the averages work out at just less than one weather window per month. (December strangely being the historic best).

Confirm I've been doing plenty of research on Kish! (But would love to hear more any first hand experiences). Can you remember what state of tide you crossed Kish on?
We went over on the 7 July, and high tide was around 3pm, from memory we crossed about an hour to an hour and a half before high water - springs. I suspect that we had wind against tide as it became very lumpy.

All in the aid of research, this may help -

We stopped half way across and you'll see there was little wind but a confused sea, this was the best sea state of the crossing save for when we were in the leigh of Angelsey.
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Old 29 August 2012, 15:34   #24
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Re Ais and sub 300 tonne boats yes a lot have them but everyone seems to have the notion that they are all linked to the plotter which I'm afraid just isn't true yet. Some are, which is great but some arent and on a boat not so linked the skipper is not necc going to be looking at a list of targets on a tiny ancillary bit of kit when he has other stuff to do. Small fast commercial vessels of say 50 tonne doing say 20-30 knots do not have a bridge full of deck officers looking at different screens and engineers monitoring his engines. The skipper will be watching radar, plotter and engine info screens and occasionally answering radio traffic and the **** phone.
Oh and looking outa the window as well which is always a really good idea.

what is the significant and max sea state in both swell and waves that the contraption can (a)work in, and (b) stay upright in? The C of G looks rather high when ya man is in the wheel.

On a lighter note if he stops running does he go round with the wheel like the kids' hamster does? sorry
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Old 30 August 2012, 01:06   #25
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I would defiantly take a second boat. We take a lot of kayakers across the English channel. Only 1 month ago my outboard just stopped mid channel. It was only three months old! It turned out to be a small rubber diafram. We suddenly felt very small. That's why we take a second boat. This was then able to tow us the rest of the way. We do tow the spare boat on a long line to save on fuel etc but won't do it without now. And your doing 2 times the mileage.

I also think you should also consider Radar as AIS is good, you can't beat radar for security in the fog.(not sure if the fog problem is as bad I the channel). I tend to find that when you over lay radar over AIS, the AIS tends to be a bit behind the radar traces.(so the AIS may be a bit delayed I think) Not sure if there is a reason for this if anybody can tell me ? The Radar is lined Up correctly using a buoy on the nose.

I'll post a photo of us getting fogged last week with kayakers in the channel. And you can see the second boat on tow as well. I'm not being negative I just have some experience of when things fail off shore . PS the best tools we have on board and use the most are cable ties!
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Old 30 August 2012, 02:29   #26
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I don't want to be negative, anyone crazy enough to try crossing the Irish Sea in a human hamster wheel should be encouraged!

However with a well over 24 hr planned time, and a need for a reasonable weather window there is presumably a significant opportunity for f***-up. Have you worked out how you, the rib driver, who needs to be alert, focussed and on the ball is going to avoid fatigue on what could be 48 hrs with little or no sleep? Serious problems are most likely well into the trip when you are most tired.

Have you got a plan for if the weather really kicks up or there is a mechanical with the wheel or its 'runner' and you need to abandon. Can you really tow that thing in a bit of chop and swell? How fast - I don't fancy a 4 or 8 hr tow in less than ideal conditions after being up for 36 hours.

Have you got a plan for a serious problem that means you need to dash for shore - its far from ideal to leave the contraption bobbing around in the shipping channel.
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Old 30 August 2012, 04:14   #27
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If this crossing is also in aid of charity the fundraising manager of the particular charity ought to be providing you help with risk assessments & planning ect
even if it is classed as a 3 rd party fundraising event ,if a charity's name is involved and It all goes (belly up for some reason )it can have embarrassing media publicity for that particular charity ,
I know beggars can't be choosers but its like the guy who does a charity parachute jump for the local spinal injury unit ,
only to have a bad landing he then spends the next 6 months with a broken back in hospital ,, he raised 300 doing the jump but it cost the spinal injury unit 30,000 to sort him out .
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Old 30 August 2012, 05:52   #28
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Thanks to all,

I understand and share all the concerns - and the primary reason I keep posting on here is to try and find a better option than just my own RIB! It's simply that up to now I'm the the only option Chris had found - and I suppose there's just enough of us (crew) prepared to share the risks and give this a chance of happening. For other boats fuel reimbursement is the basis we're hoping for (or better!).

I have no ego about having to be involved, and woud happily defer to better boats. The good news is that my recent post have prompted a potential *much* better option which we are in the early days of exploring. I think it's fair to say Chris's project has gained a whole new level of momentum now he's freed his work shackles, and especially now his website is being publicised. Third party interest and possible involvement is growing fast.

In terms of the charity involvement, the RNLI are obviously one of the two named charities. To get their approval to use their logo etc, Chris went through many hoops, including sending them our existing full (20 odd page) risk assessment. They were clearly thinking hard before agreeing. They may of course be thinking "what the hell, we may as well try and help cover potential future losses"!

The risk assessment covers right up to deliberate sinking as a last resort. Towing trials have gone well in the meantime. The spacing and sizing of the hulls are designed to give a 60 deg capsize angle.

It's the effects of any 'revolving' vomit that our cameras will be ready for!
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Old 30 August 2012, 06:10   #29
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redthunder - this is another project which was originally aimed at a Channel crossing. And so it's yet another one which the French wouldn't support with permits etc. (This was all before I got involved, when Chris was also exploring local hard boat support options). I'd be interested to know if you think your own processes / contacts / etc might have unlocked things.
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Old 10 October 2012, 12:20   #30
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did you get any further with this?
We had a few calm days recently and I ask because someone was describing something they had seen in the paper/on tele over the last few days and it sounded just like the hamster wheel thingie.
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Old 10 October 2012, 12:41   #31
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Old 10 October 2012, 12:50   #32
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Old 10 October 2012, 13:20   #33
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Hew his hay very naughty man, Wavelength
well I don't understand the first bit...you n special Mark bin at the black stuff already Wilk ??
I plead not guilty, I really hadnt seen this, and I knew nothing of its downfall. Was this our man?? and did our safety boat guy do the towing???
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Old 10 October 2012, 13:35   #34
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well I don't understand the first bit...
Hmmm. Try it as Windsor Davies...

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Old 10 October 2012, 13:41   #35
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Fair credit for trying if it was him. He got almost half way. Looks like a good effort re build, there's worse boats put to sea!
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Old 16 October 2012, 10:35   #36
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Sorry just seen that you'd spotted this ...

Yes this was the event that I'd been helping support - and originally was acting as support boat for.

No, in the end we didn't use my own RIB, which thankfully saved me from having to make the hard call about suitablility.

The RIB we did use was an altogether different beast . More details are in the blog (link below), but in essence the support boat was a 14m closed cabin RIB, with twin inboard diesels and jet drives, which was formerly in service with the Canadian Coast Guard. Result!

IrishSeaCrossing

I was privileged enough to act as supporting crew on that RIB. The offer of the boat actually came about from the owner reading my earlier posts - so it's hats off to this forum for that!

Conditions were calm initially changing to slight as night arrived. We were getting the light tailwinds as forecast and hoped for. Our hamster - Chris - was maintaining a pretty constant pace which extrapolated to a 24 hr crossing prediction - comfortably ahead of expectations.

Chris was still feeling strong approaching the 8 hr point, which was roughly when the first ruddder was lost. Simple mechanical failure - with hindsight I'm sure Chris would accept that the design simply wasn't robust enough - he's been beating himself up over that ever since.

The next hour saw Chris more 'head down' than intended trying to protect the second rudder - physically tough in the slight chop and ultimately unsuccessful as that too was lost. That's when we collected him and put the craft under tow. My records say he achieved 22 miles, 35% of the total. (So he might have just made it across the Channel!)

The Tredalo proved to be more skittish under tow than we'd seen in our earlier trials, possibly due to the missing rudders, and about 2/3 of the way back one of the hulls detached and so the 'wheel' fell over sideways. A safety call was made to cut it loose. We believe this major remaining part sank, although I've heard a rumour that the local RNLI recovered one hull this weekend just gone. (I understand they came across it out on a training excercise).

To avoid ruining what overall I found a fantastic experience, I've deliberately avoided reading any press reports.

Chris got a heck of a lot of publicity before the event - with huge numbers of website hits and indeed the live GPS tracker (commercial) site experienced it's first 'overload' event. So one big disappointment so far is that a high proportion of the charity donations have still come from friends, colleagues and family.

I keep getting asked if he'll try again - I've got no idea on that one!
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