This is the story of Tony Bullimore’s survival in a capsized yacht in the Souhern Ocean, and his rescue after four days. I came across the story in a youtube video and wanted to know more details about how he survived, and see what I might learn from the story if I get into trouble. There is not much detail about life in the boat, and most of the book is about the rescue operation, other incidents and periods from his life, and sections about his wife worrying about him.
Some points I found interesting:
After capsize, the boat remained dry until a window was smashed by the boom. Maybe storm boards would have avoided this and he could have had a much more comfortable time.
Why did the keel break off?
The keel broke when he left the boat on autopilot because he needed a break and some tea. Is it possible to make an autopilot that can steer in storms and understands big waves?
Wing masts are not a good idea for high winds because you can’t depower them.
Why did he not trail warps?
The boat floated for days, and the designer claimed it would indefinitely. I think it had foam core, and water tight compartments. This may have saved his life. Another competitor in the race did survive in a life raft, but Bullimore was unable to deploy his.
The life raft could not be deployed because it was held to the cockpit sole by buoyancy. Keeping it at the stern where it could be deployed with the yacht either way up might be a good idea.
He could not get food and water because it was mostly kept under the cockpit. It would be a good idea to spread out supplies considering where might not be accessible.
The book says he increased the power of his radio from one frequency to another. That makes no sense and suggests the author had not used a radio. Was it ghost written? He also talks about wanting to write books though so I don’t know.
Don’t trust anyone. Another boat of his was wrecked on rocks while he waited for a tow he had arranged in advance from race organisers.
Your rescue can be influenced by politics - does the public support spending so much money on the operation? Sending a signal that you are still alive might change a decision about whether to keep looking for you or not.
Multiple beacons / EPIRBs useful for when they get washed away or batteries run out.
You might want a way to cut through the hull of your monohull, or even an escape hatch?
If you don’t die sailing you’ll end up dying of cancer or something anyway so you might as well not be scared and do the sailing first. If you already got cancer, you can still go sailing too.