RAINMAKER UPDATE: Photos of Abandoned Gunboat 55 Hull No. 1 Adrift at Sea

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Rainmaker 1

All these pix come courtesy of Gunboat’s CEO, Peter Johnstone, who posted them today to his Facebook page. Johnstone, much to his credit, has not been shy about sharing information on the boat and what happened to it. And no, this is not the first time Rainmaker has been sighted since she was dismasted and abandoned five months ago. But it is the first time, as far as I know, that photos of her adrift have been released to the public.

According to Johnstone’s post, the hull was sighted yesterday at 35°36.28′ North, 062°17.18′ West by Capt. Reinhard Peer aboard the container ship Chicago Express.

Rainmaker map

This position, as you can see, is well east of Bermuda, which may mean the boat is moving fairly easily in the Gulf Stream current. One D.M. Walsh, in a comment to my previous post on Rainmaker, reported seeing her on about May 25 as he entered the Gulf Stream en route from the Virgin Islands to Massachusetts. He declined to provide a location, but presumably he was west of Bermuda at the time.

Rainmaker 2

Rainmaker 3

Rainmaker 4

Rainmaker 5

Johnstone is eager to recover Rainmaker and fix her up, so don’t be shy about grabbing her if you see her. You’ll see all her superstructure has been swept away, but the hull, a very expensive piece of carbon fiber, is perfectly intact. It obviously is pretty buoyant.

By comparison, Be Good Too, the catamaran I abandoned eighteen months ago, hull no. 1 of the Alpha 42 line, has never been seen again. I was fairly confident at the time that she would sink, as she was taking on so much water in so many places. Also, her hull was not fully cored like Rainmaker‘s, but was solid below the waterline. And she was glass, not carbon.

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12 Responses
  1. Capt Bill

    All the night sailing I’ve done…this is the sort of obstacle I’d hate to encounter at 6-8 kts in the dark. Certainly hope someone removes it as a hazard.

  2. Don Joyce

    Fantastic Photos. Very interesting how the deckhouse is swept clean. I’d love to see how it broke off.

    Whoever goes after her….godspeed!

  3. sabreenagal@aol.com

    She needs to be scuttled before she becomes a hazard to other sailors, like Captain Bill said it is not something you want to collide with in the dead of night, it could easily cost someone their life, the best thing to do is call out the Coast Guard and one of their gun boats and put a few well placed rounds through the superstructure and sink her now before it is too late.

  4. Don Joyce

    Sigh,

    There is so much stuff floating around, this is in the noise. There isn’t a navy big enough to sink what’s out there. Give it a break.

  5. Charlie

    I agree with sabreena and dave et al that this hull obviously poses a risk to other yachts. But compared to the thousands of containers drifting around out there, it is a relatively minor one. Hit a steel container and you’ll likely sink. Hit this foam-cored carbon hull and you will suffer some damage, but you hopefully won’t sink. Offhand I can’t think of any reported instance of a yacht hitting an abandoned yacht. Not that it can’t happen, but the chances are very small. Much better to complain about the containers out there than this poor hulk.

  6. Don Joyce

    Fantastic Photos. Very interesting how the deckhouse is swept clean. I’d love to see how it broke off.

    Whoever goes after her….godspeed!

    Well I looked at the photos taken before the loss and now better understand that the boat was more of a daysailer than cruiser even though there there were plenty of quarters etc. in the hulls.. It doesn’t look like the deckhouse was meant for heavy weather…. so of course the deckhouse is gone. Silly me. I guess I’m a bit slow. I’m not saying the design is an unacceptable risk for a well sailed boat….. just saying that when abandoned for 5 months, I shouldn’t expect to see the deckhouse.

  7. A class sailor

    She needs to be scuttled before she becomes a hazard to other sailors, like Captain Bill said it is not something you want to collide with in the dead of night, it could easily cost someone their life, the best thing to do is call out the Coast Guard and one of their gun boats and put a few well placed rounds through the superstructure and sink her now before it is too late.

    If the boat is already full of water, how will putting holes in her make her sink?

  8. Pxg

    If you break it up you will have a greater chance of hitting the floating pieces. You cant sink it

    I’d rather run into a small piece than a big one!

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