M/Y Gene Machine to the Rescue

9 December 2016 By Lauren Beck

Capt. Fraser Gow and the crew of M/Y Gene Machine may have a nose for doing good as they once again came to the rescue of a disabled vessel, this time of 44-foot S/Y Minerva of Kip, whose forestay had failed while the vessel was in the midst of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia. “As a result of the failure, their mast snapped and came crashing down,” Gow wrote to Dockwalk.

The crew aboard Minerva were forced to cut the rig free to prevent it from puncturing the hull, salvaging what they could from the rigging and jury rigging a square sail from the leftovers. Light and variable winds, however, meant they achieved very little headway. “Other yachts participating in the rally were kind enough to offer whatever diesel they could spare in order to keep Minerva motoring towards the Caribbean; however, it soon became clear that they would not have enough to make it,” Gow says.

Minerva had obviously dropped to the back of the cruising pack, with no one behind them to provide more fuel. “To make matters worse, their watermaker decided to give in and their stock of bottled drinking water was beginning to dwindle,” Gow says. “At this point, I reached out to the skipper of Minerva and informed them that although we were just over four days away, we would be willing to offer assistance.”

The two vessels kept in contact, arranging a rendezvous on Wednesday, about 1,200 nautical miles from Antigua. “Using our tender, we disembarked three of their five crew, rigged a towing bridle down their deck, and connected the tow,” Gow says. Once the captain was satisfied that the yacht was towing correctly, the remaining crew from Minerva were transferred aboard M/Y Gene Machine and they continued to Antigua.

“At our present speed,” Gow says, “we are due to arrive in Antigua Monday morning, where we will prep for our next owner’s visit later that week and S/Y Minerva will be dry docked for repairs.”