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Old 16-01-2014, 08:50   #136
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Re: Alfa 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry

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Sorry guys.. 8ft sea's are pussy waves.. big in sheltered coastal waters maybe... but out in the Ocean your talking that much swell with the wave on top... as to the supa dupa wave cutting design.. fine for coastal waters.. but out there I prefer something that goes up and over rather than through.. that's how you get shoved backwards and break things.. imagine diving through a 15ft breaking wave.. sudden stop then Oh Mah Gawd..
But then.. I'm a Luddite...
Sir Luddite,
first of all a big "thank you" for your writings
and second I "think" you are absolutely right, there seems to be an awful lot of real estate above this bridge deck to play submarine, even in a little
"big" wave.
That's it
"over" and out.

Martin
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Old 16-01-2014, 09:21   #137
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

Actually Chaz, no typical sailboat is designed to 'play submarine', but at least there are no signs that the forward hatches and portlights imploded. And boatman, boats with substantial bouyancy forward are at potentially greater risk of being driven backwards when confronting a huge wave head-on (the risk of pitchpoling when running before a storm, however, is another matter). In any event, it is premature to suggest that faulty design caused, or even contributed to this event.

Brad
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Old 16-01-2014, 09:22   #138
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

I don't want to speculate but the more I read the more I am confused..

-it's said that the skipper has a lot of experience. Had it it enough with multi's ? I tend to believe he had not. Multi's behave sigifiicantly different under these conditions. He said "I think the boat will sink". The cats are hardly sinkable, this has been proven in many accidents over years in much harsher conditions. Many mults have been found upright long after they have been left drifting with nobody on board.

-I cannot figure out how the boat did take so much water to be pumped out manually for 50 hours ?? The water can never exceed the immersion line even if the sail drive drops off totally.. That should be about 1 ft, 2 max..

-the rudder in cats is much smaller; bended, twisted doesn't matter much..

-another mystery is how the genset and both engines could be lost..

There is no reference to rigging so I assume this was OK and my view the boat could have been sailed until the closest safe harbour.

My guess is that the owners , understandably less seaworty than the skipper forced him to call the rescue. Insurance claim can also be a good reason to do so assuming that they will be covered.
Does anybody kows what was sea conditions and the wind force when all this happened ??

Cheers

Yeloya
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Old 16-01-2014, 09:43   #139
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pirate re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Actually Chaz, no typical sailboat is designed to 'play submarine', but at least there are no signs that the forward hatches and portlights imploded. And boatman, boats with substantial bouyancy forward are at potentially greater risk of being driven backwards when confronting a huge wave head-on (the risk of pitchpoling when running before a storm, however, is another matter). In any event, it is premature to suggest that faulty design caused, or even contributed to this event.

Brad
SS... firstly no boat should take a big wave head on... unless George Clooney is driving...
However I'd rather a bow like the Lagoon (and I don't like that much) than one designed to cut into/through an oncoming wave that I'm powering toward... its like playing chicken.. somethings gonna break.. just looking at it gives me the impression that she'll nose dive as the load slams down...
Give me the buoyancy to power up and over at an angle any day... then straighten out as I crest..
But.. I just sail em.. don't design em
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Old 16-01-2014, 10:19   #140
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

Yeloya, from the reports I have read it was not the skipper, Hank Schmitt, but rather crew member Charles Doane who suggested the risk of the boat sinking. Yes, Chalres Doane is also a very experienced sailor, but as you say, we do not know his level of experience on catamarans. The fact is that when holed, some cats can sink. Others may not sink, but will sit uncomfortably and unsafely low in the water - especially when the water is at the temperatures that one could expect in the North Atlantic at this time of year.

You are correct, of course, that the rudders on a cat are relatively small - that does not mean, however, that the rudder shafts cannot be bent such that the rudders are effectively seized at an angle. In that case, even though the rig and sails were intact, it cannot be sailed anywhere (except perhaps in circles). I suppose someone could attempt to dive off the boat and cut off the rudders with a hack saw (to enable the boat to be steered by means of a drogue); but really, even if they were equipped with scuba gear, what are the odds of accomplishing that?

You are also correct that we do not at this stage know where or how the boat was taking on water. I suspect damage to the tubes that hold the rudder shafts, but that is pure speculation. Other have suggested that the rudders may have been driven into the saildrives - and certainly from some online photos, the rudders do appear to have been installed very close to the props. However water was getting in, what if the starter motors and solenoids were flooded? In many cats, even 1-2 feet of water in the engine compartments would do it.

The genset? We don't know where it was installed, but if in one of the engine compartments......

This event, like any where we have an almost total lack of detailed information, is bound to raise questions. In time I suspect we will get some answers. In the intermim I, for one, refuse to criticize the captain, the crew, or the boat.

Brad
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Old 16-01-2014, 10:20   #141
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

One of the articles said that they were having control problems before the big wave--accidental gybes and two full 360's. I'm looking forward to the tell-all article in Sail.

Good boat, good crew, bad decision to sail from New York in January.
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Old 16-01-2014, 10:41   #142
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

Boatman you are of course correct - when sailing, you would never want to (nor be able to) take large seas bow on. Of course, those riding to a sea anchor often do precisely that and hope that the sea anchor or para-anchor keeps the boat from being driven back by the approaching seas.

Whether under sea-anchor or sailing, however, all waves do not come from the same direction. Indeed, with respect to rogue waves in particular, there are reports that they often come at an angle quite different from, if not perpendicular to the prevailing seas.

Would more bulbous bows such as those on a Lagoon have prevented this occurrence? We have no way of knowing. Furthermore, we must also bear in mind that a comparably-sized Lagoon will be much heavier and, as such, require much fuller bows just to have the same relative bouyancy.

We must also consider bridgedeck clearance - to drive the boat back it is likely that green water came into contact with the leading edge of the bridgedeck and not just the bows. Judging from photos, it certainly appears that the Alpha 42 has greater bridgedeck clearance than the comparably-sized Lagoons - the Lagoon 400, 410 and 420.

You are right about another thing Boatman - you do not design catamarans. Of course, neither do I. And that is another reason, with respect, that it is dangerous for either of us to blame the design of the boat for this event.

Brad
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Old 16-01-2014, 10:48   #143
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
One of the articles said that they were having control problems before the big wave--accidental gybes and two full 360's. I'm looking forward to the tell-all article in Sail.
I'm not reading it that way.

“We got hit very hard by one big wave, all across the front of the boat, lots of water spurting in,” Doane said. “We were having problems controlling the boat. (We) did a couple uncontrolled jibes. The boat spun around in circles twice.”

Look at that video again.

Read more: Portsmouth man rescued from sailboat | Local News - WMUR Home
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Old 16-01-2014, 10:59   #144
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Actually Chaz, no typical sailboat is designed to 'play submarine', but at least there are no signs that the forward hatches and portlights imploded. And boatman, boats with substantial bouyancy forward are at potentially greater risk of being driven backwards when confronting a huge wave head-on (the risk of pitchpoling when running before a storm, however, is another matter). In any event, it is premature to suggest that faulty design caused, or even contributed to this event.

Brad
Ahoi SouthernStar,
I'm no "ingineer" nor am I playing one, but Boatys comment made me "think"
Because I was a few times seriously swamped in monos it made me "think" about the superstructure on this cat which seems quite big for a head on "dive" in to a wave.
No experience with cats just some thoughts

Martin
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Old 16-01-2014, 11:03   #145
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

I thought there was quite a bit of distance between the sail drives and rudders from the pictures. After reading that last article I'd question the crew and boat much more. This one quote just cracks me up: "We opened a bottle of good wine and had a discussion on what we should do,” he (Doane) said. WTF, only if insurance is footing the bill do you do that.

The boat is floating above it's lines so not much water was in side. Why they would have lost steering and all power in both motors and the generator and not have been able to use bilge pumps isn't know yet, but you have to believe if it's a serious design flaw.
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Old 16-01-2014, 11:14   #146
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

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You are correct, of course, that the rudders on a cat are relatively small - that does not mean, however, that the rudder shafts cannot be bent such that the rudders are effectively seized at an angle. In that case, even though the rig and sails were intact, it cannot be sailed anywhere (except perhaps in circles). I suppose someone could attempt to dive off the boat and cut off the rudders with a hack saw (to enable the boat to be steered by means of a drogue); but really, even if they were equipped with scuba gear, what are the odds of accomplishing that?

You are also correct that we do not at this stage know where or how the boat was taking on water. I suspect damage to the tubes that hold the rudder shafts, but that is pure speculation. Other have suggested that the rudders may have been driven into the saildrives - and certainly from some online photos, the rudders do appear to have been installed very close to the props. However water was getting in, what if the starter motors and solenoids were flooded? In many cats, even 1-2 feet of water in the engine compartments would do it.

The genset? We don't know where it was installed, but if in one of the engine compartments......

This event, like any where we have an almost total lack of detailed information, is bound to raise questions. In time I suspect we will get some answers. In the intermim I, for one, refuse to criticize the captain, the crew, or the boat.

Brad
Since we don't know the extent of damages, we're all simply guessing. Bent rudders posts, depending on amount of damage, could be released from in-hull. The structure holding the rudder should be well above the waterline, remove the locking collar and push the rudder post out.

Since we know the boat was taking on water, it could very well be the whole rudder structure was damaged enabling water entry.
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Old 16-01-2014, 11:15   #147
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

Thanks donrad, I hadn't read that report. What I had read was that prior to this event, they had experienced only minor problems (as one might certainly expect on a shakedown cruise in the North Atlantic in January on a new design). But multiple accidental gybes including two full 360's! A very dangerous situation in any boat!

If they had any kind of winds, it is a wonder that the rig was still up! If true, I don't know if this speaks to bad design, or seamanship, or both. I must say, I find it hard to believe that sailors with the experience of Hank Schmitt and Charles Doane would have continued to sail the boat anywhere near dead downwind if that was occurring. If it was a problem with the autopilot, I am confident that they would have steered by hand - they had a crew of four, afterall. If, on the other hand, the boat was that lacking in balance and tracking ability, they did well to get that far.....

I too look forward to a 'tell-all' article in Sail. Kind of puts Charles in a tough position, however. Sail magazine will hate to lose the potential advertising revenue if he is highly critical of the boat. On the other hand, if it was bad seamanship (and apparently, repeatedly bad seamanship if they were responsible for mulitple gybes), I suspect he will have a hard time admitting that as well!

Time may not tell all, bit it will certainly tell us more than we know now!

Brad
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Old 16-01-2014, 11:19   #148
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pirate re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Boatman you are of course correct - when sailing, you would never want to (nor be able to) take large seas bow on. Of course, those riding to a sea anchor often do precisely that and hope that the sea anchor or para-anchor keeps the boat from being driven back by the approaching seas.

Whether under sea-anchor or sailing, however, all waves do not come from the same direction. Indeed, with respect to rogue waves in particular, there are reports that they often come at an angle quite different from, if not perpendicular to the prevailing seas.

Would more bulbous bows such as those on a Lagoon have prevented this occurrence? We have no way of knowing. Furthermore, we must also bear in mind that a comparably-sized Lagoon will be much heavier and, as such, require much fuller bows just to have the same relative bouyancy.

We must also consider bridgedeck clearance - to drive the boat back it is likely that green water came into contact with the leading edge of the bridgedeck and not just the bows. Judging from photos, it certainly appears that the Alpha 42 has greater bridgedeck clearance than the comparably-sized Lagoons - the Lagoon 400, 410 and 420.

You are right about another thing Boatman - you do not design catamarans. Of course, neither do I. And that is another reason, with respect, that it is dangerous for either of us to blame the design of the boat for this event.

Brad
Brad.. not trying to be pernickerty.. just looking at things from my personal experience perspective of Cats in heavy weather..
Worst I've experienced in modern cats is F7 gusting 8 with beam or following seas up to 3-4 metres... that's the Med and E Atlantic.
My only real gale head on was in a 9m Catalac about 10 miles S of Trafalgar... the wind came very fast from the E going from 4-5 which I was motor sailing/tacking into and in 15 mins it was up to 50kts... a 1 metre sea went to 3 metres very fast as well as the flood was going into the straits..
The old Catalac was flying over one wave and smashing through the next as it dumped on the bow.. heading control was marginal and only with the engines as the small rudders could not cope.. however the buoyancy kept those bows popping back up to ride over the next as we crabbed toward land and the safety of Barbatte.. the problem came when we slammed down onto a UFO which cracked the bridgedeck hull to hull and we started taking water.. like I said.. I don't design them... I just sail them..
And my opinions are based on the results of personal experience not what I read on a web page or magazine review..
Don't get me wrong.. I respect your right to your opinion.. and the designer the right to his also... I hope the enquiry goes well for him.. but hell.. what's the point of being here if one cannot speak ones mind..
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Old 16-01-2014, 11:30   #149
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Yeloya, from the reports I have read it was not the skipper, Hank Schmitt, but rather crew member Charles Doane who suggested the risk of the boat sinking. Yes, Chalres Doane is also a very experienced sailor, but as you say, we do not know his level of experience on catamarans. The fact is that when holed, some cats can sink. Others may not sink, but will sit uncomfortably and unsafely low in the water - especially when the water is at the temperatures that one could expect in the North Atlantic at this time of year.

You are correct, of course, that the rudders on a cat are relatively small - that does not mean, however, that the rudder shafts cannot be bent such that the rudders are effectively seized at an angle. In that case, even though the rig and sails were intact, it cannot be sailed anywhere (except perhaps in circles). I suppose someone could attempt to dive off the boat and cut off the rudders with a hack saw (to enable the boat to be steered by means of a drogue); but really, even if they were equipped with scuba gear, what are the odds of accomplishing that?

You are also correct that we do not at this stage know where or how the boat was taking on water. I suspect damage to the tubes that hold the rudder shafts, but that is pure speculation. Other have suggested that the rudders may have been driven into the saildrives - and certainly from some online photos, the rudders do appear to have been installed very close to the props. However water was getting in, what if the starter motors and solenoids were flooded? In many cats, even 1-2 feet of water in the engine compartments would do it.

The genset? We don't know where it was installed, but if in one of the engine compartments......

This event, like any where we have an almost total lack of detailed information, is bound to raise questions. In time I suspect we will get some answers. In the intermim I, for one, refuse to criticize the captain, the crew, or the boat.

Brad
Thx Brad.

Even an idiot wouldn't install critical electrical items (selenoids, connection boxes, fuses, etc) below the immersion line.
We install each year several gensets to sailing boats, we never installed any in engine compartment whether it's a mono or cat, neither have I seen any installed this way on any boat from the factory.

I tend to disagree with yr statements on rudders; I know by personal experience that this should not have any major impact on the sailing ability of the cat.

I agree that even not sunk but fully immersed cat wouldn't be very comfortable but looking at the pictures taken, they are not even close to this. Actually they quitely had their wine and discussed around the table

We don't know yet whether this contributed or not to the eventi but I am not very much in favor of wave piercing bows that Mr Tarjan is advocating. It's OK if the boat is above 50-55 ft or sailing on lakes but not for surfing down the ocean waves. For those who are interested here is the detailed views of respected cat naval architect on the matter.

Take a Bow: Wave Piercing Bows | Catamaran Concepts

Cheers

Yeloya
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Old 16-01-2014, 11:34   #150
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re: Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" rescue 300 miles off Cape Henry Merged

Dotdun, my point exactly - we are simply guessing at this stage. Could they have disconnected the rudder head, removed the locking collar and pushed the rudders out? Not, or at least not readily if the bent shaft was wedged into the tube and the tube was damaged, as I suggest, allowing the entry of water. I really think we are referring to the same thing - ie., what you are referring to as the rudder structure, I was referring to as the tube for the rudder shaft, or post. But as you say, we are simply guessing. It could be that they made efforts at repairing the steering system that proved futile, as they say, or that they just sat there for days and made no efforts to repair it and get back underway.

Chaz, the 'superstructure', as you call it, is no higher than on most other cats of that size (and considerably less than on boats such as the Lagoon 440/450, for example). I just can't see that as having been a significant factor.

Brad
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