Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-05-2008, 15:28   #1
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,600
Images: 42
Capsize off the New Jersey Coast

The weather was pretty challenging in the Atlantic east of New Jersey on Friday. A solo sailor ventured out in winds reportedly blowing 40-55 kts, and suffered a capsize. He was rescued after spending 15 hours overnight atop his boat's floating hull.

I wonder about his decision to set out in that kind of weather, but his excellent judgement in having a survival suit aboard most certainly saved his life. The water temperature was 58 F.

NBC40.net :: News

Click on the red "Video Included" button to see a video report.

(p.s. Please don't turn this into another multi vs. mono argument!)
__________________

__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2008, 15:40   #2
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 4,065
Lucky guy!....but I wonder...did the survival suit give him the added bravado to go out in those conditions?
__________________

__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2008, 16:06   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Boat: Will be a 50' Cat
Posts: 382
Kinda makes you wonder... going out in that kind of weather, at night, but not going too far afield so that you you would not be found...having a survival suit in the boat.. hum... I wonder if the boat was fully insured? If so, I guess he just cashed out eh....

Cheers
__________________
capcook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2008, 17:31   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
maxingout's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Pierce, Phoenix
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,165
The news story says that he had sailed to Bermuda and to the Caribbean in the past. It seems odd that an experienced sailor would go out in those conditions. Maybe he was sailiing to a schedule since he was taking the boat home, and he pushed his luck a little too far.

It doesn't say if he sailed the boat over, pitchpoled, or what caused him to capsize. I would like to know more detail.

I personally don't like sailing smaller yachts in bad weather because IN MY HANDS the margin for error is smaller. I always felt like the wind and seas more easily had their way with the yacht when I was sailing in lighter displacement vessels.

When I started my circumnavigation, a prominent figure in the multihull community told me that catamarans/multihulls under 40 feet were not seaworthy. That made me feel bad because my catamaran was 39 feet long, and I was preparing to sail around the world. Once I started sailing offshore in my Privilege 39, I realized that I had a relatively "heavy displacement" catamaran, and that made me feel more comfortable about my boat and the "Forty foot rule". I never felt afraid in winds up to fifty knots, and I have never been in winds over fifty knots.

We met thirty-five foot catamarans performing circumnavigtions, and they did just fine in bad weather. But I had the impression that the smaller the multihull, the more conservatively it needed to be sailed in marginal conditions.

I remember the solo French captain of Rogue Wave commenting on his own capsize in the Atlantic, and he said that heavier was better than lighter in terms of capsize risk in seriously bad weather. That made me feel a lot better about Exit Only and all of the heavy cruising gear that we had on board.
__________________
Dave
Exit Only

http://maxingout.com
http://PositiveThinkingSailor.com
maxingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2008, 19:14   #5
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 3,472
Images: 4
Something very wrong here....

While the news article talks of winds of 40-55 mph winds, and the 57 year old sailor talks of "high seas", the local data buoys tell a very different story.

At 2PM on Sat the 10th -- four hours before the capsize -- winds were NNE @ 10 kts. By 8 pm, they were SE @ 3 knots. All four functioning data buoys in the area are in agreement that by 8 pm -- 2 hours after the reported capsize -- winds were very light, and remained so until this afternoon. Current conditions are E @ 20k, gusting 25kts.

Historical data from the Cape May data buoy "CMAN4" indicate that at the time of the capsize -- 6PM EDT or 22 hours GMT -- winds were extremely light, with "gusts" to only 4-5 knots. Data readings taken every few minutes during the period in question indicate that the winds never exceeded 10 knots in gusts! Very strange.

Very strange that all four buoys in the area are in agreement that winds were very light, while the sailor and the news article tell a very different story. Also, if winds were indeed 40-55 knots, I doubt seriously if the "fishing couple" who picked him up would be venturing out in seas which could be expected after a very strong blow.

As for the "10-foot seas", data indicate that wave height was consistently under 5', though the waves were "very steep".

What IS certain, however, is that you don't want to be venturing anywhere off the NJ coast tonite or tomorrow, with storm-force winds predicted as this very nasty front blows through.

For those who wish to check the buoy data, it can be found here:
NDBC - Chesapeake Bay Recent Marine Data

The four functioning buoys are: CMAN-4, LWSD1, BRND1, and 44009.

Buoy 44054 is not functioning properly.

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 10:50   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 3,472
Images: 4
It was pointed out on another forum that the incident apparently took place on Friday, the 9th and not on Saturday the 10th.

In rereading things, it does seem that's true. So, to refine the analysis a bit, here's additional info.

teshannon,

You may be right about the date mixup. Re-reading everything, it does seem that the incident took place on Friday evening, the 9th.

However, it really doesn't change things much. The highest winds recorded by the AVAN4 data tower in Avalon, NJ...near his reported location...were in the range of 15-22 knots.

(wind in m/sec -- double for kts; time is UTC)
Quote
Year Mo Da Hr Min Dir Wd Gust
2008 05 09 23 00 10 5.1 9.3
2008 05 09 21 59 20 6.2 9.8
2008 05 09 20 59 20 7.2 10.8
2008 05 09 19 59 20 6.2 10.8
Unquote

Whatever.

Anyway, no question that it's blowing right now and looks just terrible on the wind charts. See PassageWeather - Wind, Wave and Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 11:15   #7
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,600
Images: 42
Bill,

Good analysis. It certainly raises some questions.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2008, 22:18   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Coast & Other Forums!
Posts: 913
For the benefit of those here I will repeat what I said on another forum. This guy was at my marina a few days earlier and I talked with him for a while and helped dock his very light corsair 31 trimaran. He was quite experienced having sailed from mass. to Tortola in 6 days last fall. He told me his boat could NOT weather a storm at sea and thus he relied on the right weather forecast and relied on his speed to out run anything that might develop. He had racing mylar sails and obviously had a different plan than most...but my impression was of a well prepared sailor who knew his boat well and liked to sail... fast. I don't know what to make of the conflicting weather reports but I do not think he would have gone out in that sort of weather given his comments to me. The news media often gets it wrong. My guess is that he was trying to sail fast and some short steep seas and a hard puff caught him by surprise. Glad to know he is OK and not a statistic.
__________________
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-05-2008, 15:48   #9
Is that your kraken?
 
hellosailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,002
"He then spent 6 months fighting with his PPO to try and get reinbursed. "
Six days in blue water doesn't equal local experience off the NJ coast. He might have been caught unaware that the coast shoals for a long way offshore, causing waves to bounce off the bottom and knock sailors about way more than they'd expect. There are a lot of accidents and losses off the NJ coast, and times when even the USCG can't run the inlets.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2008, 05:26   #10
Registered User
 
dcstrng's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: B24 Angels Wings
Posts: 518
Images: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
I wonder about his decision to set out in that kind of weather, but his excellent judgement in having a survival suit aboard...
Glad he got through with little (physically) the worse for wear… the weather from Friday on surely wasn’t what I’d call recreational sailing weather, so one can wonder… other than the survival suit, it doesn’t sound like he anticipated much trouble – inferring (perhaps incorrectly) from the fact that his survival and ditch equipment weren’t apparently enough together to grab and run… Note to self: get mine straight…

Would be curious to know a tad more about the vessel, because if he was correct, ten foot seas (breaking… probably…) aren’t totally unexpected along there in that wind…

Glad he’s okay…
__________________
Larry

Worry: misuse of imaginationů
http://www.sailblogs.com/member/awing/
dcstrng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2008, 08:03   #11
Registered User
 
Sandero's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Southern Westchester/Northport LI
Boat: Shiva - Contest 36s
Posts: 2,817
Bill's da man. You can always count on BTrayfors for sensible analysis. Sounds like another fish story, eh?

But this all raises the question, how did this boat capsize in the conditions reported from the data buoys?

I do recall very gusty winds in NYC last week and these felt to me that they could whip up the seas, but this doesn't square with the weather reports down there.

I don't think the man's lying, but I can't make sense of all this. Bill???
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2008, 08:53   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 3,472
Images: 4
Jeff,

I'm certainly no expert on multihulls.

Looking at the specs for the Corsair 31 series, they would seem to be a bit light for this kind of sailing (up the Jersey Coast), despite having made long passages and being advertised as "true long-distance cruisers". Don't forget, people have crossed the Atlantic in everything from a rowboat upwards, but this doesn't make them "seaworthy" IMHO.

The Corsair 31's have a displacement of under two tons (yes, only 3850 lbs), yet carry a very substantial sail area: nearly 650 sq ft for the main and jib. The asymmetrical sail area is just under 1,000 sq ft! This is a LOT of sail area, on a VERY LIGHT boat.

While I believe the data are reliable re: the prevailing conditions at the time of the accident last Friday (i.e., winds up to 18 kts, gusting 22 kts or so), it is always possible that exceptional conditions crop up in very small areas. Additionally, the Jersey coast is known for some short, nasty seas and some dangerous inlets when the wind pipes up. I don't think 18-22 knots, blowing for a very short time according to the data buoys, is consistent with the reported 10' seas, but one must always keep in mind that a few waves are up to twice the size of prevailing waves. So, anything is possible in a specific location and time. Whether it's probable is entirely something else, though.

Guess the bottom line is that we don't know exactly what happened. Would be nice to hear from the skipper himself. Thankfully, he was prepared with survival gear, and survived overnite.

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2008, 11:03   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Steve Rust's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Minneapolis MN
Boat: Searunner 40 Trimaran, Siruis 22 mono, 16 foot MFG daysailor
Posts: 515
Images: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post


The Corsair 31's have a displacement of under two tons (yes, only 3850 lbs), yet carry a very substantial sail area: nearly 650 sq ft for the main and jib. The asymmetrical sail area is just under 1,000 sq ft! This is a LOT of sail area, on a VERY LIGHT boat.



Bill
When I first saw the post about a 31 foot trimaran capsizing my first though was it is probably a Corsair 31. I would not want to sail one singlehanded offshore. With a good crew maybe. More racing boat than cruising boat IMO. To compare some specs look at my Searunner, 12,000 lbs with about 780 sq. feet of working sail area. Though an old design it is no slouch under sail and carried more sail area than almost all of it's contemporaries. The smaller but similar F 27 is popular and raced extensively and a few of them have been sailed over while racing in what could be considered normal conditions. I don't doubt you could sail a 31 over in 18-22 knots if you were careless or inattentive.
__________________
Don't trust your dog to guard your lunch.

Patrick, age 9
Steve Rust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2008, 14:28   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Eastern Seaboard
Boat: Searunner 34 and Searunner Constant Camber 44
Posts: 952
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
The Corsair 31's have a displacement of under two tons (yes, only 3850 lbs), yet carry a very substantial sail area: nearly 650 sq ft for the main and jib. The asymmetrical sail area is just under 1,000 sq ft! This is a LOT of sail area, on a VERY LIGHT boat.
...
While I believe the data are reliable re: the prevailing conditions at the time of the accident last Friday (i.e., winds up to 18 kts, gusting 22 kts or so)...
Just going with the numbers provided...

Displacement 3850 lbs
Beam 22.4'
CE 18.9'
Sail Area 650ft2

(mast height is 42'; I don't think 45% is too far off as a WAG)

Yeilds a Stability Factor of 15.4 knots; with a SA of 1000ft2 it would be 12.4 knots

If he didn't have one or more reefs in, it looks like he would have had too much sail up.
__________________
Regards,

Maren

The sea is always beautiful, sometimes mysterious and, on occasions, frighteningly powerful.
Maren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2008, 19:27   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
sandy daugherty's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Annapolis
Boat: PDQ 36 & Atlantic 42
Posts: 1,178
Corsair 31s have turtled in moderate conditions while being hard pressed in races. Single handed they can be a bear; at speed bad things happen fast. If he had that survival suit half way off at the time of the accident, I think we could figure it out.

Does that mean a Corsair is a bad boat? No. It means a Corsair can be an adrenalin-pumping, mouth-full-of-water-cuz-you-can't-stop-grinning thrill ride. Single-handing one in threatening weather is equal to going for a land speed record on a frozen lake, on a motorcycle. In a too-too. Flipping it from the loo is pretty damn embarrasing.
__________________

__________________
sandy daugherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
capsize

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Capsize Ratio Scott k General Sailing Forum 30 14-03-2013 07:05
Coast Guard Rescue off the mid atlantic coast caribnsol Cruising News & Events 22 16-05-2008 19:54
New Jersey to Key West keywestbound Powered Boats 5 13-01-2008 14:40
Recovering from a capsize... shadow Monohull Sailboats 31 21-12-2007 10:28
Just Daydreaming - Any Civilised First Landfall in New Jersey ? David_Old_Jersey Atlantic & the Caribbean 22 16-05-2007 10:36


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:07.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.