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Old 03-01-2010, 20:24   #16
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Baston, how do you know it's a J Boat?

Nauseating by the way.

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Old 03-01-2010, 21:00   #17
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Here we go... Cape Fear 38 saga all over again...Tiny attachment points are just not very strong period...Speed comes at a risk.

Sad to see..Glad they are all safe ...I wish them well.

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Old 03-01-2010, 21:11   #18
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Thankfully there was no loss of life or serious injury.
We can only speculate on the cause but I wonder if too much trust was placed on the chartplotter / gps.
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Old 04-01-2010, 00:02   #19
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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
I think Ram has it right. Inexperience and/or bad decisions, we have all been there. Bad weather and a shoal will rip up even the strongest of boats. I didn't watch the video, can't, too sad.
Erika, I beg to differ with you.

This is a prime example of a disturbing trend in boat design. The Architechts have figured out that they can make the boat go faster with thinner keel chords and shorter keel profiles, making for boat with very flat bottoms and bolted on keels having extremely poor latteral stability. This means that any sharp loads sideways or even fore/aft on the keel, and the base where it connects to the hull cannot take the strain. Older designs were made to distribute loads put onto the keel throughout a much larger area of the hull, and thus make the keel area able to handle groundings like this, even in rough weather, without compromising the integrity of the hull.

Once again, safety has fallen victim to speed. Maybe it is all in the buyer's mind, that they do not take into consideration the weaknesses of the design of these boats when putting out to sea, but I feel that soneone needs to make it plain that if you buy a modern wide flat-hull design boat with a bolted on keel, you need ot hope and pray that you never ever make a mistake that could cause the keel to contact the bottom, otherwise you too could suffer a similar fate.

As for me, I hope that I don't run aground (again) , but if I do I know that I may bounce and bang a few times, then get to work getting myself off the shoal.
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Old 04-01-2010, 00:08   #20
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Out of curiosity, do insurance companies give certain boats a higher or lower rate based on their design?
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:39   #21
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i think they might wanted to go to the london boat show...
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:29   #22
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Operator error or not, it's depressingly sad to see a boat die. And there's always that niggling thought in the back of your mind, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." None of us are immune to the power of the Sea. We can only try to minimize it's opportunities to humble us.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:35   #23
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<<None of us are immune to the power of the Sea>>

Most especially JBoat keels!
"The lookout that first sights the cat shall have ten guineas and remission of sins, short of mutiny, sodomy, or damaging the paintwork." - Jack Aubrey
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:52   #24
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It was not obvious to me that the keel was lost at the time of the grounding. The text as I read it says the boat was grounded and the crew lifted off.

Leave any fin keel boat on its side in the surf and eventually the keel will break off.

Clearly hitting a sand bar at a high rate of speed is bad. Hitting a rock or coral head at a high rate of speed is worse.

Navigating an unfamiliar channel at night under sail, at speed is really a huge mistake. Stand off overnight or at least motor slowly, in control, with a good lookout with a strong spot light.

BTW - Ground a long fin boat at high tide on a bar with "surf like" conditions and I would not be surprised to find it on its side on the beach getting destroyed, albeit with the keel still attached, when low tide comes.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:15   #25
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You folks on the forum are just too nice...While it is all very sad; irrespective of boat design this was gross negligence...pure and simple.

Bastonjock's description of the events appears to be accurate and valid.

Next leg is the final one. You plan to get to St. Kats for the 1300 HW locking-in.
The skipper appears to have been destination bound trying to make a lock on the high water by passing through the most dangerous area at low water.

In these shallow waters you make such passages at 'half tide rising' or higher; the tides were about 16 ft so at half tide he would have had 6-8 ft under his keel

It would have been dangerous even if he had had 6 ft under his keel...when you are at the bottom of a 6ft wave in 12ft of water you are in 6ft of water; I have seen fin keeled boats that have bounced the keel through the bottom of the boat in similar circumstances. So this passage would only be doable in a significant seaway at 3/4 tide rising...18 ft under his keel and then probably not at night.

If doing the passage the safe way means you miss a lock then you go the long way or you make other plans.

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:16   #26
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I cruised that same coast (passing by at 0400) as a very inexperienced skipper, trying to make a lock in at St Katherines dock. I chose the deep course by the Swales. Everything was/is marked well and I never even came close to touching bottom.

One thing to consider when heading to London; Consider a stop at at Queenborough for tides, this way it is a quick four or five hour trip to Tower Bridge.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:29   #27

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"Are reefs worse than sandbanks?"
Usually, yes. A reef is generally "rock hard". Soft rock, but still ROCK as opposed to a sand bank, which usually is soft enoguh and gradual enough to ground you without ripping a keel off.
I'd have to think the sand was hard compacted sand with a steep angle, and the guy managed to hit it "head on" in just the wrong way. J/boats are generally built light for speed, they aren't meant to be slammed into anything except fellow racers, during t-bones. (Which is not to knock J/boats, they're just not built like trucks.)
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:52   #28
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I am soooo glad I have a tough, full keeled boat to absorb some of my mistakes.
Actually, that was one of the reasons I bought the boat I did.

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Old 04-01-2010, 10:38   #29
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According to an eye witness who spoke to the skipper,the boat was a J133.

The channels constantly change around here,trinity house stays on top of the markers which can change and do change on a monthly basis

There is a video series on Youtube called "keep turning left" its by a guy called Dylan Winter,it would give you guys an idea of the muddy tidal estuarys,sand banks etc that we have to deal with
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:02   #30
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Doesn't it look from the picture that the keel came off pretty clean? Whats with the 2 holes that look like nothing pulled though them? Wsn't there any sealant etc between the hull and keel?

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