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Old 05-01-2010, 09:52   #31
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Gotta give full credit to the lifeboat and the helio crews. Making a rescue in those conditions took real skill. Hell, just keeping a bird aloft and on station in that wind is a real good trick.
Seems to me that a lot of boats have been losing keels recently or is that just because I'm paying more attention.
In any case, this is another near tragedy caused by trying to keep a schedule. I've said this often in a number of forums -- when you set a schedule and try to keep it no matter what, you're playing games with the ocean and, at least in the long run, the ocean is always going to win.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:11   #32
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A similar thing happened to another j boat (J/120) around Halloween (Oct 27) when it hit a whale on a leg of the Baja Ha Ha, tearing off the rudder attachment and sinking the boat in approx. 40 minutes or so. You've indeed got to wonder if its an inherent weakness in the design. Hitting rocks or a coral reef is one thing, Hitting sand and the blubber of a whale is another thing entirely.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:40   #33
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Very Sad to watch it die.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:00   #34
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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.
The text in the video (which reads like it was written by someone very close to the incident?) says

"the yacht lost her keel, started to fill rapidly, then capsized... both men were lifted off the yacht and taken to hospital"

which order of events I took to imply the keel was lost well before the boat was on its side in the surf...
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:37   #35
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Gotta give full credit to the lifeboat and the helio crews. Making a rescue in those conditions took real skill. Hell, just keeping a bird aloft and on station in that wind is a real good trick.
Seems to me that a lot of boats have been losing keels recently or is that just because I'm paying more attention.
In any case, this is another near tragedy caused by trying to keep a schedule. I've said this often in a number of forums -- when you set a schedule and try to keep it no matter what, you're playing games with the ocean and, at least in the long run, the ocean is always going to win.

Yep they are awesome at their job when they are allowed to do it...that's is for sure.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:47   #36
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Building boats is the art of compromise. You can't have a fast light race boat and have it as strong as the strongest cruising boats. The best way to judge if there is a problem is to look at the number of incidents there are of problems while the boat was being used during its intended usage. Race boats are not designed to have their keels slammed against the bottom. For cruising boats its different because of nature of cruising where they are more likely to be put aground in chop or waves.

When you get outside of the intended design parameters of your vessel is when you are much more likely into trouble.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:54   #37
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I've come up that coast a few times, in boats with a lot less than 6ft draught, and I've never had the bottle to take that route. Even during daylight, with "probably" enough tide. Maybe it's peer pressure though, as I have had the p**s taken out of me for not having the guts to do that or cut across Buxey and the other shallow bits around here. Such acts have earned me the not entirely politely meant nickname "cautious" as to be perfectly honest, I just ain't that brave. I do wonder, quite often, whether peer pressure and over-confidence play a larger part in some accidents than they are given credit for.

Do we know that this crew were inexperienced? I have often noticed that racers (and possibly by natural extension therefore the owner of a J-class), are much braver and possibly(?) more gung ho, than most cruisers I know. Around here, many of us only have access to our berths a couple of hours either side of high water, and the temptation to short cut, so we don't get stuck out at anchor for another tide, can sometimes be overwhelming - especially if you have work in the morning, or you have visitors aboard who need to get home. Would we always make the same decisions? Or, sometimes, do we take the risk, and just about get away with it?
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:58   #38
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I dont understand the keels being knocked off by hitting a sandbar..
Its just like my car, driving home the other night, I wasnt paying attention to what I was doing and I drove off the roadway slightly, hitting a fence post.
The impact was enought to tear the left front suspension and wheel off my Jag.
It wouldnt have happened if I were driving my F450..
For the price I paid for that Jag, you would think it would be put together better than that and would be atleast strong enough to hit a fence post now and then without any damage...
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:55   #39
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Its all about the mechanics...your F450 would have it the fence post at 30" or so off the ground your jag hit it at 12" or so ...I don't pretend to know the math but the leverage forces are drastically different...same goes with a long thin keel who's base attachment point is very small...lots of leverage resulting in less ability to Handel impact.

I would not be surprised to find my center board to be snapped off in a similar circumstance if it were down but have much greater faith in my modified shoal draft keel staying with the boat all the way to the bottom no mater how badly we smacked into something..it is one of the least of my worries for that reason...Im happy with a middle of the road speed wise boat for cruising.
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:58   #40
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"Hitting sand and the blubber of a whale is another thing entirely. "
Consider that a 200 pound deer usually totals out a 4000 pound car on impact. Whale versus boat sounds like an even worse deal for the boat.

"Would we always make the same decisions? "
Does "There but for the grace of god go I" sound familiar? Or the shorter version used in the Navy, "**** happens".
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Old 05-01-2010, 14:32   #41
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Such acts have earned me the not entirely politely meant nickname "cautious" as to be perfectly honest, I just ain't that brave.
I would consider that sort of trait to be an asset in a delivery skipper.
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Old 05-01-2010, 14:39   #42
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I dont understand the keels being knocked off by hitting a sandbar..
Its just like my car, driving home the other night, I wasnt paying attention to what I was doing and I drove off the roadway slightly, hitting a fence post.
The impact was enought to tear the left front suspension and wheel off my Jag.
It wouldnt have happened if I were driving my F450..
For the price I paid for that Jag, you would think it would be put together better than that and would be atleast strong enough to hit a fence post now and then without any damage...
I disagree...

Just google images for "tsunami sailboat" and look at the photos of boats that survived groundings during the Samoa Tsunami recently without loosing their keels. You cannot tell me that the F6 sea conditions and speed that the J-boat was moving at can come close to comparing with the forces involved with a tidal wave that put boats MILES inland and hard agound. The real difference is in the design of the hull and keel.

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Old 05-01-2010, 18:17   #43
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The text in the video (which reads like it was written by someone very close to the incident?) says

"the yacht lost her keel, started to fill rapidly, then capsized... both men were lifted off the yacht and taken to hospital"

which order of events I took to imply the keel was lost well before the boat was on its side in the surf...
You could be right. We had a J24 sunk by lightning here. It was towed to the beach and secured overnight. In our relatively benign channel conditions the hull was displaced and the keel canted about 10 degrees by tidal and ferry wake action. I expect on a sandbar in the surf any fin keel will come off.

I am not saying that it would also happen to a full keel. I just have a hard time with the hit a sandbar at 6 knots and the keel immediately snapped off scenario. I guess (complete guess) that it stuck in the sand and the waves worked it pretty hard.


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I disagree...

Just google images for "tsunami sailboat" and look at the photos of boats that survived groundings during the Samoa Tsunami recently without loosing their keels. You cannot tell me that the F6 sea conditions and speed that the J-boat was moving at can come close to comparing with the forces involved with a tidal wave that put boats MILES inland and hard agound. The real difference is in the design of the hull and keel.
I agree 100%

I don't think it necessary to design a keel that will sustain a direct hit at 6-8 knots.

I totally get the safety aspect of the full keel in regards to hitting reefs, sandbars and perhaps a whale or floating container.

I personally accept the increased risk and take the performance. Especially as one chooses the purpose of the boat. You can make your own definitions for what type of keel is "normal" based on whether you want a cruiser, cruiser/racer, racer/cruiser or racer.

I think each keel, hull and boat will be slightly different for each purpose.

As far as running aground? Those who have, those who will and those who have and lie about it. However the circumstances of this grounding gotta make one ask, "What were you thinking?"
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:46   #44
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"Would we always make the same decisions? "
Does "There but for the grace of god go I" sound familiar? Or the shorter version used in the Navy, "**** happens".
Yup. True words. Q.E.D.

I can't say that I have never run aground. I've just been lucky as I have never done it at speed and never done any damage. There but for the grace of God...
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:11   #45
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The obvious answer is that it takes more than just one sail tie to hold the keel on a J boat.
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