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Old 25-01-2010, 07:16   #106
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Inexpeience, bad judjement or plain bad luck, a sinking boat is a sad sight.
I remember doing a Round the Island race and coming around the Needles close in and seeing the top half of a mast marking the old boiler wreck position for every one else!
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Old 25-01-2010, 07:49   #107
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I think that we can all agree that this boat is a racer, and was not designed to handle running aground...

that being said, my concern is that builders of boats that are being marketed as cruising yachts are adopting more and more of the design features that are developed for the racing market, like these slim keels. This puts sailors who are buying what they believe is a safe and reliable boat at risk in extreme conditions.
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Old 25-01-2010, 09:31   #108
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This incident looks very similar to the incident on a Bavaria 42 Match 5 years ago: Bavaria.

I believe the manufacturer made some modifications in the design or even stopped production all together. There is lots of info to be found: Click.

I used to have a sigma 33 OOD and had two hard groundings (on sand) while doing 6 or 7 knots in the 12 years we owned it. Other than my ego absolutely no damage and we managed to get away without any assistance on both occations.

I never really understood how a design (EC class A) would allow a keel to shear of along the dotted line so clean.
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Old 25-01-2010, 10:46   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustypirate View Post
I think that we can all agree that this boat is a racer, and was not designed to handle running aground...

that being said, my concern is that builders of boats that are being marketed as cruising yachts are adopting more and more of the design features that are developed for the racing market, like these slim keels. This puts sailors who are buying what they believe is a safe and reliable boat at risk in extreme conditions.
Yes, Yes, and Yes, BUT, there is a trade off.. and that is up to the person who is buying the boat...
When we bought our boat, we had an open market and the money to back it.. and it was a performance cruiser that we chose..
And the trade offs.. we dont do unknown water under 300 feet at night, we always enter a port in the daylight.. I installed a sonor (interphase probe) with an alarm. and were just a little more on edge in shallow waters.. but for us, the benifits out weigh the extra precautions we have to go through.. we knew it when we bought the boat...
And we do know people that are cruising in they're J-boat, and they love it,
Hopefully, anyone buying a boat, be it for cruising or for racing will do their homework befor the purchase.
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Old 25-01-2010, 12:46   #110
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These keels dont fall off
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Old 25-01-2010, 13:37   #111
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These keels dont fall off
You're right James, and thats one side of it
BUT
Can you average 10 to 12 knots in a 15 knot breeeze for 24 hours at a time.. Thats where the difference comes in.. I've seen 300 mile days, not always, but I have done it..
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Old 25-01-2010, 13:45   #112
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It's well and good to insist on a stout, full, encapsulated keel. We could say the same thing about a skeg-hung rudder. However, once you've sailed a performance boat with a fin keel and balanced rudder, it's hard to go back. The Ferrari / F450 analogy is a good one. You could also compare the F-16 and the DC-3. When choosing a boat we weigh various tradeoffs - comfort, performance, costs, and risks. Under sail, we try to make good decisions. In any event, we take full responsibility for our mistakes and live with the outcomes.
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Old 25-01-2010, 14:21   #113
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G'Day All,

A sad event, and an interesting discussion. While I generally agree that bulb and strut type keels are pretty vulnerable, I am convinced that a well designed and executed fin keel can be strong enough for continuous cruising use, including severe groundings. We've had several boats of this sort, done nearly 150K miles in them collectively, gone aground on mud, sand, coral and unknown bottoms more often than I like to admit, and never suffered noticiable damage. I can't help but notice that the J boats do seem to show up as victims in disproportionate numbers, which raises a warning flag at least!

Historically, one could look back to the "Cabo san Lucas disaster" of around 1985. In this event, a large group of cruising boats ignored warnings from the local fisherman, and were caught on a lee shore. In the end, over 40 yachts were driven ashore on a sand beach. Only two survived to sail again: one was Moitessier's famous Joshua and the other was an Olsen 40, which was an early Santa Cruz style ULDB racer. Bernard was so disgusted with himself that he gave Joshua away to some locals who pushed her back into the water with a bulldozer. After some bashing with a sledge to "repair" her hefty steel hull, they sailed her for some years thereafter. The Olsen, despite being bounced on the beach with her fin keel, was refloated with only cosmetic damage. All the other yachts, mostly heavy, long keel production f/g vessels, were destroyed, many with missing keels.

I'm not sure if this has any bearing on more modern construction methods, but it was an eye-opener for me at the time, and lead me to not worry about light weight in selecting a cruising design. It's all a matter of good design and good construction for whatever style of boat is involved (unfortunately, this usually involves a cost penalty that is unpleasant to deal with!).

Meanwhile, it is sad to see the loss of a nice new boat from such an ill considered bit of seamanship, and sad to realize that such acts are one reason why insurance premiums are so high for the rest of us.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Broken Bay, NSW Oz
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Old 25-01-2010, 23:10   #114
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You're right James, and thats one side of it
BUT
Can you average 10 to 12 knots in a 15 knot breeeze for 24 hours at a time.. Thats where the difference comes in.. I've seen 300 mile days, not always, but I have done it..
Of coarse you are right....I donít come anywhere near that level of performance....anything over 5 and I'm hauling ass.

Yes we do make compromises, but given my personal limits/skills safety isnít one....and comfort is the next place I try to keep whole.

I love getting out there for a couple hours on someone elseís boat and zooming around....but for my coastal gunk-holing (by brail) I need something more forgiving.

As stated In other posts...there are fin keels that are tough...But I'm not smart enough to know one when I see it...so I go with what I'm sure of.
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Old 04-02-2010, 15:24   #115
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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.)
I was brought up and first got on a sail boat along this coast and FWIW, the 'sand bars' are as hard as concrete when exposed. The tides rip through multiple channels running E to W and one can go from deep water to nix water if going S to N in seconds.
And yes, the channels being continually etched by the tides sometime up to 6 knots, can change.

So a tricky place to sail day or night, but hundred do it every year. Especially the locals.

Sad for anyone to loose their boat - but a J boat is a race boat - people buy them to race - they want speed and manouvrability - and not to plod around cruising on.

Leave it bouncing on a concrete bottom and something will break - as this one did.

But what I think is really sad is reading the comments of those further up the thread who seem happy to sit as judge and jury on the site. And for what? To try and convince someone that they obviously know what's best?

So why not just give these guys, and the rest of us, a break huh?

These are fellow sailors - sh*t happens - let us all be greatful the Brit and Belgium services did a good job and all were saved. And maybe ONCE ALL THE FACTS ARE KNOWN then can we all learn from the experience.

Sail safe.

JOHN
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Old 04-02-2010, 15:57   #116
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From what i can gather,the skipper tried to sail her at night through a shallow channel with sand banks either side,it is a difficult passage,most of the sailors that i know who are familiar with the area say that they would not attempt it at night.Its a tight fit for a boat with a 6ft keel and the keel on this boat was longer,the keel was ripped clean off when he hit the sand bank at night under full canvas by all accounts.The boat is a J series.
I sailed over those waters/banks last June through the night from Harwich on my way to Portugal... did it on a rising tide and even tho' the draft on my Coribbee 21 is only 4ft very often I only had 6" to a foot under my keel and a couple of times I 'kissed' the bottom... the sea's were calm and a F3 NW breeze was only ruffling the surface....
What made it even more nerve wracking was the fact that apart from the main Shipping Channel all the bouys that marked the various other channels and 'cuts' over the bars had gone... so i had no references to eyeball re my location. If my boat had been bigger I would definitly have gone round the outside... have sailed through up into the Thames at night before but all the bouys were there and it was OK... I dont know if the removal is permanent due to Government cutbacks, but it makes the Estuary a more dangerous place...
Even experienced locals have come unstuck in that area so don't be to hard on them guys....
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