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Old 04-03-2010, 10:53   #31
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Sailed on the Concordia last year for 5 months, criss-crossed the Atlantic and went in and out of the Med. I knew her pretty well. Bill, the captain when she sank, was our first mate for the majority of the voyage.

First off, let me say that Bill is a sailor in every sense of the word. Loves the sea, loves the theory, loves the practice. He's a ranch man on land. Very nice guy as well. Got us to do a lot of Coast Guard practices that we weren't before he came aboard, such as tying stopper knots as opposed to having a ton of people just hold the line, whilst we were making fast. Rest assured that anything that happened was in no part due to incompetence on his part.

You're right, the Concordia did have steel spars all round. Rear mast also functioned as an exhaust (Was very hot to the touch sometimes when I had to climb it to grease the track!). It's entirely possible the water flooded through there, and straight into the engine room down below, as all of the masts were in the water.

There are two superstructures on the Concordia - the forward one is a galley (also used as a classroom), and the rear is specifically a classroom. Both have lots of portholes, in the style that the glass is embedded into the steel frame which pivots. No storm covers on those. If it's hot at all, which it probably was that far down, usually some are open to keep a breeze.

Down below in the cabins there are portholes with storm covers. People closed them when they were napping - I bet most of them were open during the day. The force of the ships hull smashing into the water could have been enough to break a few, although (I slept right by one), they were thick and sturdy so I'm not entirely sure that's what sank her.

What will be interesting to find out is whether the fore and aft sails were up. If they were, that is a huge weight to pull out of the water (The Concordia had 10,000 sq ft of sail total), and I have no doubts it couldn't have righted itself. If they weren't, that leaves the jibs and the squares on the foremast, both of which would have functioned similarly (especially the jibs, of which a few were almost always up for air dynamics purposes).

The Concordia rounded cape horn in, I think, 04-05. I've been told stories that the yards on the foremast were dipping into the water. We took her pretty far over ourselves a couple times, but never close to that. What I'm trying to say is that she is soundly designed to handle a lot, and it would have indeed taken something extraordinary to capsize her. I've read in other places that microbursts are just used as an excuse in tall ship capsizes, and I'm sure that, in the Concordia's situation at least, it was not an excuse.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:17   #32
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Excellent Post Toro...Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge of the boat.
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Old 04-03-2010, 19:03   #33
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What would the AVS be for a generic tall ship?

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Old 05-03-2010, 11:59   #34
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barnakiel,

I have no idea what the computed AVS was for the Concordia but it is generally assumed that once the mastheads are in the water on this type of ship, you are in trouble. There are many accounts of boats of this type ending up on their beam ends and staying there for a few days. It is important to note that many of those ships had cargo which definitely changes the stability picture especially when the cargo shifts. If the boat is really sealed down, then they would remain in this shockingly stabil position. The combination of the weight aloft and the sails in the water meant that the boats would usually not come back up once the mastheads were in the water. However, they had a good enough righting arm that they would not turn turtle either.

I can't remember the solas requirement of the top of my head but the coast guard requirement for the type of vessel that I used to work on was 60 degrees. The boat that I worked on for 9 years was nearly double that but the AVS was not the limitation, the hatches would have all been compromised long before that and the boat would have swamped extremely quickly. As Toro suggests, it is quite likely that many hatches were wide open in orde to maintain ventilation so the AVS was most likely changing quite rapidly as the boat filled up. The behavior of these vessels is very different from that of a cruising boat.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:33   #35
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According to this article:

Tall ship passed stability testing, owners say - The Globe and Mail

she would right herself from 110 degrees.

I have also read that the owners will release the results of her stability tests in the hope that any flaws, either in the way the test is conducted or in the results, can be identified in the interests of improving safety.
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Old 05-03-2010, 14:45   #36
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Zednotzee,

Thanks for that link. It is interesting to see what her rated AVS was. I wonder how the 110 degrees was determined? Was that something calculated based on the design or based on the stability test? Having witnessed several stability tests, they are far from perfect and do a lot of extrapolation. They also make the assumption that the vessel remains watertight which may well not have been the case in the actual sinking.

It will be interesting to see what the final conclusion ends up being.
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Old 05-03-2010, 16:38   #37
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I have only seen stability tests of the IMOCAs (and sure quite many of my many and varied sailing dinghies ;-). All other cases were testing for the righting moment.

I would think the AVS is always a result of a calculation, not of an empirical test, is it?

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Old 08-11-2010, 15:30   #38
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Some interviews from CBC

CBC | Land and Sea
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Old 10-02-2011, 17:57   #39
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For any of you who get CBC TV, "Doc Zone" is showing Abandon Ship: the Sinking of the SV Concordia. Check your local listings.

Abandon Ship: The Sinking of the SV Concordia - Doc Zone | CBC-TV
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Old 10-02-2011, 18:03   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zednotzee View Post
For any of you who get CBC TV, "Doc Zone" is showing Abandon Ship: the Sinking of the SV Concordia. Check your local listings.

Abandon Ship: The Sinking of the SV Concordia - Doc Zone | CBC-TV
thanks i have been looking for this....
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:49   #41
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I saw it, and even as a person who used to work in the film industry and knows how stories can be distorted, I thought this documentary seems well-balanced, agreed with what I know of the sea and of boats like this, and makes the crew and kids seem about as well-prepared as they could be.

64 souls; 64 survivors after 40 hours in the South Atlantic. That speaks for itself.

Another fact noted: The Concordia went down in late February, 2010. In September, 16 of the rescued kids rejoined a sister Class Afloat ship to spend more months at sea. Considering how their parents must have felt, they must have made a hell of a case for getting aboard another tall ship.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:07   #42
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I saw it, and even as a person who used to work in the film industry and knows how stories can be distorted, I thought this documentary seems well-balanced, agreed with what I know of the sea and of boats like this, and makes the crew and kids seem about as well-prepared as they could be.

64 souls; 64 survivors after 40 hours in the South Atlantic. That speaks for itself.

Another fact noted: The Concordia went down in late February, 2010. In September, 16 of the rescued kids rejoined a sister Class Afloat ship to spend more months at sea. Considering how their parents must have felt, they must have made a hell of a case for getting aboard another tall ship.


Interesting fact presented was the slow response and then grandstanding by the Brazilian S&R etc.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:05   #43
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Yes, I must remind myself to sail carefully off that particular coast, as the danger of running aground on a fake-ass photo op is high.
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Old 14-02-2011, 14:43   #44
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Originally Posted by Zednotzee View Post
For any of you who get CBC TV, "Doc Zone" is showing Abandon Ship: the Sinking of the SV Concordia. Check your local listings.

Abandon Ship: The Sinking of the SV Concordia - Doc Zone | CBC-TV
I have been trying to view this video for last couple of days. Just a note you cannot view this unless you live in Canada. Bummer.
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Old 14-02-2011, 15:00   #45
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I have been trying to view this video for last couple of days. Just a note you cannot view this unless you live in Canada. Bummer.
Only in Canada, eh? Pity! (you'd need to be familiar with "Red Rose Tea" commercials to get that).



To summarize:
-everyone was well trained in emergency drills of all types.
-Concordia floated for 18 minutes after the knockdown, which was 17 minutes longer than Albatross of "White Squall" fame.
-Brazilian authorities treated the EPIRB as a false alarm, and still had not responded after 20 hours.
-commercial cargo vessels effected the actual rescue.
-several pers were transferred by helicopter to Brazilian Navy vessel against the captain's wishes (to facilitate public relations in Brazil).
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