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Old 16-11-2011, 23:29   #31
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Maybe I've got the wrong end of 'risk management' but are there not other things that come higher on the priority list before installing fancy electronic gear that may / may not work just when you need it?
And really guys, how often will you need it?
I know one guy that thinks he hit a container off NW Australia, and if I recall correctly, have read of a couple of others over 30 years sailing.........
IMHO the risk of hitting another car with your car is far, far more likely than hitting a container with your boat. Meaning sensible risk management means we should all fit forward facing radars to our cars before bothering with the boats........eh?

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Old 16-11-2011, 23:50   #32
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

There was a fairly new Spirited 380 cat that ripped open a hull and capsized doing a bit of speed in the Great Australian Bight earlier this year.

Off course it didn't sink.

That's at least 2 this year and perhaps another mono that sank off Sydney early 2011 but can't be sure.

Certainly more of an issue thesedays. Remind me to stay away from Nth Island of NZ.
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Old 17-11-2011, 00:01   #33
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Just a thought, What if each container had a mandated EPIRB LIKE device, transmitting on a separate freq that would direct a recovery vessel to the container? I know it will be a hard sell since the owning companies are not hit for the cost of damage....yet. But salvage of the containers could be worth it to the owner. This is NOT to be confused with a EPIRB signal that the Coast Guard would activate a S&R team for.
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Old 17-11-2011, 00:31   #34
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

@ Downunder

My statement was more in the Aussie sense 'get the bloody thing installed and be done with it'.

I am personally not sure how mature this technology is, so cannot categorically say anything. For my own interest and purposes, I will look into this tech further.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Maybe I've got the wrong end of 'risk management' but are there not other things that come higher on the priority list before installing fancy electronic gear that may / may not work just when you need it?
And really guys, how often will you need it?
I know one guy that thinks he hit a container off NW Australia, and if I recall correctly, have read of a couple of others over 30 years sailing.........
IMHO the risk of hitting another car with your car is far, far more likely than hitting a container with your boat. Meaning sensible risk management means we should all fit forward facing radars to our cars before bothering with the boats........eh?

John
Almost done. BMW & Mercedes are in the process of introducing this techonology into the high end series. There is forward mounted radar which are connected to the vehicle's control system. For example, if you approach another vehicle from behind on the Autobahn, if the preset distance limitation is broached, the braking system will automatically engage, slowing the vehicle, once the correct distance achieved, the cruise control will work with the radar to maintain the correct distance. There are even some manufacturers that have lane sensors, keeping you within you lane (they pick up the white lines, and adjust accordingly.

Park Assist anyone?

Any technology that has the potential to reduce the risks of a catastrophic event occuring to your boat should be considered no? This is a bit like that other thread going on about 'Radar or Not?' Is the operators interpretation of what he/she sees on the screen 100% correct all of the time? Not meaning any disrespect, but in the overall history of sailing, you could say that Radar is just some fancy new technology right?

Cheers
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Old 17-11-2011, 00:33   #35
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

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Originally Posted by At sea View Post
Yes, but the materials are the issue then. A collision between a fibreglass container (the boat) and a steel container will result in only the steel one floating away. If the collision is between two steel containers, it'd be a dent and scratch 1-1 result.
Saying steel is invulnerable kind of ignores thousands of lives that have been lost when steel was torn apart by much "softer" substances, like ice, coral and rock. If you're unlucky enough, you can still tear a hole in a steel boat - if you hit hard enough, or catch a seam with the corner of a container for instance.
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Old 17-11-2011, 01:58   #36
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
Just a thought, What if each container had a mandated EPIRB LIKE device, transmitting on a separate freq that would direct a recovery vessel to the container? I know it will be a hard sell since the owning companies are not hit for the cost of damage....yet. But salvage of the containers could be worth it to the owner. This is NOT to be confused with a EPIRB signal that the Coast Guard would activate a S&R team for.
Well the thing is noone really knows if all these boats did actually hit containers. Could just as well have hit a whale. 20-30 years ago you hit something in the ocean, you assumed it was a whale, today you assume it was a container. I would think that there are far more whales in the ocean then there are containers.
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Old 17-11-2011, 05:05   #37
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Saying steel is invulnerable kind of ignores thousands of lives that have been lost when steel was torn apart by much "softer" substances, like ice, coral and rock. If you're unlucky enough, you can still tear a hole in a steel boat - if you hit hard enough, or catch a seam with the corner of a container for instance.
Sheesh, that's some extrapolation. I just stated the obvious which is that your odds of survival in a collision with a container are better in steel than anything else. I'd never have imagined that simple post could thrust so much baggage on my shoulders
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:08   #38
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Maybe there's an easier answer.

If the containers are to be loaded with kit heavier than water, then simple water activated valves should allow those to sink. I believe these exist already, but they're useless if filled with content that floats.

So let's invent a container with steel bottom and sides, but a soft top. That top can be lifted off by the floaty contents if the container ever gets dumped or swept overboard. The floaty content will still drift around and may present a worry, but the really dangerous steel part should then sink.

Do you think it's worth filing for a patent?

John
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:23   #39
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
AussieGeoff,

A Boat Buck = $1000
A Boat Unit = $1000

Apparently a term invented to reduce the potential discussion from a Spouse who will almost always comment that such an investment could be better spent elsewhere....
LOL. Ok, my boat cost fourteen boat bucks then.

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Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
As for the rest of your dissertation, slow day in Adelaide?
LOL, not sure, don't live there. Port Pirie, about 100NM NNW as the crow flies. Seriously, I just thought it was a situation that maybe is getting a little too accepted, 'boat hits container - sinks, one rescued.' At the end of the day, this is only happening because the bloody things fall off ships and don't have the decency to sink. It's like laying drifting mines. The shipping companies don't care, if they hit one they'll shunt it out of the way or just smash it to bits with nothing more to show for it than some paint off the bow bulge. It's the small boats that wind up sinking. It's like towing a trailer full of rubbish to the tip. You tie it on, some falls off and a cop books you for having an 'unsecured load'
"But it was tied down, it is secured."
"If it was secured, it wouldn't have fallen off."
"But there's a sixty click wind blowing and I was going slow."
"But it still fell off. If it was secured, it wouldn't have."
End of story. So at the end of the day, someone is responsible for it falling off the container ship. It's about time they started copping the cost of that, at present, it's blithely ignored without any apparent consequence to the shipping line. Unacceptable.


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Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
Actually, I thought we would just install the Interphase and be done with it
Well it's one option, though I didn't think it was four grand. Might look into that a bit further. I'm trying to scrounge up a used radar, but they're rare as rocking horse manure this side of the Pacific for some reason. Boat has a sounder of course, but once we get into some serious cruising, I think we need a 'container detector'. I'm thinking that something simpler and less expensive purpose designed just to spot containers in the water might be more likely to be taken up, volume sales could make up the difference in profits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
Seriously, some really good points, and I think this issue needs to be addressed more fully. I guess my viewpoint at the moment is that there is no way I can rely on others to make sure that there systems are working so as not to endanger me. I need to be proactive in reducing the risk to my crew and my vessel.
Which is pretty much the philosophy of risk management. It's becoming so common an event, we are likely to start seeing insurers balking at claims if you don't have some sort of device to help you detect such things on board. Boats that hit containers are usually a total loss near as I can tell.

I'm hoping this will induce some discussion and maybe we can collectively get some attention to the problem at the source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
Need to leave for a while, so cannot comment more.
No worries. I'm doing this at almost 2am because I've been flat out working since 9, just got home.

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Old 17-11-2011, 08:29   #40
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Maybe there's an easier answer.

If the containers are to be loaded with kit heavier than water, then simple water activated valves should allow those to sink. I believe these exist already, but they're useless if filled with content that floats.

So let's invent a container with steel bottom and sides, but a soft top. That top can be lifted off by the floaty contents if the container ever gets dumped or swept overboard. The floaty content will still drift around and may present a worry, but the really dangerous steel part should then sink.

Do you think it's worth filing for a patent?

John
Certainly an interesting idea. Getting the container manufacturers to adopt it and then getting the zillions of containers already in use modded or scrapped and replaced with the 'float off lid' variety would be a hard sell. The problem is that there is currently NO financial or other penalty for a container falling off a ship, drifting around for a while and then getting hit by a yacht and sinking it, possibly with loss of life. None. IF they were fined for losing containers and held criminally and civilly liable for the damages...

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Old 17-11-2011, 09:00   #41
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Interesting stuff here. I wish I knew enough to contribute to the conversation. My keel is 5/16 inch plate with 8500 pounds of lead and epoxy inside, the bottom chine of the hull is 1/4 inch steel.I'll bet (hope)it stays attached.
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Old 17-11-2011, 09:13   #42
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Ok, I am pretty sure this will not work, because no one has suggested it, but on the off chance that ignorance (mine) has a good idea because it doesn't know any better...

What about installing a depth sounder forward, parallel to the mast, and pointing towards the bow so that it would be reading for solid stuff in front of the boat instead of behind?

An alarm on this could be set when in blue water where containers are a risk. Turn it off in shallow water where it would be a nuisance.

Any possibility this could help?
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Old 17-11-2011, 13:42   #43
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

G'Day all,

We've had these discussions before, and a bit of searching would have discovered the earlier post that I have now copied below (don't know how to generate a link to an earlier thread).

At any rate, here's what I wrote on the subject of Interphase sonars:
*********
G'Day All,

With respect to the forward looking sonars -- I have had one since 1996 (both on Insatiable I and II) and have used them extensively in our cruising. Ours are the Interphase "Probe" model which sweeps a beam from straight ahead at the surface to straight down towards the bottom. The beam width is nominally 12 degrees. We spend lots of time in poorly charted waters, some of which are pretty opaque, and I find the Probe to be useful enough that I bought one for I-2 before we hauled her for survey at the time of purchase!

On the longest range it looks 1200 feet ahead of the boat. We have actually seen a few things out around 800 feet, things like a wall of coral sticking nearly straight up from the floor of a lagoon in ~200 foot depth. In shallower waters the range is typically 3-4 times the depth of the water. So far this sounds pretty good, eh?

But, consider the physics of sonar: The instrument produces a sound pulse in the transducer, focused into a beam around 12 degrees wide. The pulse propagates out at the speed of sound (around 1480 m/s), and if it hits a suitable object, some of the sound energy is reflected back to the transducer. Meanwhile, the transducer has been patiently waiting about to see if it hears anything. It can't produce the next pulse of the sweep pattern until the appropriate time interval for a return at the maximum range has elapsed. On the longest range this delay is on the order of a second or so. Thus even in the "fast sweep" mode, it takes around 15 seconds for it to complete the sequence of straight ahead to straight down when attempting to detect distant floating objects. One can improve this somewhat by limiting the sweep pattern to a smaller arc.

Now, add to this the narrow beam width. If the boat is yawing a bit as it passes through the seas, the beam is directed away from the COG some of the time. This means that there is a chance that when the "straight ahead" pulse from a sweep is generated, the boat may not be aimed at a floating object that is in fact on the course line... and so it isn't seen. This reduces one's confidence considerably!

Further, consider that if there is a sea running, the surface layer includes waves, foam, turbulence etc, and any of these can generate a false signal reflected back to the transducer. This means that in typical sea conditions, there is a lot of "noise" in the return when looking ahead at shallow depths... the depths of interest in avoiding the dreaded container. The operational result of this is that the alarm features of the Probe don't work very well at all. If you reduce the sensitivity enough to eliminate false alarms, it won't see much of anything at all! So, to be of any use in container avoidance, one would have to have an observer watching the display 24/7... not likely on our boat! (Or yours either, I reckon).

To sum it up, the forward looking sonar is a very useful tool for the cruiser who gets away from home waters, but it isn't a realistic means of avoiding small floating objects on a long term basis.

And, to add our little bit of data: we've now covered on the order of 125,000 miles in our cruising (between SF and the South Pacific) and have yet to see a floating container. I agree that there is a statistical possibility of striking one, but my personal evaluation says that there are much better things to worry about in our area of interest.

Oh... our boat (built of strip-plank composite) has not one but two crash bulkheads forward and one aft, features not often found in production boats. The degree of protection provided perhaps does not equal that of a steel hull, but it does help us to relax a bit at sea.

*********

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 17-11-2011, 14:08   #44
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day all,

We've had these discussions before, and a bit of searching would have discovered the earlier post that I have now copied below (don't know how to generate a link to an earlier thread).

At any rate, here's what I wrote on the subject of Interphase sonars:
*********
G'Day All,

With respect to the forward looking sonars -- I have had one since 1996 (both on Insatiable I and II) and have used them extensively in our cruising. Ours are the Interphase "Probe" model which sweeps a beam from straight ahead at the surface to straight down towards the bottom. The beam width is nominally 12 degrees. We spend lots of time in poorly charted waters, some of which are pretty opaque, and I find the Probe to be useful enough that I bought one for I-2 before we hauled her for survey at the time of purchase!

On the longest range it looks 1200 feet ahead of the boat. We have actually seen a few things out around 800 feet, things like a wall of coral sticking nearly straight up from the floor of a lagoon in ~200 foot depth. In shallower waters the range is typically 3-4 times the depth of the water. So far this sounds pretty good, eh?

But, consider the physics of sonar: The instrument produces a sound pulse in the transducer, focused into a beam around 12 degrees wide. The pulse propagates out at the speed of sound (around 1480 m/s), and if it hits a suitable object, some of the sound energy is reflected back to the transducer. Meanwhile, the transducer has been patiently waiting about to see if it hears anything. It can't produce the next pulse of the sweep pattern until the appropriate time interval for a return at the maximum range has elapsed. On the longest range this delay is on the order of a second or so. Thus even in the "fast sweep" mode, it takes around 15 seconds for it to complete the sequence of straight ahead to straight down when attempting to detect distant floating objects. One can improve this somewhat by limiting the sweep pattern to a smaller arc.

Now, add to this the narrow beam width. If the boat is yawing a bit as it passes through the seas, the beam is directed away from the COG some of the time. This means that there is a chance that when the "straight ahead" pulse from a sweep is generated, the boat may not be aimed at a floating object that is in fact on the course line... and so it isn't seen. This reduces one's confidence considerably!

Further, consider that if there is a sea running, the surface layer includes waves, foam, turbulence etc, and any of these can generate a false signal reflected back to the transducer. This means that in typical sea conditions, there is a lot of "noise" in the return when looking ahead at shallow depths... the depths of interest in avoiding the dreaded container. The operational result of this is that the alarm features of the Probe don't work very well at all. If you reduce the sensitivity enough to eliminate false alarms, it won't see much of anything at all! So, to be of any use in container avoidance, one would have to have an observer watching the display 24/7... not likely on our boat! (Or yours either, I reckon).

To sum it up, the forward looking sonar is a very useful tool for the cruiser who gets away from home waters, but it isn't a realistic means of avoiding small floating objects on a long term basis.

And, to add our little bit of data: we've now covered on the order of 125,000 miles in our cruising (between SF and the South Pacific) and have yet to see a floating container. I agree that there is a statistical possibility of striking one, but my personal evaluation says that there are much better things to worry about in our area of interest.

Oh... our boat (built of strip-plank composite) has not one but two crash bulkheads forward and one aft, features not often found in production boats. The degree of protection provided perhaps does not equal that of a steel hull, but it does help us to relax a bit at sea.

*********

Cheers,

Jim
Thanks Jim,

I thought I had read something like that somewhere.

Could be a few more contaiainers to look out for around NZ these days, however. have a good trip to Tassi.

Can't understand how manufacturere get away without more bulkheads in vessels with ballast?

Quote "Oh... our boat (built of strip-plank composite) has not one but two crash bulkheads forward and one aft, features not often found in production boats. The degree of protection provided perhaps does not equal that of a steel hull, but it does help us to relax a bit at sea." very good.

Cheers
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Old 17-11-2011, 14:24   #45
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Re: Yacht Sinks Off Western Australia Coast

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Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
Just a thought, What if each container had a mandated EPIRB LIKE device, transmitting on a separate freq that would direct a recovery vessel to the container? I know it will be a hard sell since the owning companies are not hit for the cost of damage....yet. But salvage of the containers could be worth it to the owner. This is NOT to be confused with a EPIRB signal that the Coast Guard would activate a S&R team for.
This has merit. Only allow private salvage companies to run around collecting and recovering(or sinking) the containers. They could retrieve documentation proof that they had been on site and completed the task, then bill owners for the job. Sort of an ocean going ambulance chaser. When discovery channel picks up the reality series, they could get fame and fortune as well.
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