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Old 22-07-2015, 01:41   #121
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

I am just about to replace all my seacocks/ valves on my 10 year old 440.
Will be interesting to note the condition as they have never been changed


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Old 22-07-2015, 03:25   #122
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

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Originally Posted by sigmasailor View Post
It takes but an unlucky strike of a sharp object to break safety glass (I guess of the NON laminated type of course; otherwise it would not be breakable); see youtube examples posted. This might happen completely unnoticed.

Since the escape hatch is just above the waterline water would be allowed in at a moderate rate in the beginning (the odd wave action). Than the boat will fill up lowering the waterline increasing the flow of water soon escalating to become unmanageable. Isn't that what happened?
May well be. All I said is that there is a third option, as there is in Scottish law: guilty, not guilty or… not proven. I am as said willing to buy the broken hatch scenario… it just seems to me that were I a Scottish judge, I would for the present choose the latter verdict.

It must be said that if you are right… My verdict on this design would be:

Disaster waiting to happen!
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Old 22-07-2015, 05:34   #123
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Bcs01,

Welcome aboard CF. And thank you so very much for posting your experience of this event.

I'm not an expert on this by any means, but I wonder whether a torn gasket where the saildrive is could let that much water in so fast.....it's not a tidy round hole like muckle flugga was suggesting, but it is something that can fatigue.

Ann
I believe the L440 engines are located in sealed compartments accessed from an outside deck hatch on the steps. If so, a large hole here would not cause the reported water throughout the boat. So a damaged saildrive diaphragm or engine intake hose or rudder tube damage could not be the problem.

Perhaps someone with a L440 could confirm this?

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Old 22-07-2015, 06:14   #124
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

That's correct Mark. There is a drain hose from the engine compartment to the main bilge with a valve that should be left open so the bilge pump takes care of any water ingress. In the event of a major flooding of the engine compartment ( too much water for the bilge pump to handle ) the valve should be closed. This is only a 1" hose so rapid flooding of the main hull isn't likely.
The engine bulkhead may not be totally watertight, especially if some aftermarket holes were drilled and not sealed properly, but it's still not likely to flood the main hull rapidly. If the engine compartment were to flood, it would likely only add around 1/2 tonne of water till it reaches the waterline (approximately 18" deep in the engine compartment). If this wasn't contained by closing the valve, the main hull would begin to flood until it reaches the waterline (approximately 5 tonne) and beyond...
I'd guess this would take some time so it's possible the flooding began an hour or more before it was noticed. Possibly the bilge pump alarms were not working, possibly the pump and float switch weren't working.
As far as the escape hatches, I don't think any 440s were built with fixed escape hatches so if they were fixed it's likely they were an aftermarket repair for leaking hatches.
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Old 22-07-2015, 07:35   #125
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

Remember someone posted earlier that they came upon the boat and dove on it to see if anyone was inside. If I were diving on this boat I would break the hatch to look/yell inside, rather than try to get under the upturned hull and risk getting tangled. So very possible this was after the fact and didn't contribute to the ingress of water.
Someone mentioned this is a charter company issue. If it's a new boat, hoses and seacocks shouldn't fail unless defective upon installation. Obviously hose clamps should be inspected regularly.

As for fixed/breakable vs opening hatch- wouldn't it be good to be able to close the hatch after escape to maintain the air pocket in an inverted cat? Ie wouldn't it fill more with water once air can escape through the hatch? I guess I am questioning the design choice to change from opening hatches to fixed... If I were designing the boat I would have an inner opening hatch that would open and give access to the breakable glass. That way you have redundancy, and inability for user error to flood the boat. You can also close hatch after exit to maintain air pocket but still be able to re-enter boat for survival supplies.
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Old 22-07-2015, 07:36   #126
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirkdig View Post
I am just about to replace all my seacocks/ valves on my 10 year old 440.
Will be interesting to note the condition as they have never been changed


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Is this necessary? All of mine are original on my 1987 boat and still in pristine shape.
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Old 22-07-2015, 07:50   #127
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
There is a drain hose from the engine compartment to the main bilge with a valve that should be left open so the bilge pump takes care of any water ingress.
Why wouldn't the compartment have its own bilge pump? I have never looked in the L440 engine compartment, but all other boats I have seen with aft sealed compartments had their own bilge pump and were not connected to the main bilge. Any penetrations were done well above the flooded waterline of that compartment. Even if not sealed, they would not contribute to any significant extent to a hull flood.

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Old 22-07-2015, 08:07   #128
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
Is this necessary? All of mine are original on my 1987 boat and still in pristine shape.

I believe possibly that not all seacocks are bronze, ones that aren't may not last as long as the ones that are.
I don't pretend to know which boats use which types, nor am I positive that not all seacocks are bronze.
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Old 22-07-2015, 08:23   #129
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

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I believe possibly that not all seacocks are bronze, ones that aren't may not last as long as the ones that are.
I don't pretend to know which boats use which types, nor am I positive that not all seacocks are bronze.
I am positive that not all seacocks are bronze. Most of the Euro boats used brass which were designed to have a minimum life of five years. I believe that new rules are being upgraded to not allow brass anymore.
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Old 22-07-2015, 08:34   #130
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Why wouldn't the compartment have its own bilge pump? I have never looked in the L440 engine compartment, but all other boats I have seen with aft sealed compartments had their own bilge pump and were not connected to the main bilge. Any penetrations were done well above the flooded waterline of that compartment. Even if not sealed, they would not contribute to any significant extent to a hull flood.



Mark

Yes Mark they should have a bilge pump in the compartment. Why not? Additional cost I guess...unless it happens to save the boat from sinking, then it may have been a less expensive option..
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Old 22-07-2015, 09:47   #131
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

Tempered glass, which is in all likelihood what is used in fixed escape hatches can break without being struck by an object. Years ago when living aboard our Alberg 30 in Vancouver, a neighbour on another Alberg had custom tempered glass windows made up through a contact in the business. They looked awesome and I considered the same for our boat. About a year later the starboard aft window blew up in the middle of the night. Chuck had a replacement made, installed it and that one also blew out 5-6 months later. The 3rd one was plexi. No problems with the other windows for many years afterwards. Suspicion was that there may have been enough "movement" in that particular part of the cabin (think expansion/contraction with temperature swings) to either stress the glass to breaking point or more likely resulted in some contact with a sharp part of the frame or retaining screw. Needless to say we never went the tempered glass route on ours.
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Old 22-07-2015, 09:59   #132
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

I don't think flex would be a problem with a fixed escape window. They are usually mounted in a recession that is structurally stiff. Not to mention they are usually mounted low in a hull, where flex is not likely regardless. Most are also mounted between bulkheads.

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Old 22-07-2015, 10:27   #133
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

This has been an interesting case to follow.

At this point, considering the good and bad aspects of an escape hatch that may be made of (so far) one of two materials:

1. tempered glass (breakable with hammer, but unable to open without breaking),

2. plastic, (unbreakable),

I would prefer to have an OPENING hatch that is UNBREAKABLE (plastic) and able to be opened from inside AND outside the hull and able to be securely closed when needed (after accessing the hatch).

Everything is a compromise. But, it seems that some things are a bigger compromise than others.

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What about opening Escape Hatches that are left open while the boat is sailing or motoring?

It has been noted that some opening Escape Hatches may be opened (and left open) by guests or charterers (or kids) who want to look outside or get some fresh air, etc.

The perceived (and REAL) risk is that the hatch becomes open while underway, allowing a huge amount of water to ingress the hull in a short time, and BEFORE the crew is aware of the problem if they are elsewhere on the boat.

My Simple Solution?

Most cars have a warning light system that notifies the driver of the car that a "door is open" on the vehicle. Most cars have some kind of audible security alarm if a locked door is opened.

If one has a new(er) cat that has multiple large escape hatches, it seems to me that some kind of similar warning system with a very loud audible alarm could be added or made for or included in the boat.

My suggestion is that IF the hatch is opened or broken, that a VERY LOUD warning alarm would sound, instantly notifying the Skipper and crew to look to the open hatch. This would be like a "car alarm" that would sound an alarm loud enough to be heard on the helm or bridge deck or anywhere on the boat in any type of condition (sailing or motoring).

This alarm would be analogous to the "Emergency Exit" doors in buildings that sound an alarm when opened. This would also reduce the likelihood that any guests on the cat would open the hatch "for some air" and then forget to dog it down securely.

The rule would be: "This is an Emergency Escape Hatch and it should only be opened during an emergency when there is a need to exit the boat through this hatch. If it is ever opened, a very loud alarm will sound."

The cost to add such an alarm on two hatches?
Minimal compared to the possible cost of loss of a boat due to inadvertent open hatches or accidental open hatches.
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Old 22-07-2015, 10:46   #134
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

An alarm would work, but the problem with it is, like all electrical things on a boat, you would need to test it every time before you got underway to make sure it is working. If doing this, it is just as easy to physically look at the hatches before getting underway.

A similar example is my recent discovery that our bilge switch had failed due to a corroded connector. Since it is unusual for our bilge to have water in it, the switch rarely gets used. I can test the pump itself with the manual over-ride on the panel, but I need to physically reach into the bilge to test the automatic switch. How long it had been inoperable cannot be determined (I only test it a few times/yr). An open escape hatch is more dangerous than a bad pump switch. An alarm on one would need to be checked every day for operation.

I think the whole escape hatch thing has just gone screwy in the industry. Since it is a regulation in some countries, boats built there slap them into any place and any way in order to fulfill the letter of the law instead of the spirit of it. As a result, you see boats now with hatches in places that would be underwater when capsized, hatches in places that require disassembling of parts of the boat to access, hatches that are too small for many people to fit through, hatches that are mounted in areas more dangerous than not having hatches at all, etc.

Better is to do like Catana and some others and mount large hatches high up in the bow. This way, they are sized for a person to fit through, placed where the boat will naturally float high, never be a problem if left open underway, and be actually useful at anchor for ventilation.

Otherwise, forget installing escape hatches at all. They really are not useful in any real situation - particularly when the boat is knowingly built to sink anyhow. We don't have one, and I don't feel unsafe because of it.

I bet more boats have come to grief due to failures or opening of an escape hatch than people have found them necessary when capsized.

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Old 22-07-2015, 10:53   #135
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Re: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
An alarm would work, but the problem with it is, like all electrical things on a boat, you would need to test it every time before you got underway to make sure it is working. If doing this, it is just as easy to physically look at the hatches before getting underway.

A similar example is my recent discovery that our bilge switch had failed due to a corroded connector. Since it is unusual for our bilge to have water in it, the switch rarely gets used. I can test the pump itself with the manual over-ride on the panel, but I need to physically reach into the bilge to test the automatic switch. How long it had been inoperable cannot be determined (I only test it a few times/yr). An open escape hatch is more dangerous than a bad pump switch. An alarm on one would need to be checked every day for operation.

I think the whole escape hatch thing has just gone screwy in the industry. Since it is a regulation in some countries, boats built there slap them into any place and any way in order to fulfill the letter of the law instead of the spirit of it. As a result, you see boats now with hatches in places that would be underwater when capsized, hatches in places that require disassembling of parts of the boat to access, hatches that are too small for many people to fit through, hatches that are mounted in areas more dangerous than not having hatches at all, etc.

Better is to do like Catana and some others and mount large hatches high up in the bow. This way, they are sized for a person to fit through, placed where the boat will naturally float high, never be a problem if left open underway, and be actually useful at anchor for ventilation.

Otherwise, forget installing escape hatches at all. They really are not useful in any real situation - particularly when the boat is knowingly built to sink anyhow. We don't have one, and I don't feel unsafe because of it.

I bet more boats have come to grief due to failures or opening of an escape hatch than people have found them necessary when capsized.

Mark
Interesting points. I would tend to agree. Also, I am not sure why an "escape hatch would be so much better than simply a normal hatch in the hull… which would form an entrance/exit rather like a diving bell. Not like you would have to swim far… and exit from an "escape hatch" looks more or less as perilous to me. What are you escaping to?
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