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Old 26-02-2016, 07:02   #91
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
My experience with drogues and parachutes is limited to experiments on my boat in the '80's..
I was well aware of what the N Atlantic was capable of having been on an RN frigate during the Cod Wars.. F12's and over with huge sea's.
Decided that I was better off without.. and its worked.. so far..
However that was Mono's.. Cats are something else and having over the last few years been moving a few cats 1000's of miles I have more experience with them in heavy weather..
I've run before with a rag on the forestay and hove to a couple of times however I have yet to encounter sea's like 'Roverin' did in his capsize.. but they were hell in a mono..
I honestly do not think that the cats are built strongly enough at the relevant points to bear the loads.. and to be honest the act of exposing the stern to those forces is asking for trouble.. a boats strongest point is the bow.. and leaving ones steerage and power to the mercy of the sea and the debris it throws at one (Oil drums, tree trunks, freezers, etc) for some reason makes me very twitchy.. no one remember the brand new MK1 cat that was abandoned because the got 'Stopped by a brick wall' which wrecked their rudders and they ended up abandoning.. apparently a lesser storm as well.
Guess I won't Really Know until I'm in the washing machine like him..
Bulawayo wrote that he has years of experience using a drogue on his cat.

"Mark, we have used JSD's for several years and am very happy with our experiences. They are not easy to retrieve - we normally are content to leave it in the water until the weather has moderated to 3 knots and even then it takes around two hours to recover. As long as we have sea room (and always have had, so far) we prefer to adjust our course if necessary.
I have to laugh when I read the comments about preparing adequately by removing our furling gear........ that speaks volumes. "

Maybe he will chime in.
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Old 26-02-2016, 08:37   #92
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

I have I think a 10' chute, I bought used from someone here.
I don't think like Jim said it would survive being pulled through the water at much of a velocity, I can't imagine the force required to do so, maybe would pull the bow off of my boat first?
But as Boatie said, my upbringing and instinct is that a boat will survive more weather on it bow than it will from astern. But as long as it kept the bow into those waves and kept me from rolling, it's done it job. I assume being rolled is more likely in a mono than a pitch pole, geez does anything survive a pitch pole?
And yes, I too doubt that I could deploy anything in the kinds of weather being described here, have to be done prior to it getting that bad, I doubt I could do much except pray in that kind of weather.
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Old 26-02-2016, 08:51   #93
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

I think there is a misconception about how a series drogue works. When a wave strikes the stern with the drogue deployed, the boat accelerates much as if the drogue were not there. Almost immediately, however, the drogue comes into play and pulls the boat over the back of the wave; the 'bungee effect' one often hears about. Given this, the cockpit is not much more vulnerable to wave strike than if the drogue were not deployed.

Another misconception is that retrieval is difficult, and maybe it is if one tries it winch it up over the stern with the boat moving. We found that retrieval is simple and easy by leading the drogue to the bow where we are able to pull it in by hand in about 20 minutes, using the motors if necessary.

Concerning difficulty in setting a parachute anchor, we simply set the whole apparatus up prior to leaving port, with the rode led aft to the cockpit and the chute in it's case, ready to deploy in the cockpit. The bridle arms and rode are attached to the boat with thin twine. When the time comes to deploy the chute all that needs to be done is to throw the retrieval buoy and chute over the side from the shelter of the cockpit. The twine will break as the chute opens. No need to go forward.
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Old 26-02-2016, 09:35   #94
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

I have plywood covers for my (larger than I'd like) deck saloon windows, stipulated by a previous MCA coding assessment IIRC.

Probably of no use in the conditions described here but I'd still fit them with something big forecast.

Wondering if newer, larger vessels with these very large glazed areas do carry storm covers?

I don't recall seeing mention of it but haven't searched.
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Old 26-02-2016, 19:27   #95
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

NZ Cat 1 rules require ply storm covers for windows over 2 sq.ft. where a broken window would let water below. On my boat I think a flying shackle rather than wave would be the cause of the break.
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Old 27-02-2016, 06:57   #96
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Well.. cannot speak for Lagoons.. but I can relate an episode in a Catalac 9..
Straits of Gibraltar.. unexpected F8 that was not announced by Tarifa till it had been blowing for 1/2hr..
We were caught S of Trafalgar.. on the nose with short steep sea's.. we'd climb one wave and bury our nose in the next which would break and sweep over the boat.. only way to control the boat was both engines (Beta 10's) and using them to keep her head to wind.. trying a turn would have be a terminal manoeuvre..
4hrs of this was enough to crack the underside from hull to hull.. when this was discovered the water was already shin deep on my 4ft 10" crew in each hull..
The only way to make progress toward the safety of a harbour 6nm to port was crab sideways till we reached slightly calmer waters and the tide turned which reduced the sea's a bit..
We made it in but if we'd been 10nm further out I reckon the Lifeboat standing by would have ended up having to take us off.. the Cat would have sunk.
The owner refused to believe that this could happen to his 'Floating Tank'.. till he saw the photo's..
So much for floating tanks

I had made that straight several times and had some surprises with the weather forecasts that on that area can be easily be out 2 points of what they predict plus there are areas like Tarifa where the wind is always stronger.

It may surprise some that you were only talking about F8 but the wind force is not all that counts and the type of sea and waves can be a problem too.

I was caught once on the Tarifa area and a bit more to the West, coming from Ceuta to Algarve, by a F9 that should have been a F7. I had some problems with boat control ( Bavaria 36) because I stupidly had my dinghy on the back of the boat on a vertical position and the stupid thing was just too much "sail" to be able to sail the boat in the most safe way, going over 9k and having to put also some sail on the front to have a better directional control.

Last time I carried a dinghy on that position
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Old 27-02-2016, 08:31   #97
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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Life raft - we did not have it stored in the slot in the stern of the boat where lagoon has made a space for it. The reason for this was we had room in the cockpit underneath the lifting seat to the right as you exited the salon.
Here is one of my biggest issues.
When we went over it was in the cockpit under the seat, absolutely unable to get to in our situation. ....
My problem with the life raft location on cats is at the top of my list of issues.
Yes we didn't have it the "proper place" but I know for absolute sure if we had it where lagoon and other cats have them stored in that slot in the stern the would have been no way to access it anyway. ...
...
Another thought on this, what happens if you strike an underwater object (container) and hit it hard enough at night and one of the hulls flooded in a sea state? My confidence in being able to pull that out is questionable. If you happen to strike both hulls both flood them in my experience I have no confidence at all that you could pull it out in a manner before that area was under water.
My thought on this is to have a well thought out plan of how to get it out. ...
Yes, something has to be done regarding liferaft access on cats. It is not an easy problem to solve because it has to be able to be deployed on the two positions, with the boat inverted and with the boat sinking but not inverted (for instance with a hull breach).

The only or at least the more easy solution seems to me to have it on the central part of the back of the boat in a box with a self launching mechanism.

The system does only exist for commercial and big fishing boats but if it was a RCD demand I am quite sure that it would appear quickly on the market, adapted to cats at a reasonable cost.
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Old 27-02-2016, 09:24   #98
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Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kevin.

Thanks for sharing your harrowing story, and many of the details of those terrible events.

I hope you stick around the Forum, and share some happier stories as you prepare to (& do) set sail on your next (less dramatic) adventure.

Thank you very much!

I'm glad to share this with others, I believe strongly that there are lessons and information to be learned from what happened, what I saw and how I got out of there. All of it was an extraordinary situation that till this day I can't believe that I survived. But then again I fought hard and tried not to make too many mistakes that would have jeopardized my survival. And believe me I made a few but also made some that were crucial to being able to write this today.

Thank you everyone for your kind words, it feels good to be able to share this and maybe just maybe help someone else in the future. I think this forum is an incredible resource of knowledge and I have been creeping around for years gleaming information form other people. It's a privilege to be my turn.
And thank you everyone for the well wishing's, for my experience (Steve) and my future endeavor of sailing off with my family.

Soon I am going write a little list of things that I thought helped get me out alive, some things people know and would expect and some a little surprising (well at least to me).


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Old 27-02-2016, 12:43   #99
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

Rovin, Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and I'm sorry for the loss of your mate. I remember reading about it many years ago.

I was wondering about a few things. Your conditions were much worse but on my crossing from the Caribbean we got stuck in above 40 knot winds for 72 hours. For almost 24 of those the winds were nearly constant at 50. During that period, we motored directly into the seas with both engines at about 3 knots SOG. Any less than that we would lose steering and over that we would slam off the tops of the swells hard. It was very difficult to keep a straight course at night.

So a question, did you try motoring direct into the seas at any time?

On the last day of our gale, we turned and started running towards Africa. We had just a hanky of jib out and the wind had dropped to 40 knots so much different conditions. Our boat angle was about 120 degrees to wind and waves. Again, they were smaller swells (big as F*&^ in my eyes at the time though :-) ) but our speed didn't go over 5 knots and we seldom surfed.

Another question, did you run dead down wind or at an angle?

My last question may be in the video but, How did you get out of the boat?

I'll add that I can appreciate your view of the waves from the stern filling up your vision. My mate and I laughed that if you stood in the sliding door way there were times that all you could see was the wave, no sky, and then sky, no wave.

Thank you again for sharing. FWIW, I have seen many catamarans with their life rafts cut into the corner of the trampoline so if inverted you would remove it from the bottom of the tramp. It's like 50% above and below the tramp. Pretty smart way to do it IMO.
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Old 27-02-2016, 13:36   #100
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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Originally Posted by med View Post
I would have thought that if a chute was deployed off the bow in 60+ knots of wind, then the boat would be still be going backwards at 15+ knots. Obviously not good at all and a guarantee to pitch pole over the stern.
A sea anchor should be big enough and strong enough to just about stop ANY drift astern. That's the whole point of them.
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Old 27-02-2016, 13:39   #101
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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My concern on this and to be upfront I have 0 experience with this. But my thought is, in even conditions half as bad as what Rovin experienced, how would you get 400' of line and a heavy parachute rigged up properly and deployed off the bow? Even jack lined in you are asking for a beating and the mechanism for injury is very high.
The idea is to have a sea anchor "pre deployed". Attached to the bow, the rode zip tied to the outside of the stanchions, the sea anchor itself is in, and deployed from, the cockpit.
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:26   #102
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pirate Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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The idea is to have a sea anchor "pre deployed". Attached to the bow, the rode zip tied to the outside of the stanchions, the sea anchor itself is in, and deployed from, the cockpit.
So what you are saying is when you consider the sea's unmanageable you turn head to wind to deploy.. or deploy while running b4 and let the sea anchor turn your bow to the sea's..??
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:33   #103
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

May I ask where to attach the chute? cleats ? windlass? mast base?
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:42   #104
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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So what you are saying is when you consider the sea's unmanageable you turn head to wind to deploy.. or deploy while running b4 and let the sea anchor turn your bow to the sea's..??
I would turn head to wind to deploy, almost. With the wind just off the bow of the side the rode is fastened to. You deploy the sea anchor to the windward side.

IMO there would come a time when it would be too late to deploy, so if conditions seem to be deteriorating, best to do it early.
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:46   #105
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Re: Lagoon 440 Tragedy

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May I ask where to attach the chute? cleats ? windlass? mast base?
It would depend on the boat. In a lot of cases something would need to be built specifically for this purpose. I fabricated "Chain plates" on the inner ends of our forebeam. (Our forebeam is much more strongly mounted than most production boats)
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