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Old 19-12-2005, 22:10   #1
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A Grounding, Total Loss

I read these cruisers' letter in the SSCA Bulletin, and then went to their site at

http://www.getjealous.com/getjealous...084&go=keylara

It's surprising how fast the accident progressed. Would it had made any difference if the had a monohull, or is it really a function of the surf, the bottom, the material the hull was made of, and the time aground?

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Old 19-12-2005, 22:25   #2
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That's sad, about the poor guy losing his Catamaran.
But, these things do happen. Now you see why they have boat insurance! Right Kai?
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Old 19-12-2005, 22:27   #3
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Man... That just sucks!
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Old 19-12-2005, 22:28   #4
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There are some things that money just can not replace. It does help though.
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Old 20-12-2005, 01:18   #5
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Mate I hope that is one of those, one in a million type occurances.
As for the question of hull type, material, bottom and so on. Firstly, IMO the difference between multi and mono probably not so much. Although a Mono would tend to roll and Multi would tend to just pound, it also depends on many other factors, like bottom contour, bottom type, wave type and action and wind.
Once again IMO, the material is the the biggest factor in how much damaged he sustained. Glass just will not handle that sort of pounding. It crushes and tears apart very quickly. Timber probably would have survived a little longer, but not much longer. Once timber fails, it's catastrophic in failure. Steel would be badly dinged and dented, but if it was a sand bottom, it would have mostly likely remained intaked. If it was rock, then it could have still remained intacked or at the worst, punctured in places.
If it was FC, then it would be sailing away sweet as, to have yet another day in paradise
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Old 20-12-2005, 04:06   #6
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you trying to bait Jeff_H again??
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Old 20-12-2005, 06:31   #7
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Friends of ours

key Lara were friends of ours and it was a terrible shame to lose thier home. The upside was no one got hurt and they were able to off load much of thier belongs.

The boat sank when they tried to refloat it after the storm and they were under controled conditions. it sank during the relaunch. Unfortunately they are un-insured and are now in Meridah Venezuela trying to determine where to go next. They did look at another boat, but haven't decided.

The storm and a wind reversal that caused Key Lara to run to shore rather than out to sea hit many boats anchored in the area. Another a racing boat and last years winner of the around Bonaire race also went aground in Klien Curacao. This to was a fiber glass boat and it pounded on the reef until they could get help to refloat it.

It floated just fine though it was beat up pretty bad. The owner was amazed. Though he is expecting several months of work to get it race/cruise ready.

Moral is: depends on conditions, location, and LUCK!
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Old 20-12-2005, 15:54   #8
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"Once again IMO, the material is the the biggest factor in how much damaged he sustained. Glass just will not handle that sort of pounding. It crushes and tears apart very quickly. Timber probably would have survived a little longer, but not much longer. Once timber fails, it's catastrophic in failure. Steel would be badly dinged and dented, but if it was a sand bottom, it would have mostly likely remained intaked. If it was rock, then it could have still remained intacked or at the worst, punctured in places.
If it was FC, then it would be sailing away sweet as, to have yet another day in paradise "

And then I awoke from my terrible dream and found that it all had been a fantasy. as I woke up I realized that in the real world of course frogs can't fly and that pound for pound, in order of resistance to puncture, first would come Fiberglass with minimal non-directional materials, epoxy saturated cold molded wood venneer sheathed with high modulus sheathing, then aluminum, then steel, then conventional wood, and then FC. If abrasion is a factor, as it appears to be in this case, then steel does better than most of the materials unless an abrassion resistant laminate is included in the first two in which case the order remains the same except that steel moves ahead of aluminum.


I think that cruising multihulls by their very nature are built lighter than cruising monohulls. As such they are less able to take to ground than a cruising monohull. Still and all the grounding that was described with high waves on a rocky beach would pretty much do in any boat one way or the other.

Mostly respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 21-12-2005, 00:17   #9
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Bil, my heart goes out to your friends.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Bad luck can get the best of us. I have been pretty lucky over the years, but I have found myself in situations where the boat went where the seas took it, and nothing I could do would put it where I wanted it. I know that feeling, and I really feel for these folks. It is the most helpless feeling in the world. One in a million, maybe, but no way to know when you will become a stastic.
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Old 21-12-2005, 06:02   #10
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I pass that on

Thanks I'll pass the message.

It does show you that even years of experince and travels around the world that thing happen out of our control or a simple mistake becomes a big problem.

I am sure that thier experince saved it from being a total disaster.
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Old 24-12-2005, 00:35   #11
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It's a very sad story, but boats can be replaced, and based on what the couple say in their website, they are looking to do that. I wish them the best of luck in part II of their adventure.

Since they were under some pressure from the resort owner and their options were limited, I'm sure the plan to refloat Key Lara was rushed. Unfortunately, it appeared that they did not consider a plan to add reserve buoyancy. It's ironic that their own website photo album has a photo (23 May 05) of another cat that ran up on a reef, but was towed to safety filled with foam blocks.

I guess from the rapid sinking, Key Lara's hull was not a cored laminate. Maybe Jeff H can comment on the relative strength of cored vice solid 'glass? And to stir the pot, maybe Jeff can explain why they still make ice-breakers out of steel, when clearly they should be made of fibreglass or wood-epoxy
Personally, I find the "pound-for-pound" argument somewhat misleading as it's not a realistic comparison. If I walked into a marina with a 20-pound sledgehammer and wailed on a 3/16" steel hull, I'll dent it up nicely; when I walk across the dock and pound on a FG hull, it will take some effort, but there will be a nice jagged hole and a pile of fibrous plastic chunks. I've got the hammer - does anyone want to offer up their boat in the name of science?

Kevin
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Old 24-12-2005, 04:32   #12
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Hmm, wonder what kind and what size anchor they had..??

I did a brief search of the web site, but found no describtion of their ground tackle.
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Old 24-12-2005, 05:06   #13
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They were not aqnchored

They were not anchored. They had raised anchor during a wind reversal and storm and headed out the wrong way.

The bay they were in in Curacao is open to the west. Most of the ancorhages in the ABCs are open bays. and they off zero protection from that direction as they have a fetch that is from the open ocean. Apparently they were confused by the change in direction with minimal visability and preceeded at what they thought was out. (in Bonaire we caould barely see the boat next us 40 feet away)

We were in Bonaire at the time and the wind reversal went from sunny trades to 40 knots from the west in about 5 minutes. It happened so fast we were not able to get off the moorings and had to sit with our engines running in gear with our stern 30 yards from shore. We have a pretty wicked photo taken from Altair next to us on our website.

After the storm passed we had to deal with 2 meter + swells. Again coming from the west with no protection. In Bonaire the Port Captain ordered the mooring cleared. The swells took several dive docks away that were made with telephone poles.

Ted and his wife are very experinced cruisers and have many miles under thier keels. Accidents can happen and it could have been a catastrophe if they stayed anchored and drag. They would have had no control and would have proabaly been unprepared to abandon ship.
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Old 24-12-2005, 08:27   #14
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Well, it seems they were almost anchored.....

Quote:
We were just setting the anchor when the storm hit! The anchor never had a chance to dig in before we were moving backwards rapidly towards the beach
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Old 24-12-2005, 09:57   #15
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i stand corrected

When we chatted with them in Bonaire on thought that they were raising no setting. My mistake. There was a lot going on when we ran into them.
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