Originally Posted by unbusted67
I couldn't help but notice while looking at pictures of various Golden Hinds the vary large (target-like) transoms on these things. I realise these boats have been time tested but wouldn't a design like this be more susceptible to broaching than say something like the Colin Archer designs with double ends? What keeps GHs from broaching with a big following sea?
I really don't have the experience, either practical or technical, to form an expert opinion but having studied up on the subjedct quite a bit recently I'll comment on a few observations that I have made
Based entirely on gut feeling (and I'm an engineer
from a long line of engineers so it's kind've genetic!) and despite the repuation of the GH and it's undoubted past history
of sailing all over the world I'm not comfortable with the design for my ultimate blue water
I may be wrong but to me it's simply an Eventide on steroids. The Eventide was designed to be amateur built out of plywood
for use in the shoal waters and drying creeks of the Thames Estuary and Essex - an area which MG considered to be one of, if not the, finest sailing areas in the world (and which he enthused about in his book "The Magic of the Swatchways").
I have the Eventide plans and the Golden Hind looks very similar. The only substantial difference being the double chine in the bottom plates. The design has some very characteristic features - the beam is carried well forward, a broad raked transom, a lot of rocker on the bottom and the cutaway sheer line being the obvious ones.
is easily formed out of sheet ply or steel
plate with minumum compund curvature. It's ideal for the shoal waters that it was originally designed for. It's never going to be fast. Or for that matter even quick. In fact, were it on land the wildlife would be overtaking it!
The GH31 in GRP built by Terry Erskine was assessed under the EU Recreational Craft Directive as suitable for category A waters (ocean) so we can safely assume that the stability curve is likely to be good on the larger steel
versions from the same stable provided (and this may be crucial) that the ballasting etc. is as intended by the designer
However, I too have my doubts about the large transom in a following sea. I've never heard any reports of specific problems with this on a GH but it's clearly not going to be anywhere near as effective as a canoe stern (eg; Colin Archer) and it presents a large flat, albeit raked, area for a steep following wave to get hold of. There isn't copious amounts of reserve bouyancy in the stern of the hull
either and this could be further compounded if the loading of the boat includes lots of heavy gear
, stores, fuel
etc. in the aft sections.
I would, from my inexperienced armchair, guess that the hull is going to be more easily broached than designs with a smaller transom and more shape to the hull around the stern. In the conditions Mr. Barnes was experiencing, I would guess that a broach is almost certain to be followed by a roll. In that hull, in those conditions, heaving to or at least keeping head
on to the waves would, it seems to me, be a more suvivable option. In bad weather
like that in any boat running before risks a broach (yes?) and is just not a good option in a hull that is more likely to broach than many.
This may well have been further compounded by the removal
of the bilge
plates which would have certainly reduced the ability of the hull to track thus making a broach even more likely.
A correlation worth making is that the hull is not, in general form, disimilar to the ubiqutious East Coast
craft which can be found throughout Yorkshire, Co. Durham and Northumberland to this day. Flattish bottomed, beam carried well forward, very little keel
, fairly large flat transom well raked etc. These craft were built to be launched and recovered through the surf on and off beaches (due to the scarcity of decent harbours along that coast). When recovering back to the beach through the surf the technique was (and is) to come in stern first. The fisherman who sailed the Cobles, and the design dates back beyond recorded history
, had no hesitation in choosing a double ended design of boat for life saving purposes when the first lifeboats were introduced in the early 19th century. That says something!
I hate to criticise anybody and all the more so from such an inexperienced position but for my money
the boat wasn't a paricularly good choice to start with, shouldn't have bene subjected to a major hull modification just before setting out to sail around the Horn, doesn't appear to have been adequately refitted (surely all
the standand and running rigging
should have been replaced and upgraded?) and I'll even stick my neck out and suggest that perhaps the roll could have been avoided if the skipper
had better understood the characteristics of the craft he was sailing?
All that not withstanding, it's still entirely possible that Ken Barnes would have made it 99 times out of 100 and it was just the luck of the draw that turned against him. One lesson definitely learnt is that if you're going to set off on a world cruise
think carefully before sticking the details up on the web! If you do you'd better get it right