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Old 24-05-2014, 14:43   #376
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If memory serves me well.. Offshore extends to 200 miles.. after that its Ocean.. or as some like to call it..'Blue Water'..
At least as far as insurance company's go..


If I remember rightly, that's also very close to the delineation between YM Offshore and YM ocean.
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Old 24-05-2014, 14:49   #377
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If memory serves me well.. Offshore extends to 200 miles.. after that its Ocean.. or as some like to call it..'Blue Water'..
At least as far as insurance company's go..
Maybe we need a new category. Trans Atlantic..

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Old 24-05-2014, 16:09   #378
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

From a newbie. Very sad.

When I see the bottom of the hull my immediate thought is all the discoloration looks like rotted wood / fiberglass patch job.



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Old 24-05-2014, 16:26   #379
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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I noted that RebelHeart also had her EPIRB located downstairs on the bulkhead as Eric mentioned that he carried it topsides to strap it to a railing for a "clear view of the sky".

I know those water-release EPIRB containers which you mount on your mast base or stern rails cost a bit, but there's a much better chance of them actually getting deployed during a catastrophic event (bobbling to the surface) than if they're sat downstairs our of the way!
It does seem like a huge advantage, another chance, if you can afford it.

It seems that sometimes the ocean just nips at your heels, and wears you down until you ditch, but once in a while she pounces, and sinks the boat instantly. One hopes to avoid the latter. I think I am going to start wearing some kind of helmet, like a kayaking helmet when I get in a seaway. It is ridiculous to think the kind of things that can knock you out, turning a lively experience into a head injury. I have bronze ports all up and down the cabin, with big protruding bronze knobs, that would have their way with my melon.

There is so much these days we can do to mitigate risk, if you've got extra cash and good designs for all the safety equipment. An extra life raft on a boat like that -or mine- is like another small crew member, and weight adds up fast with all the crap, and extra tankage etc. There is a practical limitation with a smaller yacht, even if one can afford to have another $2500 backup raft mounted on davits or stern rail, attached with dyneema or whatever, in the event that rough sailing inflates the raft or rips it from its mount. Could be very effective in the event something catastrophic happens. You would have t be prepared to lose it...

I've gotten a little more cavalier singlehanding offshore or in the sounds, not intentionally. In the end, none of the technology is a guarantee, but it sure does offer some options. An EPIRB in a cradle could have saved this crew, as could have a cheap 4-man mounted in such a way that it could come loose and inflate in a knock down, but tethered with sturdy cordage. I would want a better offshore raft in a valise or canister too, which I have, but would apparently be useless in a situation like this. But a PLB and a strobe should have worked, no?
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Old 24-05-2014, 16:27   #380
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
From a newbie. Very sad.

When I see the bottom of the hull my immediate thought is all the discoloration looks like rotted wood / fiberglass patch job.



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Don't believe that you will find any wood whatsoever in that part of a Bene First series hull.

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Old 24-05-2014, 18:48   #381
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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For example being below hove to would have been a very bad idea on a first.

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Because of the high aspect ratio fin keel / rig combination?
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Old 24-05-2014, 19:04   #382
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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+1 full agreement








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I'm going to disagree. I think that it's quite possible where we have some water ingress suggesting a weakened joint coupled with heavy weather and one bolt lets go where there's not enough strength to handle the sudden load transfer, they all go together, or virtually so. The forces there are enormous and there is some evidence of rust at that joint.
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Old 24-05-2014, 20:11   #383
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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It is the tragic loss of four lives that so troubles me. Had only the boat been lost, this would be much easier to to take.

I don't question the crew in any way. They had the strength, experience, skill and money to sail and maintain this boat to the highest standards. I'm sure they did.

While the ocean can destroy almost anything man can create, keel attachment should not be the weak link as no at-sea repairs or jury rig is possible. Even a collision should not remove the keel.

If this was not a design error but fatigue or corrosion of bolts - should not keel bolt inspection and occasional replacement be as routine as standing rigging replacement - even required in the same way that outdated flares are not allowed?

How often should a bolted keel be dropped for inspection? How many of us do?
The ocean can be unforgiving. Here is a link to a Bob Perry designed Passport 40-Custom constructed of steel built in Portland in 1988. Now at the bottom of the briney

| what's left of a life
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Old 24-05-2014, 23:25   #384
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

It was mentioned that this boat had 10 keel bolts. Looking at the cg photo of the missing keel area. I see 3 holes (the rear one appears to have rust around it). Now if we can see 3 and the distance between the rear one and the second one back from the bow, there may be 3 more that we can't see because of the damage. That makes 6 bolts. That is kind of scary. Also from the picture the hole in the starboard side away from the keel damage, that sure looks like a patched thru hull. Some are suggesting she hit something or something hit her. Maybe not, if the keel was in bad shape and the repair was a weak spot, rough seas sure could have done this.
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Old 25-05-2014, 05:48   #385
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by Brob2 View Post
I'm going to disagree. I think that it's quite possible where we have some water ingress suggesting a weakened joint coupled with heavy weather and one bolt lets go where there's not enough strength to handle the sudden load transfer, they all go together, or virtually so. The forces there are enormous and there is some evidence of rust at that joint.
Sir, I am not quite sure how we are in disagreement. If you read [way] back through the thread I believe I was the first one to postulate prior bolt failure from corrosion followed by individual failure, followed by progressive collapse (loosing and flooding), followed by the loss of the keel pulling through the remaining holes and taking part of the laminate with it (hence the peeling). Not that it makes a hero of deduction, more to the point that we are both most probably in agreement over the final stages of CR's capsize.

Pure speculation however, based on one medium resolution photograph from on angle. The only thing we know for sure is that the keel's gone and so is the poor crew.

May they rest is peace.
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Old 25-05-2014, 05:54   #386
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by ravinracin View Post
It was mentioned that this boat had 10 keel bolts. Looking at the cg photo of the missing keel area. I see 3 holes (the rear one appears to have rust around it). Now if we can see 3 and the distance between the rear one and the second one back from the bow, there may be 3 more that we can't see because of the damage. That makes 6 bolts. That is kind of scary. Also from the picture the hole in the starboard side away from the keel damage, that sure looks like a patched thru hull. Some are suggesting she hit something or something hit her. Maybe not, if the keel was in bad shape and the repair was a weak spot, rough seas sure could have done this.


This thread seems to indicate that the 1987 First has no less that 10 keel bolts. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, so take that with a pinch of salt.

Beneteau First 405 keel bolts

There's also an older first in the yard where I just did redid out bottom, it has its keel removed. I counted 12 bolts protruding from the top of the keel. Still not sure which year/model the CR was.
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Old 25-05-2014, 06:17   #387
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Doesn't really look like enough hull damage to believe a collision took the keel off. It just looks kind of clean.

It is also hard for me to believe that bolt corrosion was responsible as even a corroded bolt or 2 still leaves a lot of strength in the assembly .

I'm wondering it the bolts separated from the keel and pulled out. If there was a casting mistake of the bolts to keel once the assembly started separating they all would have started creeping out.
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Old 25-05-2014, 06:26   #388
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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I'm wondering it the bolts separated from the keel and pulled out. If there was a casting mistake of the bolts to keel once the assembly started separating they all would have started creeping out.


This is a tough one, I guess we'll never really know unless the hull is retrieved. I fear that it's just going to get sunk instead (as that'd be the easier option) to remove it as being a hazard to navigation.
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Old 25-05-2014, 08:11   #389
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Odd question, and probably silly, but will a thin and "hydrodynamic" (is that the proper word?) keel like that on the First, shown in prior photographs, flutter if it is inbalanced?

I've heard of airplanes losing control surfaces due to aerodynamic flutter, I'm wondering if the same could apply to some keels. After all, these more efficient keel designs seem more and more "wing like". With one or two bolts out, could the loss of balance cause the keel to oscillate, even subtly, enough to damage the others?
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Old 25-05-2014, 08:24   #390
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Came across this site where a surveyor found some rusted keel bolts on a boat and yes it was a Beneteau!

How to Replace Keel Bolts - Articles - boats.com

Certainly a "yikes' moment even without a surveyor pointing it out.
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