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Old 26-05-2014, 16:52   #406
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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it may be just me, but this thread has become the same old stuff for the usual suspects
No, it's not just you.
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Old 26-05-2014, 17:12   #407
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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No, it's not just you.
it's All the the usual suspects

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Old 26-05-2014, 18:46   #408
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

I'm still wondering what's the latest with the Cheeki Hull. Is anyone going to actually take a look inside? Or do they just sail away now that they know the life raft was not deployed. We know at least two possible crew might have been dumped in the water because two PIRBS were activated. Maybe they were in the cockpit wearing life jackets when the keel broke off. I wonder if other crew perished inside the hull. Their recovery might give a least some of the families closure if they are recovered.
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Old 26-05-2014, 23:53   #409
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Just one caveat, the plexus bonding material may be appear to be as solid as Glass Reinforced Plastic ("fiberglass" in US dialect) but the plexus-hull and plexus-liner interfaces have to transmit a lot of shear (as anything in the middle of a flexed element) and IF THOSE INTERFACES HAVE CRACKED JUST A BIT IN A PRIOR GROUNDING they will (because there is no glass fiber going across the interface) not absorb that shear, drastically reducing the flex resistance and increasing flex deformation of the whole structure.
I totally agree - that's why I mentioned that below. If the hull and pan liner are broken loose from each other you wind up with essentially two independent hulls, one inside the other, with a total strength equal to the stronger one. The main hull will get pretty much nothing from the liner in that case. This would be particularly catastrophic for the keel connection IMO because it would start to skew it off-center and would probably fail very quickly. I would expect you'd get something like what you see with this boat.

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I have my reservations about "bolts are still tight" being sufficient proof that everything is OK with the structure that holds the keel.
Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that checking torque is sufficient to conclude no damage, merely that it would be an indicator. If you've had a major impact and the nuts are still tight, I would still probably have a more thorough check done, probably be dropping the keel. However I think it's not a bad quick check especially if you've just had a soft mud grounding. Given the punishment I've seen these keels and hulls take just locally (one ran into a jetty full speed with full impact on the keel, another spent 45 minutes banging up and down vertically on a sandbar in waves until they freed themselves) with no hull damage, I have to believe it's a fairly robust structure.

Now the embarrassing thing: I have to switch directions yet again and stare that yes, in fact, there are 10 keel bolts. There is actually a second in-line aft bolt in the next bilge compartment aft (under a different floor board). It's smaller diameter than the rest, and I actually think it's only real purpose is to ensure a tight seal between the aft end of the keel and the hull, but probably does not provide much structural strength. The other 9 bolts are all 22 mm diameter.

Thanks for all the structural engineering comments. I'm just a humble electrical engineer so I'm definitely out of my element with this stuff.
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Old 27-05-2014, 06:43   #410
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Gosh. There has been a great deal of discussion on this subject in the past wee while. Interesting that the past forum I was involved in was the breakup at sea under rough conditions of the Blue Pearl. This makes, in my calcul, 3 Beneteau hulls broken up by heavy conditions in the past 2 months. There is a LOT of technical discussion on the finesse of this... I will warrant, however, with my own experience (a paltry few decades as it is), that the kind of structural breakup in simple heavy weather experienced by these craft would not have been experienced by more heavily defended yachts. In particular, the Cheeki Rafiki, with the BEST will in the world, had what could only be described as a lightly defended keel. This was NOT an ocean boat. I defy any commenting here to say that they would be more comfortable in such a boat than in an fully encapsulated modified keel of good build in a prolonged blow with many powerful wave impacts, hundreds of miles from any help. And honestly, if you say so now, I assert it is either because you have never been in that situation, or that it is because it is too long since you have, or that it is because you have some vested interest (such as ownership of such a vessel).
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Old 27-05-2014, 07:37   #411
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
Gosh. There has been a great deal of discussion on this subject in the past wee while. Interesting that the past forum I was involved in was the breakup at sea under rough conditions of the Blue Pearl. This makes, in my calcul, 3 Beneteau hulls broken up by heavy conditions in the past 2 months. There is a LOT of technical discussion on the finesse of this... I will warrant, however, with my own experience (a paltry few decades as it is), that the kind of structural breakup in simple heavy weather experienced by these craft would not have been experienced by more heavily defended yachts. In particular, the Cheeki Rafiki, with the BEST will in the world, had what could only be described as a lightly defended keel. This was NOT an ocean boat. I defy any commenting here to say that they would be more comfortable in such a boat than in an fully encapsulated modified keel of good build in a prolonged blow with many powerful wave impacts, hundreds of miles from any help. And honestly, if you say so now, I assert it is either because you have never been in that situation, or that it is because it is too long since you have, or that it is because you have some vested interest (such as ownership of such a vessel).

But of course cheeki is not a vessel optimised for heavy weather Atlantic crossings, who suggested it was. Its clearly optimised for performance racing and cruising and hence has a high performance short chord deep keel to facilitate that.

That's not to say it can't cross oceans, of the 500-700 built many have and continue to do so. But you must sail them within their limits.

That's leaving aside any discussion about pre-existing damage or poor maintenance. And given this yachts history id say there's a fair chance there was

Equally the 50 that lost a rudder has clear indications of damage.

The analogy is similar to my car and my truck. Both can drive across a bumpy field , that's dry and I steer clear of the bumpy and wet ground. Equally the truck will haul me across wet and difficult terrain

My car however is more efficient , better and more suitable for that 140km run down the motorway. More stable under heavy breaking and acceleration and I'm much more likely to walk away from an accident in it.

Boats are compromises, you can't get all the features in all of the time. Hence part of the art of seamanship is knowing how to match the boat to the voyage.

As I say condemning whole brands with many 1000s of ocean crossings under their belt based on two or three events , and where there is clear evidence of pre -existing issues, is simply poor logic or just plain bias

Dave
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Old 27-05-2014, 08:45   #412
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

A bolted on fin keel isn't a problem by itself. It's what bolts are used, how many, bolt spacing and what they are fastened too that matter. Encapsulated keels are not a panacea. Neither are they immune to damage by grounding.

The Cheeki failure is not understood yet. Using the failure to draw a conclusion is premature in my estimation. Each of us has to put to sea with what we are comfortable with. No one else can make that decision. My bolted on fin keel is just fine, recently inspected and it is not a worry for me.
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Old 27-05-2014, 09:16   #413
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

And it shouldn't be because even though Valliants have keel damage (grounding) as often as other boats, are alot older than the newer production boats and on a unit basis put way more offshore miles than modern boats you can be pretty sure you won't lose the keel and if you do I think you'll be the first one....not this year but the first one period.
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Old 27-05-2014, 10:17   #414
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
But of course cheeki is not a vessel optimised for heavy weather Atlantic crossings, who suggested it was. Its clearly optimised for performance racing and cruising and hence has a high performance short chord deep keel to facilitate that.

That's not to say it can't cross oceans, of the 500-700 built many have and continue to do so. But you must sail them within their limits.

That's leaving aside any discussion about pre-existing damage or poor maintenance. And given this yachts history id say there's a fair chance there was

Equally the 50 that lost a rudder has clear indications of damage.

The analogy is similar to my car and my truck. Both can drive across a bumpy field , that's dry and I steer clear of the bumpy and wet ground. Equally the truck will haul me across wet and difficult terrain

My car however is more efficient , better and more suitable for that 140km run down the motorway. More stable under heavy breaking and acceleration and I'm much more likely to walk away from an accident in it.

Boats are compromises, you can't get all the features in all of the time. Hence part of the art of seamanship is knowing how to match the boat to the voyage.

As I say condemning whole brands with many 1000s of ocean crossings under their belt based on two or three events , and where there is clear evidence of pre -existing issues, is simply poor logic or just plain bias

Dave
It might be more logical to compare driving your car over that bumpy field, but then having a wheel fall off as you're later driving down the motorway at 140km. Was it faulty maintenance, stress from the trip across the field, a defective design in engineering the wheel attachment, or some combo of all three? Perhaps losing your muffler under these circumstances is foreseeable, but probably not your wheel. You could also turn your analysis around and make the point that 1000's of sailboats experience groundings every year & suffer from poor maintenance, but very few lose their keels.

I don't think it's a matter of brand-bashing or bias when we see several modern production boats suffering structural failures in heavy seas. Beneteau is probably just a larger target due to the sheer nos. of boats they produce, but shouldn't be singled out. I also don't think anyone could reasonably disagree that these incidents could be the result of poor maintenance or indpt. prior events, etc., but it may also be worth considering design and construction techniques, especially when this is not new technology, has been applied successfully for decades, and is often found on boats whose mfgs. enjoy an excellent reputation for sound construction and overall seaworthiness.

While I also agree that you wouldn't want to take your lightweight racer/cruiser, regardless of brand, through the NW Passage, it is also true that the nature of ocean sailing is that it can be unforgiving at any latitude and at any time. So in that respect, wet, bumpy fields can arise anywhere and boats marketed as worthy of being ocean-going should be built accordingly. Given the 1000's of Bene's & other modern production boats that safely & successfully cross oceans each year, I agree it's quite possible that they are so built. I also don't think there's anything wrong, however, with some scrutiny on mfgs. without suggestions of bias or other subjective, unproductive motivations.
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Old 27-05-2014, 12:19   #415
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post

As I say condemning whole brands with many 1000s of ocean crossings under their belt based on two or three events , and where there is clear evidence of pre -existing issues, is simply poor logic or just plain bias

But that's the way forums work. It isn't even focused on a model of a given brand, if one boat of one model has a problem ALL the models of that brand are lumped into the mix. Even more interesting is how many armchair experts who MAY have true knowledge of one model of a brand seem to be able to feel safe in applying that to ALL models of the brand and cover 20+ years of production.

I find it just as interesting when people start saying things like "brand X would never have that problem", which is really another way of applying "everything can be fixed with the proper application of cash" as those brand X boats are normally 3 times as expensive.
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Old 27-05-2014, 14:37   #416
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Families of Cheeki Rafiki crew praise those involved in search | The Guardian


"Ben Quinn
The Guardian, Tuesday 27 May 2014 16.27 EDT

Relatives of the missing yachtsmen (from left) Cressida Goslin, wife of Paul Goslin, Gloria Hamlet, girlfriend of Steve Warren, Graham Male, father of James and David Bridge, father of Andrew in the days before the yacht was found. Photograph: Ian West/PA
Relatives of the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki have said that they are "utterly disconsolate" after the search for them was suspended on Friday when the hull of the yacht was found by the US navy.

Hopes of finding the four men, who were sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, had faded when the capsized vessel was found with its life raft still on board.

Speaking outside the Foreign Office, the families of Paul Goslin, Steve Warren, James Male and Andrew Bridge said in a statement: "Friday's tragic news brought us unimaginable pain, leaving us each and all utterly disconsolate.

"Nonetheless, we take some small solace that this conclusive development allowed us to gain an element of closure. We know that they will be forever remembered based upon the flood of touching responses received already."

The families thanked those who had been involved in the rescue and said that the UK Foreign Office has been "relentless, professional and hugely sympathetic" in its support.

They added: "Naturally we'd like to thank the US Coast Guard, along with some UK and Canadian support: they said they were searching like it was one of their own family, and we couldn't have asked for more."

"We are well aware that the men and women of the US Coast Guard who tirelessly participated in the search, plus those on private yachts and merchant vessels, bore terrible weather conditions and not inconsiderable personal risk to find our loved ones: we are humbled and offer our eternal gratitude.

"In particular we would like to offer special praise for the continual backing of the British media in championing our cause, right to the last, and for the dignified and respectful tone of journalism set.

"Last, but not least, we would like to say how indebted we are to the public for its overwhelming and unprecedented support. In the end our petition gained 240,000 signatures, that is equivalent to a city the size of Southampton. This has helped quell our distress somewhat, but in particular Paul, Steve, James and Andrew would have been enormously touched to have known that they were in the minds of so many people. It would have brought them great comfort in their moment of need and could, just could, have made a vital difference in saving their lives had the circumstances only been different."

Andrew Bridge, 22, an experienced captain from Farnham, Surrey, and crew members Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater, Somerset, Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel, Somerset, and James Male, 23, from Southampton, were on board the 40ft (12m) yacht when it is thought to have run into trouble around 620 miles (998km) east of Cape Cod on 15 May. They were was sailing back to the UK from a regatta in Antigua.

The US Coast Guard resumed its search for the men last Tuesday, having previously suspended it after scouring 4,000 square miles (10,360 sq km) of the Atlantic, following a UK petition signed by 200,000 people and pressure from the British government."
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Old 27-05-2014, 14:45   #417
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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But that's the way forums work. It isn't even focused on a model of a given brand, if one boat of one model has a problem ALL the models of that brand are lumped into the mix.
They keep it up until the company goes bust, say Beneteau in North Carolina, therefore losing all the jobs and manufacturing to overseas, and then they complain about it.

Look at the Westmarine threads where the company is so badly slagged by boaters and the buy off the internet mob... Until they realise there's no retail either.

Great country! No manufacturing and no retail.


And who makes it that way?
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Old 27-05-2014, 15:15   #418
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

I am always intrigued by the discussion in mono circles about , new tupperware boats and good solid older boats , and new boats not being seaworthy yada, yada, yada. In the 98 Hobart, the people who died because there boat sank were on a very old and expensive and wonderfully maintained, traditional boat. Whilst some modern plastic fin keelers had there issues, got rolled etc, none sank with the rapidity that the stout old boat showed. Some newer boats sank, but stayed afloat long enough for rescue to occur.

Safety at Sea is still mainly about the crew. It doesn't take much to ascertain if a boat is built right. E.G. Have a look at bulkheads, are they glassed in, or (yuck) coved in - or even worse tabbed in. etc etc. Look beyond old school teak and new school glitz.
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Old 27-05-2014, 15:53   #419
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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I am always intrigued by the discussion in mono circles about , new tupperware boats and good solid older boats , and new boats not being seaworthy yada, yada, yada. In the 98 Hobart, the people who died because there boat sank were on a very old and expensive and wonderfully maintained, traditional boat. Whilst some modern plastic fin keelers had there issues, got rolled etc, none sank with the rapidity that the stout old boat showed. Some newer boats sank, but stayed afloat long enough for rescue to occur.

Safety at Sea is still mainly about the crew. It doesn't take much to ascertain if a boat is built right. E.G. Have a look at bulkheads, are they glassed in, or (yuck) coved in - or even worse tabbed in. etc etc. Look beyond old school teak and new school glitz.
Not all the six who died in our 1998 race were in 'old and traditional boats'. The coroners report which is available on line details how each died, including one from a heart attack. It was a massive storm. 55 sailors had to be rescued. The main responsibility of the the failure of the race was with the organisers for such a poorly organised and safety ignorant race.
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Old 27-05-2014, 16:33   #420
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Not all the six who died in our 1998 race were in 'old and traditional boats'. The coroners report which is available on line details how each died, including one from a heart attack. It was a massive storm. 55 sailors had to be rescued. The main responsibility of the the failure of the race was with the organisers for such a poorly organised and safety ignorant race.
Mr. Sherrin,

I completely disagree. The responsibility was that of the skippers who determined to continue racing instead of seeking shelter in Eden, as many boats did. The coming weather was no secret. Melbourne's office of the Bureau of Meteorology announced it prior to the race. For your information, in Wellington, NZ races are not cancelled for 50 kn. predictions. And I've seen little dinghies sailing in 45 at Beauty Point in your own fair State.

For sure, we've seen changes since the tragic events of the 98 S to H, but all the necessary data for decision making was available to any skipper with the nous to be in touch with a meteorologist, not easy on Boxing Day morning, admittedly. But the broadcast WAS made.

IMO, it is always the skipper who has the ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the ship and the crew. On the boat where the skipper died, obviously he was no longer responsible. Scuttlebutt has it that that boat should have had a smaller storm jib. Think about it, 'cause how you outfit your boat for its intended journeys does matter.

I think those guys slid maybe a bit too far towards the racing ethos--and paid the ultimate price. I would say that the organizers, too would have had that "it'll never happen to me" kind of thinking, because it would have been more responsible to announce what was coming. But the bottom line is that the skipper is responsible for the welfare of the vessel and crew (including him or herself).

End rant. So, IMO, in the absence of all the data that would allow more complete consideration of what happened to the Cheeki Rafiki, I think we really should consider the impact of route choice on that boat, the racing history of the boat, perhaps she was pretty tired, she's not the first Beneteau to have lost a keel, perhaps that's an issue the charter outfit might want to consider. But there's a real lesson here for the guys with the old Islander 36's who got the boat to go cruising in. Maybe those boats should be re-keeled. Maybe those owners should start to understand their boats' weaknesses. Lots of boats have known weaknesses, and their owner forums, where they try to fix them give the newbies clues for what to look for.

I betcha Minaret or Mainesail could make a make-specific list of most frequent types of repairs. It would be wonderful if there were an easy to find single source of this sort of information, including "how to tell if there have been previous groundings", "how to find cosmetic-only repairs", and so on.

Ann
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