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Old 14-06-2012, 07:11   #166
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

Well B,

My comment about hunkering down and waiting was meant to be read as:

When the weather is so nasty that you have NO choice regarding having sail up, meaning you are on bare poles, and you have deployed your gale-rider or you sea anchor (to keep from nose-diving into the tough of a wave) then (and only then) have you reached a point where there is little else you can actively do except continue to steer the boat, avoiding the worst of the waves. I did not say go below and button up (although that actually is not the worst advice in some cases)

Most modern boats actually do a pretty good job of surviving without any help at all. Lots of times, boats are abandoned and then found, upright and in good shape weeks an even months later.
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Old 14-06-2012, 08:02   #167
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

I was forced - due to a damaged rig - to essentially "button up and go below" in survival conditions. This was after hours of exhausting work with drogue, active steering and bare poles (due to the rigging damage - otherwise probably would have had a storm jib up). I can't say, ultimately, which strategy was most successful, as we were knocked down in both scenarios. I would say that the worst (scariest, as in "we're going to roll") knockdown occurred when we were below. It's impossible to say that being on deck would have prevented it; if not, we would have been more exposed to whatever did occur on deck when that happened (I didn't see it). Six of one ...
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Old 14-06-2012, 08:07   #168
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

Glad you made through Sneuman. I've never had to "button up" although I have had a couple go knockdowns - scary as hell and hope to god (who probably doesn't exist - but just in case - you never know) I never experience it again.

It seems like an eternity waiting for the boat to right itself and waiting and waiting and waiting.
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Old 14-06-2012, 08:28   #169
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Glad you made through Sneuman. I've never had to "button up" although I have had a couple go knockdowns - scary as hell and hope to god (who probably doesn't exist - but just in case - you never know) I never experience it again.

It seems like an eternity waiting for the boat to right itself and waiting and waiting and waiting.
Absolutely, the wait seems even longer from down below when you can't see what's going on!
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Old 15-06-2012, 12:19   #170
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
That was a bit of a leap of logic.
Not really, my comment was sarcasm.

You made a blanket statement implying that seamanship and boat length are a lot more important than boat design in really bad weather.

The reference to the 1979 was intended as evidence to the contrary. Saying that all the boats that rolled were all poorly sailed and/or too short stretches credibility. My implication was that boat design plays a part in how well a boat does in very bad weather even for very good sailors.
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Old 15-06-2012, 12:30   #171
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Not really, my comment was sarcasm.

You made a blanket statement implying that seamanship and boat length are a lot more important than boat design in really bad weather.

The reference to the 1979 was intended as evidence to the contrary. Saying that all the boats that rolled were all poorly sailed and/or too short stretches credibility. My implication was that boat design plays a part in how well a boat does in very bad weather even for very good sailors.
My comments about size of boats and skills of sailors were relevant only to the situations I was describing: Heavy weather offshore. I was not referring to massive, survival condition "weather bombs" that involve massive, breaking waves such as Fastnet and Sidney-Hobart.

It would be silly of me to make judgements about the skills of sailors in those storms as I wasn't on any of those boats. However, it is safe to say that these races had mostly amateur sailors and that they were racing. There have been a number of posts above about seamanship in these conditions.

I have no doubt that boat design can and is a "contributing factor" in any boat's capsize. But I would still say that seamanship and tactics employed are very important and almost certainly more important.
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Old 15-06-2012, 12:58   #172
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
My comments about size of boats and skills of sailors were relevant only to the situations I was describing: Heavy weather offshore. I was not referring to massive, survival condition "weather bombs" that involve massive, breaking waves such as Fastnet and Sidney-Hobart.

It would be silly of me to make judgements about the skills of sailors in those storms as I wasn't on any of those boats. However, it is safe to say that these races had mostly amateur sailors and that they were racing. There have been a number of posts above about seamanship in these conditions.

I have no doubt that boat design can and is a "contributing factor" in any boat's capsize. But I would still say that seamanship and tactics employed are very important and almost certainly more important.
I assumed your comments were in regards to survival conditions offshore since that is my understanding of what this thread is about.
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Old 15-06-2012, 13:05   #173
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
My comments about size of boats and skills of sailors were relevant only to the situations I was describing: Heavy weather offshore. I was not referring to massive, survival condition "weather bombs" that involve massive, breaking waves such as Fastnet and Sidney-Hobart.

It would be silly of me to make judgements about the skills of sailors in those storms as I wasn't on any of those boats. However, it is safe to say that these races had mostly amateur sailors and that they were racing. There have been a number of posts above about seamanship in these conditions.

I have no doubt that boat design can and is a "contributing factor" in any boat's capsize. But I would still say that seamanship and tactics employed are very important and almost certainly more important.
I highly doubt that. Fastnet and Sydney to Hobart typically bring out very top-notch offshore racers. This isn't Wednesday evening round the beer cans stuff.
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Old 15-06-2012, 17:07   #174
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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I highly doubt that. Fastnet and Sydney to Hobart typically bring out very top-notch offshore racers. This isn't Wednesday evening round the beer cans stuff.
I guess I have no way of knowing the calibre and offshore, heavy weather experience of the sailors in the Fastnet in 1979. Certainly the weather conditions were very unusual and it's unlikely that many of them had seen such a thing before. My understanding is that they were indeed largely amateur weekend warriors, though certainly not novices.

The fact that quite a number of them decided that a rubber raft was safer than fiberglass hull and abandoned perfectly good boats that were later found floating is at least suggestive that these were not all sailors without certain flaws.

I do have direct experience with people who have competed in the Swiftsure, Van-Isle 360 and Vic-Maui races (the big ones in these parts), and I would say that some of them are incredible and others are pretty good. I'm guessing that the 1979 Fastnet was similar.
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Old 16-06-2012, 09:27   #175
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There were many issues re the 79 fastnet. It is an amateur event. Most of those caught were in the rear of the fleet and should have retired.

The various reports highlighted some deficiencies, like untethered washboards etc. bit it didn't draw specific conclusions re IOR craft.

I have spoken to 79 survivors. The decision to abandon boats subsequently found intact is a tricky one. As one guy said to me . The interior was full of high speed missiles including cookers batteries and furniture, good luck on staying inside in that.
Like all these trite " only step up to a liferaft" comments, they are usually nonsense in real life

The fact is in survival conditions ( and I've delivered fin keel coastal boats through some ) it's a matter of crew skill, judgement and quite frankly luck. Loose the forward hatch and it doesn't matter whether it's long kneel or not, you're in trouble.

Dave
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Old 16-06-2012, 11:26   #176
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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(...) The decision to abandon boats subsequently found intact is a tricky one. As one guy said to me . The interior was full of high speed missiles including cookers batteries and furniture, good luck on staying inside in that. (...)
+1!

The boat may ultimately survive, this however does not imply the crew, locked inside, will!

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Old 16-06-2012, 13:58   #177
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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There were many issues re the 79 fastnet. It is an amateur event. Most of those caught were in the rear of the fleet and should have retired.

The various reports highlighted some deficiencies, like untethered washboards etc. bit it didn't draw specific conclusions re IOR craft.

I have spoken to 79 survivors. The decision to abandon boats subsequently found intact is a tricky one. As one guy said to me . The interior was full of high speed missiles including cookers batteries and furniture, good luck on staying inside in that.
Like all these trite " only step up to a liferaft" comments, they are usually nonsense in real life

The fact is in survival conditions ( and I've delivered fin keel coastal boats through some ) it's a matter of crew skill, judgement and quite frankly luck. Loose the forward hatch and it doesn't matter whether it's long kneel or not, you're in trouble.

Dave
Well, I've never been in conditions that bad, but I would think that preparing a boat for a knockdown (including strapping down cookers and batteries) before a trip like that is also good seamanship.
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Old 16-06-2012, 15:45   #178
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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That's how you get bashed and rolled - by assuming there is little else one can do.

People 'hunker down and wait'. For a capsize.

Wrong!

9/10 a boat with bare poles, drogues and with her crew hunkered down and waiting will fare worse than the same boat with some sail up, beating, or running, with her crew in control.

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I think part of good seamanship is to have a plan. Those plans will be far different on a fully crewed racing boat compared to a mum & pop cruiser. Currently I am getting a Jordan Series drogue made for my new (mum & pop) cruiser. My plan is to actively sail the boat up to the point where I feel I am out of control, either because of sea conditions alone or sea conditions combined with fatigue. If I am trailing a sea brake type drogue with only a storm jib up and still feel well out of control, then it's time to hurl the JSD over the back and hunker down. Since the boat can't be steered with a JSD (or a sea anchor for that matter) is there any point to staying outside waiting for a capsize or a dismasting? Part of my plan is based on my assesment that fatigue is probably the weakest point on a well found, conservatively sailed boat with a a mum & pop crew.
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Old 16-06-2012, 17:57   #179
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

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I think part of good seamanship is to have a plan. Those plans will be far different on a fully crewed racing boat compared to a mum & pop cruiser. Currently I am getting a Jordan Series drogue made for my new (mum & pop) cruiser. My plan is to actively sail the boat up to the point where I feel I am out of control, either because of sea conditions alone or sea conditions combined with fatigue. If I am trailing a sea brake type drogue with only a storm jib up and still feel well out of control, then it's time to hurl the JSD over the back and hunker down. Since the boat can't be steered with a JSD (or a sea anchor for that matter) is there any point to staying outside waiting for a capsize or a dismasting? Part of my plan is based on my assesment that fatigue is probably the weakest point on a well found, conservatively sailed boat with a a mum & pop crew.
Fully agree with your plan and the reasons for it. That's also my plan.

Interestingly, the inventor of the Jordan Series Drogue designed it after studying the Fastnet disaster and deciding that boat design wouldn't make a significant difference and that tactics and tools (the JSD) were the answer to the question of how to prevent such a thing.
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Old 17-06-2012, 07:52   #180
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Re: Capsize Ratio's

Well, Ted Turner and John Roissmaniere (sp?) were both in the mix in Fastnet 79. It may have been a mixed bag, but with racers of that calber one can assume the "amateurs" in the field were not so amateurish. As 79 proved, it's not a race for the faint-hearted. I think that goes doubly so for Sydney-to-Hobart.
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