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Old 08-01-2015, 10:58   #451
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

Nobody yet has suggested what we did for years in Europe for visitor (transient) mooring buoys.

When we kept our boats on fairly exposed swinging moorings a dedicated pendant was always used, chain alone (one size up from normal anchor chain size) or heavily chafe proofed nylon shackled to the mooring chain below the buoy (ball) as the rods through them are IMO untrustworthy and impossible to inspect easily

For temporary stays and a visitor buoy or transient mooring ball with a simple ring top, we had a shortish length, say 10ft or so of 10mm/3/8 chain. First we would use a line threader to thread a length of dockline through the ring, lets say 12/14mm line. We would tie the chain to each end of this line and then pull the line and chain loop through until the chain was in the ring at which point the line ends were cleated off. In really bad conditions we would tighten up o until the chain passed not only through the buoy ring but up over the bow roller also, often raising the buoy (ball) out of the water slightly in so doing. This arrangement took chafe right out of the equation. We carry a similar length of chain now we are east coast USA based but unless forced to would prefer to anchor rather than trust to a mooring laid by someone else and which we could not inspect. Our current chain length is the same one we wil shackle to our reserve Fortress Fortress anchor before adding the nylon rode to it.


I found that difficult to describe but hope it is understandable. We used the above chain option many times in places like Braye harbour, Alderney in the British Channel Islands off the north coast of France, a harbour that is completely open to the NE with a fetch of around 100 miles in that direction and there considerable swells, although in NE winds we would normally not consider stopping there unless the winds were so light as to be ignorable. We once watched a Contessa 32 crew leave their boat on a mooring here and go ashore whilst the rope threaded through the mooring seesaw chafed through in double quick time. A local fishing boat crew collected the boat before it crashed ashore and put it on another mooring (tying the line to the ring not doubling it back. I believe they later charged the boat crew about $200 for their timely services.
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Old 08-01-2015, 14:14   #452
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
You're really focused on this "fuse" thing. First, in the case of the cleat construction described by Bob, the fender washers are really not spreading any real load to speak of - other than ensuring a larger surface area across the glass lam over the backing plate than just the nut on the glass.

I think Bob's point is that if someone that was uninformed just looked up underneath the deck and took a pic - they would probably just see two fnder washers over laminate. Then they would post that pic on a forum and talk about how flimsy Hunters are built with Micky Mouse Washers - not understanding that there is, indeed, a substantial backing plate under those washers, and under the laminate they see in their photo.

Now, on this point, I will admit that up until Ralph talked about the glassed in backing plates on the Hunter, and based ONLY on what I'd seen and heard in these various threads on CF, I likely would have been one of those that thought my cleats were only held in place by fender washers. I would have been concerned. And I would have been just as wrong as everyone else criticizing Hunter.

Finally, the "fuse" thing. I never said such a fuse would be a good idea for a cleat. I said there are some cases where it might be a good idea based on the particular design and construction of that item and that area. Simply not seeing a backing plate in a specific area certainly does NOT mean it's poorly engineered or built.

I think this is becoming clear now.
Maybe my post wasn't clear, or maybe your Hunter-Basher-Phobia sensitivity meter just blew its "fuse." What I tried to say is that it appeared as though Hunter cleats are in fact properly backed up with plates, and then glassed over for added strength. The fender washers serve a minor role of protecting the glass which the nuts cinch up to. Didn't we conclude that the cleat that ripped out on the Hunter that sunk still had its backing plate attached, and it was the surrounding laminate that failed? Wasn't the fender washer discussion focused on certain model Bene's, not Hunter's? The only potential Hunter cleat issue that I recall reading was Jon E. expressing an opinion about potential problems mounting cleats behind the anchor well and on top of a narrow, raised toerail. But in doing so, he also acknowledged there could (and probably is) a backing plate underneath.

I think you need to both grow up as well as man up, Smack. If you feel you have a great boat, know that similar boats have sailed to Cape Horn, are convinced that the critics are all ultra-conservative fools, then what's the problem? People who exaggerate their criticisms in obvious ways or raise concerns that are later proved groundless only help your cause, not hurt it. Your attitude will only continue to hurt your cause as more & more of these boats are sold, the used ones get older, and guess what, there will be more failures. But if Minaret starts seeing an increasingly larger number in his yard that are in for repairs, he's not allowed to bring it to a forum unless he also talks about a problem on a more expensive boat??

Do you not believe there aren't plenty of people on this forum who think that guys like me are nuts for spending too much money on an old boat that's heavy and is loaded with teak? You know what, they're right! But we all like what we like! Get over it. They're not criticizing your kid or even your dog. You may not be able to do much about the bashers, but whether you want to feel "indignant" or anything else about it is entirely your choice. But if you post something that is so painfully ludicrous that it could only derive from an absence of experience or expertise, then expect to be challenged, at least with all the expertise on this particular forum.

Btw, and lest we forget, here's how the OP titled this thread & what he wrote in his first post:

Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

It's very sad about the loss of life and 8 boats at Avalon harbor last week. Just a heads up to you hunter owners, the sailboat that sank on her mooring was a Hunter, and sank after a bow cleat "snapped off". Hopefully you never find yourself in a gale, but if you do, consider securing the bow line to something else extra as a backup.


Knowing what we know now, this hardly looks like an insincere bashing to me, regardless of what the OP might have said in the past about Hunters. What I'm reading instead is a fellow sailor moved by the losses at Avalon who is looking out for fellow sailors. In fact, he explicitly directed his warning to other Hunter owners because he correctly believed that the cause of the sinking of the Hunter was a failed cleat. Still look like a guy with "no credibility" that is using a tragic incident to take a cheap shot?

Does anyone else miss the basic civility we used to enjoy on Cruisers Forum???
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Old 08-01-2015, 14:17   #453
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Does anyone else miss the basic civility we used to enjoy on Cruisers Forum???
I have been on this forum since 2005, and I don't think it is much different now than then. Remarkable, considering that the overall membership must have quadrupled or more since then.

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Old 08-01-2015, 15:52   #454
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
When we kept our boats on fairly exposed swinging moorings a dedicated pendant was always used, chain alone (one size up from normal anchor chain size) or heavily chafe proofed nylon shackled to the mooring chain below the buoy (ball) as the rods through them are IMO untrustworthy and impossible to inspect easily
Some sailors in Europe while I was there had been using chain to attach to cleats in marinas, in order to eliminate the risk of chafe similar to your recommendation. The resulting damage to the cleats resulted in a widespread banning of this practice: it may not be chafe but the accelerated wear of metal against metal is very real. If attaching to moorings with chain becomes common then moorings will become even less reliable. Short term you may benefit but long term we all lose. Please just use anti-chafe and back-up lines.

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Old 08-01-2015, 16:29   #455
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I have been on this forum since 2005, and I don't think it is much different now than then. Remarkable, considering that the overall membership must have quadrupled or more since then.

Mark
Well then, maybe it has something to do with one of the newcomers.
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Old 08-01-2015, 16:37   #456
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Some sailors in Europe while I was there had been using chain to attach to cleats in marinas, in order to eliminate the risk of chafe similar to your recommendation. The resulting damage to the cleats resulted in a widespread banning of this practice: it may not be chafe but the accelerated wear of metal against metal is very real. If attaching to moorings with chain becomes common then moorings will become even less reliable. Short term you may benefit but long term we all lose. Please just use anti-chafe and back-up lines.

Greg

I never ever heard of ANY such ban and the use of a short chain loop through a cleat on the marina dock finger and onto which the boat's own permanent dedicated dock line was attached is both common and indeed recommended in many marinas, like for sure in my home yacht club marina where it was/is preferred greatly over the possibility of boats breaking adrift and damaging floating pontoons (docks) and/or neighbouring boats. As for damaging a mooring buoy ring that would only happen if the chain seesawed through the ring which it does not, it stays put by simple friction unlike rope where however many separate bits are threaded through they WILL seesaw chafe.

If you are that concerned for the mooring buoy ring then carry a made up pendant in chain and shackle it to the buoy ring but that would involve some gymnastics off the bow or launching the tender. Far more risk with mooring buoys/balls is the rod that passes through them and which cannot be seen has wasted away to nothing, not to mention what state the link from the buoy to the sea bottom is in. I was Mooring Master at one YC in England for many years and we NEVER lost a boat from our many moorings, some in exposed places within a large open harbour (Poole) with a possible fetch of several miles and strong winds frequent occurrences, due to mooring failure but some did break adrift over the years through failure of the owner to fit a suitable pendant ( That part of the mooring was always the owner's responsibility not the yacht club's) Owners were always advised to use chain strops, one size greater than their normal anchor chain but some still preferred to use 'string' rather than have a rust stain possibly on the white fibreglass deck. one of my own boats back then was on a swinging mooring throughout the October 1987 'hurricane' that swept through Southern England and it was just fine as indeed were all the others where the owners had followed the club advice and used chain strops not some string concoction. Note here I'm talking of permanent moorings not visitor or transient use ones and the chain strops from on board the boat are not fed through buoy rings but are shackled to them or most likely to the heavy duty swivel at the top of the riser chain up from the seabed We used very few buoys with rings as they were impossible to inspect easily, preferring instead large diameter buoy fender types with attachments below not above.
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Old 08-01-2015, 17:46   #457
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

Robin3-

When I first got to the UK (1997) I noticed a few boats tied to the dock with chain, thought it a bit odd but didn't give it another thought until I arrived in a marina that explicitly banned chain tie-ups. So I asked why and was told of the excessive damage, which included both wear and high impact loading. After that I did observe a fair amount of cleat damage from chains on cleats. Of course it matters how the chain is attached - as you note using a shackle or hook will not have the side-to-side wear that other schemes would. My reaction was to your idea that the chain would be attached to line on either side, which in turn was attached to the cleats. The two sides will never stretch exactly in tandem so there will be some grinding action. Initially it will only have a minor impact, of removing the zinc galvanizing and thus starting corrosion to the steel. My concern is for the long-term extra wear. In any event the chain-only or mostly-chain approach will reduce even more the snubbing action of the pendant and thus increase the impact loading on the rest of the system (including the cleats of such interest here).

I normally pick up a mooring with bow lines looped through the eye and then back to the same cleats ("in slips" as the Brits say) which is great for making a quick gettaway if the situation deteriorates. But for holding in a blow (a situation I would go to extremes to avoid) then the previously recommended way of using separate lines firmly attached to the ring will effectively eliminate chafing at the ring which otherwise could become quite dangerous.

I share your view of moorings - when transient it is impossible to know the condition of the moorings short of inspection with scuba gear. Some harbormasters (as yourself apparently) are careful about inspection and maintenance, others less so. Sometimes the moorings are simply placed too close together to be safe in a blow (I am reminded of the mooring field at St. Marys in the Isles of Scilly - I hope they have spread them out since I was there). Sometimes they are simply inadequate to hold a heavy cruising boat (a certain anchorage in the Med that banned anchoring and provided undersized moorings comes to mind - it took 3 moorings to finally hold my little boat in F6 in the lee). Personally I avoid moorings if at all possible; I would rather trust my own anchoring than someone else's mooring. Sometimes that is not possible, as anchorages are being converted to moorings everywhere. There are good reasons, such as more boats being able to enjoy a place, and less damage from anchors and less damage from dragged yachts. There are bad reasons too: deny anchorages to transients so that they must pay either for the mooring or a nearby marina (you gotta love the Med for that).

Greg
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Old 08-01-2015, 18:23   #458
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
Maybe my post wasn't clear, or maybe your Hunter-Basher-Phobia sensitivity meter just blew its "fuse." What I tried to say is that it appeared as though Hunter cleats are in fact properly backed up with plates, and then glassed over for added strength. The fender washers serve a minor role of protecting the glass which the nuts cinch up to. Didn't we conclude that the cleat that ripped out on the Hunter that sunk still had its backing plate attached, and it was the surrounding laminate that failed? Wasn't the fender washer discussion focused on certain model Bene's, not Hunter's? The only potential Hunter cleat issue that I recall reading was Jon E. expressing an opinion about potential problems mounting cleats behind the anchor well and on top of a narrow, raised toerail. But in doing so, he also acknowledged there could (and probably is) a backing plate underneath.
I got this far then my eyes glazed over and I started drooling as you began your life-lessons. I just couldn't continue.

Anyway, yes - the backing plate did rip out of the Hunter in question in this thread according to the report from the owner. Is that a serious failure that shouldn't have happened? Well, it was a failure for sure. But, given the circumstances of 8' breaking waves and the mooring from a single cleat, I'm certainly not ready to call it "weak laminate" or "poor build quality", etc. Just not enough facts yet to determine that I don't think.

So, I'll keep reading.
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Old 08-01-2015, 19:01   #459
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

BlueTriGuy, sorry to learn of you loss. We were in Avalon on the 24th, 25th and decided to make a run for it on the 26th. We were on a mooring inside near the Casino and the waves were building as you described. The wind was swinging more into the Northeast and the waves were building and starting to break farther out from the beach. We left at 9:00AM motored out and got some sail up. It was rough at the entrance but much better as soon as we got to deeper water. Motor Sail to LA was bouncy but not unsafe. We are very happy we were able to get out of there when we did.


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Old 08-01-2015, 19:10   #460
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

Sing along...

31 Pages of worthless Thread on the wall
31 pages of Thread.
You take one down, pass it around, 32 pages of Thread on the wall....
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Old 08-01-2015, 19:26   #461
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
To save money many of these boats don't use a proper backinglates on cleats, instead simply cheap fender washers.
This sort of innuendo is completely unfounded. Hunter uses integral backing plates that are molded into the deck.

Hunters are NNMA certified, which means they meet or exceed standards set by ABYC, the American Boats and Yacht Council. Mine is also CE certified, required for boats entering or being sold in Europe, according to IMCI (International Marine Certification Standards.)

No "simply cheap fender washers" here.
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Old 08-01-2015, 19:52   #462
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

I am not crazy about the idea of burying a backing plate inside the laminate and then bolting the sandwich together. In my opinion (and based on experience with bolting laminates) this goes a ways toward defeating some of the purpose of the backing plate. The backing plate is supposed to make it harder to pull the bolts through the laminate. At first glance an embedded backing plate would seem to do that. But the way a backing plate is supposed achieve that is by reducing the pressure and thus fracturing. An embedded plate does not do that. The nut and washer are still applying high pressure directly on the laminate in a small area same as if the backing plate did not exist. Once laminate starts fracturing then complete failure becomes more and more likely over time.

Additionally, laminate will "cold flow" more without a backing plate to reduce the pressure. High and low temperature excursions can cause expansion fracturing too. The symptom of this would be a cleat that keeps coming loose and the nuts have to be tightened every spring. This can also lead to laminate failure.

So even if there is a metal plate embedded in the laminate there should also be a similar size plate between the nuts and the laminate in my opinion. And there should be load bearing bedding material under the backing plate to evenly pressurize the laminate to minimize the chance of fracturing.
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Old 08-01-2015, 19:59   #463
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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I am not crazy about the idea of burying a backing plate inside the laminate and then bolting the sandwich together. In my opinion (and based on experience with bolting laminates) this goes a ways toward defeating some of the purpose of the backing plate. The backing plate is supposed to make it harder to pull the bolts through the laminate. At first glance an embedded backing plate would seem to do that. But the way a backing plate is supposed achieve that is by reducing the pressure and thus fracturing. An embedded plate does not do that. The nut and washer are still applying high pressure directly on the laminate in a small area same as if the backing plate did not exist. Once laminate starts fracturing then complete failure becomes more and more likely over time.

Additionally, laminate will "cold flow" more without a backing plate to reduce the pressure. High and low temperature excursions can cause expansion fracturing too. The symptom of this would be a cleat that keeps coming loose and the nuts have to be tightened every spring. This can also lead to laminate failure.

So even if there is a metal plate embedded in the laminate there should also be a similar size plate between the nuts and the laminate in my opinion. And there should be load bearing bedding material under the backing plate to evenly pressurize the laminate to minimize the chance of fracturing.



+1000! Not the same thing at all as a backing plate on the full panel thickness. You are essentially relying on only the external skin thickness, as if it fails the plate only has to pull the fender washers through the inner skin. Seen a ton of corrosion in glassed over alu plates too.
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Old 08-01-2015, 20:00   #464
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
I am not crazy about the idea of burying a backing plate inside the laminate and then bolting the sandwich together. In my opinion (and based on experience with bolting laminates) this goes a ways toward defeating some of the purpose of the backing plate. The backing plate is supposed to make it harder to pull the bolts through the laminate. At first glance an embedded backing plate would seem to do that. But the way a backing plate is supposed achieve that is by reducing the pressure and thus fracturing. An embedded plate does not do that. The nut and washer are still applying high pressure directly on the laminate in a small area same as if the backing plate did not exist. Once laminate starts fracturing then complete failure becomes more and more likely over time.

Additionally, laminate will "cold flow" more without a backing plate to reduce the pressure. High and low temperature excursions can cause expansion fracturing too. The symptom of this would be a cleat that keeps coming loose and the nuts have to be tightened every spring. This can also lead to laminate failure.

So even if there is a metal plate embedded in the laminate there should also be a similar size plate between the nuts and the laminate in my opinion. And there should be load bearing bedding material under the backing plate to evenly pressurize the laminate to minimize the chance of fracturing.

Just to be clear, the backing plates are not embedded in the laminate, they are glassed on top of the laminate in the Hunter, according to hunter the deck is made by a inner layer of FG with a Plywood core and a outer layer of FG, and finally with a auminium backing plated glassed on top in cleats , winches áreas etc...
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Old 08-01-2015, 20:00   #465
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Re: Hunter sinks at Catalina due to bow cleat failure

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This sort of innuendo is completely unfounded. Hunter uses integral backing plates that are molded into the deck.

Hunters are NNMA certified, which means they meet or exceed standards set by ABYC, the American Boats and Yacht Council. Mine is also CE certified, required for boats entering or being sold in Europe, according to IMCI (International Marine Certification Standards.)

No "simply cheap fender washers" here.
It is pretty astounding. I wish it were more surprising.
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