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Old 24-05-2014, 15:04   #46
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pirate Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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Originally Posted by Jbingham View Post
I'm not sure who you're referring to but if it's me let me state for the record I don't care what the manufacturer is. I do value your opinion. Like everyone's in the forum. If it's your opinion that benes are blue water boats and they are as well built as any then that's your opinion. And when you hit the water in yours I truly wish you a safe voyage. I would be interested to hear why these are blue water boats. I didn't buy one not because they aren't nice to look at but everyone I spoke with talked me out of it based on the specific criteria for sailing we had in mind, specifically water sailing">blue water sailing. So why? And please dont just refer to the keel. Tell me about the hull construction. The rigging set up. The mechanical set up. Something other than disaster stats. Otherwise why wouldn't everyone buy one and spend the extra several hundred thousand on booze and women?!?!?!

Wait I mean LOLOL
Item one.. blue water boats is an Ad-mans fantasy.. its something to wave under the dreamers nose..
As for sailing across oceans.. I've sailed two of their models solo W-E across the Atlantic.. and MarkJ.. a member on here has circumnavigated twice in a bog standard Bene.. another member here.. Nigel has a Bene he take's out into the Irish Sea and across which can be pretty bloody testing.. in fact there's a few folk here who've 'Blue Watered' their Bene's..
So the boats can and do take it.. but **** happens and we don't pop out into this world with a guarantee of 3 score and 10..
Personally.. it could have been something as simple as a breakdown in the electrolysis protection that caused the bolts fore and aft to start corroding... but.. that's just one possibility of many..

The use of stainless steel(SS) as an anode should be approached with great caution or best yet, avoided altogether. SS contains chromium. No matter what misinformation you may have read on the internet, SS anodes ARE INDEED consumed.
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Old 24-05-2014, 15:07   #47
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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... the Skipper

+1 on both.
And now the ss info is good info..

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Old 24-05-2014, 15:29   #48
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Re: The dTifference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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...some things just don't add up. Out of a crew of four, none of them could deploy the liferaft? Even if the liferaft was damaged/unreachable, why couldn't they have simply held onto the hull? It was still floating. And the windows shattered is puzzling as well. These windows are pretty darned small:
You are right, of course. There are a lot of questions that will never be answered. However, the leak the crew reported and then the loss of the keel are pretty plain.

With the state of the weather and seas, the keel drops, the boat gets bounced on one or both sides, windows shatter and the boat goes turtle. In the mean time, on deck crew have harnesses and they are being pulled under so they unclip. Crew below deck swim out. They try to hang on but there is nothing much to grab and the seas are not making it any easier. Maybe they hold on for awhile but hypothermia kicks in. They all finally lose their grip if they had one to begin with and drift away. There was no time to dive for the life raft and even if they could, would they have been able to get it out?

My original comment about the windows/ports was more an expression of surprise. They are so small they should have been strong enough to sustain a knock down, but they didn't. That must have been some pounding the boat took or some really weak ports. And the navy rescue diver who looked into the boat surely would have noticed damage from an explosion. The evidence looks pretty compelling for at least a good guess at what happened.

I can't imagine they were drinking in open water with their situation. The crew would have had to of been some dyed in the wool alcoholics considering their circumstances. I discounted that immediately.
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Old 24-05-2014, 15:32   #49
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

I have sent some info on this to a friend of mine who has a aluminum cage around his life raft on top of his boat. I never really thought about the boat flipping upside down so quick that the life raft can't deploy but if it doesn't you're never getting that life raft out.

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Old 24-05-2014, 15:46   #50
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

Failing keel bolts are a known issue on some Beneteau First series boats, at least the ones with cast iron keels. My personal experience has been with the French built First 435 E. In these rather shallow, flat-bottomed bilges, it is easy to see how the smallest amount of standing bilge water could accelerate the bolts' deterioration. That is, it would be easy to see IF you could easily access those areas completely.

What often happens is that the washers under the bolt heads disintegrate, first. This relieves tension on the bolts and allows corrosion to advance on the bolt, itself. The weight and pressure of the keel cause separation at the joint. In charter, this is likely exacerbated by more unreported/unrepaired groundings and less money spent on preventative maintenance. It is preferable to replace the bolts and washers every 8 years, or so. These bolts are cheap. But it takes a strong back and large breaker bar with cheater, and some dismantling of the interior, on particular models.
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Old 24-05-2014, 16:58   #51
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

As far as suitability for going offshore?

Not all Benateaus are alike, there are different models. That First 40.7 were nicknamed "beach balls" for a reason. It is a lightly built race boat and the keel is a deep fin with a small footprint. That fits the profile of other boats which have lost keels, also with loss of life. But put it all together, a light boat, highly stressed keel attachment, could have been a pre-existing defect or damage, put it in some really rough weather, one big wave, and Bang, the keels goes. The scenarios descibed above sound pretty convincing. Add some possible judgement errors, who knows what, but the raft evidently was not ready for instant deployment or no-one had their hands on the rip cord, anyhow, whatever, they didn't make it into the raft.

So maybe you are taking a bit of a bigger risk when you elect to cross the Atlantic in that type of boat, or that particular boat, but based on how many of them cross oceans safely, it seems like a small risk, albeit one with big consequences if it happens.

We do have to remember that, "Every time you go to sea and you play for keeps."

But don't lump Beneteaus together. A fully race prepared NZ 47.7 is not a 40.7 charter boat with an unknown history.

Did they make some mistakes?

We can only surmise what happened, but it looks like to me like: water was coming in, the crew knew there was water coming in, they reported that, but maybe they didn't know it was keel bolts (if it was). When the keel did fail, probably during a big hit by a breaking wave, the boat must have turned turtle quickly, and the crew just couldn't get to the raft and deploy it.

If there was a mistake, maybe it was that they didn't get the raft ready and have the standing watch prepared to launch it. I think many canisters have a rip cord. Maybe that was a judgment call: take the cover off the canister and risk losing it prematurely or leave it as is and figure you'd have time to prepare it for launching later.

Or maybe they just didn't know how close they were to disaster and were simply sitting it out?

And it is pretty easy to second guess people when you wern't there at the time.

I have a fin keel, bolted on. Once a few years ago we dropped the keel and had the bolts inspected. But what can you really tell with a look see and dye test? And maybe we did more damage lossening it and dropping it down than if we had left it alone. Anyhow, mine hasn't broken yet, and I hope it never does.
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Old 24-05-2014, 17:14   #52
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

I met these guys, the first time, in the Argentine Islands on the Antarctic Peninsula around 65 South, they have been to about 80 North and every place in between.

Giebateau

Not my choice of boat but can certainly get places...........
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Old 24-05-2014, 19:25   #53
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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Originally Posted by Jbingham View Post
The question again is does a benetau belong 1000 miles offshore?? They, in my opinion were not built to withstand this kind of conditions.
IIRC, not long after the 40.7 model was introduced, two of them finished 1-2 (corrected) in a rather nasty Sydney-Hobart race. Is that offshore enough for you?
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Old 24-05-2014, 20:19   #54
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Re: The dTifference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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My original comment about the windows/ports was more an expression of surprise. They are so small they should have been strong enough to sustain a knock down, but they didn't. That must have been some pounding the boat took or some really weak ports.
I suspect the twisting of the hull structure when the keel was ripped off may well have flexed the ports enough to break them, much as a car rolling and flexing can shatter its windows.
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Old 25-05-2014, 02:12   #55
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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Originally Posted by sandy stone View Post
IIRC, not long after the 40.7 model was introduced, two of them finished 1-2 (corrected) in a rather nasty Sydney-Hobart race. Is that offshore enough for you?
Despite all the testosterone-driven rhetoric about the Sydney-Hobart race, it never gets much more than 100 miles offshore, and it does not (following the rhumb line) cross Bass Strait. The wx and the sea states can be fierce, but it isn't far offshore.

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Old 25-05-2014, 05:00   #56
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
As far as suitability for going offshore?

Not all Benateaus are alike, there are different models. That First 40.7 were nicknamed "beach balls" for a reason. It is a lightly built race boat and the keel is a deep fin with a small footprint. That fits the profile of other boats which have lost keels, also with loss of life. But put it all together, a light boat, highly stressed keel attachment, could have been a pre-existing defect or damage, put it in some really rough weather, one big wave, and Bang, the keels goes. The scenarios descibed above sound pretty convincing. Add some possible judgement errors, who knows what, but the raft evidently was not ready for instant deployment or no-one had their hands on the rip cord, anyhow, whatever, they didn't make it into the raft.

So maybe you are taking a bit of a bigger risk when you elect to cross the Atlantic in that type of boat, or that particular boat, but based on how many of them cross oceans safely, it seems like a small risk, albeit one with big consequences if it happens.

We do have to remember that, "Every time you go to sea and you play for keeps."

But don't lump Beneteaus together. A fully race prepared NZ 47.7 is not a 40.7 charter boat with an unknown history.

Did they make some mistakes?

We can only surmise what happened, but it looks like to me like: water was coming in, the crew knew there was water coming in, they reported that, but maybe they didn't know it was keel bolts (if it was). When the keel did fail, probably during a big hit by a breaking wave, the boat must have turned turtle quickly, and the crew just couldn't get to the raft and deploy it.

If there was a mistake, maybe it was that they didn't get the raft ready and have the standing watch prepared to launch it. I think many canisters have a rip cord. Maybe that was a judgment call: take the cover off the canister and risk losing it prematurely or leave it as is and figure you'd have time to prepare it for launching later.

Or maybe they just didn't know how close they were to disaster and were simply sitting it out?

And it is pretty easy to second guess people when you wern't there at the time.

I have a fin keel, bolted on. Once a few years ago we dropped the keel and had the bolts inspected. But what can you really tell with a look see and dye test? And maybe we did more damage lossening it and dropping it down than if we had left it alone. Anyhow, mine hasn't broken yet, and I hope it never does.

Great response! Thank you sir
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Old 25-05-2014, 08:32   #57
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Re: The dTifference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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Originally Posted by CaptTL View Post
You are right, of course. There are a lot of questions that will never be answered. However, the leak the crew reported and then the loss of the keel are pretty plain.

With the state of the weather and seas, the keel drops, the boat gets bounced on one or both sides, windows shatter and the boat goes turtle. In the mean time, on deck crew have harnesses and they are being pulled under so they unclip. Crew below deck swim out. They try to hang on but there is nothing much to grab and the seas are not making it any easier. Maybe they hold on for awhile but hypothermia kicks in. They all finally lose their grip if they had one to begin with and drift away. There was no time to dive for the life raft and even if they could, would they have been able to get it out?
Yes, I think it likely that is what happened. Once that keel broke away they were screwed. Would have been a better outcome if the whole boat exploded, at least there may have been a life raft in the water like that recent sinking off St Lucia.

The situation was worse as it happened at night. Two of the crew would have been below sleeping without life jackets probably. Waking to a flooding boat they at best would have been able to get to the surface possibly without life jackets and maybe without full clothing. Only 2 PLBs went off.

The life jacketed crew would have been frightened to deflate their jackets in that sea and anyway probably couldn't swim into position to dive down to free the raft. It was stormy. Grim and impossible. There must be a way of devising a way to deploy the raft when in this situation. Not easy.

Had they appreciated the keel was in jeopardy they would have got the raft out and deployed the EPIRB. Who knows if they had enough evidence to work that out?

The smashed windows are not so surprising. If the sea doesn't do it there are plenty of things floating around that can do this such as sole boards or tin cans. The recently sinking of Pete Powell's boat following a knock down reported here suffered similar: | what's left of a life
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Old 25-05-2014, 10:14   #58
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

All this brings to mind an incident that I saw last year. My son and I took Idoras down to anchor out for the night during April. The evening of my 60th birthday. Winds for the next day were forecast to be 35+kts. On the way home we proceeded under mizzen and Yankee only. As it happened the entire racing fleet sortied at the same time as our departure. While we were making hull speed under greatly reduced sail, all racers were hell bent for leather flying chutes for the downwind run. On passing us one silly bugger sailed into our wind shadow and broached. They were knocked down 3 times before they could cut the chute loose. Boats that are raced get beat on. Compare that to what we were doing, or how Mark J has describes how he operates. Its not the Benateau, its the racing and racing mentality. The Cheeky guys were trying to get a push from the gulf stream and up their VMG. Compare that to how Boatman operates. Just saying.
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Old 25-05-2014, 10:48   #59
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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Compare that to what we were doing, or how Mark J has describes how he operates. Its not the Benateau, its the racing and racing mentality. The Cheeky guys were trying to get a push from the gulf stream and up their VMG. Compare that to how Boatman operates. Just saying.
I agree fully with your post
I've commented elsewhere on the issues where racing orientated crew do long distance journeys. However this was a delivery crew so I cant determine what background they came from ( I don't believe this was the crew racing her in Antibes, was it )

Personally I would have some issues with a 22 year old skipper, and I am reminded of the delivery of a Jeanneau lost outside L'esSables a few years ago in January.

Boaty takes a delivery across, like any delivery skipper would do, always conscious of not stressing the boat, time while of interest, is not the primarily driver. Many skippers today, coming from a typical inshore racing background, stress the boat way too much and this is a fatal activity in a long crossing. Ive personally seen it several times

dave
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Old 25-05-2014, 13:07   #60
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Re: The difference between an inshore and offshore boat. Would you take a boat l...

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Failing keel bolts are a known issue on some Beneteau First series boats, at least the ones with cast iron keels. My personal experience has been with the French built First 435 E. In these rather shallow, flat-bottomed bilges, it is easy to see how the smallest amount of standing bilge water could accelerate the bolts' deterioration. That is, it would be easy to see IF you could easily access those areas completely.

What often happens is that the washers under the bolt heads disintegrate, first. This relieves tension on the bolts and allows corrosion to advance on the bolt, itself. The weight and pressure of the keel cause separation at the joint. In charter, this is likely exacerbated by more unreported/unrepaired groundings and less money spent on preventative maintenance. It is preferable to replace the bolts and washers every 8 years, or so. These bolts are cheap. But it takes a strong back and large breaker bar with cheater, and some dismantling of the interior, on particular models.

I assume you are talking about bolts screwed in to an iron keel. What about l-shaped bolts set in a lead keel, how do those get replaced?
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