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Old 03-03-2007, 18:05   #61
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Originally Posted by DtM
One body has been found.
DTM, actually the article said that the body that was found was not one of the crew. I found it odd that they did not discuss the body they did find. Its not like bodies are found washed up on the CA coast all the time.

So there has been no new news on this since December?

From the pictures, I was surprised at how intact the boat was.
Given the temperature of the water, I'm not that surprised the crew was lost. It does not take long in that water before you can't function. You might want to swim under and into the Cat, but in practice, it was apparently not possible.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:39   #62
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I was also surprised at how intact the hull was. It appears the boat may have been able to ride out this storm if it had not been on a lee shore. It appears the boat was not flipped until it got into the shallow water causing breaking waves.
This was a well forcast storm so the real question which has been asked here and on other forums is why they left San Francisco. All the other boats in this area including the entire fishing fleet were locked up at their docks in anticipation of the storm. At my fathers house in Bell Isle area they had winds over 100 mph.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:42   #63
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I would guess that the cat flipped well before hitting the shorebreak (I'm not sure if this is what you meant by "shallow water"). There was a line tied around the base of one of the saildrives, and this tells me that the crew had to be in conditions that allowed them to stick with the boat, and of course attach the line. They were probably still several miles offshore -- where the cat washed up the 30-fathom line is about 4 miles out.
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:24   #64
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Would it not be a good idea to have a stainless steel axe strapped to the underside of the bridgedeck to allow a person on the capsized cat to cut a hole in the side hull to be able to get inside and out of the cold wind and spray? It appears to me that in the situation of a capsize in rough weather there is not a chance that you can go diving back into the upturned hull to look for tools. You must be exhausted, and scared. You dont want to dive back in. You just want to take the available axe and hit a hole to get back inside to hide from the weather. Any opinions?
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:49   #65
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'Survival' Hatches.

You'd never want to go back in as long as the seas were aggressive. By opening the hull, you may be 'bursting the bubble' that's floating your 'life raft' and/or allowing boarding seas to fill the hull.
The hatches you see on the underside of catamaran wings are "escape" hatches...not re-entry hatches...and they seem to be most often situated in the head.... for some reason.
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Old 04-03-2007, 19:44   #66
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Learning from and planning for diaster.

In the case of Cat Shot we had a Captain with excellent experience driven to risk his life, and crew in a well-forecast storm. Apparently he had overconfidence in his ability, the seaworthiness of the boat, or both. It is an unfortunate conclusion that his overconfidence may have led to the loss. A nervous Captain would have stayed in harbor, or perhaps better prepared to protect life in the event the boat flipped/sank.

There are multiple lessons to be learned form Cat Shot:

#1 If you captain or crew a boat, don’t venture into a storm. Storms are things to go around or avoid.

#2 If you sell boats, either get your product to the show before storm season, or don’t attend it at all. Having your boat featured on page one of local press is not a good thing.

#3 If you manufacture boats engineer life critical components to be stronger then the forces they must withstand. eskfreedom observed it appeared Cat Shot deployed a parachute anchor and the bridal broke. Manufactures take note of this fact and suggestions on this board how to beef up that component.

#4 No matter how confident you are, when it comes down to a small boat in heavy seas, prepare.

#5 Have a plan and procedure in place that maximizes the chances of survival for the worst case situations.

#6 Conduct drills to be on the ready, and implement the plan when conditions warrant.

Each plan will vary depending on type of boat, temperature of water, weather conditions, and number of crew/passengers. All plans should include man-overboard drills and everyone should be well practiced turning the boat around and squaring the area searching.

In the case of Cat Shot it is safe to say that they didn’t prepare for what befell them.
The Coast Guard said they found the vessel's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon locked in a box, unable to float free and alert authorities. Therefore, all plans should include making this device ready to serve what it was designed to do.

There will obviously be levels at which different elements of a plan should be implemented. I.E. 10-ft seas may not require a particular step whereas 25-ft plus seas would put all elements into play. For example a part of the plan should IMHP be to have everyone dressed and ready as best as possible should warm body meet cold sea.

When Lakonia sank in calm sea, the water temperature was 62.6-64.4 F (17-18 C) and within 3 hours 113 fully dressed people died from hypothermia. In water at 50 F an average person can survive an hour to an hour and a half. At 32 F the limit for a dressed person is about 30 minutes. It is of course possible to extend these times by layering, new materials, and making sure to where a good hat. High-energy food sources along with the flare should also do some good. How to get a wrapper off a food bar should be planned out in advance before being confronted with hands too cold to tear it open.

Since Cat Shot had what appeared to be a rope tied around the propeller it is possible that at least one person survived when the boat overturned. Perhaps this person tried to stay out of the water by sitting lashed to the hull. That may initially sound like a good thing, however, now the person has to contend with the wind chill. Clearly if the water is cold and wind chill is low you got to get out of both the water and wind.

The most logical place I can think to go to get out of the elements when a cat is overturned is either your life raft or a forward locker. Using the forward locker poses three questions.

How do you get into it, how do you get fresh air, and how do you signal a rescue crew?

I’m sure this has monohull people laughing right now since I’m talking about surviving within an upside down boat when their boats turn right so nicely. (Of course they may sink with a cabin full of water, but at least you go down dignified.)

Here are a few thoughts:
If a forward locker was designated as being the emergency refuge, it should contain a few things to make life more pleasant while waiting for rescue. A little food and water, some dry towels, and most importantly some room.

Items within the locker would have to be arranged so that if the boat flipped they wouldn’t shift and prevent entry. If you were inside the hull when access was needed, an inside escape to the forward locker would be good provided it was mounted very low.

Regarding fresh air there would have to be a port to the main compartment of the hull that was closed until all were in and the access covers closed and water tight. Hopefully there would be enough air or air exchange in the main compartment to last until rescue.

Regarding signaling to rescuers that there are people inside the locker, I’m not sure.
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:26   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute Wind
”... If you captain or crew a boat, don’t venture into a storm. Storms are things to go around or avoid...”
The statistical chances of getting caught out in a storm increase exponentially with the time and distance sailed.
There’s no excuse for starting out into or towards a known or likely storm.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The South African
”... You just want to take the available axe and hit a hole to get back inside to hide from the weather ...’
I wouldn’t want to sail aboard any hull that I’d expect to be able to chop a hole through (with a rusty axe), from the water (exhausted, cold, & scared, and encumbered by a survival suit).
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:14   #68
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Here's a question to which there may be answers alrewady - I don't know - but in both monohulls and multi's, maybe designers should attribute less space to interior accomodations and more to floatation/buoyancy by designing watertight compartments, automatic inflatable buoyancy chambers etc that should be able to keep a hull afloat long enough for rescue. I know there are retrofit inflating bags out there but is there any boats with factory designed and built-in systems?
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:34   #69
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... more to floatation/buoyancy by designing watertight compartments, automatic inflatable buoyancy chambers etc that should be able to keep a hull afloat long enough for rescue.
Almost every catamaran has that. Cat Shot did not sink either. She stayed afloat until she hit a beach.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:55   #70
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Benny, yes they should, many don't, and should they be holed they would sink that hull fairly quickly, but still be afloat from the other hull. But that wasn't the problem with this boat. The boat floated well once upside down with it's reserve bouyancy. The problem was the crew weren't able to get into in these water tight chambers. It certainly does make sense to prepare one side and make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a capsize. Cat's don't sink quickly, perhaps putting the ditchbag forward in this compartment with the VHF, GPS, water, polar fleece blankets, food would make a good start.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:12   #71
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There ya go - learned something new about cats - unsinkable - thats good - so what about an external entry into one of the hulls for survival reasons - say through a transom door. Surley a safe watertight system could be devised with air excahange capability. I would also think designers could make monohulls unsinkable as well which if holed or other large leak developed would provide a safe shelter untill rescue - any thoughts?
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:36   #72
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IMHO, More important in a design would be conveniently placed liferafts. Some cats now have 1 or 2 liferafts 'garaged' in the aft part of the wing making them very accessable when the boat has turtled. This makes alot more sense, than diving back into a hull that may or may not stay afloat for very long. I don't think the hull would completely sink, but could continue to swamp with the wave action. Perhaps a system to mount the liferaft and ditchbag on the underside of the wing, giving the crew a solid flooring and roof shelter, sometimes even shelter from wind by one of the hulls, is a direction to go? And in this scenario the crew "Stays with the boat!!"

By most accounts, the action within a flipped catamaran hull would be very unnerving with the constant rising and sinking of the boat in the waves as the interior gets sucked out to sea. I know people have done it and survived, but I think some were trapped and stayed. As I said before, I'd be looking for the escape hatch in the hull and get myself out!
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:59   #73
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Not mentioned yet in this is the likely environment inside of that capsized cat. In addition to the general chaos of having the loose contents turned upside down, we would likely also have to deal with the escaping contents of holding tanks, diesel tanks, battery acid and god knows what. In the dark.

While having a floating hull from which items could (hopefully) be obtained in the event of need, as well as providing a much more visible target for rescuers, I really don't see an upturned cat as being much of a place for habitation. Better than a sunk mono, for sure, or even a capsized mono, what with the bridgedeck. But, I really don't see myself crawling inside for a snooze, and I certainly wouldn't want to be in there if for some reason all that positive bouyancy turned negative.

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Old 05-03-2007, 11:11   #74
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upside down survival

The protection afforded by an upside down hull was demonstrated dramatically in the 1996 Vendee Globe when Tony Bullimore survived by staying in his overturned monohull. He was in the southern ocean where conditions were severe.
Tony Bullimore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:42   #75
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There are multihulls that sink, fairly rare. There are multihulls that when capsized float low enough that interior spaces are uninhabitable. And there are multihulls that are designed to float high enough to have habitable spaces when capsized. The escape hatch on multis with habitable spaces inside will most certainly be used for both exit and re-entry into the hull. I've been told that French built multis rated for offshore use are required by law to have escape hatches. The two boats I have chartered in the Carribean, a Privilige 39 and a Kennex 445 both had escape hatches. The Privilige had them in the hulls just above the waterline (boat upright), the Kennex in the bridgedeck. The bridgedeck hatches don't make alot of sense to me.

Yes the inside of a capsized multi is going to be unpleasant, but is a liferaft going to be dryer? Will a liferaft be easier to spot? Will a liferaft carry more supplies?

There are several ways to make a multi float high, but if you are relying on water tight compartments, you would not place the hatch in one of them.

Chris White's book, 'The Cruising Multihull' is a good read to learn more about good multi design and practice.

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