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Old 24-07-2014, 00:50   #61
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

If you are interested in the challenges of steering a boat without a rudder with a drogue, the article below is well worth reading. The authors removed the rudder from Swan 44, and then experimented with different ways of steering it.

Sorry the link is to a PDF, I couldn't find a web page version.

http://bermudarace.com/wp-content/up...t-a-Rudder.pdf

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Old 24-07-2014, 06:19   #62
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

Thanks for that, Mark. Of course, the situation on the Alpha 42 was significantly complicated by the fact that the one rudder was locked at an angle.

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Old 24-07-2014, 07:23   #63
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

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Originally Posted by mark_morwood View Post
If you are interested in the challenges of steering a boat without a rudder with a drogue, the article below is well worth reading. The authors removed the rudder from Swan 44, and then experimented with different ways of steering it.

Sorry the link is to a PDF, I couldn't find a web page version.

http://bermudarace.com/wp-content/up...t-a-Rudder.pdf

Mark.
Great post Mark, THX.

We will notice very benign sea conditions during the test. Not too likely to be re-enacted in the winter Atlantic.

Great read and valuable lessons in the pdf. Well worth aread and re-read.

b.
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Old 13-08-2014, 08:56   #64
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

Hopefully, speculation about Alpha 42 #1 should end soon because there will be a new Alpha to talk about. The charter version Alpha 42 will be in the water in the next month or so. The Owner's Version will follow soon after. Anybody who's been to Patchogue recently to see the builds in progress will know that this is a exceptionally solid boat from stem to stern. Hopefully, we can all focus on this new American cat with the objectivity of the more thoughtful posters to the Alpha threads. Yes, we're still in and looking forward to sailing our Alpha 42.
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Old 13-08-2014, 09:14   #65
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

It has been my feeling for some time that all boats venturing offshore should consider having a sea anchor on board. In this case with a sea anchor the crew at the very least would have been much safer and more comfortable and would have been able to possibly effect some kind of repair. If I were a delivery captain moving a vessel that far offshore particularly that time of year I would insist on it.
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Old 13-08-2014, 10:37   #66
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

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It has been my feeling for some time that all boats venturing offshore should consider having a sea anchor on board. In this case with a sea anchor the crew at the very least would have been much safer and more comfortable and would have been able to possibly effect some kind of repair. If I were a delivery captain moving a vessel that far offshore particularly that time of year I would insist on it.
Do you know that this was a catamaran? Do you know anything about storm tactic's with catamarans? The fact that the crew popped a cork on a fine bottle of wine while awaiting rescue made me think they were not in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation, just one they couldn't solve.

You won't find a single manufacturer delivery skipper who would use a sea anchor on a catamaran. They don't even bring drogues, rather they make them from onboard equipment if in the extremely unlikely situation that they would need them. Sea anchor use on catamarans has been discussed extensively on this site and I'd suggest anyone contemplating their use read those threads. Especially useful is this one, IMO:
Multihulls - Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling
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Old 13-08-2014, 10:58   #67
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

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Do you know that this was a catamaran? Do you know anything about storm tactic's with catamarans? The fact that the crew popped a cork on a fine bottle of wine while awaiting rescue made me think they were not in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation, just one they couldn't solve.

You won't find a single manufacturer delivery skipper who would use a sea anchor on a catamaran. They don't even bring drogues, rather they make them from onboard equipment if in the extremely unlikely situation that they would need them. Sea anchor use on catamarans has been discussed extensively on this site and I'd suggest anyone contemplating their use read those threads. Especially useful is this one, IMO:
Multihulls - Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling
Yea, I know it is a catamaran. Have you ever used a sea anchor? I was involved in the manufacturing of over 150 catamarans and a sea anchor was on most of them and utilized many times. The crew's ability to drink wine while rolling beam to the seas has nothing to do with it, and the idea that this is an acceptable tactic for storm conditions on any vessel including catamarans is absurd. The fact is without the vessel head to the seas they had no hope of effecting any repair on the rudders since they would be under extreme load as the boat rolled without direction in the large seas. Sea anchors are handy even in mild conditions when you want to take a break or effect some kind of repair without losing a lot of ground. I might add they make even more sense on catamarans which do not heave to very well, particularly with a broken steering system. On the otherhand drouges are hard to deploy and retrieve, while slowing the vessel down it would not be very helpful for a repair like this while surfing down waves, all the while possibly sending the vessel in the wrong direction. Sea anchors should be part of every safety package for any vessel going offshore, I would suggest you visit PARA-ANCHOR by Fiorentino - The Original "Parachute Style" Sea Anchor for further enlightenment.
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Old 13-08-2014, 11:20   #68
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

P.S. I read the thread you referenced and there are many supporters of sea anchors there. I'm afraid your suggestion of turning head to seas relying on the motors as a tactic is rather flawed for several reasons. 1. What do you do if the engines are not working as in this case? 2. In very severe conditions the engines alone are often not capable of holding the vessel head to wind even at full throttle! 3. Using engines is finite depending on how much fuel you have.
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Old 13-08-2014, 12:14   #69
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

PBR, I haven't used a sea anchor, which IMO is why I'm still able to argue with you on this. Now, you obviously have much more experience then I do after being involved in such a high number of catamaran builds. That is certainly a major manufacturer you worked for. Did you deliver any of these 150 catamarans, and if so, any bad weather? Also, if they had a majority of them equipped with sea anchors and they where used so often, there must be some video or written account of the situation. Do you have any links to provide which would allow me to study up a little? I'm just wondering as there really isn't a single video I've found of a sea anchor deployed in actual STORM conditions. The only written account I've read about a cat deploying one in storm conditions ended with 4 of the 5 crew dying.

A few other points regarding your last two posts. I didn't suggest that crew drinking wine was a storm tactic but rather showed they were not in imminent danger. Is it actually a "fact" that repairs couldn't be made without being head to the seas? In any case, they deemed them unfeasible regardless of the situation. Sea anchors may be handy in mild conditions but why, on a delivery, would you need to stop your boat and take a break? And, if it is mild, why would you need to be stopped to make a repair? I must not have run into these situations and can't imagine them.

You must have a really good technique in order to make deployment and retrieval of a sea anchor easier then a drogue. It would seem to be the opposite but with your experience, who can argue.

As to using motors to keep you head into the sea's, I only have my own experience, which ended well. We had a 72 hour gale while 400 miles west of the Azores during which we ran both motors for approximately 36 hours continuous. We made 3 knots into 40 to 50 knot winds with only 1200 rpms. Palarran is a 56' cat weighing at least 25 tons and has twin 75hp engines. A cat would have to be seriously underpowered to not be able to made headway under full throttle. Would the cats that you were building that underpowered? If the engines did quit, I would have run, which is what we did on the last day. It cost us two extra days to recover the ground lost but was much easier on the boat and crew. As to fuel, we still arrived in Horta with a 1/3 of a tank and we motored a lot, but I was carrying a lot of diesel.
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Old 13-08-2014, 12:25   #70
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal



Here ! a cata using a sea anchor....
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Old 13-08-2014, 12:41   #71
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

I've seen that video posted every time this subject comes up. Those are not STORM CONDITIONS. Not even close, the guy is sitting on the bow with nary a bit of spray hitting him let alone a full on breaking wave.
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Old 13-08-2014, 13:11   #72
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

Palarran, the Drag Device Database is now back online as a free site. It contains various reports from people who have used various drag devices in storm conditions on both monohulls and multihulls. While the reports are rather dated, it nevertheless provides for an interesting read.

Victor Shane's Drag Device Data Base | Using Parachutes, Sea Anchors and Drogues to Cope with Heavy Weather – Over 130 Documented Case Histories

None of the reports on mulithulls seem to refer to the use of Series Drogues, but there are numerous cases where sea anchors were successfully deployed. Certainly it has convinced me of the efficacy of having one available in circumstances where one was in severe conditions close to shore.

Brad
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Old 13-08-2014, 13:52   #73
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

P.S. I'm not suggesting that a sea anchor would have have obviated the need for a resuce in these circumstances.
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Old 13-08-2014, 13:58   #74
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

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PBR, I haven't used a sea anchor, which IMO is why I'm still able to argue with you on this. Now, you obviously have much more experience then I do after being involved in such a high number of catamaran builds. That is certainly a major manufacturer you worked for. Did you deliver any of these 150 catamarans, and if so, any bad weather? Also, if they had a majority of them equipped with sea anchors and they where used so often, there must be some video or written account of the situation. Do you have any links to provide which would allow me to study up a little? I'm just wondering as there really isn't a single video I've found of a sea anchor deployed in actual STORM conditions. The only written account I've read about a cat deploying one in storm conditions ended with 4 of the 5 crew dying.

A few other points regarding your last two posts. I didn't suggest that crew drinking wine was a storm tactic but rather showed they were not in imminent danger. Is it actually a "fact" that repairs couldn't be made without being head to the seas? In any case, they deemed them unfeasible regardless of the situation. Sea anchors may be handy in mild conditions but why, on a delivery, would you need to stop your boat and take a break? And, if it is mild, why would you need to be stopped to make a repair? I must not have run into these situations and can't imagine them.

You must have a really good technique in order to make deployment and retrieval of a sea anchor easier then a drogue. It would seem to be the opposite but with your experience, who can argue.

As to using motors to keep you head into the sea's, I only have my own experience, which ended well. We had a 72 hour gale while 400 miles west of the Azores during which we ran both motors for approximately 36 hours continuous. We made 3 knots into 40 to 50 knot winds with only 1200 rpms. Palarran is a 56' cat weighing at least 25 tons and has twin 75hp engines. A cat would have to be seriously underpowered to not be able to made headway under full throttle. Would the cats that you were building that underpowered? If the engines did quit, I would have run, which is what we did on the last day. It cost us two extra days to recover the ground lost but was much easier on the boat and crew. As to fuel, we still arrived in Horta with a 1/3 of a tank and we motored a lot, but I was carrying a lot of diesel.
I was part owner of the company and have plenty of time offshore in sailing catamarans. I have had a number of clients write me over the years to explain why they used their sea anchors and were glad they had it. Among them; to make some kind of repair where it was easier with the vessel not moving, someone became ill and there was no way to stay on watch full time, (most were couples sailing alone), or for severe conditions where sailing or motoring were not options.

I would even argue that with a sea anchor deployed it would be easier for the rescuers and safer for the crew to air lift or transfer someone off the vessel if it were being abandoned.

I can assure you if you ever had to make repairs to the steering system or rudders offshore in conditions, you would find it quite difficult lying a hull to the seas. Since most of that equipment is in an engine room, trying to do it with the engines running would not be much fun either.

In storm conditions, my recommendation has always been to forereach under reduced sail first, utilize the motors second, and when all else fails, deploy the sea anchor or a drogue. Like a fire extinguisher a sea anchor is something you hope you don't ever have to use, but that is not a reason not to carry one.

As for deployment I cant speak for people that do not have proper attachment points designed in, proper bridles, or a method for pre-rigging. Sea anchors can be pre-rigged and easily launched from the cockpit and the modern ones are self-deploying. I have often contemplated actually designing a hard deployment canister built into the strut under the trampoline pre-rigged with rode and bridles, where the sea anchor could be deployed with the pull of a lever, much the same as modern small aircraft like the Cirrus that have built in parachutes.

The gale conditions where you utilized your engines were not necessarily what I call severe compared to some (higher winds and seas) my clients have seen where a sea anchor could be a life saver.

As for data I am sure Zack at para-anchor can supply you with plenty where a sea anchor made the difference. Commercial fisherman were carrying them long before the recreational market discovered them.
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Old 13-08-2014, 14:32   #75
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Re: Alpha 42 Designer's Rebuttal

Brad, that made for some interesting reading, thanks for posting it. I'll stand corrected that some cat's have successfully deployed them in actual storm conditions. But reading the stories also shows that nearly as many failed as had success.

PBR, absolutely, the conditions we had where only gale force. Probably doing nothing would have ultimately been ok but that's not in my dna. I still think, and most likely will never be convinced otherwise, that due to the bridgedeck of a catamaran, they should not use sea anchors in storm force conditions due to breaking waves. I don't think most can handle the force of water exerted on them where mono's can. And, as happened to the Catana, if the bridle breaks, they stand a chance of flipping over backwards.
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