This has been an interesting thread. I'm always impressed by the knowledge and experience that is accessible on this forum!
Like many of you, I have been following this story with interest, and I think Gunboat has a big responsibility here.
Rainmaker was scheduled to be on show at the Miami Boat Show
that starts next weekend. The weather
report wasn't good, but they needed to take the boat down the coast. Was it unreasonable to expect this boat to be able to handle 35 knot
winds and 4 meter seas? I would say not. Yes, the conditions deteriorated with squalls, but if I'm paying $3MM for "the safest world cruising boat that could be conceived", I would expect it to be able to handle these conditions without the rig being torn off.
In spite of what we are reading in the forums, the owner is a capable, intelligent individual. He had his son and crew aboard. After losing the rig he decided that conditions were severe enough that he needed to get everyone to safety
, a decision that can not have been taken lightly. He does not appear to be the kind of person that takes foolish risks. I would expect he was following Gunboat's recommendations for sail configuration and handling of the boat in the prevailing conditions, yet he lost his mast and rig.
There is a growing trend towards high-tech, high performance cruising catamarans. These are awesome vessels, but their high power carbon rigs are pushing the envelope, and I hope the manufacturers of these boats will start being more realistic about the true limits to their use. Marketing
is one thing, but preventable loss of life is priceless.