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Old 31-01-2015, 16:27   #61
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

No one in their right mind who knows these waters would leave from North Carolina in late January to a destination in the Eastern Caribbean. Weather routers aside, this is a foolhardy venture by even a very well found and tested motor sailor.

Rather, the prudent mariner would go SOUTH inside the Gulf Stream, hopping down the coast to at least Jacksonville. Then, waiting for a weather window, h/she would head EAST as fast as possible, above the Abacos as far as possible before angling south and reaching I95.

Those who would tackle the North Atlantic in late January, especially in a new boat, have more money and/or chutzpah and/or hubris than most. And, experience doesn't always matter: witness the loss of the Bounty two years ago, trying to outsmart a hurricane in late October.

Bill
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Old 31-01-2015, 16:39   #62
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Yes the strains on catamaran rigging is much higher, but the load can be calculated and with a proper safety margin, it should be no problem to have a reliable rig. However if you are pushing the envelope for the sake of high performance such as in racing boats then reliability can suffer. This well may be the case here. Also relying on an automatic sheet release system that can fail, builds a false sense of security and can cause problems when it does. When it comes to strength vs. weight aluminum cannot compete with carbon needless to say.
I often wonder with all the advancements in carbon construction over the last decade why we don't see more builders of both cruising monohulls and multihulls utilizing freestanding masts. It would not be applicable on something like the Gunboat that is trying to squeeze every ounce of performance, but for a cruising boat you can have a lower CG, automatic depowering, potentially lower aerodynamic drag, and the ultimate in reliability.
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Old 31-01-2015, 16:53   #63
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Then, waiting for a weather window, h/she would head EAST as fast as possible, above the Abacos as far as possible before angling south and reaching I95.
Hmmm, and end up in the Gulf of Campeche?
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Old 31-01-2015, 17:15   #64
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Hmmm, and end up in the Gulf of Campeche?
What are you talking about?
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Old 31-01-2015, 17:16   #65
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
No one in their right mind who knows these waters would leave from North Carolina in late January to a destination in the Eastern Caribbean. Weather routers aside, this is a foolhardy venture by even a very well found and tested motor sailor.

Rather, the prudent mariner would go SOUTH inside the Gulf Stream, hopping down the coast to at least Jacksonville. Then, waiting for a weather window, h/she would head EAST as fast as possible, above the Abacos as far as possible before angling south and reaching I95.

Those who would tackle the North Atlantic in late January, especially in a new boat, have more money and/or chutzpah and/or hubris than most. And, experience doesn't always matter: witness the loss of the Bounty two years ago, trying to outsmart a hurricane in late October.

Bill
I totally agree, but the idea of "out sailing" the weather has been sold hard by the builder and could be part of the problem.
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Old 31-01-2015, 17:26   #66
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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No one in their right mind who knows these waters would leave from North Carolina in late January to a destination in the Eastern Caribbean
not to mention the biggest winter storm of the season. even for a gunboat it was a suicide mission. lucky they survived the graveyard of the north atlantic
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Old 31-01-2015, 17:31   #67
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

I think some of the dismasting comments are missing the point here. A typical cruising cat rig is in effect designed to fail just prior to the wind loads that would result in a capsize . ie safety fuse like had the rigging not failed this boat may well have flipped all other things being equal so seems to me the rig did its job its just that they had too much sail up for the gusts/ relied on an electric gizmo to ease sheets automatically.

I agree with the other posts though that just the dismastimg seems insufficient to warrant the CG putting their lives at risk.
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Old 31-01-2015, 18:06   #68
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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I think some of the dismasting comments are missing the point here. A typical cruising cat rig is in effect designed to fail just prior to the wind loads that would result in a capsize . ie safety fuse like had the rigging not failed this boat may well have flipped all other things being equal so seems to me the rig did its job its just that they had too much sail up for the gusts/ relied on an electric gizmo to ease sheets automatically.

I agree with the other posts though that just the dismastimg seems insufficient to warrant the CG putting their lives at risk.
I am sorry but that is totally incorrect. Rigs in cruising catamarans are designed to be able to survive lifting a hull easily, they are NOT designed to fail or jettison to avoid capsizing. In the few documented cases of cruising catamarans capsizing that I am aware of the rigs were intact.
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Old 31-01-2015, 18:11   #69
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Cats dont just capsize from wind loading - wave action also in the extremes - so the fatc that a cat on its back still has ots rigging means nothing of itself.

This is what i was told by my boats designer and also confirmed by a rigger so Ill leave it to a designer to correct one of us
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Old 31-01-2015, 18:33   #70
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

I'm starting to have some second thoughts about buying the new 44' Gun Boat with the lifting foils.
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Old 31-01-2015, 18:43   #71
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
No one in their right mind who knows these waters would leave from North Carolina in late January to a destination in the Eastern Caribbean. Weather routers aside, this is a foolhardy venture by even a very well found and tested motor sailor.

Rather, the prudent mariner would go SOUTH inside the Gulf Stream, hopping down the coast to at least Jacksonville. Then, waiting for a weather window, h/she would head EAST as fast as possible, above the Abacos as far as possible before angling south and reaching I95.
Hmmm, and end up in the Gulf of Campeche?

Quote:
What are you talking about?
If leaving for the E Carib in January from NC is foolhardy, doing so from any further south is mentally deranged. I bet the crew of the Gunboat had as reasonable a plan as possible leaving on the front and it may have been just bad luck they got dealt a bad hand. Leaving from Fl and needing to make a lot of early easting is a far worse bet. Why go all the way west to Jax first, just to come back east with winds more on the nose? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Oh, never mind - you're looking for I95..... Before asking again what I'm talking about, check your longitude... Not so prudent after all, huh?

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Old 31-01-2015, 18:56   #72
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Reminds me of a trip from Easter Island to Pitcairn, when we were in 30-35k on a rainy day when I listened to War Baby (C&C 61) checking in with Herb (Warren was Herb's boss when Herb was still in Bermuda) from about 60 miles in front of us. "Oh Herb, I'm so upset, we just blew up the mainsail". War Baby was reaching along in the same conditions we had, when all of a sudden the wind jumped to over 60 knots. Herb said, "I can see a sharp frontal boundary on the satellite image--did you see lightning before the squall hit?" At that point I looked out the dodger and saw lightning ahead. We furled the jib and put a third reed in the main and 5 minutes later we were in zero visibility rain and 70 knots. It was awesome display of nature's power and had I not been prepared, something would have probably broken on my boat (Santa Cruz 40) too. It wasn't the waves that were the problem, as the rain actually decreased the sea state.

In the Gunboat case, the mast and rigging probably saw the highest stress level since the boat was launched and the weakest link broke. The accident could have been avoided by better seamanship (reducing sail before the squall). The weather decision also stunk of hubris--on that route at this time of the year if you can't make it south of 30 North and east of the Gulf Stream before the next front, you don't leave or you get off the pond.
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Old 31-01-2015, 19:19   #73
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
Hmmm, and end up in the Gulf of Campeche?



If leaving for the E Carib in January from NC is foolhardy, doing so from any further south is mentally deranged. I bet the crew of the Gunboat had as reasonable a plan as possible leaving on the front and it may have been just bad luck they got dealt a bad hand. Leaving from Fl and needing to make a lot of early easting is a far worse bet. Why go all the way west to Jax first, just to come back east with winds more on the nose? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Oh, never mind - you're looking for I95..... Before asking again what I'm talking about, check your longitude... Not so prudent after all, huh?

2 Hulls Dave
Dave:

I apologize for inverting the "6". Yes, of course, in context it should have been clear that I meant to write, "I65". Guess I live too close to I95 (like 200 yards away).

However, I completely disagree with your statement about going further south. It is very good strategy to leave from Florida and go East across the top of Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos. You may have missed my qualification about waiting for a weather window. Or, maybe I should have explained further.

The "weather window" would be a predicted norther, preferably with NW winds. Leaving from Florida the weather would be a much warmer. You'd also be a LOT further south and could cross the Gulf Stream before the norther hit, preferably with southerly winds, making the Stream crossing far more comfortable.

The strategy would be to use the N-NW winds to gain as much easting as possible before reaching the easterlies, whence a turn toward the SE would be in order, until reaching "I65". For those who don't know, "I65" is very often used when talking about passages south to the Eastern Caribbean from the U.S. East Coast. It means 65 degrees of West Longitude, the same approximate longitude of Bermuda and the Eastern Caribbean destinations. Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, e.g., lies in 18 degrees 20 minutes North latitude and 64 degrees 55 minutes West longitude.

This strategy has been proven thru many safe and relatively comfortable passages and, to my mind, is a lot more sensible than testing your mettle in the cold and often much less predictable winds and seas of the mid-Atlantic waters in winter.

Bill
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Old 31-01-2015, 19:22   #74
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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Cats dont just capsize from wind loading - wave action also in the extremes - so the fatc that a cat on its back still has ots rigging means nothing of itself.

This is what i was told by my boats designer and also confirmed by a rigger so Ill leave it to a designer to correct one of us
Sorry wrong again, lots of racing cats have capsized from wind alone, rigs intact. I am an ex builder of a line of cruising catamarans, Where during the capsize from wind should the rig jettison? With the windward hull two feet off the water ? Ten feet? Lot's of performance cruisers like Tag 60 and Gunboats routinely fly hulls, which is a sudden wind increase away from capsize. ANY cruising cat that jettisons its rig before capsize is under engineered.
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Old 31-01-2015, 19:43   #75
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Re: GUNBOAT Dismasting

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However, I completely disagree with your statement about going further south. It is very good strategy to leave from Florida and go East across the top of Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos. You may have missed my qualification about waiting for a weather window. Or, maybe I should have explained further.
Hi Bill - I am well aware of what a weather window is. Suit yourself - given the choice of departing for say, the Virgins, from near Hatteras or Jax, I'd choose Hatteras every time, assuming a good window.

Quote:
This strategy has been proven thru many safe and relatively comfortable passages and, to my mind, is a lot more sensible than testing your mettle in the cold and often much less predictable winds and seas of the mid-Atlantic waters in winter.
You know, of course, that the waters east of the Abacos is still very much the mid-Atlantic every bit as much as the waters SE of Hatteras, just farther west. Why voluntarily give yourself more upwind work? A good strategy to passage from Jax to the Virgins is to first go up the coast to Beaufort, NC, then head direct to the Virgins - but not in the winter. I'd choose that route other times of the year over a direct route from Jax....

I wish you good passages going forward.

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