Originally Posted by Heikki
I now wonder if I and Nick have the same edition? I have the 6th edition and it sure still has an example of a wooden boat breaking apart
I have not read the Dashew books
. They are most likely worth of studying. The section covering storm tactics there may be much more suited to modern designs. It might be a good idea to follow Nick's recommendation here.
I checked: I have the 7th edition Dutch translation. It has a preface by Peter Blake written in 1991 and a Part 2 written after Coles died. Stories are written between 1946 and 1990.
It's important to know that the wooden yachts sailed in part 1 of the book are much more vulnerable than todays fiberglass
or metal hulls. Part 1 is nice reading but only part 2 is really useful.
The Dashew book skips the old stuff completely.
However, when it comes to pysical capsize related characteristics, I do not think much has changed. Laws of physics and waves pretty much remain the same. Most production yachts of today have a wide beam, relatively low displacement, failry high freeboard, small lateral keel idea, maybe even a high aspect ratio keel, and definitely a spade rudder.
You definitely need to get that Dashew book now ;-) It will explain why high freeboard is a safety
feature and why fin-keels and spade rudders are better for everything except being aground. Even high superstructures like cabin
or pilothouse help! In short, two reasons: the most dangerous situation is beam-to a big breaking wave. Other situations ultimately lead to this final one. First, during knock-down these surfaces counter the movement when they hit the water
and stop the capsize
(countering the momentum). This is why they must be so strong with storm-shutters etc. Immediately after, the wave isn't gone, you're on it, or it's on you. Now you need those surfaces to provide lift
to start side-skidding off the wave. The rudder
and keel will counter that and try to capsize the boat. If you side-skid good enough, you lessen the impact from the wave (de-power it's capsizing force just like luffing a sail) and improve the chance that the wave passes under you without rolling upside down. The book shows all that incl. aerial photo-series from rescue
Another example of techniques that didn't work with old designs: actively steering
downwind, avoiding the big breaking crests.
Anyone sailing offshore
should read this or a similar book as it widens your choice of options and has stories on all difficult areas in the world not just the ones around England