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Old 04-08-2010, 07:19   #61
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Winds jumping from 20 to 60 knots are pretty common around thunderstorms. If that could knock over every cat, we'd hear about it--most crews have reduced sail by the time the 60 knot blast hits.

We did hit something similar one year on the way from Easter Island to Pitcairn. We were reaching in 20 knots when we listened to Herb give the weather to a boat 60 miles in front of us. The boat told Herb that they had just blown out their mainsail when a 60 knot gust hit. Herb said "yes, I see a sharp front on the satellite picture--did you see lightning just before it hit?" They said yes, and I popped up out of the hatch to see lightning on the horizon. Double reefed the main, rolled up the genoa, and in 15 minutes we had the full 60 knots too. Not that common in the South Pacific tradewind areas, but they do occur.

Note that while the unprepared boat did have some damage, it didn't need assistance--you guessed right--it was a monohull, and they are more definitely more foregiving in sudden gusts.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:22   #62
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When you say forgiving - you mean like this
Quote:
TWO couples were back home in Britain last night after being rescued from their sinking yacht off the coast of Spain.

Veteran sailors Mike and Barbara Arnold, from Devon, and friends David and Angela Johnson, from the Midlands, were hit by a storm in the Atlantic as they sailed home from the Azores islands.

Their yacht Octagon started to take in water 340 miles off North-West Spain. Skipper Mike's mayday call was picked up by the British Coastguard in Falmouth, and merchant ship the MTM Princess went to the Octagon's aid.

The sea was so rough it took several attempts to pull the friends to safety. Angela said: "We were very worried and thought we wouldn't be able to get on to the ship."

The Marshall Islands-registered freighter took them to Santander, Spain. Angela said: "I'm deeply moved, very tired and very grateful to our rescuers."
Or this

Quote:
9th February 2010



THE Sunshine Coast’s rescue helicopter was involved in the rescue of a man from a sinking yacht in rough conditions off Moreton Island on Monday night.

The AGL Action Rescue Helicopter and the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) were contacted and dispatched after a 406MHz emergency beacon was detected by the Australian Search and Rescue Agency (AUSSAR) approximately 10 nautical miles east of Moreton Island.

"The conditions were definitely challenging," rescue crewman Rick Harvey said.

"On our way to the search area, visibility was basically zero, we couldn't see the horizon or the water, and it was only due to the skill and experience of our pilot that we could even get to the area and descend low enough to break through the heavy cloud."

Amongst the swell and rain, Flight Paramedic Mick Kerr located a faint light approximately 500 metres below the aircraft. The rescue helicopter then descended to 180 metres and used a night sun, a 2 million candle power search light, to locate the 26-foot yacht with a distressed man on deck waving his arms frantically.

"The front jib of the yacht was flapping uncontrollably in the wind and the bow was low in the water indicating the vessel was taking on water," Mr Harvey said.

The Rescue Helicopter deployed a flare and directed the VMR vessel to the location of the sinking yacht.

The VMR carefully approached the yacht and managed to successfully transfer the man onto the VMR vessel.

The boat had lost all electrics, had a crack in the hull and was taking on water fast.

"The conditions made this a difficult search and it was the cooperation of a number of highly skilled emergency services working together which probably saved the man's life," AGL Action Rescue Pilot Aaron Regan said.
or this


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Old 04-08-2010, 07:41   #63
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I dunno Factor--maybe you can tell us how a sudden squall in good weather sank that monohull.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:51   #64
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Don - the Bureau of Meteorology for Cape Moreton for that day records a maximum wind gust of about 30 knots.

So the boat didn't forgive being caught in medium swells and and not too strong winds.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:55   #65
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How do you know the boat wasn't purposely scuttled? Good way to collect insurance.

I'm pretty sure none of the incidents of capsize were purposeful.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:51   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
"QUOTE"Cause was wind. Seas were 3 meters, no other problems. They were sailing upwind under single reefed main and full jib in 16-18kts with squalls in the area for the previous 24 hrs. The squall that hit didn't look any different visually or by radar (they were checking each squall they approached). Wind built to 62kts almost immediately (62 was highest owner saw, but not sure if that was highest the boat saw).
"UNQUOTE"


Maybe someone can help.. If the wind can go up from 17-18 knts to 62 "almost immediately", then none of us should be sailing.. My guess; 90 % of ANY cat would be flipped down the rest losing the rig for sure + possibly some MOB and seriously wounded crew. Useless to discuss, in case of mono, it would be close to that, if not worst (sinking boat..)


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Doubtful. I have never heard of a ballasted mono being capsized by the force of the wind alone. Waves, not wind, cause capsizes. Knocked down? Yes. But that's recoverable.

However, 3 meter waves of short period are fairly hefty and could still have - in combination with a wind-induced knockdown - rolled a mono of similar says, I would guess.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:35   #67
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Just finished reading Kelly Wright's sailing blog Anna - Kelly Wright 2010 travelogue 3 - Tonga

It seems that he was pretty experienced--over a year sailing the catamaran. It was his third boat, and he had crossed the South Pacific on a previous boat. He and the cat had been out in a lot worse weather than when it capsized, but they were down to 2 people from the normal crew of 3.

His blogs give a realistic picture of cruising a big cat, and he willingly admits his mistakes. I hope that he will document the disaster after he has some time to think about it so that we can all learn from his experience.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:37   #68
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Originally Posted by Joli View Post
These are average sailing conditions, we all sail through these weather events during any typical season.

As cats become more popular I fear we'll read about more and more of this. When cruising, you don't tend sheets constantly, they are cleated and you stand watch.

People like multi's for a whole host of reasons that are valid but claiming they can't go over in "ordinary conditions" is proving to be a fallacy.
Joli, you started this in the right vain and then took a wrong turn at the end.

It's very possible all of us long term catamaran posters bear some of the responsibility. As you said, we sail our boats in these conditions and none of us fall over. Yet it's because we all have a fair amount of experience and that we know our boats and her limitations, that we don't get into trouble. For new catamaran owners, this may come across as a guarantee they will never get in trouble with their new boat, which as we can see from your post obviously isn't the case.

My number 1 rule is to reef early and can't count how many times I've posted this. My number two rule is when in doubt, drop my sails and crank up the diesels. Twice I've encountered conditions where I deemed the iron genny, my prudent course of action.

I've never lifted a hull or been close to getting into trouble.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:46   #69
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This thread was interesting until it deteriorated into the cats vs monos debate. A boring, oft repeated discussion that changes no minds. They're all sailboats. Who can say which is safer and, anyway, how many of us buy a certain boat because it is "safer". Small boats will founder, big boats founder. That's a risk all of us take when going to sea. The posts on possible capsize prevention were interesting but the cats vs monos thing gets us nowhere. I cannot understand why certain sailors get so worked up about it. Sail what you want and let others sail what they want.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:01   #70
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MULTIHULL SINKS!

MONOHULL STAYS UPSIDE DOWN!

Aliens blamed in both cases.

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Old 04-08-2010, 10:04   #71
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Tropic Cat, I think you've missed the point. As you've said you must actively sail your boat to keep it on its feet. That is simply the nature of a boat that is not self righting.

They guys sailing the Atlantic were certainly very good and prudent sailors. Honestly I would have been sailing the Atlantic exactly the same way. The difference between the Atlantic working its way up hill and an Oyster 54 working its way upwind when the blast comes through yield vastly different results. The Atlantic goes over whereas the Oyster takes a knockdown but rights itself and continues on.

So, how do you safely cruise a large cat short handed AND cleat the sails off? How do you set storm sails, slam the hatch boards home and let the autopilot work the boat upwind when you are cold, tired and exhausted?


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Joli, you started this in the right vain and then took a wrong turn at the end.

It's very possible all of us long term catamaran posters bear some of the responsibility. As you said, we sail our boats in these conditions and none of us fall over. Yet it's because we all have a fair amount of experience and that we know our boats and her limitations, that we don't get into trouble. For new catamaran owners, this may come across as a guarantee they will never get in trouble with their new boat, which as we can see from your post obviously isn't the case.

My number 1 rule is to reef early and can't count how many times I've posted this. My number two rule is when in doubt, drop my sails and crank up the diesels. Twice I've encountered conditions where I deemed the iron genny, my prudent course of action.

I've never lifted a hull or been close to getting into trouble.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:41   #72
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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
"QUOTE"Cause was wind. Seas were 3 meters, no other problems. They were sailing upwind under single reefed main and full jib in 16-18kts with squalls in the area for the previous 24 hrs. The squall that hit didn't look any different visually or by radar (they were checking each squall they approached). Wind built to 62kts almost immediately (62 was highest owner saw, but not sure if that was highest the boat saw).
"UNQUOTE"
Quote:
1-how often one can experience this kind of change of wind in open sea WİTHOUT any sign at all ? (radar views, meteorogical alert of any kind, diving barometer, strange and unusual clouds, growing seas, etc)
I have probably misunderstood the conundrum , but seems pretty clear that the Skipper of the Anna had got plenty of advance warning that this specific squall was approaching (visually and by radar), in addition to the general warning provided by previous recent squalls and any reading of forecasts.

He just didn't have a source of info that would guarantee no sudden high / variable winds during the squall. Probably because their ain't anything that would guarantee that.

Skipper took a calculated risk / gambled / didn't understand the possibilities. 17/ 18 knots already and with around 25 knots being a critical Cat figure then heading into a squall? 60+ knots maybe not expected, but not as far out of the ballpark as 200 . In any event 30's or 40's in a Squall not exactly out of the ordinary..........and would seem prudent to prepare for at least that possibility. (on a Mono I would have battened down the hatches ).

No criticism meant to the Skipper, I am sure we have all done stuff that could have earned the spanking it deserved
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:04   #73
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Vasco, I am with you - the mono versus multi debate goes nowhere. Furthermore, it is a huge mistake to make generalizations based upon specific cases, particularly where we do not/cannot know all of the details. Those who wish to conclude, based upon this case (or the others cited) that cruising multihulls, conservatively sailed, can capsize in 'normal' conditions can do so, just as others may wish to make generalizations about monohulls based upon every one that goes down in less than horrid conditions.

I find it interesting that Joli is prepared to suggest that the monohull may have been deliberately scuttled for insurance purposes, but is of the view that the same cannot be said about the catamarans. A man sees what he wants to see.....

In the final analysis, I would suggest that these cases stand primarily as case studies in support of the mantra for multis (or for that matter, monos) - reef early (and never deliberately put yourself in harm's way)!

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Old 04-08-2010, 12:30   #74
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Does that boat have a heavy-weather steering station which is NOT completely exposed and in front of the cabin?
This is the fair weather one.

Anybody knows how it actually happened? Not quite an easy trick to trip a 17m cat, is it.

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Old 04-08-2010, 13:02   #75
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Doubtful. I have never heard of a ballasted mono being capsized by the force of the wind alone. Waves, not wind, cause capsizes. Knocked down? Yes. But that's recoverable.

However, 3 meter waves of short period are fairly hefty and could still have - in combination with a wind-induced knockdown - rolled a mono of similar says, I would guess.
There was this incident, about two years ago, in which a charter yacht sank in a heavy squall in the BVI. I was out in the same weather as it passed through the Nevis area, and it was a hell of a blow. I'm glad I saw it coming and had everything battened down tight.

BVI Charter Sailboat Sinks in a Squall

Monos can go down in squalls, but it generally requires a mistake on the part of the skipper (leaving hatches and portlights open) or structural damage allowing water in.
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