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Old 31-01-2012, 14:53   #1
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Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

Many questions have been asked as to the cause of the fire that destroyed our hybrid/electric catamaran 'Sea Minx' on 20 Dec 2011 in Richards Bay South Africa.
Following the launch of the yard's demonstrator 'GreenEmotion', she was the first commercial sailing catamaran with retractable electric motors and first to be built from basalt fibre composite. 'Sea Minx' was launched 18 Jan 2011 and was thus less than a year old at the time of the incident.
She caught fire on Dec 20th 2011 while in the marina of the Zululand Yacht Club in Richards Bay, South Africa. At the time, the crew was on shore.
The vessel was completely destroyed despite valiant attempts by other yachties and the club management to save her. We lost everything and were left standing in shorts and tee shirt.
Most importantly however was the fact that nobody was killed or injured and no damage to other yachts occurred due to the location of our yacht at the end of a 'hammerhead' pontoon away from other yachts in the marina.
The club and members were fantastic in their help and support.
Insurers 'Topsail' and their underwriters 'Royal Sun Alliance' carried out an immediate technical forensic investigation. The investigation has concluded that the cause of the fire was a faulty 'trickle' charger that was left on to recharge the genny battery that was flat.
The insurers have since settled our claim.
We are slowly coming to terms with this horrendous turn of events.
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Old 31-01-2012, 15:04   #2
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Re: LOSS OF FASTCAT445 'SEA MINX' BY FIRE

Thanks for the information on the loss of your vessel Sea Minx.

Glad your insurance has been settled quickly.

Will you be replacing your vessel ?

All the best in the future.

Cheers
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Old 31-01-2012, 15:21   #3
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Re: LOSS OF FASTCAT445 'SEA MINX' BY FIRE

Thanks, we are looking around but biding our time! It appears that current market conditions are in favour of the buyer. This to be confirmed over the next few months.
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Old 31-01-2012, 16:00   #4
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Re: LOSS OF FASTCAT445 'SEA MINX' BY FIRE

Its one hell of an emotional shock to lose your boat.

Its good to know the insurance has paid out so quickly,

Cheers,
Brian,
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Old 31-01-2012, 16:04   #5
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Re: LOSS OF FASTCAT445 'SEA MINX' BY FIRE

Best of wishes for your search.

I am sure others as well as myself would be interested of a review of your Fastcat and particually the electric drive side.

Cheers.
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Old 31-01-2012, 19:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder
Best of wishes for your search.

I am sure others as well as myself would be interested of a review of your Fastcat and particually the electric drive side.

Cheers.
yes, wpould love to get feedback on your electric propulsion option and if it met your expectations and if you would go the same way again.
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Old 31-01-2012, 19:54   #7
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

Greetings Lambert,

Sorry for the devastation and loss you've endured. You all must still be in shock with the passage of only a few weeks. Very happy everyone was rescued!

Best wishes to you and your crew as you move forward.

Southern smiles,
Sailing Mermaid
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Old 31-01-2012, 20:14   #8
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yes, wpould love to get feedback on your electric propulsion option and if it met your expectations and if you would go the same way again.
mick
Sincere apologies...I did mean to start the message above with my condolence on the loss of your boat. Its a loss to you but as you said it coud have meen so much worse if life was lost or injuries occurred. on the bright side you are looking for a new boat in very buyer favourable times. Good luck
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:07   #9
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

Very sorry for your loss, and like the others, I too am very interested in the electric drive because I'm considering it for my next boat.
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Old 01-02-2012, 17:18   #10
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

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Originally Posted by Lammert View Post
The investigation has concluded that the cause of the fire was a faulty 'trickle' charger that was left on to recharge the genny battery that was flat.
Yikes. Do you remember what brand of trickle charger was on the boat?
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:32   #11
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

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Yikes. Do you remember what brand of trickle charger was on the boat?
Was it built in or one of those portable automotive jobs.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:45   #12
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

The owner just posted on another forum that the problem and fire was caused by one of those portable automotive type chargers that we all have in our garages. It was not a problem with the boat.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:02   #13
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

I would also be very interested in their experience and recommendations about the electric drive. Certainly a promising technology, I will be very interested to see if they pursue it again.

I am also very interested to know HOW it was determined to be a battery charger? On any fire of this magnitude I would think it is very difficult to determine exactly what started it, considering the intensity of the blaze and the multitude of systems aboard. Once the fire started, I am sure that many other wires shorted and melted. For the sake of the owners, I hope the official ruling allows quick insurance reimbursement, But that does not mean that anyone will ever know the exact cause.

My best wishes for the owners, I hope they are able to be made whole again, and continue to pursue their dreams.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:11   #14
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

The insurance co determined that it as this charger and has settled with the owners. It's on the other forum. Mods, am I allowed to mention it by name?
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:28   #15
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Re: Loss of FastCat 445 'Sea Minx' by fire

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The insurance co determined that it as this charger and has settled with the owners. It's on the other forum. Mods, am I allowed to mention it by name?
No you aren't! I'm about one strike away from being banned for mentioning the other forum.

Sandcrab... Cut and paste it from the other place. They won't complain.
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