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Old 12-05-2010, 19:33   #46
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I have painted the whole underside of the bridgedeck with Rescue Orange non skid paint and installed a webbing strap on each side from one end to the other. The escape hatches can be opened from inside or out, provided they have been unlocked, which a priority before sailing.
If the situation arose that we capsized, I want to be seen and crew secure.
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Old 12-05-2010, 19:54   #47
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There was an article written by Jack Sherwood in Soundings magazine right after it happened about 3 years ago. I will be writing a first hand account about it soon for Jim Brown's new website , Outrig.org , which is dedicated to providing a time line on the history and advancement of modern multihull development.
XS - I remember your story from the BFS thread. Incredible.

This one ended horribly, but as you said earlier, it's not that difficult to see how the fatal decisions were made.
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Old 13-05-2010, 00:14   #48
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I think we should be careful in dissecting this experience. Hindsight has already been applied by the sole survivor at considerable emotional cost to himself and his generosity to his fellow sailors families exceed what most of us would be able or willing to do.
Learn from what happened, think about how you would prepare boat, self and procedures. Then consider what you have actually done that will apply when something similar happens to you. That's how we can all reduce the risk. Obviously sea-sickness was a big factor and affected the outcome. Suitable clothing was another. That was why I offered the 'Action List' for boat and crew status in worsening conditions.
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Old 13-05-2010, 00:32   #49
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I messed up the Action List by editing carelessly. This is more like what I intended:-

Step 1: (Casting off for some, beginning to sail for others) Minimum fair weather gear, harness first with lifelines, perhaps life vest for all people not indoors, and also allocated and given to those below.
Step 2: (Taking a reef or reducing sail) Life vests MUST be worn on deck with harness and or crotch strap. SeaSick pills for most persons. Cook up hot drinks and stew to themos and sandwiches. Put a competent helm in place and take a serious look around the boat, discuss with your number two (should you fall overboard) the passage plan and divert options and where you are now, where land is, MOB procedure. Double up the watch (two in the cockpit at all times).
When all is in place put the Number 2 in command, usual instructions to raise you if they are worried about anything, then the skipper gets some rest!!! He must be fit, ready and alert if it gets worse even if it's not likely to.
Step 3: 'Batten Down The Hatches' stage.
Number 2 to the skipper and both to review the passage plan options and alternate destinations. Advisory contact by radio with Coastguard and or nearest shipping.
Ready the boat for severe storm conditions, it's good practice anyway!

Each boat and skipper will need a different list, it's the pre-thought that counts.
So often we don't do enough, soon enough, and that's where it starts to go wrong. Not having the sea anchor 'at the ready' when the wind approaches thirty knots, when it hits forty preparing the anchor becomes a risky operation in itself.
I do wonder how many 'Instructors' have this sort of check list, and actually use it.
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Old 13-05-2010, 06:28   #50
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There are some important questions and lessons not being bandied about.

1) Although the Catana floated after flipping it was not habitable. For those thinking an unsinkable boat is a safe this must be a sobering reality.
2) Why did it flip, 30 foot waves should not flip a 44 foot cat. Was it blown over?
3) Should the life raft be in a location that can be accessed from a righted or upside down position. The cabin top is now 8 feet under water.
4) Should a grab bag also be in a location that can be accessed from a righted or upside down position.
5) How are the sailors going to stay with the hull when the waves are breaking and washing them off? Should they be wearing harnesses and should the upturned hull have pad eyes so they can clip on? How long can they survive when exposed to these conditions?
6) They can stay inside for some amount of time without opening the escape hatches but eventually the oxygen will be depleted and they must leave. They didn't seem to have any discussion about how much the boat would sink when the entrapped air was allowed to escape.

Certainly it's a tragedy but hopefully it can lead to discussions that help others.
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Old 13-05-2010, 08:49   #51
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If you want to look at Med weather... dunno why I take suck an interest! But look at this saturday and sunday on Passage Weather PassageWeather - Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers

Its a bit all over the place.


Thanks Joli for those points.

How has Multihull design moved in the last 15 years?
The escape hatches I have seen are all near the aft cabins and on the inside of the twin hulls so they would provide good protection from the weather while the boat is upturned, I would have thought.
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Old 13-05-2010, 10:02   #52
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Batten down the hatches Mark, It's looking like you are going to get some serious weather heading your way. Saturday looks like a 'beam me up and out of here Mr Spock' kind of day

P.
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Old 13-05-2010, 12:50   #53
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What I take from that tale is no matter how reasonable or right your actions are along the way the end result can nonetheless sometimes be bad. No matter what you do - whether on a Cat, a Mono or onshore with life in general. Sometimes your / anyone's best simply isn't good enough.............that's a hard one to swallow.

But of course that doesn't mean not trying to limit the chances along the way .
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Old 13-05-2010, 14:33   #54
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Palarran - THX!

Yes, you are right. What I mean is that stating 'they were experienced sailors' while the content of the story shows numerous mistakes and misjudgements is, well, just making unsupported statements.

I, too, can say: " I am a great surfer". Then the proof comes in the surf.

After the adventure, all these guys can say "I am an experienced sailor'. But is it the kind of experience we should seek?

b.
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Old 13-05-2010, 17:58   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
There are some important questions and lessons not being bandied about.

1) Although the Catana floated after flipping it was not habitable. For those thinking an unsinkable boat is a safe this must be a sobering reality.
2) Why did it flip, 30 foot waves should not flip a 44 foot cat. Was it blown over?
3) Should the life raft be in a location that can be accessed from a righted or upside down position. The cabin top is now 8 feet under water.
4) Should a grab bag also be in a location that can be accessed from a righted or upside down position.
5) How are the sailors going to stay with the hull when the waves are breaking and washing them off? Should they be wearing harnesses and should the upturned hull have pad eyes so they can clip on? How long can they survive when exposed to these conditions?
6) They can stay inside for some amount of time without opening the escape hatches but eventually the oxygen will be depleted and they must leave. They didn't seem to have any discussion about how much the boat would sink when the entrapped air was allowed to escape.

Certainly it's a tragedy but hopefully it can lead to discussions that help others.
Thanks for getting back to the point. I'll take a stab at a couple of these.
1) Or at least perceived to be not hospitable. They may have never made it to the pontoons. The fear was according to the article that the boat would sink, which lead to opening the hatch. Either way, the boat was going to fill with water until it reached its buoyancy point. Also, I haven't felt that although the boat is unsinkable it was safe. It just may be safer then if it was sunk.

In my boat there are three separate bulkhead zones and two watertight flotation chambers. The watertight chambers are at the bottom of the pontoons. So, they would not be of any effect if inverted. The rear engine room compartment is vented so water would freely flow in. Only the forward compartment would really be sealed enough to aid positive flotation if inverted. The escape hatches are mounted midship about midpoint between the waterline and the bottom of the bridge deck.

I would expect that if the boat was inverted, the escape hatches would be underwater. You would have to dive down to get in or out. I would also expect that the only place with air would be maybe a 2' gap along the floor, which is now the ceiling. I'm not sure I'd like to be inside during a storm as you may not actually know the boat is 50' underwater until it's to late.

2) I personally could absolutely see how 30' waves could flip a floundering cat. To be blown over? You would think it would loose it's rig first.

3) A lot of rafts are mounted at the back of the boat along the bridge deck which would allow deployment either way. Mine are not.

4) Yes, though I'm not sure where

5) Harness's and jacklines are for sure required. I'd be interested in knowing how well someone is going to do when they are harnessed in on the topside when a cat flips. It's going to be complicated to unclip so maybe cut your tether? Everyone is going to have to deal with exposure regardless of vessel.

6) My kids have lived for hours locked in my car with no air, so I'd expect at least a day or two in the pontoon
The boat was going to sink to it's flotation level anyway. I can absolutely imagine standing on the ceiling of my bridgedeck looking up at the escape hatch and thinking "We need to get the $%^ out of here!"

jmo
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Old 13-05-2010, 18:03   #56
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Palarran - THX!

Yes, you are right. What I mean is that stating 'they were experienced sailors' while the content of the story shows numerous mistakes and misjudgements is, well, just making unsupported statements.

I, too, can say: " I am a great surfer". Then the proof comes in the surf.

After the adventure, all these guys can say "I am an experienced sailor'. But is it the kind of experience we should seek?

b.
You see Barny, if you where talking about me, I'd be in full agreement. I'm absolutely not qualified to handle my boat offshore yet. That's why I have opened my wallet and hired a competent captain.

I also always love peoples view of their abilities. Along the surfer lines, I like to snow ski. My friends say I'm above average and I feel I'm below average. Why? When you look at the universe of skiing ability, not skiers, I suck.
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Old 14-05-2010, 08:00   #57
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Better posts, thank you. My sail buddy is a long term friend, I put him at risk every time I go out and I've come to terms with the risk to me. I'm sure the wife hasn't, bless her.
Why would any-one post their 'bad trips' if they are going to be ripped to shreds like this.
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:06   #58
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Mine has a locking bar across it which would make it impossible to open from outside without breaking the acrylic or whatever it is.
Just a quick comment on this particular item. The locking bars I have seen on catamaran escape hatches in the sides of the hulls are designed to fall off if the cat is inverted.

As a note - I have a Catana 48 which has the same sub-optimal escape hatch arrangement as on the boat in this story, i.e. in the floor of the bridgedeck. I would much rather there was a hatch in both hulls, but I am not prepared to take moving it on as a task at the moment. I do have a kit ready when I go offshore with a battery powered saw (inside the boat) to cut a hole in the upturned hull if necessary. I saw an interesting comment from someone (sorry I've lost the reference) who had actually spent time in an upturned hull that the place they really wanted the hatch was below the waterline if the cat was the right way up.

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Old 14-05-2010, 11:56   #59
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I have seen a hatch in both hulls, just above normal waterline. It made a great viewing panel, being shaded from sky/sun light. I'm not keen on them though. It's only become necessary because of the blunt (sheer) bows on so many french boats, trying to get the most from the Waterline length. The older boats inevitably had flared bows to produce dynamic and floatation lift when pushing into waves. Makes the bows more lively but that's a trade off for safety.
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Old 14-05-2010, 12:22   #60
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Thanks for pointing out the bar design Mark. I had never thought about the inverted position but your right, it would fall off. As far as taking it off when cruising, I'd be twenty times more worried about it accidentally opening when right side up then not opening wrong side up.

The one thing I personally liked about the escape hatch in the bridgedeck floor is it looks like a perfect spot to do some fishing. Your protected from the elements and right next the to beer (MarkJ). Maybe it just reminds me of ice fishing here in Michigan.

Any guesses on how the boat actually flipped? Have any of you heard of any other cruising cat that has flipped? The only one I've read about is the Leopard off the coast of Washington or Oregon. There where no survivors with that one.
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