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Old 14-09-2010, 12:05   #76
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Fact or Fiction????

As I was reading this story, I started feeling like I was reading a disaster novel. It read like we have other accounts of this story or just one???

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Old 22-03-2011, 22:52   #77
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Re: Multihull Disaster Story from Med

I was acquianted with Jean-Claude Batault in 1986-87 when he was a Sailplane instructor, fixed wing instructor, and tow plane pilot in Minden, Nevada. He was also a skiier, race car driver and sky diver and was an acrobatic pilot. He never mentioned sailing to me, so I don't know how experienced he was in sailing catamarans. However, I do know the Jean-Claude I knew would never panic in an emergency situation.

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Old 26-03-2011, 13:40   #78
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Re: Multihull Disaster Story from Med

We may long discuss the seamanship errors; why not drag from aft, they should have prepared the anchor beforehand, shouldn't have open the escape hatch, etc.. We can all make some of these errors, particularly when we are in the given conditions. Even the most reliable weather forecast can turn out to be totally wrong. I can understand all that. But what I cannot understand, when they caught to bad weather, they should only be 40-50 knots away from the coast, They are not in the middle of nowhere, but somewhere in beetween the two most civilised country; Spain and France and probably still in the coverage of GSM phones. (if they didn't have the satellite..)
I would have immediately called some friends, home, Meteo France to give my position and ask for some kind of assistance before it gets too bad. Secondly, I don't understand why they don't go back or at least change the course to escape. They don't do it until they realise they cannot keep their intended course. And from what I understand they actually ride the most dangereous part of the system; lower right quarter of the hurricaine somewhere on the west of Corsica... (he says instead of 210-215 to Baleiric, they were pointing 180)
By pointing to around 60-70 degrees, throwing from the aft all kind ropes available on boat (I understand no decent drag was available on board) they could reach somewhere beetween Nice and Monaco pretty soon, surfing @ 12-15knots per hour. Catana 44 should well be capable of this ..

Or, am I missing something ???


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Old 26-03-2011, 15:10   #79
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Re: Multihull Disaster Story from Med

Hi Yeloya,
it's difficult to discuss the decisions without exact positions etc. But it's clear the turning around against wind and waves was not an option. They were runnigng before the wind to 180 degrees and the wind (Mistral) came from the north. So absolutely no turning back,
To get serious waves they must have been in some distance from land, otherwise not enough fetch for the Mistral. So no GSM-coverage.
The Golfe du Lyon is one of the most dangerous areas for sailing during winter.
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Old 27-03-2011, 02:37   #80
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An interesting aside...

It's interesting that the author of the article is David Vann, an individual who's had more than his own share of sailing disasters.

Vann's boat sinking...

Idiot or Hero?
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Old 07-02-2014, 15:31   #81
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Re: Multihull Disaster Story from Med

I was a good friend of Jean-Claude Batault who died with his brother Philippe on a boat in the Mediterranean sea some years ago. By looking up his name on internet, I have found this forum and your exchange with Palarran. I don't really understand how your forum works, but I gather that either you or Palarran were either on the boat when the accident happened or knows about the story. I was at the mass for Jean-Claude and his brother, but of course did not dare ask their father about the conditions of the accident. It's been quite some time now (more than 10 years I think)... and I would like to know how the experienced sailor I used to know, who'd take me along on his Tornado catamaran at Ile d'Yeu on the French Atlantic coast (or on his motorcycle in Paris) during our young years (between ages 16 and approx. 25) died. Could you help me ? My name is Dan-Antoine and I live in Paris.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:04   #82
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Re: Multihull Disaster Story from Med

Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yep. But the bows are built to take the waves. You must have seen the door leading, on most cats, from the cockpit to the bridgedeck ....

The only cat I have see flipped upside down by the wind under the bridgedeck was the one anchored in the Carib during a cyclone. It had good anchor though ... ;-)))

The bows may be built to take waves but there is a huge difference between a boat "anchored" head into the waves (yeah you will drift a bit with sea anchors maybe 0.5-1.0 kts) vs a boat being slowed by droughs running with the waves (maybe 8-10 kts).

Also running with the waves your rudders can provide some control. If your sea anchor on the bow fails, he rudders could leave you broadside before you have time to react. A drough on the bow (allowing you to drift back with the waves at a more significant speed could create odd handling issue.

Not saying one option is the ideal but just because the bows are designed to take waves doesn't make it the best option.

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