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Old 23-01-2012, 07:29   #76
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

Well said Brad, all good points!
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Old 23-01-2012, 07:36   #77
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Although I get tired of going up and down steps on my PDQ...

... I know she can take green water from any dirrection.

Since running-off is a basic practice, I'm happy with my high transom.

I too, do not understand why a bulhead forward of the engine was missing.

A fun design with some very poor choises. And that's not really a Monday morning comment; at boat shows I see cats with open cockpits and no means of sealing, and missing bulkheads, and wonder. Have the designers and buyers never seen a breaking wave? I've certainly been covered up and well washed before, and I've not sailed too broadly.
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Old 23-01-2012, 07:55   #78
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Still a lot to unfold, as you say, but I cannot imagine why the OP would want to do so in a forum where he has already been called a fool. It does strike me, however, that even form the information we have to date, the following tentative recommendations can be made (or at least, debated):

1. Care must be taken to ensure that water from the engine compartments, if flooded, cannot enter the cabins (i.e., at minimum ensuring that there are solid bulkeads of a sufficient height to contain the water and that there is sealing around all plumbing/electrical that passes through the bulkheads; or, better still, that all such plumbing and electrical enters above the level to which the compartments would flood).

2. On boats where there is access to the engine compartments from the transom steps and/or deck, care must be taken to ensure that the lids are completely water-tight, even if subjected to green water.

3. Cockpit drainage is every bit as much of an issue for catamarans as it is for monohulls.

4. The installation of adequate manual and electric bilge pumps is every bit as much of an issue for catamarans, as it is for monohulls.

5. Since companionway doors on most catamarans go down to (or virtually down to) the cockpit sole (i.e., no bridgdeck), should water-tight doors be specified for offshore use?

I for one, however, refuse to get into a debate about the seamanship of the OP, or the conditions that led to his abandoning ship - lets face it, Monday morning quarterbacking is by its very nature unfair.

Minx, I can only join others in expressing my sympathies for your loss.

Brad
The above list is all about basic elements of seamanship so therefore you are already debating it.
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Old 23-01-2012, 08:10   #79
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Re: Although I get tired of going up and down steps on my PDQ...

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
... I know she can take green water from any dirrection.

Since running-off is a basic practice, I'm happy with my high transom.

I too, do not understand why a bulhead forward of the engine was missing.

A fun design with some very poor choises. And that's not really a Monday morning comment; at boat shows I see cats with open cockpits and no means of sealing, and missing bulkheads, and wonder. Have the designers and buyers never seen a breaking wave? I've certainly been covered up and well washed before, and I've not sailed too broadly.
I'm a mono sailor mainly because I cannot really afford a cat. That said, one thing that always made me nervous about newer cats is the use of sliding glass doors aft. Seriously, that's gonna stop a big breaking wave?
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Old 23-01-2012, 09:54   #80
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

Actually Charlie, it is noteworthy that in this case the sliding doors did not implode; moreover, I can recall only one anecdotal account of it ever having happened (I stand to be corrected, but that is all that I can recall). The fact that they are not watertight, however, does seem to have been a factor in this incident.

And Lake Superior, I do not see design/construction issues as seamanship per se. Attacks on his choice to sail that vessel in those waters at that time clearly are, however. What is more, IMO ater the fact attacks on his seamanship are not only a little unfair (and insensitive), but take us away from a discussion of potential remedies to structural issues that may have allowed even that boat, sailed by that crew, to survive in those conditions.

Thinwater, my boat has a cockpit design that is very similar to your PDQ32 - the extension of the coachouse roofs over the aft cabins creates a partial aft enclosure and moves the cockpit forward in comparison to most other catamarans. Nevertheless, in spite of that (and the fact that my companionway door is tempered safety glass and only 24 inches wide) I am still debating replacing it with a watertight door with dogs.

I can say that while my diesels are not accessible from on deck (and hence I need not worry about faulty hatch seals), they are still separated from the rest of the boat by a watertight forward bulkhead that is higher than the bridgedeck. Separate bilge pumps for each compartment ensure that in the event that water was able to enter the compartments, for example due to the failure of saildrive seals or the failure of an intake hose/seacock, it can be evacuated. Even if the pumps were unable to keep up with the flow of water, the volume of the engine compartments is too small to sink the boat to the height of the bridgedeck, much less that of the bulkheads.

What is more, since the diesel tanks are mounted on the bridgedeck, the fuel lines enter the engine compartments from above, rather than through openings in the bulkheads. Sound like a sensible design? Absolutely. However, when I had purchased the boat, the electrical wiring for the owner -added solar panels/wind generator were led through holes that had been made in the bulkhead, defeating the care that had been taken by the designer and manufacturer. These have since been sealed (which has the added benefit of reducing chafe) and are inspected regularly.

The upshot of this is that care must be taken to ensure that the engine compartments are separated from the rest of the boat. Even if the original design was appropriate, you must ensure that the installation of added equipment has not changed this. And remember, this is not only a safety issue, but an environmental one - in the case of an oil or diesel fuel leak/spill, the fluids are isolated from the bilge in the rest interior of the boat.

Brad
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Old 25-01-2012, 03:32   #81
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

Very sorry to read what has happened to S V Minx,

Having sailed a Spirited 380 catamaran two-handed approx. 1,400 miles from Gibraltar to Oostende last year I can relate to issues with following seas... We found the engine room hatches on the boat we sailed were already flooding in very small following seas... Because of the hatches not being very watertight the bilge pumps had lots of work...

Happy to read anyway no lives were lost !
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Old 25-01-2012, 03:45   #82
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

For those unfamiliar with Bass Straight (Water between Mainland Australia and Tasmania in the South)

Here is a pic near half way, taken from the Spirit of Tasmania I (On deck seven... Have looked over the edge from deck 10... it's a long way down!)

1 metre swells.... however as the straight is actually quite shallow the swell can get large as said up to 90-100ft.

For those contemplating sailing to Tassie there are however quite a few islands allowing you to isalnd hop from Melbourne across.

I have been on a yacht (42ft Adams) off Darwin sailing through a Cyclone, not fun, great experience because I had a lot of faith in the skipper and he showed calmness and explained WHY we were heading for the quadrant!

Sorry to the OP, wether design or seamanship, I'm sure we have all made "stupid" mistakes. Sometimes your lucky and get away with it, other times mother nature likes to give you a slap.... occasionally she takes it further. Boats can be replaced, as long as everyone got off safe!. (As pilots say, any crash landing you walk away from is a good one!)

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Old 25-01-2012, 14:23   #83
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

sorry to hear what happened, that is tragic; but what remains is your health. no one was injured, correct? that's amazing for what sounded like a brutal storm and dangerous conditions.

you never know though, sometimes boats just pop back up over time... Sail-World.com : Abandoned Cat Found - 1000 Mile Drift
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Old 25-01-2012, 15:10   #84
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
You've lost me.
Where did anyone claim that?


When do they "suddenly" appear?
G'Day CMD,

Well, on October 22 2006 for one! On that day a small low near the Solomons went from just being a typical spring low center in the ITCZ to a Cat 2 cyclone "Xavier" with no previous warning or indication that such development was likely. This was etched into our memories because we were directly in its predicted path, anchored off of Luganville, Vanuatu.

We had a pretty unpleasant beat in freshening to gale force winds down to Pt. Sandwich (about 90 miles rhumb line) where we awaited its arrival. As often happens the cyclone went where it pleased, not where BOM said it would, and we never had any worries... but yes, they do sometimes pop up without much warning.

Cheers,

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Old 25-01-2012, 15:23   #85
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

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sorry to hear what happened, that is tragic; but what remains is your health. no one was injured, correct? that's amazing for what sounded like a brutal storm and dangerous conditions.

you never know though, sometimes boats just pop back up over time... Sail-World.com : Abandoned Cat Found - 1000 Mile Drift
Not that unusual. I recall a story of a Maldives 32 that drifted a long ways. Generally they are still total losses if the time has been long; hardware is stripped and birds live in the cabins.
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Old 25-01-2012, 15:32   #86
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

Sorry to hear about the loss but am glad that there was no loss of life. Please add me to the list of folks who would like to read your debriefing. Only by learning from each other can we grow..... Well except for those delightful sailors who were able to analyze the whole situation in 30 seconds (hes that was sarcasm).

Bill
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Old 25-01-2012, 16:49   #87
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

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Only by learning from each other can we grow..... Well except for those delightful sailors who were able to analyze the whole situation in 30 seconds (hes that was sarcasm).

Bill
+1 on the seeking to learn from each other .

30 seconds to analyse that a lightly built coastal cruiser that leaks like a seive might have problems when crossing some serious water. Does it really take all of 30 seconds (yes, that was despair ).

An expensive way to learn a lesson.
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:45   #88
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

As boatguy 30 said seriously what were you doing in the coral sea in the cyclone season. If you cant handle 3-4m seas and 35kts you should stick to sailing inshore. A few simple questions need to be asked here. If you were crossing oceans why did you not have a storm jib and trysail? Why is it you went to sea with a yacht that wasnt water tight? Why did you not have a proper manual pump that could shift serious amounts of water? If your boat is still floating why arent you on it? I think you need to learn a few basic seamanship skills before you head off again.
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Old 25-01-2012, 18:07   #89
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

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+1 on the seeking to learn from each other .

leaks like a seive

An expensive way to learn a lesson.
Here's a picture of the engine access hatch location on the stern steps.
I'm not sure if it matters how waterproof or how tight you dog down these hatches , eventually you will have to open them in a seaway to maybe check the oil or bleed an injector. Then the fun really starts. If the engine compartment doesn't flood or one isn't swept off the back I'll be surprised.

Surely there's consumer protection against such poor design.

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Old 25-01-2012, 18:38   #90
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Re: Spirited 380 Lost in the Coral Sea

I am very happy to hear the crew are fine.

Sounds like plenty of damage (sails, saildrives, water ingress, etc..) at once in not too rough conditions.

January and the Coral Sea sounds like a bad combination.

b.
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