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Old 13-10-2016, 11:45   #361
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Yes but over time is the key word and it is good not to forget that we are talking about a boat that is designed taking racing into consideration and most of them were used for racing, namely that one.

Yes, certainly over time. These are older model boats at this point so that's a given. The MAIB report never suggested these boats are so fragile that they can suffer keel failures without repeated cycles, probably over many years. But again, they are all pretty old now, and many have been subject to hard use, whether racing, chartering, cruising, or some combo thereof.

Several had done full racing seasons, several years, including very hard Sydney Hobarts without any problem.

Definitely worth noting, except we really cannot say with any reasonable certainty that such boats do not now have a "problem," or won't should they undertake a lengthy ocean crossing. And then there's the issue of owners not being aware that there is a potential problem they should be looking for. Do you know if Bene has issued service bulletins, especially in light of the MAIB report?

Yes, there is evidence that in some cases, with time the forward part of the matrix can start to unglue, that is not a sudden process and in a boat that is designed with racing in mind regular checks and inspections to the keel, rudder and rig should be made much more frequently than in a boat designed to cruise, even more if the boat does actually race and was subjected to groundings.

Except this particular boat was marketed, designed and utilized for racing and cruising as we all know. It is a "cruiser-racer" or "performance cruiser" and not a dedicated racer subject to a higher level of maintenance as your comments seem to suggest. Besides, it is highly debatable (as has already been discussed at length) whether a single ocean crossing puts more cycles & stress on the hull & scantlings than even repeated multi-day ocean races such as Sydney-Hobart.

All that is needed is to repair and maintain the boat in proper seaworthy condition. Some boats demand more work to be maintained, others less. A failure would only occur if the boat is not adequately maintained.

All true generally, but as you know in this case the MAIB report concluded that this particular problem is difficult to detect, very difficult and expensive to repair, and in the absence of notice from the mfg. may not be a problem that owners or yards may be aware of.

I believe that is the central issue on the charges that have been made. They probably have evidence (or prof) that such inspections/maintenance/repairs were not made in a proper way/time and that the crew took, without knowledge, an unseaworthy boat to an Atlantic Crossing on the North Atlantic.

You may be right, but only as applied to this particular case where there was evidence of damage due to repeated (hard/soft??) groundings that were not properly inspected and/or repaired. What's relevant for the rest of the 40.7's and similarly constructed boats is whether the necessity of such inspections and/or repairs are even known, and if any such problems are reasonably discoverable and/or repairable.

That is the only thing that justifies a credible authority, backed by a credible investigation to present criminal charges against the owner of the charter operation that owned the boat.
Again, probably correct, and it could very well be that the charter co.'s gross negligence exacerbated what the MAIB report concluded was an underlying structural problem with at least some of these boats. It remains to be seen if the charter co. will attempt or be able to offset any of its blame onto the mfg.

Originally Posted by Polux View Post
I was talking about that particular model. We can say that the maintenance needed can be difficult and that it needs more than most, but that is pretty much sums the two years investigation results.

Not exactly. The needed maintenance is not akin to that which may follow routine inspections of keel bolts, rudder bearings, or maybe a hard-to-detect wire strand failure in standing rigging. The MAIB report suggests that the problem here may in fact be more latent, with the early warning signs not necessarily discoverable without highly specialized and expensive equipment.

That is why they did not took action against Beneteau neither took out the licensees of other first 40.7 that were coded and were used as charter boats.

We are talking about different govt/regulatory authorities here, with different jurisdictional limitations and applying different standards. Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

That is why they did not charge Beneteau with criminal charges but the owner of the charter company.
Maybe, but I also think you're likely stretching things a bit here, at least at this point in time. As already noted, a criminal gross negligence standard likely requires proof of the charter co.'s reckless disregard of required maintenance, for example. Any sort of claim against Bene would more likely be a civil suit brought by private parties (family members) and not the govt., and would be based on a lower standard of proof, i.e. ordinary negligence. For example it might be based on a theory of design/mfg. defect, or breach of a duty to warn/correct, etc. But a valid defense to such civil claims could rest on evidence of the charter co.'s gross negligence in dealing with any such defect as an indpt., intervening factor.

My only point here is not to assume that Bene has no liability just because criminal charges have been brought against the charter co. One doesn't necessarily follow from the other.

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Old 13-10-2016, 15:15   #362
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

If I were the accused, my first line of defense would be the 40.7 owners manual. There is a maintenance section. It talks about annual maintenance of the steering, but it never mentions the keel or keelbolts.

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