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Old 07-05-2015, 04:37   #121
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
This is a true unrestricted service Ocean boat with a good keel structure. The captain was saved by AMSA well into the event, but first and foremost, he was saved by his boat. Had this been the sort of craft being critiqued on this thread, the boat's disappearance would still be a mystery. Some wreckage may have been found some time later, but probably not.
...
There are some rocks nearby but the boat is on a beach. Lots of boats with the keels the type First 40.7 has have made it to the beach in one piece. Not saying that the steel boat is not stronger, obviously it is but as usual on this thread some are vastly exaggerating the disadvantages of that type of keel over the advantages. You have just to look at the last post:

"It seems that the prudent answer is to drop your keel twice a week to check just in case."
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:18   #122
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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There are some rocks nearby but the boat is on a beach. Lots of boats with the keels the type First 40.7 has have made it to the beach in one piece. Not saying that the steel boat is not stronger, obviously it is but as usual on this thread some are vastly exaggerating the disadvantages of that type of keel over the advantages. You have just to look at the last post:

"It seems that the prudent answer is to drop your keel twice a week to check just in case."
Wow. Just wow. Just when i thought you had reached the pinnacle of obtuse posts, you come up with this. The vessel is not on a freaking beach. When have you seen a beach looking like that? Notwithstanding the fact that the AMSA report specifies that the wreck was on ROCKS, it is completely obvious that this is the case.

By this point, however, your inability to identify a solid rock shelf or distinguish it from a beach is not any longer altogether surprising.

However I should thank you for such a perfect example of your refusal to see the import of the obvious facts presented in the most direct manner to you, and your monomaniacal holding on to a position, in which you are personally invested, at all costs and in defiance of those clearly presented facts.

I note however that despite your obvious willingness to go to extraordinary lengths to defend your position at any cost, you in fact tacitly admit precisely what I was driving at: this is not a beach and you well know that NO First 40.7 or similarly constructed boat would survive such an encounter with rock in these circumstances, which is exactly why you sought to assert that it was a beach, however amazing such an attempt in fact was. By contrast, if this vessel were not high and dry, and had managed to back off, I see no reason why the skipper could not simply have continued on his way.

Henceforth I shall no longer consider you as Polux, but rather Pangloss. Congratulations, you have earned yourself an honorary doctorate.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:26   #123
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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There are some rocks nearby but the boat is on a beach. Lots of boats with the keels the type First 40.7 has have made it to the beach in one piece. Not saying that the steel boat is not stronger, obviously it is but as usual on this thread some are vastly exaggerating the disadvantages of that type of keel over the advantages. You have just to look at the last post:

"It seems that the prudent answer is to drop your keel twice a week to check just in case."
And before you or anyone else starts saying that I am cherry picking as this is a steel yacht etc etc. understand that there are PLENTY of yacht designs out there made of other than steel which would at least keep the crew alive in an intact yacht in these circumstances, as well as be able to take severe rock groundings and continue. Nigel Calder in his piece about grounding in the Boat Owner's Practical and Technical Cruising Manual has a great photo of his craft grounded head down at a crazy angle, hard on rocks. He notes the worried look on his wife's face, and notes that they refloated and sailed away with only cosmetic damage, as had happened many times. His opinion and mine is clear: unrestricted ocean service boats must be able to be heavily and repeatedly grounded but nonetheless remain seaworthy without the need for an immediate structural survey and attendant repairs as often such a survey is impossible, as the very definition of unrestricted ocean service itself implies! The boat in question (Calder's) is fairly clearly GRP. Nor need it be the case that a boat which is strong enough for unrestricted ocean service need be some stalwart old cruising tank. Team Vestas Wind's recent adventure shows clearly that a full on light racing yacht keel structure CAN be built fantastically strongly. They hit that reef at 17 knots or something like, and the whole boat was pivoted 180 degrees stopping dead as the keel took the full force of the blow. It remained intact and attached. Only the pounding of the after sections caused the final loss of the vessel. But such a vessel is a multimillion dollar machine. However in none of these scenarios would a First 40.7 or other similarly constructed vessel have survived, but rather suffered instant catastrophic damage. This fact and even more importantly the fact that it is now admitted by all sides in this discussion (as it is asserted in the MAIB report) that these vessels MUST undergo a full structural survey after even a light grounding before being put back to sea into the likes of the North Atlantic. There is even a clear statement that merely hard ocean service can cause debonding of the type which is implicated in this FATAL accident enquiry. Ergo, such boats cannot be considered to be Ocean vessels adequately qualified by their build characteristics for unrestricted ocean service. To continue to assert otherwise is to be arguing for a status quo situation in which further sailors lives will be lost in atrocious circumstances. It is for the latter reason I am so passionate about this issue. Not because of some personal prejudice. For the record, I think there is a place for such craft, and they serve a useful purpose in the middle of the yachting market, and it is in light duty coastal cruising or racing, not more than 60 miles from a safe haven, and not outwith SAR air cover.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:52   #124
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
This is a true unrestricted service Ocean boat with a good keel structure. The captain was saved by AMSA well into the event, but first and foremost, he was saved by his boat. Had this been the sort of craft being critiqued on this thread, the boat's disappearance would still be a mystery. Some wreckage may have been found some time later, but probably not.

Happened 3 days ago. From AMSA's website:

"AMSA coordinated the rescue of a solo yachtsman from rocks off the West Australian coast today.
AMSA responded after detecting a distress beacon about 9am AEST. In bad weather, the yacht had become grounded on rocks near Miles Island, about 125km east of Esperance.
AMSA tasked its Dornier fixed wing aircraft and a rescue helicopter from Perth to respond. AMSA also tasked a helicopter from Esperance to respond.
The helicopter from Esperance was able to land on nearby rocks around midday AEDT and the yachtsman climbed on board. The man was uninjured and transported back to Esperance."
Not sure what the point being made here is.

You have a single handed sailor who has apparently put his boat aground and fortunately got away with it. So Was this Pilot error? boat designer error? or boatbuilder error?

The rescue was good but would the rescuers have not even attempted to rescue someone from an incident to a mere fibreglass boat especially one with a bolt on keel??

Who knows, maybe had it been a modern fin keeler like a Benny 40.7 it might have been able to sail clear away from that lee shore instead of running onto it in the first place?
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:05   #125
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Not sure what the point being made here is.

You have a single handed sailor who has apparently put his boat aground and fortunately got away with it. So Was this Pilot error? boat designer error? or boatbuilder error?

The rescue was good but would the rescuers have not even attempted to rescue someone from an incident to a mere fibreglass boat especially one with a bolt on keel??

Who knows, maybe had it been a modern fin keeler like a Benny 40.7 it might have been able to sail clear away from that lee shore instead of running onto it in the first place?
You seem almost to wish to miss the point. The navigational issues are not in discussion on the thread and so are a red herring in your reply. The vessel is at rest some 45 to 55 meters from the edge of the rock shelf. The photo was taken some 3 hours after the Epirb was fired, and likely a fair amount longer since the initial grounding. The surf is still breaking all around the vessel and please note its scale. To achieve the position it is resting in, this vessel will have been SEVERELY POUNDED by large breaking waves into solid rock for several hours. The evidence of this is clear on the side of the vessel if you look closely at the more panoramic shot. You appear not to have read my second post, and perhaps you were composing yours while I was as well. But if you read it you will see that it is the case that I acknowledge that fiberglass boats, race boats with canting keels, aluminum boats, boats with bolt on keels, and perhaps even certain wooden boats can be built to take at least several hours of pounding without breaking up, and may be sailed away from such an event, if they can get off. There is no way a First 40.7 or similar vessel would have survived the first few minutes of such a pounding. If the break up of the vessel happened near the outer edge of the rock shelf, there is essentially no realistic chance of crew survival given the energy. Now do you begin to see? The point is that a boat properly designed for unrestricted ocean service is immensely strong. The boats you refer to ARE NOT.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:31   #126
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

You mean like all those J Boats that had keels fall off as well? I agree that except in extreme circumstances, the keel should never fail.

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Old 07-05-2015, 08:34   #127
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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There are some rocks nearby but the boat is on a beach. Lots of boats with the keels the type First 40.7 has have made it to the beach in one piece. Not saying that the steel boat is not stronger, obviously it is but as usual on this thread some are vastly exaggerating the disadvantages of that type of keel over the advantages. You have just to look at the last post:

"It seems that the prudent answer is to drop your keel twice a week to check just in case."
Paolo,

The last bit was a tongue in cheek comment being made by David. I feel sure he well knows the real situation.

The MAIB report is saying that many events (light grounding, pounding up wind, etc.) that would not heretofore mandate a detailed hull integrity inspection ought to result in detailed inspections. The MAIB report makes the case for uniform inspection regimes for the reason that the liner reinforcement system makes traditional inspection methods inadequate. The report makes pretty clear what is needed to reduce the probability of loss of life. That this report does not square with the desires of the designers/builders or the yachting world at large isn't relevant.

I am reminded of a sequence in an old movie. The actor (a jet mechanic) was trying to move a 707 passenger jet out of a mud hole. He applied full thrust to all 4 engines and the plane miraculously rolled up onto the paved tarmac. The young man in the right seat remarked that the manual said that was impossible. The mechanic said something to the effect, "that's the great thing about the 707, it can't read manuals".

Likewise, these pan lined boats with too little backing for their keel cannot read the marketing literature or internet postings. They care not how much or how little was spent on their construction. They do what real world physics allow, no more no less.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:36   #128
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
Wow. Just wow. Just when i thought you had reached the pinnacle of obtuse posts, you come up with this. ... this is not a beach and you well know that NO First 40.7 or similarly constructed boat would survive such an encounter with rock in these circumstances, which is exactly why you sought to assert that it was a beach, however amazing such an attempt in fact was....

Henceforth I shall no longer consider you as Polux, but rather Pangloss. Congratulations, you have earned yourself an honorary doctorate.
Gratuitous insults and name calling says a lot more about the one that uses them than regarding the one that is bullied with them.

Regarding that place were the boat is grounded it is remarkably flat:



and if it is a stone shelf it can only be a kind of very soft stone that allows erosion to work on it like that. In fact on the other picture (on the left) you see it coming apart on small pieces pebbles :



Grounding on such a flat ground, on soft rock, would not be very different to grounding on hard sand.

No, talking about really being thrown (and not gently deposed) on hard rock and contrary to what you so emphatically say, there are know cases of boats with a similar built of the First 40.7 to have stayed on one piece.













But you were talking about safety and the fact that a boat stays on one piece does not mean that the sailors would survive all those violent impacts or not to be thrown on the water. In fact several members of the crew of the above boat died.

Regarding the crew surviving violent impacts against rocks a steel boat can be way worst than a fiberglass boat due to the nil absorption of impacts. It is known that car and motorcycle helmets are designed to purposely break under very hard impact, dissipating that way part of the energy of the impact and allowing a better chance of survival.

Of course the fiberglass boat will suffer more damage and will be a more difficult one to repair (I said that already) but your point was safety regarding grounding against rocks. Anyway it is a very infrequent situation one that the vast majority of sailors would never experience in his entire life.

As I said previously, a modern boat with a bolted keel has advantages and disadvantages. I can see clearly both, it seems you cannot see any advantage on modern designed boats. Don't you find odd that is the way almost all boats are designed today? Your personal preferences and the blindness that it seems to induce, does not allow you to suspect that there is a good reason why NAs have opted for most design programs, almost unanimously, for that configuration (bolted fin keel) regarding those advantages and disadvantages, even in very expensive sailboats?
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:51   #129
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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As I said previously, a modern boat with a bolted keel has advantages and disadvantages. I can see clearly both, it seems you cannot see any advantage on modern designed boats. Don't you find odd that is the way almost all boats are designed today? Your ego does not allow you to suspect that there is a good reason why NAs have opted for most design programs, almost unanimously, for that configuration regarding those advantages and disadvantages?
Paolo,

I see the advantages of such a design. I also see the disadvantages. In some cases the advantages of reducing costs and improved sailing performance are not enough to justify the additional risk to life.

I fully agree it is possible to design and build boats with bolt-on keels resulting in a safe performance cruising platform. The MAIB report describe one example that does not balance that equation. Why is it so hard to admit that some bolt on keel designs are inadequate. No one is saying all such designs are so afflicted. Least of all me, my keel is bolted on and I have absolutely no fear it will fall off no matter what stupid thing I do. However, it cost a lot more to build than CR.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:49   #130
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Paolo,

It's Paulo, I am not Italian

I see the advantages of such a design. I also see the disadvantages. In some cases the advantages of reducing costs and improved sailing performance are not enough to justify the additional risk to life.

I fully agree it is possible to design and build boats with bolt-on keels resulting in a safe performance cruising platform. The MAIB report describe one example that does not balance that equation. Why is it so hard to admit that some bolt on keel designs are inadequate. No one is saying all such designs are so afflicted. Least of all me, my keel is bolted on and I have absolutely no fear it will fall off no matter what stupid thing I do. However, it cost a lot more to build than CR.
Something wrong here. I have no problem in admitting that some bolt and keel designs are badly designed. That was the case of the Bavaria 42 match before the boat was beefed up and on that case the guilt was more from the designer than from Bavaria since they just built what was designed.

I just don't see evidence, at least till now, that it is the case with the First 40.7. The two cases that we know off (over more than 800 sailboats) were of boats that suffered groundings and were not properly repaired. One of them had also bolts lose on the keel.

Don't see these accidents as different than the ones that happened with much more expensive yachts (with a reputation of being very well built) that also lost the keel, being both previously grounded (MAXI 36 yacht and SWEDEN yacht 42). For each Maxy 36 or Sweden yacht 42 there are 40 First 40.7.

What I see is a pattern of light performance yachts with bolted keels losing the keels after being grounded and not properly inspected and repaired.

It Is on the need to create a protocol of inspection for these type of boats after a grounding (and the instruments and surveyors able to make a proper diagnostic) that I see the urge, not in putting the blame on a boat that probably has lost more keels after a grounding then other similarly built boats because it was built in huge numbers while others were built in small numbers.

One that has this type of performance boat, that has some safety advantages over modern main market modern boats (bigger stability) should know that these are safe boats to sail but not boats designed to sustain groundings, other than the occasional touch on the sand or mud. More than that the boat should be seriously inspected and there is a need of a protocol for that, specially in boats with a bonded structure and that's most of them.

If someone don't want to live with that and can dispense the superior performance and stability this kind of boats offer then they should buy another type of boat, one that can sustain more heavier groundings without damage.

Remember that on one of the 5 groundings that Cheeki Rafiki sufered the boat, wile racing hit the ground falling from the top of a wave. That's the kind of stuff that can lead to de-bonding.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:54   #131
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
You seem almost to wish to miss the point. The navigational issues are not in discussion on the thread and so are a red herring in your reply. The vessel is at rest some 45 to 55 meters from the edge of the rock shelf. The photo was taken some 3 hours after the Epirb was fired, and likely a fair amount longer since the initial grounding. The surf is still breaking all around the vessel and please note its scale. To achieve the position it is resting in, this vessel will have been SEVERELY POUNDED by large breaking waves into solid rock for several hours. The evidence of this is clear on the side of the vessel if you look closely at the more panoramic shot. You appear not to have read my second post, and perhaps you were composing yours while I was as well. But if you read it you will see that it is the case that I acknowledge that fiberglass boats, race boats with canting keels, aluminum boats, boats with bolt on keels, and perhaps even certain wooden boats can be built to take at least several hours of pounding without breaking up, and may be sailed away from such an event, if they can get off. There is no way a First 40.7 or similar vessel would have survived the first few minutes of such a pounding. If the break up of the vessel happened near the outer edge of the rock shelf, there is essentially no realistic chance of crew survival given the energy. Now do you begin to see? The point is that a boat properly designed for unrestricted ocean service is immensely strong. The boats you refer to ARE NOT.


Actually it is you who has missed the point, a bit like the navigational or seamanship skill of the singlehander who parked that boat on the rocks.

My point , made tongue in cheek admittedly (as I do) was that a PRUDENT and competent skipper would not have got into that precarious situation in the first place. I would not expect many boats to escape such treatment unscathed although a big old tin can might last a tad longer than most. However another point I made is that sometimes the ability of a good modern design to sail away from a dangerous lee shore might well be an important factor in avoiding disaster in the first place.

I have no axe to grind at all. I DO Have an open mind however ( you can even hear the wind whistling through it). Sure I own a Beneteau and it has a CE category A rating, but would I choose to take it transocean in bad weather or expect it to survive a cruise missile attack, would I heck. I have owned and sailed cruiser racers with bolt on fin keels for many years and know that they could have sailed upwind in a full gale if needed to and I did just that on several occasions, simply because I wanted to and I could do that or that was where the destination was. My current boat with a shoal draught wing keel and in-mast furling/reefing I doubt would go upwind in a full gale like my previous cruiser /racer designs did, when asked nicely, but maybe it would manage to get a tad to weather away from the rocks with some engine assistance. In any event it is of little import as I bought it for more sedate cruising in comfort which is my/our current preference. I have retired from work and from Ocean/offshore racing and long distance cruising and nowadays just want to enjoy the simple pleasures of sail not the pain of catastrophe. so I will pick my destinations, weather conditions and navigate accordingly, hopefully thereby avoiding scratching the pristine gelcoat.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:15   #132
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

So to some a boat isn't worthy unless the keel can survive the boat being driven up on a beach

I don't expect my boat's keel to survive that, so I make it a point to avoid it happening.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:51   #133
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

But Paulo forget to mention that MAIB found a bunch of others 40,7 under repairs or with similar liner problems, is a 40,7 disease...
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:11   #134
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

Some of us seem to still be missing the point. The issue the MAIB report highlights is that this type boat can be damaged by activities that most sailors do not expect would damage an ocean going yacht. Further, that the ability to detect and properly repair said damage is impaired owing to a lack of uniform inspection and repair procedures.

For example, how many times have we heard that the safest place to be is away from shore because most wrecks happen close to shore? The MAIB report says that damage is possible even when the boat struck nothing and was merely pounding in heavy seas. And I would conclude then that an inspection after a particularly rough passage may be warranted. Before this came to light I doubt anyone would think of dropping and inspecting their keel area after a passage where no object was struck. But now that has to be in the mind of some owners after reading this report.

The report is not an indictment of bolt on keels. Neither is it saying we should all trash our boats and buy encapsulated keels. But it is saying that this is an example of design/build that needs inspection in more instances than previously realized. Further that existing methods of inspection used are likely inadequate due to the liner construction. I believe there are others besides this specific model similarly situated. And I am equally convinced there are many high aspect fin keel structures that are indestructible such as Vestas Wind.

And if I hear one more pundit say "oh they just had loose keel bolts" I think my head may explode. Keel bolts are not supposed to get loose. Loose keel bolts are not the root of the problem. They are the inevitable result of the real problem.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:24   #135
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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So to some a boat isn't worthy unless the keel can survive the boat being driven up on a beach
That's not what people are saying. The MAIB report talked about structural damage after sailing in heavy seas. This is all about crap construction and in this whole discussion I don't think anyone has mentioned Hunter...until now.
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