Originally Posted by cat man do
I would find it hard to believe that they could be overpressed and I would put the failure at a guess to build quality or lack of.
I have been told that it wasn't particularly windy that day so I think you are correct - at that time of the year the forecasts were generally for 20-30 knots through the Strait, however, typically in that area the wind
can be twice that forecast
and elsewhere in the Strait. On the windier days I doubt that they would have been out there in anything that small unless stupid.
But, the accident
happened in one of the worst tidal rip areas of the Strait and even on relatively calm days the seas can be surprisingly big, very steep and very confused - all at the same time. Very unpredictable too, can be wind
against tide and no problem at all or wind with tide and very rocky ride. It can also be difficult to do them at slack water
as the tides lead or lag the forecast
time by up to hours according to what wind has prevailed and atmospheric pressure gradient.
I would expect the rip seas is what exposed the structural weakness in the boat, whatever that weakness was originally due to.
Also in that area if a heavy southerly swell is running into the Strait then sometimes within a few miles of shore it can look ok but periodically the swells will suddenly start breaking up to several miles out to sea in big combers and then just as suddenly subside again. One of those could be catastrophic and if the reports are correct that they didn't see the seas until they were in them are correct then that is a "maybe".