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    • B.J. Porter

      Moderation Team Change   06/16/2017

      After fifteen years of volunteer moderation at SA, I will no longer be part of the moderation team. The decision to step aside is mine, and has been some time in the works but we did not wish to announce it in advance for a number of reasons. It's been fun, but I need my time back for other purposes now. The Underdawg admin account will not be monitored until further notice, as I will be relinquishing control of it along with my administrative privileges. Zapata will continue on as a moderator, and any concerns or issues can be directed to that account or to the Editor until further notice. Anyone interested in helping moderate the forums should reach out to Scot by sending a PM to the Editor account. Please note that I am not leaving the community, I am merely stepping aside from Admin responsibilities and privileges on the site.

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Editor

groupama breaks mast

48 posts in this topic

Groupama sailing team suspended racing from the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race after the mast broke just above the first spreader.The crew are all safe, with the boat around 60 nautical miles south of Punta del Este. vor site.

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And then there were 2.

 

Any bets on a 1 boat finsh to this leg?

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And then there were 2.

 

Any bets on a 1 boat finsh to this leg?

Obviously Sanya.

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And then there were 2.

 

Any bets on a 1 boat finsh to this leg?

 

4 boats will finish. I'll bet you everything you own

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And then there were 2.

 

Any bets on a 1 boat finsh to this leg?

 

4 boats will finish. I'll bet you everything you own

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Definitely four finish. Mar Mostro, Telefonica, Camper, and Groupama 4, under jury rig I'm guessing.

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FCUK! I was rooting for Groupama, now down to two, well, hope both will finish......not much left to follow, waiting for the Vendee

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A shame.

 

With less than 700 miles to go, I hope NewOrleansSailng is right and that they make it under jury rig to the finish. Could it be close between Camper and Groupama or will Groupama have enough of a lead that a slow trip will still win out? I would think Groupama could putter along at at least 5 knots or so and take third but don't recall what Puma did when they sailed under jury rig for awhile.

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Glad everyone is safe, damn shame though it was turning into an awesome finish

They way Fonica is steaming you wouldn't discount her. Read doesn't have to go boat for boat now so he might get a better head of steam up.

 

Don't discount Camper sailing over the horizon and taking a spot either, subject to how badly damaged she really is. I suspect it's worse than they have been admitting

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These boats must be underspec for the intended use. If the damage had happened due to a few horrendous incidents, I would not say that.... but most of these broken masts, delam, broken frames, and bow damage appear to be just from normal ("normal" meaning what is expected of a round-the-world racer) accumulated wear and tear.

 

Very glad there were no serious injuries. Sorry to see that the hot race for the finish line appears to be over. PUMA will now sail over in front of Tele and lead her home.

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A shame.

 

With less than 700 miles to go, I hope NewOrleansSailng is right and that they make it under jury rig to the finish. Could it be close between Camper and Groupama or will Groupama have enough of a lead that a slow trip will still win out? I would think Groupama could putter along at at least 5 knots or so and take third but don't recall what Puma did when they sailed under jury rig for awhile.

 

Puma motor-sailed after retiring from leg one.

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I've been rooting for Puma and watching them and Groupama has been fun. Shame that their best chance at a leg win has turned in to a 'no win' situation. It's down to last survivor now.

On the other hand, if Telefonica wins after taking the stop, then 2nd place will probably feel like last place to them. Bummer.

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Enough FFS !

 

This is not a sprint, you HAVE to finish all legs designers please...

 

...the limits have been reached - don't put your race or our crews continually at risk; now we know where the line is; just step back a big now please.

 

J

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The boats are already designed and built, At this time only the crew can do anything about the life expectancy of masts and hulls. Stop whining about the design.

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, which is a stupid thing to do, then blame the rule, not the designers, builders or sailors who have thrashed the crap outa them.

 

Besides stop bitching girls, these guys know what they are doing, they know the risks and rewards

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, which is a stupid thing to do, then blame the rule, not the designers, builders or sailors who have thrashed the crap outa them.

 

Besides stop bitching girls, these guys know what they are doing, they know the risks and rewards

 

I don't blame the crews or even the boat designers but the people who wrote the specs. What kind of race is it where only one boat (hopefully I won't jinx Puma) does not sustain major damage during a leg?

 

If I were the sponsor I would be pretty unhappy about this.

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Too bad the rules and or schedule are not set up to encourage them to sail into the finish under a jury rig.

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, which is a stupid thing to do, then blame the rule, not the designers, builders or sailors who have thrashed the crap outa them.

 

Besides stop bitching girls, these guys know what they are doing, they know the risks and rewards

 

I don't blame the crews or even the boat designers but the people who wrote the specs. What kind of race is it where only one boat (hopefully I won't jinx Puma) does not sustain major damage during a leg?

 

If I were the sponsor I would be pretty unhappy about this.

 

Maybe not. Nothing like a disaster at sea (or even a death) to get your product name on prime time TV.

 

When SCANDIA lost it's keel in the Hobart a few years back, they got multiple exposure (even if the name was upside down) on all channels that they could not have possibly bought - and for several days.

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Now Telefonica are pretty well set for the win. Feel totally gutted for Groupama, like the way the quietly went about their business.

 

Have to say I grow more pissed off with this race by the day, and this leg says it all.

 

Only 1 out of six still going without a stop? It's not even over yet so god forbid it could still change. Please.

 

 

However I could like the race again this time tomorrow so don't hold me to that little rant

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Quelle déception!

 

But now I experience the feeling of seeing the favorite team down.

 

Sad.

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Does "seamanship" come into the discussion??? In the wrong hands with imprudent seamanship you can destroy a supertanker. If you run an engine over red line for too long, it's gonna blow up! It's not the designers fault int that instance. Just sayin...

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Thoughts from a structural engineer of buildings, not boats. A spec, in the sense of this discussion, is like a building code. It is only a minimum requirement. It is not a guarantee against failure caused by to inadequate design, improper construction or misuse.

 

We have had hulls tear away from bulkheads, hulls tear away from stringers, hulls delaminate.

 

Maybe the connections between hull components weren't designed strong enough. Maybe the design was okay but the hulls were not built right. Maybe the boats were designed and built okay but the sailors overloaded them. Or maybe we just don't know enough to predict the effects of impact loads and fatigue on these assemblies. Probably each of these contributed to at least one failure in the past 5 legs.

 

Specifying a heavier hull lay-up would not have prevented any of these failures. In some sense or another these are all failures in connections and not in the lay-up of the hull.

 

My point is, don't expect a specification to protect a boat (or a building) from failure.

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So if you showed up in an overspec'ed boat? It would be slower, but significantly more reliable... How would you score?

 

Alicante in-port : 7 (all boats participated)

Leg 1 : 4 (ADOR, Sanya , PUMA out)

Cape Town in-port : 7

Leg 2 : 6 (Sanya had rig issues)

Abu Dhabi in-port : 6 (sanya DNS)

Leg 3 : 6 or 7 (depending on how close speed would be to Sanya)

Sanya in-port : 7

Leg 4 : 7

Auckland in-port : 7

Leg 5 : 3rd? (after Puma and Tele)

 

Might even score better than 7th in some of the in-ports as the lower half of the scoreboard in in-ports is more a result of crew/tactical mistakes than boat speed (disclaimer, I did not see all the inports)

 

Wouldn't be a to bad score in the end. And you would have bragging rights for completing all the stages

 

 

Andreas

(edit: corrected spelling mistakes)

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Thoughts from a structural engineer of buildings, not boats. A spec, in the sense of this discussion, is like a building code. It is only a minimum requirement. It is not a guarantee against failure caused by to inadequate design, improper construction or misuse.

 

We have had hulls tear away from bulkheads, hulls tear away from stringers, hulls delaminate.

 

Maybe the connections between hull components weren't designed strong enough. Maybe the design was okay but the hulls were not built right. Maybe the boats were designed and built okay but the sailors overloaded them. Or maybe we just don't know enough to predict the effects of impact loads and fatigue on these assemblies. Probably each of these contributed to at least one failure in the past 5 legs.

 

Specifying a heavier hull lay-up would not have prevented any of these failures. In some sense or another these are all failures in connections and not in the lay-up of the hull.

 

My point is, don't expect a specification to protect a boat (or a building) from failure.

 

In aircraft design, a lot of work goes into defining the envelope, both from flight characteristics and from engineering. There is a fair amount of destructive testing on components during the engineering phase and lots of hours are flown off in a controlled test environment prior to releasing a new design. Aircraft are flown well inside the design envelope. Was anything like this done with regards to these designs. I don't think so. I am not suggesting that sailboat design should fall into the huge conservative hole that aircraft design suffers from, but some of the discipline in that field should be brought over to this one.

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HEY EVERYBODY!!! LETS ALL MAKE OUR OWN THREADS ABOUT THE WAY THE VOR IS GOING IN ORDER TO RESTATE THE SAME FUCKING POINT THAT WE'RE ALL MAKING!!!!!!

 

But actually don't. You people are rediculous. 6 threads in one afternoon about the same goddamn mast falling down? We get it, it's silly that the Volvo boats are breaking. Quit spamming the goddamn forums, switch to decaf, take a valium and cool your fucking jets. All of you are worse attention whores than the next. It's amazing that each of you narcissistic nimrods was able to blatantly ignore the plethora of other VERY obvious discussions about the same g-damn topic while repeating the same tired line (about cutting edge yacht design and round the world racing - something for which you could not possibly have any true comprehension) that's been repeated over and over since the race started. The whole situation here on SA has forced me to lose all faith in the human race. May god have mercy on your souls.

 

Fucking stop it or I'll be forced to put you into a prison cell with Tiny who's 6 foot 9, weighs 415 pounds and is looking for a new wife after his previous one was granted parole.

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Thoughts from a structural engineer of buildings, not boats. A spec, in the sense of this discussion, is like a building code. It is only a minimum requirement. It is not a guarantee against failure caused by to inadequate design, improper construction or misuse.

 

We have had hulls tear away from bulkheads, hulls tear away from stringers, hulls delaminate.

 

Maybe the connections between hull components weren't designed strong enough. Maybe the design was okay but the hulls were not built right. Maybe the boats were designed and built okay but the sailors overloaded them. Or maybe we just don't know enough to predict the effects of impact loads and fatigue on these assemblies. Probably each of these contributed to at least one failure in the past 5 legs.

 

Specifying a heavier hull lay-up would not have prevented any of these failures. In some sense or another these are all failures in connections and not in the lay-up of the hull.

 

My point is, don't expect a specification to protect a boat (or a building) from failure.

 

In aircraft design, a lot of work goes into defining the envelope, both from flight characteristics and from engineering. There is a fair amount of destructive testing on components during the engineering phase and lots of hours are flown off in a controlled test environment prior to releasing a new design. Aircraft are flown well inside the design envelope. Was anything like this done with regards to these designs. I don't think so. I am not suggesting that sailboat design should fall into the huge conservative hole that aircraft design suffers from, but some of the discipline in that field should be brought over to this one.

 

 

 

Did you watch Lost? When their airplane dropped through the air (ie. is ripped by massive magnetic force) and proceeded to rip in two? That's something closer to the size of the envelope that would be needed in order for it to be analogous to yacht design and dropping off of waves, unfortunately. Yacht designers can only guess (albeit educated ones) at what the envelope even looks like.

 

Flat-water sailing is inside the known envelope and obviously should follow a procedure as you outline. But who knows what damage was done before-hand.

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HEY EVERYBODY!!! LETS ALL MAKE OUR OWN THREADS ABOUT THE WAY THE VOR IS GOING IN ORDER TO RESTATE THE SAME FUCKING POINT THAT WE'RE ALL MAKING!!!!!!

 

But actually don't. You people are rediculous. 6 threads in one afternoon about the same goddamn mast falling down? We get it, it's silly that the Volvo boats are breaking. Quit spamming the goddamn forums, switch to decaf, take a valium and cool your fucking jets. All of you are worse attention whores than the next. It's amazing that each of you narcissistic nimrods was able to blatantly ignore the plethora of other VERY obvious discussions about the same g-damn topic while repeating the same tired line (about cutting edge yacht design and round the world racing - something for which you could not possibly have any true comprehension) that's been repeated over and over since the race started. The whole situation here on SA has forced me to lose all faith in the human race. May god have mercy on your souls.

 

Fucking stop it or I'll be forced to put you into a prison cell with Tiny who's 6 foot 9, weighs 415 pounds and is looking for a new wife after his previous one was granted parole.

 

The ed started this thread... Just saying. That's my only defense.

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HEY EVERYBODY!!! LETS ALL MAKE OUR OWN THREADS ABOUT THE WAY THE VOR IS GOING IN ORDER TO RESTATE THE SAME FUCKING POINT THAT WE'RE ALL MAKING!!!!!!

 

But actually don't. You people are rediculous. 6 threads in one afternoon about the same goddamn mast falling down? We get it, it's silly that the Volvo boats are breaking. Quit spamming the goddamn forums, switch to decaf, take a valium and cool your fucking jets. All of you are worse attention whores than the next. It's amazing that each of you narcissistic nimrods was able to blatantly ignore the plethora of other VERY obvious discussions about the same g-damn topic while repeating the same tired line (about cutting edge yacht design and round the world racing - something for which you could not possibly have any true comprehension) that's been repeated over and over since the race started. The whole situation here on SA has forced me to lose all faith in the human race. May god have mercy on your souls.

 

Fucking stop it or I'll be forced to put you into a prison cell with Tiny who's 6 foot 9, weighs 415 pounds and is looking for a new wife after his previous one was granted parole.

 

The ed started this thread... Just saying. That's my only defense.

 

 

I would lock him up with Tiny but something tells me he would like it!

 

Go about your business. Disperse like a good citizen. Don't contribute to the madness.

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In aircraft design, a lot of work goes into defining the envelope, both from flight characteristics and from engineering. There is a fair amount of destructive testing on components during the engineering phase and lots of hours are flown off in a controlled test environment prior to releasing a new design. Aircraft are flown well inside the design envelope. Was anything like this done with regards to these designs. I don't think so. I am not suggesting that sailboat design should fall into the huge conservative hole that aircraft design suffers from, but some of the discipline in that field should be brought over to this one.

 

Speaking as an aeronautical engineer, it is much easier to predict the loads on an airplane, even transient loads, caused by say, gusts and landing, than it is to predict loads on a yacht pitching and slamming it's way through the ocean. Production aircraft are rigorously analyzed and tested for type certification. None of these are production yachts. They're prototypes, each one of them, even the 3 Juan K boats. If they were airplanes in the US, the only way practically get FAA approval to fly them would be to certify them as experimental. That amounts to convincing an FAA official that you have some idea that you know what you're doing. He waves his hands over it, slaps an "Experimental" decal on it, wishes you good luck, and most likely tells you you can fly but only in daylight in visual meteorological conditions.

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As others have pointed out, the designs are only one factor. Others are the build quality, the care taken by the crew and meteorological conditions. I gather at least on design office has been surprised by the amount of upwind sailing they've done so far. I think this might be a year la nina, so that might be a factor.

 

What I don't think anyone else has mentioned is that the ice limit was so far north this time around that the crews didn't have the tactical freedom to set themselves up for broad reaching through the SO lows. They all had to close reach for enormous distances because they couldn't duck south to set put themselves in position to have wider angles on the wind. Broad reaching is not just faster, it also puts much lower wind and wave loads on the boats.

 

So, the boats were caught between the ice, and Southern Ocean waves breaking on the beam. We saw that footage on Tele. The helmsman had started bearing off but they still got pummeled by those waves.

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Well at least none of the boats sank; that is a victory of sorts.

 

Doesn't seem to matter what the rule is - every time it changes, the boats break again.

 

So the solution seems to be: stop changing the rule, and let the designers apply lessons learned from the previous race to the same set of specs for the next one, designing in some safety factors to account for variations in course and usage, until breakages become the exception rather than the rule. Over a few cycles I suspect you would have some more reliable yachts. Who cares if they are a few knots slower than they might have been; it all looks the same on the web tracker.

 

If the boat breaks, the designer can always point fingers back at the sailor. But if a boat is slow, the designer and/or sailmaker seem more culpable. So perhaps designers would rather design on the light side and chance things breaking than take a chance on being overbuilt and slow.

 

Interesting observation about the close reaching.

 

Looks like Telefonica is just plain faster. 412 miles behind to 37? Crazy.

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Note the discipline statement. Clearly the mode of behaviour of a sailing craft is different than an aircraft. But a testing discipline is applicable in both fields. The experimental aviation category you cite is full of testing requirements; it is not a matter of slapping on a decal and pushing off. My point is I wonder how much testing was done on all of these boats.

 

And no, I am not an engineer. I am a physicist. And I do sail a "prototype" sailboat. And it does break from time to time. So does my one-design sailboat

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That makes 2 Hall spars that have dropped in under 6 months in the Volvo and then the STP 65 Equation's "Hall Rig" sheared a spreader (which was not from a sail hitting it like Highland Fling) in the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta a month ago which would have become a dropped rig if the crew had not crash tacked the instant it happened.....

 

Something is being fucked up at Hall Spars big time and they better figure it out cause that kind of news ruins a reputation.

 

Riptide from Maine: may I suggest that before spouting inaccuracies (that are obvious to others who have been actually paying attention) you consider doing a minimum of research.

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That makes 2 Hall spars that have dropped in under 6 months in the Volvo and then the STP 65 Equation's "Hall Rig" sheared a spreader (which was not from a sail hitting it like Highland Fling) in the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta a month ago which would have become a dropped rig if the crew had not crash tacked the instant it happened.....

 

Something is being fucked up at Hall Spars big time and they better figure it out cause that kind of news ruins a reputation.

 

Riptide from Maine: may I suggest that before spouting inaccuracies (that are obvious to others who have been actually paying attention) you consider doing a minimum of research.

 

 

Yes Riptide, the Groupama rig is from LORIMA in France, not Hall Spars in the US. Do not post crap that you do not know for sure.

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Guess Groupama will need a awfull lot of good luck to win overall after this.

They will finish as third in this leg. Telephonica will do 2nd I guess.

That makes the overall points after leg 5.

 

Telephonica 147

Groupama 127

Puma 113

Camper 104 I don´t think they will finish and they motorsailed I read

Abu Dhabi 55

Sanya 25

 

This makes 20 points difference with 4legs to go.

Groupama still as a chance. Although boatspeed of Telephonica proves to be very fast.

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That makes 2 Hall spars that have dropped in under 6 months in the Volvo and then the STP 65 Equation's "Hall Rig" sheared a spreader (which was not from a sail hitting it like Highland Fling) in the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta a month ago which would have become a dropped rig if the crew had not crash tacked the instant it happened.....

 

Something is being fucked up at Hall Spars big time and they better figure it out cause that kind of news ruins a reputation.

 

Riptide from Maine: may I suggest that before spouting inaccuracies (that are obvious to others who have been actually paying attention) you consider doing a minimum of research.

 

 

Yes Riptide, the Groupama rig is from LORIMA in France, not Hall Spars in the US. Do not post crap that you do not know for sure.

,

 

 

My apologies for the earlier information being incorrect it has been deleted so now there is no false/incorrect information on the thread because that never ever happens.

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, ..... then blame the rule,

 

ok i hear ya

 

what has changed in the rule ( regarding durability, weight, scantlings) since ABN AMRO I, II and Brunel went around, i.e 2005/06

 

they stayed together, as did the other boats other than their canting mechanisms

 

 

 

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, ..... then blame the rule,

 

ok i hear ya

 

what has changed in the rule ( regarding durability, weight, scantlings) since ABN AMRO I, II and Brunel went around, i.e 2005/06

 

they stayed together, as did the other boats other than their canting mechanisms

 

Boat weight range has changed from 12500kgs-14000kgs to 14000kgs-14500kgs and the keel weight limits have been introduced. Scantlings are the same.

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The experimental aviation category you cite is full of testing requirements; it is not a matter of slapping on a decal and pushing off. My point is I wonder how much testing was done on all of these boats.

 

The experimental aviation category has no real testing requirements. Every flight AFTER experimental certification is testing. It's your problem, not the FAA's. Good luck. (This is US law which predominates the category. There are exceptions in some other countries.)

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, ..... then blame the rule,

. ok i hear ya

 

what has changed in the rule ( regarding durability, weight, scantlings) since ABN AMRO I, II and Brunel went around, i.e 2005/06

 

they stayed together, as did the other boats other than their canting mechanisms

 

Boat weight range has changed from 12500kgs-14000kgs to 14000kgs-14500kgs and the keel weight limits have been introduced. Scantlings are the same.

daddy-oh

 

can't see anything there that would change the durability tween '05 boats and the current ones ?

anything less obvious ?

 

or are they potentially as durable now as they were then ?

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, ..... then blame the rule,

 

ok i hear ya

 

what has changed in the rule ( regarding durability, weight, scantlings) since ABN AMRO I, II and Brunel went around, i.e 2005/06

 

they stayed together, as did the other boats other than their canting mechanisms

 

HA!

 

ABN II fell apart during a test run from the States and they lost weeks of preparation

 

 

ABN I arrived in Cape Town with the deck no longer attached to the boat

 

Both boats were being rebuild more often than they ordered Chinese!

 

 

 

 

Biggest change is the fact the boats are rounding the Horn 2 months later in the season: Its winter down there now not summer and that is a difference between night and day

 

 

 

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TITANIC " the boat sunk ! shit happens"

 

VOR "the boat and or mast broke! you pound your ass like they have been and see if you break! SHIT HAPPENS

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Something interesting the current president of Farr said before the start of this edition of the race.

 

According to Shaughnessy the weight limits that were once difficult to achieve during the build

of VO70s are now easy to reach. "Last time you were working out how to subtract and how you

could whittle things down, whereas now the challenge is how you are going to spend the rest of

the weight you have left over. The games now are more about how you optimise your centre of

gravity, how you reduce windage and manage water and air, etc. And on the engineering side

where you were trying to chase minimum weight, now you are trying to produce structures that

are more forgiving and easier to use for the crews, because the weights are so achievable."

 

 

Maybe the builders are better at hitting the scantlings now, but the quality may have suffered, or more likely, the hulls don't have the benefit of being over-built anymore, i.e. heavier than the design called for. But the design is only one factor affecting among others affecting longevity of a boat like the builder, crew handling and weather. I think it's been the weather and all the heavy air upwind/close reach work that's taken its toll on the fleet this time.

 

FWIW, especially since everyone has been beating up on Farr, as if the design directly determines team performance, I think Tele blue, now Sanya was a hell of a boat. Apparently well designed and made. I think it was the only boat to hit the min hull and rig weight, allowing them to maximise the bulb weight. (Black came in substantially over the design weight and had a lighter keel as a result.) The sailors ran aground twice, and headed upwind into terrible conditions in the South China Sea to win the leg, while the rest dropped anchor in sheltered bays. The only major breakdown they had was the forestay. I think it's no coincidence that it happened the leg after the the upwind pounding of the S. China Sea. Speculating here, maybe the shore crew didn't do a Zyglo or some other nondestructive test (NDT) that would have picked a crack in that fitting.

 

NDT is the type of practice that could be applied from the aerospace to the marine industry. I also suspect the teams are now collecting a lot of data on more heavily instrumented boats that will help the designers predict loads better in the future.

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To the pros!

 

Probably the dumbest question ever on SA! Is there a machine to test the completed mast? or a prototype? I mean something where one can fix the mast, loaded with sensors. Put it on a gimbal or a platform where, by using some hydraulic stuff the different loads can be simulated?

 

Happy Easter to all

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I doubt very much the boats were underspec.

 

They were designed and are being raced to a rule. So if you want to lay blame, ..... then blame the rule,

. ok i hear ya

 

what has changed in the rule ( regarding durability, weight, scantlings) since ABN AMRO I, II and Brunel went around, i.e 2005/06

 

they stayed together, as did the other boats other than their canting mechanisms

 

Boat weight range has changed from 12500kgs-14000kgs to 14000kgs-14500kgs and the keel weight limits have been introduced. Scantlings are the same.

daddy-oh

 

can't see anything there that would change the durability tween '05 boats and the current ones ?

anything less obvious ?

 

or are they potentially as durable now as they were then ?

 

The course?

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