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Sand crab

First Alpha 42 Abandoned on Maiden Voyage

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This really cool brand new boat was hit by a wave so big it pushed it backward and broke the rudders. They hand pumped for 50 hours but decided to call for a rescue because the weather was predicted to get worse. The executive editor of Sail magazine was onboard! The boat was less than 2 weeks old.

 

http://www.dailypress.com/news/breaking/dp-coast-guard-rescues-four-20140114,0,7996656.story

 

http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2068602/MULTIMEDIA-RELEASE-Coast-Guard-responds-to-disabled-sailboat-300-miles-off-Cape-Henry-Va

 

http://m.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140115/NEWS/140119835/-1/WAP&template=wapart

 

 

 

 

post-99161-0-06409300-1389813632_thumb.jpg

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Guess there's a salvage bargain here!! But I dunno, this design just does not work for me, moreso if it loses both rudders like it did....

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Sounds like they didn't try very hard...

 

Whatever happened to seamanship and being resourceful?

 

They could have steered by balancing the sails + using a drogue (can be improvised by dragging pretty much anything behind if you don't have one) on bridle. This should have brought them at least closer to shore to a point where they could have gotten a tow.

 

I can understand having more money than sense and letting the insurance deal with the aftermath. But surely having to completely abandon your plans (until you can get a new boat) and leave all your stuff behind doesn't seem like it would appeal to many?

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Hand pumping for 50 hours not trying hard enough? Steering a course with the sails and trailing drogues is a fine art in some boats ( hull forms ) others it's impossible.

 

Leaving the seaworthiness of the boat out of the question for a minute .... it's not a matter of money, it's a matter of life and death. The skipper who doesn't take rescue when he should, could well end up in jail for manslaughter and have everything he owned taken off him. The skipper is responsible for the lives of all the crew. He needs to make the call.

 

There was a really good story on the front page a year or so back from a guy in the states who was in the North Pacific ( I think coming back from Hawaii ) accomplished sailor, with a well proven boat that had a series of system failures. Over the course of a few hours ( whilst talking to GC and friends on the radio ) he knew rescue from here on in was going to get a lot tougher and despite not sinking and having power etc he decieded to make the call and get off. When the freighter came a few hours later it was blowing snot and he knew he had made the right call. He sunk his own yacht by pulling seacock on his way out. Had he waited, the freighter might have been too far away, he might have drowned, then his yacht could have caused further injury or death to someone if they ran over it in the middle of the nigh,t so he made the right call and is a better seaman than the guy who would have tried to stay.

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Hand pumping for 50 hours not trying hard enough? Steering a course with the sails and trailing drogues is a fine art in some boats ( hull forms ) others it's impossible.

 

And the weather was supposed to get worse. The executive editor of Sail magazine was on board, too. I reckon he's a pretty resourceful sailor, don'tcha think?

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How do you put yourself in a position, to get driven backwards??,

 

Sometime Mother Nature does that for you.

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I happened to read somewhere that one of the crew onboard was actually a writer/editor for Sail Magazine. I am sure that there will soon be an eyewitness account of what exactly happened out soon. I'm also pretty confident that there must be some salvage effort underway already to rescue the boat which i was told cost about 700k by the time it was ready to leave for the BVI from NY, If not only to examine the why and how cause of the damages. With several new boats under build I'm sure that they want and need to get this figured out ASAP to ease the concerns of buyers of hull no. 2,3 and 4. It's a shame that they left in the conditions they did and time of year. Having done many a Newport/Bermuda I can attest to the nasty seas possible out there. Glad no one was hurt and it's a real setback for not only the Alpha team but also the multihull market. With Phaedo GB66 being the only dropout and rig lost out west in the TP and now the Alpha 42 incident out east it doesn't bode well for those of us selling cats. Look forward to getting the full story and hope it's easily solved in the future boats built at Alpha.

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You got to love the last guy (presumably the owner) bringing his Igloo cooler with him. How the Coasties can risk their asses for twerps like this is beyond me. Thumbs up for the CG and Navy but this is getting to be a bad habit.

 

I noticed the diagonal line on the helo deck and the chopper pilot put her down precisely on that line. I guess that line is the optimum angle to land into the wind to keep out of turbulence from the ships superstructure. I have to remember to put that line on my next yachts helo pad!

 

I had an urge to jot down the lat lon from the closing frames of the video and go up to Norfolk and charter a boat and go and get that piece of loose change that these fools must think the boat represents. And we wonder why our boat insurance it so high?

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Must have been his typewriter in the Igloo?

 

Kind of like the people in the Korean Airlines crash in San Fran coming down the evacuation slides with their rollaround bags. I swear if people were pulling that sort of crap out of overhead storage after a crash and the plane was catching on fire I would crawl right over them. If this was a life and death situation then WTF was the Igloo all about? What next, valet parking when you decide it has gotten a bit nasty on the high seas and want to bail? I'm sure we will get a great first hand account from the Ed of Sail.

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I'd like to know where all of that water being pumped out was coming from, if the boatel is sinking and if they have or deployed a drogue which was lost. For educational purposes of course. It was legitimately rough out there.

 

PM me if you want to do a salvage job.

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Very weird both rudders snapped- especially if the same time.

Something like that happening would make me think someone got their maths wrong,

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How do you put yourself in a position, to get driven backwards??,

Happens to the best of them. May it never happen to you

 

I guess, I just wouldn't put myself into that position. But in a new boat, with few ocean miles, I guess things will or might break.

 

But I'm happy everyone is safe. Well done coast guard.

 

It will be interesting to hear the story of what actually went on.

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You got to love the last guy (presumably the owner) bringing his Igloo cooler with him. How the Coasties can risk their asses for twerps like this is beyond me. Thumbs up for the CG and Navy but this is getting to be a bad habit.

 

Bit harsh without knowing the whole story. The igloo might have contained insulin or other life-necessary medication. or it may have been acting as a grab bag with all the crew's passports etc. I'd certainly hope that was the explanation, anyway.

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Must have been his typewriter in the Igloo?

If this was a life and death situation then WTF was the Igloo all about? I'm sure we will get a great first hand account from the Ed of Sail.

It wasn't a life and death situation...yet. They had been hand pumping for 50 hours and the weather was supposed to get worse so they picked this time to get while the gettin' was good. In fact they had communicated with the coasties about a potential night pickup the day before and decided to wait for a safer day rescue. I'm pretty sure they also communicated about the cooler, too. It could have had lots a stuff like wallets, passports, phones, computers and who knows what. The owner was German so I guess he would want some of these.

I am amazed that you guys jump to conclusions without thinking before you type.

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I can't even imagine some guy going from "check out my 42 ft brand new 700K catamaran"," Lets sail to the warm weather!" to Leave her behind, and get rescued.

 

Glad everyone is OK.

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I saw the prior 'survivors' with grab bags of sorts that could have easily carried passports and the vital essentials but the Igloo was a bit over the top. You may be right and I was too quick to judge, it might have had a dialysis machine in it.

 

I am glad that everyone is ok and well. I have followed this build and admire the efforts of Gregor and like the design itself. A seatrial on LI Sound doesn't quite give a green light to a late season 'run for the palm trees'. Come on, folks shouldn't be going off the reservation in a new design/built until the bugs have been worked out. Schedules are the biggest threat to going offshore and this seems to be a case of that. I'll back off until the facts are in. Sorry if I jumped to conclusions.

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An igloo cooler is a nice, mostly waterproof hard container with a convenient handle. Probably a pretty handy way of getting all the important shit off the boat.

 

Rudders have been falling off monos at an unfortunate rate lately, lets hope the multis don't start joining in. I wonder if there is some common thread between all these failures, and incorrect assumption or simplification in calculations that is causing all these problems

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I looked at the vid and compared it to the pics of the editor and I think it was him. He might have had some expensive gear like cameras, sat phone etc with him for the story. Well, he's got a story now!

There are threads one of which was started by yours truly on the Alpha 42 on CF

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f48/new-alpha-42-to-be-built-in-the-us-82061.html

and the current events

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f106/alfa-42-be-good-too-rescue-300-miles-off-cape-henry-118899.html

 

Also stuff on M4us but it's down now. WTF

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Yeah, the rudder thing is getting a bit disturbing. Now it is spreading to the multis. I'm hoping they will go out and get this boat and do some forensic engineering to get to the bottom of this. If they have builds lined up I'd think that they would go to lengths to recover this boat and see WTF happened. Much like in the Fastnet disaster, boats that kept some way on seemed to escaped the misfortune of getting pushed backwards by breaking wave and tweaking the rudder(s) against their stops. If the rudders got twanged and the flooding and pumping were a result it seems like this would be another call for watertight bulkheads or at least sills ahead of the rudders to prevent flooding.

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WT compartments should be standard around rudders, but ease of manufacturing and lack of internal volume means they look pretty and cheap at the boat show so people like them as is. Remember this is a multi so it should stay afloat though. Cracking the rudder casing on a mono is going to get a lot nastier and with the weight of the keel it's going to make the nasty come a lot quicker.

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"Going on the water without drowning is the sure proof of successful seamanship. Drowning may be proof that seamanship failed, but there is no denying that the sea can call into play elemental forces of such ferocity that no skill of seamanship can save the sailor.

I make no attempt here to discuss the vital element of luck, but I hereby acknowledge its omnipresence and its power to drown good seamen, and save lousy ones"

 

Looking forward to the report on this one, anything before the facts are in is likely wrong.

 

Possibly a reputable cruising cat, in these conditions, handled similarly, would have suffered a similar fate.

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To my eye it looks to be floating to its lines at least it doesn't seem to be down by the stern.Bit more to this story I reckon.

I think the story is pretty clear. Broken rudders, not able to manage flooding or steerage and worse weather on the way. Skipper is responsible for the lives of his crew, he made the right call and got out of there while they could.

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Taking a different direction but I hope this doesn't ruin anyone's livelihoods. I wonder how high they are leveraged into this. Hull #1 being abandoned isn't exactly great for your rep or future sales.

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To my eye it looks to be floating to its lines at least it doesn't seem to be down by the stern.Bit more to this story I reckon.

I think the story is pretty clear. Broken rudders, not able to manage flooding or steerage and worse weather on the way. Skipper is responsible for the lives of his crew, he made the right call and got out of there while they could.
You can add fatigue and possible sea-sickness to those problems too

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Must have been his typewriter in the Igloo?

If this was a life and death situation then WTF was the Igloo all about? I'm sure we will get a great first hand account from the Ed of Sail.

 

I am amazed that you guys jump to conclusions without thinking before you type.

Remember where you're posting ;)

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In the seacoast online story, it sounds like there is no plan to go after the cat.

 

"Despite never having needed to be rescued before, Doane said the situation was much less harrowing than it would appear.

Sadly, Doane said the abandoned boat was left to drift unmanned at sea. The vessel reportedly cost in the range of $500,000, he said.

“They had a lot invested in that boat,” Doane said of the owners. “It will probably end up sinking.”

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Why all the anger on SA these days? Have those commenting ever crossed an ocean or sailed out to the Islands?

 

The failure mode is not hard to imagine especially these days.

 

Noting I hate autopilots and engines not isolated from the rudderpost...

 

There are many ways the boat could have ended up in this mess. Step one, the many ways how to get in irons sailing upwind in breeze and seas: sudden wind shift, smart autopilot pinches up to much coming off wave, autopilot failure, to much weather helm (main not deeply enough reefed or no jib), inattentive, tired, or inexperienced helm, even just a shackle breaking or jib sheet slipping could put the boat in irons at the wrong time. From there all it takes in one big wave at the wrong time and a backwinded sail and there the boat goes sliding fast backward down a wave. The helm whips hard over, the rudders load, and the shaft, rudder or bearing lets go. First one, then the other carrying inreased load. One thing I hate about most of these designs is that the rudder post is in the same watertight bulkheaded area as the engine, so unless the dewatering system is really good, you are not going to lose the engine - in this case engines - too. The boat is then lying ahull and prone to wave induced capsize and the forecast looked bad.

 

Best option at that point is to get off and try to arrange salvage.

 

I would be very surprised if the boat sinks unless it was scuttled. There is almost certainly a watertight bulkhead that would contain the flooding to the aft section of each hull. If she does not capsize in the coming weather, salvage would seem realistic, assuming it can be found.

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assuming there is water coming aboard.., but it stays afloat.., my guess is that the damage is too great to warrant a salvage attempt.

 

it's just too expensive to charter a boat that can safely accomplish the job

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I'll admit I might have been a bit harsh in my jugement without knowing all the details... But:

- As others said, it appears to be floating perfectly in it's lines, so it doesn't seem like there would be that much water coming in (as presumably they would have stopped pumping while getting their stuff ready and during the rescue, etc...)

- Regarding that last point, one would hope that someone going for long range cruising would have a basic tool kit and materials (as well as some basic skills) to patch up most of the leak. Maybe this involves dropping what is left of the rudders out and tying a section of the bimini around that part of the hull.

- If there is a watertight bulkhead, then just let that section flood and sail the boat!

- Also, it would take some very serious weather to capsize a cruising cat lying ahull, especially one with the retractable boards pulled up: it will just surf sideways.

 

There are other factors and considerations such fatigue/seasickness/hypotermia or injuries that could influence the decision to get plucked off the boat but I am a bit sceptical...

 

Just for the record, I have been offshore with 3ft of water in the bilge before so I have a pretty good idea what it is like. I have also dis-masted and jury rigged dinghies twice (there was no available outside assistance so I didn't really have a choice).

 

My take on it is that unless the boat is serious danger of sinking (and I don't mean a bit of water coming in but a large un-controllable leak such as the hull splitting open) or there is a medical emergency or the boat is on fire, I don't think I would consider abandoning ship...

 

Obviously I would like to find out more about the circumstances but so far, based on the available information, I am not seeing very compelling reasons to abandon ship.

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I don't get it....

 

January.

North Atlantic.

New boat. (less than two weeks old)

 

To me, this was poor judgement/seamanship before leaving the dock. (but they 'could' have gotten away with it, many do)

I seem to remember 3 TPI Lagoon 35's that were simiarly lost years ago in one storm.

 

All the modern safety gear and electronics and wx forecasts don't change the reality 'out there'.

 

Hand pumping? Seriously? No electrics? for their electric bilge pump? Kinda weird. Did they lose the juice too?

 

On my cruising cat I had a full bulkhead between the engine/rudder space and the rest of the boat. (Of course, there were all these 'spaces' for the electrical and fuel lines that kinda negated any potential watertightness.....) I suppose I should also concede that I didn't have any hand pumps apart from the dinghy pump? Hey! I wasn't going offshore either...and multihulls can't sink... etc, etc) And I had a separate, well above waterline generator that would provide electricity in the event the engines were flooded...

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I don't get it....

 

January.

North Atlantic.

New boat. (less than two weeks old)

 

To me, this was poor judgement/seamanship before leaving the dock. (but they 'could' have gotten away with it, many do)

I seem to remember 3 TPI Lagoon 35's that were simiarly lost years ago in one storm.

 

All the modern safety gear and electronics and wx forecasts don't change the reality 'out there'.

 

Hand pumping? Seriously? No electrics? for their electric bilge pump? Kinda weird. Did they lose the juice too?

 

On my cruising cat I had a full bulkhead between the engine/rudder space and the rest of the boat. (Of course, there were all these 'spaces' for the electrical and fuel lines that kinda negated any potential watertightness.....) I suppose I should also concede that I didn't have any hand pumps apart from the dinghy pump? Hey! I wasn't going offshore either...and multihulls can't sink... etc, etc)

 

+1 imho.

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Glad everybody including the CG made it back ok. Curious what the cost of the entire rescue was.

 

I know if would never work for a variety of reasons but probably the best way to stop people needed rescue is to require insurance or some sort of bond before you leave to cover the cost of your rescue.

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The navy must have plenty of ships going by there, one was involved with the rescue. Curious why they did not just tow it in and help pay for the mission. You always here about them doing training missions well this could be one of those.

 

I know this happens all the time for drugs. Cops get the assets.

 

But to answer my own question there is nothing in it for the navy. The cops work for small organizations and $200K is a big deal for them but for the entire navy they could not care less about saving the government $250K or whatever the boat would be worth after salvage.

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A salvage effort of this scale is no small task. If you recall the gunboat 66 phaedo lost it's rig about 600 miles offshore during the transpac last year. It took a large team of professionals and lots of $$ to get that boat safely back to LA. That was a boat that was perfectly sound and watertight minus the rig. It has two working diesels and all systems working, plus it was summertime. Any salvage effort for the Alpha 42 in those conditions and temps could easily end with more tragedy if taken lightly. Its silly to think otherwise. Besides isn't there still an expensive swan 48 floating out there as well that has yet to be salvaged?

The eyewitness accounts should breathe some light into what actually happened to cause complete system failure and if the boat is cored (which I believe it is) it's likely it will not sink completely as the sail editor suggests. Glad the rescue went smootly and don't really care to comment on the "good bottle of wine" remark other than it could have been left out of the initial statement.

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I can answer a few questions about the Navy operations. First it is hard to justify a several hundred mile change of course to use an Aegis Destroyer as a tug boat. Even if the US Navy could accept salvage fees that would be 10% of a used boat? With fuel costs through the roof this would be on the front page of the NY Times as rich German guy welfare in a New York minute. Already the taxpayer is on the hook for a C-130 and a Jayhawk HH-60 helo - Per hour was $20k for the C-130 and I suspect $5k for the helo....these numbers are old.

 

The Destroyer could have launched its own helo if one had been onboard AND was not torn down for maintenance. As for who goes up first my call as a former SAR swimmer would be to get the least healthy, able and then least experienced up first.. What happens if the helo has problems and has to find a ship to land on or ditch near? Do I want to leave the least experienced or healthy aboard? So while I might make an exception for the Captain of a commercial, police or military boat, civilians go up based on my decision. Also in the video you can hear the Pilot discuss how to get the people off. Guess what Sailboaters with masts...you are going swimming! Usually.....

 

I posted some stuff in the Sailing forum thread 300 miles. But once you call for help all these decisions are no longer yours. The decision on how to evacuate the boat will be up to the Coast Guard. Will it be by helo, Cutter, other ship or boat. Factors include injuries, experience, old, child etc. Is the boat going to sink? Is a storm approaching that might sink the boat? We do not want to fly during a storm so a helo may be sent quickly or if the crew can wait after the storm passes. Then there is the problem of assets. This is becoming a big one. What else is going on east of the Mississippi that day or upcoming week? Will we need the helo of C-130 for other emergencies caused by weather, immigration, planned law enforcement ops, forrest fire, evacuation etc, etc etc. What about planned maintenance? There just isn't many C-130s out there and very few P-3's from the Navy anymore. So if you are trying to be an armchair Admiral on this one good luck.

 

My questions revolve about how do two rudders snap and then the hulls flood on this cat?

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interview I just read didn't say rudders broke, rather they bent and were not useful. That might actually be worse as it might have precluded using drogues for steerage.

 

It didn't sound like the leak was too bad if they dealt with it for 50 hours.

 

Sounds like they found themselves on a raft, basically drifting, and didn't have the ability to get back to port on their own.

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I'll agree to that:

 

To me, this was poor judgement/seamanship before leaving the dock. (but they 'could' have gotten away with it, many do)

 

For starters because of this:

 

My questions revolve about how do two rudders snap and then the hulls flood on this cat?

 

I can see how surfing backwards could break "something" when the rudders suddenly turn and hit the stops. I would expect some part of the linkage to get busted but good design should have a fuse point (like some sort of shear pin or just a friction collar of some sort) so that the worst case would be the rudders spinning around freely. Rudders should be strong enough to resist being being dragged sideways at 20kts AND ideally should break off in case of severe grounding without letting a drop of water inside the boat (especially on a cruising design). It definitely looks like a serious design flaw. In any case, there should be no way a wave could cause damage to the rudder that would result in water coming in.

It will be interesting to see what the designer/builder have to say about it.

 

And then there is the apparent inability to deal with the situation autonomously. Whether it is because of lack of equipment or skills.

 

I guess you could make the point that it always starts at the dock as no-one would ever be lost at see if boats didn't leave the dock but still...

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I look forward to the report. This is definitely a black-eye for Alpha/Aero. Bummer.

 

Here is a link to some photos from the build and tests:

 

http://www.aeroyacht.com/category/alpha-42-build-blog/

 

There will likely now be some questions about some of the design approaches:


The first thing you’ll notice about the Alpha 42’s sleek lines is the reverse angle, wave piercing bows – the first on a production cruising cat. “Reverse bows basically extend the waterline without adding weight and they reduce pitch,” said Tarjan. “Other benefits are a much more comfortable motion at sea and reduced windage. Wave-piercers are also easier to steer and maneuver in waves. I collaborated with Pete Melvin of Morrelli & Melvin for the reverse bows on the 110-foot catamaran that I’m building in collaboration with Wally Yachts [the Aeroyacht 110]. The Alpha 42 is the ‘baby version’ of the 110-footer, and we’ve moved the mast further aft to keep the bows buoyant.”

 

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Apparently I "don't have permissions to edit my post" (WTF?)

 

I wanted to add:

 

I had missed the link and read the article. It confirms that there was no immediate danger. It also looks like the water was coming because of waves: likely leaky/broken hatches, etc which again should not cause massive amounts of water to come in (nothing that you couldn't deal with using a bucket). One odd thing about the article is that it refers to the rudder in singular (it could just be a mis-quote), which implies only one rudder was involved.

It also confirms that the owners probably didn't know what they were doing but they did have some hired "experienced" people on board, which is pretty smart but doesn't mean th

 

The only reason I see to evacuate is that I am not sure I would want to be out on a boat that sustains this kind of damage in 15ft seas... If it was really that bad and falling apart like this, then it might not be worth saving anyway and you wouldn't want to be caught in worsening weather.

 

This doesn't look good for the designer/builder though as it looks more and more like multiple failures with no fault from the crew in conditions that really weren't that bad. This is the stuff that gives multihulls a bad name too!

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On cats going backwards.....lol. They go backwards if you get them in irons sailing upwind. They go backwards when you try to reef them if you get the boat a bit too high on the wind, and don't start the engines. They go backwards if you get disoriented at night during any sort of tacking or gybing and get the boat too high. (With the high cabin, you can't feel the wind, and on a very dark night, it's not hard for this to happen). Learning to handle a big cat backwards is one of the 1st skills a new big cat owner needs to learn. In a gale, just the windage on the rig can get the boat going backwards at high speed.

 

During reefing in a gale, I got my seawind too high one time, and the boat started going backwards at such high speed that water rushed up the swim steps into the cockpit......that was a bit shocking. All of these things happend in the 1st month I owned the boat while getting used to the differences between mono and multi cruising.

 

Good cat builders know their boats are going to go in reverse, and build strength into their rudder systems. Cat rudders are small rudders to begin with, and they don't need to turn very far. Most good cat builders build their rudders strong enough to take the weight of the sterns sitting on the beach. My seawind had very strong rudder stops in the sterns, and they didn't turn very far. There usually is a water tight compartment back there on most cats so this boat shouldn't have been sinking with a broken shaft.

 

Steering a big cat with the sails and no rudders in a gale with big waves.....good luck on that one.

 

Cats like most boats sit broadside to the waves when not under sail. The motion of a big cat broadside in big waves is absolutely hideous, and I suspect the entire crew were seasick. That will definately effect a crews decision to take the helicopter home.

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Ok, last one (I swear).

 

I was just looking at pictures of the build and saw this (ok can't get a direct link to the picture)... Go here and look at pic DSC_6597 (third one from last) of the guys installing the rudder.

That shaft looks reaaaallllyyy small for a suspended rudder on 42ft cat! It only looks like about 1.5" to 2" in diameter where 3" to 4" would look appropriate

 

I also saw a couple other things in the pictures that made me raise my eyebrows (showing some lack of thinking things through) such as the pictures of the steering station DSC_7945 and DSC_7937(in the "interior fit for a king" post): first of all what's up with the massive cube with the engine controls sticking out right where you would expect to find a compass? And second the placement of the winches seems like they would be very awkward to use as you would have to lean forward over the wheel to reach them not to mention you would probably knock your elbow on the engine control in the process.

A less serious one that made me chuckle is the continuous cushion up front running right under the anchor line. That's going to be lovely after pulling up the anchor in a nice muddy anchorage.

 

It looks like too much marketing BS and not enough practicality to me...

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assuming there is water coming aboard.., but it stays afloat.., my guess is that the damage is too great to warrant a salvage attempt.

 

it's just too expensive to charter a boat that can safely accomplish the job

Nothing better than when people guess!

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This?

 

DSC_6597.jpg

Is that the aft end of the rudder?If so that's one ugly foil and that shaft looks tiny.Might be an optical illusion but that shaft doesn't look square to the foil.

Another thing $500 seems really cheap for a new 42 ft cat.At that price some serious corners would have to be cut.

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assuming there is water coming aboard.., but it stays afloat.., my guess is that the damage is too great to warrant a salvage attempt.

 

it's just too expensive to charter a boat that can safely accomplish the job

Nothing better than when people guess!

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I would have thought a bigger multi would have been one of the few times where steering from a drogue might actually be a useful option

It has been used many times and is a useful practical option in multis and monos.

I have used it in a multi and a friend used it in a mono to continue and win a Shorthanded race to

Lord Howe Island.

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Glad everybody including the CG made it back ok. Curious what the cost of the entire rescue was.

 

I know if would never work for a variety of reasons but probably the best way to stop people needed rescue is to require insurance or some sort of bond before you leave to cover the cost of your rescue.

 

We do, it's called taxation.

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Hand pumping for 50 hours not trying hard enough? Steering a course with the sails and trailing drogues is a fine art in some boats ( hull forms ) others it's impossible.

 

Leaving the seaworthiness of the boat out of the question for a minute .... it's not a matter of money, it's a matter of life and death. The skipper who doesn't take rescue when he should, could well end up in jail for manslaughter and have everything he owned taken off him. The skipper is responsible for the lives of all the crew. He needs to make the call.

 

There was a really good story on the front page a year or so back from a guy in the states who was in the North Pacific ( I think coming back from Hawaii ) accomplished sailor, with a well proven boat that had a series of system failures. Over the course of a few hours ( whilst talking to GC and friends on the radio ) he knew rescue from here on in was going to get a lot tougher and despite not sinking and having power etc he decieded to make the call and get off. When the freighter came a few hours later it was blowing snot and he knew he had made the right call. He sunk his own yacht by pulling seacock on his way out. Had he waited, the freighter might have been too far away, he might have drowned, then his yacht could have caused further injury or death to someone if they ran over it in the middle of the nigh,t so he made the right call and is a better seaman than the guy who would have tried to stay.

 

That was Skip Allan - a legend. His own account is here : http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=78146

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Okay, enough armchair criticisms and all that... Let's get down to the real issue: where is the boat, and who has a vessel to go salvage it?

Now your talking..

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Hand pumping for 50 hours not trying hard enough? Steering a course with the sails and trailing drogues is a fine art in some boats ( hull forms ) others it's impossible.

 

Leaving the seaworthiness of the boat out of the question for a minute .... it's not a matter of money, it's a matter of life and death. The skipper who doesn't take rescue when he should, could well end up in jail for manslaughter and have everything he owned taken off him. The skipper is responsible for the lives of all the crew. He needs to make the call.

 

There was a really good story on the front page a year or so back from a guy in the states who was in the North Pacific ( I think coming back from Hawaii ) accomplished sailor, with a well proven boat that had a series of system failures. Over the course of a few hours ( whilst talking to GC and friends on the radio ) he knew rescue from here on in was going to get a lot tougher and despite not sinking and having power etc he decieded to make the call and get off. When the freighter came a few hours later it was blowing snot and he knew he had made the right call. He sunk his own yacht by pulling seacock on his way out. Had he waited, the freighter might have been too far away, he might have drowned, then his yacht could have caused further injury or death to someone if they ran over it in the middle of the nigh,t so he made the right call and is a better seaman than the guy who would have tried to stay.

 

That was Skip Allan - a legend. His own account is here : http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=78146

 

 

Mate thanks for finding that! 6 years ago ... wow. Reading it again he didn't have any reported systems failures.

 

Well worth a read if you haven't read the story before guys.

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assuming there is water coming aboard.., but it stays afloat.., my guess is that the damage is too great to warrant a salvage attempt.

 

it's just too expensive to charter a boat that can safely accomplish the job

 

 

A very good example of an abandoned and then rescued catamaran is, the Ramtha story. Its pretty amazing, and in extreme weather.

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I reckon someone will go and get it once the weather calms downs a bit. Its probably not front of mine after you are rescued, but after a couple of days rest I believe they will change their mind and fetch it.

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A less serious one that made me chuckle is the continuous cushion up front running right under the anchor line. That's going to be lovely after pulling up the anchor in a nice muddy anchorage.

 

Good points, especially the rudder post size. Here are the photos of the cushion under the anchor chain:

 

DSC_7938.jpg

 

DSC_7942.jpg

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From the Alpha website:

 

We have very sad news. On route from New York to the Caribbean our Alpha 42 Nr 1 was hit by a big rogue wave. On Monday Jan 13th the US Coast guard received a pick up-call from Capt Hank Schmitt who skippered Be Good Too.

Capt. Hank Schmitt is a professional delivery captain with over 200,000 ocean miles and over 50 passages along the same route. Hank was carefully chosen by the owner as he is a very experienced catamaran sailor.

Schmitt’s account :”.…We had just passed the Gulfstream in rough waters sailing on a close reach under a double reefed mainsail at 8 knots with the autopilot engaged. All was well when suddenly we got hit by a big rogue wave that not only stopped the boat but violently pushed us backwards onto our rudders. At that point we realized that both rudders were severely damaged. One rudder spun around the stock, the other rudder reversed against the hull and was jammed forcing the boat to port. Even with the stbd motor at full throttle the boat would only go to stbd. After spending 2 days sailing in a circle our options dwindled as the weather was deteriorating even more. Since we were 300 miles offshore we decided to make the call to be taken off the boat. The boat was very strong and we never felt unsafe. In spite of heavy impacts the boat did not have any structural issues. No monohull or catamaran steering system violently pushed backwards could have survived this. At one point the boat experienced 50 knot winds and 20 foot seas but the wave piercing bows worked great. We feel very sorry for the owners and the yard for the loss of this boat. ”

We feel very sorry for the loss of this beautiful yacht and are grateful to the men of the US Coast Guard that all 4 crewmen were safely evacuated. Pictures and videos taken by a Jayhawk MH-60 rescue helicopter show the boat perfectly intact. It seems unjustified and is heartbreaking for us to see this labor of more than 2 years abandoned. A salvage company will try to retrieve the boat as soon as conditions permit.

It should be noted that the rudders of the boat were built of massive 1.5 inch solid stainless round tube welded to a closed framework of 2″ wide by 1/4″ thick stainless bars with (2) vertical and (3) horizontal members. Unfortunately no rudder is designed to suddenly lurch into reverse and have 10 Tons of torque applied to them.

Any readers who are interested in finding out more details about this incident can contact Capt. Hank Schmitt. (offshorepassage@sprintmail.com)

Anyone interested in finding out more details of the construction of the boat, please contact the builder, Marc Anassis (marc@alpha1composites.com)

http://www.aeroyacht.com/2014/01/16/rogue-wave/

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From the Alpha website:

 

It should be noted that the rudders of the boat were built of massive 1.5 inch solid stainless round tube welded to a closed framework of 2″ wide by 1/4″ thick stainless bars with (2) vertical and (3) horizontal members. Unfortunately no rudder is designed to suddenly lurch into reverse and have 10 Tons of torque applied to them.

Any readers who are interested in finding out more details about this incident can contact Capt. Hank Schmitt. (offshorepassage@sprintmail.com)

Anyone interested in finding out more details of the construction of the boat, please contact the builder, Marc Anassis (marc@alpha1composites.com)

http://www.aeroyacht.com/2014/01/16/rogue-wave/

 

I will concede that the rudders might turn around the stock in such a situation (which would be a good "fuse" as mentioned earlier and should be fixable from inside the boat fairly easily) but water forces alone should not be able to bend or twist the shaft no water what direction or speed you are going. And 1.5" of "solid round tube" (doesn't make much difference for strength anyway but is it tube or solid bar?) is definitely not "massive". I would call it seriously under-built. I should ask my uncle what size the shaft on his Nautitech 395 cat (one of them broke off last year coming back from the Azores to Brittany) but from the pictures I have seen it looks like at least 3" (which would be 5x stronger than 1.5") if not 4"...

 

It seems like they fail to mention the part about water coming in and 50 hours of pumping though...

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massive 1.5 inch solid stainless round tube

 

Umm massive 1.5" solid tube? That is way undersized. Hopelessly. I suspect they mean round bar and not tube but hey editing always suffers in the heat of the press release when doing spin control.

 

I love the 10 Tons of torque. Are any of these guys engineers?

 

Section modulus of 1.5" solid round bar = 0.33 in^3

 

Section modulus of 1.5" sch 80 pipe (1.9" OD) = 0.326 in^3

 

This is the rudder post size on my 40' catamaran which we managed to bend by either hitting a big wave in moderate conditions or a whale; my wife felt the boat shudder but I missed it). I checked the strength of this post and found it was nowhere near strong enough. Certainly not for high Cl / Cd angles of attack at 12 knots which we have done.

 

I'm replacing it with 2" sch 160 pipe; 0.98 in^3 and think that will be quite good enough. (anybody in Oz who knows where I can get some 2205 pipe; much stronger than 316 s.s.?)

 

However assuming that a typical production boat rudder post is strong enough to get dragged through the water sideways at 20 knots is not realistic. That's simply not a design spec that anybody would follow. Volvo 70 maybe.

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massive 1.5 inch solid stainless round tube

 

I love the 10 Tons of torque. Are any of these guys engineers?

 

 

Tarjan has a degree in Yacht Design and is a member of SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers).

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massive 1.5 inch solid stainless round tube

 

Umm massive 1.5" solid tube? That is way undersized. Hopelessly. I suspect they mean round bar and not tube but hey editing always suffers in the heat of the press release when doing spin control.

 

I love the 10 Tons of torque. Are any of these guys engineers?

 

Section modulus of 1.5" solid round bar = 0.33 in^3

 

Section modulus of 1.5" sch 80 pipe (1.9" OD) = 0.326 in^3

 

This is the rudder post size on my 40' catamaran which we managed to bend by either hitting a big wave in moderate conditions or a whale; my wife felt the boat shudder but I missed it). I checked the strength of this post and found it was nowhere near strong enough. Certainly not for high Cl / Cd angles of attack at 12 knots which we have done.

 

I'm replacing it with 2" sch 160 pipe; 0.98 in^3 and think that will be quite good enough. (anybody in Oz who knows where I can get some 2205 pipe; much stronger than 316 s.s.?)

 

However assuming that a typical production boat rudder post is strong enough to get dragged through the water sideways at 20 knots is not realistic. That's simply not a design spec that anybody would follow. Volvo 70 maybe.

Oz is a perfect place for anything cat related, I'm sure you will get plenty of excellent skilled help.

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massive 1.5 inch solid stainless round tube

 

I love the 10 Tons of torque. Are any of these guys engineers?

 

 

Tarjan has a degree in Yacht Design and is a member of SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers).

 

So do I (and I've been a member of SNAME since 1980) - units for torque are (force)(linear measurement), like foot-pounds or newton-meters.

 

"10 Tons of torque" is a nonsensical statement.

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I think I found the problem, from the aero yacht website:

 

The Aeroyacht Alpha 42 catamaran has been designed from the ground up and looks like no other multihull on the market. Unlike the many cookie-cutter charter and production cats she was conceived with features that are usually associated with high end custom builders. The Apha 42 catamaran is a true reverse-engineered catamaran: Designed by an expert team of offshore sailors, naval architects and rig specialists, multiple design inputs from groups such as live aboard cruisers, commercial fishermen and first time buyers were considered and incorporated into the yacht’s DNA.

 

 

Design by committee never works out for the best.

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that whole front seat and adjacent areas look like a big wave catcher waiting to happen....again....

 

Agree the rudder stock looks way undersize, short too judging by the available space above so if they used JP3 or similar self aligning bushes (say it ain't so) there would be some large forces acting on a fairly short landing/stock structure. The structurals themselves may have partly let go rather than just the stock...

 

For very pronounced full height reverse bows she sure appears to have very little positive rocker / shape to her forefoot...could be a bit of a dart when head on into short seas....

 

Re degrees in yacht design and professional memberships, means bugger all, I'm a member of RINA (and others) and there are some absolute plonkers around, including me and I know how bad I am!!

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you're right about the pipe section modulus - I just consulted a pipe properties chart that listed SM and didn't calculate it directly. So a 1.5" pipe sch 80 which I bent (similar size rudder etc) is weaker 1.5" round bar. Sheesh.

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OK Zonker, I admit something went wrong with your rudder stock design. Not sure how or why, it was drawn nearly 30 years ago. It should indeed be a 2in thickwalled tube/pipe. In my defense, it didn't fail until it was 20? years old and you'd sailed a fair number of miles

 

So I would also have expected the stocks on the Alpha to be about 2in x 1/4in wall. The problem with a catamaran is that it sails fast, so loads can be high, so stocks should be large. But, since there are two rudders, each rudder is much smaller than on a monohull or trimaran. Furthermore, a faster boat would normally use thinner foils. So its hard to get a rudder thick enough to take the stock. Usually the stock is the full width of the foil. Indeed I usually draw a shallow "IOR style" skeg so that the semibalanced rudder can have the stock further aft than it might otherwise do, thus putting it in a thicker part of the rudder

 

Having said all that, I don't understand why the rudder stops failed (not sure what steering system was used). If it had an underdeck tiller bar (as used on my 38ft Transit and also the 38ft Fountaine Pajot Athena, for example - both of which I have sailed offshore in the last couple of months) then the tiller bar would go through a slot in the inner hull side and the slot size limits rudder movement. It cannot over rotate unless it rips out the hull side at the same time

 

I assume the boat flooded because the sea washed up the big open transoms and then through the companionway door. Such an arrangement might be attractive to charterers as a swimming platform and to ease boarding from a dinghy, but have no place on a real offshore boat

 

I do feel for the owners of the lost boat and what they are going through right now - been there done that (but mine wasn't insured). To be blunt, if you haven't been airlifted off and lost a boat (for whatever reason) you shouldn't comment on the crews actions.

 

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

 

www.sailingcatamarans.com

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I would have thought a bigger multi would have been one of the few times where steering from a drogue might actually be a useful option

It has been used many times and is a useful practical option in multis and monos.

I have used it in a multi and a friend used it in a mono to continue and win a Shorthanded race to

Lord Howe Island.

 

Rudder locked up facing the wrong way. Using the engine at full power still did't have enough force to compensate enough and they still sailed around in circles, albiet bigger ones.

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OK Zonker, I admit something went wrong with your rudder stock design. Not sure how or why, it was drawn nearly 30 years ago. It should indeed be a 2in thickwalled tube/pipe. In my defense, it didn't fail until it was 20? years old and you'd sailed a fair number of miles

 

So I would also have expected the stocks on the Alpha to be about 2in x 1/4in wall. The problem with a catamaran is that it sails fast, so loads can be high, so stocks should be large. But, since there are two rudders, each rudder is much smaller than on a monohull or trimaran. Furthermore, a faster boat would normally use thinner foils. So its hard to get a rudder thick enough to take the stock. Usually the stock is the full width of the foil. Indeed I usually draw a shallow "IOR style" skeg so that the semibalanced rudder can have the stock further aft than it might otherwise do, thus putting it in a thicker part of the rudder

 

Having said all that, I don't understand why the rudder stops failed (not sure what steering system was used). If it had an underdeck tiller bar (as used on my 38ft Transit and also the 38ft Fountaine Pajot Athena, for example - both of which I have sailed offshore in the last couple of months) then the tiller bar would go through a slot in the inner hull side and the slot size limits rudder movement. It cannot over rotate unless it rips out the hull side at the same time

 

I assume the boat flooded because the sea washed up the big open transoms and then through the companionway door. Such an arrangement might be attractive to charterers as a swimming platform and to ease boarding from a dinghy, but have no place on a real offshore boat

 

I do feel for the owners of the lost boat and what they are going through right now - been there done that (but mine wasn't insured). To be blunt, if you haven't been airlifted off and lost a boat (for whatever reason) you shouldn't comment on the crews actions.

 

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

 

www.sailingcatamarans.com

 

I assumed it flooded due to some cracking around the rudder posts. Thinking of water coming in the companionway door scares the shit out of me.

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