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Sand crab

First Alpha 42 Abandoned on Maiden Voyage

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You know a lot of times these incidents get over analyzed and the criticism starts flowing without merit. In this case however, I think some of the criticism is warranted.

Experienced offshore delivery capt, ed for Sail mag, and the two owners set off from New York bound for STJ. This isn't a green crew on some craigslist boat getting in over their heads.

Instead of passing the buck, a better article might be written speaking to the fact that even the most seasoned sailors can get complacent.

 

"Very shortly after Gunther came up to relieve me at 0700 hrs an autopilot alarm sounded indicating power was low" issue #2

No one was checking the power status of the battery banks? It took an autopilot alarm before anyone realized there was an issue with the charging system?

 

"Gunther did something, I'm not sure what, that got the batteries receiving a charge from the engine?"

If I am crew on that boat, this is the first thing that I want to know. What did he do to get the batteries charging?

 

Those, to me, are 2 of the most striking details to have come out of the entire account of this incident...

 

I've posted elsewhere, and in my response to Charlie after being singled out as one of the most prominent of the "baying dogs" out there - http://www.sailfeed.com/2014/01/be-good-too-answering-critics/ - there are 2 things I tend to be somewhat paranoid about when sailing offshore: monitoring the status of the bilge, and of the batteries... particularly, on a boat that has no capability whatsoever for recharging via solar, wind, or hydro generators... To me, it's really getting caught with your pants down, if a low power alarm on some piece of gear drawing amperage is your first indication that power is getting low...

 

This happened at 0700, the wave strike and resultant damage not for another 5.5 hours... And yet, "We weren’t that concerned about the loss of power in any event and spent little or no time trying to solve that problem." ??? Seriously? OK, so maybe it's just me, who has a hard time relating to such a casual attitude towards keeping the electrons flowing in such a situation...

 

And yet, how ironic that it was ultimately their concern over the remaining battery power of their sat phone, and the knowledge that they had no means of recharging their sole means of communication with the outside world, that determined the final outcome, and might have necessitated the CG having to dispatch the helo, instead of sticking with the pre-arranged rendezvous with the westbound merchant vessel...

 

Also, at one point in the evening, a ship came to us from the west and announced via VHF radio that they were ready to bring us aboard and take us to Israel. We politely declined, insisting we had a ride west in the morning, and they went on their way. Later it occurred to us that the Coast Guard, who had seemed more worried about Tuesday’s weather than we were, had sent this ship to us hoping to get us out of there sooner rather than later. We had arranged to maintain a sat-phone call schedule with them, but initially asked for a longer interval than they wanted–eight hours instead of four–to save our phone’s battery. It may be that if we had been in contact more regularly they might have insisted, or have strongly urged, that we join the ship bound for Israel.

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"We also never discussed getting in the water to saw off the rudder. I would hope most people would understand that this idea is simply idiotic. We had no tool capable of doing it, and even if we had it would be impossible to accomplish working in the water under the hull in the open ocean."

You already had the owner overboard checking the rudders. How about running a line around the jammed blade and using a winch to apply some pressure. Sure it might not work but why not try it?

 

I don't think the power issue is that big of a deal, and it would have been the last thing to worry about at that stage (other than making sure you keep one good battery so you can at least try to start the engines when you get the more urgent stuff dealt with).

In any case they had hand-held GPS and enough crew to steer manually so they could easily get somewhere without any electrical power.

 

As far as getting the rudder out, I am a bit surprised that it wasn't attempted. You could easily overcome the buoyancy of the rudder by tying something heavy to it (like the anchor for example...) and spin it back and forth until it falls out. It didn't seem like it was jammed so I see no reason why this wouldn't work. It might have required a lever inside and/or outside to get the first couple of inches but you'd think it would have just dropped down after that.

Otherwise, cutting a 1.5" stainless bar with a hacksaw is quite doable, even underwater (where the water will actually keep the metal cool, which is the biggest problem when cutting SS).

It wouldn't be fun but with a couple people taking turns it probably wouldn't take over 1h (and you could cut part of the way and break it off using a line to winch).

 

The bottom line is that if the will had been there, it could have been done. As I stated before, there may be some reason why the will wasn't there...

Get a payout from the insurance, buy a nice second-hand boat that is a proven design and won't start falling apart in the first gale it sees and be in the Caribbean this summer. Putting aside how they go into that situation in the first place, and considering what their plan was, this was probably the smartest thing to do.

They can definitely show they tried hard enough for the insurance to payout (and discuss the obvious design/build issues with the manufacturer).

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I read (on sail I believe), that when the owner got back to his house, the pipes had frozen and burst in what was presumably a beautiful home.

 

geez....

 

I don't know what I would do to recover. Will anyone insure him again?

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I read (on sail I believe), that when the owner got back to his house, the pipes had frozen and burst in what was presumably a beautiful home.

 

geez....

 

I don't know what I would do to recover. Will anyone insure him again?

I hear he abandoned the house. It was a total loss.

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The generator was working on the sea trials. Generally on handover of any new vessel one would go through an extensive checklist. I think the electrical issues were due to condensation. It was colder than Sara Palins tits.

 

Excuse me I just had to throw up. There are some things you shouldn't type.

post-99161-0-58999800-1390520082.jpg

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I read (on sail I believe), that when the owner got back to his house, the pipes had frozen and burst in what was presumably a beautiful home.

 

geez....

 

I don't know what I would do to recover. Will anyone insure him again?

I hear he abandoned the house. It was a total loss.

But, fortunately, nobody had to rescue him this time.

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After reading the entire thread I would almost bet a nickle that something was wrong with one or both of the rudders before the final damage that seems to have completely disabled and jammed one. Two posts in this thread speak of hitting a whale (possibly) and of hitting a floating palm tree trunk. There is lots of stuff out there and it is quite possible the damage is more the result of 'death by a thousand cuts' than one single blow from being knocked backward by a wave. Just happy that every one is safe.

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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?

they also lost one engine and the other would not charge

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I noticed the inflatable and wondered why they were not putting the crew into it and trailing behind the boat and the chopper could have picked them right out of it. Would have been much less risky than going into the water and saved the rescue swimmer a lot of grief. Lots that doesn't add up here.

 

From what I have read and seen the CG prefers and seems to use the basket from the JayHawk. Either way they are going to get wet. Then what about getting a nice electrostatic shock which really pisses of the victim! I never tried a hoist directly from a small RIB and do not know if the downwash would flip it, push it away from the helo or a number of things. It has to be tough to get overweight pear shaped people up to the helo. I never had to do that but I can see where the preference is for someone in the water.

 

Looks like they used the tender in this boat abandoned yesterday 20 miles off the Texas coast...

 

jAnother multi bites the dust, the Coasties sure are getting plenty of practice this winter, no?

 

 

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/119639/coast-guard-rescues-man-sailboat-beset-weather#.UuQntvYo4YI

 

http://www.dvidshub.net/video/320222/coast-guard-rescues-man-sailboat-beset-weather#.UuQlsPYo4YI

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Otherwise, cutting a 1.5" stainless bar with a hacksaw is quite doable, even underwater (where the water will actually keep the metal cool, which is the biggest problem when cutting SS).

It wouldn't be fun but with a couple people taking turns it probably wouldn't take over 1h (and you could cut part of the way and break it off using a line to winch).

 

Hand cutting a steel round of that size while standing in a shop with the work held firmly in a vise is doable, but it's a miserable job. You will be breathing hard and your arm will not like you afterward. If the person had to put their head under water while doing the cutting I don't think it could be done. It's not known what type (if any) of saw they had available or how many blades they might have had. It's also not known to me what the access to the rudder stock was. On my boat, I don't think the rudder stock could be cut from outside using hand tools. There just isn't room for the saw.

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That's a Condor 40

 

We could start a whole new thread on this one!

Man, that is one dirty sail. Perhaps the boat wasn't well kept?

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PS heard a good one the other day about a cat and a flooded engine room and what it said in the specifications

waterproof bilge, doesnt mean you cant flood it from above the bilge.

Judge had to work out where does the bilge end and the engine room/bay start? WTF?

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^^^^^^ What about just sailing on a starboard tack until you can patch the leak?

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Just from looking at the overall pictures of the boat, I have to say it kinda looks like a caricature of a real, well thought out cruising cat. Kinda like the FH, but not quite as bad. All the issues that people have brought up are little things, but when you get a lot of little things then they add up into bigger things. Also i think you can tell a lot about the quality of a design from the attention to detail that's put into it.

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Comparing the A42 to the FH is nonsense. The A42 definitely has had a trial by fire but it is a genuine blue water cruiser. The issues will be worked out and these boats will sail the 7 seas. Compare it to the Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot or any other cat and it stands on it's own. The FH has gone nowhere under it's own power and never will.

 

PS I still think the electrical, generator and starting issues were caused by condensation. It was damn cold then.

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Something I am curious about but haven't yet seen discussed: If you are an experienced blue water cruiser about to embark on an offshore voyage in the North Atlantic in the middle of winter, do you just climb on an unknown and unproved boat, hit the start button and drive?

 

I ask this because even on my own boat which I know every square inch, I take a close look at the steering, engine, charging systems, rig, etc. before heading out, even on a much more modest voyage. If I was climbing on an unknown boat, I would be spending the afternoon before departure going through everything, taking a look at critical systems, understanding what tools and spares where on board, running though my mind what I would do if this or that failed, etc. This is simply self preservation.

 

Yet in this case, it seems like the first time the 2 experienced sailors on board even looked and the steering gear was some time after it failed. It was only then they discovered missing bolts etc., let along the abject lack of engineering. There was little concern at all about the 3 charging systems not working, even though one failed, then another, then another. Do you just get very complacent after doing this a long time and don't bother to look at anything? It isn't like a rental car, boat can take you places you can't walk back from, as in this case. You are just handing your life over to others: the builder, owner, broker.

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Comparing the A42 to the FH is nonsense. The A42 definitely has had a trial by fire but it is a genuine blue water cruiser. The issues will be worked out and these boats will sail the 7 seas. Compare it to the Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot or any other cat and it stands on it's own. The FH has gone nowhere under it's own power and never will.

 

PS I still think the electrical, generator and starting issues were caused by condensation. It was damn cold then.

 

Difficult to call any cruising catamaran design a "genuine blue water cruiser" until shes proven capable by, doing it. Personally, I prefer a good set of dagger boards for offshore, and yes, I understand that's an option for this design.

 

I hope they work out all the problems, and, get to the point were they have a, solid, dependable, cruising catamaran.

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Compare it to the Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot or any other cat and it stands on it's own.

 

Sure does stand on its own....they're down a boat but still have not completed a single voyage....lagoon and fp defo shivering in their french booties....

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Sad to hear this, the Alpha 42 was looking pretty good. Shit it is going to be a hard sell after an incident like this, an unproven boat is hard enough...

 

I have been over the side to check rudders in open ocean (not those conditions though!) and we had a sheared shaft, tied a rope around and bound it so the rudder sat straight, limped on and made it to port. Obviously these conditions were pretty bad and dealing with no power... bugger!

 

My condolences to the Alpha team, that's a hell of a lot of work down the drain. Hope they or someone else can salvage the boat.

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One thing puzzles me

 

Charlie's report of the Alpha's handling after the wave hit stated that under power the boat went to starbord, but under sail it went to port.

 

If so, it would seem the right amount of throttle jockeying, in combination with the right trim of sail would enable a balance point of motorsailing where she could be THEORETICALLY gotten going straight, more or less.

 

Looks like it happened on the North Wall of the Stream, a place where I got dismasted in '05 during a race. A bad neighborhood. (Wave size doubled in the two hours it took us to get a jury rig up)

 


Hope the insurer decides to get her towed in.

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What is FH?

 

Also, SC, are you associated w Alpha? Not a hater; just curious.

 

 

Comparing the A42 to the FH is nonsense. The A42 definitely has had a trial by fire but it is a genuine blue water cruiser. The issues will be worked out and these boats will sail the 7 seas. Compare it to the Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot or any other cat and it stands on it's own. The FH has gone nowhere under it's own power and never will.

 

PS I still think the electrical, generator and starting issues were caused by condensation. It was damn cold then.

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What is FH?

 

Also, SC, are you associated w Alpha? Not a hater; just curious.

 

 

Comparing the A42 to the FH is nonsense. The A42 definitely has had a trial by fire but it is a genuine blue water cruiser. The issues will be worked out and these boats will sail the 7 seas. Compare it to the Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot or any other cat and it stands on it's own. The FH has gone nowhere under it's own power and never will.

 

PS I still think the electrical, generator and starting issues were caused by condensation. It was damn cold then.

 

Flyin' Hawaiian - a home built 65' catamaran piece of crap in San Francisco Bay

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It seems to me that the wave-piercing hull may have more to do with the rudder issue than anything else. I've asked Charlie for his thoughts on this on his SailFeed blog entry. Hopefully he'll address it.
For you multi guys in the know, wouldn't the wave-piercing bows become a liability in a big seaway due to submarining? It seems so by this overview from the designer...

Wave-piercing bows - or reverse or hammerhead bows are part of today's cutting edge naval architecture and the latest thinking in go fast comfort. Versus conventional overhanging or straight stem bows, wave-piercing bows are reversed and are designed to cut through waves, increase performance by reducing pitch resistance. The added benefit is not only higher speeds but a much more comfortable motion at sea.

 

So if your bow has a lot of overhang or flare (vertical angle of the hull sides), then you naturally have a lot of reserve buoyancy high up in the bow region and this may result in excessive pitching motion. Of course the downside to a reverse -wave piercing bow might be a slightly wetter ride on a small multihull such as a beach cat, but on cats larger than 35' this is hardly an issue.

 

I think that last part certainly depends on the size of the wave - correct? In big waves, this would seem to become a liability very quickly - even on bigger boats. I watched all of the AC34 races - and those were some very wet rides (prior to the foiling) on 72 footers on sporty days. Of course, they were flying hulls. But still.
Since the WPB design looks so similar to the AC34 boats, there seems to be conflicting thoughts behind the Alpha's performance in waves when you think of the issues of length-to-speed of the AC34 design:

>18. HULLS need to be slim for straight-line speed, but include enough volume and buoyancy forward to prevent the wave-piercing bows from submarining, especially during bearaways.

If this is the primary source of the problem, it seems that this quote from the "Rogue Wave" release from Aero is not quite as it seems:

Capt. Hank Schmitt after his rescue:“…no other yacht would have survived this rudder damage after the rogue wave hit and drove us vioently backward…”

Do any other cruising multis have WPBs?
(I'll email Marc for a copy of the insurance report as offered on that page.)

 

Most interesting is the fact that the blog on AeroYachts has vanished: http://www.aeroyacht.com/2014/01/16/rogue-wave/ but a google cache shows it... grab it while you can: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:eLasaw9eG1kJ:www.aeroyacht.com/2014/01/16/rogue-wave/+&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk

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Wess,

I'm not associated with Alpha. I just want to see more catamaran building return to the US. I still think (hope) that they will succeed.

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yeah it would be nice to have more fun boats built here.

I liked their designs and was pretty dissapointed that they didnt have the boat ready for Anapolis last year. I was surprised ove the low asking price of 400 more or less.... but than I checked further, and with all the goodies I wanted ( daggerboards ) it went up to 800 grand..ouch ... which is still somewhat in the ballpark..... but also makes a used Catana very attractive.

 

Its understandable that the guys are not saying much at the moment, Insurance and all of that needs to be sorted out.

There are way to many questions why this happened, why they left the boat, how a "experienced" delivery skipper would take off.

I dont go to the other side of the lake without tools, I would not go 10 miles offshore in good weather without droque and proper tested equipment. After one system went sour ..I would have the two other ones running and or aborting and and and

just to many questions, which un-answered will not positively reflect on the delivery skipper.

 

thor

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Has the Alpha factory made a statement yet on the results of their destructive testing of their wave piercing greenhouse?

My understanding is that they had a whole blog entry... and then it got pulled.... but the google cache is still active...

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There's a recent post on M4US which refers to a blog entry by Charles Doane where he says that the rudder shafts weren't bent. It seems the metal frame work which is welded to the shafts inside the rudders failed. One rudder was spinning on the shaft and the other got jammed up. I asked for a link but haven't received it yet.

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Here ya go. This is comment #45.

 

@Phil: I'm very glad you found the post useful and informative. To answer your questions: 1) the rudder posts, properly called rudder stocks, were not bent. It was the frames inside the rudder blades that seemed to have been damaged. On the starboard side the blade frame had apparently broken loose, as the blade was spinning around its stock. On the port side, the frame had bent. The rudder turned freely, but the blade was always pitched to starboard, even with the wheel hard to port. And no, we certainly did not hit anything.

2) We did discuss trying to drop the rudder with the bent frame, but it was quite buoyant and we had no way to push the stock down the bearing tube. Also, it seemed it would be impossible to extract the Allen wrench we'd hammered in to pin the tiller arm in place.

3) Bending the blade frame straight again was out of the question. I can't imagine how you'd do it at sea.

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I think it's still floating. The weather has been super cold and nasty. They are using icebreakers around Philly. There is a hypothesis that it is somewhere off Nantucket because of the Gulf Stream. I charted the rescue position and it seems like they were on the edge of a big eddy so who knows. Those storms could blow it anywhere.

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Here ya go. This is comment #45.

 

@Phil: I'm very glad you found the post useful and informative. To answer your questions: 1) the rudder posts, properly called rudder stocks, were not bent. It was the frames inside the rudder blades that seemed to have been damaged. On the starboard side the blade frame had apparently broken loose, as the blade was spinning around its stock. On the port side, the frame had bent. The rudder turned freely, but the blade was always pitched to starboard, even with the wheel hard to port. And no, we certainly did not hit anything.

 

2) We did discuss trying to drop the rudder with the bent frame, but it was quite buoyant and we had no way to push the stock down the bearing tube. Also, it seemed it would be impossible to extract the Allen wrench we'd hammered in to pin the tiller arm in place.

 

3) Bending the blade frame straight again was out of the question. I can't imagine how you'd do it at sea.

 

So my question here is how hard this would be to jury rig? If the bent rudder is still turning freely on its intact stock - couldn't you disconnect and adjust/rig the tie rod running to that tiller arm to straighten it? With the other spinning freely you would at least have one functional rudder.
I seem to recall that there was another front bearing down them and their window of opportunity for rescue was closing - so I don't want to be harsh - but this whole thing really seems like a half-hearted effort on everyone's part.

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Another storm was forecast and you can see the beginnings of it in the rescue vid. That night the wind was supposed to be 35 with gusts to 40.

 

Everyone here speculating forgets the most important thing. The owners wife was on board and that changes everything.

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

 

Why are you amazed? You're not *that* new here...

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I grabbed the Aeroyacht blog post before it was taken down and have it in an article here: http://multihullnews.com/2014/01/alpha-42-damaged-lost-sea/

 

It's down the bottom of the article if anyone is looking for a copy.

 

You are a competitor ? trying to rub something in ?

 

The link by the way didnt work for me. I like the boat ( with a couple additions like daggerboards and such ) I dont like the price outfitted to my wishes, but I think this very unfortunate incident would not slow me down sailing one of them.

Its a pitty that an obvious eager delivery captain, a green crew ( literally ?) made some mistakes from the time they left the dock.

Weather forcasts ignoring, obvious safety inspection ignoring, no tools, no droque, no ? essentials in my opinion for any close coastal voyage and especially for any offshore trip...

 

Pitty for the designer, the builder, the insurance, and everyone else involved ...

 

With the lack of preparation and seamanship I think the boat is the last to blame .... but thats my opinion

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Thor, I would suggest you have a good look at the Schionning multihull designs...... Their a very well established Australian design.

 

 

http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/

This is not the point, imho.

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Thor, I would suggest you have a good look at the Schionning multihull designs...... Their a very well established Australian design.

 

 

http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/

This is not the point, imho.

What is the point ??

 

It sounded like Thor hadn't heard of Schionning before, but maybe I am wrong. If so my apologies.

 

That was my only point.

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Thor, I would suggest you have a good look at the Schionning multihull designs...... Their a very well established Australian design.

 

http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/

 

This is not the point, imho.

What is the point ??

 

It sounded like Thor hadn't heard of Schionning before, but maybe I am wrong. If so my apologies.

 

That was my only point.

Ok, I've got it. Sorry.

 

What I was trying to say is that IMO Thor was questioning Jeff's ethics for, as a competitor, he seemed to be "point fingers" at Alpha.

 

But I might have got it completely wrong.

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You got it right Trovao.

I don't like a competitor pointing fingers at the other guy. I know he build/designed some awesome boats therefore he doesn't need this.

 

Its a typical behavior in the multi scene though, which I absolutely hate. Had some strong words with my buddy Ian about this too, he has mellowed down a lot, good for him. ( not because of me I am sure, even if I am a proud owner of a F33)

 

Its a shame that AeroYacht most likely cannot comment on anything due to Insurance/layers etc etc etc .. I am sure that's the reason we don't hear from them direct, really a pity the boat is cool in my opinion and deserves that the record will be set straight eventually.

 

Hope I didn't open a can of worms now ,lol

 

Best Thor

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You got it right Trovao.

I don't like a competitor pointing fingers at the other guy. I know he build/designed some awesome boats therefore he doesn't need this.

 

Its a typical behavior in the multi scene though, which I absolutely hate. Had some strong words with my buddy Ian about this too, he has mellowed down a lot, good for him. ( not because of me I am sure, even if I am a proud owner of a F33)

 

Its a shame that AeroYacht most likely cannot comment on anything due to Insurance/layers etc etc etc .. I am sure that's the reason we don't hear from them direct, really a pity the boat is cool in my opinion and deserves that the record will be set straight eventually.

 

Hope I didn't open a can of worms now ,lol

 

Best Thor

Well said. I could not agree with you more. Wess

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Ben (not Jeff) was just trying to be helpful as a normal participant on a forum, in fact his first post was sympathetic towards what happened to Alpha, he's just not "that kind" of guy.

 

Besides, Schionning are not even remotely competitors with alpha, in any way....different galaxy altogether....

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The boat was built by a pre-school teacher and bunch of really nice guys with no marine experience at all. There was no math or even common sense involved in this build. The rudders were not even the worst part of that mess. That boat should be retrieved and a full investigation should be conducted before Alpha 42 tries to sell another boat. Do any of these Alpha 42s have hull numbers???

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The boat was built by a pre-school teacher and bunch of really nice guys with no marine experience at all. There was no math or even common sense involved in this build. The rudders were not even the worst part of that mess. That boat should be retrieved and a full investigation should be conducted before Alpha 42 tries to sell another boat. Do any of these Alpha 42s have hull numbers???

Sooo, your a kindy kid & got the inside scoop from your pre-school teacher?

Jeff.

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The rudder post on my multihull is 4" solid stainless. The rudder itself has two crumple

zones. My bet is the rudder didn't have any crumple zones. If it did the zone would have

shattered against the hull. With this rudder instead of shattering it lodged against hull

locking it place Two strikes against builder.

 

 

 

On my boat we are prepared for water. These

guys looked ready only for rain.

Why is it they failed so badly to stop something

as basic as a leak? I carry plywood, saw , Liquid Nails self-tapping screws, underwater epoxy,

Cement plug, Saran Wrap. How many times

did they go inn the water?

How many times did they apply a winch to free the rudder? You become far more innovative when you're saving your own boat

 

 

Three strikes against skipper.

 

Philip

HOT BUOYS Sailing Vessel

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The rudder post on my multihull is 4" solid stainless.

 

Comparing a single rudder post on a 64' tri to dual posts on a 42' cat is like apples and oranges, dontchathink?

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In my book a sailboat taken to open sea should

be built to survive the conditions. Even if pounded by a hurricane, typhoon, whale, log, or

a larger ship there should be no question.

 

Staying a sound boat should always be safer. Yes in this case the USCG made a rescue and no one died. However rescues are dangerous. The skipper endangered the lives of other people by involving them in his rescue. His vessel was obviously not sound. However, it was not in peril.

 

Legally any insurance firm for the boat has a very strong case this was both manufacturing and operational error. So what if conditions were sea conditions were getting worse? Does this not further lend evidence the vessel was unsound?

 

Nobody aboard was in peril. Tired frightened sea sick maybe. Who justified risking life to come get them from a vessel

 

A Floating

B With engine power

C Sails

 

What? Is the USGC to rescue a boat because it snagged a fishing net?

 

Few have boats like mine because SAFETY FIRST has long ago been replaced by CHARTER FIRST.

 

You are right I am comparing apples and oranges.

 

Being pushed by a wave in any direction is normally what occurs in that big place called an ocean.

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There's always a complex set of compromises in any situation, and sailing on the ocean is a prime example.

 

When designing/building/buying a boat to sail on the ocean, you have to weigh safety against cost, performance, efficiency, innovation, comfort, convenience, etc.

 

And when deciding to call the coasties, you have to weigh all the aspects of your situation, including safety, cost, risk for the rescuers, etc.

 

And when deciding whether to respond, the coasties generally have to play it on the safe side and do what they can. These guys train for this, and are equipped for this. The marginal cost is not that great, and the marginal risk is not that great, either. They take risks and assume costs every day on the job.

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I used to have a 35' Fountaine Pajot Tobago, and it sure looked like I could disconnect the tillers from the top of the rudder shafts -- located at the back of the engine compartments -- and hammer the shafts down. This would at least free up a rudder jammed against the hull. The blades might be bouyant enough that they wouldn't drop out, and pushing the shaft all the way out might be difficult. The top of the tubes were well above the waterline. No, I never needed to try this so didn't. But I wonder what access if any could be had on the Alpha.

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The rudder post on my multihull is 4" solid stainless. The rudder itself has two crumple

zones. My bet is the rudder didn't have any crumple zones. If it did the zone would have

shattered against the hull. With this rudder instead of shattering it lodged against hull

locking it place Two strikes against builder.

 

 

 

On my boat we are prepared for water. These

guys looked ready only for rain.

Why is it they failed so badly to stop something

as basic as a leak? I carry plywood, saw , Liquid Nails self-tapping screws, underwater epoxy,

Cement plug, Saran Wrap. How many times

did they go inn the water?

How many times did they apply a winch to free the rudder? You become far more innovative when you're saving your own boat

 

 

Three strikes against skipper.

 

Philip

HOT BUOYS Sailing Vessel

A good Skipper is compelled to evaluate what's happened, so he can apply what he's learned...............

 

Of course in this case everyone made it home.............

 

Jeff.............

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Another storm was forecast and you can see the beginnings of it in the rescue vid. That night the wind was supposed to be 35 with gusts to 40.

 

Everyone here speculating forgets the most important thing. The owners wife was on board and that changes everything.

Really people. A well sound boat should take 100 knot winds, or 160 knot winds.

 

160 knots happens to be the design limit before I am a bit worried that my rigging may give. It was only 1 month after I installed my new rig when typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) swept in within 30 miles of my boat to give me a little test. We know winds were in the 100 knot area. Yes at the time I had 14 lines to shore, however, I would have felt a lot safer if I was out a sea when that storm came in. I had no control of the trees that were uprooted both behind and in front of my boat. Further, I know the boats around me where not tied as tight as mine.

 

There should be zero question about supposedly built for the ocean surviving moderate conditions. Were the seas projected to be over 50 feet? What is the design limit for a well sound boat these days?

 

One poster said he saw no limiter on the rudder movement. Has that question been resolved?

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A couple things strike me about the various accounts.

 

One is that is seems undisputed that few tools were on board, and no volt-ohmeter. Regardless of Slocum and his wind up alarm clock, modern sailboats are highly dependent on electricity for navigation, steering, communication, etc. You are much more likely to need tools on a new boat on its first passage than a middle aged boat on its 5th. Did no one have the time to run to Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, or Radio Shack; or was no one willing to part with the $20 required? My order of tool acquisition for a winter North Atlantic transit in a brand new boat would be: screwdriver, pliers, DVM - and then anything else.

 

Second is the vehement claim of the builder that the rudders and steering gear were "massive" and "overbuilt". There appears to be an argument as to whether the 3/8 set screws on the tiller arms were two threads engaged or 3/4" engaged, with no one pointing out that the shear strength is the same regardless and woefully inadequate, shearing at just 130 ft lbs input. This took me 30 seconds to calculate. Also the armature inside the rudder is a couple of 2 x 3/8 straps butt welded to the post, a very weak torque connection. Are there no engineers at Alpha?

 

Finally of academic interest to me (made no difference in the outcome) is that they planned the voyage at 7 knots average and achieved only 5 (perhaps a little less looking at the chart) in a 42' "performance cruising" cat. In my 45' lead mine I plan at 6.5 knots average and have beaten that on every single long sail. I attribute this to the extra drag of the second hull :) .

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Took a shot of bourbon every time he used the phrase "armchair sailors"...

 

...flying pretty high right now.

 

 

 

If it met him I'd buy him a beer...and ask if he ever knocked a rudder out with anything less than a Sawzall & 12lb sledge.

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Are there no engineers at Alpha?

.

Probably not, although I would bet there is at least 1 bloke who thinks engineers are full of shit and he can do just as good of a job as them

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they planned the voyage at 7 knots average and achieved only 5 (perhaps a little less looking at the chart) in a 42' "performance cruising" cat. In my 45' lead mine I plan at 6.5 knots average and have beaten that on every single long sail. I attribute this to the extra drag of the second hull :) .

 

Similar to Rainmaker's performance way below plan/expectation.

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So, has this boat been found?

No. The thinking was that due to a lot of water coming in it sank not too long after being abandoned. That would be from an in-the-know perspective.

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So, has this boat been found?

No. The thinking was that due to a lot of water coming in it sank not too long after being abandoned. That would be from an in-the-know perspective.

 

Strange, most catamaran are built with foam filled collision bulkheads and foam buoyancy under the rear berths that, together with the foam core construction, makes them unsinkable.

Turn into a raft and don't sail so well any longer.... :)

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So, has this boat been found?

No. The thinking was that due to a lot of water coming in it sank not too long after being abandoned. That would be from an in-the-know perspective.

 

Strange, most catamaran are built with foam filled collision bulkheads and foam buoyancy under the rear berths that, together with the foam core construction, makes them unsinkable.

Turn into a raft and don't sail so well any longer.... :)

 

I think that the reality is a bit different from the theory... (but it makes great ad copy)

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.

 

Second is the vehement claim of the builder that the rudders and steering gear were "massive" and "overbuilt". There appears to be an argument as to whether the 3/8 set screws on the tiller arms were two threads engaged or 3/4" engaged, with no one pointing out that the shear strength is the same regardless and woefully inadequate, shearing at just 130 ft lbs input. This took me 30 seconds to calculate. Also the armature inside the rudder is a couple of 2 x 3/8 straps butt welded to the post, a very weak torque connection. Are there no engineers at Alpha?

 

 

I wrapped the SS bars around the rudder post

then had a pro weld top bottom and inside or about 4 times as much contact area and strength

and that was for a 24 ft slow boat and the rudder had a keel in front of it

 

his boat was twice the size and about 1/4 as strong in that SS weld joint

and I bet there was no skeg or any thing in front of it

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There are rumblings that Alpha 42 deposits are disappearing and boats aren't being delivered.

 

Any truth in this.?

 

Has Alpha gone under. ( chapter 11) ?

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Just need a pressure wash and dehumidifier going and it will be right to snap its massive solid 1" rudder tubes again.

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