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Matagi

Beneteau 40.7 Cheeki Rafiki missing Mid-Atlantic

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I doubt that any age or experience level prepares you for the keel suddenly falling off in the mid-Atlantic.

When the leak was reported, it was dark, high wind, big seas. While pump was handling leak, the shallow sump-less hull probably resulted in many pockets of water remaining in the grid, under bunks, etc.... it probably WAS goddam difficult to find the leak. Since all training teaches to step UP into the liferaft, the skipper likely followed his training... which would be the same training a skipper of any age would have had.

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I've often thought about what I would do re finding the leak when all efforts come up nill, the old MOB stuff used to have dye markers attached to them, fuckers were very messy - anyway, heaving to and throwing as many as it takes to go hudson river shamrock green with them might show a leak location.

 

Very sad about these guys... RIP

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There has been an assumption by several on this thread that the rust stains appearing in the photos is strong evidence of negligent maintenance or prior damage. I dispute that. The only thing it is strong evidence of is penetration of the sealant by salt water. Quite a lot of rust staining can occur without significant compromise to the bolt strength. We don't know if they were compromised or not. Penetration of the sealant could be due to grounding, lack of maintenance, prior bolt failure, or simply a poorly designed joint. The latter is more likely in my opinion.

 

Here is a picture of a new Beneteau First, sitting in the dealers yard, hasn't even been launched yet. The keel is already falling off. Do you think that front bolt is going to get wet?

 

Keel_zps1c89fdf4.jpg

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DDW, it is going to be a long slog to make changes. "but my boat is like this and it works fine!" Or, "you are [fill in the blank] and paranoid."

 

Never mind that from an engineering standpoint, and a simple observation of boats in the yard standpoint, there is definitely a problem with poorly designed keel joints. But since they "rarely" fall off, what's the problem, right? Beneteau would never risk their "reputation." Nor would GM, or Toyota, right?

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Ease off the backstay and it'll be fine. And be sure to send a Mayday and jump in the liferaft at first sign of any leaking.

^ Training program at new Beneteau Yacht Captain School.

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Also on the subject of torquing keel bolts. There is no doubt that it is far better practice to torque keelboats to the proper torque, if that is known. However I have yet to see a yard that has the equipment available to do it. As a practical matter my guess is that 90% of boats sailing have bolts tightened with the "as tight as we could get them" approach. Even the builder of my boat did not have the equipment. This is another reason extra safety factor should be built into keels.

 

On non-destructive testing of composites. I am familiar with a situation involving voids in a commercially produced composite aircraft. It was built in the same general way as grid pans in sailboats: squeeze a bunch of adhesive in the joint, smash the two pieces together completely blind, and hope for the best. The result was voids, contributing to the death of a couple of pilots. Apparently ultrasound and other NDI methods were not deemed sufficiently reliable to check, so the AD required cutting holes in the wings and visually inspecting with a proctoscope.

 

Shoveling up a pile of bog and then smashing two parts together blind isn't a reliable way to make a structural joint. If they can't get that right in a certified aircraft, what chance does a low end production sailboat shop have?

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Ease off the backstay and it'll be fine. And be sure to send a Mayday and jump in the liferaft at first sign of any leaking.

^ Training program at new Beneteau Yacht Captain School.

The rig wasn't in that boat yet. Think it'll get better when the backstay is pumped up?

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DDW, it is going to be a long slog to make changes. "but my boat is like this and it works fine!" Or, "you are [fill in the blank] and paranoid."

 

Never mind that from an engineering standpoint, and a simple observation of boats in the yard standpoint, there is definitely a problem with poorly designed keel joints. But since they "rarely" fall off, what's the problem, right? Beneteau would never risk their "reputation." Nor would GM, or Toyota, right?

That's why I asked earlier about acceptable failure rates. Several people have mentioned that there have been 500 boats sold and only 2 failures, implying that is an acceptable rate. Not in my opinion.

 

How many people, when they first heard about CR, had the reaction, "Oh! Crap! That isn't supposed to happen..."

 

vs.

 

"Not AGAIN!"

 

I had the latter reaction. That means there are too many.

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DDW, my comments re this aft bolt have more to do with the surface than the surrounding rust stain. The surface does not look like a typical freshly suddenly sheared bolt looks (clean, with a single/very few plane(s) of shear), and it looks EXACTLY like a bolt experiencing progressive damage over time looks (multiple angles of damage with rusty rather than shiny clean surface).

 

There is certainly a Nihilism school of thought that we don't know anything for certain and will never. But practically speaking that school is not very useful and makes learning difficult.

 

post-8534-0-44659700-1401205629_thumb.jpg

 

Kent, We don't really know enough to be able to say what this skipper might have been able to do. But . . .

 

1. He might have simply rerouted to avoid this storm, even not knowing he had a problem. I agree this boat should have been able to take 30 gusting 50, but why do it if you can be 100nm away in only 25 gusting 35?

 

2. He might have been able to identify the leak as a problem earlier and been able to divert to say Bermuda to have it looked at. We do not know if the leak happened suddenly or if it was in fact leaking more slowly for a couple days. I suspect the management company does know.

 

3. He might have been able to determine it was a mayday abandon ship situation, and gotten everyone in the raft, before the keel completely came off and the vessel turtled. I find it hard to believe if he had had someone watching the keel pan/bolts (as part of a regular continuous sweep to try to identify the source) that there was absolutely no warning sign of massive failure before the keel came totally off.

 

4. If he had had the chops to do it, as said in a post above, he might have insisted the boat be looked over very closely before taking off.

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If you have ever seen aircraft composites practices and standards, when you come back to marine stuff, your reaction is likely to be, "god, either these boats are dogshit, or the airplane guys are obsessive." Frankly, my reaction is the former. It's just that we generally overbuild boats and we don't have a sky to fall out of.

 

One of my favorite disconnects between aero and marine is an appropriate scarf joint on a repair. You'll see "workmanlike" scarf joints on a fibeglass boat that are barely 6:1. That's not even half of what is considered a minimum for aircraft. Another one is using sharpies to mark the laminate and the repair patches before laminating. That's a big no-no in aircraft. An another is using dissimilar reinforcements or a varied laminate stack in the repair. Common on boats, disallowed on aircraft.

 

We would all be able to chuckle at this, except that boats are being built with increasingly aircraft-like low safety factors and with geometry that is unforgiving. Yes, we have a problem in general and no, it isn't new. It is just that in general, most boats aren't pushed very hard.

 

Oh--and the "splooge method" of attaching a blind hull liner is, well, crap and always was. It's just fast, and the PMMA adhesives salesmen do a great job of selling their product (which is a good product but doesn't make up for poor fit and for inherently void-ridden assembly.

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DDW, my comments re this aft bolt have more to do with the surface than the surrounding rust stain. The surface does not look like a typical freshly suddenly sheared bolt looks (clean, with a single/very few plane(s) of shear), and it looks EXACTLY like a bolt experiencing progressive damage over time looks (multiple angles of damage with rusty rather than shiny clean surface).

I can't tell much from that picture, water swirling over it etc. I'm sure it would be quite expensive to salvage, but it would be relatively inexpensive for someone to go take a very close look at it and even bring back a few relevant pieces (assuming it can be found again). That would be very interesting.

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I guess if the hull isn't going to be salvaged for investigation &/or inspection, the next best thing would be to get a fair sampling of other boats, around the same build date, with similar usage as CR.

 

Bene seems to pride itself in owner loyalty clubs, like sponsoring regattas, ect.

 

I'd think a group of owners could either get together for some type of monitored or approved inspection process, or put pressure on Bene for answers as to how to accomplish the same.

 

Boats in charter service like this one, certainly could have been involved in an un-reported, previous grounding. However, in my experience, boats like this, can (or should be able to) withstand most types of "soft groundings" without any sign of physical damage, and quite possibly, without any REAL structural damage at all.

 

Hard groundings on the other hand, especially those at high speeds, or rough water conditions leave physical evidence like gouges in the keel, delaminated interior structures, ect.

 

If CR was ever repaired for any type of grounding damage, that pretty much shifts responsibility away from poor manufacturing or engineering, and onto the repair yard or the owner, surveyor, ect, that supervised the repair, inspection, ect, and deemed the vessel fit to be put back into service.

 

I still don't think its inconceivable that someone isn't going to mount a salvage operation. There's at least 4 families here that probably would like more answers. There's the Charter company, apparently very well capitalized. There's over 500 Bene 40 owners who'd probably contribute, and probably another 500 if you counted the owners of the very similar 36's. And then there's Beneteau itself, who's probably hoping the wreck gets nailed by an unsuspecting freighter, and eventually gets waterlogged enough to sink to the ocean's floor. There's probably an insurance company too.

 

I was recently involved with a friend who had some minor fire (mostly smoke) damage to the interior of his recently acquired Oyster 55. Even though the boat was over 10 yrs old, it was worth about $1/2 Mill. Initial estimates to repair the boat's interior was only about $100K. However, the fire department used chemical foam inside the boat. They told my friend he had less than 48 hours to wash the interior, before the chemical foam would begin to take its toll on everything from stainless fixtures, to electrical wiring harnesses, the metal engine & its running gear, to even the pewter dinner flatware in the galley. Initial investigation proved correct that the fire was caused by electrical overheating. Since my friend happened to be installing a new VHF the night before, the insurance company launched a 25 day long crime scene investigation, in attempt to prove arson. The boat was immediately seized by the insurance company, and although we were allowed aboard, it was only under direct supervision of one of the 1/2 dozen CSI's that were aboard every day, for 25 days!

 

Oxidation & corrosion of a main shore power breaker was eventually determined as the cause, & my friend was cleared of any wrongdoing. But during the 25 day investigation, the Chemical foam used to extinguish the fire completely destroyed everything aboard, and the boat was eventually declared a total loss. The insurance company wrote the owner a check for the nearly $1/2 mill insured value of the boat. Based on the original repair estimates, the insurance companies 25 day investigation caused them an additional loss of another $350K !!! (not to mention the huge cost of the 25 day arson investigation!

 

Insurance companies are your friend as long as they're making money off you. They have huge staffs of attorneys, adjusters AND investigators, whose sold purpose is to mitigate their losses. As such, they often go to great lengths to shift liability & coverage away from themselves. In this case, the only winners were the investigators & of course, the ATTORNEYS.

 

 

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If you have ever seen aircraft composites practices and standards, when you come back to marine stuff, your reaction is likely to be, "god, either these boats are dogshit, or the airplane guys are obsessive." Frankly, my reaction is the former. It's just that we generally overbuild boats and we don't have a sky to fall out of.

 

One of my favorite disconnects between aero and marine is an appropriate scarf joint on a repair. You'll see "workmanlike" scarf joints on a fibeglass boat that are barely 6:1. That's not even half of what is considered a minimum for aircraft. Another one is using sharpies to mark the laminate and the repair patches before laminating. That's a big no-no in aircraft. An another is using dissimilar reinforcements or a varied laminate stack in the repair. Common on boats, disallowed on aircraft.

 

We would all be able to chuckle at this, except that boats are being built with increasingly aircraft-like low safety factors and with geometry that is unforgiving. Yes, we have a problem in general and no, it isn't new. It is just that in general, most boats aren't pushed very hard.

 

Oh--and the "splooge method" of attaching a blind hull liner is, well, crap and always was. It's just fast, and the PMMA adhesives salesmen do a great job of selling their product (which is a good product but doesn't make up for poor fit and for inherently void-ridden assembly.

Carbon spar and skin joints in certified composite aircraft, spec is typically 100:1 scarf.

 

Plexus offers an adhesive which they claim has 1 inch gap filling capability. One inch!

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There is certainly a Nihilism school of thought that we don't know anything for certain and will never. But practically speaking that school is not very useful and makes learning difficult.

There will - almost certainly - be a published MAIB report. MAIB will interview all who can be interviewed and inspect whatever can be inspected. Which is a somewhat different process to what is happening here. All the MAIB reports I've ever read have been comprehensive, well-informed and very convincing. It will however take several months at least.

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If you have ever seen aircraft composites practices and standards, when you come back to marine stuff, your reaction is likely to be, "god, either these boats are dogshit, or the airplane guys are obsessive." Frankly, my reaction is the former. It's just that we generally overbuild boats and we don't have a sky to fall out of.

 

One of my favorite disconnects between aero and marine is an appropriate scarf joint on a repair. You'll see "workmanlike" scarf joints on a fibeglass boat that are barely 6:1. That's not even half of what is considered a minimum for aircraft. Another one is using sharpies to mark the laminate and the repair patches before laminating. That's a big no-no in aircraft. An another is using dissimilar reinforcements or a varied laminate stack in the repair. Common on boats, disallowed on aircraft.

 

We would all be able to chuckle at this, except that boats are being built with increasingly aircraft-like low safety factors and with geometry that is unforgiving. Yes, we have a problem in general and no, it isn't new. It is just that in general, most boats aren't pushed very hard.

 

Oh--and the "splooge method" of attaching a blind hull liner is, well, crap and always was. It's just fast, and the PMMA adhesives salesmen do a great job of selling their product (which is a good product but doesn't make up for poor fit and for inherently void-ridden assembly.

 

Having built an AAA rated Eze which only had a hand full of pre made parts, Landing gear, Cowling, canopy, wing spar all the rest was fabricated by us the primary builder was a Type A super anal type that had 45 years of building experience. We built the plane using a builders sight it flew with no trim needed first flight. We added a small servo driven tab later to address the weight differences between passengers or no passengers thats how strait that rig was.

 

The wing spar was a piece of engineered composite art why we don't see even two such elements glassed into the hull its self with major keel bolts running through them is by far my biggest question. Hell even the famous and well respected Santa Cruz yachts had heavy glassed in solid structures in the keel for which the keels were directly bolted too.

 

I think that this has more to do with multiple things cost savings, build time reduction and the classic well we've been doing this on boats for a while now and haven't seen any major issues with it... Back to the question how many of their boats see lots of sea miles vs sitting parked in a slip or tied to a quay serving as floating hotel rooms?

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My first offshore trip as skipper was around age 18. You can captain a 747 at age 21. Exactly how old do you need to be to be an adult :blink:

I was 20 for my first offshore skippering trip and 22 when I was driving a $50m fighter loaded with death and destruction.

 

22 is way too young to skipper a delivery. Not. As Estar said it's all about his experience.

 

 

I would not compare US military vetting, training, procedures, and supervision with the charter boat or sail coaching industry.

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If you have ever seen aircraft composites practices and standards, when you come back to marine stuff, your reaction is likely to be, "god, either these boats are dogshit, or the airplane guys are obsessive." Frankly, my reaction is the former. It's just that we generally overbuild boats and we don't have a sky to fall out of.

 

One of my favorite disconnects between aero and marine is an appropriate scarf joint on a repair. You'll see "workmanlike" scarf joints on a fibeglass boat that are barely 6:1. That's not even half of what is considered a minimum for aircraft. Another one is using sharpies to mark the laminate and the repair patches before laminating. That's a big no-no in aircraft. An another is using dissimilar reinforcements or a varied laminate stack in the repair. Common on boats, disallowed on aircraft.

 

We would all be able to chuckle at this, except that boats are being built with increasingly aircraft-like low safety factors and with geometry that is unforgiving. Yes, we have a problem in general and no, it isn't new. It is just that in general, most boats aren't pushed very hard.

 

Oh--and the "splooge method" of attaching a blind hull liner is, well, crap and always was. It's just fast, and the PMMA adhesives salesmen do a great job of selling their product (which is a good product but doesn't make up for poor fit and for inherently void-ridden assembly.

Carbon spar and skin joints in certified composite aircraft, spec is typically 100:1 scarf.

 

Plexus offers an adhesive which they claim has 1 inch gap filling capability. One inch!

I recall the X yachts having lots of issues with their steel grid system. The issue was that the boat flexed around the grid as a result the boat developed cracking where the grid pressed on the glass components. Ultimately if you have a structure that is not built as part of the hull and is bonded in some manner to the hull you run a range of possible issues from the hull flexing around the stiffer grid Xyacht steel grid example - or say glass pan system bonded to the inside of the hull that either doesn't bond well as pointed out by the kissing bond research mentioned being very hard to know if the bond really took place to the level that is needed, or simply cyclic loads or some sort of impact causing the bond to fail etc.

 

I think all builders with decent experience know that really you need to build these hulls with enough structure integrated into the hull its self to support key loads like say the keel, where the lighter loads possibly are addressed by the typical pan / grid structure. Meaning the keel is hung on a hull thats strong enough to handle it and perhaps the grid structures we hear so much about are used to support floors, furniture and say distribute rigging loads etc.

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DDW, my comments re this aft bolt have more to do with the surface than the surrounding rust stain. The surface does not look like a typical freshly suddenly sheared bolt looks (clean, with a single/very few plane(s) of shear), and it looks EXACTLY like a bolt experiencing progressive damage over time looks (multiple angles of damage with rusty rather than shiny clean surface).

I can't tell much from that picture, water swirling over it etc. I'm sure it would be quite expensive to salvage, but it would be relatively inexpensive for someone to go take a very close look at it and even bring back a few relevant pieces (assuming it can be found again). That would be very interesting.

I wonder if the USN surface swimmer (not USCG as is often stated including front page) shoved their camera in that keel hole? That's how they discovered the raft in place.

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I agree with most of the above. Splooging in a liner/grid and bolting the keel to the hull is pretty marginal... doesn't matter if that's an industry accepted practice among productiin builders.

Yes, boats should be able to take the occassional mild grounding. Shouldn't have to even worry

about it. Safety margins shouldn't be so thin tha

t failure of one bolt causes entire keel to fall off.

Barracuda took a hell of a pounding... probably more than many boats could endure. But if we look at HOW the keel failed, it was the same as Cheeki. Keel pulled cleanly away from hull. Grid possibly damaged, probably lost bond with hull, but the grid stayed in the boat when the keel didn't.

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With regard to the skipper - it's interesting to note those who confuse credentials for qualifications; they are separate and unrelated although occasionally complimentary. I continue to believe that it makes little sense to over analyze the crew as they are likely little more than low paid mercenaries with little access to any information about the yacht's history.

 

With regard to the NDI - I'm not aware of any techniques for composite inspection that produce meaningful results in the absence of comprehensive baselines collected during the construction process with the same equipment and similarly trained operators. The VOR, IMOCA and Maxi boats with which I'm familiar are carefully surveyed during construction and pre-launch. Odd pre-launch findings are investigated, usually with destructive techniques. Those baselines, equipment and personnel are used for ongoing NDI of the structure with attention paid to the differences that pop up between inspections. I don't believe that any production boat can be scrutinized with these techniques because I don't see how it's practical to ever establish a baseline.

 

With regard to maintenance - penetration of keel/hull joint sealant by seawater is a maintenance issue where the keel bolts are prone to crevice corrosion and/or anaerobic corrosion. It's true that the rust itself is not an indication of compromised integrity, but it is an indication that integrity may be compromised or may become compromised and that disassembly, inspection and renewal of the sealant (and possibly the bolts) is the only prudent course of action.

 

With regard to the photo of the boat in the dealer's yard - no, I don't believe the bolt is going to get wet because I believe that no one in their right mind would ever launch that boat. It's in need of some serious analysis and repairs or the tender loving attention of a chainsaw and front-end loader.

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DDW, my comments re this aft bolt have more to do with the surface than the surrounding rust

stain. The surface does not look like a typical freshly suddenly sheared bolt looks (clean, with a single/very few plane(s) of shear), and it looks EXACTLY like a bolt experiencing progressive damage over time looks (multiple angles of damage with rusty rather than shiny clean surface).

I can't tell much from that picture, water swirling over it etc. I'm sure it would be quite expensive to salvage, but it would be relatively inexpensive for someone to go take a very close look at it and even bring back a few relevant pieces (assuming it can be found again). That would be very interesting.
I wonder if the USN surface swimmer (not USCG as is often stated including front page) shoved is camera in that keel hole? Thats how they discovered the raft in place.
Raft was stowed in aft end of cockpit. I doubt it could be seen by a camera poked through keel hole. Swimmer probably looked under stern and saw it.

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DDW, my comments re this aft bolt have more to do with the surface than the surrounding rust stain. The surface does not look like a typical freshly suddenly sheared bolt looks (clean, with a single/very few plane(s) of shear), and it looks EXACTLY like a bolt experiencing progressive damage over time looks (multiple angles of damage with rusty rather than shiny clean surface).

I can't tell much from that picture, water swirling over it etc. I'm sure it would be quite expensive to salvage, but it would be relatively inexpensive for someone to go take a very close look at it and even bring back a few relevant pieces (assuming it can be found again). That would be very interesting.

I wonder if the USN surface swimmer (not USCG as is often stated including front page) shoved their camera in that keel hole? That's how they discovered the raft in place.

All the talk from 40.7 experienced folks is that the raft is located and strapped into a rear cockpit locker under the helms mans butt. My guess is that the swimmer was able to get a picture via reaching into the rear locker space with his camera. It was also explained that the swimmer put his arm into the hull in various places along with knocking on the hull looking for anyone that may be trapped and still alive which is a pretty standard thing for most people to do when dealing with an over turned hull.

 

The Life raft would have never been in the center cabin and I highly doubt a swimmer would risk tearing up his arm trying to reach through shredded broken fiberglass hull with no idea if he could actually get past the floor. So no I highly doubt it

 

Swimmer noted the ports were all shattered guessing it wasn't hard for him to view and stick his arm through those with little risk of suffering injury.

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my stuff in RED

DDW, my comments re this aft bolt have more to do with the surface than the surrounding rust stain. The surface does not look like a typical freshly suddenly sheared bolt looks (clean, with a single/very few plane(s) of shear), and it looks EXACTLY like a bolt experiencing progressive damage over time looks (multiple angles of damage with rusty rather than shiny clean surface).

 

There is certainly a Nihilism school of thought that we don't know anything for certain and will never. But practically speaking that school is not very useful and makes learning difficult.

 

attachicon.gifphoto.JPG

 

Kent, We don't really know enough to be able to say what this skipper might have been able to do. But . . .

 

1. He might have simply rerouted to avoid this storm, even not knowing he had a problem. I agree this boat should have been able to take 30 gusting 50, but why do it if you can be 100nm away in only 25 gusting 35?

If I thought 30 gusting 50 would be fatal, I would not have taken the boat out in the first place.

 

2. He might have been able to identify the leak as a problem earlier and been able to divert to say Bermuda to have it looked at. We do not know if the leak happened suddenly or if it was in fact leaking more slowly for a couple days. I suspect the management company does know.

Without knowing the amount of water, we don't know if they were all bailing 24/7 or it was just a bit more than normal. In general, a delivery skipper that makes expensive and time consuming diversions for a little leak that is easily cleared by the pumps would not be looking at more deliveries.

 

3. He might have been able to determine it was a mayday abandon ship situation, and gotten everyone in the raft, before the keel completely came off and the vessel turtled. I find it hard to believe if he had had someone watching the keel pan/bolts (as part of a regular continuous sweep to try to identify the source) that there was absolutely no warning sign of massive failure before the keel came totally off.

We do not know this. It may have been totally not visible until it was too late. It could have been a failure of the imagination - as in "a little issue with one bolt couldn't possibly mean the whole thing will come off in 3 seconds",

 

4. If he had had the chops to do it, as said in a post above, he might have insisted the boat be looked over very closely before taking off.

Why? Normally a delivery captain is expected to fuel up and go, not re-engineer the boat. Was there some obvious damage that would have alerted someone to an issue before departure?

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With regard to the skipper - it's interesting to note those who confuse credentials for qualifications; they are separate and unrelated although occasionally complimentary. I continue to believe that it makes little sense to over analyze the crew as they are likely little more than low paid mercenaries with little access to any information about the yacht's history.

 

With regard to the NDI - I'm not aware of any techniques for composite inspection that produce meaningful results in the absence of comprehensive baselines collected during the construction process with the same equipment and similarly trained operators. The VOR, IMOCA and Maxi boats with which I'm familiar are carefully surveyed during construction and pre-launch. Odd pre-launch findings are investigated, usually with destructive techniques. Those baselines, equipment and personnel are used for ongoing NDI of the structure with attention paid to the differences that pop up between inspections. I don't believe that any production boat can be scrutinized with these techniques because I don't see how it's practical to ever establish a baseline.

 

With regard to maintenance - penetration of keel/hull joint sealant by seawater is a maintenance issue where the keel bolts are prone to crevice corrosion and/or anaerobic corrosion. It's true that the rust itself is not an indication of compromised integrity, but it is an indication that integrity may be compromised or may become compromised and that disassembly, inspection and renewal of the sealant (and possibly the bolts) is the only prudent course of action.

 

With regard to the photo of the boat in the dealer's yard - no, I don't believe the bolt is going to get wet because I believe that no one in their right mind would ever launch that boat. It's in need of some serious analysis and repairs or the tender loving attention of a chainsaw and front-end loader.

 

Splooging in a liner isn't quite the way it's supposed to happen.

 

IIRC, a liner properly installed with a structural adhesive is usually stronger than the laminate it is bonding. But, like super glue that will hold an elephant but not put together two pieces of plastic, properly is a significant qualifier. Because of it's gap filling ability (1" is very scary) and tenacity, something like the branded Plexus is more likely to be properly applied that tabbing in a liner in a factory setting and we know that a Poly/grp secondary bond is much weaker.

 

Fast raises the point of aircraft standards vs marine standards. I've done both and he's right, boats are generally way overbuilt and damage tolerant from a structural perspective and a lot of that is because engineers know that the boats will see no or shoddy maintenance over a 20-30 year (plus?) life, will be assembled by semi-skilled labor performing a task that they have been trained to accomplish but don't have the knowledge or training to understand when they see something that is not right, and be subject to the ministrations of good and not so good yards. A fat keel bolted to a laid up sump with significant backing plates is the experience base and it's not a bad one. I think that moving to thinner keels with lower VCGs and bolting them on "the old way" has not worked out so well. I think it's because of an inadequate understanding of the loads that delivers an inadequate safety margin. Add in a fatigue spectrum outside the design constraints and all it takes is 1 bolt to start a failure chain.

 

Moon's baseline scan and health scans over the life can work for a top end, no holds barred racing boat but not practical for a CR.

 

I think we are all saying the same thing. This design and build, as operated and maintained, failed it's crew. Coulda, shoulda, woulda for routing, predeparture survey or whatever, the crew had a right to expect the keel to stay on the boat and it clearly did not.

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30 gusting to 50 and big seas is actually fairly normal Northern CA west coast event. I wouldn't consider it something you would want to go up hill in - with any boat thats built a bit on the light side like the first 40. But the boat should have easily been able to run under a storm jib or storm sail etc.

 

Heck my old sailing buddy ran the NOAA fisheries ship up and down the CA coast for several years he said that thing pounded horribly bad the front end of it was shaped like an Egg. Any time the conditions were getting into the 30+ range they would simply head in. I spent many evenings visiting the NOAA boat in SF as they waited out rough weather.

 

I know a owner of a Swan 63 its a freaking tank/ BEAST of a boat big 100+hp diesel engine and a mast that looks like a damn redwood growing out of the deck. He moves it up and down the west coast when he goes north into the waves and wind he said that he basically fires up the diesel and drives the boat from the cabin. I've been out side the Golden Gate on that beast when it was blowing 40 with big swells even when we hit large waves and had green water all the way back to the mast the boat didn't shudder or pound it had a very easy motion all while doing 6-7 knots! I've been out in those conditions on various other types of boats from an Express 27, Synergy 1000 to Olson 34 etc all of those boats had some level of pounding the Express 27 and the Synergy were brick shit houses you might get launched into the air every time they would come off the top of a wave but those boats simply crashed down and kept trucking with no shudder or flex in any manner. The O34 had some shudder and a little flex but not as much as the B boats and the C&C's I've sailed on. The SC 50, 40 and 52's I sailed on were brick shit houses too you could drive those damn boats through waves like a submarine and your only issue was getting launched across the cabin or cockpit due to the surge and stop that happened in really nasty conditions.

 

The First 40 has a very flat profile hull no doubt they pound like something wicked and I know they are not built any where close to the above boats I mention regarding lots of heavy glass work and structural components physically glassed into the hull its self. Very Very different boats than the 40.7. Which have spent years and years sailing in 30-50 and big cold seas with pretty much no major issues. Then again they are built in a much different manner than the 40.7

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DDW, my comments re this aft bolt have more to do with the surface than the surrounding rust stain. The surface does not look like a typical freshly suddenly sheared bolt looks (clean, with a single/very few plane(s) of shear), and it looks EXACTLY like a bolt experiencing progressive damage over time looks (multiple angles of damage with rusty rather than shiny clean surface).

I can't tell much from that picture, water swirling over it etc. I'm sure it would be quite expensive to salvage, but it would be relatively inexpensive for someone to go take a very close look at it and even bring back a few relevant pieces (assuming it can be found again). That would be very interesting.

I wonder if the USN surface swimmer (not USCG as is often stated including front page) shoved their camera in that keel hole? That's how they discovered the raft in place.(edit- in the cockpit by underwater imagery)

Too clarify/elaborate- I meant in a similar manner as they discovered the liferaft in the cockpit by underwater imagery by surface swimmer.

 

"BOSTON - The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed the life raft aboard the capsized sailing vessel Cheeki Rafiki was secured in its storage space in the aft portion of the boat, Friday, indicating it was not used for emergency purposes.

A U.S. Navy warship smallboat crew and surface swimmer captured underwater imagery clearly identifying the raft in its storage space. The image was shared with and acknowledged by the families.

The crew and swimmer deployed to investigate the overturned boat after a helicopter crew located it 1,000 miles offshore Massachusetts and within the U.S. Coast Guard's search area.

The Navy surface swimmer determined the boat's cabin was flooded and windows were shattered, contributing to the complete flooding inside.

The U.S. Coast Guard made an announcement, Thursday, that search operations would be suspended at midnight, Friday, unless new information or sightings suggested the crew would still be alive. None of the current developments indicate that to be the case." http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2168318/

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do you have evidence the boat wasn't maintained, or is that just a BS claim you're hoping to slide by ?

 

The rust stain around the aft keelbolt shows that this keelbolt was in big trouble. There would be similar evidence inside that shiny white bilge. You wouldn't ignore this if you knew that the boat was doing as many sea miles as this and going through as many cycles.

I don't see how you could conclude there would have been evidence that the bolt was sick. That rust stain could possibly have only been in the gap between the keel and hull. In fact I don't believe there would have been any evidence until the bolt sheared and then they would only have known if they had torqued the bolt to see how tight it was. Even then if it had half corroded it may well have passed the torque test. Do you do that before every passage? No - didn't think so. Maybe a good idea though.

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Quite ironic, here's a pic of the keel attachment on "DRAGON", an Open Class 40 after clipping a rock this past weekend during the "Atlantic Cup"!

 

It's front page news on the home page of Sailing Anarchy, including a great video of the event. This 40ft mono hull had to be going at least 12 kts, when it stopped dead.

 

Watch the video. This is what a Really HARD Grounding looks like. Even though this happened at high speed with heavy loading, note, the keel did NOT fall off.

 

This one appears to have a "flange type" attachment to the hull. There's really easy ways to make sure these things don't fall off, even during really hard groundings, and severe stress cycles.

 

How much extra would it have cost Bene to design socket & flange keel attachments? Even a small 1-2 inch deep socket & flange would have had the effect of spreading the load on the hull (grid) over 3 times the area. Would that have made it 3 times as strong? I don't know. Maybe stronger. Would these boats still be sailing 20 yrs from now? Probably a few more than there will be.

 

As I said before, it's not the keels that seem to fail, but rather the hulls they're attached to. (& I'm no engineer or naval architect)

 

 

 

 

post-38994-0-75209900-1401212057_thumb.jpg

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Someone upthread made a point to the effect that boats should be able to sustain some level of grounding without any damage. While that is a laudable goal, the reality is that if the structure is FRP, you damned sure better carefully examine it after EVERY COLLISION or grounding. Because unlike ductile steel, FRP has virtually no residual bending stiffness, and strength, after damage.

 

You have to get the coatings removed all the way to the laminate to examine for crazing or white resin. Then you have to remove all of it back into good material, and you need to scarf at a proper angle (depending on the application and an engineer's drawing) to rebuild that broken structure.

 

It is simply not acceptable to ground a fin-keeled fiberglass boat and not do a thorough inspection. Perhaps people get away with it, but it is inadvisable.

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Many comments on the poor hull/keel joint structure of Bene in this thread.

But what do we see as "best practice" examples of production (cruiser-racer) boats? Any brands in general or specific models?

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Quite ironic, here's a pic of the keel attachment on "DRAGON", an Open Class 40 after clipping a rock this past weekend during the "Atlantic Cup"!

 

It's front page news on the home page of Sailing Anarchy, including a great video of the event. This 40ft mono hull had to be going at least 12 kts, when it stopped dead.

 

Watch the video. This is what a Really HARD Grounding looks like. Even though this happened at high speed with heavy loading, note, the keel did NOT fall off.

 

This one appears to have a "flange type" attachment to the hull. There's really easy ways to make sure these things don't fall off, even during really hard groundings, and severe stress cycles.

 

How much extra would it have cost Bene to design socket & flange keel attachments? Even a small 1-2 inch deep socket & flange would have had the effect of spreading the load on the hull (grid) over 3 times the area. Would that have made it 3 times as strong? I don't know. Maybe stronger. Would these boats still be sailing 20 yrs from now? Probably a few more than there will be.

 

As I said before, it's not the keels that seem to fail, but rather the hulls they're attached to. (& I'm no engineer or naval architect)

Published on May 24, 2014

The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing started its third and final leg racing today with its Inshore Series in Narragansett Bay. Heading into today #54 -- Dragon was tied for first with #106 -- Gryphon Solo 2. #54 Dragon was leading the first race of the day en route to the first mark when they hit a rock just off Jamestown. Emma Creighton, their bowman, was launched into the water, but was quickly retrieved. The team withdrew from the race and motored back to the Newport Shipyard to assess the damage. Upon pulling the boat out of the water they discovered major damage to the keel box and have withdrawn from the remainder of the inshore series.

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Many comments on the poor hull/keel joint structure of Bene in this thread.

But what do we see as "best practice" examples of production (cruiser-racer) boats? Any brands in general or specific models?

Maybe we should be looking beyond production boats for better solutions? How do the cool kids do it?

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Someone upthread made a point to the effect that boats should be able to sustain some level of grounding without any damage. While that is a laudable goal, the reality is that if the structure is FRP, you damned sure better carefully examine it after EVERY COLLISION or grounding. Because unlike ductile steel, FRP has virtually no residual bending stiffness, and strength, after damage.

 

You have to get the coatings removed all the way to the laminate to examine for crazing or white resin. Then you have to remove all of it back into good material, and you need to scarf at a proper angle (depending on the application and an engineer's drawing) to rebuild that broken structure.

 

It is simply not acceptable to ground a fin-keeled fiberglass boat and not do a thorough inspection. Perhaps people get away with it, but it is inadvisable.

Florida west coast is really shallow, mud and sand bottom. The only way to avoid occassional grounding is to never leave the dock. If an inspection was required everytime you bumped, 90% of boats at any given time would be hauled out for inspections. 1) There simply isn't the yard space. 2) There aren't enough qualified surveyors.

Although there's plenty of cheap pieces of shit here, and occasionally a boat needs some reinforcement or repair, there haven't been any keel losses. Perhaps we're just on a roll, and soon the odds will catch up to us and half the local boats will lose keels in a years time.

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Many comments on the poor hull/keel joint structure of Bene in this thread.

But what do we see as "best practice" examples of production (cruiser-racer) boats? Any brands in general or specific models?

Maybe we should be looking beyond production boats for better solutions? How do the cool kids do it?

 

 

But it would be interested to see what is possible within the constraints a yard of production boats is facing. So which brands/models do come close to the "ideal"?

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I would be on inspection about 200-300 by now. At low tide sometimes I run aground twice between my slip and the fuel dock :rolleyes:

Getting into Queenstown is bump - move over - bump - move over - OK that's the spot.

Someone upthread made a point to the effect that boats should be able to sustain some level of grounding without any damage. While that is a laudable goal, the reality is that if the structure is FRP, you damned sure better carefully examine it after EVERY COLLISION or grounding. Because unlike ductile steel, FRP has virtually no residual bending stiffness, and strength, after damage.

 

You have to get the coatings removed all the way to the laminate to examine for crazing or white resin. Then you have to remove all of it back into good material, and you need to scarf at a proper angle (depending on the application and an engineer's drawing) to rebuild that broken structure.

 

It is simply not acceptable to ground a fin-keeled fiberglass boat and not do a thorough inspection. Perhaps people get away with it, but it is inadvisable.

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I would be on inspection about 200-300 by now. At low tide sometimes I run aground twice between my slip and the fuel dock :rolleyes:

Getting into Queenstown is bump - move over - bump - move over - OK that's the spot.

Someone upthread made a point to the effect that boats should be able to sustain some level of grounding without any damage. While that is a laudable goal, the reality is that if the structure is FRP, you damned sure better carefully examine it after EVERY COLLISION or grounding. Because unlike ductile steel, FRP has virtually no residual bending stiffness, and strength, after damage.

 

You have to get the coatings removed all the way to the laminate to examine for crazing or white resin. Then you have to remove all of it back into good material, and you need to scarf at a proper angle (depending on the application and an engineer's drawing) to rebuild that broken structure.

 

It is simply not acceptable to ground a fin-keeled fiberglass boat and not do a thorough inspection. Perhaps people get away with it, but it is inadvisable.

I think you guys are extrapolating. Note that we were talking about "hard groundings". If you are put-putting at 3 knots and touching mud or sand without a jolt, obviously that's nothing. But if you go bang! you better haul it! If you take a hit that is harder than any sailing shock...that's the best way to explain it I guess.

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There will - almost certainly - be a published MAIB report. MAIB will interview all who can be interviewed and inspect whatever can be inspected. Which is a somewhat different process to what is happening here. All the MAIB reports I've ever read have been comprehensive, well-informed and very convincing. It will however take several months at least.

I will be interested to read the MAIB report. I find them generally well written.

 

However, I have been close enough to that sort of investigation to know (1) that often important conclusions are left out/modified for commercial liability reasons, or organizational/political reasons, or team members pre-conceived notions, and (2) they often punt on engineering/technical matters as they usually do not have the resources to do actual engineering analysis and the people they interview often have some sort of bias (like say Bendy's engineers). These sorts of forum discussions tend not to have those constraints and so offer an interesting and useful (for me at least) counterpoint to official reports.

 

Regarding the bad overall design vs specific case/prior damage discussion - I come back to the empirical experience of this joint . . . . which (let's exclude this case) is that it does not come apart unless pounded into the ground. That empirical experience combined with the picture of the aft bolt, would lead one to conclude that there was prior unrepaired damage in this case. The picture of the aft bolt is right at the resolution limit but I would submit when compared to the forward bolts (very shiny) it shows a very high probability of exactly what looks like prior damage progressing over time (unsmooth and corroded).

 

You can argue that the joint should not come apart even after a hard grounding, and I would agree and I think even Bendy would agree that would be very desirable . . . BUT that is not the price point the market is demanding. Bendy and other Euro brands have also been putting plain 60/40 brass (not DZR) thru-hulls in their boats, and we can also agree that is not desirable, but again that is the price point we are talking about.

 

Should a commercial charter operation be using one of these price point boats as hard, with as many transoceanic's, as they have this boat; and should it have had a more rigorous maintenance program are both worthwhile questions to ask. But unless someone can show us how to significantly improve this keel joint without adding more than say $1000/hull (about the savings of the brass thru hulls) then I think you have to let economics say this is a valid design for its market segment and its owners simply need to understand they have bought a price point boat which empirically does its intended job quite well and if they hit the ground (or do a real lot of sailing) they need to significantly up the inspection and maintenance program.

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Barracuda took a hell of a pounding... probably more than many boats could endure. But if we look at HOW the keel failed, it was the same as Cheeki. Keel pulled cleanly away from hull. Grid possibly damaged, probably lost bond with hull, but the grid stayed in the boat when the keel didn't.

^^ That is exactly what I am talking about. Keel disembarked without much luggage. Shouldn't happen.

 

With regard to the photo of the boat in the dealer's yard - no, I don't believe the bolt is going to get wet because I believe that no one in their right mind would ever launch that boat. It's in need of some serious analysis and repairs or the tender loving attention of a chainsaw and front-end loader.

That particular Beneteau First was gone a week later, in the water. I'm quite sure nothing was done to fix it, the yard where it was certainly did not have the equipment or expertise to remove the keel. It was probably fixed by smearing a little marinetex or 5200 around the gaps. There was a second one there when I took that picture, similar but not as bad. Those were new boats, not a maintenance or grounding issue, delivered that way from the builder.

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The only reason to hire a Twenty Two year old delivery skipper is that they come cheaper than one that has been doing charter work for twenty years. What else was skimped on?

 

I'm sure it was a capable crew and the captain was a much better sailor than I am, and even up to thirty seconds before the keel fell off he probably still had confidence in his boat, fuelled by blind faith & optimism if nothing else. The captain had been campaigning this boat for most of the season, and campaigning pretty well.

 

I am skeptical of the sudden, catastrophic, loss through shoddy engineering/build theory, and that everything was atleast up to Beneteau's minimum specs when that boat left Antigua. Beneteau's aren't Swans, but they are not MacGregor's either. This wasn't the worst storm a First has been through, and I don't even think it was the worst storm that this 40.7 had been through.

 

The keel was apparently off during an offseason refit, so unless it was a horribly backed up, horribly shoddy, yard doing the work the bolts were fine then and weren't showing signs of crevice corrosion. So the bolts deteriorated relatively rapidly, and some evidence should have been visible somewhere on the joint.

 

No captain could have saved it once the keel fell off, but maybe a more cautious experienced skipper would never have left harbour on that boat?

 

And yes there lot's of skilled younger yachtsmen that could sail circles around me, but I'm glad the Nineteen year old was driving the ferry and Sully was in the plane.

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There will - almost certainly - be a published MAIB report. MAIB will interview all who can be interviewed and inspect whatever can be inspected. Which is a somewhat different process to what is happening here. All the MAIB reports I've ever read have been comprehensive, well-informed and very convincing. It will however take several months at least.

I will be interested to read the MAIB report. I find them generally well written.

 

However, I have been close enough to that sort of investigation to know (1) that often important conclusions are left out/modified for commercial liability reasons, or organizational/political reasons, or team members pre-conceived notions, and (2) they often punt on engineering/technical matters as they usually do not have the resources to do actual engineering analysis and the people they interview often have some sort of bias (like say Bendy's engineers). These sorts of forum discussions tend not to have those constraints and so offer an interesting and useful (for me at least) counterpoint to official reports.

 

Regarding the bad overall design vs specific case/prior damage discussion - I come back to the empirical experience of this joint . . . . which (let's exclude this case) is that it does not come apart unless pounded into the ground. That empirical experience combined with the picture of the aft bolt, would lead one to conclude that there was prior unrepaired damage in this case. The picture of the aft bolt is right at the resolution limit but I would submit when compared to the forward bolts (very shiny) it shows a very high probability of exactly what looks like prior damage progressing over time (unsmooth and corroded).

 

You can argue that the joint should not come apart even after a hard grounding, and I would agree and I think even Bendy would agree that would be very desirable . . . BUT that is not the price point the market is demanding. Bendy and other Euro brands have also been putting plain 60/40 brass (not DZR) thru-hulls in their boats, and we can also agree that is not desirable, but again that is the price point we are talking about.

 

Should a commercial charter operation be using one of these price point boats as hard, with as many transoceanic's, as they have this boat; and should it have had a more rigorous maintenance program are both worthwhile questions to ask. But unless someone can show us how to significantly improve this keel joint without adding more than say $1000/hull (about the savings of the brass thru hulls) then I think you have to let economics say this is a valid design for its market segment and its owners simply need to understand they have bought a price point boat which empirically does its intended job quite well and if they hit the ground (or do a real lot of sailing) they need to significantly up the

inspection and maintenance program.

So, you think the possible failure of ONE bolt caused the keel to tear loose from the hull. Don't you think thats a pretty thin safety margin?

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my stuff in RED

Kent, We don't really know enough to be able to say what this skipper might have been able to do. But . . .

 

1. He might have simply rerouted to avoid this storm, even not knowing he had a problem. I agree this boat should have been able to take 30 gusting 50, but why do it if you can be 100nm away in only 25 gusting 35?

If I thought 30 gusting 50 would be fatal, I would not have taken the boat out in the first place.

I agree, but that was not my point. My point is that this skipper, even thinking the boat was perfectly sound and strong, could have chosen a route that would not have exposed this crew and this hull to that much stress and risk. Why take 50kts if you don't have to is the question. Even with a perfect boat, things can go badly wrong in 50kts, and a produent skipper will avoid that additional risk unless there is some other priority. It's a judgement call, which is usually made based on the skipper's experience.

 

2. He might have been able to identify the leak as a problem earlier and been able to divert to say Bermuda to have it looked at. We do not know if the leak happened suddenly or if it was in fact leaking more slowly for a couple days. I suspect the management company does know.

Without knowing the amount of water, we don't know if they were all bailing 24/7 or it was just a bit more than normal. In general, a delivery skipper that makes expensive and time consuming diversions for a little leak that is easily cleared by the pumps would not be looking at more deliveries.

I agree if, and only if, the skipper had been able to isolate and understand the source of the leak and it was NOT the keel bolts. If it was undetermined or determined to be the keel bolts then the skipper should have argued to stop. Some keel bolt leaks are not 'serious', but the majority of the keel bolt cases I am familiar with turned out to actually be root caused to serious structural problems that needed to be fixed. Again, a judgement call, which will be based on the skipper's experience.

 

3. He might have been able to determine it was a mayday abandon ship situation, and gotten everyone in the raft, before the keel completely came off and the vessel turtled. I find it hard to believe if he had had someone watching the keel pan/bolts (as part of a regular continuous sweep to try to identify the source) that there was absolutely no warning sign of massive failure before the keel came totally off.

We do not know this. It may have been totally not visible until it was too late. It could have been a failure of the imagination - as in "a little issue with one bolt couldn't possibly mean the whole thing will come off in 3 seconds",

I just find it hard to believe this think could look great one minute and then 15 seconds later (how long it should take to launch the raft) the keel comes off. I suppose it is remotely possible, but I find it extremely implausible.

 

4. If he had had the chops to do it, as said in a post above, he might have insisted the boat be looked over very closely before taking off.

Why? Normally a delivery captain is expected to fuel up and go, not re-engineer the boat. Was there some obvious damage that would have alerted someone to an issue before departure?

Hmmm . . . that may be the way you see the delivery captain role. It's not how I see it. He is responsible to both the owner and his crew to get to the destination safely. He is responsible to do whatever is prudent in order to accomplish this. If he knows or thinks the boat might have either fatigue issues or grounding issues he is fully within his authority to ask for an inspection. If he thinks the life raft is not appropriate size or stowed location he should ask to get make it appropriate. Now the owner may then tell him to get fucked and hire someone less diligent . . .. but the skipper has properly discharged his responsibility.

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I have delivered both boats and airplanes. In neither case was there any time or money alloted for me to do anything approaching a survey. I have turned down jobs where it was obvious the boat/airplane in question was not up to the proposed trip, but I can't imagine showing up and asking for the keel to be dropped and inspected unless there was obvious damage or known damage history. Airplanes are a bit easier because - at least in theory - damage is logged, repairs are logged, and the plane will have an annual inspection (or 100 hour) on record.

 

As for 50 knots, last time I was out in the ocean in 50 knots we had a wet boat. A keel bolt leak in the "oozing" stage would not have been obvious.

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But unless someone can show us how to significantly improve this keel joint without adding more than say $1000/hull (about the savings of the brass thru hulls) then I think you have to let economics say this is a valid design for its market segment and its owners simply need to understand they have bought a price point boat which empirically does its intended job quite well and if they hit the ground (or do a real lot of sailing) they need to significantly up the inspection and maintenance program.

Estar, $1000 pays for quite a lot of laminate and a few bolts, especially when you already have tons of material sitting there in your shop and your hands are wet. Same construction but 50% stronger (locally) probably very easy to achieve. A flanged keel probably wouldn't cost a great deal more than that.

 

If price point is the problem then add an item to the option sheet: "Option 13, keel that does not fall off, $2999". It could become a big money maker for them.

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So, you think the possible failure of ONE bolt caused the keel to tear loose from the hull. Don't you think thats a pretty thin safety margin?

As I have said in posts above . . . whatever damaged that aft bolt may well have also damaged the grid bond. We do not know if it was only one or both that started this to work. I have been convinced by several of you that it was more likely both.

 

But, yes, you will see in my posts even further above that I clearly said I found the apparent safety margin troubling - particularly for the use CR was putting it to. Whether that safety margin is a problem for it's real 'intended use market segment' . . . I would say the empirical evidence says no. But in saying that Bendy sure is walking a fine line with their marketing - people want to believe they are buying a 'capable world girder' when in fact they are buying a price point boat. That is unfortunately a fine marketing line endemic in our free market system.

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If one bolt failed and the theory is that it cascaded from there...there is a flaw in that thinking. Even supposing there was a crevasse crack not picked up when the keel was last off, you need a cause for the bolt to fail, like movement or flexing. There should be zero flexing at the joint between the keel and root or in this case hull. If there was flexing then the failure was not the cause of the supposedly corroded bolt but rather the source of the flexing.

 

 


There will - almost certainly - be a published MAIB report. MAIB will interview all who can be interviewed and inspect whatever can be inspected. Which is a somewhat different process to what is happening here. All the MAIB reports I've ever read have been comprehensive, well-informed and very convincing. It will however take several months at least.

I will be interested to read the MAIB report. I find them generally well written.

However, I have been close enough to that sort of investigation to know (1) that often important conclusions are left out/modified for commercial liability reasons, or organizational/political reasons, or team members pre-conceived notions, and (2) they often punt on engineering/technical matters as they usually do not have the resources to do actual engineering analysis and the people they interview often have some sort of bias (like say Bendy's engineers). These sorts of forum discussions tend not to have those constraints and so offer an interesting and useful (for me at least) counterpoint to official reports.

Regarding the bad overall design vs specific case/prior damage discussion - I come back to the empirical experience of this joint . . . . which (let's exclude this case) is that it does not come apart unless pounded into the ground. That empirical experience combined with the picture of the aft bolt, would lead one to conclude that there was prior unrepaired damage in this case. The picture of the aft bolt is right at the resolution limit but I would submit when compared to the forward bolts (very shiny) it shows a very high probability of exactly what looks like prior damage progressing over time (unsmooth and corroded).

You can argue that the joint should not come apart even after a hard grounding, and I would agree and I think even Bendy would agree that would be very desirable . . . BUT that is not the price point the market is demanding. Bendy and other Euro brands have also been putting plain 60/40 brass (not DZR) thru-hulls in their boats, and we can also agree that is not desirable, but again that is the price point we are talking about.

Should a commercial charter operation be using one of these price point boats as hard, with as many transoceanic's, as they have this boat; and should it have had a more rigorous maintenance program are both worthwhile questions to ask. But unless someone can show us how to significantly improve this keel joint without adding more than say $1000/hull (about the savings of the brass thru hulls) then I think you have to let economics say this is a valid design for its market segment and its owners simply need to understand they have bought a price point boat which empirically does its intended job quite well and if they hit the ground (or do a real lot of sailing) they need to significantly up the
inspection and maintenance program.
So, you think the possible failure of ONE bolt caused the keel to tear loose from the hull. Don't you think thats a pretty thin safety margin?

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Estar, $1000 pays for quite a lot of laminate and a few bolts, especially when you already have tons of material sitting there in your shop and your hands are wet. Same construction but 50% stronger (locally) probably very easy to achieve. A flanged keel probably wouldn't cost a great deal more than that.

 

If price point is the problem then add an item to the option sheet: "Option 13, keel that does not fall off, $2999". It could become a big money maker for them.

DDW, if you want to recommend that to Bendy, go right ahead. But I will suggest:

 

The first idea is simple one of 10,000 places you could add cost to this boat to make it 'better'. In total they would double the price of the boat. The market imperative is NOT to add ANY of those costs. . . . unless you discover a huge potential liability exposure. So far I would argue they do not have such an exposure with the keel design.

 

They second idea is a non-starter because you can't tell your customer base that the base product is unsuitable for its intended use.

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Then I guess a liferaft garage in the transom, for the crew's safety and convenience when the keel falls off, isn't a good marketing point.

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No it is NOT. Most boats are not going to have liferafts aboard. The amount of space taken up by this arrangement would be a detraction when competing against boats that had an extra big grill or something :rolleyes:

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^^ probably not. The helm seat location is probably the best 'market solution' - reasonably accessible but inexpensive to provide.

 

I might argue that the 12 - man raft was more of a problem here - much harder to handle than a 4 or 6 man, and to big to 'pre-stage' anywhere so it had to be left where it was until 'go time' and unfortunately 'go time' was then too late.

 

But the biggest 'problem' was (I have mentioned it above) the 'step up into the raft' theory is bad if there is a possible capsize. Following that training, the bounty crew also waited too long. The training needs to be revised . . . if you have a lot of free water inside the hull, or the keel is damaged possibly loose, then you need to abandon sooner. That is an important lesson here. It needs to get incorporated into the SASS and various books/articles.

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The only reason to hire a Twenty Two year old delivery skipper is that they come cheaper than one that has been doing charter work for twenty years. What else was skimped on?

 

I'm sure it was a capable crew and the captain was a much better sailor than I am, and even up to thirty seconds before the keel fell off he probably still had confidence in his boat, fuelled by blind faith & optimism if nothing else. The captain had been campaigning this boat for most of the season, and campaigning pretty well.

 

I am skeptical of the sudden, catastrophic, loss through shoddy engineering/build theory, and that everything was atleast up to Beneteau's minimum specs when that boat left Antigua. Beneteau's aren't Swans, but they are not MacGregor's either. This wasn't the worst storm a First has been through, and I don't even think it was the worst storm that this 40.7 had been through.

 

The keel was apparently off during an offseason refit, so unless it was a horribly backed up, horribly shoddy, yard doing the work the bolts were fine then and weren't showing signs of crevice corrosion. So the bolts deteriorated relatively rapidly, and some evidence should have been visible somewhere on the joint.

 

No captain could have saved it once the keel fell off, but maybe a more cautious experienced skipper would never have left harbour on that boat?

 

And yes there lot's of skilled younger yachtsmen that could sail circles around me, but I'm glad the Nineteen year old was driving the ferry and Sully was in the plane.

 

Apparently "horribly shoddy yard, doing the work" is more the norm than the exception.

 

_IF_ the keel was off and inspected "recently" and the bolts looked OK then (two big "if"s), how long would it take for the obvious deterioration of that aft bolt to develop? It looks rusted all the way through. And how do we know if one or more of the middle three pair of bolts weren't in equally bad shape, since a large section of hull surface laminate was ripped away, leaving no visible rust marks.

 

Even if the middle bolts were still strong enough to rip out some laminate, cyclic motion of the long keel is a likely factor in weakening the hull. Given the incredible gap between keel and hull in the photo of a new Beneteau First above, it's pretty easy to see how fatigue and exposure of the bolts could happen.

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IMHP your not getting a raft inflated and the water bags filled (biggest issue) if it was 50 knots and 20' seas

 

IF you were really lucky a raft that was launched and crewed would survive it

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So, you think the possible failure of ONE bolt caused the keel to tear loose from the hull. Don't you think thats a pretty thin safety margin?

As I have said in posts above . . . whatever damaged that aft bolt may well have also damaged the grid bond. We do not know if it was only one or both that started this to work. I have been convinced by several of you that it was more likely both.

 

But, yes, you will see in my posts even further above that I clearly said I found the apparent safety margin troubling - particularly for the use CR was putting it to. Whether that safety margin is a problem for it's real 'intended use market segment' . . . I would say the empirical evidence says no. But in saying that Bendy sure is walking a fine line with their marketing - people want to believe they are buying a 'capable world girder' when in fact they are buying a price point boat. That is unfortunately a fine marketing line

endemic in our free market system.

If there was an incident that damaged the aft keelbolt and caused grid damage (and you provide no evidence of such an incident), then wouldn't it be noticable? Wouldn't the boat be inspected (as it was before leaving England only 6 months earlier), and arrangements made for repair or to be shipped home? Would the skipper have left Antigua for England under such circumstances, and not notified management until 2 weeks later from mid-Atlantic? Im sorry, but your whole imagined scenerio fails basic logic. Do you know of Occams Razor?

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^^ Yes, I certainly know Occams razor.

 

Lets say we have two competing hypotheses here.

 

1. is that this boat did sustain prior damage, which was not completely/properly discovered/fixed, and that damage slowly worked over perhaps two years, until it reached a 'tipping point' in a strong gale in the north atlantic. This skipper could well not have known of the prior incident at all. Evidence - the aft bolt, the relatively fresh caulking showing, the note in a post above that the boat had been hauled (2 years ago if I remember) for keel work, in a boat that has a massive number of fatigue cycles..

 

2. is that a boat in perfectly sound condition, with no prior damage, which has zero empirical incident of loosing keels except for in groundings, in weather that the boats have experienced repeatedly before without keel problems, suddenly drops off its keel.

 

I personally would say that Occam leans strongly toward case #1.

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Didnt Bouwe Bekking and his crew step down into the liferaft when Movistar was sinking? The "step up" comment may need to be revised - to what - I dont know.

 

Appologies if I have this information wrong. Just thought of it.

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We had boats that had to be basically destroyed to lose the keel. They would be derided on SA usually as 4KSBs sailed by grandpa on his way to the old folks marina :rolleyes:

Kent I would argue that for the class 40 to have fully lost the keel intact meaning entire keel exited the scene the hull would have more or less had to be destroyed in the process. Last I checked the class 40 boats are not 4 knot shit boxes. They also take proper structure seriously with those boats knowing they will get sailed across oceans and will probably not see a whole lot of dock condo use.

 

I think the larger issue here is that today we have a number of large production companies producing hulls which simply lack the strength to handle being sailed lots and perhaps raced where the hull and keel may experience far more cases of round ups where the keel gets air time hanging off the side of a hull turned on its side. Perhaps the build and design is perfectly adequate for Med Charters, But really doesn't stand up to the abuse dished out by multiple big ocean crossings and racing conditions where the boat could get parked on its side in rough conditions all of which work the hull and keel structure.

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Well the Open 40 sounds like a boat I would like :)

As for the rest, we have an intersection of "is fast", "isn't really fast but looks like the fast boats", and "too cheap to do it the right way" :rolleyes:

 

We had boats that had to be basically destroyed to lose the keel. They would be derided on SA usually as 4KSBs sailed by grandpa on his way to the old folks marina :rolleyes:

Kent I would argue that for the class 40 to have fully lost the keel intact meaning entire keel exited the scene the hull would have more or less had to be destroyed in the process. Last I checked the class 40 boats are not 4 knot shit boxes. They also take proper structure seriously with those boats knowing they will get sailed across oceans and will probably not see a whole lot of dock condo use.

 

I think the larger issue here is that today we have a number of large production companies producing hulls which simply lack the strength to handle being sailed lots and perhaps raced where the hull and keel may experience far more cases of round ups where the keel gets air time hanging off the side of a hull turned on its side. Perhaps the build and design is perfectly adequate for Med Charters, But really doesn't stand up to the abuse dished out by multiple big ocean crossings and racing conditions where the boat could get parked on its side in rough conditions all of which work the hull and keel structure.

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Didnt Bouwe Bekking and his crew step down into the liferaft when Movistar was sinking? The "step up" comment may need to be revised - to what - I dont know.

 

Appologies if I have this information wrong. Just thought of it.

Regardless of step up or step down to the life raft the biggest issue is when to make that call and when you do inflate the raft is been proven over and over and over again you never inflate the raft unless your ready to climb into it the second its done inflating because they do get torn away from the sinking or troubled boat once you set them off.

 

Now granted if the conditions are calm and reasonably flat one could justify setting up the raft - getting gear to it assigning a crew or two to keep watch on it while other crew try and get last ditch efforts to work on the mother ship. Great example of the PAC CUP boat returning home getting holed by a whale strike in pretty calm conditions they were able to step up to the raft and there was little risk of the raft getting torn away by wave or wind action.

 

In the situation with the 40.7 the sea conditions was pretty rough you wouldn't ever expect a raft to stay with the mother ship once it was deployed in those conditions.

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^^ probably not. The helm seat location is probably the best 'market solution' - reasonably accessible but inexpensive to provide.

 

 

I might argue that the 12 - man raft was more of a problem here - much harder to handle than a 4 or 6 man, and to big to 'pre-stage' anywhere so it had to be left where it was until 'go time' and unfortunately 'go time' was then too late.

 

But the biggest 'problem' was (I have mentioned it above) the 'step up into the raft' theory is bad if there is a possible capsize. Following that training, the bounty crew also waited too long. The training needs to be revised . . . if you have a lot of free water inside the hull, or the keel is damaged possibly loose, then you need to abandon sooner. That is an important lesson here. It needs to get incorporated into the SASS and various books/articles.

Do you think educating people to recognize imminent keel failure and training them to deploy a liferaft from an inverted boat is a more preferable solution than making sure keels don't fall off in the first place?

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why would all the ports be shattered?

20 tons of water sloshing around inside probably destroyed interior, and debris may have smashed out windows.

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I owned a full keel wooden boat, a nice 1940 design. It had a bigger gap between the keelson and deadwood then that new First :)

 

The gridstructure the keel is not bolted through, is not there for strengthening the grid for the keel, as mentioned, should be left out of the equation.

Its for putting the floorboards on and a bit for anti flex of the hull. The lam sched of the hull should be the strength.

If this part is not bonded correctly, but the washer is on top of it, see it as a big fibre backing plate, if correctly torqued.

 

Another scenario, boat was leaking a bit. Sailors went for Azores. They hit flotsam hard leading to keel failure.

Still should not fall of. But its an alternative.

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why would all the ports be shattered?

The report said ports were open or shattered hard to say if they were opening ports that were popped open due to flex and water being shipped inside the hull in rough conditions or if they were shattered by impact with debri - rigging etc.

 

The boat I sailed the PAC CUP on experienced smashed cockpit displays after taking a wave over the back of the boat during a coastal race prior to us getting geared up for the PAC CUP. The owner a very experienced ocean racer has done the Trans PAC and the PAC Cup many many times - ended up having a engineered two piece companionway hatch built out of half inch thick plexy material after he had all his instrument faces smashed in by a wave over the back of the boat. Clearly the force involved is pretty impressive and that event had him thinking his stock wood companion way boards were far far from adequate.

 

It would not take much to blow out a port if the boat was already having trouble heck for all we know this was a two fold event yes they had water issues and maybe the keel was in bad shape pair that with getting smacked and rolled by a wave. You have possible cause for loss of a port or two or three and what was left regarding keel structure finally let go. No one will know how the story went.

 

But when you have another 40 footer much heavier built cruiser getting rolled not far from these guys you need to assume that there could have been multiple events that took place creating the final outcome.

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RK,

 

You wrote:

 

If there was an incident that damaged the aft keelbolt and caused grid damage (and you provide no evidence of such an incident), then wouldn't it be noticable? Wouldn't the boat be inspected (as it was before leaving England only 6 months earlier), and arrangements made for repair or to be shipped home? Would the skipper have left Antigua for England under such circumstances, and not notified management until 2 weeks later from mid-Atlantic? Im sorry, but your whole imagined scenerio fails basic logic. Do you know of Occams Razor?

 

I'd suggest that the typical answers to those questions are: Probably not. Likely not. Almost certainly. Like the back of my hand.

 

See, you continue to believe that a charter management company would:

  1. Know there had been a grounding, which is unlikely because most charters would likely not mention it because they would prefer to not lose their damage deposit
  2. If they knew, they'd undertake expensive and time consuming preventative maintenance, which is most often not the case because they're managing to a schedule and a budget.
  3. If they knew, they'd inform the delivery crew, which is certainly not the case because if they'd elected to do nothing about the situation why would they tell anyone?
  4. That the delivery crew was capable of doing a detailed survey of the vessel, which is highly unlikely in any event.

In fact Occams Razor would drive one to reach exactly the opposite conclusion - that the boat was damaged and that nothing was done until the keel began to leak in heavy conditions and then fell off completely. That's the simplest, most likely cause and result. Anything else is much, much more complicated.

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Do you think educating people to recognize imminent keel failure and training them to deploy a liferaft from an inverted boat is a more preferable solution than making sure keels don't fall off in the first place?

Please don't let this discussion degenrate into pointless rhetorical questions. Of 870 posts in this thread to date, 103 of them are yours... Perhaps it's time for you to step away from the keyboard, get some fresh air?

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^^ Yes, I certainly know Occams razor.

 

Lets say we have two competing hypotheses here.

 

1. is that this boat did sustain prior damage, which was not completely/properly discovered/fixed, and that damage slowly worked over perhaps two years, until it reached a 'tipping point' in a strong gale in the north atlantic. This skipper could well not have known of the prior incident at all. Evidence - the aft bolt, the relatively fresh caulking showing, the note in a post above that the boat had been hauled (2 years ago if I remember) for keel work, in a boat that has a massive number of fatigue cycles..

 

2. is that a boat in perfectly sound condition, with no prior damage, which has zero empirical incident of loosing keels except for in groundings, in weather that the boats have experienced repeatedly before without keel problems, suddenly drops off its keel.

 

I personally would say that Occam leans strongly toward case #1.

Or case 3. Boat is claimed to meet Cat A standards, but 98% will never go more than 10 miles offshore. Boat is built to a price point, so is engineered to a fine margin to save materials and labor costs. Cost savings used for shiny SS galley to impress wife, and electronic gadgets to impress hubby. Dealers happy. Normal variations in production line boats using semi-skilled labor. Perhaps a laminate bond in hull isn't so good. Visual inspection of splooge from gaps in liner/grid... assumption all the non-visual areas are well bonded. No NDT performed on every boat... hey we gotta move these things out the door! So every so often a sub-standard boat slips through. No prob, 98% never go more than 10 miles offshore. But maybe one does... given the photo upthread of a brand new boat, Id say its a very likely scenerio.

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Do you think educating people to recognize imminent keel failure and training them to deploy a liferaft from an inverted boat is a more

preferable solution than making sure keels don't fall off in the first place?

Please don't let this discussion degenrate into pointless rhetorical questions. Of 870 posts in this thread to date, 103 of them are yours... Perhaps it's time for you to step away from the keyboard, get some fresh air?

You bothered to count them? Pot. Kettle. Black.

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Experience is a funny thing you either gain it through other people having been there done that and this is why we do X now - or you experience it your self been there done that and this is why I do X now..

After seeing what a wave over the top of the boat can do there are few things I personally would do to my own boat if I were doing big ocean stuff. #1 toss the factory companion way boards you typically get with the major production boats, and have a engineered two piece plexy unit built up which has proper leash and lash down methods incorporated into its design. Meaning its more than just one sheet of plexy it has a bonded second some what structured piece to the back of it which also gives you multiple ways to rig up a leash or lashing to keep it in place vs getting knocked out and sent overboard etc.

 

How many of these boats crossing the Atlantic had companion way hatches that could take a big wave or even getting rolled and remain in place or even just stay with the boat via leash? I bet very few making this trip had anything like that.

But you do some talking with some pretty experienced off shore sailors / racers and you will find that most if not all of them will agree that either they had to make some changes to their companion way boards or they build new boards to their standards etc. Almost every single one of them that have done this did it because they have seen or personally experienced what happens when you land a big wave the wrong way in the cockpit and they learned that something as simple and not really thought of much as a companion way board can mean the difference between loosing a boat or just having a really rough ride. What about those cockpit cruising speakers what 12inch holes cut in the cockpit coming with speaker structure keeping 700 gallons of water out of the cabin when a wave lands in the cockpit? Hmm?

 

Other things like having the items on board the boat that would enable you to fashion rough window/port coverings if you were to get one smashed in. We talked about this in our PAC CUP prep. The owner having already seen the force that can hit a boat via a wave had already thought through how he could handle that situation if it were to come up. Same boat and owner after our trip caught a wave over the side and top of the 34 footer just out side the GG during a rough ocean race - knocked the boat down under white sails - damaged some gear on the boom and tore the jib out of the foil and damaged the head stay the wave landed in the main above the boom! He said it was one of the most impressive hits he'd seen yet and was surprised how long the boat stayed down on its side shedding the wave.

 

This is all stuff that happens right outside the Golden Gate here in SF. You talk with any of the long time ocean racing regulars they all have stories like this 50+ knots big waves, killer surfing action and some pretty knarly wave vs boat situations. None of those guys take ocean passages lightly heck just go read the Trans Pac and PAC Cup inspection list I would consider that a pretty good list for people doing major ocean crossings even if they aren't racing.

 

Now if the hull fails and your keel falls off - lets face it your screwed and depending on the history of the boat the problem was either lack of hull strength to support the keel or some event that caused the lack of strength to cause hull failure and loss of keel.

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RK,

 

Perhaps it's you that don't understand the concept of the Razor - you took 5-10 "bricks" to make a foundation for your claim. ES, who made essentially the same case as did I, needed only one brick.

 

The Razor picks the smaller number every time - that's it's definition.

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My boat does ;)

It was a requirement for the Bermuda Race back in the day - maybe still is. We had double layer hatches that transferred the stress to the cabin side and not the track. They could be latched from inside or out.

 

Experience is a funny thing you either gain it through other people having been there done that and this is why we do X now - or you experience it your self been there done that and this is why I do X now..

After seeing what a wave over the top of the boat can do there are few things I personally would do to my own boat if I were doing big ocean stuff. #1 toss the factory companion way boards you typically get with the major production boats, and have a engineered two piece plexy unit built up which has proper leash and lash down methods incorporated into its design. Meaning its more than just one sheet of plexy it has a bonded second some what structured piece to the back of it which also gives you multiple ways to rig up a leash or lashing to keep it in place vs getting knocked out and sent overboard etc.

 

How many of these boats crossing the Atlantic had companion way hatches that could take a big wave or even getting rolled and remain in place or even just stay with the boat via leash? I bet very few making this trip had anything like that.

But you do some talking with some pretty experienced off shore sailors / racers and you will find that most if not all of them will agree that either they had to make some changes to their companion way boards or they build new boards to their standards etc. Almost every single one of them that have done this did it because they have seen or personally experienced what happens when you land a big wave the wrong way in the cockpit and they learned that something as simple and not really thought of much as a companion way board can mean the difference between loosing a boat or just having a really rough ride.

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RK,

 

You wrote:

 

 

If there was an incident that damaged the aft keelbolt and caused grid damage (and you provide no evidence of such an incident), then wouldn't it be noticable? Wouldn't the boat be inspected (as it was before leaving England only 6 months earlier), and arrangements made for repair or to be shipped home? Would the skipper have left Antigua for England under such circumstances, and not notified management until 2 weeks later from mid-Atlantic? Im sorry, but your whole imagined scenerio fails basic logic. Do you know of Occams Razor?

I'd suggest that the typical answers to those questions are: Probably not. Likely not. Almost certainly. Like the back of my hand.

 

See, you continue to believe that a charter management company would:

  • Know there had been a grounding, which is unlikely because most charters would likely not mention it because they would prefer to not lose their damage deposit
  • If they knew, they'd undertake expensive and time consuming preventative maintenance, which is most often not the case because they're managing to a schedule and a budget.
  • If they knew, they'd inform the delivery crew, which is certainly not the case because if they'd elected to do nothing about the situation why would they tell anyone?
  • That the delivery crew was capable of doing a detailed survey of the vessel, which is highly unlikely in any event.
In fact Occams Razor would drive one to reach exactly the opposite conclusion - that the boat was damaged and that nothing was done until the keel began to leak in heavy conditions and then fell off completely. That's the simplest, most likely cause and result. Anything else is much, much more complicated.
I am not assuming damage from grounding at all, as there isn't a single bit of evidence so far. The boat was hauled and inspected/prepped before leaving England. My understanding is the boat had a professional skipper in charge during the Carribbean races. I will gladly consider grounding damage or improper boatyard work when evidence of such is presented. Until then, I'll consider that the keel fell off a boat claimed to be built to a Cat A standard.

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See, you continue to believe that a charter management company would:

  1. Know there had been a grounding, which is unlikely because most charters would likely not mention it because they would prefer to not lose their damage deposit

 

Stormforce Coaching's focus isn't as a charter company, it's primarily a sailing school. By the looks of their website, they don't offer bareboats for racing - all racing is skippered, even if you take the whole boat. The website states that they offer a Sunfast 37', a Hanse 350 and an Elan 40 for bareboat (looks to be the same as for last year).

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There has been an assumption by several on this thread that the rust stains appearing in the photos is strong evidence of negligent maintenance or prior damage. I dispute that. The only thing it is strong evidence of is penetration of the sealant by salt water. Quite a lot of rust staining can occur without significant compromise to the bolt strength. We don't know if they were compromised or not. Penetration of the sealant could be due to grounding, lack of maintenance, prior bolt failure, or simply a poorly designed joint. The latter is more likely in my opinion.

 

Here is a picture of a new Beneteau First, sitting in the dealers yard, hasn't even been launched yet. The keel is already falling off. Do you think that front bolt is going to get wet?

 

Keel_zps1c89fdf4.jpg

 

We expected to see corrosion on the keelboats of a wooden boat .They were only expected to hold the lead up under the keel, not provide an attachment for the long lever arm of a high aspect keel. They suffered corrosion because they went through timber and the habit of pulling one periodically was because of this.

 

ANY keelbolt when pulled out of a glass boat should be shiny and unaffected on its threads.

 

The rust around the bolt hole on Cheeki Rafiki was at the hole. The rust came from the bolt. Normally we cannot see rust on this surface unless the keel has fallen off or the rust weeps from the keel hull join (which it may have done) but I would suggest there would be the equal and more of it on the inside. It can also suggest movement when there should be NONE.

 

Re the photo: On some Beneteau models the amount of rocker in the top of the keel didn't marry precisely with the hull rocker and there may have been a small gap at the front. The keel could be bolted on quite firmly but a gap (usually filled with compound) might be apparent at the front of the keel. The Oceanis 430 (Briand) suffered from this the most but since it was a low aspect keel with a large footprint the gap was nowhere near the first keelbolt and was of little consequence if the bedding compound was in place.

 

On the newer Firsts with their higher aspect keels and smaller footprints one would need to make a careful assessment. The keel in the photo doesn't look right at all since it looks like a gap that can open and close with no bedding compound in place. If the boat is sitting on its keel the gap is certainly strange and I would be refitting that keel.

 

Do you know what model that is?

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In other news, I just learned Catalina 30s used steel keel bolts and had a layer of plywood in the sump :o

This has predictably resulted in Cat 30 owners engineering extra keel bolts NOT made of steel. Not sure if nay have actually lost a keel or this issue was discovered beforehand.

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