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Under those conditions - isnt it a rather big advantage with a wide trimaran? Gives you abit more time to react and can be sailed fast with some more stability for security...

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Trimarans do have a more forgiving stability curve than catamarans, under sail, as a generalization which is the reason for their short handed offshore racing popularity and success. It’s a complex subject involving many factors. The greater interior volume of bridge deck type cruising catamarans and the ability to build light, swift versions has encouraged the development of some very nice fast cruisers. Racing them in brisk conditions demonstrates their shortcomings. I own and race both types, short handed and am very much aware that I can safely drive the trimaran much closer to its potential. This race just reaffirmed those observations.

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Boardhead, agree 100 percent. When delivering Bullfrog from Sydney we were doing 26knots down the face of the waves and 18 knots up the rear of very long swells. Absolutely thrilling with zero fear factor even when we headed north and the reflected waves added to the wind waves. She would just start to dip the leeward float as the next wave lifted it back up. The memory of that trip has kept me going as I slowly recover from my head injury. I am still looking for crew with disabilities for long cruising voyages.Bullfrog is 40ft long  36 ft wide with a 40hp diesel engine. A very capable Crowther design from the eighties set up for single handed sailing so the helmsman is the only one needing to be awake at night.Cheers Bottman

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Bullfrog is really my favorite boat - think others also are interested in what happends in the future. 

 

 

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Bullfrog was probably the best boat that Lock Crowther designed. Built and campaigned by a determined, talented experienced couple, their follow up to the incredible learning curve that was Twiggy. Cathy Hawkins told the tale in her book, In The Wake, great reading to save yourself a lot of grief by sharing her lessons learned. My tri is 40 ft long, 33 ft wide with 300% amas and has given me all the thrills your excellent aerial footage shows, same story in the ability to drive hard downwind in big waves without drama.

 

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Huge props to 86 y.o. Mike Butterfield, (Dazzla).  He was one of the first people to race cats offshore with Apache Sundancer way back when and has had a number of similar sized cats since.  I raced with him 10 years ago and he was the keenest on the boat to push the limits. A hard nut, and nice with it.  And to Cathy and Ian (Verbatim/Bullfrog) with whom I did a lot of miles including a Sydney Hobart.  That was the best prepped boat and easiest to sail offshore boat I ever raced on.  
 
Re capsizing: While I appreciate that someone who can afford 3 million bucks for a 53' cat is unlikely to be worried about a capsize or a broken mast, this incident does provide food for thought for the rest of us.
 
The first time I capsized an offshore cat was 36 years ago in the Round Britain.  Too tired to react to a gust.  Spent 11 hours in a ligeraft thinking about it.   The 2nd time was 20 years ago, the hydraulic dump valve was not quick enough.   I have also dropped a couple of masts.    The lessons from these and other incidents are that "shit doesn't happen" (#197),  it is caused; it is not "in the nature of multihulls to just blow over" (#196)  except in a hurricane and that conventional rigs are 50 little accidents, all looking for a place to happen.   
 
What can be done about it?  Plenty but probably nothing will be as long as speed, as opposed to finishing, is more important than anything else.    But for those who value their boat more highly than winning at all costs, there are some things to think about.  
 
A moth style wand mounted on the transom is a near foolproof device for activating a sheet release at a given angle of heel or pitch.   Don't attach it to the sheet, which may run out too slowly or jam, but to the point where the sheet attaches to the sail.   ie the clew of the jib or the mainsheet block on the boom.  The aim is to completely blow everything, all at once, when flying a hull or nosediving beyond a certain angle.  This is more reliable than an electronic trigger, requires no human input or judgement and can be made fail safe.  It is a safer and more sensible solution than releasing the windward shroud,  if for no other reason than a mast supported by the main sheet and forestay will not fall very far before the compression loads buckle it or drive it through the deck.
 
On a broad reach, this may or may not suffice (the zone of death) on a cat with shrouds.  The safe solution is an unstayed mast so the boom can be eased as far as required.  It is also the easiest to maintain, with a lower cog and better auto response to severe gusts than stayed masts.  They have drawbacks (can't use tight luffed foresails, messy to install them without a bridgedeck cabin, fewer strings to pull, etc), but if a small part of the effort that goes into stayed rigs was applied, these could be overcome.  
 
I have no idea what caused the Fujin capsize, but the following came from the video at  http://biekerboats.com/project/fujin/   If the main sheet trimmer was standing behind the winch he may have slid/fallen sideways holding onto the sheet as the hull flew.  Ditto the traveller trimmer if he was standing ahead of the winch.   Easing while hanging off a sheet is not easy,  no matter how experienced you are.  Equally, the headsail trimmer would have been falling onto the winch, which is also hard to ease, especially if wraps need to be removed from the winch due to a high number of turns being required to trim the sheet.   Best practice is to trim the sheet, remove the handle and all but 2 of the turns, cleat it in a cam cleat and hold it by hand, while in a position where you cannot easily fall.     Constant sail trimming is not required once the boat is powered up,  if the helmsman is on the ball.  Most self tacking jib sheets are not long enough to fully ease the sail.   If they had the self tacker up (likely in a strong breeze) and the sheet was short, this could also have contributed.  
 
As for rerighting, there is a theoretical and model scale method for a multi to self right from a capsize without the crew having to do anything except hold on.  See http://harryproa.com/?p=424
 
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3 hours ago, harryproa said:

A moth style wand mounted on the transom is a near foolproof device for activating a sheet release at a given angle of heel or pitch.   Don't attach it to the sheet, which may run out too slowly or jam, but to the point where the sheet attaches to the sail.   ie the clew of the jib or the mainsheet block on the boom.  The aim is to completely blow everything, all at once, when flying a hull or nosediving beyond a certain angle.

But then aren't you left with a boat that can't be sailed effectively.., without a lot of work?

reattaching the mainsheet block to the boom in strong winds with the sail flogging is not going to be easy...

what if you have a lee shore?

 

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30 minutes ago, us7070 said:

But then aren't you left with a boat that can't be sailed effectively.., without a lot of work?

Jury rigging an upright boat has to be less work than recovering from a flipped boat.  Even better if the mast doesn't have to be panic-dropped more than ~45 degrees to prevent capsize?

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1 hour ago, ProaSailor said:

Jury rigging an upright boat has to be less work than recovering from a flipped boat.  Even better if the mast doesn't have to be panic-dropped more than ~45 degrees to prevent capsize?

are you saying there is no satisfactory mechanism that will leave the boat immediately sailable?

The C-600, for example, has legs that are right alongside rocky lee shores - basically as close as one dares to go...

a boat that can't sail upwind in that situation might as well have capsized.

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Assuming a wand triggered sail release mechanism was a good idea, it would not be hard to also include a back up / auxiliary sheet that could be used to recover the boom and then reattach the primary main sheet.

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I feel pretty embarrassed. I assumed that on a 600 mile race, the sheets would have been cleated on the self tailing mechanism. Others who know are more experienced and/or know specifics regarding Fujin are saying otherwise. With foreknowledge that the winds would shift velocity and/direction coming around the island, I'm hearing that all sheets were being crewed full time. Makes sense in retrospect.

Thinking it through, I realize that I have no clue what happened and should not have speculated. 

Although it seems like thinly disguised schadenfreude to ask lots of questions I think that most if not all here are looking for lessons to learn. From my POV, there is a huge benefit to the sailing community in general when those who were on the ground, or one degree of separation away from the crew, share details so that it can be a learning moment for those of us on the hard.

Thanks for the lessons and glad that the crew are safe.

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Maybe self-tailers are "unsafe at any speed".  Whether they contributed to this event or not, there's just no way you can release a self-tailer as fast as you can ease a sheet from a normal winch.  Anytime the tailer is used is inherently not as safe as without it.  And in sporty conditions, you'll always be trimming / easing so they really have no purpose on sheets.  Get rid of them.

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On 2/28/2018 at 6:43 AM, Bottman said:

 I am still looking for crew with disabilities for long cruising voyages.Bullfrog is 40ft long  36 ft wide with a 40hp diesel engine. A very capable Crowther design from the eighties set up for single handed sailing so the helmsman is the only one needing to be awake at night.Cheers Bottman

Many here would love to sail with you on the old girl Bottman .... 

 

I'm sure it's been a tough few years for you and i must ask, how are things progressing ...?  Is there light at then end of the tunnel..?

Pil

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3 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

Maybe self-tailers are "unsafe at any speed".  Whether they contributed to this event or not, there's just no way you can release a self-tailer as fast as you can ease a sheet from a normal winch.  Anytime the tailer is used is inherently not as safe as without it.  And in sporty conditions, you'll always be trimming / easing so they really have no purpose on sheets.  Get rid of them.

I seriously doubt self tailors played a role. Those were good sailors. I'm going with the "shit happens" theory. 

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About dropping the rig - or to 45 deg - think you dont have control of what would happend - could be severe damage or somebody get hurt.

Like in cars and on bikes - I think the solution is electronic - ref. the French using this on the big tris - something along that line .....  and it no doubt that even now its possible to make an electronic solution to steer and sail the boat better than  people can; its a matter of how much data you can put in the system and how its connected to steering sheets etc.

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4 hours ago, Monkey said:

I seriously doubt self tailors played a role. Those were good sailors. I'm going with the "shit happens" theory. 

I disagree.  Shit never happens in racing multihulll capsizes.  There is always a cause, and someone who was responsible.  Either in the preparation, maintenance or handling departments.  Start a "Multihulls capsizes and why they happened?"  thread and  for every capsize, someone here will tell you what should have been done and probably give several  examples where the same thing has happened before.     It is because of these attitudes (not apportioning blame and not learning from other people's mistakes) that capsizes keep happening.  

Anyone who sails a multi close to a lee shore and flies a hull or pitches far enough to require a full sheet dump deserves everything they get.  Refusing a sheet dump facility so you can capsize off a lee shore defies common sense.  Dropping or partly dropping the rig is not much smarter.  Expecting to reliably get it back up from 45 degrees is wishful thinking.  

As KC375 said,  spare sheets attached to the end of the boom and clew of the headsail but not cleated off would allow the sails to be got back under control in minutes.    And it would happen with the boat drifting,  rather than charging.  The spares should be long enough to get to a winch without load.  Winch them on enough to stop the sail flogging, put the original (fully eased) sheets back on, trim them and go sailing.  

Kenny,

Self tailers are not as bad as winch handles.  In fully powered conditions, remove the handle, leave the sheet twice round the winch, cleat it in a cam cleat and hold onto it in a position where you won't fall if the boat heels.  Steer to the apparent wind changes.  Make sure the sheet is free to run.  Converse with the helmsman so you know what is happening (and to keep you both alert and focussed).  if there are enough crew, have separate grinders and tailers so the handle can be removed quickly in a drama.  Think of all the what ifs and how you will react.  Call the big waves for the helmsman.  All basic stuff, but not everyone does it.   Until after their first capsize, when everyone does.  

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Lot of experience and wisdom being shared there harryproa - listen to this guy.

After trimming take all but two or three turns off the drum THEN HOLD THE TAIL when driving close to the stability limit and STAY ALERT and constantly communicate helm to trim or left hand to right on smaller vessels.

When you get tired back off a notch - you ain’t gonna win if you flip.

Be amazed at the accomplishment of record holders, the limits have always been hazardous - how close can we go to disaster to notch another record!

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48 minutes ago, harryproa said:

Anyone who sails a multi close to a lee shore and flies a hull or pitches far enough to require a full sheet dump deserves everything they get.

so, for me.., the answer would be that when near a lee shore, i would never use any sheet-dump mechanism that left the boat unsailable.., but rather i would take extreme care to not flip the boat,...

but that would be my choice, and if someone wants to do it your way - that's their choice.., I don't claim to know the answer

there _are_ sheet dump mechanisms that do leave the boat sailable... I've seen a hydraulic release in operation on a big cat

as far as the "spare sheets" attached to the end of the boom - i don't really think that is workable - you would need someone trimming them every time the real sheet gets trimmed or the lines would be dangling all over the place. Also, to go upwind, the sheet loads on these boats are huge, so this extra sheet mechanism is not going to be a simple thing made from a few spare blocks..., it would probably have to function without failing for a while, because i don't think that re-attaching the primary system would necessarily be easy on the ocean in breeze and waves. still, i would be interested to see an operational system - maybe it would work.

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If you did want  a back up sheet you would need to consider how well it needed to work and how to keep it out of the way.

How well does it have to work? Well enough for you immediately to claw yourself of a lee shore. That would be require an arrangement similar to the primary sheeting arrangement. Well enough to eventually get the boom under enough control to allow you to reattach a quick release mechanism for the primary sheet. (imagine a mechanism like a seat belt hasp – can take a significant load but easy to connect) That might be a much simpler arrangement. If it is the simpler arrangement then obviously you include that in your risk assesment of how close you go to a lee shore and how much sail you carry.

How do you keep it out of the way when not needed? You could design a take up mechanism with enough  tension on the bitter end to keep the sheet out of the way but not so much tension as to trim the sail. In light wind you might have to disconnect the back up sheet. (I had a development class dingy with many control lines and sheets – used bungee powered take up mechanisms to avoid rats’ nests).

You might even link the back up sheet to the emergency disconnect so it is only deployed when the primary is released and then taking up on the back up brings the primary back to the release mechanism making reconnection easy (easier).

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sailing with one of the Fujin guys this weekend, I'll see what he has to say about what happened so we can speculate a little less...

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15 hours ago, Monkey said:

Get rid of them.

except that the boats get used in ways other than fully crewed racing...

they cruise with the family.., they do deliveries of thousands of miles with partial crew, and so on. Usually, the boats are not sailed fully powered up in these situations

so, the answer is just to use the self-tailers prudently.

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The problem with self tailers (STs) is that you need to put a couple extra wraps on to load the drum to the top and then the extra wrap into the jaws, and then put in the winch handle.  Grind it in and then reverse all that to be in "safe to dump the sheet" position.  If you get a puff mid-grind, you're fucked.  You have to take out the winch handle, get the sheet out of the jaws, and take off 2-3 wraps before you can ease any sheet.  Watch the "Fujin at 30 knots" video with the traveler winch trimmer loading / unloading.  I just don't think its a very safe setup.  Cluster Fuck looking for a time to happen.

BTW, not saying that's the case in this capsize.  They may have had a trimmer and a grinder and not been using the STs.  Although that means 6 crew trimming for the main, traveler, and jib.  Count the crew, seems unlikely.  So, were any of those 3 lines in the STs?

 

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5 minutes ago, Kenny Dumas said:

then put in the winch handle

Fujin is really a very different boat than the Gunboat and HH catamarans - those mostly have electric or hydraulic winches

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1 hour ago, Kenny Dumas said:

...  Watch the "Fujin at 30 knots" video ...

 

Would love to. Where would I find it? Link?

thanks

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3 hours ago, us7070 said:

except that the boats get used in ways other than fully crewed racing...

they cruise with the family.., they do deliveries of thousands of miles with partial crew, and so on. Usually, the boats are not sailed fully powered up in these situations

so, the answer is just to use the self-tailers prudently.

Just to be clear, I agree with you. That was a misquote and not my comment. 

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On 2/28/2018 at 5:24 AM, harryproa said:

...A moth style wand mounted on the transom is a near foolproof device for activating a sheet release at a given angle of heel or pitch.   Don't attach it to the sheet, which may run out too slowly or jam, but to the point where the sheet attaches to the sail.   ie the clew of the jib or the mainsheet block on the boom.  The aim is to completely blow everything, all at once, when flying a hull or nosediving beyond a certain angle.  This is more reliable than an electronic trigger, requires no human input or judgement and can be made fail safe. 

I didn't know about these, thanks. This makes an incredible amount of sense.

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On 26/02/2018 at 2:21 AM, Zonker said:

Not theory - google UpSideUp - a french company that supplies a system that does just that. Been using it for years on ORMAs etc.

I also doubt the sheets were in self tailers. Either hand held or at worst in cam cleats holding the tails...

usu-master-3.jpg

 

http://www.oceandatasystem.com/catalogue/70_upsideup-master_ods/en

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1 hour ago, KC375 said:

Would love to. Where would I find it? Link?

thanks

Check Fujin Facebook for several videos.  Way cool boat and videos.

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10 hours ago, ASP said:

sailing with one of the Fujin guys this weekend, I'll see what he has to say about what happened so we can speculate a little less...

Would be good to get the skinny on this

I am just double over laughing at the ridiculous responses here on how the boys on Fujin should sail the boat to avoid a capsize.... extras sheets and winches with specific amounts of turns, self tailers, handles in or out ......  If the crew don't know the basic racing a multi offshore rules for upright survival (Which the Fujin crew know better that most) then they deserve to eventually go over...... End of the story is there was a fuck up....

 

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The sheet dump only activates if you are sailing unsafely (stern out of the water far enough to trigger the dump), so you have already exceeded "extreme care".  Hydraulic dumps are notorious for not working when needed and/or working too slowly.  

The spare sheets (one per sail) are tied to the clew of the jib (or Code sail) and the end of the boom and lead forward to the tack of the sail, where they are coiled and loosely tied off.  There is no need to trim or touch them until the sail is reefed, unreefed or removed. The boom one could be permanent.

When the sheet dump happens, the attachment of the normal sheet to the clew (jib) or boom (main) is opened, not destroyed.  This could be a number of things, but think of a big snap shackle or KC's seat belt hasp.  

After the sheet dump, the main is flogging or pinned against the shrouds and the jib is flogging out in front of the boat.  The spare jib  sheet is undone from the tack of the sail and lead through a deck block to a winch.  It is way over length, so not loaded or flogging much.  It is winched on until the fully eased jib sheet can be re-attached.   Two other crew members are repeating the process with the spare main sheet.  The loads on the spare sheets are small as they are only used to get the sail on enough to re attach the normal sheets.  The whole operation takes a couple of minutes, less for a prepared crew.  

dcn blues,

You haven't heard of it because it doesn't exist.  We are fitting a simpler version of it to a couple of harryproas (60 and 66' ters).  Simpler because there are no headsails and the main sheet load is far lower than on cats due to a wishbone boom and no shrouds.

Re skills and experience  on Elvis: "It was a very sobering moment (Fujin capsizing)  to realize just how wrong things can go and we were happy to lift off the gas pedal a bit and keep things in one piece for the rest of the race."    It should not have taken a capsize to realise this.
 
Re making the same mistakes that has lead to countless other capsizes:  "armed with what we learned, I would not hesitate to step onboard with the crew we had and do this race again aboard Fujin." You should not have to repeat other people's mistakes to learn from them.
 
Lastly, one from Fujin for the "Shit happens"  crowd:   "We did not react quickly enough to ease the mainsheet, traveler and jib and the boat went over" after coming out of the lee of an island notorious for strong gusts, in the dark.  This isn't shit happening, or "pushing too hard", it is poor seamanship.  
 
 

 

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3 hours ago, harryproa said:

Lastly, one from Fujin for the "Shit happens"  crowd:   "We did not react quickly enough to ease the mainsheet, traveler and jib and the boat went over" after coming out of the lee of an island notorious for strong gusts, in the dark.  This isn't shit happening, or "pushing too hard", it is poor seamanship.  

How many times did you say that you you have capsized in your earlier post? Get off your high horse.

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In most forms of high performance racing (cars, bikes, boats, skiing...) if you are in a competitive class you don’t win unless you test the limits / push it to your maximum. You are not testing the limits unless you sometimes go over them...hopefully not so far over you can’t recover. How much risk you take depends on ability, desire to win and consequences. Miss a gate in an alpine slalom, that’s a drag but there’s always the next race. Miss a jump at 80 mph in a downhill, you may be lucky to recover for next season. Capsize a beach cat, you go for swim and are ready at least for the next start. Capsize a 50 foot cat, you hope there are no casualties and that you can come back next year.

If you are not willing to test your limits your not really racing.

If you are not racing, you’re cruising. If you’re cruising you should never go close enough to the limits that an error in judgement puts you over the limit.

If you capsize while cruising you are irresponsible. If you capsize while racing, maybe you are irresponsible, or maybe your are being competitive.

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6 hours ago, harryproa said:

Re skills and experience  on Elvis: "It was a very sobering moment (Fujin capsizing)  to realize just how wrong things can go and we were happy to lift off the gas pedal a bit and keep things in one piece for the rest of the race."    It should not have taken a capsize to realise this.

Certainly we were always on our toes on Elvis but hearing about a capsize is, and always will be a bit of a check-in.  It’s a race and you have to find the sweet spot between pushing hard and getting it home.  Hate that our skills and experience/seamanship are called into question here.  Heaps of offshore multi experience in the race crew and we’ve sailed her transatlantic twice.

To add our setup to the discussion here we have electric winches for the headsails and a 2:1 hydraulic mainsheet.  At all times in the race the headsail/spinnaker would be on the sheet with as few wraps as possible (3 or 4).  We (forward trimmers) would always know how eased the main was (via a string pod led to the forward cockpit) and how much power we had in our hands.  The mainsail has fast, slow and emergency dump functions as well as a manual cutout in the case of power loss.   The fast release gets the sail fully eased in about 1.5 secs.  Squall reaction was all about getting the sails eased and exercising the “out” (either high or low bow angle.)  Since the race was majority power reaching the “out” was always high with a very eased main.  The staysail furling line was always loaded and we had to furl it away on several occasions.

Our near capsize several years earlier was with the old rig which had the mainsheet led to winches.  It happened PDQ and the mainsheet hand fell to leeward with a lot of wraps on the winch which essientially self  cleated.  Harder to hold but we’ve always run as few wraps as possible since then so we can get rid of power quickly.

Interesting discussion guys - thanks.

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8 hours ago, harryproa said:

The sheet dump only activates if you are sailing unsafely (stern out of the water far enough to trigger the dump), so you have already exceeded "extreme care".  Hydraulic dumps are notorious for not working when needed and/or working too slowly.  

The spare sheets (one per sail) are tied to the clew of the jib (or Code sail) and the end of the boom and lead forward to the tack of the sail, where they are coiled and loosely tied off.  There is no need to trim or touch them until the sail is reefed, unreefed or removed. The boom one could be permanent.

When the sheet dump happens, the attachment of the normal sheet to the clew (jib) or boom (main) is opened, not destroyed.  This could be a number of things, but think of a big snap shackle or KC's seat belt hasp.  

After the sheet dump, the main is flogging or pinned against the shrouds and the jib is flogging out in front of the boat.  The spare jib  sheet is undone from the tack of the sail and lead through a deck block to a winch.  It is way over length, so not loaded or flogging much.  It is winched on until the fully eased jib sheet can be re-attached.   Two other crew members are repeating the process with the spare main sheet.  The loads on the spare sheets are small as they are only used to get the sail on enough to re attach the normal sheets.  The whole operation takes a couple of minutes, less for a prepared crew.  

dcn blues,

You haven't heard of it because it doesn't exist.  We are fitting a simpler version of it to a couple of harryproas (60 and 66' ters).  Simpler because there are no headsails and the main sheet load is far lower than on cats due to a wishbone boom and no shrouds.

Re skills and experience  on Elvis: "It was a very sobering moment (Fujin capsizing)  to realize just how wrong things can go and we were happy to lift off the gas pedal a bit and keep things in one piece for the rest of the race."    It should not have taken a capsize to realise this.
 
Re making the same mistakes that has lead to countless other capsizes:  "armed with what we learned, I would not hesitate to step onboard with the crew we had and do this race again aboard Fujin." You should not have to repeat other people's mistakes to learn from them.
 
Lastly, one from Fujin for the "Shit happens"  crowd:   "We did not react quickly enough to ease the mainsheet, traveler and jib and the boat went over" after coming out of the lee of an island notorious for strong gusts, in the dark.  This isn't shit happening, or "pushing too hard", it is poor seamanship.  
 
 

 

@ Harryproa...

The sheet dump with UpSideUp can be triggered by a large number a infinitely adjustable variables (AWS, AWA, Gust, heel angle, shroud loads...) and can certainly be set to trigger well before hull fly is achieved if that is your goal.

Hydraulic dump valves are extremely reliable and effective if properly engineered and installed.  As and example, the mainsheet on Extreme H2O is controlled by a -48 cylinder operating at 5000 psi with a 1:1 mainsheet.  To dump 1.3 m (4.2') of mainsheet in less than 2 seconds requires the release of 5.4 liters (1.43 gallons) hydraulic fluid.  The release of this volume of fluid requires 3/4" dump lines and 5 weight oil.   The dump can be activated automatically or from any of the steering or trimming stations.

Automatic sheet dumps by USU are normally done by placing a minimal number of wraps on the winch and then placing the sheet in the pneumatic cam.  A predetermined amount of line is then flaked behind the cam and then into the self tailer.  When the sheet is dumped, the predetermined amount of line is released and the sheet is in the self tailer ready to be trimmed.

M

Edited by trackday
incomplete wording
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7 hours ago, harryproa said:

When the sheet dump happens, the attachment of the normal sheet to the clew (jib) or boom (main) is opened, not destroyed.  This could be a number of things, but think of a big snap shackle or KC's seat belt hasp.  

So you're inventing something mechanical? That will be interesting. Tremendous loads on the jib clew, so you'll need something powerful to blow the shackle open. I'm thinking the power source could be a shotgun shell into a steel receiver / release mechanism. Simple, fast, easy enough to trigger and reload. Like a sawstop on a table saw which can stop the blade dead in a hundredth of a second by blowing a block hard into the spinning blade. It needs a certain amount of fast power. 

I agree a mechanical trigger would grant better peace of mind than something electronic, but an electric unit would certainly be cleaner and lighter.

In storm conditions it also wouldn't be that difficult to rig a preventer on the boom with some heavy duty snubbers to keep the boom from slamming into the shrouds. Because the part that I really agree with is that 

Quote

The aim is to completely blow everything, all at once, when flying a hull or nosediving beyond a certain angle. 

Once the gust gets under the bridgedeck, speed is crucial. The wind leverage would need to cut sharply, and anything which took seconds would be too slow. I'm fascinated by this thread. I also think KC375 stated it perfectly just now. But there's also some overlap between racing through a blow and just trying to stay intact in even heavier gale conditions, and it's the later (hypothetically) which interests me.

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1 hour ago, dcnblues said:

 But there's also some overlap between racing through a blow and just trying to stay intact in even heavier gale conditions, and it's the later (hypothetically) which interests me.

I was maybe a touch harsh to write “If you capsize while cruising you are irresponsible”. From reading as much as I can about these types of events it seems to me many of the cruising incidents could have been avoided by either more conservative sail area and more active manning of sheets. All the same an emergency dump, especially an automated one, seems sensible for a performance cruising multi.

For example the three Atlantic catamaran capsizes I followed at least one of was said to have been caused by a tornadic water spout – probably any reasonable amount of sail would have been too much. Non of the Atlantics had a upsideup or other form of “dump button”. It seems like in at least one and maybe all three situations an upsideup might have saved the day.

https://chriswhitedesigns.com/leopard-capsize

https://chriswhitedesigns.com/25-news/112-what-we-can-learn-from-anna-s-capsize

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f48/capsized-pitchpoled-atlantic-5486.html

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19 hours ago, KC375 said:

Capsize a 50 foot cat, you hope there are no casualties and that you can come back next year.

You may wish to think about this a bit, particularly if you or someone you know are the casualty and/or your decisions or actions caused it.  

14 hours ago, KC375 said:

I was maybe a touch harsh to write “If you capsize while cruising you are irresponsible”.

Not at all. And it applies to racing multis offshore as well, especially in respect of the high potential for "casualties".  It is doubly irresponsible if the mistakes you make have already been made by someone else, but you have not learnt from them.

15 hours ago, dcnblues said:

So you're inventing something mechanical? That will be interesting. Tremendous loads on the jib clew, so you'll need something powerful to blow the shackle open. I'm thinking the power source could be a shotgun shell into a steel receiver / release mechanism. Simple, fast, easy enough to trigger and reload. Like a sawstop on a table saw which can stop the blade dead in a hundredth of a second by blowing a block hard into the spinning blade. It needs a certain amount of fast power. 

I agree a mechanical trigger would grant better peace of mind than something electronic, but an electric unit would certainly be cleaner and lighter.

In storm conditions it also wouldn't be that difficult to rig a preventer on the boom with some heavy duty snubbers to keep the boom from slamming into the shrouds. Because the part that I really agree with is that 

The trigger is a rotating plate with 2 cam cleats on it attached to the wand.  If the wand leaves the water, the plate rotates, the main sheets slip out of the cleats, the sails totally depower (no stays, no traveller) and the boat stops.    Rather than carry high explosive devices, I prefer to remove the loads and have a schooner rig rather than a jib.  Not just lower loads, but no foredeck work and less deck gear and trimming required.  A bit more expensive, depending on how many headsails, extras, winches  and furling gear you carry,  but much less stress, especially at 2 am when a rain squall comes through.  Instead of flailing around on the foredeck in your pyjamas with a flogging, partially furled headsail, you just dump the sheets and wait till the squall passes.  

I am not a big fan of electronics on boats, unless there is someone paid to look after them.  Time spent maintaining gadgets is time not sailing.  Mechanical devices are not affected by salt water, flat batteries or corrosion.  USU is cool gear, as are electric sheet winches,  as long as nothing goes wrong.  

A snubber is pretty useless, a knot in the end of the sheet will have the same affect.  When overpowered downwind, the sail jammed against the stays is not a good look.  

16 hours ago, Pants said:

Certainly we were always on our toes on Elvis but hearing about a capsize is, and always will be a bit of a check-in.  It’s a race and you have to find the sweet spot between pushing hard and getting it home.  Hate that our skills and experience/seamanship are called into question here.  Heaps of offshore multi experience in the race crew and we’ve sailed her transatlantic twice.

To add our setup to the discussion here we have electric winches for the headsails and a 2:1 hydraulic mainsheet.  At all times in the race the headsail/spinnaker would be on the sheet with as few wraps as possible (3 or 4).  We (forward trimmers) would always know how eased the main was (via a string pod led to the forward cockpit) and how much power we had in our hands.  The mainsail has fast, slow and emergency dump functions as well as a manual cutout in the case of power loss.   The fast release gets the sail fully eased in about 1.5 secs.  Squall reaction was all about getting the sails eased and exercising the “out” (either high or low bow angle.)  Since the race was majority power reaching the “out” was always high with a very eased main.  The staysail furling line was always loaded and we had to furl it away on several occasions.

Our near capsize several years earlier was with the old rig which had the mainsheet led to winches.  It happened PDQ and the mainsheet hand fell to leeward with a lot of wraps on the winch which essientially self  cleated.  Harder to hold but we’ve always run as few wraps as possible since then so we can get rid of power quickly.

Interesting discussion guys - thanks.

You may  "Hate that our skills and experience/seamanship are called into question here" but how hard you push should be a function of the wind, waves, boat and crew, not whether someone else capsizes.  That is seamanship.  Pushing so hard that you fall over is not.  See KC375's comment above about casualties.    Plus your guys made two beginner errors (too many turns on the winch and standing to leeward of a sheet winch)  in your Atlantic crossing.     It is not only about how many miles you have done.  Smart sailors learn from others mistakes, before they make them themselves.

Regardless of/despite that, you sailed a brilliant race.  Well done.  Sounds like it was a lot of fun.  

It is an interesting discussion if people are up front about what they do and went wrong and others can question and discuss it without getting a hard time and cheap insults. 

 On the subject of what you do:

what is a line pod?  

How do you communicate with the helm and main trimmers from the front cockpit?

How do you know when to dump the sheet if you are "under a firehose" so presumably unable to see or hear what is going on?

What do you do on a broad reach or bear away when the main is against the shrouds, the headsail is dumped and the boat is still over pressed?  

Why does the helmsman sit on an exposed seat and the jib trimmers in the forward cockpit, all getting the firehose treatment instead of inside the boat at the sheltered helm/sheet  station?   

20 hours ago, Russell Brown said:

How many times did you say that you you have capsized in your earlier post? Get off your high horse.

Two.  One due to a slow hydraulic dump, the other for the same stupid/lack of seamanship reasons attributed to Fujin.  "I did not react quickly enough to ease the jib and the boat went over"  My excuses were that we were winning, I was tired,  I was the only one on deck, the gear was cheap and crappy, prep time was short, I was having a great time pushing the limits and had ~50,000 offshore miles so thought I knew everything there was to know.    None of which made any difference.  It was still stupid/poor seamanship.   11 hours in a liferaft in the North Atlantic started me thinking that fast, safe and low cost are not exclusive, and ever since I have been trying to prove this, with a fair bit of success, especially as the rest of the performance multi world has gone in the opposite direction.   For what it is worth, I have also done 7 Sydney-Hobarts, one of them in a 40' trimaran.   

It is not about high horses.  It is about education.  Not for those who know it all, but the other 99% of multihull sailors.  

Instead of following me round the forum firing cheap shots, maybe you could ask the Fujin guys what really happened.  Given the calibre of the crew is it unlikely that "We did not react quickly enough to ease the mainsheet, traveler and jib and the boat went over" is the full story and is not much help in preventing it happening to someone else.  

Maybe it was the usual cause of things going pear shaped on the morning of the first night?    Everyone stays up enjoying the race and the ride rather than getting some sleep. Often not helped by the experienced steerers and trimmers having been on since the start.   Around midnight they start dozing off and control is handed over to the B team, some of whom may not have sailed the boat much at night, much less steered or trimmed it in survival conditions in a race.   I am not saying this did happen, just including it as another note of caution for the 99%.  Start your watch sytem after a daylight dinner.

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6 hours ago, harryproa said:

Maybe it was the usual cause of things going pear shaped on the morning of the first night?    Everyone stays up enjoying the race and the ride rather than getting some sleep. Often not helped by the experienced steerers and trimmers having been on since the start.   Around midnight they start dozing off and control is handed over to the B team, some of whom may not have sailed the boat much at night, much less steered or trimmed it in survival conditions in a race.   I am not saying this did happen, just including it as another note of caution for the 99%.  Start your watch sytem after a daylight dinner.

Most of  it a good post Rob.

Pretty hard to be well rested for the Dog Watch when the boats been jumping from wave top to wave top all night.

The whole concept of racing a Cruiser Racer Catamaran offshore gets called into question when simple things like the cockpit layouts are compromised towards cocktails at sunset , rather than safe operation of winches at large angles of heel and communication between crew ,

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  I agree that racing cruising catamarans is more hazardous as a consequence of their being laid out with different goals.

 The time lag associated with the helmsman’s communicating a second or third crew members action and the degree of that action is a problem especially on largercraft when each of those tasks is a full time job, they need to be side by side.

  Evasive action in a capsize situation must be rapid and in the absence of full knowledge of the threat be it a viscous, shifting gust or an out of the blackness wall of water - overkill. 

  That stability curve will continue to haunt “fast cruising catamarans” when being sailed hard yet ultimately they make much more comfortable and safer platforms under bare poles in survival conditions - an important attribute for an offshore cruising boat.

   I would suspect that Elvis was driven closer to her limits than the two similarly sized trimarans that finished and all praise to her crew for their accomplishment but is it worth the risk if the goal is to go fast and have fun in safety.

 

   

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Hi All. Going back to my agricultural college days it was generally taught that on a tractor from starting to roll to being under the rolled machine was less than a second. Who has reaction times like this? I dont.Only way to avoid this is to pull back from the edge early. I made rockwalls for many years with a Case skid steer loader as stress relief from Accident and Emergency Nursing. Worked a treat. Same same with sailing until recently when I put Bullfrog onto the beach on Bribie Island.That took about five minutes after engine failed due to fuel line sucking air,anchor not deploying due to hard grease and failing two tacks and a gybe. Over confident after a head injury and being told I would never drive again let alone sailing single handed.So ,I feel for anyone who fails. Only solution is to keep going and somehow pay for the repairs. Fujin is a superb boat,keep going,or as Smiley Williams ,crane operator, says JIB UP. Bottman

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From the horse's mouth. Sounds like in the lee of Saba the wind velocity was pretty...gusty, low's being around 10 knots and the gusts would come out of nowhere and nail you at 35+ knots. The boat was down speed in a lull when an especially large puff hit at about 90 degrees TWA, the boat started to heel and the main sheet was smoked out as well as the Solent sheet. However, at this point, the gust was full on and the boat had enough heel on that the breeze grabbed the bottom of the boat and continued the capsize. Due to the boat being relatively slow at the time for the gust that had just hit, it wasn't able to accelerate quickly enough to translate the new power into forward movement, loading up the rig and heeling the boat. 

Said that the whole thing took about 15 seconds from stood up to on its side, the rig failed shortly after and it was upside down. 7 people where on deck and one was inside the boat, navigating them around a rock. They were preparing for a pretty heinous leg; upwind in 25-30 knots of breeze. Earlier in the day, on the run from Barbuda to Nevis they averaged boat speed in the high 20's and topped out in the mid 30's. Sounds like the new rig might have a provision for a frac halyard...

The boat is going to be assessed and the cleanup/rebuild process is going to begin in about a 10 days.

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6 hours ago, boardhead said:

  I agree that racing cruising catamarans is more hazardous as a consequence of their being laid out with different goals.

 The time lag associated with the helmsman’s communicating a second or third crew members action and the degree of that action is a problem especially on largercraft when each of those tasks is a full time job, they need to be side by side.

  Evasive action in a capsize situation must be rapid and in the absence of full knowledge of the threat be it a viscous, shifting gust or an out of the blackness wall of water - overkill. 

  That stability curve will continue to haunt “fast cruising catamarans” when being sailed hard yet ultimately they make much more comfortable and safer platforms under bare poles in survival conditions - an important attribute for an offshore cruising boat.

   I would suspect that Elvis was driven closer to her limits than the two similarly sized trimarans that finished and all praise to her crew for their accomplishment but is it worth the risk if the goal is to go fast and have fun in safety.

 

   

 

Watch how many times the traveller is cleated and unmanned at 30knts.

It seems like you need two crew on the traveller. Traveller trim and assist traveller trim, so that if you have to preload the slack traveller the windward side stays attended. For the two seconds that might count.

http://biekerboats.com/project/fujin/

Glad everyone's OK.

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20 minutes ago, fufkin said:

 

Watch how many times the traveller is cleated and unmanned at 30knts.

It seems like you need two crew on the traveller. Traveller trim and assist traveller trim, so that if you have to preload the slack traveller the windward side stays attended. For the two seconds that might count.

http://biekerboats.com/project/fujin/

Glad everyone's OK.

Upwind the traveler was constantly attended to, I would imagine it's the same reaching. Less critical on VMG running angles(per video you linked.)

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31 minutes ago, fufkin said:

 

Watch how many times the traveller is cleated and unmanned at 30knts.

It seems like you need two crew on the traveller. Traveller trim and assist traveller trim, so that if you have to preload the slack traveller the windward side stays attended. For the two seconds that might count.

http://biekerboats.com/project/fujin/

Glad everyone's OK.

Yer and look at what the skipper and the traveller guy have got to keep em in situ when the heel angle gets scary, SFA.

Theres go'n to be a lotta sliding slipping action happenin' just when you need to be controllin' the sheets.

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2 hours ago, Bottman said:

Hi All. Going back to my agricultural college days it was generally taught that on a tractor from starting to roll to being under the rolled machine was less than a second. Who has reaction times like this? I dont.Only way to avoid this is to pull back from the edge early. I made rockwalls for many years with a Case skid steer loader as stress relief from Accident and Emergency Nursing. Worked a treat. Same same with sailing until recently when I put Bullfrog onto the beach on Bribie Island.That took about five minutes after engine failed due to fuel line sucking air,anchor not deploying due to hard grease and failing two tacks and a gybe. Over confident after a head injury and being told I would never drive again let alone sailing single handed.So ,I feel for anyone who fails. Only solution is to keep going and somehow pay for the repairs. Fujin is a superb boat,keep going,or as Smiley Williams ,crane operator, says JIB UP. Bottman

Bottman, sorry to hear about your mishap sometimes the holes in the cheese line up and things get smelly. You are an inspiration to us all out there doing it on a fine lady that you are the current custodian of. Look after yourself and her and i look forward to catching up for a beverage if you ever make it up to the Cumberlands.

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16 hours ago, overlay said:

 

Pretty hard to be well rested for the Dog Watch when the boats been jumping from wave top to wave top all night.

My first Hobart was 43 years ago in a skinny, overpowered, underbuilt 50' harbour racer.  16 crew, only 3 had raced offshore before.  Upwind race in a downwind flyer.  Not enough bunks, so we slept in our useless wet weather gear (45 years ago) on the sails under the leaky deck.  It was unusual to have an off watch without an all hands on deck to fix a breakage or a sail change gone wrong.  60 knots under trisail wondering what to do if it blew any harder.  4th highest handicap, below mid fleet finish, 3rd last on corrected time. Most of us loved it, the others never sailed again.    Completely stuffed when we arrived. 

Then I grew up/old and raced to Hobart on Verbatim/Bullfrog (40'Crowther tri).  4 crew on a boat superbly set up for 1-2 people and immaculately prepared.  Go off watch, take off the foulies and put on pyjamas for uninterrupted sleep in a warm bunk in the middle of the boat.  Half an hour before you were due on watch, a hot cuppa and a snack in bed.  Because of this, we were all well rested when Sovereign (state of the art maxi, full of heavies) caught us at Cape Raoul after a 20-30 knot beat down the Tassie coast.  We did 3 headsail changes (with hanks) across Storm Bay (they did none), caught them in the river, then lost them at the end by 20 minutes.  We started 40 minutes behind them, so a moral victory.  

My point being, that it is possible to get a good nights kip on an offshore multi, if it is set up properly.  

Most of  it a good post Rob.

Pretty hard to be well rested for the Dog Watch when the boats been jumping from wave top to wave top all night.

The whole concept of racing a Cruiser Racer Catamaran offshore gets called into question when simple things like the cockpit layouts are compromised towards cocktails at sunset , rather than safe operation of winches at large angles of heel and communication between crew ,

Yeah.  Never ceases to amaze me what owners and crew will put up with.  Especially when most of it is unnecessary.  Exposed helms and trimmers, bunks in the ends, ridiculous rigs, no auto sheet dumps, blind spots to leeward, intricate equipment that fails if it is not nursed, non kick up rudders and boards, heavy construction, expensive building methods, excessive deck gear, half the crew leaning hard on a 3mm lifeline, to name a few.  

 

6 hours ago, ASP said:

From the horse's mouth. Sounds like in the lee of Saba the wind velocity was pretty...gusty, low's being around 10 knots and the gusts would come out of nowhere and nail you at 35+ knots. The boat was down speed in a lull when an especially large puff hit at about 90 degrees TWA, the boat started to heel and the main sheet was smoked out as well as the Solent sheet. However, at this point, the gust was full on and the boat had enough heel on that the breeze grabbed the bottom of the boat and continued the capsize. Due to the boat being relatively slow at the time for the gust that had just hit, it wasn't able to accelerate quickly enough to translate the new power into forward movement, loading up the rig and heeling the boat. 

Said that the whole thing took about 15 seconds from stood up to on its side, the rig failed shortly after and it was upside down. 7 people where on deck and one was inside the boat, navigating them around a rock. They were preparing for a pretty heinous leg; upwind in 25-30 knots of breeze.

 

Thanks to you and the 'horse'.  Next time you see him, could you ask what sails they had up (reefs in the main, headsails) and how far the daggerboards were down?  

What is "stood up" in "15 seconds from stood up to on it's side"? What, if anything did they do in that 15 seconds?

Any idea of the angle of heel when the sheets were smoked?  Fujin would have positive rm up to ~70 degrees of heel.  Smoking the sheets would immediately reduce the pressure.  How high was the hull flying when they smoked 'em? 

How did the helmsman react? Up,  down or neither?  

Finally, any stories on getting out of the cockpit and onto the bridgedeck?  

Thanks for your help.    Hopefully we can learn some lessons from this, once we know the full story.

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2 hours ago, harryproa said:

Yeah.  Never ceases to amaze me what owners and crew will put up with.  Especially when most of it is unnecessary.  Exposed helms and trimmers, bunks in the ends, ridiculous rigs, no auto sheet dumps, blind spots to leeward, intricate equipment that fails if it is not nursed, non kick up rudders and boards, heavy construction, expensive building methods, excessive deck gear, half the crew leaning hard on a 3mm lifeline, to name a few.  

Something tells me that you really think that if we only listened to you, our boats would be perfect.

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Glad the discussion is still constructive, thanks Harryproa (Rob?)!

About Elvis using Fujin capsize as new information for their racing decisions -- makes perfect sense. In multi races you optimize risk taken for the odds of gusts, not prevailing winds. And the capsize tells you that the outlier gusts are more likely (tails of the probability distribution are fatter). 

Hard to have the real time info on the gusts. Need careful evaluation of just how variable wind speeds can get in these conditions. That the pre-race weather report was prepared by the "former navigator for Vestas Wind" gave me a superstitious sense of risk even in my comfy sofa.

Reminder to self (when single handing a 35' tri): finally install cam cleats next to winches to use instead of self-tailers; pull the trigger on the wider mesh trampoline purchase; make sure to hold the leeward main sheet.

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6 hours ago, harryproa said:

 

 

 

Thanks to you and the 'horse'.  Next time you see him, could you ask what sails they had up (reefs in the main, headsails) and how far the daggerboards were down?  

Reef main and solent jib(small air jib)

What is "stood up" in "15 seconds from stood up to on it's side"? What, if anything did they do in that 15 seconds?

15 seconds from the boat sitting on both hulls to capsized(90 degrees). 

Any idea of the angle of heel when the sheets were smoked?  Fujin would have positive rm up to ~70 degrees of heel.  Smoking the sheets would immediately reduce the pressure.  How high was the hull flying when they smoked 'em? 

He said it was hard to say but at around 35-45 degrees of heel the sheets were already completely dumped. 

How did the helmsman react? Up,  down or neither?  

unsure

Finally, any stories on getting out of the cockpit and onto the bridgedeck?  

Auto inflating lifejackets can be troublesome when you're underneath a boat, luckily the design of the boat meant that there was a sizable air pocket under the boat until they sorted out how to swim out. Diesel makes the bottom of a boat very slippery. Jackline underneath hull should have longer so they could reach back of boat. Ditch bag was pretty much inaccesible once turtled. 

Thanks for your help.    Hopefully we can learn some lessons from this, once we know the full story.

 

 

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another note to self: relocate the ditch bag to the ama hatch.

With big multi capsizes relatively rare, any nuggets of info are gold. Thanks!

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On 3/3/2018 at 5:18 AM, harryproa said:

...A moth style wand mounted on the transom is a near foolproof device for activating a sheet release at a given angle of heel or pitch.   Don't attach it to the sheet, which may run out too slowly or jam, but to the point where the sheet attaches to the sail.   ie the clew of the jib or the mainsheet block on the boom.  The aim is to completely blow everything, all at once, when flying a hull or nosediving beyond a certain angle...

...When the sheet dump happens, the attachment of the normal sheet to the clew (jib) or boom (main) is opened, not destroyed.  This could be a number of things, but think of a big snap shackle or KC's seat belt hasp.  

 

On 3/3/2018 at 5:18 AM, harryproa said:

...The trigger is a rotating plate with 2 cam cleats on it attached to the wand.  If the wand leaves the water, the plate rotates, the main sheets slip out of the cleats, the sails totally depower (no stays, no traveller) and the boat stops.    Rather than carry high explosive devices, I prefer to remove the loads and have a schooner rig rather than a jib.  Not just lower loads, but no foredeck work and less deck gear and trimming required.  A bit more expensive, depending on how many headsails, extras, winches  and furling gear you carry,  but much less stress, especially at 2 am when a rain squall comes through.  Instead of flailing around on the foredeck in your pyjamas with a flogging, partially furled headsail, you just dump the sheets and wait till the squall passes. 

Can you clarify? Specifically for a sloop rig? I can't think of a mechanical solution that would work on the jib clew of a big cat. As well, do you think releasing the sheet is or is not reliable / fast? I'm enjoying your comments and find them informed and sensible.

And I think that I speak for more people than just myself when I say that Fujin, despite my/our initial WTF impression, really won over a lot of people with it's design. And that despite this entire thread being critical (mostly in the analytical sense), most of us were sad to hear of the capsize and wish the boat and crew and owners well. The damn thing is simply cool, and we're grateful to have the boat to look at and debate.

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On 3/3/2018 at 5:18 AM, harryproa said:

A snubber is pretty useless, a knot in the end of the sheet will have the same affect.  When overpowered downwind, the sail jammed against the stays is not a good look.  

My comment was regarding a preventer rigged from the boom to the hull, but reversed - i.e. not to hold the boom out / prevent gybe (with tension), but to hang slack and alleviate the shock of dumping the main sheet under a gust hard enough to tip the boat, and prevent the boom from slamming into the shrouds (potentially breaking something). So the preventer would need to hold the boom short of the shrouds, but also factor in the stretch of a heavy duty snubber whose purpose would be to absorb the shock from what one would reasonably assume to be a heavy load immediately decelerating. It would also need to be rigged either to a bridle or a reinforced cleat for the same reason. In the situation of an immanent capsize, would not a knot in the end of the sheet risk ripping the guide out of one's deck? I'm really not trying to be a pain, I'm just trying to learn. And apply basic heavy-weather sailing logic to this discussion about heavy weather racing. (*Come to think of it, that's really what this thread has been about: there's a racer's mindset that with a full, experienced crew any potential problem can be solved by throwing human power at it. No need to rig anything to forestall worst case scenarios, if something comes up [no pun intended], we just deal with it with crew actions. This directly contrasts with blue water minimal crew sailors who prepare for unexpected gales by staying familiar with storm sailing / bare pole survival strategies. Holding the race in those conditions means that without some overlap of those mindsets, you may have a bad time).

It's also possible I'm using the wrong terminology. Perhaps what I meant to refer to was a 'mooring compensator' rather than a snubber?

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9 hours ago, harryproa said:

Next time you see him, could you ask what sails they had up (reefs in the main, headsails) and how far the daggerboards were down?

I'm going to second this request as this topic hasn't yet discussed the lateral resistance of newer generation daggerboards. We all take the benefits of multihulls as a given, but new designs seem to be bringing some negatives along with increased performance. New daggerboards are BIG. Enough so that the capsize risk seems to go up equivalently. Certainly as a factor of speed, but seemingly now even at low speed with a big enough slammed gust. Do new designs need a 'danger zone' polar? Which cross-graphs speed + gusts to recommend pulling certain percentages of the board(s) due to conditions?

 

And what about just sailing with windward boards down in severe conditions? That's got to help.

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How would the windward board help? (Edit: instead of lee board! Got it!)

For the leeward board I imagine it’s an advantage of curved (edit: or angled) boards — they slip more at higher heel angles.

 

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2 hours ago, dcnblues said:

I'm going to second this request as this topic hasn't yet discussed the lateral resistance of newer generation daggerboards. We all take the benefits of multihulls as a given, but new designs seem to be bringing some negatives along with increased performance. New daggerboards are BIG. Enough so that the capsize risk seems to go up equivalently.

Gunboat just published an article on their daggerboard research for the new 68.

while you seem to be thinking about dynamical effects -  the boat "tripping" over the leeward daggerboard.., what they have published is more about the static stability of different daggerboard shapes.  They have concluded that curved daggerboards decrease the stability of the boat, and because the GB 68 is aimed at _safe_ performance cruising, the standard daggerboards will be straight.

article here

https://mailchi.mp/gunboat/gunboat68daggerboards

 

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9 hours ago, EarthBM said:

Hard to have the real time info on the gusts. Need careful evaluation of just how variable wind speeds can get in these conditions. That the pre-race weather report was prepared by the "former navigator for Vestas Wind" gave me a superstitious sense of risk even in my comfy sofa.

I passed Saba some time later that night - after the capsize. I remember, as we were somewhere i think between Nevis and Saba,  hearing the boat that was towing Fujin on the radio - he was talking to someone, i don't know who.., and was basically saying "yeah.., i'm towing an overturned catamaran". I don't know the Fujin guys but i have raced against them in some of the multihull events in new england and the caribbean.., and I remember  thinking: damn, I hope everyone is okay...

anyway, here is some actual data from that night - the stripchart of the log file at saba. again, this probably at least an hour or two  after the capsize, i was on a slower boat, and i don't know what time the capsize occurred... the red lines on the stripchart  represent about 3.5 minutes. It was gusty, but I didn't recall the gusts being particularly violent. however looking at my expedition track.., it shows quite a bit of variability in the winds - it was gustier than i remembered... 

 

strip.thumb.PNG.98cac31e50e349b783511a1fa7e76770.PNG

 

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3 hours ago, dcnblues said:

My comment was regarding a preventer rigged from the boom to the hull, but reversed - i.e. not to hold the boom out / prevent gybe (with tension), but to hang slack and alleviate the shock of dumping the main sheet under a gust hard enough to tip the boat, and prevent the boom from slamming into the shrouds (potentially breaking something). So the preventer would need to hold the boom short of the shrouds, but also factor in the stretch of a heavy duty snubber whose purpose would be to absorb the shock from what one would reasonably assume to be a heavy load immediately decelerating. It would also need to be rigged either to a bridle or a reinforced cleat for the same reason. In the situation of an immanent capsize, would not a knot in the end of the sheet risk ripping the guide out of one's deck? I'm really not trying to be a pain, I'm just trying to learn. And apply basic heavy-weather sailing logic to this discussion about heavy weather racing. (*Come to think of it, that's really what this thread has been about: there's a racer's mindset that with a full, experienced crew any potential problem can be solved by throwing human power at it. No need to rig anything to forestall worst case scenarios, if something comes up [no pun intended], we just deal with it with crew actions. This directly contrasts with blue water minimal crew sailors who prepare for unexpected gales by staying familiar with storm sailing / bare pole survival strategies. Holding the race in those conditions means that without some overlap of those mindsets, you may have a bad time).

It's also possible I'm using the wrong terminology. Perhaps what I meant to refer to was a 'mooring compensator' rather than a snubber?

 

Your terminology is good, and I guess, if the force was high enough, a knot in the main sheet may not suffice.  But in that case, the snubber when not under max shock load would keep the boom a fair distance away from the shrouds, when it needs to be eased as much as possible.  If it was me, and the breeze and loads were high enough that I couldn't drag the main down against the force wrapping it around the shrouds, I would granny tack instead of gybe.  And while I was fighting with the flogging sails, shitting my pants through the zone of death (broad reaching) and hoping my rudders weren't going to break when I was stuck in irons and going backwards, I would be thinking: "none of this would be necessary with an unstayed rig."

Curved boards are different.  Leaving the leeward one up and the ww one down is not an option  as their forces are towards the cabin and upwards. The ww one pushes to leeward and lifts the hull.  At 45 degrees of heel, I doubt the lee one is making much of a contribution unless the boat is going fast,  but what there is, is adding to the capsize forces.

4 hours ago, dcnblues said:

Can you clarify? Specifically for a sloop rig? I can't think of a mechanical solution that would work on the jib clew of a big cat. As well, do you think releasing the sheet is or is not reliable / fast? I'm enjoying your comments and find them informed and sensible.

And I think that I speak for more people than just myself when I say that Fujin, despite my/our initial WTF impression, really won over a lot of people with it's design. And that despite this entire thread being critical (mostly in the analytical sense), most of us were sad to hear of the capsize and wish the boat and crew and owners well. The damn thing is simply cool, and we're grateful to have the boat to look at and debate.

Thanks for the compliment.  I can't think of a useful solution for the jib either (apart from replacing it with a second mainsail ;-)).  Maybe rig a trip line to a sensitive snap shackle holding the sheet to the sail.  Not elegant as you need to adjust the trip line each time you adjust the sail (not very often in capsize conditions) and run the trip line from the trigger to the snap shackle.  USU have an electric trip on their schematic, so maybe ask them.   Or, if you are confident about containing and firing them, load up the shotgun shells!

Releasing the sheets is fast and reliable, unless someone has left it in the self tailer with the handle still in,  is standing in the sheet coils, hanging to leeward of the winch holding onto the sheet, fallen from windward onto the winch, or momentarily not paying attention due to being firehosed.  If the sheet is too short to allow the headsail all the way out, or the stays stop the mainsail going all the way out, then releasing them may not be enough.   The 2 sheets and the traveller all have to be eased, which means 3 people all working together at the same time, 4 if you count the driver who should be bearing away or luffing up.  

Easing the sheet a comparatively small amount is enough to stop the hull flying as you will see if you watch the small sheet movements on beach cats, which are way more overpowered than offshore cats.  A major ease means it has been left too late, in which case a second or so's difference between a smoked sheet and a sheet disconnected from the sail could make the difference.  Hence a trigger, which you should never have to use if you are sailing sensibly,   but if you do have to, should keep you upright.  

It is always sad to hear of a capsize.  Hopefully we learn all the details so we don't make the same mistakes.

4 hours ago, EarthBM said:

another note to self: relocate the ditch bag to the ama hatch.

With big multi capsizes relatively rare, any nuggets of info are gold. Thanks!

The ditch bag and the liferaft must be accessible when the boat is upside down, on fire,  sinking or in pieces after being rammed by a ship.  It is a difficult problem and a good reason for personal EPIRBS, lifejackets and a good look out, including behind or under the jib.  

5 hours ago, ASP said:

Reef main and solent jib(small air jib)

What is "stood up" in "15 seconds from stood up to on it's side"? What, if anything did they do in that 15 seconds?

15 seconds from the boat sitting on both hulls to capsized(90 degrees). 

Any idea of the angle of heel when the sheets were smoked?  Fujin would have positive rm up to ~70 degrees of heel.  Smoking the sheets would immediately reduce the pressure.  How high was the hull flying when they smoked 'em? 

He said it was hard to say but at around 35-45 degrees of heel the sheets were already completely dumped. 

Finally, any stories on getting out of the cockpit and onto the bridgedeck?  

Auto inflating lifejackets can be troublesome when you're underneath a boat, luckily the design of the boat meant that there was a sizable air pocket under the boat until they sorted out how to swim out. Diesel makes the bottom of a boat very slippery. Jackline underneath hull should have longer so they could reach back of boat. Ditch bag was pretty much inaccesible once turtled. 

Thanks for your help.    Hopefully we can learn some lessons from this, once we know the full story.

Thanks again.   If the gust caused the hull to fly before the boat got moving, and the sheets were dumped before it got to 35 degrees, then 15 seconds (vs the usual 3-5) is a long time to be hanging.     Plenty of time to luff or bear away, if that would have helped.   With nothing to support him to leeward, at what angle was the helmsman hanging on, unable to steer?  Did he inadvertently bear away as he lost his footing, hung off the wheel and his hands went from 12 o'clock to 9 o'clock?  

Were the sails flogging?  ie completely eased or still contributing heeling force?  

Was the traveller smoked as well?  

How did the diesel get on the bottom of the boat?  

How did the short jackstay get past the safety inspection?

I am asking all this because what usually happens when a multi capsizes is that one of the crew,  or the designer (Chris White on the Atlantics, Rushour a month ago, etc) goes public with a detailed description of what happened, what went wrong (there is always something, shit does not just happen) and what they would do to correct it next time. There is no compulsion to do so, but if they do,  others are saved from making the same mistakes.      So far, all we know is  the wind was strong enough (how strong would it have to be?) to get under the 3 ton hull at 35 degrees of heel and blow the boat over while 7 crew smoked the sheets then stood around for 10 seconds at 45 degrees of heel waiting to see what would happen and the only lessons are that the ditch bag should be near the hatch, lifejackets are buoyant and jack stays should be within reach.  

US7070,

Thanks for the chart and info.  The capsize was at 2020.   

9 hours ago, Russell Brown said:

Something tells me that you really think that if we only listened to you, our boats would be perfect.

Nowhere near perfect, just safer, more comfortable, lighter, cheaper and easier to build and operate. Probably faster as well.   If none of these are important to you, ignore them.  If you want to discuss how and why,  either read www.harryproa.com,  start a new thread or add something meaningful to this one.  

Instead of following me round the forum firing cheap shots, maybe you could ask the Fujin guys what really happened.  Given the calibre of the crew it is unlikely that "We did not react quickly enough to ease the mainsheet, traveler and jib and the boat went over" is the full story and is not much help in preventing it happening to someone else.  

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More courtesy from Denney.  Russell, why can't you be more constructive, or at least polite?

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I’m going to refrain from trying to speak on the actions on the fujin crew for fear of misrepresenting what happened. Greg has been a poster on this forum and he may share at some point

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I've got no knowledge of the situation, only intellectual curiosity. Some of the discussion seemingly ignores that this could be a very dynamic, rather than slowly evolving static event. On a beach cat, with a slow edged gust, the heeling force is increasing, the boat is accelerating, sails aren't stalled, and easing the sheet a little will save it. The angle of attack of a sail is <20 degrees, and the lift roughly linear with the angle of attack, so a 10 degree change in sail angle will reduce the lift by 1/2 or more, 20 degrees will dump it completely. The boat accelerates during the event, decreasing AWA and reducing the AoA more. 

Now look at a sharp edged gust on a heavy boat. If the wind increases by 3x (as reported by the people that got wet in the incident) several things are going to happen: the apparent wind may change by a very large angle so the angle of attack of the rig may now be 45 deg or even 90 deg. Dumping the sheets only 20 or 30 degrees may actually *increase* the heeling load since the sail may unstall. During the event, the sails will be stalled, moving the center of pressure aft, perhaps significantly. This will affect the ability to bear away if that is what the helmsman is attempting. It may happen too quickly for the boat to accelerate much or at all, aggravated by the rig being stalled and the driving component very small in relation to the heeling component. The heeling component will be suddenly very large, and might load the rudder and daggerboards beyond stall, making steering ineffective. 

Now I have no idea what actually went on. However it seems to me that the boat's response to a sharp edged gust is very, very different than a rising wind and getting a little too hot an angle while flying a hull and over she goes. If the crew treats those two situations the same, the result may be very different. Crew training will be practiced and tuned to the latter, and may be virginally inexperienced at the former. 

I also wonder about the 15 second estimate. Get a watch, sit still and hold your breath for 15 seconds. That is a very long time. Go look at the G4 capsize video: it is about 6 seconds from when they realize something is going on and the masthead in the water (about 0:45 to 0:51 in the video). It was probably only saveable for 3 seconds. Recognition, crew coordination, and flawless execution have to occur in 3 seconds. And that was much more like the beach cat than a 3x sharp edged gust. 

All this makes the unstayed rig with an instant automatic release look pretty good. 

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So its maybe better to luff in a situation as the strong windshift is aft? Even reaching - because it can be very hard to steer the boat down if strong winds hits too much mainsail that is at the shrouds already.

 

Have experienced one situation like that in my 35tri - in daylight - we managed to get dead downwind but the gust was so hard  with the rudder almost  in the air and all 3 bows down. And not so far to solid rock - but the gust gave up before we hit anything.  

 

It can be hard to find out the exact direction of the gust - specially at dark - you dont have time to change mind - but it will be maybe faster and more sure you can luff.

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4 hours ago, DDW said:

I've got no knowledge of the situation, only intellectual curiosity. Some of the discussion seemingly ignores that this could be a very dynamic, rather than slowly evolving static event. On a beach cat, with a slow edged gust, the heeling force is increasing, the boat is accelerating, sails aren't stalled, and easing the sheet a little will save it. The angle of attack of a sail is <20 degrees, and the lift roughly linear with the angle of attack, so a 10 degree change in sail angle will reduce the lift by 1/2 or more, 20 degrees will dump it completely. The boat accelerates during the event, decreasing AWA and reducing the AoA more. 

Now look at a sharp edged gust on a heavy boat. If the wind increases by 3x (as reported by the people that got wet in the incident) several things are going to happen: the apparent wind may change by a very large angle so the angle of attack of the rig may now be 45 deg or even 90 deg. Dumping the sheets only 20 or 30 degrees may actually *increase* the heeling load since the sail may unstall. During the event, the sails will be stalled, moving the center of pressure aft, perhaps significantly. This will affect the ability to bear away if that is what the helmsman is attempting. It may happen too quickly for the boat to accelerate much or at all, aggravated by the rig being stalled and the driving component very small in relation to the heeling component. The heeling component will be suddenly very large, and might load the rudder and daggerboards beyond stall, making steering ineffective. 

Now I have no idea what actually went on. However it seems to me that the boat's response to a sharp edged gust is very, very different than a rising wind and getting a little too hot an angle while flying a hull and over she goes. If the crew treats those two situations the same, the result may be very different. Crew training will be practiced and tuned to the latter, and may be virginally inexperienced at the former. 

I also wonder about the 15 second estimate. Get a watch, sit still and hold your breath for 15 seconds. That is a very long time. Go look at the G4 capsize video: it is about 6 seconds from when they realize something is going on and the masthead in the water (about 0:45 to 0:51 in the video). It was probably only saveable for 3 seconds. Recognition, crew coordination, and flawless execution have to occur in 3 seconds. And that was much more like the beach cat than a 3x sharp edged gust. 

All this makes the unstayed rig with an instant automatic release look pretty good. 

All makes sense.  Especially the last sentence ;-))   A couple of considerations:   Even with staysail and reefed main in 10 knots of breeze, they would have enough speed (7, 8 knots?) to luff or bear away if they had reacted when the gust hit and 2)  The wind directions shown on US7070's, chart are only 10-15 degrees different from lull to gust so unlikely the sail would be stalled if it was the same when they went past.

SeaGul,

Also makes sense.  When flying a hull, as opposed to burying the bow(s), the response on most multis should be to luff and dump the sheets, especially the jib/spinnaker sheets.   Luffing does add some centrifugal force to the boat, but if it is far enough over for this to be significant, it is probably too late, both for the rudders to be effective and for the hull to come down.  

For the 99%:  always be thinking about your response to the events that will require instant action (flying a hull, nosediving, man overboard,  hitting something) so that you respond automatically rather than spend a precious second or two thinking about it.  Make a habit of doing this each time you come on watch and again when you take the helm, and again when approaching a potential "situation" (crew in a position to fall overboard, seas building, approaching the lee of an island or a squall, increasing/decreasing sail, etc).  

When you hit the sack,  always envisage what it will be like if you wake up and the boat is upside down.  Plan your way out (you will be walking on the roof), what you will grab en route and what you need to avoid.    It is far safer to use the escape hatch rather than exiting via the cockpit, which is a death trap, with the added risk of being washed out the back and losing contact with the boat.  It also gives you a chance to get into some warm clothes and wet weather gear, and the option to stay inside.  Upside down multis with waves breaking over them at night are bloody cold, even in the tropics.  The best bunk in the boat is the one nearest the escape hatch.  

ASP,

Smart move, and thanks for the information so far.  If you could ask your contact to post here, or ask Greg (owner) to do so, maybe we can get the details and learn the lessons.

 

  

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One thing on a a boat with tiller (and direct on the rudder) the helmsman can feel very fast if he gets problem bearing off - if the sheets are dumped - the main is at the shroud - and the rudder is feels very unbalanced - turn up - with tiller that can be done in less than a second... 

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I totally agree with DDW+Rob that an unstayed rig makes heaps of sense in reducing the capsize factor of offshore multis but I’m pretty sure that there is a performance drop (not huge) that owners of state of the art racer/cruisers like Fujin are not willing to take.For cruising multi it’s a different story.  (even make it safer by going biplane and reducing the CoE heaps) So until more racing owners (hopefully with fat wallets) start experimenting with unstayed rigs I can’t see them becoming popular on racing orientated multis.(I would love to put 2 soft wingsails on ‘Cactus Island’ though).         Cheers, Gerald.    Ps. Any sailmakers out there wanting to experiment, I can supply the platform and masts:)

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13 hours ago, harryproa said:

All makes sense.  Especially the last sentence ;-))   A couple of considerations:   Even with staysail and reefed main in 10 knots of breeze, they would have enough speed (7, 8 knots?) to luff or bear away if they had reacted when the gust hit and 2)  The wind directions shown on US7070's, chart are only 10-15 degrees different from lull to gust so unlikely the sail would be stalled if it was the same when they went past.

Not sure there is time. If 10 knots goes to 35 in a couple of seconds (I've seen/felt this happen in the lee of high islands) and bunch of things happen in a hurry. First, the heeling force increases by 12 times (35/10 ^ 2). Second, if you were doing 8 knots in 10 knots, lets say reaching, your AWA will take nearly a 30 deg lift. If your rig wasn't stalled before it is now, and not by just a little bit. Bearing away or luffing even with instant reaction time and sharply, it will take the boat several seconds to turn through any meaningful angle - remember G4 went over in 6 seconds. You are 30 degrees past stalled so to ease the pressure you need to turn around 40 degrees. If the windward hull comes up, now the rig is trying to luff the boat so that might be the direction to try. It isn't the shift in wind direction with the gust (though that might make it better or worse) its the change in AWA due to the huge change in TWS/BS. With the true wind abeam, and TWS = 10, BS = 8, you have an AWA of 52 degrees approx. Now increase the wind to 35 with no change in BS. Your AWA is now 78 deg. To get back to the heeling load you had before, you need to change the sail angle by about 40 degrees by either blowing the sheets or turning, or both - all in about 3 seconds. The worst case is reaching slightly broad of abeam, you'll see more than 32 deg change in AWA. Reaching deep or close hauled, the AWA change is less but still significant. 

At the same time, your water foils will see a 12x increase in load, with no increase in speed. If you were running them at about 2 deg angle of attack before the gust, they can only withstand about 7x increase in load before stall, so they will be stalled. 

This is all a Gedanken experiment, got no idea what happens really - but more than a couple of cats have gone over in just this situation, and it seems plausible. 

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1 hour ago, DDW said:

Not sure there is time. If 10 knots goes to 35 in a couple of seconds (I've seen/felt this happen in the lee of high islands) and bunch of things happen in a hurry. First, the heeling force increases by 12 times (35/10 ^ 2). Second, if you were doing 8 knots in 10 knots, lets say reaching, your AWA will take nearly a 30 deg lift. If your rig wasn't stalled before it is now, and not by just a little bit. Bearing away or luffing even with instant reaction time and sharply, it will take the boat several seconds to turn through any meaningful angle - remember G4 went over in 6 seconds. You are 30 degrees past stalled so to ease the pressure you need to turn around 40 degrees. If the windward hull comes up, now the rig is trying to luff the boat so that might be the direction to try. It isn't the shift in wind direction with the gust (though that might make it better or worse) its the change in AWA due to the huge change in TWS/BS. With the true wind abeam, and TWS = 10, BS = 8, you have an AWA of 52 degrees approx. Now increase the wind to 35 with no change in BS. Your AWA is now 78 deg. To get back to the heeling load you had before, you need to change the sail angle by about 40 degrees by either blowing the sheets or turning, or both - all in about 3 seconds. The worst case is reaching slightly broad of abeam, you'll see more than 32 deg change in AWA. Reaching deep or close hauled, the AWA change is less but still significant. 

At the same time, your water foils will see a 12x increase in load, with no increase in speed. If you were running them at about 2 deg angle of attack before the gust, they can only withstand about 7x increase in load before stall, so they will be stalled. 

This is all a Gedanken experiment, got no idea what happens really - but more than a couple of cats have gone over in just this situation, and it seems plausible. 

Sounds feasible, given that it indubitably capsized and we have no other information.   

Is there anything they could/should have done to avoid/prepare for it, apart from DDW's suggestions of faster reactions on the sheets and tiller, luffing hard and a bit more respect to a known wind funnel like Saba?  

Gerald,

Agree about unstayed rigs.  Imagine how things would be if Team Phillips had been built properly, realised it's potential and won The Race.    Cue the usual photos of TP without a bow, which is nothing to do with the staying configuration of the rig.

 

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Curious what you all think about the idea of sailing with the windward dagger board down leeward board up when there is a concern for capsize.  As the weather hull lifts out of the water the dagger board comes with it causing the boat to slip sideways probably pushing the bows down wind due to pivoting on the rudder.  By removing the lateral resistance provided by the dagger board that the sail is pushing against perhaps a capsize is averted.    dcnblues mentioned this idea earlier in the thread.

 

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I actually communicated with Pete Goss about Team Philips' rig before I built my boat. He said the while boat had issues, but the rig worked really, really well. At the time and with the technology they built it, the rig was heavy, but would be much lighter now. 

I am unconvinced ("without independent testing") that the result in a sharp edged gust would be much different due to daggerboard configuration. If the gust rise time is quick enough, the inertia of the hull is all that counts - again this is a dynamic event, and you cannot analyze it only statically. In a soft edged gust, there may be time to accelerate the hulls sideways and slide before the roll. With the sharp gust, the hulls could be sitting on the mythical "frictionless surface" and still go over. I could put some work into calculating the moment of inertial and angular accelerations in roll vs. lateral acceleration but I'm too lazy. Based on experience in both heavy keel boats and light dinghies, in a sharp edged gust the roll happens way before any feeling of lateral acceleration. You are applying the force about 1/3 of the way up the rig - a long way from the CG. That may also be why heavier cats are harder to capsize: they have more static stability but also a lot more roll inertia, making them more gust resistant than the SA/D would imply. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Terry Britton said:

Curious what you all think about the idea of sailing with the windward dagger board down leeward board up when there is a concern for capsize.  As the weather hull lifts out of the water the dagger board comes with it causing the boat to slip sideways probably pushing the bows down wind due to pivoting on the rudder.  By removing the lateral resistance provided by the dagger board that the sail is pushing against perhaps a capsize is averted.    dcnblues mentioned this idea earlier in the thread.

 

In poste 260 Harryproa touched on the dagger boards.

If the boards are asymmetric then using the windward one instead of the leeward one would be counter productive. If the set up allows it, it might make sense to partially raise the dagger board at higher speeds.

If that leads to unbalanced CLR – lee helm that would be unhelpful in any situation where windward was the direction “out”

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3 hours ago, Terry Britton said:

 By removing the lateral resistance provided by the dagger board that the sail is pushing against perhaps a capsize is averted.  

 

What is all this talk about lifting the boards to let the boat slip sideways?

I call BULLSHIT.

It may have been the case years ago with semi circular hull shapes and pissy little inefficient rudders, but this is a modern boat with V sections forward and deep efficient rudders. 

This boat aint going sideways any time soon specially with a deeply immersed lee hull  from being pressed hard.

If your looking for the raised boards to save your bacon, then you better like swimming..

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20 minutes ago, overlay said:

What is all this talk about lifting the boards to let the boat slip sideways?

I call BULLSHIT.

It may have been the case years ago with semi circular hull shapes and pissy little inefficient rudders, but this is a modern boat with V sections forward and deep efficient rudders. 

This boat aint going sideways any time soon specially with a deeply immersed lee hull  from being pressed hard.

If your looking for the raised boards to save your bacon, then you better like swimming..

I disagree with the idea of doing it in a race, but raising a board will result in leeway and will raise the wind speed to hull fly. Gunboat, Formula 40, A-class, doesn't matter, hull flying is HARD without boards  

 

As far as free-standing rigs and/or the other go slow options mentioned above meant to increase safety, you could also just buy a Swan and be safe as a Volvo. Or...build a wicked fast rocket ship, sail it like a man, and let the chips fall where they may. I say kudos to Greg. 

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Hey Soma I wasn’t referring to Greg with my fat wallet phrase, I absolutely love it when keen multi sailors who have the bucks build boats like Fujin (which is an awesome cat) The point of my post was that I feel that a cat with biplane rigged ‘soft wingsails’ would be as fast as a stayed rig cat  with the added benefit of easy depowering. As soft wingsail design is only in its infancy it would take deep pockets to go down this path.  

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And yeh, I agree with Overlay, there is no way just about any cat will slide sideways with that much pressure on its leeward hull. The sliding sideways with daggers up scenario mentioned in earlier posts is usually only used in large beam on breaking waves with little or no sail up,ie survival conditions.

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I'm sure that the boat used asymmetric boards. In the video referenced above, the wind was a lot lighter. so cleating a traveller is no big deal.

Don't forget, as a catamaran heels, you're on the back side of the stability curve as soon as the windward hull lifts off - at about 10 or 12°. At any increased heel, your stability is DECREASING with each degree of added heel. So in a dynamic situation like a capsize you have to dump sheets and trav very quickly or it will be too late.

 

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On 3/5/2018 at 5:04 AM, harryproa said:

But in that case, the snubber when not under max shock load would keep the boom a fair distance away from the shrouds, when it needs to be eased as much as possible.

I don't think I've made myself clear. I like your concept of completely blowing both main and jib in the case of an overpowering gust. I like the idea of a reliable mechanical wand triggering a fast cam release on the main sheet, and it would be great to figure out a reliable option for the jib clew. But a line release isn't it. That line would then become the most dangerous potential snare on the boat. I can't imagine anyone wanting to rig something like that (how one would tack, just alone, seems a disqualifier). I think it would have to be something remote, though I agree that anything electronic would also have to have really good testing protocols for the user to feel confident. This thread has moved back to the topic of speed / how fast tipovers can happen, and that's a good thing, because I don't think even pro crews standing watch for hours and days on end can avoid becoming complacent. I'm big on ergonomics, by which I mean design which anticipates worse-case scenarios and adds to peace of mind. In million dollar boats, I'd consider this mandatory, and as I've previously said, I think racer mentality can be overconfident in having enough crew that any imagined scenario would be solved by throwing manpower at it. I agree 15 seconds seem like a slow estimate.

My thing is a secondary concern once your system for the main sheet is applied. Any wall of wind potent enough to tip the boat would be potent enough to potentially (npi) cause some serious damage should the boom be 'blown' free. That properly rigged (and snubbed) preventer would, imho, be worth rigging if an expensive boat was in any kind of worrysome weather conditions. Any condition that would trigger the blowing of the main would also be a condition where the shrouds were also dealing with shock loads (granted less so the leeward shrouds) so not having several hundred pounds of boom slam into them like some cyclops' metal bat would be a plus.

re 'bullshit,' just for the sake of argument: a) The V sections forward aren't even 10% of the waterline and spend half their time out of the water in swells, b ) the centerboards can be raised completely, and c) in many of these expensive new cats, so can the rudders. Again, this topic goes back to the racing mindset of 'pushing hard,' and it's my impression that in next year's race, should the conditions be identical and the race held again, you'd see pro skippers looking at the new information and gearing down as general awareness of capsize / mast failure risk has soaked into the community. That could possibly entail pulling some boards and even rudders up as a preventive measure, but on the other hand, maybe not so much. But we are talking about steep seas, and coming over the top of swells the boat is both exposed to more wind and has it's leeward hull the opposite of buried. I can see modern light round hulls sliding a bit with shortened dagger and rudder boards. 

 

Edited by dcnblues
changed my mind
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