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Well here’s a bit of legal nastiness we had not seen that has spilled over from from the 2016/2017 Vendee Globe involving Alex Thomson and Global Technologies Racing Limited, a specialist manufacturer of carbon fiber parts, producing specialist items for the aerospace and medical industries as well as motor and yacht racing.

atf-foil-300x170.jpg

In the 2016/2017 race, boats participating were for the first time allowed to use hydrofoils of a new design, so-called Dali hydrofoils, apparently because of the similarity of their shape to that of Salvador Dali’s moustache. The hydrofoils are intended to lift the boat out of the water thereby reducing the wetted area of the hull.

In 2015, the Claimant produced a pair of hydrofoils for the Boat pursuant to a contract with the Defendant. Later the Claimant manufactured a second pair with modifications to the Defendant’s order. (These two pairs have been distinguished by calling the first version “the V1s” and the second, “the V2s,” a convention that I shall follow.) Both the V1s and the V2s were designed by VPLP, a French naval architecture company, and Guillaume Verdier, a naval architect with whom it would seem VPLP regularly worked.

Whilst Mr Thomson was testing the port hydrofoil of the V2s on the Solent on 3 September 2016, the hydrofoil suffered a catastrophic failure, the result of which rendered it incapable of being used. As a result, Mr Thomson reverted to using the V1s both in training and in the race itself. In the event he came second. Coincidentally, the starboard foil broke during the race, although Mr Thomson nevertheless finished second.

The Defendant has paid some of the purchase price of the V2s. The Claimant sues for the balance of the purchase price and storage charges relating to the starboard foil (which was never delivered). The Defendant denies liability and counterclaims on the basis that the V2s were not manufactured to the appropriate quality and were consequently worthless. It seeks to recover the money spent on the V2s, as well as alleged consequential losses.

Click here to read the rather lengthy, detailed  and fascinating case and findings.

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26 minutes ago, Sailbydate said:

Boring.

To some perhaps and yes, i did skip to the conclusion. But GBP275,000 just for the foils - and those were his second set. No wonder the whole boat is so bloody expensive

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3 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

To some perhaps and yes, i did skip to the conclusion. But GBP275,000 just for the foils - and those were his second set. No wonder the whole boat is so bloody expensive

+ 30000 design hours & 50000 build hours in the build

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38 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

All that time & money

All that time & money, and they are not allowed to even properly foil - no rudder foil allowed, instead they just slam and seesaw with the most expensive fragile toy ever produced.

Such a waste, not allowing rudder foils.

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Thanks Ed.  Wondered what wild speculation would blow up the forum this year. 

1 hour ago, Sailbydate said:

Boring.

Weeeeelll, there really are some entertaining bits in the ruling Found three in about three minutes. A definite coal mine.

1. Oh Lord! Legal proof of FIRE tipped foils. "carbon fire curved boards with tips" . That's almost as good as the Public School Board's legal sex-ed policy doc where they were the "Pubic School Board"

2. Jack is right about black. Just look at the price:

(a) £41,666.67 plus VAT on 27 July 2016;

(b) £41,666.67 plus VAT on 27 July 2016;

(c) £36,266.66 plus VAT on 4 August 2016.

3. Rule 69. ATR was BETTING on the results?!!! 

"Mr Keogh states that, in a further discussion with Mr Hosford on the same day, it was agreed that the Defendant would pay a further £161,000 plus VAT (bringing the total to £280,600 plus VAT) plus a win bonus based on Alex Thomson's position in the 2016/2017 Vendée Globe"

I rest my case, and go back to bed. Hope you're laughing, Sail

disclaimer: not to be used for litigation, navigation, or vacuous prepreg misinterpretation.

 

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Interesting technical read and well summed up.  Pleased to see a well considered judgement finding against ATR and that will please some others! Reckon there will be a few more lawsuits scattered around after the latest efforts

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3 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

All that time & money, one UFO = game over

I don’t believe the V2 foil hit anything in testing. A contact and friend within the team told me the boat powered up and was sailing at over 30kts in flat water and the foil just broke

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6 hours ago, Editor said:

Well here’s a bit of legal nastiness we had not seen that has spilled over from from the 2016/2017 Vendee Globe involving Alex Thompson and Global Technologies Racing Limited, a specialist manufacturer of carbon fiber parts, producing specialist items for the aerospace and medical industries as well as motor and yacht racing.

atf-foil-300x170.jpg

In the 2016/2017 race, boats participating were for the first time allowed to use hydrofoils of a new design, so-called Dali hydrofoils, apparently because of the similarity of their shape to that of Salvador Dali’s moustache. The hydrofoils are intended to lift the boat out of the water thereby reducing the wetted area of the hull.

In 2015, the Claimant produced a pair of hydrofoils for the Boat pursuant to a contract with the Defendant. Later the Claimant manufactured a second pair with modifications to the Defendant’s order. (These two pairs have been distinguished by calling the first version “the V1s” and the second, “the V2s,” a convention that I shall follow.) Both the V1s and the V2s were designed by VPLP, a French naval architecture company, and Guillaume Verdier, a naval architect with whom it would seem VPLP regularly worked.

Whilst Mr Thomson was testing the port hydrofoil of the V2s on the Solent on 3 September 2016, the hydrofoil suffered a catastrophic failure, the result of which rendered it incapable of being used. As a result, Mr Thomson reverted to using the V1s both in training and in the race itself. In the event he came second. Coincidentally, the starboard foil broke during the race, although Mr Thomson nevertheless finished second.

The Defendant has paid some of the purchase price of the V2s. The Claimant sues for the balance of the purchase price and storage charges relating to the starboard foil (which was never delivered). The Defendant denies liability and counterclaims on the basis that the V2s were not manufactured to the appropriate quality and were consequently worthless. It seeks to recover the money spent on the V2s, as well as alleged consequential losses.

Click here to read the rather lengthy, detailed  and fascinating case and findings.

TLDR: ATR needs to pay for their foils from the last race

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3 hours ago, JL92S said:

I don’t believe the V2 foil hit anything in testing. A contact and friend within the team told me the boat powered up and was sailing at over 30kts in flat water and the foil just broke

Context JL92S. If you actually read what I was responding to which was SCANAS's comment about 30,000 design hours and 50,000 build hours (both of which aren't cheap) then of course the GBP200,000 for the foils - that's adds up to a lot of money when "hit one UFO = game over" I did not say that the V2 foil failure was from hitting a UFO BUT Sam Davies hit a UFO and is out, Alex Thomson hit (presumably) a UFO and broke his starboard rudder and is out - like I said a hell of a lot of money and hit a UFO and you are out and some bloody container ship has just dumped another 1,800 UFOs into the Pacific Ocean

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35 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

Context JL92S. If you actually read what I was responding to which was SCANAS's comment about 30,000 design hours and 50,000 build hours (both of which aren't cheap) then of course the GBP200,000 for the foils - that's adds up to a lot of money when "hit one UFO = game over" I did not say that the V2 foil failure was from hitting a UFO BUT Sam Davies hit a UFO and is out, Alex Thomson hit (presumably) a UFO and broke his starboard rudder and is out - like I said a hell of a lot of money and hit a UFO and you are out and some bloody container ship has just dumped another 1,800 UFOs into the Pacific Ocean

Correction: Said container ship had a stack failure of 1900 containers. Reality is less than half ended up in the ocean; the exact number remains unknown.

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No mention of quality control in the manufacturing or load cell trials.  Carbon does not like going round bends. No wonder its virtually impossible to get insurance for Class 40 and the likes when this fuck up happens. Build the foils in a different material Titanium or something then when it does hit something it will sink the boat and stop all the dicking around. Hi-Tech? Hi-Tech my arse. Thank fuck they are not in the aerospace industry.

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10 minutes ago, CARBONINIT said:

No mention of quality control in the manufacturing or load cell trials.  Carbon does not like going round bends. No wonder its virtually impossible to get insurance for Class 40 and the likes when this fuck up happens. Build the foils in a different material Titanium or something then when it does hit something it will sink the boat and stop all the dicking around. Hi-Tech? Hi-Tech my arse. Thank fuck they are not in the aerospace industry.

No prototypes no destructive testing. you have to wonder anyone makes it past Cape Town. It is entertaining but it is a fool's business.

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Easy to say how about a test to destruction, but lead times to actually build a foil and costs on a single boat make that unrealistic.   The engineers are not stupid, and do make allowances for less than aerospace level building, but they have to rely on load cases coming in from other sources.  And thats where the real unknowns come into play.   It does say they changed to debulking every couple of layers instead of three but  ideally its every layer (as was done on the Yacht 'A' masts ) and that eats up time as well as more $$$.  More likely the cameltoe aka mini tubercules addition and the discontinuities from that was a starting point for the failure cascade.

You'll never hear a straight story from that boat though so maybe they simply wrapped it around West Lepe!

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That's why 11 axis robots are used in critical layups, not humans. The marine industry still uses a bass broom mentality that's why there are failures, ooh I know let's test tank in flat water under a uni.  How about training in The Solent its flat there. As said if it's touched by humans when building with composites it's normally fucked. The fewer humans touch the materials the better. 

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2 hours ago, CARBONINIT said:

Thank fuck they are not in the aerospace industry.

Like Boeing's FAUB robot that doesn't work? Or the part of about penny pinching AOA sensors or pitot tube heaters in other airliner manufacturers?

Let's not pretend most of the world's high quality composite work aren't done by hand - a lot of manufacturers of larger cylinders use loom robots yes, but there's a reason why composite frame or lug manufacturers or automobile composite work still often involves hand layup. And it isn't just about cost because a lot of bean counters can't wait to get the 20 year company employees off the books to avoid pension and health costs. 

When you have what is essentially serial prototype manufactured goods - few can afford the investment to buy a robot with it; and even in Dallara or the massive volumes that happen at Giant bicycle composites, or southern spars or Axxon or various composite manufacturers in various industries - gloved hands with push sticks do a bloody good job of it. In the world of competitive high performance gliders and in general aviation (what's left of it), all the composite work is basically done by hand after the cutting is done by program. 

Reading thru this verdict - there isn't even any factual evidence to suggest there was some manufacturing defect. The ultrasound/nondestructive testing look good. The Hugo Boss teamed accepted delivery - took it on 3 days of trials, heard a bang on day 2 and didn't ultrasound it some more and finally broken it on day 3. They admit there was an error in integrating the load cell such that the 13 ton was the max threshold. I'm not even sure how one gets from that verdict to the conclusion that composite work can't be done well by hand.

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8 hours ago, samc99us said:

Correction: Said container ship had a stack failure of 1900 containers. Reality is less than half ended up in the ocean; the exact number remains unknown.

Who to believe? Now it appears the exact number IS known. Confirmed that 1,816 ended up in the sea. Not arguing with you samc99us, it is just updated information verified by the shipping line that did the losing.

https://theloadstar.com/one-apus-back-in-japan-after-record-loss-of-containers-in-heavy-weather/?fbclid=IwAR2qTPkRd-YTLpdtYLHUqze47xwAyTMyqI-0pAQ0dwkHaA7h3XcS7G4N-4s

This is a specialist industry publication. Looks like fireworks might be in short supply for New year's Eve.

 

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On 12/9/2020 at 6:26 PM, shanghaisailor said:

All that time & money, one UFO = game over

Yep - for all the spectacle foils are a design rabbit hole for long-distance offshore racing IMHO.  Given the amount of stuff floating around in the oceans they just increase the risk of failure too much and with that the risk of catastrophic, life-endangering failure.  This VG is no more exciting than the last one - even if the boats are so much faster.  A similar argument to the America's Cup at some level I guess - fast boats don't necessarily make better racing.  That said, foiler IMOCAs racing over shorter distances and flatter seas going hard is pretty cool.

It's a testament to the design and build (and mods in some cases) of the IMOCAs that despite a few UFO incidents already they have all made port, bar one.  And, PRB being a vintage, super-lightweight non-foiler bulked up and seemingly compromised as a result.  Unclear whether there was any UFO interaction in that case - either at the time of the incident or previously.

https://www.swzmaritime.nl/news/2020/12/09/another-ship-loses-containers-near-the-wadden-islands/?gdpr=accept

 

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36 minutes ago, stief said:

The money and lawyers are in the room. Admit nothing and blame anyone and everyone.

Bleagh. I'd almost forgotten why I lost interest in the America's Cup and Olympic sailing.

It’s a good thing they aren’t running Open 60’s in the AC or Olympics then!

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On 12/9/2020 at 10:47 AM, Miffy said:

Like Boeing's FAUB robot that doesn't work? Or the part of about penny pinching AOA sensors or pitot tube heaters in other airliner manufacturers?

Let's not pretend most of the world's high quality composite work aren't done by hand - a lot of manufacturers of larger cylinders use loom robots yes, but there's a reason why composite frame or lug manufacturers or automobile composite work still often involves hand layup. And it isn't just about cost because a lot of bean counters can't wait to get the 20 year company employees off the books to avoid pension and health costs. 

When you have what is essentially serial prototype manufactured goods - few can afford the investment to buy a robot with it; and even in Dallara or the massive volumes that happen at Giant bicycle composites, or southern spars or Axxon or various composite manufacturers in various industries - gloved hands with push sticks do a bloody good job of it. In the world of competitive high performance gliders and in general aviation (what's left of it), all the composite work is basically done by hand after the cutting is done by program. 

Reading thru this verdict - there isn't even any factual evidence to suggest there was some manufacturing defect. The ultrasound/nondestructive testing look good. The Hugo Boss teamed accepted delivery - took it on 3 days of trials, heard a bang on day 2 and didn't ultrasound it some more and finally broken it on day 3. They admit there was an error in integrating the load cell such that the 13 ton was the max threshold. I'm not even sure how one gets from that verdict to the conclusion that composite work can't be done well by hand.

hey Miffy, as I recall, you worked for Giant Bicycles at some point, got a question I'd like to throw your way; I've got a carbon road fork (TCR) with a carbon steerer. fork has over 30,000 miles on it, no massive hits, no dings, well cared for, always carefully wrenched on by myself (but wrenched on a fair amount). even if all appears sound, should I consider replacing it? guess I would, but finding a replacement is proving to be a bitch. 

what's your take on the long term durability of these forks, especially as it relates to the steerer tubes?

thank in advance.

 

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12 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Yep - for all the spectacle foils are a design rabbit hole for long-distance offshore racing IMHO.  Given the amount of stuff floating around in the oceans they just increase the risk of failure too much and with that the risk of catastrophic, life-endangering failure.  This VG is no more exciting than the last one - even if the boats are so much faster.

Ah, I m not sure about that.

There is always a market for the sort of car racing where some of the competitors exit in a ball of flames.  In the case of the VG, it seems to me that the spectator excitement has been ramped up the fistful of competitors who have self-destructed before even reaching the southern ocean.  Now there is a new set of boats to watch at the front of the fleet, which is more exciting than if if HB and Charal had taken and held an early lead

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On 12/11/2020 at 12:01 PM, Rawhide said:

I wonder whether some of these UFO's are a face saving exercise for the teams, rather than admit that the design/ build was compromised or boat pushed beyond limits

As far as I know not only face saving but also a matter of insurance. There has to be a proper incident or cause to make a claim. When I broke my under engineered rudder blade I told them I hit something hard, didn't lie, it really was a "hard" wave, surfing 18.5kn mind you. 

The new blade with 10 layers of carbon is now the strongest bit in the boat. Took it with me on a Virgin Atlantic flight for free, as a surfboard. :)

 

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On 12/9/2020 at 4:52 PM, GBH said:

Easy to say how about a test to destruction, but lead times to actually build a foil and costs on a single boat make that unrealistic.   The engineers are not stupid, and do make allowances for less than aerospace level building, but they have to rely on load cases coming in from other sources.  And thats where the real unknowns come into play.   It does say they changed to debulking every couple of layers instead of three but  ideally its every layer (as was done on the Yacht 'A' masts ) and that eats up time as well as more $$$.  More likely the cameltoe aka mini tubercules addition and the discontinuities from that was a starting point for the failure cascade.

You'll never hear a straight story from that boat though so maybe they simply wrapped it around West Lepe!

:ph34r:

I have to laugh that camel toe is now a legally recognised term in foil manufacture.

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On 12/10/2020 at 11:01 PM, Rawhide said:

I wonder whether some of these UFO's are a face saving exercise for the teams, rather than admit that the design/ build was compromised or boat pushed beyond limits

Have been for a long time.

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On 12/12/2020 at 4:58 AM, Fiji Bitter said:

As far as I know not only face saving but also a matter of insurance. There has to be a proper incident or cause to make a claim. When I broke my under engineered rudder blade I told them I hit something hard, didn't lie, it really was a "hard" wave, surfing 18.5kn mind you. 

The new blade with 10 layers of carbon is now the strongest bit in the boat. Took it with me on a Virgin Atlantic flight for free, as a surfboard. :)

 

Good skills:P

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