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Lessons from Hugo Boss return trip.


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The fp article on the Hugo Boss return trip was interesting.  In particular

Antoine was also surprised by “the considerable performance loss caused by certain wave configurations, in particular the abrupt variations in speed. You don’t fully realize the impact of the phenomenon on the crew if you haven’t made a long passage.” In other words, a situation which resembles the real conditions facing a solo sailor in a race, rather than a training session off the west coast of France with a crew.

I have always wondered about the human cost of these incredibly fast boats slamming into waves.  It would be great if you could go into this in much more detail.

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Unless you've sailed offshore in waves and breeze, in a fast carbon boat, you can't get a grip on how loud and jerky and unpleasant they really are.  I've always equated it to living on a NYC subway express train going through a tunnel for days on end.   

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I'm sure too many NA's have too little sea time to understand how unpleasant it can be beating into (or slamming into the backs of) waves for days at a time.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Zonker said:

I'm sure too many NA's have too little sea time to understand how unpleasant it can be beating into (or slamming into the backs of) waves for days at a time.

 

 

And I think with a modern fouler it's orders of magnitude beyond what we were used to there.

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9 hours ago, European Bloke said:

And I think with a modern fouler it's orders of magnitude beyond what we were used to there.

All those weeds would sure make a difference ;-)

 

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Cumulative physical trauma is a real thing. Noise, especially when it is loud and continuous is stressful and affects judgement. 

 I'd like to see a comprehensive conversation involving crew, designers, builders, medical specialists, rules committee etc. to investigate ways to manage working conditions on these boats.

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38 minutes ago, Autonomous said:

Cumulative physical trauma is a real thing. Noise, especially when it is loud and continuous is stressful and affects judgement. 

 I'd like to see a comprehensive conversation involving crew, designers, builders, medical specialists, rules committee etc. to investigate ways to manage working conditions on these boats.

Aren't these guys the same guys that chop off the back of their toothbrushes so save weight??  And you are gonna bring osha in there??  

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Into the later part of the 20th century race cars were literal death traps. The right people got involved and now the cars are much safer and the rules see to this.

No reason we can't evolve these race boats to take better care of the crews which would lead to safer and more competitive decision making on their part.

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You tell Alex you can make the boat quieter with some sound insulation. Just costs him 200 kg. See what he says.

There are a lot of things involved to mitigate:

noise
vibration
motion

Yes, I could design a quieter race boat. Noise would be the easiest. Just build an inner capsule and put it on springs. Very little noise transmission. If well damped you could help reduce motion a bit too.

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7 hours ago, shaggy said:

And you are gonna bring osha in there??  

I 've often thought that if you had an OH&S ( I assume that's the same as Shaggy's osha) audit on board a race boat they would have a conniption.

With Alex T reporting noise levels of 93-98 db....yeah, Imocas would be royally fucked.

1160195330_IMocaLoud.thumb.png.7a78a2b56e09fd35b0fafcf2b81e101a.png

 

 

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13 hours ago, Autonomous said:

Into the later part of the 20th century race cars were literal death traps. The right people got involved and now the cars are much safer and the rules see to this.

No reason we can't evolve these race boats to take better care of the crews which would lead to safer and more competitive decision making on their part.

Formula one, since the 70's, has had massive popularity and therefore massive $$$.  The I don't think you can compare the 2.  Would it be nice...  Yes...  But will it happen with today's tech, prob not.  

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10 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

With Alex T reporting noise levels of 93-98 db....yeah, Imocas would be royally fucked.

I remember perhaps 30 years ago, the very first Bose noise cancelling headphones were being used by races in the Around Alone.  I had never even heard of that technology until then.  

But with these foiling boats, I'm even more worried about broken bones when the boat slams into a wave at 25 knots.  I'd think these skippers need full football equipment.

But based on the race results, with soooo many of the foiling boats breaking during the race, and the fact that they only were slightly faster than a couple of the standard hulls, I'm wondering if we might see a return to the past.  Doubtful, but a possibility.

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28 minutes ago, Foolish said:

I remember perhaps 30 years ago, the very first Bose noise cancelling headphones were being used by races in the Around Alone.  I had never even heard of that technology until then.  

But with these foiling boats, I'm even more worried about broken bones when the boat slams into a wave at 25 knots.  I'd think these skippers need full football equipment.

But based on the race results, with soooo many of the foiling boats breaking during the race, and the fact that they only were slightly faster than a couple of the standard hulls, I'm wondering if we might see a return to the past.  Doubtful, but a possibility.

It would have to be done with the rules.  Left open, things will just get more extreme.  I have a titanium "spork" ready in case I ever get invited to skipper an IMOCA.

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4 hours ago, Foolish said:

I remember perhaps 30 years ago, the very first Bose noise cancelling headphones were being used by races in the Around Alone.  I had never even heard of that technology until then.  

But with these foiling boats, I'm even more worried about broken bones when the boat slams into a wave at 25 knots.  I'd think these skippers need full football equipment.

But based on the race results, with soooo many of the foiling boats breaking during the race, and the fact that they only were slightly faster than a couple of the standard hulls, I'm wondering if we might see a return to the past.  Doubtful, but a possibility.

Etymotic earplugs will reliably attenuate 20dB of noise. They work great in loud concerts (well over 90dB) and don’t require batteries. You can add bone conduction headphones if you need to hear Bluetooth comms or music.

 https://www.etymotic.com/consumer/hearing-protection/ety-plugsr-high-fidelity-earplugs-combo.html

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On 4/14/2021 at 1:27 PM, Autonomous said:

Cumulative physical trauma is a real thing. Noise, especially when it is loud and continuous is stressful and affects judgement. 

 I'd like to see a comprehensive conversation involving crew, designers, builders, medical specialists, rules committee etc. to investigate ways to manage working conditions on these boats.

That would turn into what the Pythons might call a political event?

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On 4/15/2021 at 8:32 AM, Foolish said:

I remember perhaps 30 years ago, the very first Bose noise cancelling headphones were being used by races in the Around Alone.  I had never even heard of that technology until then.  

But with these foiling boats, I'm even more worried about broken bones when the boat slams into a wave at 25 knots.  I'd think these skippers need full football equipment.

But based on the race results, with soooo many of the foiling boats breaking during the race, and the fact that they only were slightly faster than a couple of the standard hulls, I'm wondering if we might see a return to the past.  Doubtful, but a possibility.

Foiling vs planing?  Foiling only seems to fool the water into believing the foiling hull is lighter.....  but these are heavy hulls still, and the foil lifted ‘lighter’ displacement still leaves furrows in the edge of water and air, a ghost of heavier than air man made structures driven by forces Quantum driven.....

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1 hour ago, Amati said:

That would turn into what the Pythons might call a political event?

The bureaucrats would have to be executed whenever they popped up.

Safety measures always meet a lot of resistance and missteps are taken. Thing is after improvements have been accomplished almost everyone looks back and asks how the hell could they could have done it that way.

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On 4/13/2021 at 8:45 PM, Zonker said:

I'm sure too many NA's have too little sea time to understand how unpleasant it can be beating into (or slamming into the backs of) waves for days at a time.

Coming back from Mackinac Island one year, we had one 14 hour leg where we motored into 4 foot waves the whole time.  When we pulled into Pentwater, we docked the boat and both of us just laid down on the dock, exhausted, and happy being able to remain still.  And this was a 12 ton boat.  I can't even imagine doing that for days on end, and they were only 4 footers.

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7 hours ago, Jules said:

I can't even imagine doing that for days on end

Think of the most turbulent airplane 15 seconds you've ever experienced - for 3 months continuously.

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The very idea of sailing around the world alone is that is supposed to be difficult. Kind of misses the point if you start making it easier. But then again I think the Tour de France should be done on single speed bikes and without any stages. Just 3000 ks over 15 mountains without stopping like in the good old days.

I would also make pistol dueling an Olympic event.

I want to watch true suffering on TV in my warm, dry basement. 

Pro sportsmen and women need to harden the fuck up.

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I noticed a lot more skippers with the noise cancelling headsets  in the last Vandee globe , my guess is that climbing helmets were worn inside the boat(s) more often then we may have seen in  all the pressers coming off the boats.    M2C.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/19/2021 at 1:55 AM, Jules said:

Coming back from Mackinac Island one year, we had one 14 hour leg where we motored into 4 foot waves the whole time.  When we pulled into Pentwater, we docked the boat and both of us just laid down on the dock, exhausted, and happy being able to remain still.  And this was a 12 ton boat.  I can't even imagine doing that for days on end, and they were only 4 footers.

I did a delivery from Cabo to San Diego in the early 80's on a Holland 68.  Motor-sailing upwind in 15-20 kts with 2-3m seas for 5-6 days.  I think we turned the engine off for two hours the whole trip when we had a bit of a reach where we could sail.  It took careful steering to not slam the bow off every wave - every now and then you'd miss one and it was painful. I was in my 20's and it wasn't bad.  Now, I think I would be looking for the ejection seat after day two.

Impressively, my gf at the time baked a cake during this.  YCMTSU.

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I've recently done 1000nm+ delivery on a quite quick 66 foot racer, and even at a calm 20knt downwind surfing tack being down below is not easy, and trying to get changed or fix equipment at 25+ knots of boat speed takes some serious foresight.  I couldn't imagine trying to run a whole boat like that by myself in a southern ocean storm for half a week, so much to do!

Then again, the French have always been a bit nuts haven't they

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On 5/24/2021 at 10:03 PM, shaggybaxter said:

That sounds like Alive. Sexy little thing that boat.

;) it might have been, it sure is sexy. And remarkably easy to sail, at least in delivery mode. Hydraulics are a godsend, at least while they work

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49 minutes ago, Fintho said:

;) it might have been, it sure is sexy. And remarkably easy to sail, at least in delivery mode. Hydraulics are a godsend, at least while they work

I hate you Flintho, pure jealousy.

Hydraulic pressure issue, or electronic control issue? I hate leaks so when I had one it was the best feeling when it got fixed. After re-install, I thought I had an electronic control issue so I dove into pulling it all apart and getting my head around how the electronics worked (had no idea). I am glad I did as it turned out to be really quite simple. There was a PLC in the mix that takes a whole bunch of inputs and outputs and is programmed with a really dumb ladder bar logic, 'if input 1 is this then output 1 do that' type thing.

After I had turned myself into a wiz, it transpired it was all working perfectly and the issue was the batteries :(.  

It was fun to learn though, so not a complete waste!  

Edit: The cool thing I found about PLC control of hydraulics is it's great for testing. You program a new output (dead simple to do) for your multi meter that matches the output or input you are testing, sit back with the multimeter, press the buttons and watch the show. Super quick once I had my head around it.  

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On 5/30/2021 at 12:46 PM, shaggybaxter said:

Hydraulic pressure issue, or electronic control issue?

Pressure issue, with the keel at max cant. So then because we needed to tack, we half jokingly tried to roll tack with the keel loose (to try and have the correct cant on the new tack) which only succeeded in what could be called the worlds fastest oil change. At least the oil smells nice...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe it’s been discussed, but one of the ideas behind Ocean Planet was that with a different shape, and (initially at least) a different sailplan, she would sail a different route more comfortably and maybe quickly than the aircraft carriers.  Wylie thinks about stuff like that.  I’ve never seen a discussion around that, at any rate.  I suppose the Schock 40 could fit in there someplace?  This too…

 

 

DF6E1B7C-5D62-456D-A912-57439B4F1B30.jpeg

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On 4/13/2021 at 6:15 PM, Autonomous said:

Which brings us back to scow vs. V-bow?

Or Antrim bows.  He actually races offshore in his own designs. I remember going from Port Ludlow to Shilshole in a SW 20-25, 4-5 feet, in our U20, 2 up, and we weren’t as knackered as a lot of folks.  Are Antrim 27’s like that? The Taser is comfy upwind in a chop. Amati is more deep u’d in front of the keel, and unless you screw up steering through the valleys, she’s not bad, but I doubt if an autopilot can pull that off.  You’ve got to stay upright when you fall off a wave crest.  I’ve sailed an E scow upwind in chop a bit, the main problem there wasn’t slamming so much as catching a wave on the bottom, and that flipping her over if the tiny rudder still in the water was overwhelmed.  Well, that and a puff at the same time.  Maybe a keel helps with that?  It was noisy, and I swear you could see the hull flexing.  Some of the Midwest guys probably have better insight on that one….

 

706F4079-CDDB-4E81-AD2E-2927D1B34371.jpeg

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On 6/14/2021 at 12:02 AM, Amati said:

Maybe it’s been discussed, but one of the ideas behind Ocean Planet was that with a different shape, and (initially at least) a different sailplan, she would sail a different route more comfortably and maybe quickly than the aircraft carriers.  Wylie thinks about stuff like that.  I’ve never seen a discussion around that, at any rate.  I suppose the Schock 40 could fit in there someplace?  This too…

 

 

DF6E1B7C-5D62-456D-A912-57439B4F1B30.jpeg

Dave Gerr's BOC boat from the early 90's HOLGER DANSKE had a similar alternative approach to performance.  The basic concept, at least as I understand it, was to make a boat that had a lower top speed, but which was easier to drive to a higher percentage of its potential more frequently.  Maybe your top speed is 85% of that of your competitors, but if they struggle to average 45% of that performance over the race and you can manage 55% you can win.  The result was a very narrow design (9.5 ft of beam), significantly lighter than the competition, with a smaller more easily managed sail plan.  The boat was built but never raced competitively for the usual litany of reasons stemming from a shoe string budget.

gerr60a.jpg.3cb3f9f804c047ea3caf8ac0475a109c.jpg

Personally, I really like these kind of concepts, but I don't think there is much hope that they're competitive... I think the flaw in the concept is underestimating the masochism, ability, and tenacity of offshore racers.

 

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On 5/18/2021 at 12:12 AM, Rain Man said:

I did a delivery from Cabo to San Diego in the early 80's on a Holland 68.  Motor-sailing upwind in 15-20 kts with 2-3m seas for 5-6 days.  I think we turned the engine off for two hours the whole trip when we had a bit of a reach where we could sail.  It took careful steering to not slam the bow off every wave - every now and then you'd miss one and it was painful. I was in my 20's and it wasn't bad.  Now, I think I would be looking for the ejection seat after day two.

Impressively, my gf at the time baked a cake during this.  YCMTSU.

I did a delivery of a 42' cruiser the other way a couple of years back, San Diego to Cabo, then up to La Paz.

San Diego to Cabo was a nice downwind sail, but the leg up to La Paz was a nasty beat in one of those 25+ knot northwesters.

The Sea of Cortez has a long fetch so the waves were pretty big and the boat was slamming pretty hard in 3-4m seas during the beat.

The owners had thoughtfully prepared one of those swinging net hammocks filled with fresh fruit for the delivery crew, but by the time we got to La Paz all the fruit had turned to guacamole and was coating the entire inside of the boat!

 

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8 hours ago, MFH125 said:

Dave Gerr's BOC boat from the early 90's HOLGER DANSKE had a similar alternative approach to performance.  The basic concept, at least as I understand it, was to make a boat that had a lower top speed, but which was easier to drive to a higher percentage of its potential more frequently.  Maybe your top speed is 85% of that of your competitors, but if they struggle to average 45% of that performance over the race and you can manage 55% you can win.  The result was a very narrow design (9.5 ft of beam), significantly lighter than the competition, with a smaller more easily managed sail plan.  The boat was built but never raced competitively for the usual litany of reasons stemming from a shoe string budget.

gerr60a.jpg.3cb3f9f804c047ea3caf8ac0475a109c.jpg

Personally, I really like these kind of concepts, but I don't think there is much hope that they're competitive... I think the flaw in the concept is underestimating the masochism, ability, and tenacity of offshore racers.

 

Neat boat.  Any more information on it?

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17 hours ago, MFH125 said:

Dave Gerr's BOC boat from the early 90's HOLGER DANSKE had a similar alternative approach to performance.  The basic concept, at least as I understand it, was to make a boat that had a lower top speed, but which was easier to drive to a higher percentage of its potential more frequently.  Maybe your top speed is 85% of that of your competitors, but if they struggle to average 45% of that performance over the race and you can manage 55% you can win.  The result was a very narrow design (9.5 ft of beam), significantly lighter than the competition, with a smaller more easily managed sail plan.  The boat was built but never raced competitively for the usual litany of reasons stemming from a shoe string budget.

gerr60a.jpg.3cb3f9f804c047ea3caf8ac0475a109c.jpg

Personally, I really like these kind of concepts, but I don't think there is much hope that they're competitive... I think the flaw in the concept is underestimating the masochism, ability, and tenacity of offshore racers.

 

They are nice to sail.

Lawley 225 (1930’s) with an Etchells rig

 

07E10F00-51E3-41CF-957B-DE1F3211B37B.png

05E13BD5-54EE-43BA-84C0-7E2687B74D17.jpeg

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8 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

I am a fan. He used to write a column in ? Small Boat Journal? and one I recall was he was bitching about tools and mentioned that  he read " a screwdriver is not a chisel."

He wrote, "The hell it's not!"

That sounds like Gerr.  He's an entertaining writer.  All his books are excellent: The Nature of Boats, Boat Strength, The Propeller Handbook, and Boat Mechanical Systems Handbook.

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Another boat in that vein, Stephen Baker’s Open 40 Winds of Change (not the present open 40 rule) IIRR, the skipper had some sort of medical emergency, and basically, while recovering, passed out or asleep (I don’t remember which) had the best 24 hour passage of the racing fleet, pretty much equaling the open 50’s.  Kind of like Antrim’s trimaran performance during a Pacific race.  
 

Here’s Bakers website.  Neat stuff. http://stephenbaker.net   There’s so much talent out there…

 

E23235F2-140F-46B4-A994-D69D75957C95.jpeg

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On 6/16/2021 at 3:37 AM, MFH125 said:

Dave Gerr's BOC boat from the early 90's HOLGER DANSKE had a similar alternative approach to performance.  The basic concept, at least as I understand it, was to make a boat that had a lower top speed, but which was easier to drive to a higher percentage of its potential more frequently.  Maybe your top speed is 85% of that of your competitors, but if they struggle to average 45% of that performance over the race and you can manage 55% you can win.  The result was a very narrow design (9.5 ft of beam), significantly lighter than the competition, with a smaller more easily managed sail plan.  The boat was built but never raced competitively for the usual litany of reasons stemming from a shoe string budget.

gerr60a.jpg.3cb3f9f804c047ea3caf8ac0475a109c.jpg

Personally, I really like these kind of concepts, but I don't think there is much hope that they're competitive... I think the flaw in the concept is underestimating the masochism, ability, and tenacity of offshore racers.

 

It’s like the Amundsen / Scott Antarctic schism.  But the masochists are winning.  More exciting, I guess….

I probably shouldn’t throw stones- I actually enjoyed sailing Finns.  But I had a Bruder mast, which was supple thing of beauty compared to the needlespar logs.  

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1 hour ago, Amati said:

Another boat in that vein, Stephen Baker’s Open 40 Winds of Change (not the present open 40 rule) IIRR, the skipper had some sort of medical emergency, and basically, while recovering, passed out or asleep (I don’t remember which) had the best 24 hour passage of the racing fleet, pretty much equaling the open 50’s.

That was the Russian, I think he had to operate on his own elbow, drank a bottle of wine with pain killers, woke a day or so later. Good story.

EDIT

Here it is.

"...a golf-ball-sized abscess that developed on his injured elbow. Unable to bear the pain any longer, he emailed race organisers for medical advice and under doctors’ orders cut into and drained his elbow. “I lashed the tiller and spent four hours making the boat like a surgery to avoid further infection. But I didn’t eat before my operation and this was a big mistake.” Yazykov says the bleeding that followed the incision was uncontrollable and he tied two tourniquets to his arm to stem the flow. “At that point I was very faint and drifting in and out of consciousness,” he says. “I’d lost all feeling in my fingers and I thought I might just give up. I was at my lowest ebb and I expected that I would be found dead drifting on the Atlantic.” It was then that Yazykov says his military training kicked in and he managed to pull himself together. “I cut the tourniquets loose, found some chocolate and punched a hole in the lid of a red wine bottle and drank wine until I passed out. I woke 24 hours later feeling weak but better. I was amazed to see that I had sailed 239 miles without any self-steering.” 

http://oceanschool.ru/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Viktor-the-Russian.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3pOQ6qCqnhXpymkHW-SiQQMPN3XSSxYm21TDBGkviEZ0SDdXzVMnXeemo

Read the whole article. 

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