Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

MikeJohns

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.... isn't inherently structurally better, it just means that the Euler buckling length of your first panel is shorter ...

...Clearing a mast that is half standing is very dangerous as it involves working at height in a chaotic environment, it takes time and meanwhile you take the risk of holing the hull with the dangling bits banging against the boat......

.....As for the ruder stocks, they should be behind a watertight bulkhead, I know that sadly often they aren't .....


Sure if you design for the minimum weight. But it does give the option of a much stiffer rig for the same weight.   It also survives stay failures that a deck stepped doesn't.

 yes I did say that clearing the mast was easier on the deck stepped, Also some of the CF masts I've seen fail with the lower mast intact were ragged razor edged breaks just to add to the hazard ! 

A 48 foot Beneteau sank here ( off King Island) 4 years ago from it's rudder falling out, it was  in good weather fortunately. The insurance paid out $660k.  It's ironic that a $10 PVC tube half a meter long glassed in would have been better insurance from a SOLAS point of view.

 
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Panoramix

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Sure if you design for the minimum weight. But it does give the option of a much stiffer rig for the same weight.   It also survives stay failures that a deck stepped doesn't.

 yes I did say that clearing the mast was easier on the deck stepped, Also some of the CF masts I've seen fail with the lower mast intact were ragged razor edged breaks just to add to the hazard ! 

A 48 foot Beneteau sank here ( off King Island) 4 years ago from it's rudder falling out, it was  in good weather fortunately. The insurance paid out $660k.  It's ironic that a $10 PVC tube half a meter long glassed in would have been better insurance from a SOLAS point of view.
Good designers always design for minimum weight for a certain safety factor (which might be high if you want a "bullet proof" boat) otherwise it is like splicing a big chain to a small one, you get the inconvenience of the big chain for the resistance of the small one. It is true that a keel-stepped mast might no go down if you loose the headstay but some boats have a set of D1 shrouds anchored slightly forward combined with swept back spreaders which would mitigate this. Best way to mitigate this is the freestanding mast IMHO, a marconi rig is a complicated contraption with many failure points!

Agree with you on the silliness of not sealing out rudder post, a watertight bulkhead is still better as if you hit something really hard (container, whale...) and rip the hull with the rudder it should keep you afloat.

 

estarzinger

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edit: sorry this got a bit long and perhaps a bit off topic . . but . . . 

 Aleutians . . . .  pretty close to here

absolutely - you have to get north - it is right there, you can reach out and taste it from your mooring :)

I have long felt that Beth and I are perhaps a bad influence on people like you.  We perhaps contribute to making you feel like the absolutely terrific stuff nearby is not 'enough' and you have to 'go long' to have accomplished anything. And that is not true. You can get huge life benefits and satisfaction and accomplishment for yourselves and even more for your kids by just taking full advantage of what is right there is front of you.  Beth and I would not trade what we did for anything (hmmm perhaps, never comfortable with absolute statements like that), but we did give up a lot to get it done (kids being the super huge one, but also never reaching our full career potentials is a lingering nag).  

I was having a casual conversation about chile with a sailor (who did not know who I was).  He was quoting some from some of Beth's articles. And saying how 'everyone was going to patagonia these days' and 'it is actually really easy'.  And I was thinking to myself - hmmm - we perhaps did the communality a disservice if that's what people are taking away from this writing.

 Polynesia to Chile)... what 40  days?   . . . .  power generation on a long passage like that panels, you just brought them out when calm only to charge up?

would have to dig up log books for exact numbers, but I seem to remember it was like 3200nm (from last good polynesian island to puerto montt).  We might have averaged 175 nm/day.  So round numbers like 18-20 days.  Which was not that long for us.  The only passages we gave any consideration to passage consumption/charging were +50 days at sea - and then it really only meant that we used the windvane more than the autopilot and did not make big long motor sailing if we got becalmed.

So, on that passage specifically . . . I had certain passages which I designated 'max routing' passage procedure. Beth and I had an understanding what that meant - which was that we were going to get to our destination as efficiently as possible with as little weather risk as possible - which meant using the motor when there was real leverage to using it, and in the southern ocean that usually meant like every 3 or 4 days (in-between lows), and that was enough just by itself for our power needs. So, that really probably does not answer your question about panels.  I believe we did have the panels out for much of this passage, just put them away twice for a few days each time for bigger blows . . . but we would have been totally fine electrically without them

For a 'regular' passage, where we were not concerned about weather,  the boat sailed damn well in light air (down to 4kts of true wind if there was some swell, and down to no wind if in flat water - which we did once in unusual conditions across the Tasman sea), and we did occasionally just sit totally becalmed for days on end (I think once for 8 days, and we even knew if we motored 24 hours south there was breeze down there but we just waited for it to come to us)) waiting for wind in no hurry. On those sorts of passages the panels would be out pretty much all the time, back on the helm seat mostly, but moved around if somehow that was shaded or we could not get good sun angle.  I saw solar more as a 'base level charging' and not as a 'charge them up' sort of system.  The honda would have been the 'charge them up' system if the bank somehow got run down - we had a sealed gasoline locker which could store two 5 gal jugs which would last the honda a long time.

Returning to compromises we made and things we gave up . . . I think it is hard for most people to appreciate how nutsy hard core we were.  Minimizing power consumption is job #1 for anyone designing a boat electrical system, and minimizing system complexity for boat reliability, but we really were 'monks' and took this to 11 in a way most people shake their heads at.  We had the best possible autopilot and best possible weather systems and best possible power tools - but for comforts and conveniences - we were out in the most beautiful places in the world experiencing things most people would never ever see and that was really enough for us. We had no refrigeration, no pressure water, no inside shower, no 'on demand' hot water (only from a tea kettle on the stove), most certainly no TV or 'home entertainment center'. When I soloed to greenland I had a cabin heater, but lol I never turned it on - just good clothing was fine for me . . . I dont know what I have left off the list of things we did not have . . . . but we did not have it.  It is like I said in the dinghy davit thread - for us, we simply did not pick conveniences/comforts over seaworthiness. 

Ajax commented recently on another thread on something I told him when he went sailing with me . . . and it really was true . . . . when we went sailing we intended to shed our shore life and all its trappings and become (as much as we could) seamen of the old 'iron men on wooden ships' style. OFC we were too soft to ever truly meet that standard, but damn we gave it a good go. Back when we started sailing, pre gps, this was much more understood and accepted and applauded - today its mostly just considered nuts or stupid. For us it was a life/esthetic choice - a bit like how going free solo has been considered.

-----------------------------------

Just to add my 2cents in on rudders and masts.

I guess we probably all agree on 'desirable' for rudders . . . Job #1 is to make them fucking strong, shit brick house strong, so they dont break in the first place, and this is surprisingly easy and the weight penalty is surprisingly low (in cruising boat terms).  We twice caught/wacked the top of our spade rudder on granite ledges at speed and it did not break.  Job #2 is to get the tube top well above water line, and again, this is not at all hard and not much weight penalty.  And job #3 is a watertight bulkhead in front of the rudder - this is somewhat more difficult, but certainly worthwhile in a custom build.   We did all three of these things.

We had several 'watertight' compartments on Hawk. And I actually tested them. And I was involved in an MCA commercial certification for a 112'er which also had to have 'watertight' bulkheads (although those standards allowed a surprising flow rate to still be called watertight) , and it is harder than one might think to get them actually watertight.  as there are almost certainly penetrations which you need to be able to access and to pull wire thru. There are solutions but they take effort.  And that is assuming that you manage to close any doors, access/ventilation hatches, which in many offshore incidents dont ever seem to actually get closed or sealed.  It is all possible, but is harder than one might thing in actual practice.

Masts - for me personally, the real criteria is that it be well designed, engineered and constructed. For me, either set of the trade-offs and compromises is fine between keel vs deck stepped - if there are well done.  I think deck stepped is perhaps easier to screw up for a shitty production builder, and so on a shitty production boat I would learn rather toward keel stepped. 

 
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slug zitski

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Good designers always design for minimum weight for a certain safety factor (which might be high if you want a "bullet proof" boat) otherwise it is like splicing a big chain to a small one, you get the inconvenience of the big chain for the resistance of the small one. It is true that a keel-stepped mast might no go down if you loose the headstay but some boats have a set of D1 shrouds anchored slightly forward combined with swept back spreaders which would mitigate this. Best way to mitigate this is the freestanding mast IMHO, a marconi rig is a complicated contraption with many failure points!

Agree with you on the silliness of not sealing out rudder post, a watertight bulkhead is still better as if you hit something really hard (container, whale...) and rip the hull with the rudder it should keep you afloat.
A free standing mast will tear a big hole in the cabin top when it fails 

bad idea 

aft watertight bulkheads are indeed a good idea 

bow  waterproof crash bulkheads are a good idea

A water proof engine room and battery storage are good ideas 

difficult for production boats to deploy good ideas   

 

slug zitski

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That is indeed a risk and the cabin top needs to be strong enough to break the mast to mitigate it. Nevertheless the reward of this is that you remove many potential failure points (shrouds, stays and their connections).

Choose your evil...
On a free stander the mast is forward and the boom is so long that it drags in the water in a seaway

in addition with no standing rigging you feel naked and insecure when working on deck ...with no handholds , tie downs and clip in points 

And you simply  can’t be a serious sailor without sun awnings 

i dont like free standers 

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31BE8896-A509-4527-9F38-E61D79AAB5AE.jpeg

 

DDW

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A moment connection isn't inherently structurally better, it just means that the Euler buckling length of your first panel is shorter (which is good and efficient!) but you can get the same effect on a deck stepped mast by lowering your first spreaders (and potentially adding an extra set at the top).
When it fails, a keel stepped mast is structurally better: Something is very likely to be left standing for use as a jury rig. On a deck stepped, it depends a lot on what failed, but usually the whole thing falls down.

A free standing mast will tear a big hole in the cabin top when it fails 

bad idea 
Wrong again. It can happen in theory, in practice I do not know of a single instance, because generally the partners are a lot stronger than the mast, the mast being tapered over its whole length, and the moment is maximum at the partners but the max strength is below the partners. Post the pictures of this having happened. Even if it did once, with proper engineering, it doesn't. A keel stepped marconi can tear a hole in the deck if the rig goes over to but guess what? Almost never happens. 

On a free stander the mast is forward and the boom is so long that it drags in the water in a seaway

in addition with no standing rigging you feel naked and insecure when working on deck ...with no handholds , tie downs and clip in points 

And you simply  can’t be a serious sailor without sun awnings 
Once again wrong on all three points. The boom on my boat does not drag, no more than many sloops. In the worst conditions encountered it will touch momentarily. Obviously depends on the design details, any rig can be designed wrong. 

The only point where shrouds help is near the mast, all other handholds, tie downs, and clip in points exist just as surely on either rig. Against this there is nothing to trip over or have to climb around on the way forward.

Sun awnings are as easily installed on either rig...

Honestly were do you get this stuff?

 

Panoramix

Super Anarchist
hen it fails, a keel stepped mast is structurally better: Something is very likely to be left standing for use as a jury rig. On a deck stepped, it depends a lot on what failed, but usually the whole thing falls down.
I agree on the likely outcome nevertheless I will let you climb to free the top from the remaining bit still standing.

 

Bryanjb

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Many years ago a Detroit restaurant owner and his wife disappeared while sailing their Freedom cat boat back from the Bahamas.  The conjecture was the spar came loose from it's base and peeled the deck open, sinking the boat quickly.  There were no radio transmissions and nothing was ever found.

 

SemiSalt

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Many years ago a Detroit restaurant owner and his wife disappeared while sailing their Freedom cat boat back from the Bahamas.  The conjecture was the spar came loose from it's base and peeled the deck open, sinking the boat quickly.  There were no radio transmissions and nothing was ever found.
Without evidence,  the explanation doesn't carry any more weight than the opinions expressed here.

 

fufkin

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Back in the 80s a guy set out to cross the Atlantic in his Nonsuch 30. 

Somewhere out there he had to be rescued. I’m pretty sure he lost his rig...though that could have happened after the rescue...

It floated onto  beach somewhere in the Caribbean basin in Central or South America.

The details are foggy but I think the owner wanted to go reclaim the salvage off the fisherman who found it but eventually scrapped that plan.

Bottom line was the boat floated a long long way on its own after losing the rig.

 

KC375

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Back in the 80s a guy set out to cross the Atlantic in his Nonsuch 30. 

Somewhere out there he had to be rescued. I’m pretty sure he lost his rig...though that could have happened after the rescue...

It floated onto  beach somewhere in the Caribbean basin in Central or South America.

The details are foggy but I think the owner wanted to go reclaim the salvage off the fisherman who found it but eventually scrapped that plan.

Bottom line was the boat floated a long long way on its own after losing the rig.
The nonsuch 30 had a two piece mast with sleeve...

 
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