Just curious, what about the Melges 24 makes it less safe then other boats?
I'm sure that the 4 M24s currently registered haven't signed up with the expectation that they are placing their crew in a riskier situation compared to other boats in the race.
Compared to other boats, the Melges(s) ussually are well maintained, well crewed, and carrying the appropriate safety gear because of the rigerous demands of one deaign racing. I don't see why people jump at a certain type of boat being "unsafe" when there could be many other "safe" designes which are more likely to be involved in dangerous situation due to lack of crew training, equipment failures, and other issues that have nothing to do with boat design.
How many people in mobile were hurt as a result of being on a Melges 24? Given the choice I'd much rather be out in those conditions on a well maintained M24 with good sailors then on a poorly maintained 30ft cruiser with a less experienced crew, a poor maintence history, and an assortment of outdated gear.
Melges 24s flip all the time. They don't turn turtle, though. They have a keel, you see.J29Guy said:Hey Code- there are several standards to suggest that a Melges 24 is not suitable for this race. The M-24 stability index is 98.3 and the limit of positive stability is 106 degrees. Those supposedly ill prepared 30 footers have much better numbers than that and are inherently safer in a storm. US Sailing Coastal race category requires a 103 SI number. They came up with that number for a reason. No one was hurt in Mobile because the boats mast stuck in the mud and prevented a full turtle and possible sinking. The M-24 did not have its sails up and it flipped twice according to the crew.
Now fast forward to the BYC Mac. Water is a lot colder than the 75 degrees of Mobile Bay. Water depths tend to be a lot deeper than 40 feet so not likely a mast stopping a turtle. Not much fun thrashing around in 50 degree water in the middle of the night. You are racing 1-2 nights which heightens the danger. Once you cross Saginaw Bay bailout points are few. As one of the fastest boats on the shore course they are liable to be out in front of their fleet and not close to other boats for rescue. With the small engine on the M-24 it is not likely you will be able to motor your way out of a bad storm situation.
The real story is that the BYC Race committee sold out its safety standards to gain a few more entrants. 1. They lowered the minimum length to 24 ft from 26 ft. They are granting a waiver to allow 4 crew instead of 5 for the M-24. The M-24 does not have to have a bow pulpit, foredeck toe rails so the RC requires them to have harnesses on while on deck then in the next sentence says it is up to skipper as whether they wear them.
What I am curious to know is where are you going to secure a porta potti on a Melges 24? That's still a requirement in the Mac regs. Having a stove and sleeping accommodations for off watch crew will be interesting. For all those environmentalists stressing over rubber bands last year, how good for the environment is it to dump buckets of excrement overboard for 2 days.
These are legitimate questions. No reflection on the skill and enthusiasm of the Melges 24 crews but skill and preparation can't overcome physics in some circumstances. The chances of encountering a thunderstorm especially at night are slim but not out of the question. Do we really need another sails down boat flip situation like the Wingnuts incident to realize that it might not be a good idea to have small sportboats in a race of this nature?
"Sold out its safety standards" is an incredibly loaded and harsh accusation which you don't have enough backup for. First you make it sound as if lowering the crew limit is unsafe, which it isn't because five is just a number chosen to make sure that boats are sailed safely. Do you think it would be more safe to put an extra crew member on the Melges 24? I doubt it. Probably less safe. Do you think the Mac committee has been "selling out" all this time by letting the 70 footers sail with just five people?J29Guy said:[SIZE=10.5pt]The real story is that the BYC Race committee sold out its safety standards to gain a few more entrants. 1. They lowered the minimum length to 24 ft from 26 ft. They are granting a waiver to allow 4 crew instead of 5 for the M-24. The M-24 does not have to have a bow pulpit, foredeck toe rails so the RC requires them to have harnesses on while on deck then in the next sentence says it is up to skipper as whether they wear them.[/SIZE]
Read it again. He was talking about Lake Huron depths (which for the most part are much greater than 40')[SIZE=10.5pt]Now fast forward to the BYC Mac. Water is a lot colder than the 75 degrees of Mobile Bay. Water depths tend to be a lot deeper than 40 feet so not likely a mast stopping a turtle. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]What Mobile Bay are you talking about? It might be forty feet in the ship channel but the rest or the bay is like 12-15 feet [/SIZE]
if they are so young and eager - why not have their own race?Had to turn down my ride for baby watch, but can't wait to hear the stories. BTW, there are a few long time Melges 24 sailors that have been trying to get this sorted out for years, it's not a case of 'selling out safety for entrants' or something - it's a case of enough Melges 24 guys replacing enough old guys on the BYC board.