Rushour on its roof.

G

Guest

Guest
We set the boat up with one reef and self tacking heady.

THIS CONFIGURATION IS VERY MANAGEABLE IN 20KN.  Apparently not in a gusty 20 or a building 20

We started sailing to windward with the intention of building speed then bearing away to go downwind. Dont get part this sorry

Main traveller was fully down and a crew member was holding the main sheet.

Speed built very quickly as we got hit by a big gust (40 kn) hull started to come up, main was completely dumped but hull kept climbing. 

I (helm) turned up to feather the sails but response was slow because all drive was coming from the heady and the bows were pressed. Why not bear away or was it too late?

Whole thing took maybe 5 seconds. Sounds like you were not fully prepared for the conditions- we've all been there btw but the margin for error here is razor thin.

  • Mistakes: Bloody B&G wind instruments were not working so no appreciation of building breeze. (Rushour commonly does 20kn on a shy reach so 30kn of wind across the boat seems normal.) The instruments tell you the breeze after it hits, this sounds like poor seamanship not looking at the puffs coming and my only criticism given the type of boat.
  • We never normally hold the jib sheet. (obviously a mistake)
  • We were rushed with some inexperienced crew and I  never allocated roles. We've all been there
  • I was complacent. I  never even come close to even flying the hull high on the new Rushour. Blame the designers 
  • The gust of wind combined with boat speed gave approx 55 kn over the deck which was obviously enough to capsize a 7 ton boat.
  • The wing mast may have contributed to the capsize.


I would not want to go through that in the open ocean. No one would, this boat is not suitable for that kind of work unless fully crewed by competent sailors.

A huge thank you to all the people who rallied around and helped right, retrieve, clean  the boat, and for all the messages. 

It makes you realise how good it is to belong to a strong sailing community. Too bloody right

 
Most capsizes are human error (typically inattention) - sounds like this one was too.  My read of most of the lessons is they're consistent with human error:

  • Loss of situational awareness (broken B&G instruments probably contributed, but certainly still possible to keep track of wind evolution by eye alone)
  • Lack of readiness (not holding jib sheet, particularly given the main track was already fully down)
  • Lack of anticipation (pushing too far given inexperienced crew)
  • Complacency driving all of the above
This has very little to do with the boat -- sounds like a very sweet ride.  People capsize fat cruising cats, run monos aground, etc.  Good on this crew for racing something fast and fun!  Just need to be more careful next time...

I grew up sailing and racing Top Gun aka Atmoshere/eDoc (50 x 30ft Crowther cat, 4.5 tons with big rig) -- neither the previous owner nor my father ever capsized, in over 20 years of inshore and offshore racing. I don't think ever even came close.  But we kept hands on jib sheet with the sheet not left in the winch jaws so we could do an immediate ease any time AWS hit 30-35 kts upwind (and also had hand near mainsheet, but that was our #2 escape valve) -- at those AWS the boat was very quick to lift a hull, so about 25kt TWS.  All it took would be 5kt+ gust to about 30-35kts to capsize under full main.  Certainly don't need any where near 40kts to flip on most cats in my opinion, though it depends on righting moment and rig size of each cat.  Then the subsequent owner went racing inshore with family and no hands on jib, and capsized, similar scenario to Rushour, similar human error. (full story here)

All good, no injuries, get the boat back up, and learn the limits for next time you go sailing! (and everyone else who pays attention gets good learnings out of it too)

The main lesson is if you race a powered-up racing (or even cruiser-racing) cat in 20-25kts+, assume it will capsize (it wants to!  Come on, one buys that kind of boat precisely for the horsepower) -- the skipper and the crew are the only ones standing between upside-up and upside-down.  Stressful, yes.  Fun, absolutely.  Worth it, 100%.  But it suits a different kind of sailor than the 5ktsb crowd.

 

elorimer

New member
25
0
Turning up to feather the sails might have been a mistake.  The turning moment would add to the capsize force.  Turning a multihull downwind can be better because the turning moment is the opposite way, and the apparent goes down quickly.  I don't want to start the whole line of death thing though.

 

LionIsland

Member
371
94
Pittwater
I guess it’s a bit like having a low powered motorbike and a 200 hp weapon. You can wind that throttle on hard without too much threat of losing control if there’s not much power but a little whoopsy on the powerful bike can end in tears.  

Anyone can get powerful cars, boats or bikes but on the powerful one things can go pear shaped really really fast.

Rushhour is a racing weapon (with a cabin and not a production cruising cat or even close to that so comparisons are ridiculous but, yes, it obviously can be safely cruised, of course) and in anything over 20 knots can bite the hands that feed her. Such is the nature of a big comfortable albeit powerful boat designed to race well and go fast 

The owner is a great racer and has proven that and racing by its nature has its risks. Racing or practice accidents can and normally benifit everyone as lessons and systems are developed that can help everyone.  

For mine a boat that can steer well (I won’t mention my previous tri and her woeful steering and that of her sister ships) plus a clear picture of “are we gonna dump jib and head up or keep gear on and bear away if we get overwhelmed.” is vital.

In big breeze being overcanvassed upwind is normally manageable , over canvassed downwind is normally manageable, pulling away around a top mark or reaching is when my sphincter tightens.

To me this is a reminder to go out and practice, have clear communication, good systems and experienced sailors on board, some luck and to remember that sheep stations are overrated.

Great fun and that feeling one gets flying along in a multi can’t be beaten but with rewards are risk. 

But don’t start trying to tell me monos are safer. That’s an unwinnable argument.  

 

dfw_sailor

Super Anarchist
1,475
611
DFW
Turning up to feather the sails might have been a mistake.  The turning moment would add to the capsize force.  Turning a multihull downwind can be better because the turning moment is the opposite way, and the apparent goes down quickly.  I don't want to start the whole line of death thing though.
I'm not sure how much my experience applies to big cats, but on wombat moth skiffs (1984 with the rounded chines) unexpected gusts or lulls were dealt with by pointing down (too much wind) or pointing up (too little) to avoid catastrophe (in addition to sail trim). The inertia in the mast , person & sail helped balance the boat as there was little weight in the hull and single crew out on the wing.

 
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G

Guest

Guest
I guess it’s a bit like having a low powered motorbike and a 200 hp weapon. You can wind that throttle on hard without too much threat of losing control if there’s not much power but a little whoopsy on the powerful bike can end in tears.  

Anyone can get powerful cars, boats or bikes but on the powerful one things can go pear shaped really really fast.

Rushhour is a racing weapon (with a cabin and not a production cruising cat or even close to that so comparisons are ridiculous but, yes, it obviously can be safely cruised, of course) and in anything over 20 knots can bite the hands that feed her. Such is the nature of a big comfortable albeit powerful boat designed to race well and go fast 

The owner is a great racer and has proven that and racing by its nature has its risks. Racing or practice accidents can and normally benifit everyone as lessons and systems are developed that can help everyone.  

For mine a boat that can steer well (I won’t mention my previous tri and her woeful steering and that of her sister ships) plus a clear picture of “are we gonna dump jib and head up or keep gear on and bear away if we get overwhelmed.” is vital.

In big breeze being overcanvassed upwind is normally manageable , over canvassed downwind is normally manageable, pulling away around a top mark or reaching is when my sphincter tightens.

To me this is a reminder to go out and practice, have clear communication, good systems and experienced sailors on board, some luck and to remember that sheep stations are overrated.

Great fun and that feeling one gets flying along in a multi can’t be beaten but with rewards are risk. 

But don’t start trying to tell me monos are safer. That’s an unwinnable argument.  
Mono vs multi is a massive yawn as there are so many factors involved in safety, I have no preference for either but sail a mono because I like close one design racing which is hard to get in multis that also cruise. Biggest thrill I ever had in sailing was taking  a B class  3 up with two of us on the wire in a 30kt easterly blasting up Auckland harbour but thats no guts no glory stuff for teenagers. It is a cause for concern when an experienced owner/skipper can get it so wrong so quickly. A 40kt gust on a mono can wreak carnage as well but generally they are much more forgiving. The multi fanboys get boring fast with their selective interpretation of facts but the skipper here has dropped his pants on SA for all world to see so he is inviting feedback, I am sure he may not agree with some of the opinions but he didnt come here for a reach around.

I don't accept that large 7 ton cruiser racers falling over is normal in gusty conditions, that is a design error and if not, then it should be sailed where help is not too far away

 
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Mohammed Bin Lyin

Super Anarchist
1,261
11
We started sailing to windward with the intention of building speed then bearing away to go downwind.

Main traveller was fully down and a crew member was holding the main sheet.

Speed built very quickly as we got hit by a big gust (40 kn) hull started to come up, main was completely dumped but hull kept climbing.

I (helm) turned up to feather the sails but response was slow because all drive was coming from the heady and the bows were pressed.

Boat capsized sideways.

Whole thing took maybe 5 seconds.

  • We never normally hold the jib sheet. (obviously a mistake)
  • We were rushed with some inexperienced crew and I  never allocated roles.
  • I was complacent. I  never even come close to even flying the hull high on the new Rushour.


Look for gusts before bearing away, if a big gust is about to hit bear away before it hits or wait for it to hit before bearing away you don't want to get caught by huge gust just as you start  bearing away.

You tried to go up with main dumped and headsail on, if deciding to go up headsail should be dumped while keeping a little bit of main on so mainsail can drive bows up, the response was slow because the headsail was  pushing the bow away while rudders were trying to push it up, that said the jib sheet should have been thrown.

With the bear away when overpowered dumping the main is fine but keep some jib on to help pull the bows away, if you were bearing away the crew should have had jib in hand and easing it as you bear away to keep some sail on .

The sails can be very effective in helping turn the boat or done wrong they can make turning very difficult.

In conditions where hull flying could be likely the sheets should always be in someones hand, if you have to tell them what to do it's too late, the crew should also be watching if you're going up or down and using the sails to help you turn.

Nice looking cat who designed it?

 
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks mate, appreciate it. Does make me wonder  though, if I had to be 5000 times more competent than your average punter and had a shit hot cat and it still fell over what fucking hope is there for the fanboys like you?

 
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rustylaru

Member
395
136
earth
Thanks mate, appreciate it. Does make me wonder  though, if I had to be 5000 times more competent than your average punter and had a shit hot cat and it still fell over what fucking hope is there for the fanboys like you?
Even F1 drivers get in car accidents on city streets.

 
Close hauled, you can't bear away in a puff. She'll be on her side before you get half way through the turn. You have to come up. Also, it is pretty standard on the wind to set the jib  and sail to it, playing the main for speed and balance, in that order. If you're lucky someone might dump the jib, but even if they're holding it helm is who knows shit is going sideways, and by the time they get someone  to do something it is already  over. It happens that fast. Sounds like they just ran out of rudder on the way up. So, smaller jib or have someone on the jib sheet, with a plan, next time. Lesson learned, and thank you for sharing. 

 
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G

Guest

Guest
random said:
Some people go sailing, others like you... talk about it on the interweb.

The owner has the grace to post an honest review of what happened, but clowns in their armchairs find that not enough and use the mishap as fodder for their own egos.
What the fuck are you talking about Random? Too many 5 dimensional durries mate.

There is no ego trip here, except maybe yours as the paragon of virtue. Good on the owner for sharing, Ive given my opinion and he can take it or leave it,  both him and I have two things in common, we love sailing and neither of us give a flying fuck what the other says on the internet.

The only people that care is clipper who has something jammed up his ass, and you, and you dont even care except that you like being a smart assed cunt from time to time.

 
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CBGB

Member
123
9
Cornwall
I keep reading about how it's not possible to get a loaded sheet off a self tailing winch fast. Bullshit - get hold of the sheet with your thumb up and facing toward the bitter end and pull it straight up above the centre of the winch. Let go fast. If you need telling to stay clear of the sheet tail you're probably on the wrong boat...

Hopefully this will help stop the next pissing his pride and joy into the tide

 

CBGB

Member
123
9
Cornwall
random said:
So where did the owner say that the self tailing winch caused the capsize here?   He said no one was on that sheet.
And where did I refer to the cause of this capsize? As I said, maybe this bit of advice will help prevent another accident, unlike your contributions

 

LionIsland

Member
371
94
Pittwater
Actually, rereading the Rushhour account. I know of atleast two other multis where the jib alone has been the cause of the boat going over.

It’s surprising how much affect on bringing the boat back from the brink easing that little fucker  up front makes. But it most certainly does. 

As for leaving sheets in self- tailers. No thank you. Because we (one) normally have a minimum number of turns of the sheet on the winch (where as  halyard winch drums are normally stacked fully), when that big ol’ gust comes along I have found that sheet wedges itself in them st jaws there nice and tight.

In a scary “fuck! fuck! fuck! I can’t get the fucker out!!!” kinda way. 

Combine that with the inevitable retention of rhe winch handle which will get tangled in the sheet when you do finally rip the sheet out of the st jaws and imo you have the makings of a major fuck up. 

Unless it’s really light breeze and I’m being naughty (read: an idiot) and hypocritical I always take the sheet out of the st jaws and put it in a cam cleat.

Roller cam cleat, that is. The old crappy ones are a death trap. 

 

plywoodboy

Super Anarchist
1,027
136
Brisbane
Actually, rereading the Rushhour account. I know of atleast two other multis where the jib alone has been the cause of the boat going over.

It’s surprising how much affect on bringing the boat back from the brink easing that little fucker  up front makes. But it most certainly does. 

As for leaving sheets in self- tailers. No thank you. Because we (one) normally have a minimum number of turns of the sheet on the winch (where as  halyard winch drums are normally stacked fully), when that big ol’ gust comes along I have found that sheet wedges itself in them st jaws there nice and tight.

In a scary “fuck! fuck! fuck! I can’t get the fucker out!!!” kinda way. 

Combine that with the inevitable retention of rhe winch handle which will get tangled in the sheet when you do finally rip the sheet out of the st jaws and imo you have the makings of a major fuck up. 

Unless it’s really light breeze and I’m being naughty (read: an idiot) and hypocritical I always take the sheet out of the st jaws and put it in a cam cleat.

Roller cam cleat, that is. The old crappy ones are a death trap. 
Agree 100%, trying not to get into some of the bouncing bullshit happening here, but from sailing on Rush Hour many times in a good bit of breeze, there is absolutely no way I would ever trust a self-tailing winch with any critical loaded sheet. There are a couple of essential roller cam cleats on the bulkhead under the critical winches and they get a good workout in the times that the sheet is not held in hand.  

 

EarthBM

Anarchist
That's another valuable tidbit to come out of this thread for me. Roller cam cleats are on my list now -- a single snap release when single-handing!

The other was that in the death zone releasing the foresail first and going up could be a better solution especially on close reach. Your main will help you turn and the situation will deescalate progressively because the main unloads as you turn. Releasing the main and bearing away feels good initially (less apparent wind, centrifugal force adding to the righting moment) but will load the main again.

 
G

Guest

Guest
random said:
It's a thread about Rushour going over.

Maybe you should start a thread for "CBGB advice to prevent another accident". 

I'm sure it will go viral.

Edit: BTW your advice for unloading the winch is safe for light loadings.  From personal experience on a boat very like Rushour, the feeling in my hand returned about a week after releasing the sheet while about to go in and the swollen knuckles subsided after a year.  I'm expecting arthritis later.  It would be easy to lose a few fingers or a hand in that situation.
Lucky guy, plenty of basement dwellers dream of having a numb hand.

 

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