Canting keels falling off supermaxis - how many?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by CT249, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,220
    Likes: 65, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    To avoid the Sydney-Hobart thread being diverted, I thought I'd make a new thread for this as requested.

    In the S-H thread, I said that "about one third of the canting keel 100' supermaxis had lost their keel." This was disputed and/or misrepresented.

    So let's count the 100' canting keel supermaxis;

    Wild Oats XI
    Esimit Europa 2 (formerly Alfa Romeo)
    ICAP Leopard
    Ragamuffin 100
    Wild Thing
    Speedboat/Rambler/Loyal
    Cheyenne (not yet completed an ocean race so not really relevant)

    Speedboat/Rambler/Loyal lost her keel in the Fastnet. Wild Thing lost her keel in the Hobart. That means two of the six 100' canting keel supermaxis that have actually raced have lost keels and capsized. Sounds like about one third to me!

    Rags 100 also suffered major keel damage, but didn't lose it. Her co-owner reported it as a "catastrophic failure....It was very close, we could have lost the boat quite easily".

    So....is there any major big-boat class anywhere in history that has such a record of capsizes and major structural failure as a proportion of boats built?
     
  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,496
    Likes: 289, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Melbourne, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    This hasn't been updated in a while but it has lots of info on keel failures-canting and fixed: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/lost-keels-request-information-39377.html
    Note that in 2011 it was said that 1/3rd of canting keel super maxi's had failed and it's being said again now when in fact now the newest super maxi Comanche hasn't raced yet. The thing that is interesting is that there are ,apparently, quite a few billionaires who have had the risks and rewards of using a canting keel on their super maxi's explained to them and have chosen to use the technology. It's important to understand that all the Volvo Ocean racers and all Open 60's use canting keels in the most rigorous round the world races. New technology like canting keels will have risks especially on the largest boats that use them since there are so few that the engineering history is pretty small-and yet the guys that want to win use them.

    Comanche's canting keel:
     

    Attached Files:

  3. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,220
    Likes: 65, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    Re "Note that in 2011 it was said that 1/3rd of canting keel super maxi's had failed and it's being said again now when in fact now the newest super maxi Comanche hasn't raced yet."

    Actually, it's now being said that "something like" 1/3 of the canting keel 100' supermaxis have lost keels, which is still correct. Even if you include Comanche (which is an odd thing to do in some ways since a boat that has sailed so little hardly proves anything) then 29% of these boats have lost keels. That's something like one third just as was said. And of course Maximum/Rags100 also had had a "catastrophic failure".

    Re "The thing that is interesting is that there are ,apparently, quite a few billionaires who have had the risks and rewards of using a canting keel on their super maxi's explained to them and have chosen to use the technology".

    Two of the 100' canting supermaxis are owned by billionaires, namely WOXI and Comanche. That's not "quite a few" in normal English. The others (Wild Thing, Ragamuffin 100, Loyal, Esimit Europa 2 and ICAP Leopard) are NOT owned by billionaires according to information on the public record.

    If looking at what billionaire sailors own shows us anything, then what it shows is that former maxi owners like DeVos and Plattner have turned AWAY from supermaxis since the 100' canters came in, and that what most sailing billionaires want to sail are smaller maxis and fixed keel boats (DeVos, Walker, Plattner, Zennstrom) and classics, Js and Wallys (Fiorucci of the 136' ketch Allesandra, Williams of the J Class Ranger, Dunstone of the Wallycentro class, Bertelli of the 12 Metres and other classics, De Waal of the J Class Velsheda, Goddijn of the J Class Lionheart, Decaux of the Wallys, etc).

    As billionaire yachtie Charles Dunstone says "If you look at the sort of people that Wally attracts and the events they go to, they are the absolute pre-eminent brand of performance superyachts." And as former 100' canting supermaxi owner Neville Crichton said "the 30.5m class seems to be dead....The only series that’s going gangbusters at the moment are the big superyacht races".
     
  4. NoEyeDeer
    Joined: Jun 2010
    Posts: 982
    Likes: 30, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Australia

    NoEyeDeer Senior Member

    Ok, just for the hell of it, include Comanche. Also include Rags 100 on the basis that the subject here is "major structural failures associated with keel". That'll give you 3 out of 8 borked keels, which is substantially more than one third.
     
  5. Moggy
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 181
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 76
    Location: Somewhere else!

    Moggy Senior Member

    So what? Why does it matter? That is what rich guys are for, to develop and prove technology for us plebs so we may eventually use it when it is reliable and cheap... if it ever gets there. So what if the Navy etc go rescue them every so often, its not like we aren't running the ships anyway, its not like the cost goes away if they don't go out. I don't mind them getting some practice... I might need them one day, well drilled and experienced rescue personnel are fine by me.

    So... does it really matter? If the big boys want to build toys that break sometimes... hell why not?
     
  6. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,220
    Likes: 65, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    Well, for one thing each rescue mission seems to lead to an outbreak of cries against all ocean racing in the media. When the typical voter gets the impression that all yachties are millionaires who break their boats out and put their hands out for rescue, it doesn't do a lot for the sport's credibility.

    Information from club commodores etc is that the belief that yachties are rich lunatics actually does hurt when it comes to ensuring that clubs are not hit with commercial rental charges for their property, that sailors are not hit with commercial charges for moorings and dinghies, and that sailing gets treated like other sports. At one of my clubs, for example, it was very hard to get across to local politicians that most of the yachts cost less than a backyard pool.

    All this seems to play a part in increasing the cost and hassle involved in racing a boat, especially offshore. Looking at the way fleets are dwindling one wonders how long the sport can actually last on its current course.

    I'd also argue that opening up the speed and performance gap between "rich guys" boats and the boats that the average person can hope to afford is not good for the sport. Roll back a couple of decades and the maxis were around 77' LOA and you could do the Hobart in a 30 footer and finish in time for the party. These days to finish the same distance behind the supermaxis, you need a boat faster than a TP52. That means that the cost of competing in the sport in the main fleet has gone through the roof - I did Hobarts on 30 footers owned by guys who would earn 90-120k p.a. today. There is no chance of people on good middle-class incomes like that owning a TP52, and the 30 footers are so far down the back these days that no one does Hobart on them anymore. That has changed ocean racing for the worse IMHO, and most offshore fleets are far, far smaller than they used to be. I'm in a situation where I could update and get back into ocean racing and I was musing about a Farr Mumm 30 not long ago, but why go to that much expense to be left far behind and end up in a situation where the luck of the weather systems decides the result much more than it used to, not how one sails?

    Thirdly, what happens when one of these boats rolls quickly in the middle of the night and the rescue is not as (comparatively) easy as it was with WT and SB? How many sailors may die?

    There's no evidence that encouraging big boys to go out and break is good for the sport, and the collapse in numbers recently indicates that something is fundamentally wrong with the sport. Therefore questioning the current route seems reasonable.

    Finally, canting keels were developed (and not by rich guys) decades ago but there's no evidence whatsover that they are becoming popular with "plebs". Why not go back to encouraging boats that are simpler and tougher? After all, these are monos, they'll never go as fast as a comparable multi anyway.

    As a class, the 100' canters is the least successful 'maxi' class for decades; instead of a strong fleet from all the world's major sailing countries doing regular regattas, we get 1 old boat and a charter boat in Europe, 1 boat in the USA, and some boats in Oz. It's a class that is failing in many ways.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,496
    Likes: 289, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Melbourne, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Canting Keels and Lifting Foils-a Marriage made in Heaven

    The rich guys behind the 100' canting keelers are making an investment in the future for everyone who loves sailing by using the newest technology and taking risks that others simply wouldn't do even if they could!
    I think what these guys are doing will eventually trickle down to boats more people will race because of the investment in technology made by these pioneers of the future. And the more of these boats there are the better will be the engineering and the less chance there will be for a catastrophe-I say more power to them!
    And any day now the new foiling ocean racing monohulls will take ocean racing technology forward in a big way-just can't wait! Not to mention the dramatic leaps forward made by multies with foils-with much more to come.
    PS-there's another angle to this high end development, again starring Wild Oats XI-shes an old boat that keeps on ticking with a canting keel(one of the oldest) and now lifting foils(one of the newest)-her owners invest in new technology that they have used safely and with great speed! Again, more power to them!!!
     
  8. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 1,002
    Likes: 86, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 933
    Location: Hobart

    pdwiley Senior Member

    Yeah, right, Doug. In your fevered dreams. I can *soooo* see a whole bunch of people who currently own 30' to 40' sailboats going out and buying new ones with canting keels, *and* finding new pens or moorings with the required depth of water to keep them, *and* paying for the engineering maintenance to stop the keels falling off, not to mention the bigger yards and lifts needed to get the things out of the water to start with.

    As I said, in your dreams. It simply isn't going to happen. A friend of mine is looking at buying an open 60 - that draws 4.5m of water IIRC. I think he's nuts but at least it's not as bad as these other things.

    Now, foiling boats, there is an example of a technology that's utterly amazing and utterly useless for any practical purpose combined. No wonder you like it.

    I'll change my opinion on this when one successfully completes the Sydney-Hobart or better still a Sydney-Auckland race *without* an engine running to power their systems. Until then, they're equivalent to a drag racer - wonderful at what they can do, but pointless outside that narrow design envelope.

    PDW
     
  9. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,496
    Likes: 289, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Melbourne, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ==================
    Riiiight
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cYXxZiL4B8
     

    Attached Files:

  10. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,220
    Likes: 65, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    Where is the evidence - not the rhetoric - that there will be trickle down from the 100' supermaxis? Canters have been around in fully-crewed racing for a decade now and the number of smaller canters that race fully crewed is still only a very small percentage of the overall fleet.

    A decade is an enormously long time in sailboat racing; it took One Tonners only a decade to go from steel S&S heavyweights to fractional Farr centreboarders. It took windsurfing only a decade to go from a gleam in the eye to a sport with 450 competitors at the world titles, and 13,000+ boards built and sold per annum. It took singlehanded racing about a decade to go from the days when the OSTAR was won by a 40' long keel ketch to the days when it was won by a 70' tri from a 128' schooner.

    If canting and foiling for the masses was going to happen, then we'd almost certainly have seen it start to happen by now. We haven't. It's highly likely that it's because most people prefer simplicity to outright speed.

    Beach cats have been around for decades, but dinghies are still much slower and much more popular. Offshore multis have been around for decades, but fixed keel monos are much slower and much more popular. Windsurfers have been around for decades and are faster than an equivalent dinghy, but dinghies are much more popular, and guys like the head of the largest windsurfing company are now blaming the emphasis on high performance for the collapse in the sport.

    When there is such clear evidence that people do not choose the fastest craft but prefer something slower and more convenient, why would one think that canters and offshore foilers would become more popular?
     
  11. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 166
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 31
    Location: Land O' the Great Lakes

    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Can we add in Open 60's, & the various generations of Volvo boats as well? Also, how about ram breakages? Do they count?
     
  12. Moggy
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 181
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 76
    Location: Somewhere else!

    Moggy Senior Member

    What does is matter if they are more or less popular... people hated fin keels forever, now look at the scene. Multis where shunned for a very long time now they are the cruising boat of choice for a large % of sailors.

    So what if canting keels only work for racing... it is what they are doing! The media will spin out EVERY TIME something happens @ sea and they sense a story. To argue they should not be is just "flat earth" BS! Just because you can't see it or rationalise it doesn't mean it should not be.

    There are boats like the Sports 8 with a canting keel... IMO sports boats are an ideal platform to have such things. Would I have it on a cruiser?... no, but then a fixed fin is also the last thing I would have.

    Lighten up, let them be, watch the show and marvel at what these guys do! It might go somewhere surprising but if we get all uptight and try shut them down (you know like yacht clubs once did with multis) we will never know!

    That flat fin thing on Wild Oats has me intrigued... it will be interesting to see how that sort of thing develops.

    Why is it people always get bent out of shape when rich guys go racing... news flash... the guys at the front will always be the big spenders, whatever the rules. Don't like it then make the race a one design event.
     
  13. RHough
    Joined: Nov 2005
    Posts: 1,792
    Likes: 61, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 793
    Location: BC Summers / Nayarit Winters

    RHough Retro Dude

    You are right.

    To sum it up.

    Just because rich guys have $5000 a night ******* kept in penthouse apartments that is no indication that such things will trickle down to the masses.

    Powered systems and hydrofoils are very interesting. No argument there. Like the $5000 *****, they are not practical solutions for everyone.

    I think the list of boats that use power to move a keel or ballast strut that have *not* had issues would be shorter than the list of powered keel/ballast problems that have been reported.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 1,002
    Likes: 86, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 933
    Location: Hobart

    pdwiley Senior Member

    So, you agree with me. Fine.

    Beach toys are be definition useless. Lotta fun, but useless. I don't have a problem with useless, I just don't confuse myself about it.

    Now how does one of those things go over a couple thousand NM loaded with crew and supplies and, for the bigger ones, *no* engine running 24/7 to drive the mechanical equipment.....?

    And about that trickle-down effect to the masses......?

    To be clear, I don't care at all about people who can afford it building & racing these things; more power to them. I certainly don't want to see them banned or anything. Just put in their own racing class if they need an engine running to drive their systems so everyone knows that they can't go anywhere if they run out of fuel and therefore are not in the same class as pure wind & muscle powered boats. As I said elsewhere a Tahiti Ketch would beat WOXI in a nonstop 3000NM ocean race.

    The parts I object to are Doug's dishonesty about boats like WOXI total dependence on engine power and concomitant range limitations plus the delusion that such technology is both desirable and will trickle down to more conventional boats. It isn't and it hasn't.

    PDW
     

  15. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,220
    Likes: 65, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    News flash - under the old systems, you used to be at the front without spending anywhere near as much cash. Helsal, Helsal II, Xena, Buccaneer, Nokia, Rags VI (?), Brindabella 1, Apollo 1, 97, Nicorette II, Exile, Future Shock were all getting line honours wins and placings for a lot less (allowing for inflation) than you can do it today. And when the little boats weren't left miles behind, you used to get 30-35 footers like Zeus, Toecutter, Midnight Rambler and Illusion in the overall honours.

    News flash - I've actually sailed with and against plenty of these guys since I was a teenager. When I wanted to get onboard the last generation, I did. I've got no bad reason to get "bent out of shape". It's just that there are very good logical reasons, based on things like analysis of the number and type of Hobart entries and my interviews with the organisers of the Hobart, Fastnet and Bermuda races, to think that the supermaxi class is not a great success.

    How many Hobarts have you done? I haven't done one for years because I couldn't be bothered the way the race has gone, so maybe you can tell me what's happening in the fleet at the moment.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.