Finot Follies

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Brent Swain, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 951
    Likes: 35, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: -12
    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member

    I have just been helping a freind with his Group Finot designed "Reve de Antilles" 38 footer built by a Finot "licensed "builder. What an abortion.
    The boat was full of heavy, structurally irellevant framing and diagonals in places where there was zero chance of diagonal movement, and massive framing in the middle of nowhere, far from any mast or structural loads. It had a fully welded steel bulkhead in the middle, around which the plate shrunk, causing a huge ridge amidships. However, the skeg was about 18 inches long by 2 inches wide , only lightly welded to the hull skin . Inside was one tiny transverse web which had a tiny piece of flatbar going down into the skeg. It was designed with little understanding of steel.
    I can understand why there are so many rudder failures .
    It took a hydralic jack to get the rudder out of the stern tube. So much for ever getting that rudder to work with a self steering.
    It only took me two days to crank out and fair the huge wonks and distortion the "Finot Licenced " builder had left in. It had a tiny aft cabin ,which was too small to keep your dog in , which pushed the main accomodation foreward , reducing its usefull size.
    When I'm done, the boat will have "Headoom", amazing new concept on a 38 footer.
    The original owner went for "Style over Substance" which trendy French designers cater to, to the exclusion of anything practical. It sells.
    It was a boat designd to put the demands of French bureaucrats ahead of comon sense, a warning about the dangers of letting governmenrt bureaucrats design our boats.
     
  2. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 1,886
    Likes: 98, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    It appears that Finot should stay the hell away from steel boats!

    A cautionary tale, if there ever was one, about assuming that, just because a designer is excellent in designing one type of boat, that he will be just as good in designing other types.

    My understanding is that the French have been building metal yachts for some time (decades and decades), so I doubt the problems here were caused by 'French bureaucrats'.

    It seems the builder was also new to this material, which stands to reason, him being a 'licensed builder' of Finot designs.

    Looks like you're in for some real overtime on this one.;)
     
  3. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 951
    Likes: 35, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: -12
    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member

    I wonder how they attach their skegs on fibreglass boats. It would be interesting.
     
  4. Crag Cay
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 643
    Likes: 49, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 607
    Location: UK

    Crag Cay Senior Member

    Trendy? That design is about 40 years old! I got reviews of home finished boats that were sailing in 1973!

    Metal boat building come a long way in 40 years.
     
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Don't let facts get in the way of a lynching. I wonder how many years the boat in question has been sailing without issue?

    Believe in Finot or the guys tearing into him here? That's easy.


    Whenever I read posts like this by Mr. Swain I think of this quote:

    "Forget it, he's rolling."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsmybQKpmTw
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Milan
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 317
    Likes: 24, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 279
    Location: The Netherlands

    Milan Senior Member

    That boat design was typical of the seventies. There was a small rage in Europe in multi -chine steel boats, often flush-decked and with center cockpits. Many designers draw boats of the similar lines in that period. In the Netherlands Van de Stadt had similar flush decked designs in different sizes from 11 to 15 meters. Many were amateur built.

    However Finot doesn’t like steal much and after Reve des tropiques, Reve des Antilles and Reve des Seychelles didn’t design other steel boats, I think.
    As of skegs, they stopped using them altogether, quite a few years ago.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 951
    Likes: 35, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: -12
    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member

    The site "Metalboatsociety.org has a discussion on skeg failures and resulting sinkings, with skegs stronger than the Fino skegs. Having a name like Group Finot '" doesn't mean that they can lightly weld a skeg to the hull plate, and the gods of the seas wouldn't dare allow it to break off for fear of angering the French Bureaucrats.
    Given that my skegs are exponentially stronger than Finot skegs, I have exponetially greater credibility than Group Finot when it comes to the structural strength of my skeg design.
    Is some one suggesting that a design firm with a famous name can attach a skeg lightly to hull plate ,and due to their name , it is far less likely to fail that one far more strongly attached by some one not as famous? Do you think the colour promotion brochure immunise them from failure? Duhhhhh!!!
    Toyota has had a great reputation, so there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with their steering or brakes. So have you bought a Toyota lately?
     
  8. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    I'm not aware that anyone from Finot's office has ever welded a skeg onto anything.

    I have not heard any reports of skegs on Finot-designed boats tearing off and causing sinkings. Considering the boats in question have been sailing around for more than 30 years it makes one wonder where the reports are. Maybe if you have a link to this info you will share it.
     
  9. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 1,222
    Likes: 143, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 758
    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Very, very old beast, drawn when JM Finot was ending his studies of architect, and just beginning in naval architecture. Very typical of the 70's for amateur builders, with a big bucket of bad boats and a few good. Often cheaply and poorly built (metalworking is not for amateurs or so called steel builders...).

    It's not very representative of the actual work of Finot and Conq (his alter ego) which is very far of a Reve des Antilles...And of the "trendy" french designers you seem to despise. There is a strong group of very good designers, specially in multihulls.

    You do not know on what you are talking about the (french) bureaucrats in matter of yachting; the approval of the plans sold to the public was given by the "Commission de Securite". This commission was composed half by NA (with people like Mauric, Harle and others) and some NE (Naval Engineers), and half by representatives of the "Ministere des Transports", themselves being at 2/3 civilian and navy engineers (and highly qualified ones in the kind of Caltech and MIT guys in the States), very few bureaucrats in fact.
    There was just a minimum of rules following the category of navigation (like the USCG rules in the States). The commission had approved a lot of plans, a lot very surprising and/or innovative. The real fact is this commission composed by the "profession" and the State was very far of being a soviet bureaucracy and allowed the development of the actual french yachting without the chains of a heavy ruling, and at same time protected the consumer from totally dangerous plans.

    Judging a country industry by just one element 40 years old is a risky exercise. What would you think if I said that American multihulls are garbage because I saw an old Piver ( good salesman, bad NA) trimaran badly made in plywood?
     
  10. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 951
    Likes: 35, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: -12
    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member

    I have no doubt that Finot has learned a lot since the 70's . Haven't we all?
    All the most highly qualified experts in the world , don't make it right to lightly weld a skeg to hull plate. A screw up is a screw up, regardless of who condones it.The site at "Metalboatsociety.org" has the discussion I mentioned under "Rudders and skegs" "Skeg Failures." It began when Bruce Roberts said in his latest book that skegs should not be too strongly attached to hulls, as they should be designed to fall off if they hit anything, or words to that effect.
    A friend doing a circumnavigation saw a sister ship to his,a Roberts 53 hauled out in Brisbane. He asked what happened, and he was told that it sank in the night, due to cracks on the skeg-hull joint. He then hauled his own boat on and welded two flat bars from the chine to the skeg, to finish his circumnavigation with peace of mind.
    I later saw several Roberts designs hauled out in Sidney. All had these flat bars welded on to keep their skegs on.
    I don' think the sea gives a rat's *** who specified the narrow high aspect ratio skeg be lightly welded to the hull plate. Mother nature is unsympathetic to anyone's name or qualifications, when they do something stupid. A skeg poorly attached is just as likely to break off, regardless of who advocated it, or what their qualifications.
    The discussion on metalboatsociety.org gives several examples of boats being lost and lives being lost, due to this screw up.There are still many of these boats around, and failure to warn people of the dangers would be irresponsible . It is not morally superior, nor acceptable, to let people take their families into danger without warning them , just to be "NICE". There is nothing "NICE " nor "POLITE" about criminal negligence causing death, possibly that of children.
    I think the only way to ensure adequate strength of high aspecy ratio skegs is to run them right thru to the cockpit sole, giving them two points of support, with less steel and weight than adequate transverse stiffening would take.
    Perhaps this would also be a good way to deal with the extremely high aspect ratio keels that keep falling of round the world racers. Run them right thru to the decks? There is certainly no lack of interior space in those big monsters, so that is no excuse for less overall structural integrity.
     
  11. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    So, a lot of words and still no evidence that the skeg you speak of was designed that way by Finot, built by Finot, or condoned by Finot or any French Bureaucrat.

    No evidence any skeg ever failed on a Finot design.


    There is evidence you don't know what you are talking about when it comes to "round the world racers."
     
  12. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 1,222
    Likes: 143, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 758
    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    I agree totally with you Paul. We haven't seen the original plans, we do not know the builder, we do not know the true age of the boat, and if it has been modified. In fact we know nothing. And I never heard of a failing skeg on a steel Finot boat like the Reve des Antilles. Just words. You can treat as criminal the builder of this particular boat, not to accuse without the very first beginning of proof the architect or any other people

    About the racers; Brent, have you consulted plans, worked on, or simply examined closely such boats? Most have swinging keels now: have you seen such mechanisms? What's your experience of high tech composites, and construction of ULDB boats? Racers are shaved to the last gram (or ounce if you prefer), safety margins are in the very low limits, and the guys were working in unknown field. Add an enthusiastic skipper pushing very hard the boat and all the conditions are reunited for a structural failure. As with the F1 cars, the race or aerobatic planes, the GP motorcycles, the space ships, the rockets and other unusual objects, you can expect a high rate of failure.
     
  13. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 951
    Likes: 35, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: -12
    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member

    The builder was widely advertising as a "Finot Approved " Builder. Finot did not object. He built his first boat in Tahiti, where there are no secrets kept from the French.
    The boat was built in 1982 and was rarely used, a weekender and two week summer vacation on sheltered waters. I watched her being built. Couldn't tell the builder anything.
    I have seen the plans.
    What do high tech composites have to do with steel boatbuilding? What do swing keels have to do with a single fin keeler? What do ULDB boats have to do with steel cruising boats?
    What do boats designed for a high failure rate have to do with supposedly seaworthy, ocean going cruising yachts approved by the French Government bureaucrarats on safety issues?
    If a designer is not enthusiastic about a building material, then he has no busines designing in that material. I have no interest in Fibreglas or wooden boats nor power boats, so if anyone askes me to design anything I don't believe in, I suggest they find a designer who is, and hope they find someone who is, instead of someone who is simply out to prostitute his trade, putting economics ahead of principles, and safety at sea.
     
  14. Randyonr3
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Cruising

    Randyonr3 New Member

    Brent
    I've seen you post this same information on a couple different forums,and its just like one of your designs..
    You claim that with your design, anyone with a welder can build a sea worthy cruiser in his own back yard and do it for much less than any other design..
    So lets say that john down the street gets a bug in his butt about cruising and has the crazy idea about building a steel boat in his back yard without any welding skills, or very little as you say..
    And turns out the biggest piece of crap to float......
    Does this boat and its bad workmanship fall back on you as the designer?
     

  15. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 1,222
    Likes: 143, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 758
    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Randyorn3 do not waste your time, mr Brent bited in the wrong thing, but like a fox terrier, he will grab it until death. Let us let him alone. No need of an sterile discussion. Better things to do in life, for example my roses are thirsty...
     
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.