Lock Crowther Biography

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by oldsailor7, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. Buckster
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    Buckster New Member

    Crowther Tempest 33

    I actually recently bought a Crowther Tempest 33. I find it to be very stable and comfortable, but so far the windward performance has been very poor. When I bought the boat, she was badly in need of a bottom job. I sailed throught the summer, then had her pulled in the fall. It was so bad that I was unable to come about through the wind and had to use the motor to turn. I also think she was way overloaded with weight. I have beed in the process of removing unneeded gear and provisions. She is being relaunched in 2 weeks with new bottom paint. I hope for better windward performance. I will keep you informed.
     
  2. Barba 22
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    Barba 22 New Member

    Hi Buckster,

    This is a very helpful information. I'm very much interested in the results of further testing of windward performance after the bottom job and overload removal. I was considering a small multihull for laid back cruising in the tropics, but she MUST be able to sail to windward...

    Best. Senad
     
  3. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    These early Tris of Locks were superceded by the Buccaneer (cruising), and Kraken (racing) designs. Although Krakens were very fast they tended to be built too heavy and often proved to be no faster than a well built Buccaneer.
    I was fortunate enough to be included in the crew on the first Kraken 40,"Ringo" in the 1969 New york to Bermuda race, setting a race record. I later crewed on Logan Apperlys K40 "Mana Moana". Lock was aboard when she set a record for crossing from Sydney to Auckland NZ. I loved the K40 and have always considered that it would be a great fast cruiser for four. It moved out so effortlessly and was always a delight to sail. Logan sold her shortly after a monohull sailor (who had never sailed in a multihull before) capsized her in the middle of Manly(NSW) harbour, when hit by a "bullet gust" from the eastern hill.
    Locks Buccaneer 24 was his best selling design, and the plans are still the only ones of all his design which are still available today,-- sad to say.
     
  4. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    oldsailor, the Kraken 33 and the 40 would still make competitive racing boats with three not difficult alterations: yes, build them lighter, increase the beam to near square platform plus foils in the floats ... and most importantly, put on a decent fractional rig with rotating or wing mast. Turbo Krakens would then shock a lot of people with their performance. Have you got any K plans left at a reasonable price? ... better stand back from the door for the rush.
     
  5. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    Lol Gary.
    Sadly I haven't got any of Locks plans except the B24.
    Unless someone can twist Brett Crowthers arm to release some of them, I don't know if they will ever be available again. :(
     
  6. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    The account I heard from Lock's office of the Kraken 40 capsize on the harbour said that it was more than operator error. And Krisis went over in NZ, too, as did the second 55 in a Sydney-Brisbane.

    The Krakens have always been great looking boats and very slick performers, but they do appear to capsize even when monohull sailors aren't involved.
     
  7. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Ct, I was just behind Krisis when she went over - it was, again, a combination of crew error and a catabatic gust coming over the city and straight down to where Krisis sat moving slowly in a lull. Spinnaker sheets were cleated ... and by the time the crew reached the spi sheet winch, he'd lost balance and fell down the ever steepening angle of the trampoline. From behind it all looked very elegant and slow ... but too fast for the crew. A wider K with foils in floats would be a way to make a slick boat even better, also safer - not that they were unsafe in the first place. Krisis still sails and has done an incredible mileage.
     
  8. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    Yes it was more than operator error---but operator error started the result.
    I was Logans regular navigator on Manu Moana, but I was not on board that day. Logan himself told me what happened.
    When the gust hit logan had just dodged down below for something.
    Instead of allowing the boat to point up the mono sailor hauled on the tiller and allowed the boat to heel in regular monohull manner.

    The lee hull bow was pressed down so far, ( about three metres in Logans assessment), that the water pressure caused the bow hull sides to implode---and the boat instantly capsized diagonally.
    Yes it was a structural failure, but one that needen't have happened.

    Thats why I recommend to anyone planning to extend the float bows of the B24, to put in an extra stringer and crossbrace forward of the crossbeam attachment frame.
     
  9. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Right, but the structural failure was ignored in your post, and a monohull sailor was blamed.....

    A bunch of people I know have capsized multis offshore. A few people I know have sunk monos offshore. Those who capsized multis all got back, which is more than all of those who sank monos did.

    However, to completely ignore a structural failure in favour of blaming a sailor - and not just blaming a sailor but specifically mentioning that he was a mono sailor - seems to be rather unnecessary.

    If a monohull sank because of a mixture of structural failure and a multi sailor's error, would you think it was fair and reasonable if some people completely ignored the structural failure and only mentioned that it was a multi sailor's fault??? If, say, a Farr 40 was knocked down in a broach when being helmed by a multi sailor and the keel fell off, would you be happy if accounts said "the boat was sailed like a multi and therefore it capsized" and those who told the tale conveniently failed to mention the structural failure?

    As Gary mentioned, an experienced multi sailor or several also tipped in a Kraken 40 (and a 55) but funnily enough, that was completely ignored and you just mentioned that the mono sailor was guilty....

    As I specifically said, I reckon the Ks are great boats; very fast for their day, beautiful; I spent some time looking at a very nice one (I think) off Bundeena the other day.

    But they WERE susceptible to crew error, as were other multis of the time, and to not only ignore that but blame it on a particular sort of sailor seems a bit odd. Maybe it would be better if we were balanced in our accounts, rather than conveniently ignoring the stuff that suits our cause and blaming accidents on mono sailors when multi sailors did the same things on the same type of boat.

    In my experience, Lock himself was a LOT more balanced and to be fair to his memory, we should be too.
     
  10. Sea Stallion
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    Sea Stallion Junior Member

    I've got a set of B28 plans.
     
  11. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    REF:- Post #24.
    Chris. Methinks the lady doth protest too much, :eek:
     
  12. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Manu Moana

    Pat I remember getting told about some "bloody unsafe tri" that capsized when its bow collapsed. That was Manu Moana. I also remember looking over her in Lane Cove a few times in the 80s when she looked a little sad.

    I reckon the mono sailor did everyone a favour. I certainly would not want to go to sea on a boat that had float bows that could implode - especially in the flat water of Sydney Harbour. The submersible floats obviously were under done. Far better to learn it there (although in front of a partisan crowd) than out to sea. Obviously either Lock or Logan stuffed up. That's fine, they got on and fixed it and we are all the better for it now. Lesson learned - submersible floats on tris probably need more laminate than 150 % floats.

    Also I am very hard on skippers in these situations. When racing a good hand should be on the sheet (don't cleat a kite harbour racing - ever) and the skipper should only go below with an experienced hand on the helm. Also unless you are under the headland you can track the gusts down to you - and if you are so close that you can't track gusts - don't go below. Be better prepared.

    If something goes wrong on my boat it is always my fault - as I should have foreseen the situation and prevented it. I wouldn't blame the helmsman at all.

    Why am I prickly on this? Well when I was 15 I brought my Nugget home to Sydney to the shaken heads of my friends - they actually stared stone-faced as I motored her through the Spit bridge. All I ever wanted was my mono friends to accept my choice with good nature. I guess I just want to make sure I don't do the same as they did back then.

    Plus the other reason - if you asked me what I want to race it would not be multis - probably a J24 or B14, maybe a Laser or a Tasar. Great sailing and great racing, and fabulous sailors in monos.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  13. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    3 metres down and bearing away - there would have been huge, twisting loads on that buried float. I know the Kraken amas were meant to be submersible - but not that far. Sure, the owner has to take responsibility ... but the helmsman did screw up/down in this case, literally and figuratively. I would have thought the natural reaction for a monohull sailor would be to luff, not bear away.
    Krisis snapped one of her ama forward sections off when hit by a large breaker over a reef near North Cape during a heavy weather Round North Island race. Duncan said they knew it was there, kept out and figured the deeper water would have reduced the waves, - "Wrong decision - but we weren't frightened, just terrified."
     
  14. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Submersible should be submersible

    I don't agree Gary - I think that the design criteria for a submersible float must be to remain intact during a 90 degree inversion. (For a 28ft wide 40 footer this is about 12ft - around about half an atmosphere - a heap of stress) Otherwise it is a little like a keelboat that breaks it keel bolts when the strain comes on in a knockdown. When it hits the fan the boat better take it well and in this particular case the boat failed the crew.

    Tri bows are always a worry. The Echo I built had an extra stringer along the sides with carbon unis. The thing was buried way back past the front bulkhead in the wing. Three Cheers lost float bow one hitting a boat- that's a Newick, Cirro lost one - a Chamberlin, Iren lost whole floats in race boats and Lock lost a float bow. Absolutely stellar crowd - if only I could draw like the worst of them on a bad day.

    CT is keeping mum on a pertinent point. Some years after this he was a cadet yachting journo sent to ask Lock about multis and mentioned the Twiggy - "Do they have submersible floats?" was the query. "No - if they did they would implode" was the response from the great man.

    And back to the thread. I knew a bloke with a Tempest. David Drew I think. He cruised it for years and then sold it to get a C10. He kept it very light. It was not a great cruiser as it didn't take much weight and was pretty small inside. Still he liked it a lot. Sadly the end was not good. I was cruising and heard about a tri that dragged anchor at Lady Musgrave. The owner rowed out into the dark to get his boat. He was never seen again and I found bits of the green tri on South Percy. It was sobering considering I had been on the boat a bit.

    cheers

    Phil
     

  15. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    PHIL.
    David Drew is alive and well and keeps his cruising catamaran on a mooring in Pittwater. :D
    It must have been some other guy.
     
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