Powercats and the European Recreational Craft Directive

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by southatlantic, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. southatlantic
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    southatlantic Junior Member

    The European Recreational Craft Directive has a requirement that “All habitable multihull craft over 12 metres long shall be provided with viable means of escape in the event of inversion”. The solution that I have seen to that in sailing cats are hatches below deck in the inner part of the hulls.

    Question: Does anyone know if this requirement also applies to planning power catamarans? :confused:

    My wife and I are in the early stages of planning to spend an extensive (2-3 years) period in Europe, and would like to to take our 46 ft planning, hydrofoil-assisted power cat with us. After 18 months, we will have to register the boat locally, which requires compliance with the European RCD. Our boat is built to exceed ABYC standards. A superficial check is that compliance with the European RCD will require few and manageable changes, except... for this escape provision! The solution used in sail cats is not viable in our boat ( I imagine it is not viable in any planning cat, due to limited height and wave impact at speed), so it would be a “deal breaker” on the whole idea…

    Can anyone shed some light on this issue? How do European planning powercat builders deal with this?
     
  2. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    My guess is they are talkin obout occupancy in the sponsons such as a sleeping quarters in the sponsons or a bathroom perhaps and you would need an exit to get out if flipped. If the are only used for storage and all occupancy is on the main cross deck then the regs should not apply. AGAIN, that is just an opinion.
     
  3. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    This requirement will be applicable to the craft that are 'likely to capsize'. So, it is all about interpretations.

    Having designed over 50 cats of which 30 are launched, I do not see the reason for such requirement.

    1. Stability curve of average power catamaran is not much different from wide monohull motor yacht; maximum angle and GZ max are similar (excluding some wider displacement cats). Downflooding angles are also almost same. Say, 8.1m powercat of category C we designed of 'normal proportions' has GZmax=0.68m @ 22deg, fully loaded. Down flooding angles are over 60deg. So why do we have to install the hatches on cats, and the monohulls do not?

    2. There is no space available for such hatch on high-speed cats. In wet deck? Ridiculous, water flow/jump on seaway is likely to damage it. In inner sides? Not possible, the height of tunnel is lower compared with sailing cats and there is no space available. In transom? Well, there are sterndrives or outboards there sometimes...

    3. The risk of capsize event on power cat is very low and not supported by any statistics, on habitable craft. The problem exists only in brains of rule makers, not in reality.

    I have sent my notes to ISO/TC188, lets see what will happen...
     
  4. southatlantic
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    southatlantic Junior Member

    Powercats and the European Recreational Directive

    Kop Khun Krap, Khun Alik...

    I could not agree more.
    Do you happen to know how the European planning powercat builders deal with this?
    I checked the specs for the Safe Haven Marine Powercats in detail and could not find any between the hulls escape hatches, but perhaps I missed something...
     
  5. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    There are no hatches; as I understand this requirement is just new for powercats. At least when I was at IBEX RCD seminar in 2012, it was just announced.
     
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Alik is right. The rules have changed from the first 1998 version

    You do not need an escape hatch in case of capsize unless your boat is likely to do so. Two powercats capsized last year, one in S Africa, one in Florida. Neither were "recreational craft" though, so were supposed to comply with other regulations.

    However you do need "escape hatches" from each cabin in case of fire

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  7. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    The one from SA was a commercial craft and had no accommodations below main deck, so no escape hatch will help. What about case in Florida, never heard about it? Was it big cat or small?
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Tour boat about 15 metres ?


    [​IMG]
     
  9. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    How it happened?
    I wonder how in such situation escape hatches can help, all the passengers are on main deck.

    Also, if we can find similar capsize pictures of monohulls - would it mean they need escape hatches in bottom as well?
     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Dont know. Suspect the boat was overwhelmed by a wave as it ran the inlet. With onshore winds Waves break hard at these inlets. Monohulls frequently get into trouble. .

    Possible poor seamanship.

    Dont know how you would place escape hatches. The stern would be blocked by the machine room and steering gear. Probably amidships on the inside of the hull.

    A hatch in the hull side Doesnt sound very seamanlike to me.

    Probably better to use common sense , watch the forecast and if small craft warning are issued ...cancel the tour
     
  11. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    There is absolutely no solution with the hatches. They can only exist in brain of regulators. On boats, they will just decrease safety.

    I own a powercat myself (already second one), and had chance to test many other powercats. I see no way anyone can use hatches.
     
  12. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

  13. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I guess one could keep a couple of those lithium rechargeable skil saws some where handy..
     
  14. southatlantic
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    southatlantic Junior Member

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I think I understand the situation better now as a result... although I am still in doubt as to whether "likely to capsize" is a subjective judgement or whether the complex worksheet associated with ISO12217-1, which is already published (attached)
     

    Attached Files:


  15. m3mm0s rib
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    m3mm0s rib Senior Member

    Maybe a cabin similar to the speedboat will disengage Once the vessel cajole
     
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