Sailboat hits whale in Artemis Transat! WHALE PROOF BOAT?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by sailingaway, May 15, 2008.

  1. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Very sensitive Richard, thanks.

    Pragmaticus: If you refer to my previous post, the wahle was not hit by the propeller, but with zone of bow over the bulb of the container ship. She was carried there for many miles till the ship arrived to port.

  2. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I know that prob. (and I know you know too), boulbous bows catch whales (the weaker ones, others would escape), since we have them.
    <the bows
    We cannot understand their restricted way to tell us......
    They for sure are not able to understand our unrestricted way to kill them..
    So, where does our communication start?
    I will let my children dive with them (when I find some left) ah.. whales I meant...
    They will understand (both), and may be, we can regenerate a species. (I know I am a dreamer).

    but let me dream a bit......
    the day was not to enjoy reality...

  3. Autodafe
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Autodafe Senior Member

    To cast a little rain on the sunny metal boat fans (a month or six late), a steel or aluminium boat will still sink if you knock the keel off on something.
    Metals are wonderful resilient materials to impact but are fairly easily torn if you have a bit of leverage. Such as a keel.

    Having solid, over-engineered, appendages that are firmly rooted to the frame of the boat is a good solution, regardless of material, but is not likely to ever happen on racing boats...
    Long keel boats on their own are not a guarantee against whales, as there are some well documented accounts of killer whales ramming and sinking (wooden planked) full keel yachts (in good condition) and sending them rapidly to the nearest land. May be it's revenge for all the ship-rammed whales?

    Having light shallow boats with positive buoyancy that don't sink or capsize when you lose the fins (read multihull fan) is a preferred option for those of us who like a bit of speed with our safety :)
  4. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    There is virually zero chance of a whale collision sinking, or even dammaging a well built metal boat. Poorly designed boats of any material are immune from nothing .
    Wooden boats are floating liabilties , regardles of keel shape. A long keeled fibreglass boat, if well built, has a very good chance of surviving a whale collision, with minimal or no dammage
  5. Tcubed
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Tcubed Boat Designer

    A little story;

    Despite having been onboard at the time i do not remember this event due to being too young, however my father told me exactly how it happened.

    We were running across the Indian ocean and he was inside reading when the boat suddenly came to a crashing stop, so suddenly in fact that he got bodily thrown forwards , crashing into a bulkhead.
    Imagining having collided with a ship he dashes out, but nothing to see, and the boat already picking up its previous speed.

    A few moments later a whale blows a short ways off. Naturally, he got very worried that this whale which we evidently must have very rudely awakened, would come around and vent his grumpiness by smashing us to pieces, but fortunately it seemed quite serene and disappeared again never to be seen again.

    Boat specs- LWL 40' -- LOA 49' -- Draft 2'10" (board up)
    Disp 14 000 Kg --- S.A ~ 1300 sq ft All wood construction.

    No damage at all.

    It seems to me that any well built boat can survive colliding with a whale, if it hits with the stem.

    Also , in the case of small boats getting hit by a whale (which will naturally be broadsides) will almost certainly cause very grave or terminal damage. I would agree that metals would be advantageous here in that they can deform quite substantially before tearing.

    As for keels , daggerboards and appendages when hitting a whale;
    Any keel must be able to withstand the shock or it is not strong enough.
    Daggerboards however can be expected to do whatever the designer intended to happen upon a hard grounding (there are several different design approaches to this).
  6. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    I have seen several photos of steel boats which were T-bone by freighters, one on this site, without leaking a drop. A whale is extremely unlikely to cause any dammage by T-boning a well build metal boat

  7. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    We have to regret the capsizing of a 17 m commercial fishing boat last week, with the result of the master being drowned. Sea was calm and the boat was not even one year old. They were leaving from harbour to the (close) fishing grounds, so no overload.

    Survivors said it turned turtle in a couple of minutes. After gathering all possible information at this stage, I suspect the reason was a progressive flooding of the machinery room through a defective/lacking/opened valve or group of valves in the bilge / fifi / deck-washing system. As the boat has been towed (inverted) to harbour and already refloated, we'll soon know what happened.

    In the mean time there's a fantastic rumour roaming around fishermen circles about a whale hitting the boat and turning it over....


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