The perils of edgy design offshore

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by CutOnce, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    History

    I raced in a Florida coastal race when the first Kiwi 35 was entered, as I recall, it blew 25-40kts and the Kiwi went really fast. (early 80's). At that period, quite a few "light" weight boats were being introduced, the most common rating formula required actual water testing of most boats under 30', and many! could barely pass. I am pretty sure I remember watching the kiwi tested- and it did self-right from a mast in the water position. It was definitely in calm, flat water conditions, but it came back up better than some of the other then current designs. The boats were designed and sailed in and around south florida, where afternoon and evening thunderstorms are an everyday event- and have survived to race for the last 25 years. I am quite sure that there were far less sea-worthy boats in the Mac race, they just didn't encounter the same series of events that over powered Wingnuts. Although it was filled with water, it did remain afloat and saved the rest of the crew, which most "offshore" boats would not have. I think that like many of us, they sailed the boat they had and seem to have taken safety seriously. Boats, like cars and and most other technology, continue to get better and safer, and sometimes the learning curve takes a toll, but that does not keep us from going out on the water in small boats. After all, it would be safer to just stay on land:( B
     
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  2. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    As said, I coincide with Mike Johns', Ad Hoc's, etc, opinions. The design is not to blame, but it's use.

    Wingboats are designed for what they are designed: cans racing in daylight. And the may excel in such conditions. But on the other hand they are not suitable for serious offshore work, because they are not intended to do so. Open 60's and the like have nowadays stringent requirements in stability, learned and enforced after several accidents. Requirements I'm afraid this boat does not comply by far.

    BTW, I would very much like to see its stability curve. I would greatly appreciate if someone could bring it in here.

    I'm sorry to say this and I regret the deaths, as everybody else, but yes, in my humble opinion both the captain of this boat and the race organizers are heavily responsible for having allowed such a design enter that kind of race.
     
  3. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    A 60 footer of completely different design has nothing to do with Wingnuts any more than posting the tale of sailors rescued from Inverted Open 50's.

    We are talking about a small ULDB with projecting side decks and poor offshore stability. An open 60 shares neither the poor stability (relative to length ) nor the projecting decks.

    Secondly as it's so eloquently put "**** happens". That is precisely why there are mandated commercial design requirements.
     
  4. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Mike, (what is wrong with your correct name? - Mike sounds more machismo??) instead of your smug adherence to officialdom, read BruceB's posting; someone who actually knows what he is talking about regarding the K35, has sailed against them and watched them successfully right in pull down tests. Or read Stumble's real world observations, not some imaginations from someone angered/threatened? by lightweight boats. Also an Open 60 is a ULDB, if ever there was one, and they are extremely wide on deck, and have flared hulls, and some have got into trouble ("**** happens" as you so primly and up-tightly comment upon) and large numbers have sailed around the world. Also W and V 60's are also light displacement with wide decks and narrow waterlines. **** happens because it does. 100 plus knots twister downblast; do you think that only you could survive that because you are CORRECT.
    "Rulemakers have done more harm to yachting than religion has done to mankind." That's a quote from a famed, vastly experienced NZ designer who knows exactly what he is talking about. Stifling adventure and innovation seems to have been a weird preoccupation with those too timid to try. And I'm sure the recent owner of Wingnuts would have had something pertinent to say about your headmaster-like fixations - like piss off, my decision, and also my crews' decision, go back to your own boring life and leave us alone.
    Of course I'm only surmising here ... but I bet it is not far from the truth.
     
  5. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Like AdHoc, I'm a little hesitant to wade in here... more because I'm a little conflicted on the issue than anything else.
    Bearing in mind that I don't have much experience sailing winged monohulls, or with the area in which this incident occured, it seems fairly apparent that this is a craft that is not intended for serious offshore racing - there's little point in going over well trodden ground... others have amply and ably demostrated as much, but in short - you simply can't escape the laws of physics.

    Having said that, I draw the line at so readily apportioning blame upon the orgainsing committee. Of course there is a responsibility to run a safe event. But the notion that the greatest burden of responsibility lies with them is not one that sits comfortably with me.
    I agree with the comments a couple of pages back by P J Nolan - it is the skippers responsibility as to whether to go out or not. I would add however, that it is also incumbent upon the crew to understand the risks they are taking and accept that in partaking in the event they are also accepting of that risk.

    I think it may also be a little premature to simply say that this was a vessel that shouldn't have been here, so that's why these people are dead. Life is a risky business and sometimes stuff simply goes bad. I was onboard a committee boat a number of years back when a yachtsman drowned during a national titles. Boats (dragons) designed for the racing that they were undertaking, in relatively protected waterways. Unexpected conditions saw the fleet subjected to quite sudden, unforcast winds of around 70 knots. The boat he was aboard sank and he went down with it. It was a sobering lesson about the risks of sailing....
     
  6. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    I didn't say it wasn't :rolleyes: I said Wingnuts was a small ULDB.

    I'm trying to get you to understand the following: Comparing a 60 foot open series ULDB with a 35 foot ULDB with a completely different hullform draft pitch and roll gyradius with a 35 foot design of any description is completely invalid, even if it was identically scaled in all dimensions.
     
  7. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member


    Like Guillermo I'd very much like to see the GZ curve for this design as I said earlier I have a pretty good idea as to what it looks like.

    Note that the test BruceB referred to (that he's not entirely sure about) was not the self righting test from inversion but a static test to look at recovery from knockdown. That's not helpful except to say the AVS/LPS is at least more than what; 90-100 degrees?

    The full GZ curve is generated from a static inclining test and the vessels lines. The limit of positive stability is a good general indicator of suitability for a particular course. Sailing on one and predicting how it responds in heavy weather is not something you can intuitively deduce.

    As for all the emotive personal choice agenda what if stability limits and suitability for distance offshore was clearly stated to everyone sailing on the boat. I said before the European STIX for example doesn't stop you going offshore in an unsuitable or dangerous boat but it makes you liable if something goes wrong.

    In your fear of regulation what do you think of the following (Cat1) excerpt from the rules:
    So obviously some measure of seaworthiness is required. If you don't want Naval architects to assess seaworthiness then who does?

    {edit rolled posts together}

    Who was commenting on the design trends forced by rating rules particularly IOR. In this you'll also find a friend in Marchaj. Famed for his work on seaworthiness of sailboats ;)


    Is the real issue behind the polemics, that like Doug you want foilers to race without restriction against more seaworthy craft on courses they are barred from entering ?


    I'd still like to talk specific technical details as to why ULDB winged low stability monohulls are a poor offshore craft from a NA perspective.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  8. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    So, that is a "no" then, to debating the technical issues.

    As you delve into more polemic opine and try to obfuscate the issue, ask your self this simple question:-

    How many offshore designed ballasted 35 foot monohulls would capsize in a 6 foot wave?

    BTW, this picture looks sadly familiar...taken in 2004:
    http://www.sailinganarchy.com/fringe/2004/images/caption contest 3-1-04.jpg
     
  9. magwas
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    magwas Senior Member

    I'm not entirely sure that we are talking about the same type of boats, but here those cake pans are required to have their own rescue motorboat run after them in races.
    And for good reasons: the one which have won blue ribbon this year have capsized in certainly less than storm force winds less than a month before. It was on the lawyer's cup, so they had to have some lawyers on board. The lawyers moved to center in a gust...
     
  10. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    My understanding is that there were 8 people on the deck of this boat.......A heeling test(from which the boat recovered) beyond 90 degrees is mentioned above.....but the heeling is done without (I would bet) anybody on the deck......I believe stability will be quite a bit different in the two cases.......
     
  11. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    The Perils of Edgy Weather in Any Boat

    ============
    Speaking for Doug, this is a question based on a false premise: there are no races that bar foilers from competing offshore, to the best of my knowledge. Yet.
    In fact Open 60's have been using lifting foils since 2009(?) in round the world races with the recent Barcelona World race won by a boat using curved
    lifting foils.
    ----
    Interesting how many offshore races allow multihull participation like the Transat, ChiMac etc. and how multihulls are viewed as seaworthy by many, many qualified people.
    There is no reason in the world why boats like Wingnuts couldn't race under the same requirements for multihulls as in the Chi Mac race(see pdf below). And the fact that Wingnuts floated after turning turtle was a critical element in the survival of most of her crew. If the Design Police ignore what is known about multihull safety and impose requirements on high performance monohulls not imposed on multihulls then there will have been a great injustice done.
    Knowledgeable people race these boats and on Wingnuts, in particular, the crew met every required standard for their boat and were extremely well prepared.
    When the facts come out from the crew and the investigation there will be a lot more to say .
    If speculation is the rule here then this should fit right in: it is quite possible that the wings on this small, light boat may have saved lives rather that killed anyone. The wings may have dug in preventing the boat from skidding sideways and giving the survivors time to help each other.
    And the one FACT that is known for sure is that the overturned monohull keelboat floated just like a multihull after a capsize and provided a raft for the remaining crew until help arrived. That is an undeniable fact and represents a pretty far reaching design feature to be incorporated into a monohull keelboat in 1984.
     

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  12. magwas
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    magwas Senior Member

    from the pdf:

    "have a LOA to BOC ratio of 2.30 or less" ...

    I am not saying that safety rules cannot be constructed for these cake pans, and yes, I think that some of the multihull safety considerations would apply there. But the multihull rules cannot be applied as is, and I doubt anyone (except maybe the designer of the boat) have taken them into consideration.
     
  13. Cheesy
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    Cheesy Senior Member


    Lets see, a winged boat floating upside down in relatively calm looking conditions, oh whats that the keel is missing, that is probably why it is that way up. From reading peoples comments on here I can see you could count the number of people who have sailed on winged boats on one hand.

    Windage of the wings is the biggest issue.
     
  14. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    As noted previously, having the GZ curve would be very illuminating. If that were ever to be provided or obtained, explain how would that relate to “actually sailing on a winged vessel”..?
     

  15. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    wing stability

    One last opinion piece. I think that the potential to stay capsized (as opposed to being knocked down) is increased by the wings- they make the boat more stable upright or inverted. The real issue is not the wings themselves, but the overall design that allows a boat to remain stable in an inverted position. A multihull accepts that it is most stable upside down, most monohull sailors do not expect their boat to remain inverted. There are now many very wide monos that are racing offshore, from the 22' mini-transats on up in size, successfully. The differences in current design from the past is a little more freeboard is added and larger and higher cabin tops are included to make the boat less stable when inverted. The newer wide boats have proven to be very capable of sailing in and surviving extreme conditions, but like every thing else about boats, when you change one part of the design, all the rest has to be very carefully studied to see what else is effected. Sometimes it is trial by error. From just seeing the one small pic of Wingnuts after it was righted, it appears!!! that the jib partially unfurled, and probably had a lot more windage than the boat could withstand, plus when the mast went in, the sail held a lot of water. Very bad for any smaller boat in those conditions. I am not sure what could have been done about it, well furled and covered jibs are regularly destroyed in similar conditions and the crew was not in any position to try to remove it from the foil. Lets don't put all the blame on the wings. I have a jib furler on my light tri, as do many other light boats, but it might be time to re-think it. The roller furler helps keep out of trouble in most conditions, but in extreme storms, a hanked on jib can be lowered and has a lot less windage when properly secured. It might have made the difference on the kiwi. B
     
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