Vendee Globe 2012

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    not his boat - yet... but he lost some of his sails due to halyard failures some time ago and also has a broken rip...
    and besides - he is on the only boat with a fixed keel build in 1998 which has not at all the speed potential of the other boats in this race...
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Vendee

    From Scuttlebutt Europe:

    Mike Golding Quits Vendee Globe Quest

    'Goldfinger' as he's nicknamed in France, is much admired here for his tenacity and toughness. I've followed his career and almost all his races first-hand since the first British Steel Challenge 20 years ago, and see him as the epitome of the dedicated professional in every way - I recall his early Challenge crews having a spreadsheet detailing which colour of sponsored clothing to wear on each day of the week so as to reinforce their united appearance.

    In the two last Vendee Globe races, though, I think I've observed the mounting toll this remorseless cycle of solo round the world races has been taking, how much harder it is for him go through it all again. Golding's telling answer to a question about the high points of this race was: "Leaving. And arriving." He meant it.

    Since Cape Horn he has said that this is it; his last ever Vendee Globe. He will not be back here as a competitor again in 2016. "I've invested 16 years of my life into trying to win the Vendee Globe and that is enough. I want to enjoy what I'm doing and I think it's time to realign my focus." -- Elaine Bunting's blog
    www.yachtingworld.com/blogs/elaine-bunting/
     
  3. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Good point.

    But the bulb at the end of a relatively thin strut is the starting point for a canting ballast system. The thinner the strut, the lighter it is, and the more ballast you get to add to the end, without increasing the weight of the total system.

    Struts with bulbs on them, mounted on very shallow dish section hulls, are natural stress engines, with all the loads tending to be concentrated. This, IMHO, is begging for trouble, as failure from fatigue is all but guaranteed. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. And the 'when' is hard to predict.

    Another major objection to the canting ballast system is that it needs a motor to work; and that motor usually needs an engine of some kind to power it.

    If we are to allow operating engines on these boats, why can't the skipper be allotted a certain hp to vessel weight, and allowed to use such engine any way he sees fit?

    For this reason, I see these boats as defacto motor sailors.
     
  4. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    I'll give my biased opinion on all this canting keel foil wing ding stuff: It's sailing blasphemy. A true sailboat should not have to worry about a flexible keel or foil snapping off, whether due to corrosion, fatique or simply inadequate strength. Simply put, they are not true bluewater cruisers you can entrust with your life. Sure they can go fast...for a while until the bloody things fracture.

    By comparison the Clipper yachts are true bluewater yachts and have never lost a keel because they use a more solid, bulb-type fixed keel. They are designed to circle the globe several times and after 4 or 5 years are then re-sold for use as well functioning boats.

    The new racing yachts with their canting keels, foils, etc. are a breed of their own. As long as they keep making the hulls lighter, keels skinnier and foils sticking out of who knows how many orfices...they will be prone to failure. I do concur losing 3 keels in a race is a shame. No doubt it's a safety issue and in my opinion a design oversight that should land a nautical architect on the wall of shame.

    I think the Vendee, Volvo & other ocean races should retrench on the basics of a sound hull/keel design. If they want to fly aircraft they should catch a cab to the local airport. :p

    Signed - Clipper RTW crew member
    http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/fleet
     
  5. Earl Boebert
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    Earl Boebert Senior Member

    I'm wondering about the adequacy of the stress models used to design these things. It seems to me that a fixed fin and bulb keel takes a torsional load only under yaw and a bending load only under roll. Both of these intuitively seem relatively low frequency events. But when the keel is stuck out sideways it seems that the keel takes a simultaneous torsional and bending load under pitch, because the hull is going to move more rapidly than the bulb, and pitching is a higher frequency event that can go on for a long time. The long duration and regularity of pitching movement in some seas also raises the possibility of harmonic effects. Anybody know of analyses that deal with these issues?

    Cheers,

    Earl
     
  6. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    ok - lets do a comparison... although i think those 2 boats are not to compare at all...

    i'd say that the open 60s are something like a high bred formula 1 racing car while the clipper is a touring car (a pimbed up stock car) like the ones raced in the WTCC... ;)
    you know the saying about a good racing car, which has only to last until the checkered flag - the best are the fastest and break down right after crossing the finish line... and some of them just do not make to that line - that's racing...
    :D
     
  7. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    It's not as if the Clipper Race Yachts haven't had their own history of keel problems:

    I think it's a little early to start crowing about the reliability of the latest generation when they are still completely unproven.
     
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    A good point.

    But when a formula 1 car breaks down, there is no expensive, publicly funded rescue of the driver.
     
  9. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Not so sharpii2, FYI all Clipper racers are covered by special insurance policy from Lloyds. It covers a full spectrum of rescue & repatriation scenarios so your assertion that they are "publicly funded" is incorrect. Tend to agree with capt. vimes that many "break down right after crossing the finish line".
     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  11. sean9c
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    sean9c Senior Member

    From the SA front page. Sure a mess. Whatever he was doing on the transom seemed to be the problem. Be interesting to understand what was going on.
    Always thought the tiller arrangements looked awkward. Sailors are always climbing over or around them. I'm guessing if there was a better solution they'd have found it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QgJhkkXK8ik
     
  12. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Vendee

    =====================
    That seems kinda sad-a bit overwhelming to Stamm. Hope he makes it ok....(he hasn't finished yet has he?)
     
  13. tomas
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    tomas Senior Member

    I'm not a designer but as I posted earlier, they have ample engineering talent. It's the weight-saving choices that are critical. The extra kilos around that same area to strengthen the critical components would not have hurt, in my layman's, Monday-morning quarterback opinion.
     
  14. tomas
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    tomas Senior Member

    He returned last Wednesday night, though he was disqualified earlier in the race.
     

  15. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Any extra weight hurts performance. Weight down low is certainly less harmful than weight above. But any weight above the ballast bulb must be subtracted from the ballast bulb, if the boat is to maintain its desired weight.

    These are very high performance sail boats that are expected to plane at least off the wind (the direction they are usually sailed) and any extra weight subtracts from their ability to do that.

    I, myself, would want a very sturdy canting ballast system, even at the expense of extra weight, slightly worse hydrodynamics, and slightly lower performance. You can't win if you don't finish.

    But a lighter boat, with better hydrodynamics, and blessed with some good luck and a top line skipper, is likely to beat me, if it manages to finish. So, I can see why my sponsors would be likely to disagree with my approach. They are, after all, paying for a winner, not a mere finisher.
     
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