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post #114 of Old 12-31-2013
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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

There are so many things that are misleading and misinformed in this thread, the internet as a whole should be ashamed.
PCP – you gave someone advice earlier in this thread to not comment about the open 60 b/c they didn’t know anything about the boat. I’m going to give you the same advice when discussing Top Fuel dragsters. Your comment that they’re all about brute strength tells just how little you know about the sport.

I’m going to make some general statements about top level sailboat racing. These are my opinions based on what I’ve learned from racing on a grand prix boat and following the VOR, Vende and other offshore races.

1- One of the biggest problems with offshore racing is trying to calculate the loads a boat will experience during the voyage. Just like the AC, vende and VOR boats are designed and built to withstand “typical” conditions for that body of water during that time of year. As we all know, this isn’t always the case. So stuff breaks.
2- The other issue is everyone is trying to push very hard while racing. These boats don’t exactly depower right away when they heel more. Hull form, dagger boards, and canting keels keep them powered up to the point of them breaking if you don’t take your foot off the gas pedal.
3- To keep the boats light, most are underbuilt on purpose. For example, a typical safety margin for a cruising boat would be in the 4-5 times the expected load. For a VOR boat, they spec out equipment that has a safety factor of 1.2 x the expected load. Not a lot of room for error if you fall off a wave at 20 kts.
4- None of this has anything to do with what happened in this incident b/c the boat wasn’t powered up or racing. Heavily reefed on a delivery it got caught in a storm and thankfully no one died. This boat (not the open 60 platform) clearly had some structural issues that weren’t caught on its last inspection and the damn front tried to fall off. The beauty of carbon, little to no warning before it fails completely.

There, I’ve said my piece. Happy new year everyone.

Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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