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post #608 of Old 01-17-2014
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong

Originally Posted by outbound View Post
We'll never know but sounds like boat was thrown backward with rudders turned or even hard over. Sounds like bent rudder posts. No amount of inspection or other pre voyage activity would change that. Carrying an emergency rudder system might have been of benefit but if bent hard over even an emergency set up would not allow meaningful steerage.
?are there any more details known?
More information has been posted on the Alpha website...

Had to be one hell of a rogue wave to bring a boat sailing at 8 knots to be immediately forced backwards against her rudders... Sounds like they're very fortunate that huge expanse of picture windows remained intact... :-)

1.5" tubular stainless rudderstock doesn't exactly sound "massive", to me... However, perhaps the most surprising aspect of this particular boat, to me, is the fact that she carried a pair of 3-BLADE FIXED PROPS... On a half million dollar performance cruising multihull??? WTF?


We have very sad news. On route from New York to the Caribbean our Alpha 42 Nr 1 was hit by a big rogue wave. On Monday Jan 13th the US Coast guard received a pick up-call from Capt Hank Schmitt who skippered Be Good Too.

Capt. Hank Schmitt is a professional delivery captain with over 200,000 ocean miles and over 50 passages along the same route. Hank was carefully chosen by the owner as he is a very experienced catamaran sailor.

Schmitt’s account :”.…We had just passed the Gulfstream in rough waters sailing on a close reach under a double reefed mainsail at 8 knots with the autopilot engaged. All was well when suddenly we got hit by a big rogue wave that not only stopped the boat but violently pushed us backwards onto our rudders. At that point we realized that both rudders were severely damaged. One rudder spun around the stock, the other rudder reversed against the hull and was jammed forcing the boat to port. Even with the stbd motor at full throttle the boat would only go to stbd. After spending 2 days sailing in a circle our options dwindled as the weather was deteriorating even more. Since we were 300 miles offshore we decided to make the call to be taken off the boat. The boat was very strong and we never felt unsafe. In spite of heavy impacts the boat did not have any structural issues. No monohull or catamaran steering system violently pushed backwards could have survived this. At one point the boat experienced 50 knot winds and 20 foot seas but the wave piercing bows worked great. We feel very sorry for the owners and the yard for the loss of this boat. ”

We feel very sorry for the loss of this beautiful yacht and are grateful to the men of the US Coast Guard that all 4 crewmen were safely evacuated. Pictures and videos taken by a Jayhawk MH-60 rescue helicopter show the boat perfectly intact. It seems unjustified and is heartbreaking for us to see this labor of more than 2 years abandoned. A salvage company will try to retrieve the boat as soon as conditions permit.

It should be noted that the rudders of the boat were built of massive 1.5 inch solid stainless round tube welded to a closed framework of 2″ wide by 1/4″ thick stainless bars with (2) vertical and (3) horizontal members. Unfortunately no rudder is designed to suddenly lurch into reverse and have 10 Tons of torque applied to them.

Anyone interested in reading the official insurance report signed byCapt. Hank Schmitt and more details of the incident or of the construction of the rudders, please contact the builder, Marc Anassis at Alpha Yachts (

Rogue Wave - Aeroyacht

Last edited by JonEisberg; 01-17-2014 at 07:35 AM.
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