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post #4125 of Old 03-21-2014
Brent Swain
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Originally Posted by outbound View Post
"Solo sailor Andrew Halcrow was airlifted by a Chilean Navy helicopter from his 32ft steel yacht on March 8th after he was dismasted in breaking seas west of Cape Horn. "

From cruising compass.

Not always the hull that matters. Read reports seems dismastings, blow out portlights, inversions/knock downs, crew fatigue and injuries/illness etc. as likely or more likely scenarios for boat abandonment. This is reason I have repetitively asked Brent for statistics on RM, point of vanishing stability, GS graph etc. In absence of same his statements of sea worthiness are simple hearsay.
Reminds one of the 79 Fastnet, where boats with nothing wrong with them were abandoned, out of sheer panick. The boats were found later ,in good shape ,but not the crews. There is little truth in panick ,it is the abandonement of logic.

As I have pointed out many times, the stability curves of my boats are on the origamiboats site.

Did this boat lose her rig due to the all so common metal fatigue in "Yachty" stainless rigging ? Probably!
The small half inch thick plexi port on my boats dont blow out. Dainty, expensive yachty ones do.
Crew fatigue is not the designers or builders fault.
A good series drogue deployed in time from the stern quarter, reduces the chance of a knockdown to minimal . Was this done in this case? Probably not!
I have minimized the odds of injury while lying in my bunk during storms, by having a canvas security blanket attached at 4 corners to 3/8th inch eye bolts. Athwartships it is comfortably loose, but the edges, longitudinaly ,are tight . So, while it causes no discomfort whatever in my bunk, it eliminates the chance of being thrown out of my bunk in a knock down .
Winston pointed out another common source of crew injury ; overhead handrails, which frequently result in wrenched shoulders. Handrails at shoulder level cause no such problems .
If your hull survives ,you can deal with other problems, if your hull doesn't ,you dont have as many options. So the suggestion that you should accept a flimsy hull, and not build your hull too strong , because other bad things can happen ,is incredibly dense!
We spend a lot of thought on making the boat safe, but often too little to keeping the crew safe inside in rough weather

Last edited by Brent Swain; 03-21-2014 at 03:09 PM.
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