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post #6 of Old 08-26-2002
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Hull distortion .

While it may be upsetting, boats can and do flex and twist a bit under load. When this occurred a bit too much for the taste of one owner I raced with to Bermuda a number of times, he had a ring frame/bulkhead installed in the suspect area of the cabin near the partners. It was built of plywood with nice laminated hardwood trim around the opening and ''glassed into the hull, the underside of the deck and coachroof. Quite simple to do, actually, quite effective, and not a major impediment in the cabin. This was on a Whitby 45-- not a boat known for light scantlings; we were obviously pushing her hard to Place in our division. Another boat (wooden) I raced to Bermuda had the cabin trunk start to leak at the carlins from the pounding we gave her dropping off the tops of eight foot chop while beating for hours at eight knots in the Gulf Stream. For that, we pumped the bilge and hoped she''d hold together long enough to get us there. Solutions depend on he boat and on what exactly the problem is. The builder and (as a second opinion) a naval architect should be able to help you determine if the fix is a repair or a new (different) boat.
Elan takes great pride in the strength and seaworthiness of their boats, so your story is a bit of a surprise. I would think it possible that they might offer to investigate and then engineer and actually do the corrective repair for you, just to make sure it never happens again to anyone.
Happier sailing!
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