Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England USA
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the concept of unsinkable yachts
It''s late but I''ve been away for a bit... I saw this one hanging out there and had to comment...
Losing a keel? Come on... Let''s see, my fiberglass boat has a fin keel, that is attached to a pretty darn massive steel hull matrix (a grid about 7'' long and 7'' wide, 1/4" steel tabbed directly to the hull and bolted into stringers and bulkheads) Figure I could hit a coral head at 15 kts and not break it loose.
The modern interpretation is the matrix used by X-Yachts.
I HAVE been onboard a 47'' Nautor when it hit a submerged granite rock at 6 kts. No damage.
A well designed and built vessel with a fin keel is reinforced for just such occurances. At least all the ones I would want to be out on.
Etaps are just too goofy for me, anyway. I get the whillies whenever I see "Picture Windows" on a salon. Thoughts of sun damage induced failure down the line are not something that would give me the warm and fuzzies on a crossing.
Other types of flotation have been tried. Anyone remember "Yacht Saver". Airbags that would deploy inside the boat. Two problems, 1) where''s the crew going to get out of the elements. 2) better be pretty damned sure the hull/deck join would stand the stress of supporting the hull (not something it was designed to do most of the time)
I guess that''s the lure of video games these days. Gives you the mental challenge without the risk. Well, maybe carpal-tunnel.
Just get out there and sail... Be prepared, and accept the concequences of your decisions.