Capta so you dont know at all if it was a container. You dont even know the size of the waves but you know the unseen loud bang was a container? That wont stand up in court.
We fell off a wave once in another boat and when we hit the bottom there was a tremendous crash, absolutly tremendous smashing sound that had us in the bilges looking for leaks. When we haulded the boat later we saw the indentation in the antifouling of a turtle shell. And not a big turtle at that.
Your absolutely right, I do not know for a fact that it was a container we hit.
But to go from rolling to port to having the stb rail in the water virtually instantly, and moving sideways to stb away from whatever we hit with water nearly entering the cockpit from leeward, I don't know what else it could have been. I've fallen off waves in a very strong norther in the stream and other places with a lot of noise, hit a few pretty big logs in the PNW and numerous other things at sea and have never had a boat thrown so quickly and violently on her side.
I had absolutely no idea at the time, and like you, I thought it was a large wave hitting the rubrail, but when we got in the dink and saw the lost paint square, it seemed a logical conclusion. Others sailors saw the lost paint and agreed that it was distinctly possible that we had hit a container.
I really don't need to make up stories, what exactly would I stand to gain from it? I do not seek attention or approval from anyone; OK, maybe a little from my girlfriend. We were full of fuel, water and stores, never mind the masses of spares we all carry when departing on an extended cruise to the Caribbean, on a very heavy, fairly large boat. It certainly wasn't a turtle, nor a whale; but I am open to any other realistic suggestions.
And just to clarify another point; I am in no way, nor have I ever intended to say that all production boats are poorly built or of low quality. There are numerous high quality production boats on the market, new and old that IMO would be wonderful, safe and comfortable cruisers.
Curiously, these discussions seem to be about the "seaworthiness" of various boats, with little mention of comfort, at sea or at anchor. IMO, "livability" or comfort is a very important feature in a cruising boat, as we all spend much more time at anchor than underway.
If a boat hobbyhorses violently underway, or rolls horribly at anchor in a small swell, wouldn't that be something anyone, as a prospective buyer, would like to know? In Hawaii, a friend who did not know how to sail, bought an Ingrid, a boat I thought was the bee's knees in cruisers. I was so excited when he asked me to go out with him a few times to show him a bit about sailing it. It was shocking at how much that boat hobbyhorsed in small chop. I have seen what appeared to be excellently designed cruising boats become almost unlivable in a small swell at anchor, this summer in Prickly Bay, Grenada. One in particular (I do not know the design or manufacturer), a 48' to 52' ketch, (a boat I would have bought, had I found her for sale when I purchased our present boat, in a heartbeat!) that almost rolled her rails under when most other boats were doing OK. The owner set up a bridle on the anchor to bring the bow into the swells, but then the boat began to pitch violently. We watched in awe, literally. This was a beautiful, heavy displacement cruiser I would guess was built between 1970 and 1986. Boy was I happy I hadn't bought that boat!
I've no idea what it would be like living on and cruising a boat like the Hanse 415, for instance. Does the deep fin keel inhibit or enhance rolling? I am not denigrating the boat, only asking.
I got lucky; I purchased this boat because the Pearsons I have sailed, none of which was a 530 by the way, seemed well built and had a good over all reputation. It had most of the features I wanted in the last boat I'd ever own and the price was right. With the centerboard it is usually quite comfortable at anchor and sails much better than I thought it would. I honestly thought it was a motorsailor when I bought her; how wrong I was! But again, I got very very lucky.
Since we can't agree on seaworthiness of various boats, perhaps we can put forth some constructive information on the "livability" of boats that forum members are considering purchasing?