the concept of unsinkable yachts - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 62 Old 04-16-2006 Thread Starter
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unsinkability

It was interesting reading the responses to what I posted before my last trip to the Pacific.

Essentially my post was to warn intending buyers that the concept of unsinkability was not all it is cracked up to be. I was concerned about the blind faith that an intending cruiser was putting in the concept. No - I am not a salesman and have no grudge against any particular yacht manufactuer. The post was purely altruistic.

Makes for interesting reading tho. Lets hope this post doesn't suffer from the same malaise.

Where were you all when I was anchored off Vanuatu?


Johnno

Last edited by Jeff_H; 12-23-2009 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Edited out Personal Attacks
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post #22 of 62 Old 04-16-2006
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I would take any boat manufacturer's claim of unsinkability with a large grain of salt. The full keel vs. fin keel debate is about as likely to draw blood as the multihull vs. monohull debate.
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post #23 of 62 Old 04-19-2006
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Mike Plant was lost when Coyote lost her keel in 1992--although the hull remained afloat. Years earlier, Thursday's Child also lost her keel. Both were fixed deep keels built by highly recognized designers--but built scantly for racing. So lost keels are nothing new. And keel damage from rocks is nothing uncommon.

But I've never heard anyone say "I'M GOING TO BUY AN UNSINKABLE BOAT!" much less ever try to look for one. Sounds like something a nervous delicate wifey would insist her browbeaten hubbie buy before she would let the kids go on it.

Sorry, folks, but the thread comes out as a diatribe against ETAP and nothing more. The issues of safety, sinking, floating, don't seem to be the point. ETAP chose to make a boat that is more likely to remain afloat when flooded. OK. So? Just one point among many to consider when buying a boat. If some fool thinks that will make them invulnerable and able to girdle the globe on their first day...well, that's the freedom of sailing.
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post #24 of 62 Old 05-19-2006 Thread Starter
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The April article in Boat Owner (the British Mag) relating to the loss of Maquini sadly reignites the issues that I raised previously.

Moquini was a 43 foot South African yacht which was found floating upside down minus her keel and her crew. All six aboard presumed dead. It is devastating to imagine what they went through and what their families are now going through. As a sailing community something like that touches and resonates through all of us.

My point was that unsinkability in itself based on bouyancy has its limitations. Loss of keel being just one example. And that is so whether the concept is being pushed by Etap or anyone else. Unsinkability has to be seen in context. As far as I can tell even my critics seem (because it is not always apparent from their posts) to agree with that.

My post was not a diatribe on Etap or anyone else for that matter. Although anyone reading the recent post which alleged that would have to wonder about the sensitivity of the author of that post. An employee or stooge of Etap perhaps?

It is worth noting that Moquini which by all reports had a standard hull floated anyway.

Doubtless that will incite a further flood of invective from Etap. But that's their problem. My thoughts are with the crew of Maquini.

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post #25 of 62 Old 05-19-2006
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The other point to make is that even if the boat is "unsinkable", that feature does you little if any good, unless you are able to stay on the boat. It is very difficult to stay on a boat that is tipped at 70+ degrees, and heaven help you if you're out on the deck of one that rolls through 180+ degrees.

I went with a trimaran, because I feel that the lower angles of heel and greater beam will greatly assist in keeping crew on board. Yes, a multihull will not self-right... but I'd don't intend to put the boat in a position where that is a problem. Most modern multihulls are very resistant to capsize, and have fewer risks of it, if sailed properly.
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post #26 of 62 Old 10-22-2009
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I bought a new Etap 39s in 2004 in fact the last built. I would think the chances of her burning to the waterline is much more likely than losing a keel. The person posting about losing the keel has obviously never seen how strong the keel installation is on this boat. I have been in 50 knot winds on Lake Erie with no concerns whatsoever. I bought the boat because it looked beautiful to me and the construction quality seemed to justify the price. More than unsinkability the thought of dust in the bilges and no boat smell sold me. Five years later there is not a drop of water in the bilges (only hair from my loyal black lab "Sailor"), the boat smells fresh,sails beautifully and still looks brand new. I could not be happier with the boat, the delivery, performance or overall build quality. The tankage is woefully lacking for long distance cruising but other than that I am extremely happy with my choice and would highly recommend this boat&company to anyone considering it.

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post #27 of 62 Old 12-12-2009
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It seems to me, that the most valuable asset to a sailor, is a cool head in the face of disaster. I read a book, 66 days adrift, and the man and woman were hit by a whale, knocking a hole in the hull. He said he looked, but couldn't figure out where the water was coming in. So he tossed his raft, inflated it, and they both climbed in. He said they stayed there and watched the boat sink. According to him, it tool a half an hour to go under.

At the risk of sounding haughty, I think I could have kept that boat afloat (not to mention I wouldn't have gone down below with a pod of pilot whales aggressively swimming with me-I would've stopped, turned, reversed, did whatever I had to do until the animals were no longer with me).

As to the breach: First of all, I would have started the bilge pumps working immediately. Then I would have found that that damned hole, if I had to tear out every cabinet in the vessel. Then, I would've stuffed something, cushion, clothing, anything against the hole and then screwed a plywood, or some other material, plate over the hole. At that point, I would've kept the bilges working, having my sailing partner bail if need be, and headed as fast as my motor or sail would carry me.

She might have still gone down, but I would NOT have sat for a full half hour and watch her sink.

By the way, I've been sailing twice in my life.


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post #28 of 62 Old 12-13-2009
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It shows.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #29 of 62 Old 12-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
It shows.
Perhaps. But, from what I've read in different books and articles by experienced sailors, way too often boaters abandon a vessel far too soon. I'm a more 'Take care of the problem' kind of guy. No doubt there are those times when the boat is going down and there's nothing to be done about it. But in the story I related above I think there was something that could've been done to keep that boat from sinking.

And one doesn't need to be a sailor to know that panic and 'fear-prompted' decision making is the overwhelming cause of crisis taking over a situation.


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post #30 of 62 Old 12-23-2009
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Unsinkable boats

Just had to chime in on this because there are a lot of boats and sailors on the bottom that would liked to have had a unsinkable boat. Read up on how much water a minute enters a one inch hole below the water, and how fast that hunk of lead will take you down. Even if it is upside down as long as it is floating its ok with me. As far as designing different ideas into there boats I think it is a great idea to try a new idea now and then. I know you are all in love with what ever boat you are sailing but lets face it if you seen one you have seen them all because over the many years of building boats, most builders are afraid to try something really different, hell in most all small boats the triangle shaped cabin hatch is still there after 60 years being used even though they will fall out if your on your side.As for me and my family give us a boat that will not sink!!
Just my $0.02
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