The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too" - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree46Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-17-2014
smackdaddy's Avatar
Last Man Standing
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,726
Thanks: 72
Thanked 62 Times in 56 Posts
Rep Power: 8
smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

I've started this thread (pulled from Jon's entry in the Rallies Gone Wrong thread) because this is going to be a very interesting story.

Here's the story told by Charlie Doane who is the Executive Editor of SAIL magazine (to which I subscribe) - and who was on board:

HELICOPTER EVACUATION: Abandoning Be Good Too

This incident is obviously going to raise a lot of questions regarding Aeroyacht's design and construction of the Alpha 42 - info for which can be found here:

AEROYACHT Alpha 42 catamaran - Aeroyacht

The "Be Good Too" was Hull No. 1. Ouch.

It appears that the most significant failure was the rudders, when the boat was apparently "pushed backward by a rogue wave". Interestingly, Charlie says this about the configuration of those rudders prior to this disaster:

Quote:
We now set up the boat to motorsail itself in a fore-reaching configuration under just the double-reefed main (there was no third reef). We locked the helm off hard to port to keep her from rounding up and were making progress eastwards at 4-5 knots.
Hmm.

Lots of questions...
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 01-17-2014 at 01:51 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 01-17-2014
BubbleheadMd's Avatar
Chastened
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Edgewater/Annapolis
Posts: 2,632
Thanks: 0
Thanked 43 Times in 41 Posts
Rep Power: 5
BubbleheadMd will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Yahoo to BubbleheadMd
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

This is only one side of the story, but if it's true (and I have no reason to doubt the narrator), These people made legitimate, serious attempts to save their vessel before dialing 911.

It does seem that they were a little light on "damage control equipment" and tools, with which they might have made more successful repairs, but really, what are you going to do about a bent rudder besides carry a spare rudder?

Mostly, I feel that they were screwed by crummy engineering, and crummy construction of their "new" boat.

Crummy rudder design.
Charging system failing on a new boat?
Engine fails to start on a new boat?
Starter shorts and fails on a new boat?
Self-tacking jib lead insufficient on a new boat?

I think a winter delivery was fraught with unnecessary risk, but they didn't seem to face apocalyptic conditions that would cause such a string of failures.
__________________
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 01-17-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: wherever
Posts: 5,233
Thanks: 8
Thanked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Rep Power: 10
xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

To me the error was in taking this brand new boat on a shakedown cruise, offshore, dead of winter.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 01-17-2014
PCP's Avatar
PCP PCP is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
Posts: 16,141
Thanks: 21
Thanked 89 Times in 73 Posts
Rep Power: 10
PCP will become famous soon enough
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

I confess that I did not have understood that it was a brand new boat. I did not have recognized the model but even with the wave piercing hulls the boat looked not brand new to me. The design (Marc Anassis) is kind of odd with plenty angles and a big windage. I never heard about the designer too. He have worked for many years as head of lofting for C&C yachts.

I am a bit perplexed with the accident. I have the idea that the boat had been thrown violently backwards by a gigantic wave but that is not confirmed by their description:

"At about 1130 hrs we took a huge direct hit all across our front windows. The wave that hit us seemed much larger than the rest and was running at a different angle, such that it hit us from directly ahead instead of on the starboard quarter. ..The wave stopped us dead in our tracks and even seemed to back us up a bit.

Considering this the damage seems to be very extensive.

Aeroyacht is a yacht brokerage firm that sells catamarans (several brands) and decided to distribute exclusively this one giving it its name. If I understood correctly the company or the builders had no particular experience in building cruising cats and I don't find any previous cruising cat project coming from that NA.

Picking an unproven nº1 hull from a company with no previous building experience in this type of boats and making a delivery on rough seas seems not very prudent to me. It seems to me that it should not be the owners to test the prototype on rough conditions but of course, it was their decision to take the boat there.

Alpha Team

About Aeroyacht - Aeroyacht

http://www.aeroyacht.com/wp-content/...-Brochure1.pdf
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by PCP; 01-17-2014 at 03:56 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 01-17-2014
smackdaddy's Avatar
Last Man Standing
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,726
Thanks: 72
Thanked 62 Times in 56 Posts
Rep Power: 8
smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

Yeah, Paulo - it is very weird. Charlie was also perplexed by what happened in his article. My suspicion - based on the article (and his quote in my OP) - was that the helm was locked hard-over and thereby presented an immediate very large plane of resistance to the backward motion. And with the questionable construction/assembly it all just blew up.
c. breeze likes this.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 01-17-2014 at 05:24 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 01-17-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,028
Thanks: 0
Thanked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Rep Power: 4
JonEisberg will become famous soon enough
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
To me the error was in taking this brand new boat on a shakedown cruise, offshore, dead of winter.
Actually, according to the website, there had been at least some sea trialing/shaking down of the boat prior to departure...

Alpha 01 attacks the ice - Aeroyacht

But I agree, this loss was to a large extent the result of decisions made before the boat ever left Liberty Landing... Always easy to say in hindsight, of course :-)

Not that I was ever asked, but this would have been a delivery I would have passed on, or at least tried hard to convince the owners to consider 'modifying'... With so late a departure in what has been a very volatile and changeable winter so far, I'd try to talk them into simply going down the coast, and spending the winter in the Bahamas, instead... That would certainly be an ideal boat for it...

Or, at the very least, jumping off from Norfolk, or Morehead City, instead... Chances are the charging issue they had (which again, in hindsight, the consequences of which I think is greatly understated in Charlie's write-up) would have been exposed and remedied prior to setting off from further down the coast... I've posted numerous times here the link to Don Street's thoughts on the risk of shooting directly for the islands from further north, and the preference from jumping off from the Chesapeake or Morehead instead, and doing so in mid-January makes even less sense, to me...

However, such routing considerations expose, to me, one of the fundamental liabilities of a multihull for offshore, or for this passage late in the season, in particular... Namely, their inherent lack of weatherliness, and ability to make a COG as close to the wind as a more weatherly monohull...

So, once the determination that the BVIs were to be the destination, the skipper is put into a bit of a box, due to the limitations of the boat's inability to sail a high course to weather... In January, chances are that further on down the rhumb line, you're gonna encounter the winter trades sooner rather than later, and will be on port tack hard on the breeze for perhaps the last 500-600 miles of the trip, and quite possibly more... So, a departure from the Chesapeake, or south of Hatteras - while being considerably safer and more prudent in terms of waiting for a decent window, and getting across the Stream quickly - could make it very problematic to lay the Virgin Islands on port tack... Hell, on a boat like that, leaving from Morehead/Beaufort, you might be lucky to fetch Luperon, much less San Juan... :-)

Whatever, this was clearly not the right boat to be on in that particular place, at that particular time... Hell, I still can't get over the fact that the steering arms were fixed to the rudder posts with freakin' SET SCREWS... UFB...

In any event, I suppose Bill & Linda Knowles must be relieved this boat wasn't ready to go a few months ago... After all, if this had occurred during the Salty Dawg Rally, it would have only served as further evidence that there is a real problem with the way the SDR is being conducted...

Sorry, Smack - couldn't resist... :-)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 01-17-2014
smackdaddy's Avatar
Last Man Standing
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,726
Thanks: 72
Thanked 62 Times in 56 Posts
Rep Power: 8
smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

No worries dude! The SDR would have let them in - no problem. Set screws and all. Who needs to check stuff anyway?
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 01-17-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,028
Thanks: 0
Thanked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Rep Power: 4
JonEisberg will become famous soon enough
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
No worries dude! The SDR would have let them in - no problem. Set screws and all. Who needs to check stuff anyway?
Yeah, the Caribbean 1500's ISAF-based Safety Inspection would have caught that one, no doubt... I'm sure they would have caught the sort of stuff a skipper like Hank Schmitt might have overlooked... :-)

Hmmm, wish I was at liberty to share an anecdote from an email I received a few weeks ago from Hank, regarding how 'discriminating' the 1500 can be, when it comes to whose checks they will accept... :-)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 01-17-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NH
Posts: 483
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 3
misfits is on a distinguished road
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

This was mentioned on the local news last night because Charlie is considered a local being from Maine.

I wondered why anyone would even consider a bee line to the islands from the northeast this time of year. What's up with that?

Putting the make of the boat aside, I would think heavy weather would be more of a problem for cats compared to a mono hull, safe to say?
__________________
I'm not happy unless I'm complaining about something.
I'm having a very good day!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 01-17-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 757
Thanks: 1
Thanked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 2
benesailor is on a distinguished road
Re: The Loss of The Alpha 42 "Be Good Too"

When i saw they were building a Cat (Alpha 42) in NY as was so happy. I thought this was going to be a new beginning for a new builder.

I guess not......
The weather they experienced was not that tough for a boat that was engineered properly.

I think it's time for some of these american builders to reverse engineer some of the french and german/english boats to get an idea on how to build a boat.

I would venture to say that this will be the end of the Aeroyacht line. That story was way to accurate and truthful to set aside.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Seacock" vs. "ballcock" or "ball valve?" SEMIJim Gear & Maintenance 18 09-02-2013 05:31 PM
VIDEO: Coast Guard Academy Welcomes "Blue Goose" and "Stormy Petrel" - Patch.com NewsReader News Feeds 0 07-28-2012 07:50 AM
C270 Main Sail "stack Pack", Quick Cover", "lazy Bag" Install randy22556 Catalina 1 02-28-2007 11:53 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:02 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012