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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 12-03-2006
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High Winds Wreak Havoc

Where I live all the boats are now up on the hard for the winter. We had some pretty high winds on Friday so I decided to go down to the boatyard today to check my boat and make sure my tarps didn't blow off. My boat was fine, but a couple of others were not so lucky. One boat actually tipped over which knocked over the boat next to it, which in turn fell against a third boat. I snapped a couple of photos with my cell phone. Check these out (I hope the attachments come through ok)
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Old 12-03-2006
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
They must have hit the ground pretty strong because these two fell also, and they are in Portugal!!!
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Old 12-03-2006
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Unfortunately, often all it takes is one guy who did a bad job of storing his boat, and then the domino effect takes over. If the little cradle I see in the first photo was for the green hulled boat, it looks like it wasn't really designed to resist the lateral loads that can occur when the winds pick up.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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Old 12-03-2006
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It looked to me that the boat with the green cover was the first to tip, and it had been sitting on a cradle made of wood. I see quite a few boats sitting on wooden cradles and I always wonder to myself how strong they really are.
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Old 12-03-2006
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I hate to see this type of thing happen but unfortunately this is one of those risks that come from owning a boat. With respect to wooden cradles, there is abolutely nothing wrong with them. What does goes wrong, is the lack of thought in designing the cradle, and the material sizing. The next thing that goes wrong is the lack of maintenance to the cradle both steel and wood construction. From the pictures, it looks like the boats that tipped were fully exposed to the wind and that the cradles may be a little too narrow at the base of the cradle. A common mistake with cradles. The wider the foot print of the cradle the better. As well, by nesting boats together you stand a better chance of them not tipping over. Have a look at Everett Price's User Gallery. He has photos of how we store our boats.
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Old 12-03-2006
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I don't think that wood cradles are necessarily bad...but one that is designed with the base and top the same width—rather than having a substantially wider base—is just badly designed.

The best on-the-hard storage system I've seen was at a marina that had setup pits for each boat, where the cradle and most of the boat was set into the ground, almost to the waterline of the boat and anchor points, set into the concrete surrounding each pit tethered the boats.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 12-03-2006
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Don't know how many of you have seen this before...but here's what can happen to closely stacked boats on cradles in a REALLY big blow. Of about 225...8 were left standing!
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Old 12-04-2006
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Standing masts

I am surprised no one has mentioned the contribution the standing rig makes to this type of incident.
At the club I belong to you must take your mast down and we do not allow jack stands. We also have very specific requirements for cradle construction. While wood is not forbidden it is very hard to build a cradle to meet the specs in wood so I do not think we have any of wood any more.
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Old 12-04-2006
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I would like to see a copy of those specifications at your club. At our club we discourage the practice of leaving your masts up. We have 100% compliance. Just what the Doctor ordered, we are forecast to have 50-60 mph winds overnight with heavy rain and possibly snow.
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