2 dead, 8 injured in sailboat sinking - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftldiver View Post
its a 1987 or 1988 Macgregor 26D (blue stripe vs later black stripe).

the only ballast THIS model has is the water, and if it leaked out, it could capsize.
(no relation to the current model for sale on the mfg website... a very different boat)

I can't imagine them leaving the dock with NO ballast, its just very very tippy. but if they didn't seal the vents or close the air vent, and it was heeling water could leak out, to help cause a capsize.

however, the hull would not want to float upside down, where the weight was the highest.

like most of the accidents for macgregor, I think it will turn out that the balast was not full and that error in use, caused the incident.

-and that is way to many aboard! 6 is a normal limit, 8 maybe if there are several kids. but 8 is a lot, and 10 is just foolish.


prayers for their families! so sad.

I really think they didn't have the ballast completely full. The amount of bodies on the boat certainly contributed to the capsize, but the fact that the boat didn't right itself points to an empty or mostly empty ballast.
I know water ballast boats are known to be tender, and they are up to a point just because the center of gravity is a little higher. But with a full ballast (unless it's a bad design) they don't turtle easily. Mine stiffens up like a keelboat at 15 degrees.


If there was any kind of thought to the design, the valve would be near the midline of the hull. It would need to have it up and out of the water before leaking from heeling. That would be near 90 degrees. It it was a severely leaky valve, water going by the hull might drain it. But that would probably take speeds faster than that boat can go since the valve wouldn't be designed like a self bailer. I know of a few water ballast boats with mildly leaky valves that still remain full.

Though, if you don't check to make sure it's full, they can fool an idiot. Mine will fill by itself to about 1/3 of capacity and take it's time doing so. I have to physically push down on the rod to hold the valve open to get it to fill completely because the pressure of the water closes the valve. It's a fair amount of pressure as well. I wouldn't have known to babysit it if I didn't check with lowering a rope down the vent hole to check the water level. I also know how low the boat should sit in the water, but a renter might not be privy to that.

If it was indeed a rental boat, surely they would have filled the ballast at launching before allowing anyone on the boat. But I have seen enough stupid with rental companies that it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't.

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post #52 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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As for the boat - how does the water ballasting work? Is there one tank? Two? Judging by that pic, that was a very unstable boat from the get-go.


A boat like that would have one tank. Big cargo ships use water ballast which they can move around the hull to counter act shipping weights and/or while loading to remain level.
The only real difference is the ballast is closer to the hull instead of in a keel which makes it initially a little more tender. Same as a shallow draft keel vs a nice deep bulb keel. But the weight is there and just like lead, she'll stiffen right up. Pull her over to 90 and she'll pop right back up. Because the tank is full (or should be-a check performed by any good skipper) the water doesn't slosh around, like many people imagine, and acts just like how a tank full of lead located in the same place would.
The physics tend to trick some because it's water which is under water. But the difference is it's in a separate tank, full, and attached to remain in one position on the hull. If you want to run an experiment, do this:
Cut a milk jug in half to form a "hull". Take a smaller bottle, fill it with water, and glue to the inside of the "hull". Gluing is important as well as the water being inside a different "tank", otherwise it doesn't work as ballast and just sloshes about (you wouldn't attach a lead keel to the the hull with something as flexible as a string, would you? ).
Now, place in water and try and capsize. You'll find it works much like attaching lead equaling the same amount of weight in the bottom of the "hull".

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post #53 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sublime View Post
Gluing is important as well as the water being inside a different "tank", otherwise it doesn't work as ballast and just sloshes about (you wouldn't attach a lead keel to the the hull with something as flexible as a string, would you? ).
Put another way, you wouldn't expect to improve stability by opening a through-hull and letting seawater slosh around your cabin sole.

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post #54 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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Hunter 260?

I'm not familiar with the Hunter (I assume you were referencing it) water valve. The Mac 26S & D have a valve that exits through the bottom of the hull in a recessed area. (although the earlier Mac 26 was flush I believe - the one that turtled was a earlier model) When you loosen the "wing nut" the valve drops down and allows water into the ballast tank. The weight of the fairly heavy valve holds the valve "open." It's not really necessary to "hold it open" in my experience.

Is the Hunter much different in it's design?

I agree how you felt about the ballast being empty.
One bit of supposition: Possibly if the valve was not tight (or the earlier design valve had been damaged due to a grounding) air may have slowly entered the water ballast from the overloaded condition, if heeling, even when motoring in waves etc. (I don't believe they were sailing from pictures before the accident - I'm just not sure) I would still find it hard to believe that so much water would have escaped, that it would have allowed the boat to flip over and stay that way, as indicated by pictures. I would think the tanks must have been empty when they left the boat launch.

I can't imagine what that boat must have felt like with that many people on board. If the skipper didn't have the ballast filled...

I have also found the same experience as you, with water ballast. The first 10% - 15% they are tender. Mostly noticeable when stepping on board from the dock. That may be where the erroneous feelings come from about water ballasted boats. After 15% they harden up considerably. After all, 1200 lbs is still 1200 lbs, whether it's water or lead.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sublime View Post
I really think they didn't have the ballast completely full. The amount of bodies on the boat certainly contributed to the capsize, but the fact that the boat didn't right itself points to an empty or mostly empty ballast.
I know water ballast boats are known to be tender, and they are up to a point just because the center of gravity is a little higher. But with a full ballast (unless it's a bad design) they don't turtle easily. Mine stiffens up like a keelboat at 15 degrees.


If there was any kind of thought to the design, the valve would be near the midline of the hull. It would need to have it up and out of the water before leaking from heeling. That would be near 90 degrees. It it was a severely leaky valve, water going by the hull might drain it. But that would probably take speeds faster than that boat can go since the valve wouldn't be designed like a self bailer. I know of a few water ballast boats with mildly leaky valves that still remain full.

Though, if you don't check to make sure it's full, they can fool an idiot. Mine will fill by itself to about 1/3 of capacity and take it's time doing so. I have to physically push down on the rod to hold the valve open to get it to fill completely because the pressure of the water closes the valve. It's a fair amount of pressure as well. I wouldn't have known to babysit it if I didn't check with lowering a rope down the vent hole to check the water level. I also know how low the boat should sit in the water, but a renter might not be privy to that.

If it was indeed a rental boat, surely they would have filled the ballast at launching before allowing anyone on the boat. But I have seen enough stupid with rental companies that it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't.

Last edited by mdbee; 03-29-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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post #55 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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That pic was from the day before - Saturday - and not the day of the accident. Here is an interview with the people who took the picture:

Image Captures Sailboat Before Accident | NBC San Diego



Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
More informations is available at 2 Dead, 7 Hurt in SD Sailboat Accident - Page 6 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

The following is a sanp of the boat--badly overloaded and absent ballasting--just before the accident:

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post #56 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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Wow, and the helmsman is wearing a #*#)#) Captains hat!!!!

I've saved the picture to always remind me of safety before fun. I don't see one PFD on that boat.

What a horrible story.

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Last edited by carl762; 03-29-2011 at 12:54 PM.
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post #57 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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Looks like the 'overloading' was not an isolated incident...

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post #58 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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Why is the boat heeling so much when it appears that the people in the cockpit are not all on sitting on one side of the boat? Seems to me that there is something wrong with how the weight is distributed in the boat; maybe a bilge full of water (not in the ballast tank) that had shifted to one side. Could a failure of the ballast tank, allowing water into the bilge cause this?
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post #59 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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From SA...it looks like it was the founder of the non-proft, George S. (from what I can see on the site), that was at the helm. This is not going to go well for anyone involved:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Red Shark
Story as it ran in our local paper today:Wind gust blamed for fatal San Diego capsize
By Associated Press


POSTED: 06:54 a.m. HST, Mar 29, 2011



AP

The sailboat that capsized Sunday in San Diego Bay, is seen Monday, March 28, 2011, in San Diego. Authorities on Monday identified one of two men who died after the rented sailboat carrying 10 family members capsized in calm water and good weather in San Diego Bay. (AP Photo/The San Diego Union-Tribune, Peggy Peattie)

SAN DIEGO >> A board member of a sailing charity that sponsored a trip for special needs children and their families says a gust of wind led to the accident in the San Diego Bay that killed 2 and sent 8 to the hospital.



John Shean, president of the board for the Bloomington, Ind.-based charity Heart of Sailing says a gust of wind hit the jib just before the 26-foot MacGregor capsized late Sunday.

Shean says the charity's founder was the only sailor aboard and had traveled from Indiana to offer sailing trips all weekend in San Diego. Shean says the boat's water ballasts were properly filled and its keel was down.


He identified the two men killed as the uncle and grandfather of an 11-year-old autistic boy on the trip.


NO mention of the boat being grossly overloaded....


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post #60 of 113 Old 03-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan316 View Post
That pic was from the day before - Saturday - and not the day of the accident. Here is an interview with the people who took the picture:

Image Captures Sailboat Before Accident | NBC San Diego
Jonathan,

I'm having trouble keeping up here, and don't have time to follow th elinks to other websites. Are you saying that the photo above is a different group, not the group that ended up in the water?


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