2 dead, 8 injured in sailboat sinking - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 113 Old 03-28-2011 Thread Starter
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2 dead, 8 injured in sailboat sinking

2 dead, 8 injured as sailboat sinks off San Diego Bay

This is a very unfortunate event but ... 10 people were not sailing around the bay on a large vessel ... they were on a 25-foot sailboat. 10 people on the rail of this boat (think, 'Oh look! A dolphin. It's over there!') is just as much movable ballast as the boat was built with (if not a little more). The article mentioned the boat capsized, cause unknown. This certainly outlines the eventuality of boating safety neglected... what a shame.

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post #2 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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I live close to this area and sail out the shelter island harbor. My heart and prayers go out to the families involved. It's especially sad knowing a little bit of extra knowledge on boating safety could have prevented this.
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post #3 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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I saw an aerial picture of this on the news here in Northern California; and it looked like the boat may have lost it's keel. The reason I say this is because you could not see a fin on the hull and the boat was floating while completely upside-down. In most cases this cannot happen a keel boat will always try and right itself if it turns over. Rolling to an inverted position should not be able to happen in flat water. Looks like maybe 6 adults, 4 kids. I'm not sure I would call that over-loaded because sailboats can handle a large amount of ballast weight. I think my 41 is rated to have something like 25 adults aboard if I had life jackets for everyone. That's way, way more than I would ever want to have onboard; just it's rated capacity.
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post #4 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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I have read several accounts, and so far one identifies the boat as 25', the other two i.d. the boat as 35'. So there seems to be a discrepancy on the size of the boat.

The video in this news clip shows the overturned boat. I agree with KH, there does not appear to be a keel, although this could be a centerboard boat. I also don't see a rudder.

Clearly something went very wrong here.


P.S. KH, good to hear from you -- although I wish it were under different circumstances.


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post #5 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
I saw an aerial picture of this on the news here in Northern California; and it looked like the boat may have lost it's keel...
It's possible, but remember that many 25-footers have swing keels. I assume that if a boat with swinger capsizes, gravity will pull the keel back down into the well.

I have no direct experience with swing keels, but I believe that any ballast is higher up in/near the hull, making the boat even more topheavy with that many passengers. And as already mentioned, coming about with that many people aboard is likely to end up with too many being on the leeward side.


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post #6 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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Studying that video clip some more -- that is an unusual hull shape for a sailboat. Very low-displacement, with a flat bottomed in the run-out aft.

It almost looks more like a powerboat hull, with an outboard drive-shaft at the stern. Hard to say, though.


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post #7 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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not only is there no keel in the image but there is no rudder as well. Do Macgregors have a flip up rudder?

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post #8 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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The original link's video shows them towing the boat in with someone onboard. It's definitely not 35' and 25' looks like a pretty close guess.
10 people on a 25' boat?

Mine is 26' and maximum loading is 6 people of normal weight. 6 on mine would be a crowded boat.

Unless something happened to the keel, how did it completely turtle? I would think once those 10 people went into the drink, it would have righted itself. I couldn't identify the boat from the video, but if it's a water ballast which was left empty it could happen, I guess. The article said they needed translators for the victims.

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post #9 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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The original link's video shows them towing the boat in with someone onboard. It's definitely not 35' and 25' looks like a pretty close guess.
10 people on a 25' boat?
Looks like an early McGregor in that first video where they are towing it upright.

Sad story... that's a big load on a small boat.

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post #10 of 113 Old 03-28-2011
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At the 2:00 mark in the video in the original post you can see a profile of the boat as it's being towed in. There's a small outboard mounted on the stern -- I'm guessing a stern hung rudder detached when it turtled (not that it should have, of course). I'm going to guess that it was a CB, which, if the pivot bolt gave way or came out would quickly result in a capsize. If they had sails up, the drag from the sails would have slowed (but not prevented) it from turtling. Only "some" of those rescued had pfds according to the video.

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Last edited by CLucas; 03-28-2011 at 01:56 PM.
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