Rambler 100 lost keel capsized - all rescued - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 36 Old 08-17-2011
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@Jeff_H: Thanks for the info on that. I've been looking into picking up some more PFD's for the family (four young'ns that quickly scale out of the junior sizes!) and honestly coud do with the less cumbersome inflatable versions. I was only just talking to the wife two nights ago about it.

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See my PM - I don't want to derail this thread
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post #22 of 36 Old 08-17-2011
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Rambler was apparently coming down under to do battle with Wild Oats in the Sydney - Hobart. Not likely to be rebuilt in time. A shame, it would have made for quite a race.

Smack ... ref "Are these keels simply bad design" ... Wild Oats XI has now claimed line honours in five Hobarts plus one second to Alfa Romeo. Seems to suggest it is not the keels per se that are poorly designed, more that there was a fault with this particular one.

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post #23 of 36 Old 08-17-2011
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SJB,

(Bleeding heart liberal alert .. )

Personally I loath these types of keels if only because of the likely effect they will have on anything living that they run into. Collisions with Sunfish are quite common off the NSW coast, with whales not so much but they do happen. I hate to think what injuries a Sunfish or Whale would suffer if they were hit by one of these things when the boat is travelling at speeds close to and exceeding 20 knots.

Nonetheless, as per my previous post they can are built to a pretty reliable standard in most cases and failures after all are relatively few.
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post #24 of 36 Old 08-17-2011
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I hate to think what injuries a Sunfish or Whale would suffer if they were hit by one of these things when the boat is travelling at speeds close to and exceeding 20 knots.
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post #25 of 36 Old 08-17-2011
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I hate to think what injuries a Sunfish or Whale would suffer if they were hit by one of these things when the boat is travelling at speeds close to and exceeding 20 knots.
I guess what was left of a Sunfish would just drift away to be eaten by sharks, whilst what was left of the now capsized keel-less yacht would bob around in the ocean waiting to be rescued by tax-payers funds.. but I hate to think what injuries said injured Southern Right whale would inflict on the fragile toy of a boat that just hit it at 20 knots. Either way, there would be no winners..

I think it's amazing that it hasn't happened yet. Perhaps whales are smarter than we credit them.

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post #26 of 36 Old 08-17-2011
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Its certainly happened with larger ships ..

A quick google brought up more than a couple of instances.

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post #27 of 36 Old 08-18-2011
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FYI

Rambler is now the right way up, still afloat and minus the rig.

The rig location is known.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...302640302.html

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post #28 of 36 Old 08-18-2011
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It certainly appears so. This factor was just discussed in another thread but to recap, prior to the early / mid 80's I had never heard of a keel falling off. Then came Drum, Simon LeBon's boat which had the lead slide off the bolts in the channel. The foundry apparently had not put anything like backers on the bottom of the bolts or bent them into a J, as was conventional. This situation was regarded then as a freak accident but it has become almost commonplace in the last decade or so.

These razor blade keels with a huge pendulum of ballast at the bottom and a tiny mounting surface against the hull are the problem IMHO - how can they possibly be engineered to take that kind of stress on such a tiny load area?

Combine the super thin, lightweight exotic material hulls with the incredible point loading of those extreme keels and you have a perfect recipe for keel failure, which is what we are seeing.

This sort of knife edge (pun intended) engineering is fine for race cars - you can pull over and walk back to the pits - but is unacceptable for offshore sailboats - people drown too easily.

IMHO, anyone who wants to take the risk of sailing one of these manifestly unseaworthy monsters offshore should have to forgo the response of the rescue services and look after themselves, no EPIRBS, no radios or SatCom etc. How many times has the Aussie Navy had to rescue Vendee Globe and other racers when boats like this failed thousands of miles from land. Taking risks is fine even admirable but if you don't take reasonable and proper precautions (a seaworthy boat for example) then you shouldn't expect others to risk their lives to pick up after you.

You're in Canada. What's your stake in Australia's search and rescue program, guidelines, or priorities? If it's numbers, accidents, etc... you're looking for, then all power boats should be banned. And all boats with bulbs on a high aspect blade are unseaworthy? Hardly. Rambler is at the extreme of the extreme cutting edge of technology. Anyone who gets on this type of boat knows that it's much easier to be swept overboard, injured by rigging failure, or yes, even a keel failure. It's not a casual cruiser nor intended to be sailed by non-athletic sailors. Don't take offense, but I'm glad as always when these threads come up that the world isn't limited by any one individual's opinion. If so, there'd be both very little racing, and almost no advancement in yacht design including safety and reliability.
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post #29 of 36 Old 08-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
SJB,

(Bleeding heart liberal alert .. )

Personally I loath these types of keels if only because of the likely effect they will have on anything living that they run into. Collisions with Sunfish are quite common off the NSW coast, with whales not so much but they do happen. I hate to think what injuries a Sunfish or Whale would suffer if they were hit by one of these things when the boat is travelling at speeds close to and exceeding 20 knots.

Nonetheless, as per my previous post they can are built to a pretty reliable standard in most cases and failures after all are relatively few.
I have to disagree - per my op, these sort of failures are now almost commonplace with these ultra extreme boats. Look at the Volvo - the rams on canting keels ripping loose and boats being abandoned. Isabelle Autissier had to be rescued TWICE in separate races in the Southern Ocean, a whole FLEET of Bavaria rent-a-racers in the Adriatic had their keels rip off, A/C boats folding in half and sinking due to the concentrated loading and on and on. This sort of thing was and should be virtually unheard of and yet starting fairly recently it seems to happen every season now, even with outfits like Farr designing the boats. I have serious doubts that it is even possible to engineer this type of structure to reliably withstand the incalculable forces involved.

This sort of ultra extreme design should be restricted to inshore racers until it is as proven as conventional technology before it is taken offshore otherwise the risk to life is simply too great. Ocean racing, especially in high latitudes, is risky enough without doing it in experimental vessels that have a known high failure rate.

Or have I simply become an old fart?

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #30 of 36 Old 08-18-2011
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Sloop,
If memory serves Autissier's first boat, and also the Englishman's whose name I forget who was plucked from the ocean south of Oz were both conventional keels as was the AC boat (one of the Australians) that played fold-a-boat. I don't know the Bavaria story so cannot comment.

My point was that I don't believe the concept is unsound and for mine boats like Leopard, Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats seem to have shown that a strong reliable canting keel is possible.

My guess, and it only is a guess, is that more folk have died in cruising boat incidents in the last ten years than in racing, particularly in racing incidents caused by gear failure. Certainly in Australia I know of only one fatal incident involving a racing boat in recent times and that was when Scandia went up on a rocky outscrop south of Sydney. That had nothing to do with gear failure as such.

Anywho, as I said I'd simply ban the bloody things on the basis of environmental vandalism and be done with it.

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