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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A member posted about this incident and about the loss of keel. We reviewed the post and have replaced the post with this one as new facts have emerged.

Stories:
Sailor survives 16 hours under capsized boat in Atlantic (nypost.com)
French man, 62, survives 16 hours in capsized boat in Atlantic Ocean before rescue 'verging on the impossible' | World News | Sky News

Note lack of keel, note apparent lack of propeller. Solo sailor. See notes below.


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Note: This is not a bolt on keel

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No propeller there. Its difficult to see, easier in the bigger photo but the black background of the wetsuit makes it arguable.

@Jeff_H is currently on the road and can't reply himself. He says:
"that appears to be a Class 40 race boat. Since the photo shows the profile of the keel, that is either a canting keel or a cassette keel. Neither keel type bears any relationship to a production boat with a bolt on keel.
For example, some cassette keels can be jettisoned rather than have the whole boat sink."


The boat left Lisbon, Portugal, heading North, and flipped near Sisargas Islands in Northern Spain close to the coast and near A Coruna. Thats near that far north western corner of Spain. Its a wind compression zone in any Northely or Easterly as wind tries to get out of the Bay Of Biscay.
Here it is at the moment and the black ring in the area of the capsize.
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I was 200 nms west of that point last year and it was still severely affecting my weather.
In the last few days I have been watching the weather a bit further south from Gibraltar to the Canaries for a friend doing that passage and theres been a hell of a Northerly, so I guess that was even hellier up the top of Spain.



Mark
 

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I will start by saying that all too often the sailing community at large tends to react to these disasters before the full information has been gathered. Often this premature speculation is based on incomplete information and therefore gets it very wrong. I am sure a whole lot more will be learned once the boat is recovered and the skipper interviewed. For now, the good news is that the skipper and his rescuers got through this safely.

I do want to comment on the Mark's quote from my earlier message to him on this story. Since I wrote that quoted item this morning, I was able to confirm that the boat in question is a Class 40. Class 40's do not have canting keels. But very often they do have cassette type (sometimes referred to a bayonet type attachment,) Judging from these photos, (which are clearer than the ones I saw this morning) that appears to be a cassette type keel attachment.

The post that was removed this morning referred to this as another bolt-on keel failure. From the images, it clearly is not a bolt-on keel. Structurally, cassette keels are very different than a bolt on keel. A cassette type keel attachment has a socket that is molded with the hull similar to a sump on an encapsulated keel, only extending upward into the hull. That socket then has sturdy framing that distributes the loads fore and aft, and transversely.

The top of the keel then has a reinforced top section that fits tightly into that socket. Because of the tight fit and the large surface area of the keel top and socket, the loads from a small footprint, high aspect keel are distributed over a larger area than would be possible with either a bolt on keel or an encapsulated keel. The only bolts used with a cassette style keel hold the keel in the cassette. Those bolts are dealing with very small loads compared to those that are imparted between the keel top and the cassette.

But these types (cassette and canting) of keel attachments are almost exclusively used on custom or limited production offshore race boats. They in no way relate to the methods employed to attach bolt-on keels on production boats which generally have much larger keel root footprints and the ability to spread the bolting over a larger area of the hull or keel sump.

While this is somewhat off-topic to the disaster in question, there is often a debate about bolt-on vs encapsulated keels whenever a disaster occurs. In recent years there has been a lot of research into instances where keels have been lost. At this point the research has produced only preliminary conclusions, but they are very different than might otherwise be assumed.

First of all, it is quite rare for a boat to lose its keel no matter what type it is.

But in the majority of cases, the boats in question have been leading edge one off or limited production race boat designs, and in recent years, among that group, keel attachment failures have predominantly been boats with canting keels.

If custom high performance, limited number race boats are removed from the discussion, the known keel failures have been nearly evenly split between bolt-on keels and encapsulated keels. In the case of the bolt-on keel failures, the vast majority have not actually involved the bolts themselves. Instead the failures have occurred in the laminate surrounding the area of the keel attachment. That failure of the laminate has generally resulted from some mix of hard grounding damage to the internal framing and bonding failures between the framing and hull.

Similarly, the failure mode on encapsulated keels occurs due to a failure of the laminate, mostly in the area where the keel encapsulation turns down out of the hull. While this form of failure can occur from a hard grounding, it can also be the result of fatigue in this area of the hull to keel. Encapsulated keels are much more prone to fatigue because, unlike bolt-on keels, they typically lack internal framing to resist flexure. It is that flexure that accelerates the weakening of the hull due to fatigue.

As far as the 'missing prop', I cannot say for certain whether or not it is present, but Class 40's use folding or feathering props and it is entirely possible that we can't see the prop blades from the angles at which the pictures were taken.

Back to the program in progress.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jeff. Yes agreed with you and @colemj that is not gunna be a fixed prop on a racing boat LOL

Its quite surprising the number of these type boats in the atlantic marinas and yes, we've seen them go out of Cherbourg solo. To be going upwind in one in 30 or 40 knots solo I really do wonder how it goes.

Thanks for your thoughts :)

Mark
 
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The boat in question turns out to be a Class 40 built by Cape Racing Yachts. Here is the press release on their Facebook page.

Cape Racing Yachts
On Monday evening at approximately 20h20 European time, Laurent Camprubi was sailing solo on our Cape 40 V2, #179, Jeanne off the coast off Portugal doing his 1,000nm Route du Rhum qualification. He triggered his emergency beacon after loosing the keel and capsizing. We are extremely relieved that Laurent was rescued by the maritime safety authorities and has been returned to shore.
The yacht is being towed to shore and we expect it to arrive sometime today. We are currently working with the yacht's team to establish what happened. More will follow.

EDIT: As an additional note, the boat has arrived in port and there are pictures of it inverted in a slip. One of the interesting aspects of this story is that the boat has remained afloat and that it held trapped air for this long. While it is buoyed with inflatable floats, the skipper survived in an air pocket that did not bleed out through hull openings,. That adds to the mystery since you would expect the air to have exited through any bolt holes or thru-hulls (i.e. sink drain)

Jeff
 

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So here is a bit more information: From the Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia. El náufrago de las Sisargas: «Al ver cómo quedó el barco no entiendo cómo sobreviví» (The article is in Spanish. I used Google's translator. In the article, I don't think that they are using the term 'dagger board;' the same way its used in the US, but they may be. Also. I did not add the bold faced type.) )

"The sailor said he was shocked when he realized the extent of the damage to his boat — a shattered mast, destroyed boom, keel and most equipment gone.

“I couldn’t understand how was I able to survive,” said Camprubi, of Marseille, “The conditions were very adverse.”

Camprubi set sail in his 40-foot vessel on Sunday from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, according to Reuters. He was participating in a qualifying race for the upcoming transatlantic solo sailing contest Route du Rhum, which takes place every four years.

He had arrived Monday in Fisterra in western Spain, where he encountered strong winds and three-meter waves, and soon realized his boat had lost its keel, a beam that runs down the middle of the boat, he said in the interview with La Voz de Galicia.

“I was trying to pull the main sail when the boat started to tilt,” he told the newspaper. “So without giving it much thought, I went inside, and in 15 seconds, the boat had capsized.”

Calmer and after being able to sleep "some", Laurent Camprubi returned this Thursday morning to the pontoons of Marina Coruña, in the port of Oza in A Coruña , to continue the work of capsizing his boat , with which the last Monday off the Sisargas Islands. The maneuvers began early, but it was at 11:01 a.m. when a crane managed to turn the boat around and put the keel in place. At that moment the damage became more visible: the mast broken at three points, the boom unusable, all the technology and electronics spoiled, the daggerboard and much of the equipment missing... "Something more than expected," they commented. companions of the French shipowner. Luckily, though, the hull seemed intact.

Camprubi soon entered the cabin area and saw the mess. He turned off the radio beacon so as not to interfere with the airport signals and immediately looked for his documentation. “Luckily everything was in his place. Perfect », he would say with relief. That will allow him to return this Friday by plane to Nice and, from there, to Marseille , where he lives with his wife and where he also hopes to meet again with his five children, the rest of his family and friends, "who have saturated my mobile with messages", He pointed excitedly.

After that first visual inspection of the Jeanne , as the injured competition sailboat is called, its captain was surprised at his luck: « When I entered, seeing how the boat turned out, I don't understand how I was able to survive . The conditions were very adverse." In fact, he recounts that on Monday afternoon the air bubble he had in the cabins was about 70 centimeters and, after spending the night, it was reduced to 40 or 30 centimeters, so time was running against me .. On Wednesday, when the boat was already on the jetty, the water occupied everything. There was no air left », he explained surprised. He confessed that the trance was difficult to manage: I never panicked, at any time. I analyzed the situation, tried to see reality and find solutions. But I was afraid that I would never see my children again." Laurent remembered the exact moment, after many hours of uncertainty under the hull of the Jeanne, in which he knew he would be saved: «In the morning, when they came back for me, I waited, I got ready, and as soon as I saw a hand through the door I dived in a second, I went outside and I met Andrés, the submariner. He told me that they expected to meet a tired, wandering man who they would have to help... but a sea dog appeared! He told me later that he almost couldn't catch me swimming », he explained excitedly. On Wednesday afternoon, after being discharged from the Chuac , Laurent met again with many of the Salvamento Marítimo personnel who participated in his rescue. “They were fantastic. They are amazing people. I have a lot of respect for them." He explained that in that meeting

He tried to provide these professionals with all kinds of information and details so that they could take them into account in similar rescues

Camprubi, who is an experienced sailor and has participated in many local and international competitions, told La Voz de Galicia that the experience has made him decide he will no longer compete professionally. “I don’t want to risk my life anymore,” he said. “I just want to take care of my family.”

After retrieving his papers from inside the sailboat, Laurent Camprubi will return to Marseille on Friday. Everything indicates that a structural failure caused the loss of the daggerboard and the immediate capsize

As for the damage to the ship, valued at more than 800,000 euros, Laurent Camprubi played it down: “It is not a problem. The important thing is that I'm fine and now I can dedicate myself to taking care of my family. I don't want to risk my life anymore . I don't want to compete in solo regattas anymore. I will dedicate myself to more local competitions or around the Mediterranean. He also remembered when, already safe with the Maritime Salvage professionals, he was able to contact his wife by phone: «I couldn't speak, we could only cry . It was an incredible emotion." He assured without stopping smiling that the important thing now is to take care of his family.
As for the cause of the accident, Manuel Capeáns is clear: "Losing the daggerboard is a safe capsize". He explains that this piece of the keel is what gives stability to a boat, especially a competition boat like the one Camprubi piloted. “If a boat like the Jeanne weighs about 4.5 tons, the daggerboard is 50% of the weight, about 2.5 tons. Without it, the boat stops being stable and capsizes ", he confirms. Although he is awaiting investigation, it is most likely that a structural failure caused the daggerboard to fall. "No, they weren't killer whales , I didn't see any during the entire journey," confirmed Laurent Camprubi.
 

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Here are a couple pictures of the damaged boat back in port....
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Below are computer renderings of a Cape 40.V2 which is the model boat in question.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He told me that they expected to meet a tired, wandering man who they would have to help... but a sea dog appeared!

4.5 tonne boat of which 2.5 tonnes is the keel

Well he has giving long passages the heave Ho!

Mark
 

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This disaster does not surprise me.
I find it interesting that you are not surprised by this incident. The more that I learn about this, the more i am surprised that this occurred.

After all, these boats are designed to race across oceans and around the world and have done so without incident. They are designed and engineered to be pushed hard in the toughest conditions. Yet this happened in relatively moderate conditions compared to the conditions encountered in the roaring 40's.

These boats use the sturdiest type of hull to keel connection available. Yet the keel appears to have simply dropped out of the boat.

It would be easy to assume that perhaps a retainer bolt or two were left out. But if that was the case, then I would not expect that the boat would have kept its an pocket very long since the empty bolt holes would have provided a path for the air to leave the interior of the boat.

If this was an older boat, I might have speculated that something fatigued or corroded and failed, but this is a comparatively new boat. If this was a brand new boat or a prototype I might have speculated that something was under engineered, or that there was a manufacturing defect. But sisterships have been in use in harsh conditions for several years, and this boat had enough use that a manufacturing defect probably would have shown up before now.

I might have speculated that the small cross-section of the keel was inadequate for the loads, but if that were the case I would expect to see a torn portion of keel where the keel exited the hull rather than the clean edged socket in the photos.

So I personally find this very surprising and look forward to hearing the results of the inquiry into why the keel was lost.

Jeff
 

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I suspect the factor of safety (engineering) is less... because it means more mass. Boats want to be light as possible... but they often are "in the edge".
 

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I think the air did leave the hull but he said he only had about 30cm of airspace which would be less then the height of the sink bowl or the bolts in the keel trunk. Likely they did not install all the bolts properly or they all did not share the load equally which caused them to fail one at a time. Could have happened over a long time or since the boat was built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After all, these boats are designed to race across oceans and around the world and have done so without incident. They are designed and engineered to be pushed hard in the toughest conditions. Yet this happened in relatively moderate conditions compared to the conditions encountered in the roaring 40's.
"Yet this happened in relatively moderate conditions compared to the conditions encountered in the roaring 40's."

This is Cape Finisterre! The gateway to the Bay of Biscay. Its as notorious as Cape Hatteras.
38 ships were sunk in 1 storm when the second Spanish Armada set off to attack England.
Its in the 40's. 43 degrees North. But not the Southern Ocean Roaring 40s
Last year I avoided this place by 200 nms and was still beaten up even though the winds were up my butt.
This guy was punching into them.
Finisterre beat up Lin and Larry Pardy (after they wrote about it being so dangerous.
The Romans called it "The end of the known World" in fact finis terrae, means "end of the earth"
The coast, known locally as the Costa da Morte (Death Coast), has been the site of numerous shipwrecks and founderings, including that of the British ironclad HMS Captain, leading to the loss of nearly 500 lives, in 1870
In the 2010s and 2020s, the waters of Cape Finisterrre have been the venue for several orca attacks against sailboats at Atlantic Ocean.



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This was the weather after the first report. My black circle is a little below where this incident occured.
I was doing some weather watching for a friend heading from Gibralter to Canaries , I wasnt weather routing, and only looking at his escape from Tangeirs, Morocco, and saw the weather pick up and change to a Northerly. It was getting far too strong heading to the Canaries and my friend had to drop his mainsail and go under reefed genoa poled out still doing 7 knots.

Going the other way off Finisterre, against the Portugese Current would have been hell

The sailor is from Marseille in the Mediteranian, not from the French Atlantic Coast. He may have been inexperienced in this area (like a US east coast sailor who has never gone around Cape Hatteras)

Read this carefully, translated from a French report, not a spanish report (the skipper is French)

"Laurent Camprubi ...: "Around 6 a.m., the conditions were as expected, then the sea rose more and more," he said. Just when he thought he had done the hardest part and was taking advantage of a little respite to rest, a wave caused the boat to skid. "I'm in the cockpit, the boat is going well and suddenly the boat takes off completely abnormally [French usage: weirdly]. I understand right away. » The Frenchman got up quickly and tried to lower the mainsail « but the mast was already in the water, the boat sank immediately. Camprubi leaps into the cockpit and is upside down in seconds. "I couldn't close the doors with the water coming in with too much force. And there we say to ourselves that we are not well. »" Voile. Coincé sous son bateau pendant 16 heures, Laurent Camprubi, miraculé, raconte son naufrage (ouest-france.fr)

This indicates the mast fractured BEFORE the boat capsized.

How could that happen?

Is he misquoted?
I don't think so because if the rig was still up and you knew the keel had broken off why would you go below? But the first thing I would do with a breaking mast is go below. If I thought the keel had snapped I would be getting out the life raft and staying out of the cabin.

Jeff, does the keel attachment have anything to do with the mast step? The keel breaks one way and the mast pops up with equal and opposite force?

So if the thumping to windward around finisterre does some structural damage, he rounds the Cape and the wind gets a bit better so he rests, the boat then hits a wave that causes the weakened keel to break instantly breaking the mast?

Final point: These boats are designed to race around the world DOWNWIND.
Going upwind they are a downhill sled, ULDB of 4.5 tonnes, into 30 plus knots on a short swell.
Thumping into every wave would send a wave up the carbon mast making the mast head to be like a cowboys whip.

Im gunna say he was thrashing it too hard upwind in one of the worlds most dangerous spots.


Mark
 
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Mark,

I am sure there will be more definitive information coming out over time. I was aware of where he was and that he had been through some rough weather. But the articles that I saw said that he had been through heavier than expected weather but that things had quieted down by the time the keel was lost. One article mentioned winds that were translated to 15-20 knots and 2 meter waves at the time of the capsize.

There are two quotes that suggest that the boat did not lose the mast before the keel. In the first quote the skipper said that he adjusted the mainsheet and the boat had an unusual motion at that time. He didn't think anything about it and went into the shelter to rest in the quieter conditions. The second quote is in that article you linked.

"I'm in the cockpit, the boat is going well and all of a sudden the boat takes off completely abnormally. I understand right away."
"
The Frenchman got up quickly and tried to lower the mainsail " but the mast was already in the water, the boat sank immediately."
" Camprubi
leaps into the cockpit and is upside down in seconds.:

While the translation may not be accurate, my take is that once the keel is lost the boat knocks down. The skipper tries to lower the mainsail but by then the mast is in the water. My interpretation (and I easily could be mistaken,) is that the boat is in the process of capsizing and has heeled to the point that the mast is horizontal or past horizontal, and in the water.

I some what agree with Overbored's comments that the restraining bolts failed. I found a picture of the interior of a race boat interior with a cassette type keel attachment and the socket appears to be over a foot above the hull so it's possible that the air was forced out of the bolt holes ( which is contradictory to my earlier comments)

In any event. Hopefully a whole lot more information will come out over time.

Jeff
 

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Structural fatigue can be a hidden enemy. Things may look "normal" but the elements of a system may be fatigued. You can see how a rig can be highly tensioned on the windward side and slack on the lee side... and cycling through this many times.
Years ago I had a lee shroud show a couple of cracked strands in the 1x19 wire while on the same tack for hundreds of miles between LI and Bermuda. I connected a spare halyard... but did not have that side on windward. I replaced the shroud in Bermuda. Good idea to keep some wire and Norsemen fittings if you have to do a repair.
I you have to use the same wire, it will be shorter... and you may be able to add some rigging toggles to make up the length.
 

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Structural fatigue can be a hidden enemy. Things may look "normal" but the elements of a system may be fatigued. You can see how a rig can be highly tensioned on the windward side and slack on the lee side... and cycling through this many times
I agree that fatigue can be a major contributer to a weakening of material strength that can ultimately lead to a failure. But there is nothing I have seen within the currently known to the public information that would suggest that fatigue could be a factor in this case.

This is an almost new boat engineered to withstand the abuses of a circumnavigation in really harsh conditions. The number of hard cycles in those conditions are exponentially greater than would be experienced by an almost new boat. In other words, it is probable that this boat did not have enough use to suggest that fatigue was an contributing issue.

Mark mentioned that the rig was likely to whip a lot going upwind. I do not think that is all that likely. Carbon fiber spars tend to be much stiffer and much lighter than aluminum spars. The light weight means there is less kinetic energy to cause whipping and the stiffness of the spars would reduce the velocity of the mast which would similarly reduce whipping.

My sense is that going upwind on a boat like this would certainly be a rough ride. I also agree with Mark that these boats are optimized for very deep reaching conditions. But they are still engineered for the long periods of heavy weather beating that they would be expected to encounter on their trips up and down the Atlantic.

My gut sense from the current information is that the failures will either turn out to be a manufacturing defect, or an assembly defect rather than an operator or engineering error, but of course additional information could certainly prove my gut reaction wrong.

Jeff
 

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The translation is strange, but it sounds to me like the keel came off, and the boat skidded sideways "in a abnormal way" because of no keel and the relatively flat bottom hull, followed shortly by the capsize and mast breakage. I dont understand the mast breaking in 3 places. But when CF goes, it usually goes with a bang.

"Laurent Camprubi ...: "Around 6 a.m., the conditions were as expected, then the sea rose more and more," he said. Just when he thought he had done the hardest part and was taking advantage of a little respite to rest, a wave caused the boat to skid. "I'm in the cockpit, the boat is going well and suddenly the boat takes off completely abnormally [French usage: weirdly]. I understand right away. » The Frenchman got up quickly and tried to lower the mainsail « but the mast was already in the water, the boat sank immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It appears that the boat has been towed to LaCoruna. Initial inspections indicate that the bolts holding the keel in its box are intact, and that the laminate in the hull around the box is not damaged.

Then how did the keel depart the boat?


Mark
 
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