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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There has been found a 10 meter French yacht mid Atlantic no one aboard, makes one wonder what might have happened There are still more reports to come and investigations, but might it had been a rouge wave and them not being clipped on, makes one think for sure. They were last heard from May 24 by their daughter. They had left the French islands off Newfoundland headed for France.
 

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There has been found a 10 meter French yacht mid Atlantic no one aboard, makes one wonder what might have happened There are still more reports to come and investigations, but might it had been a rouge wave and them not being clipped on, makes one think for sure. They were last heard from May 24 by their daughter. They had left the French islands off Newfoundland headed for France.
We hear similar reports every so often, but usually the boats were being sailed solo. I take it that there was a crew of at least 2 aboard?

Do you have a link to the report?

That northern route can be a rough patch of water.
 

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Cam, you saved me the trouble...this was in my morning paper, which is the Globe and Mail itself.

Of note is the comment that, contrary to EU law, they did not have an EPIRB ("Complicating the search was the fact that L'Actuel did not carry a satellite rescue beacon as required by law, according to a duty officer at the Delgada Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in the Azores.").

Earlier in the article, the skipper is described as "very competent", but I don't consider failing to take an EPIRB a mark of good judgement. In a European context, they are as mandatory as carrying flares or PFDs is for North Americans. In a recreational sailing context, they have been part of the toolkit for over two decades, COSPAS-SARSAT having been formed by the U.S., Canada and France in 1982.

Why you would consider doing a double-handed Great Circle crossing of the Atlantic in May (brrrr!) without an EPIRB in 2009 defeats my reason. Even the Pardeys, so often characterized as sailing Luddites, had, according to my reading, an EPIRB in 1998 or before, and presumably still have one on their otherwise kerosene and coal-powered wooden boats.

This is sad, but the failure...or refusal...to take advantage of current safety standards make this the watery equivalent of driving off-road in a Mini Cooper without a seatbelt or helmet.
 

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What caught me was the boat itself: Jeanneau Sun Rise 35...an older coastal cruiser. And then the comment about the boat being rolled. Even with an experienced skipper, it seems like we play the odds when you take a coastal boat across oceans...not that I'm saying couldn't have happened in a Valiant or Pacific Seacraft. But still gives pause in preparation to the next round of "Is this boat bluewater capable" threads. Here's hoping for a miracle rescue of all lost crew.
 

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night0wl - what is wrong with the boat - it is a patently blue-water capable vessel as evidenced by the fact that it is still afloat. How would the crew have fared better on another boat? If one isn't tethered or belowdecks when the boat rolls then one has littele chance of remaining with the boat regardless of whether it is full-keeled or heavy displacement or cutter rigged.
 

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night0wl - what is wrong with the boat - it is a patently blue-water capable vessel as evidenced by the fact that it is still afloat. How would the crew have fared better on another boat? If one isn't tethered or belowdecks when the boat rolls then one has littele chance of remaining with the boat regardless of whether it is full-keeled or heavy displacement or cutter rigged.
The following is all speculation. You are correct, tethering in would have helped.

Perhaps a large wave hit that cockpit. The large open and inviting cockpits these boats have (perfect for anchorages and socializing) maybe allowed the water to knock the skipper and crew out of the cockpit. Also, these boats are light because modern construction techniques reduce materials needed...like all coastal cruisers. Unfortunately, light boats make for unpleasant hobby horsing and motion on open ocean swells/waves. Maybe someone went forward to deal with the main and was knocked overboard by a nasty swell and the MOB drill went badly.

Look - I own a Beneteau 343. Which is an amazing analogy to this ~34 foot Jeanneau. I just dont think I would attempt a crossing from Canada to Azores in it...and I love the boat.
 

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NightOwl,

Being as I currently own a mid 80's jeanneau Arcadia, I can tell you flat out, that this boat, as is the boat in question, built WAY different than todays Jeanneaus and Beneteau's! A much stronger boat, and they were designed to go offshore on the run that these folks did.

As zanshin mentioned, if the boat was rolled, it is still afloat, it must be doing ok!

There was another Jeanneau, from the same era/size, that two yrs ago, did a non stop sail around the world! The up to early 90's Jeanneaus were designed for this type of work.

I would SWAG that the occupants were not tethered too.

Marty
 

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Epirb

Hey,

What good would an EPIRB have been in this case? The EPIRB is mounted to the boat, not a person. If both people end up in the water, the epirb isn't going to go off. I suppose if one person went off, the other could have triggered the epirb, but why would the second person leave the boat? The article, which didn't contain a whole lot of information, didn't note that any COB gear was deployed.

This is a mystery.

Barry
 

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...This is sad, but the failure...or refusal...to take advantage of current safety standards make this the watery equivalent of driving off-road in a Mini Cooper without a seatbelt or helmet.
Some of the details I'd like to see are absent in the article. There's no mention, for instance, of whether the companionway was shut or whether there was any evidence of flooding belowdecks.

An EPIRB may not have made a lick of difference if the boat was rolled and the crew was separated from the boat. Even a hydrostatic release might not have activated during a roll. And to the best of my knowledge, the French EPIRB requirement does not require an external hydrostatic mount. So if an EPIRB was below decks with a ditch kit (where many people keep it), it would have done nothing for them or the searchers.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm very much in favor of EPIRBs. I just can't tell from the available facts whether one would have helped them in any way.

night0wl - what is wrong with the boat - it is a patently blue-water capable vessel as evidenced by the fact that it is still afloat. How would the crew have fared better on another boat? If one isn't tethered or belowdecks when the boat rolls then one has littele chance of remaining with the boat regardless of whether it is full-keeled or heavy displacement or cutter rigged.
Zanshin,

If it were simply a question of, all else equal, "How does the crew fare when the boat rolls?", you might have a valid point.

But it's not even the keel design that is at issue when distinguishing between "bluewater" and coastal boats. The real question concerns the boats resistance to rolling in the first instance, regardless of keel design.

Designers can calculate the limit of positive stability (LPS), i.e. the point at which the boat will continue to roll over through 360 degrees rather than self-right from the direction of the knockdown. There are minimum suggested LPS figures for off-shore boats, and it's pretty rare for coastal designs to meet those minimum requirements. Many of them fall well short.

I don't know what the calculated LPS of this Jeaneau boat was, but in any case we have no idea at this point whether it was rolled. Based on the description provided (rigging and sails intact, no mention of flooding belowdecks), my best guess is that it wasn't.

Which leads to your other point: "it is a patently blue-water capable vessel as evidenced by the fact that it is still afloat." I'm not sure I follow the reasoning of this statement. I would argue that simply being afloat is a pretty low standard to set as a qualifier for a bluewater boat. these are personal preferences, of course, but I think at a minimum such a boat should extremely resist capsizing, be capable of withstanding a severe pounding, arrive with a minimum of wear and tear or damage, and protect and deliver it's crew safely to their destination.

Again, we don't know what happened, but it does appear this crew was somehow ejected or swept from their vessel, likely in adverse conditions. Yes, the hull survived, but the crew did not.
 

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I should add or change my post to be more specific in what I wanted to state. In this case it would seem that the issue is not the boat but the crew; a knockdown (which I think is likelier than a roll given that the rig is still standing) or a roll can happen to any boat given the right conditions - I can't recall the formula but seem to remember that for a breaking wave the main factor is the LWL and not the boat type or construction.
Be all that as it may, if one is knocked down or rolled and not physically restrained to the boat there is little chance of holding on by body strength alone, and whether one is in a craft with an open aft cockpit or a sheltered midships one makes precious little difference.
All we can do is make guesses as to what might have happened but what is known is that the boat is still afloat. Thus using this incident as a basis of ruling the boat non-bluewater capable is, in my opinion, not justified. Perhaps the crew went missing in benign conditions prior to any knockdown or roll.
 

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All we can do is make guesses as to what might have happened but what is known is that the boat is still afloat. Thus using this incident as a basis of ruling the boat non-bluewater capable is, in my opinion, not justified.
The converse is also true.

Perhaps the crew went missing in benign conditions prior to any knockdown or roll.
Very true. The reefed sails suggest there was some wind (which is usually accompanied by a certain amount of wave action) -- nothing more. And the intact rig suggests to me that the boat did not roll.

As far as being tethered or not -- I have thankfully never been rolled. But my understanding is that rolls, when they do occur, are not instantaneous events. My assumption has always been that anyone in the cockpit during a roll would need to unclip to get to the surface for air. That is another reason why resistance to rolling is so important -- if the boat does not go all the way over after the knockdown, you can remain tethered to it.
 

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Not that these numbers always mean much........

Screen stability 40.54
Vanishing stability 123.1

Capsize formula 1.91
motion comfort 46.39

When I ran the capsize formula, they were looking for a 2 or less, the program said "stability is predicted"

While probably not numbers all would look for, they do not look too bad. Another note mentioned that the 98 syd hobart race, it did not matter "WHAT" the boat had for these numbers, ALL boats had issues, as did some at the Fastnet race.

link to a quick article about a fellow who took a SR 34 NONSTOP around the world, including the HORN!
Alain Maigan

Marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
With no one really knowing the cause of this mishap, I was wondering what someone could do to prepare for such an issue, one such thing which comes to my mind and wonder if it might be a good practice is of trailing a floating rope of some length giving a person some sort of chance to get back to the boat, or might there be other things as well. Being we are heading off on such a trip shortly, and just looking to covering all the bases.
 

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Epirb

Re EPIRBs.... If this should go someone else, please let me know.
In the past, I never thought I would consider ocean crossings, but now that friends of mine just completed their first trans-atlantic, I am considering it.
However, reading that EPIRB, is mounted on the boat and usually below decks, strikes me as not always useful.
I would want an EPIRB on my PFD. Has anyone done this ?
 

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One can get a personal version of an EPIRB and wear it on you PFD. With that in mind, I personally do not know how good they are per say in the middle of the atlantic or equal. Locally, ie for me puget sound, they would work even if attached to the boat.

I have seen some folks that put the epirb in the cockpit area. Others, down below. I can see advantages to both, along with disadvantages. Other than having two, one below and above, take you pick IMHO as to where it should go.

Zanshin,

the capsize formula is based on width and disp. The less width, the more disp, the better the number of all things. In fact most of the formula's the less width the better.

Here is a bunch at US Sailing. You will go to the capsize one first, then click appropriate other formula you want to figure out.

Marty
 

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One can get a personal version of an EPIRB and wear it on you PFD. With that in mind, I personally do not know how good they are per say in the middle of the atlantic or equal. Locally, ie for me puget sound, they would work even if attached to the boat.

This is exactly what I was thinking. I think this latest round of PLB EPIRBS w/GPS are $250-$300 each. I'm buying 2 to clip onto foulies.
 

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Again, PLBs are not EPIRBs. While they're very similar, they're not the same thing.
 
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