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Am I being naive when I compare the search & rescue efforts for this yacht with that for the Malaysian airliner?

In the case of the airliner, the probability of finding anyone alive was zero a couple of days after it disappeared. Yet, millions of dollars were spent in the effort and it continues to this day.

In the case of the yacht, there was a reasonable chance that the crew could have been able to launch the life raft, and could be drifting, hoping for rescue - but the search was called off after 2 days? Surely they could have searched for a couple of days more at least?

(One decision - if and when I can buy a cruising boat of my own, the lifeboat will have a sail of her own).
 

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Having read carefully the news it seems to me that it’s a big mistake to have suspended the search. It’s likely they are drifting in a raft, and there are no evident arguments against this possibility.

Another personal consideration. I’m not an expert and we don’t know the exact reason of this shipwreck but I cannot help but think of the following:

The majority of cruising boats built until about ten years ago had the capacity of straightening themselves once they were capsized, and this was considered a priority by good designers. Today racing boats, thanks to their width and shape seem to behave like catamarans or dinghies: once upside down they stay like that.

If they will not be found we will never know if that is what happened but anyhow I think it’s an important issue for a debate here.

What do you think?

Donato
 

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...The majority of cruising boats built until about ten years ago had the capacity of straightening themselves once they were capsized, and this was considered a priority by good designers. Today racing boats, thanks to their width and shape seem to behave like catamarans or dinghies: once upside down they stay like that...
Modern production boats still have to prove that they are self-righting, otherwise they will not get certified. I don't know where you got that information, but it is incorrect.

CE certification process uses ISO standard 12217 to produce a STIX value (stability index), which is used for certification, this in addition to the AVS (Angle of Vanishing Stability) often shown in graphical form for each boat. Additional requirements are made for offshore racing boats, these can be found at RORC Safety and Stability
If the boat is stable inverted and not a catamaran it will not get certified (or used) for offshore work. While there are one-off specialty racers that might be stable inverted, it does not apply to production boats and certainly not to this proven offshore racer. Unfortunately the picture from the cargo vessels seems to show that the keel is missing, and that changes the righting formula.
 

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Modern production boats still have to prove that they are self-righting, otherwise they will not get certified. I don't know where you got that information, but it is incorrect.
I didn't get that information anywhere, it was just a supposition of mine. I thought my wording suggested that.

I've seen some racing boats (I have in mind some Jeanneau models...) which are so wide and flat and a with a small deckhouse which - in my view - make the self-righting very difficult if not impossible. I'm glad that you clarified this doubt of mine.

Thanks for your reply.
 

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The Fastnet race of 1979 with it's high loss of boats and life, and to a lesser extent the Sydney-Hobart race of 1998, forced manufacturers, designers and the race organizations to rethink stability and survivability. While I agree that modern hull forms are very wide and flat and that manufacturers are playing close to the limits of AVS and STIX in order to produce all that interior volume (my boat is included in that group of hulls), they do know their engineering. Classic hull shapes and keels will generally self-right quicker and might arguably be safer at sea, but modern production boats aren't going to turn turtle and stay inverted for long.
 

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I had missed the information that the wreck was found inverted with (possibly) her keel missing. That does drastically diminish the survival hopes. Losing your keel suddenly like that is a very frightening prospect.
 

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I discovered after I sent my reply that you have a Jeanneau boat :)-), which year?

I have a friend who owns a Jeanneau (about 11 m.) built I think around the ’80 or maybe the ’90. I like the kind and my friend assures me it’s a good boat. He sailed extensively in the Mediterranean with her, so I think we can trust his judgement. Few years ago he was thinking to buy a new and bigger one and went to a local Boat show. He could afford the price of a bigger one (same brand) that he saw there but after visiting and inspecting the boat more closely he changed his mind. He realized that they had economized about the employed materials and had a distinct impression of weakness. He told me that while he was in her interior he suddenly lost his balance and to sustain himself he grabbed the table: it remained in his hand… it was just secured to the floor with few small screws. He decided to keep his old Jeanneau instead…

Probably the shipyard might have mended all these kind of weak points in the newer models but only after all the complaining they received from their customers. Do you think that this is a responsible behaviour?
One has the fear that the same thing happens with the racing boats: they improve their models only after some tragedy has occurred… that is putting their customers skin at stake.
The regattas you are quoting are an example of this.
Do you remember Isabelle Autissier shipwreck? She lost her fin keel with only 20 knots of wind…
And it seems that also Cheeki Rafiki has lost her keel.

Thinking about that I dare doubt about your statement:

“Classic hull shapes and keels will generally self-right quicker and might arguably be safer at sea, but modern production boats aren't going to turn turtle and stay inverted for long.”

Not all the manufacturers are the same of course… she was a Beneteau, another manufacturer which is renowned for economizing on the materials.

Anyway I'm sure you can give a better assessment about this matter which intrigues me and that's is why I'm continuing this thread. I'm really interested to hear the opinion of a Jeanneau owner.

D.
 

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longroute - we could take this to another thread, since it would constitute thread drift; but I have a Jeanneau 57 which is only 2 years old. All boats are built to a price point, balancing many engineering factors and cost. This is my third Jeanneau and from my point of view the boats are built sufficiently well and for a price I'm willing to pay. But I'm a cruiser and not a racer, although I was at the Antigua Sailing Week this year and met at least one of the missing crew.
 
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