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Discussion Starter #1
A guy lost his keel in the Doublehanded Farrallones race last week in SF. Sounds like he got rolled by a breaker - but another J80 lost its keel recently (completely torn out at the sump).

Anyone know of what appears to be a structural problem here? Or is this just the inherent danger of a bulb keel?
 

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From the article on SA, not sure that the actual why these two keels have failed has been said yet. Look at how long it took the CG to figure out/say what happened with the CF38 in Texas. Hopefully it will be known for both at some point in time. Be it J-boats and not building as strong as it should have been, or previous owners grounded, and damage was not fixed, or unknown or unseen until a failure occurred. Fortunately, neither time from what I recall of the other indecent had injuries or deaths. Just shook up folks! Which not that one likes to see shook up folks, better that than injuries or deaths.

While these issues would make me think twice about sailing one, not sure it would be for long. Been many issues with keel failures with rigs and deep bulb keels, like the J80, Giuletta's design, or should I say the design on Giuletta etc. There may be some issues that we as humans have not figured out, planned for with the speeds etc we are driving these boats. Harmonics was something brought up, that may not be figured into the design.

Please note, my thoughts only, not trying to push blame on anyone. I believe generally speaking, J-boats are good products, and worth looking at for a next boat for me any how. There are too many issues with some keels falling off right now. IIRC, the british rag "Yachting World" last year early in the year did a series of articles on some of the keel failures around the world, some why, some questions still un answered etc.

marty

marty
 

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Having looked at the picture of the first J80 with a 2' long X 4' wide piece of bottom missing in ONE piece with PERFECT balse core showing :eek: and the second guys saying they were looking at the bilge pump hanging out the bottom


I have to think all that small flexing is taking its toll over a 15 year peroid of time as both boats are 1993 something
 

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This is one reason I have a multihull... No stinking keels to fall off.
 

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Getting rolled by a breaker would be like having someone come along with a 20 ton jack to work on your bicycle. Don't be surprised if the frame gets bent a touch. Haven't we all heard how a wave falling on a mile of beach represents more energy than humans have used since we figured out how to light a fire? If four feet of that wave happens to hit my J/80 or my Volvo 70, or my IRC rulebeater the wrong way, chances are something's going to break, regardless of how carefully engineered and built it is. Same thing if you drop it off a hoist. Landing wrong (sideways?) off a 10' wave could be worse, impact-wise, than dropping 5' off a hoist --- and what yard would dare hoist the bottom of your keel 5' off the ground? People underestimate the forces involved and make mistakes about boathandling. Bonds can also weaken and fractures develop. Sailing requires being alert to lots of variables both above and below the waterline, and adjusting to conditions on practically every wave. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Woah - wait a minute Paul...Bluto told me this stuff WAS easy. Are you telling me it's not?

Bluto you...!

Actually, I thought the "harmonics" theory was kind of interesting. Can these "blade" keels get sideways oscillation going at speed?

Judging by Tom's pic - something whack is going on.
 

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You hope that they're inside the hull... they might not be... :)
The floors and stringers are inside the hull, where they belong.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I saw the open letter on their home page telling everyone to check their keels. Time for the liability shuffle, baby.

Honestly - I'm thinking that these keels are built for performance. And this typically means a short life. We seem to think of sailboats in terms of old school boats that lasted 30 years. They're not built that way any more - especially racers. It's about performance not longevity.

Maybe the 80 is a 5-10 year boat?
 

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J105



J120



A repiar job

In the past starting with the J24 they have sent out field repiar teams or made the kits nessary to beefup there many weak keel sumps

The first problem was the J24 with the Mushy Vermiculite Problem and i guess its allways been quite because they have taken care of the problems on the down low

From what i read from the first J80 owner to have lost the keel they are throwing him under the bus as well as his insurance company

He has had independent work done to prove the boat was sound before the keel was lost so it still not resolved 1 year later


"OK, here's the story on J80 #21, Skillagalee, since the crash. We had a policy for $25,000 (plus liablility) with International Marine Underwriters, NY, since 1994 when we purchased the boat. Many happy years sailing and racing, nothing more extreme than occasional downwind broaching. Then the keel sump was ripped out and the boat sank.

First survey done almost immediately, paid for by insurance company, which stated "delamination due to fatigue"; insurer got back to say, sorry, we will not pay any loss due to 1) wear and tear, delamination, 2) "your failure to maintain the yacht". We responded with maintenance/yard receipts totaling $28,168. over last five years, not including new sails or gear. They confirmed exclusion, and offered insight that 'sailing is an expensive sport'. I guess it is.

The hull was then transported to RI by J-Boats (at their cost) and another survey done (also at their cost). This resulted in bold statement quoted in prior SA post regarding "longitudinal crazing", supposedly present for substantial time (without my or my high priced yard guy noticing it, despite regular inspection), and keel floor tabbing delamination. In short: no ammunition with insurer.

Act Three: hired my own surveyor. Believe it or not, I just received his report on Monday. He performed core samples in area of keel, and found 1) "fiberglass and balsa core to be perfectly intact showing no sign of water intrusion and no delamination between inner and outer laminates", and 2) very low moisture detected by Tramix moisture meter anywhere in hull. Bottom line: "catastrophic fiberglass failure due to rapid athwart ship pressure from two high speed jibes that accidently occurred in heavy wind... THIS LOSS WAS NOT DUE TO NEGLECT OR LONG TERM DELAMINATION.

So, now another incident, more harrowing and thank god without loss of life or limb. Does this affect my understanding of failure and potentially my case? I think so, and my wife is on the war path. It does not sour me on J-Boats, with whom I've had a positive experience (other than that one time...) including a call yesterday to make sure we're still friends. But I hope it leads to a settlement in arbitration which would allow me to buy a boat and get back on the water."
 

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That is rather disturbing. The keel should be engineered to withstand the forces caused by gybing the boat, even accidentally in high winds. That is an event that is not only common, but almost inevitable on any boat sailed in heavy weather and higher winds.

Act Three: hired my own surveyor. Believe it or not, I just received his report on Monday. He performed core samples in area of keel, and found 1) "fiberglass and balsa core to be perfectly intact showing no sign of water intrusion and no delamination between inner and outer laminates", and 2) very low moisture detected by Tramix moisture meter anywhere in hull. Bottom line: "catastrophic fiberglass failure due to rapid athwart ship pressure from two high speed jibes that accidently occurred in heavy wind... THIS LOSS WAS NOT DUE TO NEGLECT OR LONG TERM DELAMINATION.
 

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My flip side to this is a boat like Zzzoom i race on 1970 C&C 35 with a 7' custom keel

Allways raced hardcore buy the orginal owner who had the keel,rudder and double spreader rig done and the current long term owner has done 270 races in the boat with a lot of distance stuff over a now 39 year time frame



I gotta say we were really close to springing big time for a J80 becasue it has so much more room and would be really unhappy right now if i had spent the extra 35K over the J24
 

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This is very odd that I should see this thread, because I was talking to an experienced race guy at our club about J/80s a couple of days ago. He said something about the two J/80s that had catastrophic keel failures being in the tranche of the first 25 made, and that after that, some sort of structural enhancement was made to ensure that failure on all subsequent J/80s was less likely.

That's the gist of what he said, and I don't know where he heard it, but he's not a teller of tales out of school, and he doesn't currently own a boat (he co-owned a J/35 for a few years, but is currently boatless and doesn't have a Tartanesque axe to grind, as far as I know).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't get it Giu.

Val - so both the failures were in the first 25? It would be nice to know what modifications they made. JeffH - any ideas?

BobM - multis are the safest boats on the planet. Everyone knows that. You don't even have to wear pfds on those things! Obviously you've found some photoshopped monos.
 
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