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Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

This guy is as hardcore as they come, one of the toughest sailors on the planet. Sounds like he and his crew are very lucky to be alive, after what had to be an amazing rescue, under extremely difficult conditions...

We were a little ahead of the front, downwind. There was a steady 43-45 knots [of wind], but it was manageable. We were prepared for this gale. We were under storm jib, with four reefs in the mainsail. Clearly, we really had the handbrake on, but in a wave the boat broke in two just behind the daggerboards.

"The mast did not fall immediately. We quickly closed all boat bulkheads and the rig fell over the stern. Very quickly we asked for help and organised our survival plan.

"We were prepared to leave the boat. The sea was huge, so we tried to assess the risk of damage to Cheminées Poujoulat. Damien and I tried to cut away the 60ft mast, but we did not succeed. It was really too dangerous. However, we managed to hold it a little below the water and stop it battering so badly against the hull. Afterwards we went inside and got all our survival gear together. We were not sure how long the boat would stay afloat."

Read more at Bernard Stamm rescue: 'I swam for my life' | Yachting World
Not a place I'd want to have to go swimming, during a storm on Christmas Eve...


 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Any body know the age of the boat, and mostly what type of glass and resin it was made out of ?
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Holy Cow! Tough indeed!

Not the first time he's had to be rescued:



I guess when you push the envelope.....
 
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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Wow, that was a close one. Boats are supposed to be tougher than their crews, aren't they?? Not here. 45 knots of wind is difficult enough without your boat breaking in two. What price speed??

A hearty vote of thanks to these guys:

MV STAR ISFJORD (General cargo vessel): ship particulars and AIS position - IMO 9182978, MMSI 257615000 - FleetMon.com

Sailors are often prone to complaining about merchant vessels. But many more sailors would have been lost without them.
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Wow, that was a close one. Boats are supposed to be tougher than their crews, aren't they?? Not here. 45 knots of wind is difficult enough without your boat breaking in two. What price speed??
....
Not very fast boats...or very fast cars for that matter: If you push them over the limit they break.

With the power these boats have they cannot stand full power in all conditions. It is up to the sailor to manage the boat and to keep it on a single piece.

But I don't think it was the case: they were on a delivery voyage with 4 reefs on the main and a small head sail.

Even if the boat had already one circumnavigation and several transats, many carbon Open 60s continue to race and to sail safely after more than 20 years and many racing circumnavigations. I would say a design or build problem that was revealed only now and in a very brutal way.

Regards

Paulo
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

I didn't intend imply they were overcanvassed or such, as they were down to "a tablecloth and a handkerchief" as my father used to characterize it, and going downwind. And doubtless they need some sail to thresh through the seas and steer some kind of a track. They did indeed "have the hand brake on", well said.

It sounds like a pure structural issue. Which is what scares me. These are meant to be passagemaking craft? Or just speedsters? Every design is a compromise, but safety shouldn't be compromised.
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Even if the boat had already one circumnavigation and several transats, many carbon Open 60s continue to race and to sail safely after more than 20 years and many racing circumnavigations. I would say a design or build problem that was revealed only now and in a very brutal way.
This previous 'incident' might have been a contributing factor...

In 2011, Stamm and Jean Francois Cuzon were airlifted off this same Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed IMOCA 60 when the boat was holed close to the the waterline while racing north of the Azores during the last edition of the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race.

Read more at Bernard Stamm rescue: 'I swam for my life' | Yachting World
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

...
It sounds like a pure structural issue. Which is what scares me. These are meant to be passagemaking craft? Or just speedsters? Every design is a compromise, but safety shouldn't be compromised.
This are not only passagemakers but probably the safest and strongest sailboats around. It seems you don't know very well the class (IMOCA). If you were familiar with it you would know that they have pioneered almost all safety measures taken on modern racing sailboats today and are the ones with more demanding safety standards.

This is a class with dozens of years and many sailboats built. The main problems are canting keel failure, mast and rudder breakage. A broken boat is indeed very rare and I do not remember any other boat (in decades) with a catastrophic structural breakage.

This was a recent boat (2011) so even if the boat had already circumnavigated while racing and done a racing transat among other races.

As I said there are many IMOCA boats still racing after 20 years of active service that included several non stop racing circumnavigations (on the same boat) and many transats, facing big storms and resisting the huge efforts that these racing machines create on the boat structure due to the high speeds achieved.

Any boat can suffer from a bad design or from a defect in the building process and the ones that are more subjected to huge efforts are the ones where those problems can be felt in a more catastrophic way. Very rare as I said but obviously that should be investigated for not happening again.

Regards

Paulo
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

This previous 'incident' might have been a contributing factor...
There was some talk about Stamm not being very satisfied with his boat and some suspect that what he said about it was just the point of the iceberg (some more was said on the int. sailboats thread). Anyway, it was his boat and he had not a way of getting a new one even if I am absolutely sure that he never suspected that such a catastrophic failure could happen.


Regards

Paulo
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

This are not only passagemakers but probably the safest and strongest sailboats around. It seems you don't know very well the class (IMOCA). If you were familiar with it you would know that they have pioneered almost all safety measures taken on modern racing sailboats today and are the ones with more demanding safety standards.

This is a class with dozens of years and many sailboats built. The main problems are canting keel failure, mast and rudder breakage. A broken boat is indeed very rare and I do not remember any other boat (in decades) with a catastrophic structural breakage.

This was a recent boat (2011) so even if the boat had already circumnavigated while racing and done a racing transat among other races.

As I said there are many IMOCA boats still racing after 20 years of active service that included several non stop racing circumnavigations (on the same boat) and many transats, facing big storms and resisting the huge efforts that these racing machines create on the boat structure due to the high speeds achieved.

Any boat can suffer from a bad design or from a defect in the building process and the ones that are more subjected to huge efforts are the ones where those problems can be felt in a more catastrophic way. Very rare as I said but obviously that should be investigated for not happening again.

Regards

Paulo

Well it's true, I don't know the class very well. So you might pardon my ignorance in wondering if this "probably strongest and safest sailboat around", two years old, breaks in two in 40 to 45 knots downwind under greatly reduced sail, then do the "almost strongest" break in two in 30 knots?

Doesn't seem right..
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Well it's true, I don't know the class very well. So you might pardon my ignorance in wondering if this "probably strongest and safest sailboat around", two years old, breaks in two in 40 to 45 knots downwind under greatly reduced sail, then do the "almost strongest" break in two in 30 knots?

Doesn't seem right..
You forget to mention one racing full circumnavigations, several transats and many races. Most 50 year old sailing boats had not done anything remotely similar to this in what regards millage and none was subjected to structural stresses a boat like this is subject while racing at more than 20k in bad weather.

But obviously nothing of that has to with this accident because all the other many dozens the boats of this class, older boats, had done much more than that, some during 20 years without any structural problem so the answer, as I had already told you, is obvious:

A built defect or an error in design in what regards the stresses this type of boat are subject.

Anyway, as I have said already, not a common case, in fact so unique (structural catastrophic breakage) that I don't know of any other in several millions of miles these type of boats had sailed in racing conditions.

I fail to understand your concern regarding the safety with a type of boat that by its sailing record is one of the safest if not the safest sailboat around.

Regarding this particular case it is needed an investigation to know what went wrong: the design or the building but again this is an isolated case in a type of boats that reached a very high reliability and safety, a type of sailboat that has been improved in that sector every year on the last twenty.One that this year had already saw its rule modified to provide a greater reliability with the keels and masts.

I would say that if you knew these boats and their rule, particularly in what regards safety, what you would say is that all sailingboats should have that standard in what regards safety measures;)

Any boat can break in stormy conditions if the boat has a structural defect and has been pushed for a long time till that defect assumes catastrophic proportions....and this boat has been pushed hard for many tens of thousands of miles or even hundreds of thousands.

Regards

Paulo
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

But Paulo, this all-important "investigation" is not going to have the hull in question to examine to determine if/what the alleged structural defect was, correct?
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

But Paulo, this all-important "investigation" is not going to have the hull in question to examine to determine if/what the alleged structural defect was, correct?
Probably not but again I fail to understand you: If one boat has a catastrophic failure that it is unheard on similar boats built on the last 20 years years, boats that had made millions of miles and some still race after all that time, do you not consider fundamental to know what went wrong with that particular and single case?

By the way, I don 't understand why you mention 30K regarding the conditiuons were the accident took place. What Stamm said was that: "entre 43 et 45 nœuds de vent établis" that means 43/45K not counting gusting that with that sort of wind would go probably to 60K or over and even so he says it was manageable, saying that he had not saw the need for stop sailing and take evasive survival actions, like a floating anchor.

This should say to you about the type of boat we are talking about. In fact Stamm had already taken a lot worse in it and there are some photos around with the boat on worse conditions even if not the worse he had taken.



Since you don't know the boat I have been patient and I have tried to explain to you and all of what we are talking about (regarding the boat) but I am not interested in discussing this further. I know the boat, I know what I am talking about, if you want to thing otherwise without any evidence to support your " safety concerns" except a freak structural isolated accident in 20 years of racing around the world in these type of boats you are obviously free to do so.

Regards

Paulo
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Not the first time he's had to be rescued:


I guess when you push the envelope.....
.... Someone else has to risk their life to pick up the pieces.


AFAIAC these sailors "pushing the envelope" offshore should have to pay every nickle of the cost of rescuing them and a healthy fine on top.

Maybe then they'll leave the envelope pushing for inshore waters and have properly seaworthy boats for offshore.

To my mind they're no different than skiers who go out of bounds.
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

This is a class with dozens of years and many sailboats built. The main problems are canting keel failure, mast and rudder breakage. A broken boat is indeed very rare and I do not remember any other boat (in decades) with a catastrophic structural breakage.
Paulo, do you hear yourself? The MAIN problems are keel failures and mast and rudder failures.

The fact that they aren't routinely suffering catastrophic hull failures makes them "probably the safest and strongest boats around"?

I certainly would want to go out on anything you regarded poorly.
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Paulo, do you hear yourself? The MAIN problems are keel failures and mast and rudder failures.

The fact that they aren't routinely suffering catastrophic hull failures makes them "probably the safest and strongest boats around"?

I certainly would want to go out on anything you regarded poorly.
Sail these boats at the double of the speed your boat can do and they will go anywhere on absolute safety. Sail your boat at the speed these babies can sail and it will be reduced to little pieces (off course you need to have it towed by a battleship at speed or something like that):D

Regards

Paulo
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

Sail these boats at the double of the speed your boat can do and they will go anywhere on absolute safety. Paulo
Except for those pesky rig failures, keel failures, rudder failures and now, hull failures.

All you've said is that they are FAST which was never in doubt.
 

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Re: Wow... Bernard Stamm's Open 60 "breaks in half" in the Western Approaches...

You got to be tough to survive the open ocean. Reminds me of Robin Knox-Johnston.
 
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