PDA

View Full Version : Emergency preparedness and response for Leopard catamarans



lhsmith
1st March 2013, 07:05 PM
Folks:
The sinking of the Leopard 46 Palenque (November 2012 in Caribbean), as mistakenly reported by Latitude 38 in the February 2013 issue to be a Leopard 43, raises potentially important emergency preparedness and response issues. I think the issue is broader than Leopard catamarans, but choose to post this in the Leopard forum because preparedness and response might vary a lot among brands. I imagine we have a lot of variability within models (Simonis 38-47, M&M 39-46...), but hopefully we share enough similarity to have a fruitful discussion.
Beyond the reported facts of the sinking (which still leave questions in my mind), I have heard mentioned a preparedness issue and a response issue:

Preparedness issue -- should the bilges aft of the crash bulkhead be connected or isolated? Connected they benefit from shared bilge pumps. If isolated, the flooding might be limited to one area, but effective isolation might be hard to accomplish.

Response issue -- given a significant hull breach, what actions might be most effective in saving the boat? What can be done to provide more time to respond, and what actions might be most effective in reducing ingress?

Leopard owners, do you want to figure this out together?

JustCatamarans
1st March 2013, 09:21 PM
One of the big problems I have seen in working on many different cats, is that aftermarkets installers drill holes through bulkheads to run exhausts/hoses/wires etc, and these eliminate the design safety parameters intended by the designers.
We moved a lagoon 440 for an owner recently, the vetus waterlock clamp broke(had been previosuly glued together), flooded the engine room, no engine bilge pump, drain to central bilge was open, flooded that bilge, main bilge pump was not working, backup pump came on manually, but so much debris in bilge that pump clogged continuously. No warning lights, no buzzers.

The best solution is preparedness on all levels, from clean bilges to working pumps, to alarms, to crew drill, to abandon ship and life gear. So many boats we see are more concerned with the latest wifi apps etc that no expenditure is put into safety.
Kent
www.justcatamarans.net

georgetheleo
2nd March 2013, 06:00 AM
oh the great Lagoon build quality--------------;)

JustCatamarans
2nd March 2013, 11:38 AM
Larry is bang on the mark with this thread
The bounty hearings encapsulate everything the goes wrong when unprepared(and dumb decisions)

Here is the USCG hearings

http://gcaptain.com/17thpassenger

lhsmith
2nd March 2013, 07:48 PM
The Bounty story is a sad affair. I think Kent is exactly right. So...

Preparedness issue: I am inclined to see if bilge sections can be isolated with an intent to place a large bilge pump in each section. I would be most interested in isolating the engine compartments, but with a way to bring additional pumping capacity online from outside.
How to discharge each pump awaits us getting back aboard, and could be a bit problematical. I dislike the idea of additional thru-hulls, and wonder about what else might be possible. What I have learned about bilge pumps suggests that their performance is dependent on how much downstream head they work against, so low discharge points are worth striving for. (Of course, they're rated based on 0 downstream head.)
I think that floor boards should be secured in place. Has anyone done so? If so, what hardware did you use?
I think it's worth having a 110 v AC pump aboard with a long discharge hose. For instance, I have one that cost under $100 that pumps 3600 gal/hour using 7 amps and can create 28 feet of downstream head. With 50-100 feet of 1.5 inch hose, you create a lot of options.
What do others think?

Bvimatelot
7th March 2013, 02:24 PM
The Bounty story is a sad affair. I think Kent is exactly right. So...

Preparedness issue: I am inclined to see if bilge sections can be isolated with an intent to place a large bilge pump in each section. I would be most interested in isolating the engine compartments, but with a way to bring additional pumping capacity online from outside.
How to discharge each pump awaits us getting back aboard, and could be a bit problematical. I dislike the idea of additional thru-hulls, and wonder about what else might be possible. What I have learned about bilge pumps suggests that their performance is dependent on how much downstream head they work against, so low discharge points are worth striving for. (Of course, they're rated based on 0 downstream head.)
I think that floor boards should be secured in place. Has anyone done so? If so, what hardware did you use?
I think it's worth having a 110 v AC pump aboard with a long discharge hose. For instance, I have one that cost under $100 that pumps 3600 gal/hour using 7 amps and can create 28 feet of downstream head. With 50-100 feet of 1.5 inch hose, you create a lot of options.
What do others think?

I don't think secure floor boards or cabin sole are a good idea. I would want to be able to easily lift them to get to the hole from the inside. Only speculation but in the case of Palenque, if they had managed to stuff a mattress into the hole from the inside, they might have had better luck. Fothering from the outside could possibly have worked in the old days of canvas sails and wooden hulls but I don't think its much use with plastic hull and dacron sails. Tony

JustCatamarans
7th March 2013, 04:21 PM
A point to bear in mind with Palenque is that prior to the 'sinking, the owner /captain had run the boat hard into a reef in Honduras, where he destroyed the keel/s, rudder and a saildrive. The repairs were effected in Honduras by a boat yard.

lhsmith
7th March 2013, 05:24 PM
I don't think secure floor boards or cabin sole are a good idea. I would want to be able to easily lift them to get to the hole from the inside. Only speculation but in the case of Palenque, if they had managed to stuff a mattress into the hole from the inside, they might have had better luck. Fothering from the outside could possibly have worked in the old days of canvas sails and wooden hulls but I don't think its much use with plastic hull and dacron sails. Tony

What I have in mind are latches, not screws, and maybe hinges. It might help in stuffing a bilge section to be able to affix the floorboard above the stuffing.

Given delamination of a square meter of the hull in this case, I wonder if anything could have slowed the ingress sufficiently, particularly if the breach was hard to access from inside. I would love to buy the captain, who tried hard to save her, a few pitchers of beer and hear his views.

georgetheleo
8th March 2013, 01:34 AM
A point to bear in mind with Palenque is that prior to the 'sinking, the owner /captain had run the boat hard into a reef in Honduras, where he destroyed the keel/s, rudder and a saildrive. The repairs were effected in Honduras by a boat yard.
:D I think the reason for the sinking is that the "repairs" came undone and peeled off--------It didnt 'hit' anything :whistling:whistling

georgetheleo
8th March 2013, 01:36 AM
--maybe a boat built with foam underwater is not a good idea and there needs to be solid FG there.....That foam is very hard to repair correctly to be as good as new once damaged---:confused:

Bvimatelot
9th March 2013, 06:11 PM
Aren't Leopard keels "sacrificial" anyway? 2 or 3 a year get knocked off Moorings boats in BVI every year!!

LifePart2
21st May 2013, 09:23 AM
Yes, they are sacrificial. Not uncommon to have them leaking too - when you haul out, bucket loads of water pour out of the hollow keel.

Now, here is one for you: When did you last unscrew your manual bilge pumps from the bottom of your bilge?

We did that the other day - probably the first time it has been done in the 12 year life of our boat - and were ASTOUNDED at the amount of junk and crud that was wedged in there. I seriously doubt that those pumps would have done much pumping had they been actually needed!

It is a quick job. Unscrew them, clean out all the crud, and put them back.

And test all your automatic pumps while you are at it.

Noel

Bvimatelot
24th May 2013, 08:38 PM
Funny you should say that Noel! I did a boat 10 days ago prior to a delivery from Caribbean to New Hampshire. The manual bilge pumps were pretty much what you described. One had a wandering suction hose which disintegrated in my hands. The electrical ones were ok though. Its one of the basic checks I do on any boat delivery. Tony