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Thread: RIR capsize/pitchpole

  1. #1
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    Default RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Many of you are not doubt aware of the multihulls capsizes in the "Round the Island Race" this year, but I thought it was worth a thread here also.

    Theres a photo sequence of a Dragonfly 28 going over here:
    http://www.cowesonline.com/d/Round%2...Race%20Lge.mov (you'll need a quicktime plugin on your browser)

    While the obvious primary cause of the flip was too much sail for the conditions (there is a rumor that the float got tangled in a lobster pot line also) I think it is interesting that after almost pitchpoling the tri spent a long time on its side before going over the stern quarter.

    The accepted reason for this is that this boat has trampoline mesh that is very solid so the underdeck windage is very high. It seems likely that if they had used an open mesh they could have gone back the right way up.

    So while this could be dismissed as another racing accident, I think there is an important safety lesson for us cruisers as well.

    A number of things can occasionally send a cruising multi over on its ear, and your choice of trampoline could be the difference between a good story at the yacht club and a sad story on the news.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    These heavy meshes are fantastic as places to sunbath, but in really heavy weather could well spell the difference between the bows being buried in a wave and then pulling through, or a pitch pole. At the very least, this could be enough to rip the tramp out of the bows. That would make access to the bow a trifle interesting!
    Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results

  3. #3
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Great sequence of shots. This is a classic "tripping" capsize, started when the leeward hull caught in a wave. Too much sail overpowered the hull's buoyancy reserve, in flat water this probably would not have happened.
    Once healed over that far open mesh tramps may have helped but I'm not sure it would have "saved the day" in this case, just the mass of the rig and windage of the hulls may have completed the capsize even with no nets between the hulls.

  4. #4

    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    It doesn't look to me like the crew bothered to release any of the sails. What do you guys say? Also being a tri, once the main hull gets flooded your in trouble. Glad to see a rescue crew arrived on the seen, I hope no one got injured

  5. #5
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Quote Originally Posted by victor View Post
    It doesn't look to me like the crew bothered to release any of the sails. What do you guys say? Also being a tri, once the main hull gets flooded your in trouble. Glad to see a rescue crew arrived on the seen, I hope no one got injured
    I'd say they let go the Spinaker sheet, but not the main.

    No reports of injury.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Good video of the rescue. The waves aren't breaking, but it doesn't look like a good place to be, the underside of this capsized CW 57. It wouldn't be a tenable place to be without the inflatable.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufhyj...eature=related
    Currently concentrating on http://earthnurture.com .

  7. #7

    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    it does look, to me at least, that the wind got under that stbd. tramp and really complicated things.
    Tropical island life in the Devil's Triangle.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Quote Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
    it does look, to me at least, that the wind got under that stbd. tramp and really complicated things.
    I also believe that the tramp was the final additional pressure that prevented recovery.
    Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results

  9. #9

    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Why didn't they let their main go?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Quote Originally Posted by shirepig View Post
    Why didn't they let their main go?
    Critical time period lost due to disbelief/lack of alertness, followed by having to hang on and not having spare hand to let the sheets go.

    My Privilege has one end of the main sheets through a clutch by the wheel, so that the main sheets can be released quickly. I have had to smack no 1 son for tying a figure 8 on the end of that sheet!
    (not really)
    Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results

  11. #11
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Quote Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
    Critical time period lost due to disbelief/lack of alertness, followed by having to hang on and not having spare hand to let the sheets go.

    My Privilege has one end of the main sheets through a clutch by the wheel, so that the main sheets can be released quickly. I have had to smack no 1 son for tying a figure 8 on the end of that sheet!
    (not really)
    I love clutches and have all my lines in them apart from the mainsheet - so I am not having a go at you, BUT I think its important that folk are aware that lines through clutches are not foolproof, you need to ensure that there is no chance of the line hockling, if the clutch is released in an emergency.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozmultis View Post
    ............I think its important that folk are aware that lines through clutches are not foolproof, you need to ensure that there is no chance of the line hockling, if the clutch is released in an emergency.
    Yes - agree totally. However, this line is only about 1 - 1.5m long from the end of the clutch, so minimises the risk of hockling or getting caught. All main sheet control is by use of the other end of the mainsheet.
    Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results

  13. #13

    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Quote Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
    Yes - agree totally. However, this line is only about 1 - 1.5m long from the end of the clutch, so minimises the risk of hockling or getting caught. All main sheet control is by use of the other end of the mainsheet.
    Sounds interesting, but I wonder about the safety aspect of letting the mainsheet go completely - with no control over the boom at all. Would inserting a section of suitably sized shock cord be an improvement on your idea, in order to act as a brake to stop the boom hitting anything? The shock cord could be attached to the mainsheet just before it entered the clutch, and tied off to a suitable strong point. So the mainsheet is still held securely in the clutch, as it is now, but if you release the clutch in an emergency, the mainsheet runs free until the shock cord slows the boom down before it hits anything, like the shrouds?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Mainsheet foul-ups are always a worry on overcanvased multis. The loads can be large but easily found using the Harken Mainsheet Loading Calculator...http://harken.com/calculators/MainsheetLoading.aspx . For my cat it works out at 885kgs. Loads of this magnitude cannot be man-handled if the sheet becomes hockled at a clutch, assuming it is man enough to release in the first place, or even released from the self tailing jaws of a winch. When racing in windy conditions our mainsheet is hand held by someone who knows what they are about, when cruising the sheet tail is held in and open topped (no fairlead) jammer along side the helmsman. When on autohelm the mainsheet tail can be lead to most chosen locations and can be release with a flick as it only sees the reduced load after the winch turns. The sheets should be laid to top load to reduce foul-ups and sensible crews avoid the tails as they run out. As to damage caused by the release, I can and have, lived with the consequence, at least if I am right way up.

    Peter.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    Make it as simple as posssible, as any complications can cause foul-ups. Any damage done at this point are going to be better than being upside down.
    Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results

  16. #16
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    Default Re: RIR capsize/pitchpole

    The Dragonfly 28 does not have a mainsheet track. When reaching/running, a second tackle is set to the leeward hull.
    The mainsheet was released, but the second tackle was not (to be reached)

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