Episode #34 Safety Issues and Sailboat Design


we know now, for example, that the only single
factor that they’ve been able to show as to safety is length (LWL) – Length at Waterline)
Displacement has no bearing on that. Beam has very little bearing on that. But Length
(Length at Waterline)(not Length Overall) (LOA). is the one single factor in all the
studies of the disasters in the last few years that consistently shows up that the longer
the waterline the better chance the boat has of surviving. (for instance, none of the boats
capsized in the Fastnet Tragedy were 38 feet or longer…all were under 38 feet) There was at one time a big truth that traditional sailboats were safer than the more modern
designs that were out there- not true anymore. There was a time when traditional sailboats
were easier to handle than modern sailboats of that same time- not true anymore. Things
that have happened with leading edge race boats boats that were really pushed the limits
of what they can do bad things happened. But these were boats that were built at the extreme
ends of things normal cruising performance sailboats today are not that way (unsafe).
It just doesnt happen to normal (modern) cruising sailboats. And when it does happen theres
very often a reason why it happens (mishaps at sea). And the reason is normally pretty
extreme. Beneteau 40.7 that was lost out in the Atlantic this last year that thing had
hit a reef at 6.5 knots it had not been repaired. It had been raced extremely hard and it made
four (4) Atlantic crossings- this is a lightweight race boat, essentially. All this stuff had
happened and nobody had even checked to see if there was damage – it had several things
like sitting in a slip where it was hitting bottom at every low tide – every power boat
wake pounded on that keel. So collectively this was a pretty tired boat that somebody
should have sent some time before they make a passage across the Atlantic and then they
got clobbered out there in a storm. But then you go to the court of public opinion they
go well here was this lightweight boat and it broke up this is what happens to modern
boats. Thats the piece of the puzzle that people dont have (the bad condition of that
particular boat). or like the conversation we starting to have about the weight of this
boat versus that Ericsson I think both boats weigh about 10,500 pounds. but because this
is a easily driven hull I dont have to carry as much sail area as that Ericsson I can carry
less sail area and still move well. And it heavy air that becomes really important if
you dont have alot of drag in heavy air your able to get by with less sail area that makes
the boat easier to handle. If you have to fight your way off a lee shore you have to
fight your way out through waves an easily driven hull will go out through that much
more easily and therefore be more easy on the crew. That ericsson was sailing on a 21-22
foot waterline (LWL) I;m sailing on a 32 foot waterline (LWL)First of all, I dont have any
pitching – the motions much gentler that way. Im a little flatter bottomed so I do rock
alittle more with the waves but I also dont get out of sequence with the waves so what
happens with traditional round bottomed boats they tend to roll past the point that the
wave changes shape much further and so theres a collision with that wave at the end of each
and thats actually a rougher motion so compared to early lightweight boats where the motion
was really pretty uncomfortable because of the shape of the hull as we understood more
about what it took to design a lightweight boat and make it a more comfortable ride well
the designers designed around that. In the wake of the Fastnet (tragedy) there was all
kind of testing 1979 i think 13 people dies off the coast of England 5 or 6 years later
there was another disaster finally there was the Sydney-Hobart disaster and each of these
race scenarios are studied in tremendous depth and alot of information has come out of that.we
know now, for example, that the only single factor that they’ve been able to show as to
safety is length (LWL) – Length at Waterline) Displacement has no bearing on that. Beam
has very little bearing on that. But Length (Length at Waterline)(not Length Overall)
(LOA). is the one single factor in all the studies of the disasters in the last few years
that consistently shows up that the longer the waterline the better chance the boat has
of surviving. And one of the things designers decided that since the one thing that isnt
penalized by any race rule is motion the smoother the motion of the boat the less the keel is
disturbed the less the rig gets disturbed and so the boat performs better. what filtered
out of that was that boats all of a sudden have better motion comfort than they ever
had even though they are comparatively light…

26 thoughts on “Episode #34 Safety Issues and Sailboat Design

  1. I'm really enjoying your videos, i've learned alot. thank Jeff for his input. … However this clip seemed to be over edited, maybe to make a point, but was it the point that Jeff wanted to make or you wanted to make ? or was it to fit time ?

  2. There is some really interesting comments being made here by Jeff and you have to respect his knowledge.   Living down here in Hobart, and having followed the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race, let alone having crossed Bass Straight, which is where so many boats were caught out in the 1998 tragic race, the ferocity of the storm and size of the waves were significant factors which attributed to this tragedy.  The stats are pretty aweful, 66 yachts retired, 55 crew had to be rescued, 5 yachts were lost with 6 deaths.   Bass Straight is a section of water which demands respect regardless of the boat length and/or other design features.

  3. If i understand correctly – Jeff seems to be saying that the determining factor in surviving severe conditions is waterline length. If that is so then is it correct to say:
    a 50-foot heavy-displacement boat has about the same chances as a 50-foot light displacement boat? Dull minds want to know.

  4. Another great video! I'm loving the 'double shot November' thing. Youtube is rather void of sailing videos during the week, it's nice to have some videos to look forward to!

  5. I was just wondering, what Ericson was he talking about? Also i'd like to say that most people can't afford a newer modern sail boat.

  6. Indeed, so concerned is the sport’s governing body, ISAF, about the incidences of keel failure that it has formed a Keel Structure Working Party to investigate the issue. Part of the group’s initial work was to develop a database of the reported failures. Currently, the list includes 72 cases since 1984, and in those 24 lives have been lost
    Read more at http://www.yachtingworld.com/news/keel-failure-shocking-facts-60006#OoCdEOGzy2c7uqs7.99

  7. I now know that I do not want a 27 ft. O'Day LE after all. Now I realize what I really want is a 97ft. raft!!!!!
    Another good video.Thanks again for sharing.

  8. Yes ,they found in this tragedy that those boats that heaved to, came out of it without serious damage. So learn how to heave to practice this and use a parachute anchor. Really think about what kind of sailing you want to do. Coastal sailing then a lighter boat would be more fun, easier to handle for an afternoon sail, and live aboard. like the s2 9 c .

  9. Hey there Vin while your looking around, you might want to look at pilot house sailboats. They have another living room up on top. Plus you have a lot of light, plus 360 degree vision. While going to one place to another where won't be many days of rain and being wet. They sail well, according to other sailors. They usually have have a full keel, plus short draft. You could have a lot of people on board and you wouldn't notice. Jeanneau has three 990,1000,1100 but they are Finn keel. Gulf, fairways .. Might be a easier transition from a large house to boat .I just feel you could sail a lot more , when you have a sunny day but the air is cold, just step inside and continue having fun.There are a lot of brands just find the model you like then look for the price.
    Anyway thats what we are going to do next year.We are heading for the East Coast . The west Coast is not really a big sailing community . Oregon anyway. Because in the morning is real foggy and by the afternoon on a sunny day it really get windy. Really windy. So anyway, just a thought to kick around. Hopefully next year we can met you and Amy. Your Friends Barb And Mike.

  10. yes this is a review pilothouse sail boats. We really love the fisher.
    http://www.sailfarlivefree.com put in at top of page in search pilothose sailboats.

  11. Ok, This series with Jeff Halpern is making your channel worthwhile for me. I realize he's just giving his opinion, but it's an opinion that I as an engineer looking for a sailboat want to hear. He's giving technical arguments for why modern sailboats are actually more desirable as a cruising instrument than traditional hull designs. Jeff sounds like the kind of guy I would buy every beer for for decades until I felt I had picked his brain clean of useful information on sailboat design.

  12. These videos are so enlightening. Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm just starting out & your channel has proved to be a great resource.

  13. is there a year of cut off for modern design like jeff is talking about, or a definition of it? thanks in advance love these discussions!

  14. Excellent discussion, and your series of videos with Jeff Halpern, have completely changed my views about the absolute "need" to buy a traditional full keeled boat. As I get closer to purchase date, I hope to be able to talk with you two, and Jeff, to develop a short list of optimal [live aboard] cruiser-racer sailboats within my price range, i.e., < $36k.

  15. As I slowly work towards my eventual cruiser-racer purchase ~ Fall 2018, I will busy myself with preparations that you suggested in earlier videos, e.g., buying books, and taking sailing courses.

    However, as I go thru ALL of your videos again, and carefully reconsider Jeff Halpern's [invaluable] insights about modern vs traditional boat designs, e.g., the main factor that determines sailboat safety while underway is LOA, I just had to become a Patreon subscriber, as this information obtained in your interviews with him has torpedoed my previous bias against fin / spade rudder sailboat designs. Consequently, I now want to purchase a [used] cruiser-racer live aboard boat instead of a full keel, or modified full keel design.

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