KEEP YOUR KEEL ON

FROM SAILING SCUTTLEBUTT

Keeping Keels Attached in the Future

Published on March 14th, 2016

Stan Honey, chairman of the Oceanic and Offshore Committee at World Sailing, is excited. Too many boats are losing their keels, and he is eager to share some of the progress being made to reverse this trend. Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck met with Stan for an update, with additional comments added by Dr. Jason Smithwick, Head of Technical & Offshore at World Sailing.

What are some of the initiatives about how we’re going to keep keels attached?

stan1

Stan Honey

Stan: The first initiative which has now been approved and budgeted by World Sailing is to have a report writing committee that gets launched to write a report summarizing what happened in any particular incident that World Sailing determines may provide useful information to the sport.

For example, it might provide useful information on ways the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) could be improved, or may provide useful information in whether the plan review process is working, and whether plan reviewed boats have keels with adequate structure.

The model for that is really the report that Rear Admiral (Rtd) Chris Oxenbould, Chuck Hawley, and myself did for the Vestas Wind grounding during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. We were asked to write a report and only state on what happened. Our task was not to assign any blame, but just to simply lay out the facts on what occured so that our sport could learn from it.

Of course, what we’re all thinking about is the aviation model. Aviation has more tools to use to encourage information to be made public, but aviation does an astonishingly effective job in how whenever there is a major accident in aviation, there’s always a report that becomes public later. It may be a few years later but there’s always a public report.

Jason Smithwick

Jason Smithwick

Jason: When World Sailing determines a report is needed, we would initiate that report on the basis that no other outside body is already conducting an investigation. For example, if the US Coast Guard is already looking into a loss of life then World Sailing will await the outcome of that report before initiating our own work.

Public reports are a big step.

Stan: The entire industry benefits from this kind of information. As a result of that, in addition to other things, aviation has just achieved a staggering level of safety. Sailing has fewer mechanisms to deal with in terms of the rules and certifications, but, nevertheless, we’re trying to get to the point where when the keel falls off or when there’s a major accident, there’s a report that does not seek to assign blame but rather just to lay out the facts so that people can learn from it.

We will be making a rule change to the OSRs. There’ll probably be a submission at the 2016 World Sailing Annual Conference in November that will put in a requirement as part of the OSRs, that by participating in an event and by holding an event, a competitor and the organizing authority agree to cooperate with the report should an important incident happen and should a report get written.

Sounds like a rule requirement is needed, but also a culture created wherein this kind of information is shared.

Stan: Yes, and it’s the culture that’s the most important one because it’s certainly true that it’s difficult for the rule to be that effective because most rules are designed to influence our behavior during a race, and these are rules that seek to influence our behavior after a race. Many people argue that such a rule is unenforceable and it can’t work. On the other hand, such a rule can help set the culture of the sport in an appropriate direction.

Additionally, such a rule can help owners do what they want to do anyway, which is to help the sport. If an owner is involved in a major incident, they may get encouraged by their builder, their designer, or their insurance company to keep the report private. But this rule would give the owners the ability to say, “No, this is a race boat. I insured it to race and these are the rules of racing, and it says I am to cooperate with a report. That’s what I’m going to do, and that’s the understanding.”

So the rule may not be binding, but it may help to change the culture and it may help the owners to do what they want to do. The insurance companies deny ever encouraging somebody to keep something quiet, as they would. And when you ask the insurance companies about these kinds of changes, they’re hugely supportive. They said, “Hey, wait a minute. Has there been a misunderstanding? We don’t make money when keels fall off.” They’re saying that they’re huge advocates of anything the sport can do to solve the problem of having keels that aren’t adequately attached.

Jason: World Sailing wants to engage the insurance companies within our framework to make plan review more cost efficient. For example, a boat that has had plan review and in-build inspection may have a lower premium to offset the cost of such certification.

Explain the plan review process.

Stan: Yes, we have a plan review process. A plan review is required on any new boat to be built that’s going to race under the OSRs under Categories 0, 1, and 2, although Category 0 frankly isn’t really used. The races that would use the Category 0 basically do their own derivative requirements. Examples of Category 2 is the Fastnet Race and Sydney Hobart.

ABS used to be in the scantlings definition and plan review business some years ago, but they chose to get out of it for smaller recreational boats, so World Sailing now has a new plan review process in partnership with Classification Societies and Notified Bodies which has been a requirement from January 1, 2010.

The most active of the notified bodies that does plan reviews is DNV GL. One of the things that we look at every year is if it is working. Meaning are keels falling off boats where their design had gone to plan review? And the answer prior to two Novembers ago was, “No, it had never happened.” But now the answer is, “Yes, it has happened.” In fact, there were two Class 40s that dropped their keels just before the 2015 Annual Meeting. World Sailing is working with the French authorities to discover the cause of these failures.

So we asked David Lyons, a structural engineer and naval architect, to review the plan review process to determine if it was working. And he confirmed that obviously as people learn more, you change and evolve the plan review process to address new kinds of construction practices and so forth. While he felt that overall the process was working, he pointed out something that’s kind of an obvious omission, which is in almost everything else that humans do.

He found that if something is important enough to be plan reviewed – whether it’s an elevator, an airplane, a building – it’s important enough to do an inspection, an as-built inspection, or an in-build validation is the other term that’s used. David pointed out that this may be something we’d want to consider.

The immediate reaction of our whole community is, “We can’t make this sport any more expensive.” There’s a lot of aspects of the plan review that doesn’t kill people, meaning if a hull comes delaminated, or a deck comes delaminated, or a rig falls over, or a rudder breaks, for the most part, it’s not an instant catastrophe where people die. But when keels fall off, that can be an instant catastrophe leading to immediate loss of life. So what comes to mind is, if we’re going to do an in-build inspection, could we do just one inspection, and can we focus only on the keel attachment since that’s the thing that kills people.

So David’s going to consult across a broad range of the industry experts and look at whether it would be affordable for our sport to extend the plan review process to include an in-build inspection, and as part of a plan review, you’d have to pick when should the inspection take place, at what point in the build, so you can still see what you need to see. As we all know, the beauty of having an inspection process is by nature it can improve things because of the heightened attention by everyone involved.

So the project to come up with a proposal for an in-build inspection if it’s viable, it may not be, turned out to be too big a task to ask David to do as a volunteer. We’re all only human. So we asked for a quotation, and we got a quotation for $40,000 US. For the past month or so I have been trying to raise funds for that.

World Sailing initially committed to fund $10,000 of that. Matt Allen, who is the president of the SOLAS Trust, which is an assistance organization founded by the CYCA following the 1998 Sydney Hobart Race disaster, has offered to cover half of the project – $20,000.

Then RORC and ORC both committed to cover $5,000 of it as well as contribute technical expertise. And both of those organizations have substantial technical expertise in this area, embodied in guys like James Dadd who did this kind of review for the Volvo Ocean Race boats and of course the ITC of the ORC which is a broad strong group of naval architects. Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF), which is the American sailing and research foundation that also has strong technical people involved like Dina Kowalyshyn and Jim Teeters, has also agreed to pay for $5,000 as well as provide some guidance input.

So overall I was delighted to discover that there was a number of organizations throughout our sport that almost overnight agreed that this was a good idea to consider and agreed to help pay for this initial feasibility study.

Along with the feasibility study there’s a go or no-go decision point. If it looks like it’s feasible and that this will make sense, then there would be a proposal for in-build inspection that will be done by October so we’ll get to review it at the next World Sailing Annual Conference in November.

If it gets approved, we’d probably take another year after that to put it in place, but nevertheless I’m delighted that we’re starting the process to both gather more information about these incidents and get it public where it can do some good, and then also see if we can directly address the problem of these keels falling off.

– See more at: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2016/03/14/keeping-keels-attached-in-the-future/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Scuttlebutt%204539%20-%20March%2015%202016&utm_content=Scuttlebutt%204539%20-%20March%2015%202016+CID_e7a122f20d7ac7cdc8b3ec3a2b3c3243&utm_source=Email%20Newsletter&utm_term=click%20here#more

LARRY HUNTINGTON

 

 

 

No-one deserves to be nominated more than Larry Huntington. Sailor of the Month really does not justify the lifetime of Love of the Sea. Few have demonstrated a stronger commitment to sailing; particularly offshore long distance racing. His career spans wooden schooners to the latest carbon yachts.

 

CLICK HERE TO CAST A VOTE FOR LARRY.Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 10.10.24 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 10.08.56 AM

LARRY WITH HIS SEXTANT
LARRY WITH HIS SEXTANT
COMPUTER NAVIGATION
COMPUTER NAVIGATION
PAPER CHARTS
PAPER CHARTS
LARRY AND STEVE COLGATE 1969
LARRY AND STEVE COLGATE 1969
FINISH OF 2003 TRANSATLANTIC
FINISH OF 2003 TRANSATLANTIC
HARD RUNNING 2015
HARD RUNNING 2015
BLOCK ISLAND RACE
BLOCK ISLAND RACE
BREAKFAST TRANSATLANTIC 2011
BREAKFAST TRANSATLANTIC 2011
RUNNING TRANSATLANTIC 2003
RUNNING TRANSATLANTIC 2003

another look at the 2015 transatlantic race:

MORE TRANSATLANTIC 2015

The remark at the end by Robin Knox-Johnson about having crossed the ocean 6 times with one of his crew. I have had the great privilege of having made 5 crossings with Jack Cummiskey, 3 with Larry Huntington. And crossings with so many of the other competitors; being that this was my 9th.
I am 8 years younger than Robin but Perhaps my last? Who knows.

BETTER BE GOOD AT KEDGING, LIGHT AIR FASTNET

ELAINE BUNTING

The challenge on this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race will be coaxing yachts around the course in ultra light winds 

Skippers preparing ready for the Rolex Fastnet Race 2015 on Sunday were warned that it could be a slow race with very light winds ahead. “If you really want to win this race you are going to have to be good at kedging!” joked Eddie Warden Owen, CEO of organisers the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

A record number of 370 yachts will set off from Cowes on Sunday on the 604-mile classic to the Fastnet Rock lighthouse and back to Plymouth. During its 90-year history the race has seen some intense and stormy weather, but this year it promises to be quite the opposite, with some of the lightest forecasts ever seen.

Ian Walker, skipper of the victorious Volvo Ocean Race team Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, also joked about the weather ahead. “There is another isobar approximately in Iceland,” he said.

But the fleet this year includes some of the world’s fastest monohulls and multihulls, which are capable of making enough speed to set off a virtuous circle of apparent wind. These include the 100ft supermaxi Comanche, the big MOD70 trimarans and the 40m trimaran Spindrift 2.

Kenny Read, skipper of Comanche, says: “I don’t think any of us do very well in absolutely no wind, but we all have to play the same game. Whatever the breeze is we just have to adapt. Certainly dragging around a boat with a seven metre-plus beam in very light air is no fun.”

But he did admit that, in flat water, Comanche does only need five knots of true wind to get going.

Learn more about the headlands and tidal gates that are make and break on the Fastnet Race.

While the forecasts are making predicting finish times a bit of a nightmare, this is another indication of the potency of these big machines. Spindrift’s likely elapsed times in these conditions, as predicted on routeing software, is somewhere between 1 day 18 hours and 3 days 15 hours.

This race will also be a tough one for the new IMOCA 60s, especially those with the new L-shaped foils. These are great when power reaching, which is what they have been designed for as the optimal configuration for racing round the world, but they are draggy and reported to make more leeway in light conditions.

Morgan Lagravière, the skipper of Safran, who is new to the class but comes from a very strong Olympic 49er and Figaro background, admitted as much at this morning’s media briefing. “I’m not sure this year’s Fastnet will be for us. We will try to do our best. It will be very interesting learning how to use this new boat with the foils and to race with other IMOCA boats, especially Banque Populaire,” he said.

A large contingent this year is the two-handed crews. This is a growing area of offshore sailing, one that fits into a kind of sailing Enduro category. Some 59 boats in the IRC fleet are also sailing doublehanded. The lowest rated is Lucinda Allaway’s and Tom Barker’s Contessa 32 Hurrying Angel.

Like many of the smaller and lower yachts the Rolex Fastnet Race is most likely to favour them, as the breeze will pick up later in the week. Could this be a small boat year?

It is a year also when retirements could be lower than usual – the average is around ten per cent of the fleet. That would be good news for the event as a whole, and the Commodore of the RORC, Michael Boyd, concluded the briefing today by saying: “We are delighted that this is a record year and by the quality of the competition. There are a lot of fantastic sailors, who have put their effort, energy and money to be with us for this special race.

“We wish you all a very successful race and a safe passage.”

Read more at http://www.yachtingworld.com/blogs/elaine-bunting/youll-have-to-be-good-at-kedging-light-winds-endurance-ahead-for-rolex-fastnet-race-2015-66820#vrRt82RB41D4B5bt.99

11 MEN, 11 DAYS TRANSATLANTIC RACE 2015

I am finally re-united with my computer; having just returned from the 2015 transatlantic race aboard “Snow Lion”. We crossed the ocean in 11 1/2 days. never a days run less than 250 miles. an extraordinary adventure.

START CASTLE HILL
START CASTLE HILL
AT SEA
AT SEA
SQUALL
SQUALL
SPEED
SPEED
WET AND SMILING
WET AND SMILING
HARD REACHING
HARD REACHING
THE LIZARD
THE LIZARD

BAND OF BROTHERS

I am about to start my 9th transatlantic race on 7 different boats. I have sailed with a number of people as a result; and have warm memories of each race, each boat, and each and every person.

It is a fraternity that one can only join by competing.

I had news a few days ago that another of that fraternity had died. Peter Van Dyke passed away. A loss to our group.

PETER VAN DYKE, '72 TRANSATLANTIC RACE
PETER VAN DYKE, ’72 TRANSATLANTIC RACE
RICH DUMOULIN '72 TRANSATLANTIC RACE
RICH DUMOULIN ’72 TRANSATLANTIC RACE
HARRY MORGAN, JACK CUMMISKEY
HARRY MORGAN, JACK CUMMISKEY
LARRY HUNTINGTON AND CREW
LARRY HUNTINGTON AND CREW
ROBIN KNOX-JOHNSON AND DAVID AISHER
ROBIN KNOX-JOHNSON AND DAVID AISHER
TRANSALANTIC TROPHIIES
TRANSALANTIC TROPHIIES
PARTY TENT
PARTY TENT
THE RACE
THE RACE
COLLEGE AND AMERICA'S CUP
COLLEGE AND AMERICA’S CUP

FASTNET RACE AUGUST 2015

Made famous by the 1979 tragedy, however the 1957 race was just as hard. Truly one of my favorite races as there are many tide gates and turns; a real challenge.

THE JOY OF SAILING
THE JOY OF SAILING

needles489snow lion fastnet647mccurdy fastnet260nye fastent522rock407SNOWfastnet rock2804fastnet rock light

FASTNET ROCK
FASTNET ROCK