Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

Kiwi 35 'probably as stable upside down as she was upright'

by Eric Sharp, Detroit Free Press on 22 Jul 2011
WingNuts - just as stable when ’turned turtle’ as when upright SW
Two sailors died last week in the Chicago-to-Mackinac race, after the Kiwi 35 Wingnuts turned turtle, without losing her keel. Top Yachting writer, Eric Sharp of the Detroit Free Press (freep.com) writes:

Online sailing forums have been full of comments about the deaths of two people last week aboard WingNuts in the Chicago-to-Mackinac race. The Kiwi 35 capsized during a midnight storm on Lake Michigan, killing skipper Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne Bickel, 41, from Saginaw. Six others were rescued.

Several yachts of similar design are entered in the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race, which starts Saturday, and some say those boats aren't safe offshore.

Yet a sailor who knows as much about Kiwi 35s as anyone, someone who helped Morley set up his boat two years ago, said Morley seems to have done everything possible to avoid the disaster.

Mike Kehew of Middletown, R.I., said Morley probably was the victim of bad luck and of the unconventional design that makes the Kiwi 35 so fast. From what I've been able to piece together, I tend to agree.

Keel yachts rarely roll over, but it isn't unheard of if the seas are big enough. What is weird is for a keel yacht to 'turtle' in modest waves and then stay upside down if she hasn't lost her keel. That's what happened to WingNuts.

But Kehew, who raced a Kiwi 35 along the East Coast for five years, said a yacht designer once told him: 'The Kiwi 35 was the only monohull he knew that was probably as stable upside down as she was upright.'

'The reason is the wings,' Kehew said. 'They are essentially buoyancy tanks. And below (in the cabin) you have lockers on either side that are basically airtight. Once it went over, it would stay that way until it was pulled back upright.'

Photos of the overturned boat also made me think the culprit was the hiking wings that extend beyond WingNuts' deck.

In one photo, the mainsail is stowed on the mast that sticks down into the clear water, something a prudent skipper would do with a storm approaching. So there's no big spread of fabric underwater to hold down the boat. You can see the fin keel is intact, including the 1,000-pound bulb at the bottom.

Most yachts over 25 feet depend on a heavy keel and internal ballast for stability. On a Kiwi 35, crew weight substitutes for much of the lead ballast.

Because it is so light, and with so little wetted surface area, the boat can hit 18-20 knots (20-23 m.p.h.) in 15-22 knots of wind. As the wind tips the boat to one side, the crew climbs out on the windward wing to keep the boat flat. It's simple leverage. More wind requires more weight on the wing.

It's difficult to understand why WingNuts turtled in what were reported to be modest seas of 4-6 feet, a bit rough but nothing extreme for Great Lakes sailors. A 35-foot boat should handle waves twice that big.

But if WingNuts was hit by a big wave or gust of wind and tipped to one side, the wing on the leeward side (away from the wind) would dig deep into the water. It would happen so quickly there would be little chance for the crew to get on the windward wing to hold the boat down.

If the high wing on the windward side was then hit from below by another heavy gust, it might be enough to lift the hull and pivot it upside down.

'I agree,' Kehew said. 'I think that's exactly what happened.

For the rest of this story http://tinyurl.com/3o8a84w!click_here and also see the links to other stories on this tragedy on the left sidebar

Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82PredictWind.comInsun - AC Program

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race – Martin Strömberg joins Turn the Tide on Plastic
Strömberg who will be a watch captain, helmsman and trimmer, adds round the world race experience and winning motivation Strömberg says he’s passionate about the prospect of passing along his knowledge to the next generation, along with bringing Turn the Tide on Plastic team’s message of sustainability to an international audience.
Posted on 19 Sep
Volvo Ocean Race - Two week Assembly Period begins today
The Volvo Ocean 65s come out of the water on 18 September for final checks and a last chance for the Boatyard The Volvo Ocean 65 fleet will be returned to the caring hands of the Boatyard technicians in Lisbon before the start of the race. All systems on the boats will serviced and the boats will receive their measurement certificates. the Assembly Period gives Volvo Ocean Race teams some invaluable time on shore – and they'll head to Newcastle, UK for a rigorous sea survival course.
Posted on 18 Sep
America's Cup - Bob Fisher scans the Challenger scene
Bob Fisher responds to the news the AC is heading back to monohulls, following three editions in multihulls. OK, the decision has been reached – the next America’s Cup will be held in monohulled yachts. The announcement was made jointly by the holders, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and the Challenger of Record, the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, but there were no further details.
Posted on 15 Sep
Volvo Ocean Race - Abby Ehler and Andrew Cape to join Team Brunel
Team Brunel adds Britain’s Abby Ehler and Australian Andrew Cape to their squad for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. Team Brunel adds Britain’s Abby Ehler and Australian Andrew Cape to their squad for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. For Ehler it will be a reunion with Annie Lush having sailed the previous Volvo Ocean Race together with Team SCA. Cape isn’t new to the team either. He has sailed two Volvo Ocean Races with Bekking before and was the Team Brunel navigator in the previous edition.
Posted on 13 Sep
Volvo Ocean Race - Rio medalist uses Volvo OR to build into Tokyo 2020
On the waters of Rio de Janeiro, Murphy won not only an Olympic silver medal in sailing's Laser Radial class Ireland's Olympic hero Annalise Murphy sees the Volvo Ocean Race as perfect preparation for a gold medal charge at Tokyo 2020. In Rio de Janeiro, Murphy won not only an Olympic silver medal in sailing's Laser Radial class – Ireland's first in the sport since 1980 – but also the hearts and minds of sports fans all over the globe.
Posted on 13 Sep
Volvo Ocean Race - Two boat or not two boat?
For the first time since 2008, Volvo Ocean Race teams are allowed to undertake what's known as 'two boat testing' For the first time since 2008, Volvo Ocean Race teams are allowed to undertake what's known as 'two boat testing' – that's where two boats pair up to compare and optimise performance before the race – although for the first time this involves competing teams sparring against each other, rather than teams with two boats training in-house.
Posted on 12 Sep
Volvo Ocean Race - Chuny exits Team AkzoNobel
Team AkzoNobel has reported that Spanish sailor Roberto Bermúdez de Castro has withdrawn from team AkzoNobel Team AkzoNobel has reported that Spanish sailor Roberto Bermúdez de Castro has withdrawn from team AkzoNobel’s 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race campaign. “Chuny” – as he is best known to everyone – made the decision to stand down from his position as helmsman and sail trimmer late last week
Posted on 12 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand confirm monohull for Cup
Emirates Team NZ confirm that the next America’s Cup will be sailed in high performance monohull yachts. Following comments attributed to Luna Rossa principal, Patrizio Bertelli, Emirates Team New Zealand have confirmed that the next America's Cup will be sailed a high performance monohull yacht. The statement reads: 'Emirates Team New Zealand can confirm Patrizio Bertelli’s suggestion today that the next America’s Cup will be sailed in high performance monohull yachts.'
Posted on 11 Sep
Turn the Tide on Plastic announced 2 more sailors for Volvo Ocean Race
Dublin-born Murphy took silver in the Laser Radial class at Rio 2016, and was named Ireland’s Sportswoman of the Year. Both under 30, the pair join skipper Dee Caffari’s mixed and youth-focused campaign after successful trials, and take the total number of confirmed sailors in their squad to 10 with just 44 days to go until the start of the race.
Posted on 8 Sep
Volvo Ocean Race - MAPFRE presented to HM King Juan Carlos
The Spanish team was officially presented at the Real Club Náutico in Sanxenxo in the presence of HM King Juan Carlos The complete MAPFRE team have been presented today at the Real Club Náutico in Sanxenxo, the team’s training base, in the presence of His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, the team’s CEO Pedro Campos, and MAPFRE CEO, Antonio Huertas.
Posted on 8 Sep