sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Kiwi 35 'probably as stable upside down as she was upright'

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

'WingNuts - just as stable when ’turned turtle’ as when upright'    .

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.

WingNuts in racing mode -  Event Media   Click Here to view large photo
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 click here?nid=86255 and also see the links to other stories on this tragedy on the left sidebar




by Eric Sharp, Detroit Free Press

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=86255

10:43 AM Fri 22 Jul 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World













HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia














Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata by Richard Gladwell,Sail-world.com/nz,


Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   
Emirates Team NZ: Royals duke it out on the Waitemata   
2014 Charleston Race Week - Thousands of sailors descend on Charleston   
The Congressional Cup 2014 - Williams hangs on with a classy crowd   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race now available   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Sunshine and smiles on day 2   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XL NEW US