Thursday, March 5, 2015

Yachting Monthly Capsize Video

Yachting Monthly have a very interesting  video of a capsize test on their YouTube Channel. I only became aware of it yesterday when it was highlighted by Scuttlebutt Sailing News.

Many have read the accounts that I have written about our capsize experience on the Didi 38 "Black Cat" in the Cape To Rio Race 2014. It is not possible to visualise what it is like to be there in that situation, even if you sit inside your boat and try to imagine it turning around you but this video goes a long way to help visualise it. It is not fully realistic because the roof stays at the top as the boat rotates, so the world is rotating around the boat rather than the boat rotating within the world around it. To provide better visualisation the camera needs to stay upright while the boat goes upside-down.

Bear in mind that this test is in flat water and the boat is rotated quite slowly from upright to upside-down, then rights itself quickly. Normally a capsize will happen in seas that are large and confused, so it is a much more violent process than seen in the video, with the boat being thrown in confused directions while it capsizes. Despite that, it is worth watching, to see the way that crew, equipment, etc was moved around the cabin and to see just how much water came in even in that still water.

It is not an experience that I would recommend to anyone, yet it is an experience that I am glad to have had and to have survived.

It also validates the toughness of the methods of construction that I have used for these plywood designs, that "Black Cat" came through with minimal damage.

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