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36' catamaran capsizes in Lake Erie- 8 rescued

Jan 13, 2009
264
J Boat 92 78 Sandusky

Another 36' picnic bench goes turtle. Lucky those 8 were close to rescuers. No life jackets? Storm coming? We were out on the lake Wed. evening. Obvious storm approaching. Really obvious if you looked at weather radar on your phone. Wind was light to non existent prior to storm. Were they motoring? Total lack of situational awareness.
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,684
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
Interesting. A 36' what? That is a rather large boat to flip so I'm wondering if it was a MacGregor or Stiletto or more of a cruiser?
 
Jun 10, 2017
172
Catalina 1980 Catalina 30 Mk II South Pasadena / Tampa Bay
Ya Know,

Any truly responsible captain when seeing a storm approaching, your first GUT FEELING is to IMMEDIATELY DROP SAILS & TURN YOUR ENGINE ON....PERIOD!

When the storm passes, you put the sails back up PERIOD & EVERYONE IS SAFE!

PS: Where were the lifejackets...DUH?
I HOPE HE LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON FROM THIS EXPERIENCE.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,228
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
The Sheriff says... Wear a life jacket. The boat turtled putting the VHF radio sumbmerged and the antenna 40-50 feet underwater. Good thing there was one email capable phone among the 8 sitting on the bottom of the boat. It would have been a cold night on the water.

I am feeling pretty good about my idea to wear a life jacket and carrying my handheld submersible VHF radio on my person when out sailing...
 
Jul 12, 2011
797
Catalina 36 Bay City, MI
Any truly responsible captain when seeing a storm approaching, your first GUT FEELING is to IMMEDIATELY DROP SAILS & TURN YOUR ENGINE ON....PERIOD!

When the storm passes, you put the sails back up PERIOD & EVERYONE IS SAFE!
I don't agree with you in all cases. Personally, I would rather have a well-reefed main up than be completely bare-poles, depending on my forecast of the weather. If you have no sails, you are entirely dependent on the engine running for any maneuvering, and you decrease the rolling stability given by the main. I agree with putting the engine on to give you more immediate options. It's amazing that before 1880, when engines were commonly fitted on sailing craft, that anyone made it across an ocean!
 
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Jan 19, 2010
6,684
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
It's amazing that before 1880, when engines were commonly fitted on sailing craft, that anyone made it across an ocean!
You interned for years before you were given any real responsibility. Today you are lucky if the "captain" spent 45 minutes on the line watching a safety video.

:(
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,386
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I don't agree with you in all cases. Personally, I would rather have a well-reefed main up than be completely bare-poles, depending on my forecast of the weather. If you have no sails, you are entirely dependent on the engine running for any maneuvering, and you decrease the rolling stability given by the main. I agree with putting the engine on to give you more immediate options. It's amazing that before 1880, when engines were commonly fitted on sailing craft, that anyone made it across an ocean!
Good monohull answer. Not a good multihull answer.

Multihulls and monohulls are both sailboats, but not understanding how they are different can get you in trouble. For example, the factors influencing roll stability on a cat are different, and you can't afford a partial knock down as a way of relieving wind pressure (not even once). My feeling is that the best way to learn the differences are to spend some years on a beach cat, including a thunderstorm or two.
 
Jun 4, 2009
3,244
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
Unlike monohulls, cats cannot heel to relieve the pressure on the rig to capsize the boat. Their ONLY defense against capsizing is acceleration, thereby bringing the apparent wind forward, luffing the sails. This is why some cats (not room-a-rans like Lagoons, designed for the bareboat market to be more floating mobile accommodations than sailing vessels) actually have load limits.
It is my guess that all 8 people were probably huddled on the lee side, perhaps to use the main as a rain shield, when the squall hit. It wouldn't take much to capsize in that case.
 
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