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Old 02-20-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
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SV Concordia sinks off Brazil - Crew and Passengers rescued from life rafts.

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #2
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SV Concordia sinks off Brazil - Crew and Passengers rescued from life rafts.

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Ive been combing the Brazilian press here for more detailed reports but so far I just canīt figure out what caused this great vessel to go down... 'rough seas'? Thatīs not enough of an explanation for such a fine craft...
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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I saw a report from a British source that said that a crew member, it may even have been the Master of the Concordia, had said that when the vessel was knocked down by the squall, the windows in her deckhouses failed which allowed her to fill rapidly which prevented her from righting herself. It was when it was realised that she was filling rapidly that the decision to abandon her was taken.

Someone else (not an official of any kind) made an interesting comment which I thought was worthy of consideration.

In years gone by sailing vessels would have been rigged with canvas sails, hemp rope and steel wire, materials which size for size would not have even come close to matching the strengths and breaking strains of todays Dacrons, Nylons. polyesters and high strength stainless steel rigging. He suggested that once upon a time, caught over canvassed as she was, Concordia would have had her sails blown out and possibly lost some of her running rigging too. but she would probably have come back almost to an even keel when her gear carried away, and stayed afloat as a result. Rigged as she was with todays materials nothing carried away and over she went, held down until her deckhouse windows gave way.

The official findings will be interesting, I'm just very glad that all hands survived the sinking.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:33 AM   #4
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just glad that all were safe in the end... interesting comment on canvas and hemp.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:47 PM   #5
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I thought it reminded me of another tall ship sinking. See Pride of Baltimore sinking May 1986
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:41 PM   #6
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I thought it reminded me of another tall ship sinking. See Pride of Baltimore sinking May 1986
I've never seen a report on that sad story before. Sounds very similar, you're right jeanneP. There's no mention of any damage, or at least no report of sails carried away etc: before she capsized on that occasion either. It seems the rig stands up to it and those ferocious sudden squalls just lays them flat.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:46 AM   #7
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some more details: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats...rdia-31630.html
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:48 PM   #8
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Magwas, thanks for the link. Bear with me as I drag up lots of little stuff from this leaky sieve I call a memory.

A very long time ago I read an account of a powerboat sinking, slowly, in New England. The owner had recently had his liferaft serviced, and it sat on deck in its hard shell. When efforts to stem the ingress of water failed and the pumps failed, the owner turned to his liferaft, which had failed to deploy when the decks were awash. It turned out that whoever had serviced the raft had closed it with duct tape and taped it to its cradle on the boat. The fellow and his friend could not get it free, and as the boat sank lower in the water he found himself diving on the raft with a fishing knife working to cut it free. Since he lived to tell the tale, he did finally free it from its duct tape prison and they were saved. I read this back before we had our own boat and I did not think: how could he have not known that there was duct tape there? Lack of experience on my part, and apparently on his, also. Scary, no?

Not much different from life rafts secured belowdeck. If they automatically inflated and deployed, none would have made it out, methinks. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Lack of experience, but in the case of a commercial ship such as Concordia that lack of experience (or forethought) borders on the criminal, IMO.

Another tidbit dredged from my memory. Somewhere I had read that in the days of the square riggers it was common to cut down the masts if the boats were caught in a hurricane. Another one of those vivid memories that didn't make any sense to me at the time - I admit to not believing it.

I'm headed towards my usual destination - bad things happen, tragedies occur. If nothing is learned from these sad stories then there is no question that they will happen again. Just as when we were children and our parents said, "well, what were you thinking" when we came in with broken limbs or bloody knees from our latest dumb trick, I think that such tragedies require dissection under the cold hard light of hindsight.

And WHERE did I read that a home-outfitted sailboat left itself vulnerable to terrible problems with rigging that was double the design strength, and sails that were "bullet proof" so they wouldn't blow out?

Give me our moderate to light-displacement sv Watermelon and "reefing early" due to my distaste for heeling more than 10-12% over the heavy "cruiser" whose rigging will fail before it heels sufficiently to frighten its crew.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #9
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Well, when such tragedies occur, there are nearly always more than one reason. Luckily they did have good training and it was daylight, so only property have lost.

The point about too good rigging is one which did not occur to me so far.

However there are two other points I am concerned with.

One is about the windows (as a Linux fan, I take Windows as the root of all evil btw. Reports of both Concordia and Pride of Baltimore mentions windows breaking. However as I understand the first rule of boat safety to keep the water out of the vessel. I always thought blue water boats should be able to keep water out, even when upside down. And this leads to my other concern.

It is about heeling. Well, a tall ship certainly not a sailing yacht where it is not uncommon to righten itself after the sails have reached the drink (I think it had saved Sereia when it got knocked down twice), but I thought they should have enough rightning moment to withstand nearly anything with bare poles. Well, maybe I am wrong here. I am courious what others think.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:44 PM   #10
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I gather there will be an enquiry. I hope there are some good answers to the questions being raised. Not even an EPIRB?!

I decided to add the following to what I posted above, rather than start another post.

Here's an interesting link to a discussion of the sinking on the Wooden Boat Forum. The last post on the first page is very informative to me.

Wooden Boat Forum discussion of Concordia
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:44 PM   #11
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Well, I recently found an intense interest in the cruising dream and the cruising lifestyle, and that is what led me to these boards.

I sailed on the Concordia last year for a full semester, doing the Nova Scotia --> Europe --> Med --> Africa --> Brazil route. I'm not really sure what to cover in terms of the ship, and I only have limited inside knowledge from the floaties I've talked to who were on the ship, but I know that ship well and I know the captain and the a few of the crew. I would be more than willing to answer any questions anybody has .
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