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For those who dont know, this accident was on the return delivery following the Sydney Hobart

 

From Sailing Anarchy - https://sailinganarchy.com/2020/01/09/jason-ker-speaks/

jason ker speaks

Editor January 9, 2020

showtime.jpg

I’d like to make clear that the keel lost by the Ker 40 ‘Showtime’ was not designed by Ker Yacht Design.  The yacht had a retrofit keel fitted, designed by its owner’s local design office near Sydney and built by a local fabricator.

 We have designed a great many keels over the last 23 years which have been constructed by many different builders around the world, none have ever failed.  To the best of our knowledge, Showtime is the only yacht designed by us to have had a keel fitted that was not designed by us.

 The keel, designed by the owner’s local Naval Architect, was configured as a vertical hollow strut welded to a horizontal mounting plate, which in turn was sitting in a shallow recess in the boat’s hull and bolted to the boat’s structure.  This is not a design approach we would ever endorse as the high stress point at the junction is coincident with the horizontal welded joint.

 The skipper of the delivery voyage Rob Buchanan and his crew only survived through extremely calm thinking and bravery under stressful circumstances.  Rob woke hearing a metallic ‘Ping’ just before he was thrown across the boat from his windward bunk as they capsized.

 While they made their plans to escape it was apparent to Rob that the inverted boat was holding air pressure in the hull, so the top plate of the keel can only have remained fully bolted to the yacht.  When the crew swam down out of the boat, they saw that the vertical part of the keel was missing, revealing that the keel had failed at the welded joint between the exposed vertical and the recessed horizontal parts.

 Ker Design would support any World Sailing move to ban this low cost but high risk style of ‘welded T’ keel construction.

Best regards,
Jason

______________________

Great Article Jason, and I completely agree with your comments on this design.

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Very robust debate on this incident in SA forum with the boat owner saying some not nice things about Jason Ker . Ker did a superb job of keeping his cool and explaining the facts while a bunch of rabid Ockers tried to burn him at the stake.

 

Something I learnt from the debate is that there is a company in kawerau that is highly regarded worldwide for building internal steel structures for race boat keels , but this one wasn’t one theirs either .

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I did a fiji race and a hobart on this boat with the original keel. We gave the boat a solid thrashing, lots of heavy upwind work.

 

Sounds pretty horrific for the crew onboard. Had to swim out, and then skipper(?) had to remove his lifejacket and swim under to retrieve raft.

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I did a fiji race and a hobart on this boat with the original keel. We gave the boat a solid thrashing, lots of heavy upwind work.

 

Sounds pretty horrific for the crew onboard. Had to swim out, and then skipper(?) had to remove his lifejacket and swim under to retrieve raft.

What do the crew do if in that situation they have those Auto inflate lifejackets?

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