FROM 1-28. How Low To Go? Towards 45°S

Nov 05, 2005 - 0100hrs UTC

0100hrs 05 Nov 2005 UTC 39’51”S 038’33”E Ref 520

Tooling along, we were, full main and 2, middle of the night – isn’t it always? – headbutting the corrugations a bit and feeling the thumps but safe and easy. Heading down the great circle again, but – I fervently hope – just far enough east for the next one to slip below us. Many a pious hope… And up it comes and we go through the party gear routine straight from warm bunk – I’ll give you that in tiny detail one day – it’s interesting what one has to do to keep the whole exercise under control in a wildly tossing boat with limited stowage – up on deck, drop the 2, bag it and consign it, hank on the 4 on its strop, first reef in the main and up the 4. Way too much – wind had risen significantly – try second reef – still too much so go the third and then drop the 4 off strop, requiring change of car position as well. A biggie but now seems snug and comfy.

From Dave, Poole, UK

Wow what a night! “Hi Guys – one of your gusts here, just read last instalment and the hairs on my neck are still twitching and I’ve got a dry mouth just reading the Sitrep: 0350hrs 03 Nov 2005.

Your boat is amazing (and you two are of course even more amazing). You say  (intimate perhaps) it would be easier in a larger boat and I’m sure that an Ocean 80 would be ripping along in 60Kts and as long as the crew were up to it a fabulous experience. But I also think that the “”middle sized modern”” boats might actually have a serious problem in the conditions you have and are experiencing. I own an Oceanis 44CC which is a much distorted hull form, extreme beam of over 15 ft and relatively shallow draft (wing keel). My extreme weather is waves of 3m! I do plan to make Ocean crossings on this boat however so when I listen to your story I get the effect described in my first sentence! I would not expect my boat (called Moana btw) to be any more comfortable than Berri in such extreme conditions and I would expect that you are a lot safer on Berri than I would be on Moana.

 I am prompted to get stability data for Moana and it would be an interesting exercise to compare on paper with Berri’s.

Dave W from poole – I agree with your concerns – I don’t think your boat was designed for this. (Roger W, if you are reading this, could you please send Steve Berri’s IMS certificate number to post on the website or even fax him a copy to scan – Ta!) If Roger has the number you can get a copy from, I think, RORC and it has all the stability details. Berri’s point of vanishing stability – the point at which she will continue to roll rather than resisting – is, from memory, at 141.6 degrees (might be 146.1) which is way way stiffer than anything but an America’s Cup boat these days. Yours will be around 115 – 120,I suspect, and the fittings will be designed for closer inshore. Not good on the front of a breaking wave. I hope that’s not too distressing. There’s a photo of Berri out of the water in the ‘Preparations” doc on the website.

[ed: Hilary found an old IMS certificate and stability index, as Alex said, it is 141.6. The calculated limit of positive stability is 135.4 degrees]

Engine for first time in 3 days so have time to play. I really miss all my toys when we are conserving. We run the battery down to about 11.3 v and then hit it for 45 min at max charge – not good for it but best use of diesel.

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