CAPSIZED CATAMARAN: How Exactly Did This Happen?

6 Aug

MAYBE MY SAILfeed COLLEAGUE Pat Schulte of Bumfuzzle, who is in the midst of comparing cats and monohulls, can help us out with this one. The viddy comes courtesy of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which reported last week that a volunteer crew from the Mallaig Lifeboat Station in Scotland rescued seven survivors off the bottom of a 52-foot catamaran that became “completely inverted” due to “adverse weather conditions” off the Isle of Skye.

The rescued crew reportedly were French–two women, five men–and according to at least one other published report were trapped inside the cat when it suddenly flipped in a squall. Fortunately, all aboard escaped out on to the upturned hulls, and the boat’s EPIRB ignited and alerted authorities to their plight.

I’ve watched the viddy a number of times now and haven’t been able to figure out what type of boat it is. It has no keels, and I see slots for daggerboards, and there’s not much of a bridgedeck, so I reckon it’s quite a bit lighter than your average cruising cat. Still, it’s very unusual for a cat this size to turn turtle like this.

Was this the result of an unusually strong squall? Operator error? Or is there an issue of some kind with the boat?

Inquiring minds would like to know.


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