Thursday, June 5, 2014

That Sinking Feeling...

Saw this and just couldn't resist...

$10 million yacht sinks after launch
A $10 million, 90-foot yacht was being launched in Washington state when it suddenly capsized.

The yacht, named Baden, had already been lowered into the water in Anacortes, Washington, when it slowly tilted and then sank, according to media reports.
Did you do it too? Did you skim the article quickly and think that the yacht was named "Biden"? I laughed for several minutes before I realized I was in error...

Here's the poor yacht:

Ever wanted to see $10 million spiraling the drain?

Now, not to point fingers or anything, but I did notice that the yacht building company has since gone out of business. They placed the blame on the company that launched the yacht, and while I'm certainly no expert on yacht launching, I've helped put a few boats into water in my time, and the launch itself looked to be up to spec.

I also can't help but wonder if, where this was a "research" yacht and not a pleasure craft, if this was one of those vessels that was headed north to gain "proof" of global warming. I think if that were the case, the schadenfreude would be overwhelming. As it stands, all I have is a minor case of the "haw-haws".

Because, you know, yacht launch fail!

That is all.

10 comments:

Dave H said...

I didn't get "Biden," but only because I'm familiar with the name Baden. (Went to school with a bunch of kids with that name. Also got engaged in a town of that name.) I think they ought to re-name this boat "Bad 'un."

Ted said...

"Baden". German for bath or bathing. ... And the correct term is "Expedition Yacht ". ...... Generally just used to explore the coast of Alaska in a more comfort than what a "Sports Fisherman class " boat provides. Plus it doesn't have the open stern deck of the sports fisherman.

Boats get launched before they are completely fitted out. But the Naval Architech is supposed to check the ballast calculations before the launch.

Borepatch said...

I blame Global Warming for the sinking. Global Warming will cause disastrous sea level rise (we're told) and this is as clear a case of the sea level rising over the scuppers as I've seen.

Q.E.D.

Anonymous said...

That yacht pictured looks less than 90 ft.

Geodkyt said...

It's 90' - perspective in the photo fools you.

I vote with "bad launch" -- she was listing 20-30 degrees before floating (start watching around 2:30).

Looks like they tried to use a ramp whose sumbmerged portion was WAY narrower than the exposed part, and went off the side, just as alleged.

I am suspicious as to how stable she'd be in anything but a sheltered harbor, especially with gusts amidship -- rather shallow draft for that superstructure height, IMNSHO. . .

newrebeluniv said...

I'm pretty sure that unless you put the boat in the water upside down, it should still float right side up. Otherwise, it is too unstable to take into the big blue.

The owner should definitely file a claim against the assets of the builder.

LCB said...

When boats like this are launched, has the ballast been added? Or does that come during the fitting out?

Will said...

Not a problem with the launch.
Inadequate ballast was the problem. No big deal if the wheels fall off the side of the ramp after the boat is in deep enough water to float. Which it was, obviously. It starts to float, and just rolls over until enough of the superstructure is in the water to stabilize it.

I wonder if they had the engines installed? From the quick roll, it is missing a great deal of low positioned weight.

I suspect the launch was rushed ahead of schedule for business/money reasons. Possibly a badly needed payment due at the point of it floating. This would explain the company folding after this mishap. You don't close a functioning business just because of an embarrassing mistake. However, if there is insufficient funds to continue until the problem is resolved, you're done.

I wonder who made the bad call to toss it into the water? I suspect it wasn't done by the long time pro who should have been in charge.

NotClauswitz said...

"Baden" is German for bath and bathing...and somebody sure took one.

Paul, Dammit! said...

For stability reasons, to be certified for human occupancy, the coast guard requires that all vessels be stable in light boat configuration (no ballast, no fuel, no stores, no passengers.

Ballast will be seawater, and is not usually added to yachts, especially on the West Coast, when ballast must be either pumped ashore and treated as wastewater (to prevent invasive species invasion when transiting the coast). The problem with ballast is that it increases the GM, the distance between the center of gravity and the metacentric height (the sum of forces acting to right the vessel), making it respond to rolling more quickly- increasing the rolling speed, essentially, like a sailboat vs. a cruiser. You don't want your 90-foot yacht to launch you out of your drinking chair, do you? For that reason, you build it with a taller superstructure and less draft, so that it rolls more deeply than a sailboat, but a hell of a lot more slowly.

That boat was built for comfort, and, unless it was loaded with weight on one side or someone opened and filled the passive-roll tank (if equipped) while ashore, while not loading mass into the hull, it would have bobbed like a cork. The fault will lie with the launch process, unless the builder's labor force did something incredibly stupid that wasn't picked up upon.