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Part 1: Northern Marine 90' Yacht Capsizes Upon Launch...!

Discussion in 'Northern Marine Yacht' started by olderboater, May 19, 2014.

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  1. RicF

    RicF New Member

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    If he has a video of the complete launch, particularly if taken from various angles, it will be worth a fortune to the parties and their lawyers. Why give it away for free?
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Very good point
  3. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno

    Desktop did.


    Northern Launch Door Open.jpg

    Northern Launch Door Open 1.jpg

    Northern Launch Door Open 2.jpg
  4. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Another wannabe floating condo, trying to cram the space of a 120' yacht onto the hull of a 90'.
    If that boat was designed by a Naval Architect he should loose his credentials and take up Mobile Home design.
    Why is this such a mystery?
    Top heavy boats have turned turtle since day one and the owner is as guilty as the builder and the designer, even if the owner is "hearth broken" :rolleyes:

    Easy to be Monday Morning Quarterback, but don't forget the 34' Silverton that turned turtle last year and numerous other ugly designs that should never go to sea, or be launched in the first place.

    Why in Neptun's name were Loyds and Veritas not involved from day one?
    Lots of experience to learn from and less drama if common sense, aesthetics
    as well as proven nautical principles were involved in designing and building some of these fancy amateur yachts.
  5. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    We do not know many actual details / facts at this time.

    The Silverton case is totally unrelated, was attributed to Overloading the Flybridge / No warning label for Flybridge Passenger Capacity.

    We do not know if downflooding from the transom door occurred in this case, or even if it did, if there were additional watertight compartments separating the lazarette from the machinery space or if the vessel actually grounded resulting in a tramatic loss of stability / increase in the vertical center of gravity.

    For all we know at this moment, if the vessel was successfully launched, she may have had sufficient static and dynamic stability at her design condition to go unscathed for her entire lifetime.
  6. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    True, she may have weathered many storms in many oceans, but judging from her exterior design, pictures and the results of the launching, she would be a pig in any serious conditions.
    I could be wrong, but you don't have to be Einstein to see that this boat had more superstructure than the underbody could handle.

    Nothing wrong about being very conservative rather than trying to cram too much square footage onto too little hull is it? :rolleyes:
  7. lovinlifenc

    lovinlifenc Member

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    The transom engine room door does appear to be open.

    It looks like they may have hit bottom around the same time that the stern achieved buoyancy. It seems inescapable that water was entering the open transom door, which negated the buoyancy and the yacht reached the bottom. It is possible that the door was closed at some point during these events, or the natural roll of the boat brought the water line away from the door opening. I am struggling to explain how the yacht regained buoyancy and floated further out into the basin.

    Someone finally got some dock lines out towards the end of the video.
  8. milo12

    milo12 Member

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    I agree, I dont see how that could be called a world explorer when it looks dangerously top heavy.

    That thing sinking may have saved lives.

    I wonder if they will rebuild or declare it a total loss and scrap it for parts.
  9. keyboardcapt

    keyboardcapt New Member

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    Fraser Yacht at Launch

    Well sir, I submit the following evidence, and with all due respect, Fraser yachts (Josh's employer) was the Owners Representative for this launch, not PM, your right. Please see the photo from the launch day of the Fraser Yachts staff on sight acting as Owners Rep. Your comments are misinformation. I've attached the image, i hope it works..... If not I'll re-post.

    Attached Files:

  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Here's their problem. The insurer isn't likely to declare the hull a total loss. In fact, the insurer could attempt to accept liability period. A lot depends on the policy. And I don't imagine anything being settled anytime soon. So you're probably talking about it just sitting for a while. But someone regardless is likely to be left holding that hull. Now, who wants it? I can't imagine anyone wanting it for any decent amount of money. Someone who did would probably strip the upper levels off.

    So you've got an interior full of whatever equipment it had on it, all of which has been exposed to salt water and none of which has been subject to an effort to minimize it's damage or salvage. You've got a hull and structure people have all sorts of questions about. A buyer who wants his money back. A builder who closed the doors. And a long line of people forming.

    If you're the buyer and all you can get out of it is the boat as it sits, what do you do with it?
  11. keyboardcapt

    keyboardcapt New Member

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    The vessel may not be top heavy, the proper amount of ballast may be missing is all. Let us not judge so quickly. USCG and other like formulas dictate if a vessel is stable and safe. Perhaps, in time, these calculations may be made available for review by the public. Until then, I'd not cast slander onto the hard working folks at Norther Marine and support staff.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, whatever Fraser's role, even as Owner's Representative, they were involved with this project for a long time and I'd think right now they wish they could distance themselves totally from this. Being associated with it in any way can't be good for one's reputation.

    I quote from their website:

    With our comprehensive knowledge of designers, shipyards, engineering, and contractors we are able to accurately negotiate contracts and closely monitor each stage of the yacht construction process.

    That's the service they offered and received payment for. There is no one involved in this who is going to come out unsoiled.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Doesn't matter. They built it, they launched it. It failed. They are responsible. They closed the doors. Yes, there are hard working folks there. One of them nearly lost his life. Six were at risk. Their reward? Unemployment.

    And have you heard one of the principles step up with even so much as a statement of their sadness and apologies to those involved? Did they comply with the WARN act or were they already under 50 employees? Have you heard them express in any way how they'll make this right for not just this buyer but all the buyers with boats under construction? Only one I know of speaking was Wes and that was on the scene as things were happening.

    I don't know the cause of the disaster. I don't know when they planned the closing. Many things about it I don't know, but I don't need to know any more than the facts above to know that Northern has closed their doors once again and that once again many people have been hurt.

    Oh I do know one other thing. On every forum I'm aware of new members have cropped up who had never posted before jumping in to try to defend Northern and to attempt to discredit anyone saying anything negative. Wonder who all these people are and why their sudden interest. I'd love to hear the buyers post but I'm sure they're all listening to their lawyers and only doing as told.

    I guess I just have a problem with us looking at Northern Marine as the victim. There are many victims. Just I can't consider them to be one.
  14. lovinlifenc

    lovinlifenc Member

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    What is your personal interest in the project, Olderboater?

    You seem to be exceptionally vocal about this situation, and have been doing some serious theorizing. Maybe the answer is because you have the info and you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, but it does raise suspicions.
  15. mapism

    mapism Member

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    I neither can nor want to add further speculations to this shocking accident, but I can't help wondering on which basis many posters are labelling this vessel as top heavy, dangerous, floating condo, and so forth.

    Imho, it's pretty obvious that something went awfully wrong during that launch, and that the vessel design alone can't be blamed for that.

    I mean, regardless of whether everyone like it or not (and I don't btw, but for reasons that have nothing to see with the boat stability), raising the superstructures to increase interior spaces is not exactly breaking news, in this industry.

    Those who think that the below/above w/line proportion is enough to judge a vessel stability should have a look at a dry dock where a cruise ship is being built.
    This is one example, but the pic alone can only give a very rough idea of how un-be-lie-va-ble that ratio is, in modern cruise ships:
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b380/mapism/Various/Port.jpg

    In spite of that, they are much more stable than older ships with lower superstructures. And I don't see reasons why the technology that nowadays allows to build these safe, comfortable, huge vessels can't be scaled down, at least to some extent, to smaller ones.

    And since I might be labeled (which would be the second time, actually) as a "new member jumping in", I'm neither trying to defend the builder nor the designer, or anyone else.
    All I know about this accident is what I read on these pages.
    But at this stage, I would rather toss a coin than judge on the basis of the "exterior design", before jumping in conclusions - as some others seem happy to do.
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    My interest. In responsible builders. In businessmen conducting business the way they should. In looking after ones employees, customers, and vendors. No worshiping of false idols. (Ok that was semi joking). But a lot of people have been hurt and they've been hurt by some combinations of incompetency and poor management at the least. At the most worse than that. I hate to see businesses have problems but there are many here they brought on themselves. They've presented their business as something more, thriving, all this business rolling in, this magnificent new launch. I'm concerned about all the buyers who have lost huge money, about the vendors who are owed, and about the employees. Those are all innocent people hurt.

    Sometimes people manage somehow to continue to escape unscathed. Closing businesses and repurchasing the assets while leaving people hanging almost a way of life. The boat turning and sinking is somehow going to be portrayed as the event that led to the downfall of Northern, killed by a tragic accident. That portrayal just doesn't match logic or facts. First the event is their fault. Second if they were adequately insured it wouldn't destroy them. I've been through multi million dollar warehouse fires and no employee, customer, or vendor was hurt at all. Third, when tragedy strikes do you run and hide or step up and speak, face the music, even if only to say you don't have answers to all the questions. Do you accept responsibility or engage lawyers and keep quiet as they say?

    Somehow Northern has given the impression everything was just running along great. That's false. Their business wasn't great, they have unfinished boats, they forged ahead with a launch that obviously they weren't ready for (whether equipment or boat). I read people saying they'd built hundreds of good boats, which isn't true. Guess I'm upset that so many companies have great public relations departments but not the same substance in all areas.

    The facts as known today are bad. We shall see what other facts emerge. That's all I can say.

    In image I guess this is another negative for the US boat building. However, in reality, the limited volume they were doing won't really made a big difference. It's a shame as they were capable of building a quality boat. But it takes more.
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    So it's vessel design or bad equipment or bad launching methods. Results are the same, accountability the same.

    And as to the design, I'd say there are many here, not myself, with more than enough knowledge and experience to question a design when they see it. And some of those questions would remain valid whether or not the design is the cause of the accident. This is certainly not the first design they've questioned. Perhaps the first that has ended up as this one did.

    Yes, it is a shocking accident. Two kinds of accidents. Avoidable. Unavoidable. I'm driving down the highway someone shoots out of the side and into my car, that was unavoidable on my part. This one was avoidable and preventable. Wasn't an act of god or something beyond anyone's control.
  18. mapism

    mapism Member

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    I visited the yard last year (and also saw this boat, btw).
    I've also been on a couple of used boats of their.

    And while I would agree with your last statement above, I really struggle with the first.
    If I should name the very first thing which didn't strike me as "great" in NM operations, it's their PR dept - or total lack of, possibly? :confused:

    PS: re. your first statement on accountability, I wasn't arguing about it.
    But I still think that questioning a design just based on some pics is like judging a book by its cover - no matter how much experience the "judge" has.
    Actually, I'd rather think that no proper naval architect on earth would dare labeling a boat like this as top heavy etc. just looking at her pics.
  19. lovinlifenc

    lovinlifenc Member

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    If your stated concerns are your true concerns then don't you think the best thing to do is to wait and see what the facts are surrounding their business practices, ownership structure, reasons for closing, etc?

    Like you have said, you believe yourself to be someone providing an oversight mechanism that is missing. It would be prudent to discuss what you know, at this point, or what you can observe through what is known.

    I suggest that what you are doing is flirting dangerously close to becoming part of a nasty fight that you seem to know very few facts about.

    All this not taking into account that not many months ago you were on here telling us how you had just moved from Norman where you had a small ski boat and were looking for suggestions on larger ones. Northern marine did not fit your criteria, so again I wonder what? about your impetus.
  20. TimL

    TimL New Member

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    questions

    After reading a lot of info on line (mostly speculation but some info seems legit) - I have some questions:
    1. As seen in several photos and the latest video of the sinking, the swim step hatch is open (before it goes into the water). We have also seen the dramatic rescue of the 6 crew that was on board through a lower port. Why did they not just exit through the stern hatch? Was the stern flooded with water during the launch?
    2. Once the boat heels over, it appears to me that the vessel is very light. Notice the bulb at the bow is way above the water and it appears the keel maybe at the water line. An in build stability report indicated the total ballast required was around 16 tons and that 8 tons should be added for launching and the rest installed for trim/water line. I would say they had less than 8 tons of ballast for the vessel to go over and sit that high in the water.
    3. I have heard that NM has closed it doors. Is this permanent or just while they work this issue out. I can imagine this incident requires full attention from the management staff. I do not understand why the yachtvid post would be done if the company is closed permanently. It appears the video is trying to soften the blow to NM - why do that if they close the doors? My wife and I are going out on our boat this weekend which happens to be in Anacortes. We saw the yacht last saturday before the launch (our boat had just been put back in the water after bottom paint - in the same marina). We will drive by the yard tomorrow night and see if there is any info to gather.

    I think this incident was caused by several factors - not enough ballast installed, water intrusion into the aft compartment during launch, stability issue with the launching method (forward area of the hull not fully supported by the water, while the aft end could not hold level on its own). I hope that last part made sense. I read a post by someone (seemed like an engineer) that indicated the boat would be unstable if just the aft end was buoyant and the forward half still supported off the narrow dolly. I did not explain it well but the post made sense.

    Anyway, I hope we all find out why - although most of the accidents like this stay behind closed doors. All of us could benefit from the knowledge gained from this failure.
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