Discussion in 'Bertram Yacht' started by YachtForums, Jan 15, 2010.
So the boat has disappeared as mysteriously as it sunk?
This just gets better and better....
I've thought about this quite a bit recently. Quite often while on long trips, my wife and or kids go inside for a nap, meal, games or for any number of reasons. I think it's safe to say that if anyone had been inside this boat when the failure occurred, it would have been a fatal accident.
I've seen bows disposed of against barges, buoys, other boats and jetties. Riding in the bow is thrilling; sort of like riding on the hood of your car.
I would think that if the boat was winterized and sitting outside, that if there was any moisture or water in the coring anywhere and it froze it would cause delamination between the coring and the outer skin. Maybe just expansion and contraction of freezing and unfreezing would be enough to make the hull brittle(is this possible?)?????
Yeah, I could see it expanding the problem, but if there was water in there to freeze means it already had delamination issues to begin with. As far as brittleness, when the material is actually cold, yes it will be more brittle, however I don't think this is an issue that causes a permanent effect. The brittleness is an issue of chemistry, be it a bad resin from the provider or improper mixing and curing during the build.
It's not unreasonable to presume that water, with its ability to cleave rocks in the process of mechanical weathering, would have the ability to stress these bonds to the point of breaking, but could the coring material really be so saturated just from ambient moisture seepage? Going back to small boats for a moment, the "unsinkable" Boston Whaler's closed cell foam supposedly sealed inside the fiberglass skin is notorious for becoming waterlogged due to fittings, screws, and wiring run sealants failing. It's not outside the realm of possibility that water intrusion could go undetected on a boat that wasn't used much for that period of time.
Another thought... if this boat was stored improperly - and here I'm speculating about in-water storage over a winter - with systems winterized but without a bubbler (or other ice prevention) system, it is also just as possible that ice from without could have contributed to this as ice from within. Admittedly, anything to that end is pure rampant and unfounded speculation (not having any firsthand knowledge of the particular boat).
Well if you have the wiring routed through the coring, and as we all know wiring heats and cools off, and heating and cooling cause condensation. Also you then have multiple entry points into the coring where the wiring enters and exits for moisture to get into. It's just a thought.
Freeze Thaw behavior of Sandwich Construction well documented
Academic and Industry studies/experts do not support this Statement.
There is one covenant - the laminate may not have existing delamination or non-lamination.
Freeze thaw will not cause delamination. However it can make existing delamination worse.
I found the REAL reason
the Bertram sank
Video proof too.
Does the coring material completely repel any form of water intrusion?
Is there no detectable level of moisture which exists, or no ability to saturate this particular substance?
What constitutes non-lamination? Is it a complete lack of bonding, or a certain percent of maximum potential bonding strength? Does delamination occur through other mechanical means?
If so, and the bond to the coring exists below a certain level of force required to cause delamination through mechanical means, is it the opinion of academics and industry experts that it would be impossible for the pressure or force of the expansion of water into its solid state to break that bond?
Is it the finding of academics and industry experts that the coring material itself would fracture prior to the lamination failing?
Thanks for your time, or the time of anyone else who might have insight and answers. This is sort of a fascinating topic for me.
You are asking questions which indicate you lack basic knowledge. Perhaps you would do well to read up on various construction techniques. The Gudgeon Bros (West Systems Epoxy) put out a very good manual for composite type construction.
The coring material should never see/touch water. It should be completely encapsulated, sealed, and tightly bonded, every square millimeter, with whatever laminate resin and reinforcing material you choose. Delamination is whenever you get the slightest separations in the laminate strata. Mechanical means outside of peeling with a blade and force should not cause delamination, rather it should stress the entire matrix until catastrophic failure of the complete layup.
At least point the bloke the right direction.........
Last time I looked it was the Gougeon Bros.
Maybe you were thinking "pintle and..."?
Yeah, been a while, that's why I included the West Systems reference.
I would prefer not to posit myself an expert in issues where I am not.
Lacking basic knowledge? Physics and geology and basic earth science would suggest that you are as well - there is no such thing as a waterproof material, merely water resistant depending on how long you want to wait. That's why I asked the questions I did in the way I did.
Mechanical weathering most certainly does not strictly mean external force such as with a blade. Perhaps it's time you revisit your science texts? This is very elementary stuff, which an expert such as yourself should surely know by heart.
Water carved the Grand Canyon, the Great Lakes, the fjords of Scandinavia... water made The Old Man of the Mountain and water took him away. Yet it is the opinion of academics and industry experts that water cannot penetrate a composite, let alone cause delamination through mechanical force (pressure from within)? Are these the same academics and maritime boffins who boldly declared the impossibility of the existence of rogue waves?
It is a form of mechanical force (hydraulic action - stuffing the bow) utterly devoid of blade involvement that some on this board credit with destroying this boat. So a theory is that water, in a way, caused the delamination.
Perhaps it was pressure release, another form of mechanical weathering which lacks blades, that caused the inner and outer skins to unload at different rates, separating the bonds? Or cycles of thermal expansion that haven't been observed or studied before? Yet another possibility of mechanical separation that doesn't involve a blade working from the outside.
Frost wedging seems, in my mind, to not be so far-fetched as it does in others'. Perhaps it's because I'm looking at the situation from a scientific instead of nautical perspective. I'm trying to form a hypothesis, rather than reach a conclusion then work backward.
So, again, I would appreciate the time of any people with insight and answers. The Gougeon Brothers have an interesting history book, but this boat is current events.
I believe that the Great Lakes and the fjords were formed by ice and rock (solids) plowing through during the ice age. Also, the past 5 years have been mild on Long Island. More than freeze/thaw I think it's more likely for there to be a problem with the resin or or coring or areas not covered adequately by it. Either way it should found in the samples taken by the divers. Failing that or a design defect you're back to the buoy. Even the stuffing theory has multiple problems: 1) how do you stuff the bow of a 63' SF in those seas. 2) assuming a stuff that broke through the bow, at 25 kts how does the bow not pop out the back of the wave and continue on with the damage that far above the waterline? The amount of damage points to a poorly constructed vessel, but the intervening act that started the destruction is a big question mark yet to be answered by those who matter.
Perhaps that statement is missing a couple of words and should read:
" ... yet to be answered by those who matter to me."
I believe the answer is among the many posts made by those who have contributed, we just don't know which post and we don't have proof of the cause or causes.
Sorry to hear that none of them "matter."
No, by those who matter to the case, aka: the principles, i.e. The captain, Bertram, Marine Max, the owner, their experts and representatives. None of them matter to me as I have no intention of buying any boat however I am curious about the facts and findings as someone who recommends (or doesn't) captains and boats.
None of whom can provide the answer without having the wreck physically available, or in the case of the crew, under the influence of a truth serum."
There may be a big difference between a court's findings and reality, and the reason you wrote "their experts" is because they can't prove or disprove anything any more than their opposition. One or more of the contributors to this thread has described what happened, or part of what happened and my belief is that is about all we will ever know.
Actually the principles are the ones who had the wreck physically available and have the samples that were taken as well as the raw footage. Nobody on these threads "described what happened, or part of what happened", but only their opinions. Nobody here is dealing with all of the best evidence. As I've said before, I've seen enough to form an opinion (which is that I won't be recommending Bertram nor that captain), but I'm still waiting to hear from the best sources.
What part of "none of whom can provide the answer without having the wreck physically available ..." doesn't make sense to you?
The divers may have taken some "samples" but of what? The parts that didn't fail? The parts that failed and disappeared into the abyss? Unless the samples show explosive residue or some other signature unique to a specific and widespread failure mode they are just samples that may or may not be random and may represent anything a single expert declares. Two experts on a different payrolls can (and will) draw opposing conclusions which may have no more or no less validity than anything we have read here.