View Full Version : For Ronnie Simpson - Cheeky Rafiki's keel loss

Robert Stodieck
06-19-2014, 03:52 PM
Wrongful death?


06-19-2014, 03:59 PM
I don't see Ronnie mentioned in the article. Are you inviting him to weigh in? Ronnie's a good sailor, but that is really more of a legal matter, I'm thinking.

06-19-2014, 04:37 PM
Mr. Stodiek likes to takes shots at us from his easy chair. Yes, I remember.

Robert Stodieck
06-19-2014, 08:33 PM
I don't see Ronnie mentioned in the article. Are you inviting him to weigh in? Ronnie's a good sailor, but that is really more of a legal matter, I'm thinking.

Ronnie lost his keel during a SH Transpac, on "Warrior’s Wish". That boat appears to have been designed to stay afloat, and upright, even with the keel gone (not common). But I think he missed the keel a tad anyway.

06-20-2014, 10:08 AM
Well he had a Mt Gay 30, the hull has a flattish bottom -- I doubt it was the designer's intent that it sail OK with no keel. And to Bob's point, the guy claiming 'wrongful death' is a surveyor, not a maritime lawyer, and was making a complex call from a very low-resolution photo. S/A posts stuff of dubious intrinsic merit to stir shit and generate hits.

ronnie simpson
06-20-2014, 01:24 PM
That photo gave me chills when I first saw it... Only myself and my 1 crew know how close we came to perishing when our keel dropped off. It was terrifying. Fortunately, we had discovered structural damage a few hours before the keel broke off and we had been sailing with 3 reefs and #4 jib in just 12-15 knots of breeze. The reduced sail area and lack of needed righting moment may have saved us. As Pogen said, the Mt Gay 30 was a flat-ish bottom race boat that carried its beam well aft, creating a lot of hull form stability, with or without a keel.

Just to clarify any confusion though, Warriors Wish lost her keel on the return home from SHTP, not during the race. Those Bene 40.7's have been raced all over the world for years, and no one outside the crew (who are now gone) know the actual history of Cheeky Raffiki. To my knowledge, keel failures on those boats are extremely rare. They had just raced in the carribbean for months. who knows how many reefs they tagged?

We can all take a lesson though. Keel failures can happen on almost any boat and we should all be ready to ditch at a moment's notice when we're sailing offshore...

Not quite sure that Scot Jutson (designer of Warriors Wish) designed the boat to intentionally stay upright with no keel. Me thinks that keel failures are going to become even more common in the next decade as a lot of hot bulb keel race boats from the 90s 'come of age' and get scooped up by new owners for a song, and immediately raced hard with no maintenance.

06-20-2014, 02:11 PM
Well, given that on my boat the liferaft is stored in the lazerette, I'm basically dead in that situation.

Robert Stodieck
06-21-2014, 10:59 AM
I hadn't noticed this before. Warriors Wish had a huge steel spreader "flange" to distribute force to the glass hull. That kept things watertight when the keel fatigued off.

Kim Desenberg Bay Marine

"The keelbolts, which were welded to the stainless flange, were
unaffected. The top of the foil, which was welded to the flange, failed at
the bottom of the weld, about 1/2" down from the flange surface."
Kim D.