Subject: Re: [harryproa] (was RTM OR RESIN INFUSION) is: polyester boat attack
From: "Rob Denney" <>
Date: 4/24/2007, 3:54 AM

Long story.   Briefly
About 25 years ago a mate and I "borrowed" a mould for a Newick 38 tri and used it and some materials of dubious heritage to build 2 x 35' cat hulls in Southampton in mid winter for the 2 handed round Britain.  Vac bagged satin weave (no knitted fabrics in those days) and Airex foam, polyester resin hulls, 4mm ply and stringer decks.  Started in Feb, was sailing in May, fibreglass main beam, no striker, alloy mast sections front and back.   This was before F40 so it was a bit radical.  35'/10.5m long 19'/6.7m wide, don't think we ever got round to weighing it, cost a couple of thousand of my wife's and various friends' hard earned.  First proper sail was down to Plymouth for the start, crew's first sail was out to the start.  We were leading our class (included Walter Greene and sundry other heavies) until a shroud came undone.  Ended up second into Cork with the rig hanging way to leeward on one tack.  Second leg we took the lead, then at 4 am, with me steering upwind, we capsized sideways in a F5-6.  Bloody thing had huge lee helm, even with boards forward of the beam and very small jib so luffing was very hard work. 
The flares and most of what was in the hulls was sucked out before we could save them (cheap hatches, no storage space, everything was loose on the floor).  The liferaft was hired and did not inflate.  The hired epirb batteries were stuffed so it took a while for the RAF to find us.  Spent 11 hours in a partially inflated liferaft, being towed at 2 knots towards America as the sails filled underwater as the waves past, bored and freezing while the crew was monotonously seasick.  The Irish navy eventually found us and after we were on board decided to sink the boat as a hazard to navigation.  Hence the ramming, axes and guns.  Fortunately it was insured as father in law's neighbour insured super tankers, offered to cover it for 50 quid.  Cheque for 12 grand was waiting when we got back to London, but he has not spoken to me since.  
Lots of lessons learnt.   Needless to say, I am not quite the gung ho clown I once was. 
----- Original Message -----
From: Phil Keck
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: [harryproa] (was RTM OR RESIN INFUSION) is: polyester boat attack

Uhhhhhhhh.....what?!?  Story please.


Rob Denney <> wrote:
IThe very light cat I capsized in the North Atlantic was polyester/foam.  Resisted ramming by the ship that picked us up, two huge Irish stokers with fire axes and a couple of thousand rounds of small arms fire.  Finally succumbed to 50 rounds from the AA gun.  Tough stuff.

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