Daggerboard dilemas

News of Kingfisher2's damage to the daggerboard following their collision yesterday

Thursday February 20th 2003, Author: Kingfisher Challenges, Location: Transoceanic
From Kingfisher Challenges

Summary: 0700 GMT 20.2.03 (position taken at 0716 GMT)
Position: 45 33'S 34 25'E (321 miles W of Prince Edwards Islands)

Ahead/Behind the record: 3 hours 52 minutes behind Orange (using WP6)
Ahead/Behind Geronimo: 60 hours 35 minutes behind Geronimo (using WP6)

Boat speed: 8 knots
Course: 111

In today's audio files from on board Ellen describes the collision which resulted in them sheering off one of Kingfisher2's daggerboard.

The last 24 hours have been slow, with only 300 miles covered as the crew have slowed the boat to work on repairing the the starboard daggerboard through the night. It was discovered late yesterday that the daggerboard had been damaged in the collision - it probably saved the rudder in fact, as the broken piece of daggerboard deflected off the rudder and not the submerged object that Kingfisher2 collided with on the previous night. "It became clear we had lost half the daggerboard and we were all pretty surprised to think we had not realised that it had gone..." said MacArthur.

The daggerboards help with upwind performance so not really a problem in the Southern Ocean but will make the upwind part of the course back up the Atlantic after rounding Cape Horn more difficult. "We have about 1 metre of repaired daggerboard underneath - it won't effect our downwind performance at all but not perfect for sailing upwind," said Ellen. It is possible to change the daggerboards over putting the full-length, undamaged daggerboard in the relevant hull depending on whether they are on port or starboard tack. It is not like racing round the bouys, tacking to make a mark - Kingfisher2 will stay on one tack for long periods of time. Transferring daggerboards although hard is not impossible especially with 14 crew on board. Ellen did this on her own in the Vendée Globe when she damaged her port daggerboard mid-Atlantic on the way back to the finish - then she had to remove a board that was 1.5 times her height and over 3 times her weight.

The latest from Ellen:

"..It became clear we had lost half the daggerboard and we were all pretty surprised to think we had not realised that it had gone. The board sheered straight off - a clean cut - just outside the waterline. We decided we had to solve the problem in case the board got jammed in the casing... The board is 4 metres in height and weighs 700 kilos and it took 8 of us to lift it out, we cut off the blocks, filled holes and added a pad eye. We were so lucky with weather - that it was not blowing 50 knots - so we could solve the problem. We have about 1 metre of daggerboard under the boat now - its not important for downwind sailing but not perfect for the upwind sailing we have ahead..."

Andrew Preece adds:
"...late this afternoon as he was trimming the starboard board, Hervé discovered that whatever we hit had hit the daggerboard before the rudder and we have lost about two metres or more of the starboard board. After discussion with the board's builders Multiplast and a meeting on board as to how to tackle the situation, we hoisted the board out of its casing and found that at least a couple of metres was missing..."

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