Trying to repair a yacht to racing standards is a nerve-wracking experience, as these VOR case histories prove
When things started to go wrong for Telefonica Black, the details of their structural problems were sparse. Damage to the hull to deck join was all that was reported. But after the boat had returned to Subic Bay in the Philippines, more news started to come in regarding a major failure of the hull that was so serious as to see the team having to by-pass Qingdao and ship directly to Rio.
“This boat suffered a compression failure that went down from the topsides around the hull,” explained Farr Yacht Design’s Russell Bowler of an alarming crack that appeared to be present both on the inside and outside of the hull, close to amidships and that runs 2m down from the sheer line.
“This is an unusual failure and we’re looking into the laminates,” he continued. If they had continued they would have made the situation worse, although after things go bang, the loads are often relieved.”
Although identical in design, both Black and Blue were built at different yards.
“Black was built to a much tighter time frame and with different materials in places, so there are plenty of variables,” continued Bowler.
“The similarities end at the drawings.”