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  • By Andrew Haliburton
    Oct 20, 2015
    South Atlantic Capsize - Lessons Taught by a Big Ocean Wave (2015) by veteran sailor and yacht designer Dudley Dix is his first-hand account, and subsequent analysis, of a capsize in the 2015 Cape-to-Rio Race aboard 38-foot sloop Black Cat. It begins with an interesting history of the Cape-to-Rio Race, and Dudley’s and the boat’s long association with this race through concept, construction and adaptation to rating rule changes. Tension builds through the sections on hurried preparations and the lead-up to a nasty storm. A gripping account follows of the accident sequence that results in this violent wave-induced knock-down and the subsequent recovery. To be clear, this “capsize” was not a roll-over, which would have had even worse consequences. One chapter turns it over to the words of other crew members for their respective experiences from other crew positions. The objective analysis which follows is rare, and of great value to sailors in the form of lessons learned from the... More > perspective of a yacht designer. The remainder of the book is devoted to a full and fascinating account of the capsize of Swan 64 ketch Sayula II in the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race and to sections discussing yacht stability and measures that can be taken to be better prepared for a similar situation. I was consumed by this well written book, eager to compare and contrast Dix’s experiences to those of our own aboard L26 Element in the deadly Force 12 storm that struck the 1984 Vasco da Gama Ocean Race. My three main takeaways: First, it’s a lesson on the importance of adequate design and boat preparation; if their rudder had not snapped off at the waterline, this capsize would probably not have occurred and Black Cat would have gone on to a great finish. Second, it’s a glimpse of the damage, injury and disarray that can be sustained from an abrupt knockdown topped with a dousing of salt water. Third, my epiphany moment was the lesson learned about motoring without a rudder; for more on that, you’ll have to read the book! Recommended. Offshore sailors, buy a copy and read this book!< Less
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Product Details

Dudley Dix Yacht Design
April 30, 2015
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.68 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6.14 wide x 9.21 tall
Product ID
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