Home Boating Safety Northern Marine’s Sinking Explanation

Northern Marine’s Sinking Explanation

by Kurt Hoehne

Northern Marine is placing the blame for the capsize and sinking of the yacht Baden during its launch on the ramp. According to the following press release, “the ramp carrying the weight of the port stern may have suddenly dropped off the edge of the boat ramp.” Be that as it may, somewhere along the line a mistake or mistakes were made, and it’s no mystery that boats are inherently unstable when only one end is floating. The YachtVid video of the event is here. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating.northern0530-500x373

Here’s the official release:
On Sunday, May 18, 2014, New World Yacht Builders LLC (DBA Northern Marine) suffered a
major accident during the launch of its new 90’ expedition yacht, as the yacht capsized onto its
port side during the launch and settled to the bottom of the launch area. Fortunately, the
experienced master and crew responded to the peril professionally and all aboard escaped, with
only two employees suffering minor cuts. There was no property damage to the surrounding
launch area and potential environmental contamination was negated as a result of instant
response to avoid possible fuel leakage, of which there was none.

Since the casualty, there has been much speculation as to what happened, often with little or no
supporting evidence. Northern Marine is cooperating with the United States Coast Guard in its
investigation into incident.

Northern Marine has launch more than 35 vessels, ranging from 57 to 151 foot motor yachts,
with all of its trawler models having been launched using transport dollies at the same ramp
where the accident occurred on the 18th. Northern Marine continues to have complete
confidence in its trawler designs, all of which have been tank tested and passed the same
United States Coast Guard (USCG) stability standards applied to commercial fishing vessels
operating in the North Pacific. Northern Marine trawlers have safely sailed to destinations
throughout world, such as the 75-foot Starship that successfully completed a 1000 day, 78,000
mile journey to explore parts the world rarely seen by mankind.

Northern Marine believes the 90 foot yacht involved in the launch accident to be no exception.
Since the accident, the project naval architect/Professional Engineer has confirmed that the
yacht, as designed, had adequate stability with the amount of ballast aboard at the time of
launch, provided that “severe heeling moments” were not induced during the launch.
Unfortunately, it appears that just such a severe heeling moment did occur during the launch.
While investigations as to the cause of the capsizing are continuing, the physical evidence on,
and adjacent to, the launch ramp suggests that the dolly carrying the weight of the port stern of
the yacht may have suddenly dropped off the edge of the boat ramp during the launch, causing
the vessel to experience a sudden list to port from which it could not recover in its light condition
for launch.

As noted above, the official USCG investigation continues and Northern Marine will cooperate in
those investigations to their conclusion. Northern Marine is also working closely with the yacht’s
purchaser and their insurance underwriters to address the losses resulting from the accident.
Northern Marine wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation for its many employees that
contributed their talents to the construction of the yacht.

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Tom Morris September 1, 2014 - 16:58

Real simple, the portion of the boat above water was heavier than that in the water. Figure why that was and you have your answer!!!

james September 14, 2014 - 02:49

Similar yachts to this also had stability issues! One company had to claim bankruptcy only to open under another name. False stability reports were an issue.


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