Legend 356 - no stability curve

webcraft

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Got my YM today. I was astonished to read the tech specs in the Legend 356 test. Legend have apparently refused to supply a stability curve for the boat. It seems that they do not believe this reflects the seaworthiness of a vessel, and are alarmed that 'customers make judgements about a boat's seaworthiness on the basis of such data'.

You must be joking, Legend. My interpretation of this is that with a relatively low ballast ratio, high topsides and with many boats fitted with in-mast furling, the figures might be a little worrying, and might indeed put off some potential customers - perhaps with good reason.

As an alternative measure of stability, the CE certification system uses a Stability Index number (STIX) - but apparently Legend were not prepared to supply this because it is 'not yet understood by the sailing public'. This is unbelievably patronising. Could it be that they are worried it might compare unfavourably with other vessels' STIX numbers?

Although it is by no means the only consideration, every authority I have ever come across on the subject - including the RYA - have long regarded the stability curve as a very useful guide to a vessel's suitability for offshore passages.

I know that having read this mealy-mouthed nonsense nothing on earth would induce me to embark on a substantial offshore passage in this floating caravan.

- Nick
 
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This is surprising, I thought it was a legal requirement of the RCD to provide this information if asked. I have a Bav and they are notorious for not answering ANY questions regarding the boats once you have bought them, you have to go through your dealer, but when I asked Bavaria for the stability curve, the reply came back immediately.
 
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\"...notorious for not answering ANY questions..\"

This is not my experience of talking to Bavaria. They have a dedicated "Customer Relations" team at the factory.

I rang them from Greece to ask about what might be inside one of the floor bems as I wanted to drill a hole and insert an extra screw. The technical manager rang me back within 30mins and armed with the drawings gave me the required info. We talked, at their expense for around another 30mins on other matters which must have cost them as it was to a mobile in Greece.

Steve Cronin
 

webcraft

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Of course not . . .

I am surprised that anyone else would want to though if the builder is not prepared to supply basic safety data to prospective customers. Most of us are sufficently suspicious to assume that this means they have something to hide.

- Nick
 

vyv_cox

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It will be a week yet before my YM arrives, but your info does prompt several questions. Did YM make any comment about this refusal and the comments? It has surprised me on several occasions that YM have offered no comment on curves that, to me at least, looked questionable. Surely a comment about the stability is worth at least as much as one about the galley lockers? And why don't they show the Contessa 32 reference curve any more? (I am always reluctant to believe the "pressure of advertisers" conspiracy theory, but one does wonder...)
 

Eudorajab

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On the other hand, they may however have a point. I was always under the impression that a good sailor could sail anything (even a bathtub) great distances through all weather conditions, whereas a bad sailor could very easily sink a battleship in dead calm conditions. Therefore if you are relying on theretical stability curves (and thats all they can be unless the boat is not modified at all even to he extent of adding a spare full jerry can or two) then im afraid you are pretty much on a hiding to nothing. Not only this but how do you possibly test this theory? Do you have a heeling agle indicator calibrated down to the nth degree?

P.S do you do a stability curve re-calculation every time you top up with water and or fuel ?
 

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YM did not make any comment other than to quote Legend as I did. To recap, Legend believe that the stability curve should not form the basis of any judgement as to the seaworthiness of a vessel. No alternative method of judgement was put forward.

There was no comment on any of this in the actual body of the review. The only comment on the boat's suitability for offshore cruising concerned the strength of the catches on two of the cockpit lockers. There was the usual admiration for devices such as the 'neat garbage bag'.

It would be nice to see YM make some editorial comment on this, to allay any unworthy suspicions that the lack of comment on the stability issue was in any way related to the income from the full-page Legend advertisements the magazine regularly carries. I have never had any reason to question YM's integrity in the past, and have had confidence in their boat tests - in spite of a tendency to go on at length about insignificant items of interior finish while the 'Under Sail' section is often only a couple of paragraphs. However, this is to my knowledge the first time they have published a new boat test on a cruising yacht without a stability curve.

One point in Legend's defence has to be that the boat has obtained a Category A CE rating - presumably this does actually mean something, although I have seen Cat A boats reviewed which have surprisingly unspectacular stability curves. (This of course is a separate can of worms - anyone care to open it?)

My guess as to why they don't publish the Contessa 32 comparison curve any more is because very few other boats come anywhere near it, and so it might be seen as being a bit misleading. Can we give YM the benefit of the doubt on that, or do you think it is because it makes ALL their new boat advertisers look bad?

- Nick
 

webcraft

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Breaking waves are no respecor of seamanship . . .

A good sailor can sail anything in any conditions, can they? . . . well, good luck then - if you consider yourself a good sailor, feel free to emulate the Jumblies and go to sea in a sieve . . . or a vessel with a low angle of vanishing stability which is relatively stable when inverted.

A breaking wave more than two thirds LWL hitting a yacht beam-on will almost invariably cause a knockdown and possibly a complete inversion.

It doesn't matter how good a sailor you are, these things can happen.

When they do, a boat with a good GZ curve, with a high vanishing angle of stability and a small negative area under the line, is less likely to get rolled right over, and less likely to remain inverted if she is.

Anyone who plans to take a yacht more than 12 hours from a safe haven has to bear in mind that, while unlikely, a knockdown can never be ruled out. Anyone who thinks they are immune is deluding themselves and should do more reading - or maybe less sailing.

A GZ curve is obviously an imperfect tool, and will no longer be absolutely accurate when a boat is in cruising trim, with lots of extra gear on board. This is under the control of the skipper, though, along with the choice of whether or not to fit aftermarket items with real stability implications - eg radar, in-mast or behind-mast furling, roller furling headsail etc. The point is, we need to start from a known point . . . so that, for example, in a Contessa 32 I would be positively carefree (ore careless) about how or where I stowed stuff, whereas in (for example) a Bavaria 38 Ocean (Angle of vanishing stability 118deg, and a lot of area under the line), for example, I might want to think more carefully about such matters.

So - it is nothing to do with how accurate our inclinometers are and whether we need to recalculate the GZ curve if we put an extra jerrycan of fuel on board. It is to do with having a reliable, sensible yardstick - one that has served yacht designers and the yachting public well for many years. It gives us a starting point where the limitations of our craft are quite clearly stated. We can (still, fortunately) then do whatever we want with that information - including ignoring or belittling it - but I think most of us want to see builders continuing to provide it.

- Nick
 

ParaHandy

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This isn't the first time that YM have not published a stability curve but is the first occasion to my knowledge that they have drawn attention to it's omission and the reasons. All very curious......could be a good sign in that YM aren't putting up with any cr*p (as they have in the past)
 
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Re: \"...notorious for not answering ANY questions..\"

Steve, I would be really obliged if you could give me the number you used. I have never had a reply to any of my questions emailed or faxed to Bavaria, except the stability one. We need to install a new gas locker (to convert to propane, and Opal are obtaining this for us, but even they couldn't get replies to our questions from Bavaria, as the bit they are obtaining doesn't actually sound as though it is for our boat and we will just have to wait and see when it arrives.
 
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The reviewer was Simon Jinks who sometimes visits this place. I have had the pleasure of meeting Simon and I cannot imagine any one leaning on him in any way hence the highlighting of the lack of info...

Pete
 

Eudorajab

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Re: Breaking waves are no respecor of seamanship . . .

naah .. been there done that and experienced the odd knockdown as well. Its amazing what you learn from the experience I can assure you.

Would still most certainly advocate more sailing and less reading cause after all, isnt that what its all about ?

One more small point, most injuries during knockdowns are caused by poor stowage and if you beleived everything you read you wouldnt go near the sea in the first place.
 

Roberto

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Re: Breaking waves are no respecor of seamanship . . .

Well, I think that for the use you intend to do of the stability curve, i.e. if I understand well is a rough comparison between models, without caring too much about the one additional degree of stability but rather the general shape as you point out, you do not need to compare any stability curve. Just take a look at the boat and you are done. Contessa vs Bavarias is one thing, bavaria vs jeanneau obviously another. As you say I doubt in this second case a slight difference in the theoretical stability curve would mean anything, in practice.

On the other hand should you want to modify the sail plan, keel, spars etc I can not see any reasons why a builder should not show an exact stab curve...
 

Jeremy_W

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When I was working for a life assurance company we were bombarded by questionnaires from The Consumer Association magazine Which? about every aspect, including a lot of commercially sensitive ones, of our products and operations. If you dared to refuse they had a sneaky way of writing the article that made you appear little better than a criminal.

I did once get the verbal admission from them that their "90% of customers disatisfied" surveys were completely statistically invalid. Sadly they wouldn't confirm it in writing - I wonder why? What have they to hide? Too busy flogging own-brand credit cards to answer a simple request in writing, I'll warrant ..... keel hauling's too good for them!
 
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