Sailing News from Ocean Sailor Magazine

A boat without a keel is like a plane without wings

A boat without a keel is like a plane without wings

Matt Sheahan, the well-respected yachting journalist and survivor of the 1979 Fastnet disaster, which drowned 15 yachtsmen, has hit out following the latest keel loss saga.

‘Losing a keel is as unacceptable as wings coming off an aircraft yet here we are again with another major failure,’ he said.

Matt, lost his father, David, 40 years ago when their 30ft Nicholson, half-tonner Grimalkin rolled over in Force 10 conditions. Another crew member, Gerry Winks also died.

Now, four decades on, the broadcaster, boat tester, and technical expert reacted with concern over news of the Sydney-Hobart Race yacht Showtime’s keel loss and capsize, reported in the March issue of Kraken News. 

Writing for Yachting World magazine, Matt said: ‘When I read the news of the 40ft racer Showtime losing her keel on her return from the Sydney Hobart race my heart sank just as it did when I read about the Hooligan and Cheeki Rafiki tragedies in 2007 and 2014, the Polina Star III sinking in 2015 and the capsize of Tyger of London in 2017.

‘When keels fall off lives are at risk, surely cutting corners on cost is not an option?’

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