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Stability Test for the ketch

One of the requirements for the process of "coding" the ketch is to assemble and forward to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MECAL) the measurements of the hull, the rigging and the sails. This should have been a straight forward "copy and paste" exercise drawn for the various historical documents that are on file. However, certain measurements require a degree of climbing, diving or at least leaning over the side of the thirty six foot long hull that is about eight feet above a very sticky mud.

Researching on the internet for other Biscay 36's which happen to be for sale produced conflicting information but by chance one of the yacht brokers had recently spoken to the designer of the Biscay 36 and a more focused enquiry found the office of Alan F Hill. Talking with Alan was made even more interesting by the range of yachts and other vessels that have been conceived by this fascinating gentleman.

Alan is in his eighties and appeared to be delighted to discuss one of his designs even to hinting that the very first ketch produced was actually evolved from an initial sloop (one mast). Little bells began to ring and the story of how our Biscay 36 Ketch was first delivered to Jersey began to stir,but that is another story altogether, what Alan was able to provide were all the lengths, beam, draft and sail measurements that were needed to complete the form for the "stability" test.

The stability test form was duly dispatched and within seven days a reply was received that our Biscay 36 Ketch was well within the prescribed parameters for recommended stability.

...did we ever doubt that it would be?

What this stability test means is that when sailing in a really good wind the yacht can lean ( heel over) as far as to allow the gunwhale ( deck edge ) to dip below the surface of the water without the fear of a capsize. From that point, at least, she will come upright due to the weight of the keel against the pressure of the wind on the sails. Very reassuring!!



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Last modified: 06/21/16


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