I haven’t specifically asked questions about the Vestas potential Phoenix but one or two unguarded comments suggest the challenge has a few ‘edges’ that haven’t been given prominence.
Firstly it appears that the starboard side is non-existent / damaged forward as far as the keel area so any rebuild would have to involve the keel area – very complicated.
Add to that new bulkheads, fairing the whole job, Deck is damaged perhaps all the way forward towards the companionways. The keel mechanism survived but imagine the energy of 12 tons at 19 knots all being transmitted through the keel root. Fortunately, as it was canted this spun the boat rather than bringing it to a dead stop and standing it on its nose.
Massive scarfing required, additional weight, OD principle means all other boats will require correctors. Would you buy a boat that had hit a reef at 19 knots? Therefore it would have virtually nil re-sale value once repaired because make no mistake it will ALWAYS be a rebuilt wreck. I can take no blame or credit for the above comments, they have all come from the skeptics over the ability to rebuild the Vestas boat but all within the Volvo Ocean Race circle.
On the other hand Vestas and the Volvo Ocean Race have had the boat examined by experts/specialists in boat construction/salvage/repair and tell us it will be fine. I apologise if this sounds biased towards the naysayers but what else would you need VOR to say other than ‘no-problem, it will be fine – there is no need. It is acknowledged that it will be challenging but IT IS possible but as the Vestas CEO declared at the Abu Dhabi prize-giving they are going for it.
The best way to refute those with doubts or concerns is to just get on with it and get the boat rebuilt and let’s see the process. If nothing else, the interest it is bound to generate may help get a little bit more of the required ROI for Vestas Wind.But make no mistake, VOR is NOT going to put a boat back on the water that will put people at risk in any way, shape or form.
It is a race against time but let’s hope this, at least, is one race Team Vestas wins.
– Shanghai Sailor