Oyster confessed to the cause of the Polina Star III crash (not really)

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Oyster Yachts sort of released (and immediately changed its mind) its version of the results of the investigation into the sinking of the Polina Star III, which lost its keel in the open sea and sank off the coast of Spain last July. The cause of the boat wreck was defined as low-quality lamination.

Earlier Yacht Russia magazine came to the same conclusion thanks to its own investigation. This investigation was made by the chief editor of YR Artur Grokhovsky on the boat owner's initiative, after the shipyard had refused to accept the mistake and to amicably settle the damage. According to the results of Arthur's high-profile material, Oyster admitted its mistake and YR's correctness, but very vaguely, "sideways, sideways and sideways. First in a letter to YR editor-in-chief and publisher, and then in a very vague statement on their website. The statement was immediately lambasted for being blatantly vague and attempting to be sly (read it, it's really funny at the link) by online spinoff Sailfeed of the US magazine Sail Magazine.

That said, all European yachting media have been silent on the subject. Free press, you say? "Chinese wall" between advertiser and editorial? Nah, haven't heard.

The expanded text of Oyster's long-awaited detailed statement was finally released on Thursday, February 18. It looked solid, in the form of a piece on the website of the respected English magazine Yachting World, signed by the editor-in-chief Elaine Bunting.. Even two pictures were drawn. And then suddenly after 24 hours the material disappeared (!!) from the site YW. Apparently, the guys do not know that on the Internet the word is not a bird's-eye, all moves are recorded and saved in the Google cache.

All this "tambourine dancing" seems to us to cast an unnecessary shadow over the reputation of YW magazine and the Oyster shipyard.

It is obvious to us that maximum openness and honesty on the part of Oyster would be more productive at this stage, when the genie has already been let out of the bottle. After all, everyone has mistakes, you can "understand and forgive".

We have sent requests for comment to all parties concerned, and will update them in real time at the bottom of this article. In the meantime, here is a translation of the full text of Oyster's statement, without the cuts. Injoy.


"On the first Oyster 825 hull molded in 2012, the internal structure in the engine compartment space above the keel used a matrix of a transverse set of bends and stringers (indicated in blue in the pictures), with the set connected to the false keel using jumpers. This is not an unusual solution, as it is used by many major yacht builders.

The matrix provides structural strength to the hull and is connected to the jumpers by secondary lamination. The lintels are shown schematically as vertical lines in the second drawing. The matrix was molded separately from the main body and installed in two halves, one on the left and one on the right side. In the middle these halves were joined directly over the lintels at the base of the bulwark fin. The connection points in the form of an inverted T are marked in yellow in the figure.

The main ballast keel is bolted to the fin as shown in the diagram. All parts of the kit as well as the bulkheads inside the ballast keel were to be firmly laminated inside the hull moulding. The manufacturing process of moulding the structure outside the hull and then laminating or gluing it into the hull is common in the industry, ranging from mainstream manufacturers to custom, high-end superyacht builders, but it requires careful work during the assembly of the laminated parts. It is a process that is used primarily to speed up the forming operation.

The assembly of the structure over the keel area on the Oyster 825 therefore relied on laminating the 6 main constituent parts - the two matrix halves on port and starboard and the four bulkheads inside the ballast keel. Our examination of the Oyster 825-01 and 825-03, which had each covered 20,000 miles, revealed small cracks at the outer ends of the horizontal joint between the matrix and the fin bulkheads (marked «A» on the diagram). This suggested that the secondary lamination of these joints was defective.

We cut samples in critical areas and examined them, and found extensive areas of poor lamination in the secondary structure supporting the T-joints. To solve the problem, we removed the entire matrix and all bulkheads in the ballast keel attachment area on the first, third and fourth hulls of the 825 and re-built these areas in carbon fiber (carbon) and epoxy, making the matrix and bulkheads a single piece without a T-joint.

On all subsequent 825-series hulls, the internal structure of the matrix and bulkheads are built as a homogeneous part of the hull molding. We have eliminated molding individual parts of the boat and then laminating them into the hull. All Oyster 825's are now built in the same proven way as all other Oyster 800's produced over the past 40 years.

Polina Star III, the second hull of the 825, was designed in the same way as the first, third and fourth hulls. Inspection of the vessel and photos of the damage suggest that the very T-joints where we found areas of poor quality lamination failed. As a result, the load of the keel instead of the matrix structure rested on the hull plating, resulting in catastrophic consequences."

"We have already expressed our regrets about what happened to the owner of Polina Star III and are considering liability for material damages."


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