New World Yacht Builders LLC, the Anacortes, Wash., company that does business as Northern Marine, commented on the disastrous May 18 launch of a new custom 90-foot expedition yacht.
During the launch of the $10 million yacht, named Baden and built for an owner who planned to circumnavigate the globe, the boat capsized onto its port side and settled to the bottom of the launch area.
Six people aboard escaped serious injury, but one man was trapped inside and had to be cut out through the hull. The Coast Guard is investigating the accident.
Video courtesy of YachtVid.com.
“Since the casualty, there has been much speculation as to what happened, often with little or no supporting evidence,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “Northern Marine has launched more than 35 vessels, ranging from 57- to 151-foot motoryachts, with all of its trawler models having been launched using transport dollies at the same ramp where the accident occurred on the 18th. Northern Marine continues to have complete confidence in its trawler designs, all of which have been tank-tested and passed the same United States Coast Guard stability standards applied to commercial fishing vessels operating in the North Pacific.”
The builder said it considers the launch accident an exception.
“Since the accident, the project naval architect/professional engineer has confirmed that the yacht, as designed, had adequate stability with the amount of ballast aboard at the time of launch, provided that ‘severe heeling moments’ were not induced during the launch,“ the statement said.
“Unfortunately, it appears that just such a severe heeling moment did occur during the launch. While investigations as to the cause of the capsizing are continuing, the physical evidence on, and adjacent to, the launch ramp suggests that the dolly carrying the weight of the port stern of the yacht may have suddenly dropped off the edge of the boat ramp during the launch, causing the vessel to experience a sudden list to port from which it could not recover in its light condition for launch.”