Report out soon on new standards

Urgent steps are now being taken, by the ISO Working Group responsible for yacht construction, to improve standards dealing with the keel and rig attachment. The move follows the finalisation of the ISO small craft construction standard for scantlings earlier this year.

Over recent years, a number of small sailing vessels have lost their keels at sea; tragically occasionally involving loss of life. As a direct result, the European Boating Association (EBA), supported by the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) and ISAF (International Sailing Federation), have committed their organisations to ensuring that keel attachment and hence the finalisation of ISO-12215-9, the new part of the standard, are seen as extremely high priorities.

A ‘keel structures validation’ sub-group of ISO is headed up by Robin Loscombe, in close collaboration with the convenor of the group, Gregoire Dolto from France. A number of leading yacht designers and yacht structural engineers have agreed to assist with this project and financial support is being provided by the EBA and ISAF. The work will concentrate of evaluating keel support structure and the aim is to bring about a crucial industry standard to eliminate as far as possible structural weaknesses at either new build or subsequent refit for performance or rating optimisation.

In the October 2007 issue of YM the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau revealed their findings about the keel failure of the racing yacht Hooligan IV in which a crew member lost his life.