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Thread: capsule sizes....

  1. #11
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    It is rare for a pugh to have the back board come out.

    Again I really believe it is a combination of a whole bunch of stuff that needs to be addressed and no one item is more important than the others. It all works in concert to provide the best possible protection.
    Shep

  2. #12
    Team Member jcknox's Avatar
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    It happened to me running SST 100 at Kankakee. I rolled over in turn 2 and was blown out the back of the cell. The first thing I remember was something sticking me in the neck. It was the fuel cell vent. Mike Hansen was driving the Miss Madison at the time and so was around to help us put it back. When he got done you could have lifted the boat by the back board. I broke three spinus processes (the bumps you can feel along your spine). Yes I was lucky...not my time.
    Jeff

  3. #13
    Team Member Jakob77's Avatar
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    I learned something this year about seat belts. I just happened to pick up on it in a conversation with Fairchild. The crotch belt does a lot to hold you down in the seat, and I had never realized this. It needs to be short enough to keep the latches down in your crotch, which keeps the lap belts down tight across your thighs. My crotch strap was always a shade long and the latches were up near my belly button. I shortened it up to get the latch lower and I could immediately tell that it held me down tighter in the seat.

    I've seen a few back boards come out, but never on a Pugh. From the picture, it looks to be the older style cell?

    Mark

  4. #14
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    You want to know what the bigger problem is other than seat position and seat belts.....its very simple...our cockpits aren't even close to being safe structurely. Crash boxes are a start in the right direction (european boats)....but the way the capsule is now is not safe no matter how you sit in it. I know there isn't a safety program but I hope the boat builders can realize that this is a big deficiency in the safety of these capsules. The canopy is a joke, that thing should never come off ever! and very rarely does it stay on. I would love to see boat builders in the US start looking at a way to make the boats safer, as the European series is starting to do. Even if that means adding weight to the boat...just add 50lbs or whatever to the rules as long as everyone is on the same playing field it shouldn't matter. Something must be done about it going forward....or we will continue to see what is already happening.

  5. #15
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    Default Good Point!

    Jason you make a good point. One of the things we forget is the current capsule was only designed to protect the driver in a single boat crash. We probably would be wise to start over with a new design, but that creates it's own set of challanges. It is a chicken an the egg scenario, We need to fix it but how? Who can afford to? How can we afford not to? The list goes on and on. The answers are there, but how do we apply them in a way that won't kill OPC yet helps the driver implement them?

    For now we as drivers need to make sure we work with what we got and minimize our risk.

    Shep

  6. #16
    Team Member jcknox's Avatar
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    The cell I believe was the best and safest was the one I had in the Burgess SST 60. Sam LaBanco designed it to distribute impact loads accross the entire structure. I blew over in Huntington WV and the first thing to hit the water was the top of the cell which was then torn out of the boat. That cell did'nt have so much as a crack. I just unhooked my belts and swam out. Sam said it was'nt economical to continue to build them but if you could get him to do it it would be the best out there. I sold mine to a guy that was going to put it in an inboard. If I could get it back I would. It required a faring to get the look all other cells have. Sam also told me it's hard to get the load distribution properties and retain the shape we are all familiar with. Thats why his used the faring.
    Jeff

  7. #17
    Team Member mxp864's Avatar
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    Default I agree

    ALL seat belt come loose, have your crew tighten them for you before EVERY start.

    This is so true, I put brand new ones in this year. I could go out for parade lap and hot lap etc. and feel like I have to have them tightened at the dock before the start of the race. Kinda scary.....

  8. #18
    Team Member Sam La Banco's Avatar
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    As chairman of the OPC Safety Commission I'm glad to see there is some interest in this subject. One of the problems we have is that other than a few people like the one's talking on this thread there's not to many interested.

    But the problem goes much deeper than that, unfortunately, this sport is in no shape to support all our great ideas. Example, who's going to ask a Boat builder to completely retool his molds when no body's buying any boats. Where does all that money come from? Ask yourself how many new Champ, 120 and 60 boats were sold in the last 2 years.

    If we make mandatory changes like the ones we have been talking about in our commission for years, half of the boats on the water could not be allowed to compete.

    Lets hope the discussion goes on.

    As far as seat belts go, I still can not believe how many people have no Idea what there doing when installing them.

    As far as improving safety, that's the first place to start. On the OPC web site opcrace.com in the safety section I have put a ton of information that will teach you every thing you need to know about belts, seats, hardware.

  9. #19
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    This message is off track a bit but it addresses boat safety with weight and design.

    I don't think adding weight to make a safer cell is going to be necessary. Our sport is the only sport to be adding weight as composite technology grows. We should be able to make lightweight boats and strong cockpits.

    It would be neat to see people come up with some drawings and notes (even if its crude) to display there ideas on capsule design and safety. There is a ton of knowledge in drivers, builders, and officials. Maybe the boat builders could use some of your ideas and insight.

    The boats could be much safer if they were lighter. I attribute one of the reasons for the weight of the boats is the width of the boat needed to lift the weight. If everyone got together and built a narrower and smaller padded race boat there would be less material in the boat which would be an overall lighter boat.

    I may be off but it appears that the boats are getting heavier because they are getting wider and the sponsons are getting bigger. Would it be possible to make something that performs well lighter with less width and less sponson pads?

    My Gran Prix's I ran in 120's with a manual up/down right out of the water weighted 977. Those boats were plenty strong in the deck and sponson area. My boat came in contact with a Seebold once and did quite a bit of damage to Voisin's Seebold and only scratched my boat. That Gran Prix was made in 1991 before carbon fiber and other materials became main stream. I would love to see what someone could make a boat weigh if they were given the new lightweight strong materials...

    Neat discussion. I must admit as a driver my biggest concern is always a driver entering with their sponson through the back of the capsule...

    Regards,
    Brian

  10. #20
    Team Member jcknox's Avatar
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    I just noticed it could appear that my cell that failed was a Pugh. Just to be clear it was not.
    Jeff

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