OC Builder: Capsized Boat In San Diego Bay ‘Grossly Overloaded’

SANTA ANA (CBS/AP) — The manufacturer of the sailboat involved in a fatal accident in San Diego Bay says the craft was “grossly overloaded” during the mishap that killed two passengers.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports Costa Mesa-based Roger MacGregor, who produced the 1988 MacGregor sailboat, said while there are no weight restrictions on the boat, 10 people would make the craft dangerously unstable.

MacGregor has spoken with investigators several times since the accident late Sunday.

John Shean, president of the board of the Indiana-based Heart of Sailing charity, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment about MacGregor’s opinion.

The boat overturned in calm seas in San Diego Bay with 10 people, including two children, on board.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


    Nice way to shift the blame to the owner of the boat. No weight restrictions or headcount restrictions, 10 people shouldn’t be a problem. Roger is trying to avoid a lawsuit.

    • Duh!

      Here is a picture of the model boat that capsized.

      You be the judge if you think that this boat could hold 10 people.
      Even with some people inside and some people outside, that would cancel the benefit of the 1200 LBS ballast tank that keeps the boat from tipping over (the boat would be top heavy).

  • Al

    With the worst behavior under those conditions a knockdown is possible. U really have to work to do a 180.

  • Caroline

    Thought it has nothing to do with their nationality (not nice), I agree with poster number one. The fact that the manufacturer had no weight restrictions (since headcount wouldn’t matter much, its weight that makes the biggest impact), does not give any guidance for safety on board this sailboat. Aircraft and cars have weight restrictions, why not this manufacturers product? That is an accident waiting to happen, and it did. What a horrid tradgedy. Thank God the children were okay. I feel with all conviction that the manufacturer is to blame.

    • Duh!

      I guess you have never sailed in a boat and do not know how a ballast tank works to keep a boat from capsizing.

      If you put more weight i the boat than the ballast tank holds, then you run the risk of turning over easily.

      The weight limit that you are harping about is the amount of weight in the ballast tank. The operator of the boat should know this.

      • NWalta

        I have sailed a vareity of 30 footers and have never heard of a “ballast tank”.
        These boats have permanent cast iron keels which keep them stable. Likewise, I have never seen a weight limit notice displayed on a small boat.

        Ten people is a lot for a boat of this size. I suspect that their weight was improperly deployed. This would be much more imporant that the overall loading.
        Blaming the maker is a non-starter.

  • Sez_I

    Of course the Manufacturer was at fault! Anyone that actually produces in this country, that counts on a lack of idiocy in his customers to prevent lawsuits, is foolish. The owner/user of the product should NOT be held responsible for their own actions! Additionally, anyone that, through their own actions, suffers ANY damage from ANY source should have the ability to SUE THE STATE for reparations. In this case I feel that the STATE should pay each and every one of these folks at least $100 Million, in addition, the STATE should raid the bank account of the Manufacturer for an additional $10 Million per person and pass that on to the victums. After all, being an Idiot and killing your friends and neighbors should have some reward!

  • Lee

    BS, I could not capsize my O’Day 322 if I tried. 60% of the weight of the boat is below the waterline. I would not even attempt to sail a Macgregor with half that many on board.

  • sara

    these boats do indeed have balast tanks, rather than keel weights. In part this is what allows them to be trailored easily, you drain the tanks and then load the boat, much less weight to haul. They also have a daggerboard, not a keel.

    WIth no keel lowered and or no ballast in the tank and the decks heavily loaded the math is pretty easy to do…

    I could load my little Cal 28 like the head of a pin with angels and while she would move like a hog in the water, she wouldn’t turn turtle if you tried. She weighs 7000 lb empty….

    this little day sailer weighs, with the ballast tanks empty; 2500lb.

    Sounds like user error to me.

    Not that I am inpressed with Mcgregor’s designs… but if you buy one you should know enough to fill the tanks and lock in the daggerboard before loading her down like a city bus during the commute…

    just sayin.

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