gCaptain - Superyacht MY SONG Lost from Cargo Ship During Transport

Superyacht MY SONG Lost from Cargo Ship During Transport

Imagine being on watch and seeing this thing slide over the side.

MY Song. Photo: Baltic Yachts

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Even without the mermaids.

The Last Port MY SONG was in was: Antigua Barbuda - SJO (St Johns) on 05/08/2019 - PM
Clarification: That was when she was in the water afloat at anchor.

CEO of Peters&May says…
“primary assessment is that the yacht’s cradle (owned and provided by the yacht, warrantied by the yacht for sea transport and assembled by the yacht’s crew) collapsed during the voyage from Palma to Genoa and subsequently resulted in the loss of MY SONG overboard”
Golfe de Lion is a nasty spot when those nasty Northerlies kick in.

The cargo ‚MV Brattingsborg’ left Palma de Mallorca on May 25 at 13:36, when there was an active strong Tramontane and expected to increase (the storm, coming from the Biscay along the Pyrenees into the Lion Gulf).

For a ship of this size (139m x 21m) and this high deck cargo, taking these nasty seas abeam seems rather risky.

It would seem to me the ship is pretty much in the clear.

The cradle that boat was on was incredibly bad. I would just barely - maybe - trust that on dry land if the rig was out. Forget a ship at sea, I think a good wind would blow the boat over on the hard.

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How can you tell? Looks like the cradle is designed for the vertical load. The lashings are for the lateral forces. Have to look at the entire system, not just a single element.

When the ship rolls the yacht will have lateral loads. Those lateral loads will resolve in compression loads for the cradle and tension loads for the straps.

To my eye those outboard yellow straps seem too vertical but presumably someone did the calculations


Awfully narrow staying base. Maybe the cradle was welded to the deck? That would leave the straps with just in-line loads, assuming the deck was up to it.

They normally are, would be very surprised if not in this case. The cradle shown is typical of those used for sailboats.
What is not shown is how the keel was restrained, that is a large element of the forces on the tie-downs.


Any number of things could go wrong, in my experience lashings don’t usually just fail but loosen up in a sea and start to work.

As far as the cradle, even if it can’t move the straps would still minimize structure deflection due to lateral loads.


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As seen on the pic, the yellow straps are indeed too vertical, leading to an enormous compression on the boat’s hull.

I would retain the boat with some oblique ropes or straps from one of the upper spreaders to de cargo’s deck, to counter the dynamic forces. However, the boat being on the starboard extremity of the vessel’s deck, this could only be possible to the port side.

The mast is fixed on the boat for very strong lateral forces under sail, where the boat’s hull is not horizontally fixed, but gives way (by heeling immediately). Here the ship does not heel synchronized with the boat, it may even do it contrary to the boat’s need.

In this case, the welded cradle may induce overstretches on the boat’s hull and lead to a puncture. Then the whole system becomes lose…

That is a yard cradle at best, NOT a transport cradle. The base is quite narrow, so even on land rig-in there is a lot of force trying to knock the boat over and a very narrow base to fight it.
Transport cradles have a lot more bracing and diagonals connecting the parts and are wider. You might maybe get away with the narrow cradle if the boat was in the center of the deck with the straps at 45 degrees from vertical. With vertical straps, no way.
Even with better straps, this is the first transport cradle I have seen with no longitudinal bracing and it still might have collapsed fore and aft.


This picture (from MarineTraffic) shows the position of the Sailboat ’My Song’ on the cargo ‘Battingsborg’.
Shot at Gibraltar on May 22 (probably bunkering stop).

The keel weighs 36 tons, fin and bulb; the whole boat 105 tons.
The draft is 4.80 m in upper position, maximum 7.00 m.
The mast has some 50 m.

The cradle must be at least 5 meters high, from the cargo’s deck to the waterline of the boat.
Hence, a high lever action if the ship is rolling…


Good post @Urs thx

THIS is a transport cradle:

If you are curious, you can take a look here:

A few posts in that thread from people involved in shipping boats as deck cargo and all agree the cradle and tie downs for My Song were crap.

I’m not claiming that the lashing system was adequate or inadequate. I’m saying there isn’t enough information to determine the loss was due to the design of the cradle.

The people involved in doing this disagree with you. It isn’t just ONE thing, it never is. If you use a crap yard cradle instead of a shipping cradle AND leave the rig in, you had better have one hell of a good lashing setup to make up for it. They did not.

I would give it 4 years until the legal eagles have plucked the goose and the insurance companies have shown more moves than a quarterback. Either way there is going to be some very unhappy campers.