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51410Re: [bolger] Re: Advanced Sharpie design explanation in a nutshell

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  • John and Kathy Trussell
    Nov 1, 2006
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      Insurance and actuarial work is based, in large part, on the law of large numbers which states, the larger the number of samples in a group, the more nearly the actual results of the grroup will approach the expected results for the group. (Flip a coin 10 times and you probably will not get a 50/50 split between heads and tails; flip it 100,000 times and you will get very close to 50/50.) If there are a large enough number of samples, the predictions are said to be 100% credible. As the number of samples gets smaller, the predicted results are less credible. Insurers like 100% credibility and when they are faced with novel boats, they tend to hedge their bets by charging additional premium for the uncertainty resulting from less than 100% credibility.

      Multihulls are small in number and have (compared to monohulls) a relatively short history. They have often been built by inexperienced amateurs who used less than ideal materials and sometimes suspect design/construction materials. As a result, there have been many boats which have either failed spectacularly or simply gone missing. Insurers and actuaries are not comfortable with these exposures and either refuse to insure them or charge higher premiums.

      I insured the CSS Hunley while she was still on the bottom. My staff and I kicked the risks around and finally pulled a number out of the air for a premium. Of course, the Hunley was one of a kind, had already sunk and was, quite literally, "pig iron under water"....

      John T
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Carl
      To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:55 PM
      Subject: Re: [bolger] Re: Advanced Sharpie design explanation in a nutshell


      Actually I wondered if that was still true, noting the reasons you articulated. I still don't know the answer. Insurance rates are set by actuaries who work in cold, hard numbers. I'm curious if the numbers have led to a change in policy. I really didn't want to get into a PC vs Apple argument, but I'm weak. My only updated info is the anecdotal references to axes and doors. That info is about 20 years old however. There must be someone within earshot with some facts.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Christopher Wetherill
      To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 1:30 PM
      Subject: Re: [bolger] Re: Advanced Sharpie design explanation in a nutshell

      Somewhere back in the beginning of this thread, the question was posted
      as to why insurance rates were traditionally higher for multi-hulls. I
      think the answer is in history, not opinions based on current art.

      Over one hundred years ago, there was a fad for multi-hull boats. N. G.
      Herreshoff , among others I'm sure, built a few and found two things.
      First, the hulls were subject to enormous stresses due to twisting the
      cross beams, particularly in a quartering sea, and tended to come
      apart. Second, a knockdown meant a capsize. Captain Nat, and probably
      many other influential colleagues, became quite militant in his
      opposition to multi-hulls. The insurance companies probably adopted
      this opposition. Since Insurance companies are inherently risk averse,
      they would exhibit considerable inertia against easing restrictive
      policies in the advent of new technologies.

      V/R
      Chris

      Carl wrote:
      > Just to be clear, the numbers were answered by someone else in the group. Bon voyage...
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: proaconstrictor
      > To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 10:32 AM
      > Subject: [bolger] Re: Advanced Sharpie design explanation in a nutshell
      >
      >
      > --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Carl" <shnarg@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Yes, and a fellow went to Hawaii in a Cal 20, numerous folks have
      > crossed the atlantic in tiny monos, and many of the monos abandoned in
      > the Fastnet were still afloat and viable the next day. One could
      > cherry pick all day with meaningless examples, it comes down to
      > numbers.
      > >
      > >
      >
      > Which explains why you cherry picked the "meaningless" example from my
      > post and ignored the numbers?
      >
      > Anyway, I can see where this thread is going and I'm laying out the
      > parachute and waiting for it to blow by.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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