For the team, the explosion was also a thrilling chance to live out a few Bond-style fantasies, as Gelder said: "How many people get to blow up a 40 foot (yacht) as part of their job -- and all in the name of safety?"
Now a battered mess, the Crash Test Boat continues to educate the public, exhibited at boating shows across Britain and used as a teaching aid at the International Boat Building College in Suffolk. "A bit like the equivalent of a dead body in an anatomy class," Gelder explained.
Beeson says the boat's greatest gift was showing sailors that "you really can rely on yourself."
"All the situations are recoverable. Your boat won't sink if there's hole in it. If your mast falls down you can still row to shore. The real importance of these tests was getting definitive answers in situations where people might normally panic."