Capsize

Since there is all the talk about capsizing in the "Prospective buyer" thread and having capsized myself at the Midwest Regatta this year I'm putting out the question of how to recover from a capsize if: - the centerboard is up - no other boat is around to help - you have a crew of one - you don't have a mast flotation Of course the best tip is not to get into a situation like this. My capsize experience was at a regatta so that a boat could help me. During the broad reach, while flying the spinnaker, the wind overpowered us. Instead of turning leeward I turned windward. I'm wondering myself what I was thinking at that time. I realized that the situation was getting worse and we would capsize. Going downwind nor lowering the centerboard came to my mind. So I jumped into the water to hold the mast top in order to prevent turtling. Once the boat was on it's side I tried lowering the centerboard but with the weight and the slope upward I wasn't able to do so. We waited till a boat would notice that we could use some assistance. After a failed try of the guy on the boat lifting and trowing the mast into the wind, I lowered the spinnaker (uncleating it) but leaving the main and jib in raised position. I stepped aboard and the mast was thrown into the wind again. The boat very slowly rightened itself. BTW holding the mast is not an easy task and without a life vest it is impossible. The pull down is just to much. Also the boat drifts quite well in the wind so that it was hard to keep up swimming along with it. I lost my crew that way and had to sail the boat singlehanded back which isn't great having a bumper as a mast flotation and all the lines and sails tangled up. But it all was a good learning experience and I probably won't forget to turn downwind and lower the center board next time I'm in such a situation. Still I wonder how we could have recovered if we hadn't had any help.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

Comments

I've often wondered if there is a trick to get the centerboard d

I've often wondered if there is a trick to get the centerboard down, if you capsize with the CB up. Can you uncleat it and reach up through the gasket and pull it down, or can just push it down from up at the rollers? I have had the boat on it's side on land, and it was hard to move, but it was dry at the time. Any hints? Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

I think it's impossible.

I think it's impossible.
quote:
[i]Originally posted by sawyerspadre[/i] [br]Can you uncleat it and reach up through the gasket and pull it down
The centerboard slit is way to high up and there is nothing on the bottom of the boat to pull you up on.
quote:
can just push it down from up at the rollers?
You actually have to push the centerboard up in order to get it out. As previously mentioned, with all its weight on the side of the centerboard trunk I wasn't able to move it at all. This picture of the Capsize Drill series gives one somewhat of an idea how high the centerboard opening is. Although in my case the top of the mast was one to two foot under water and it was hard to lift it any higher. Probably due to the water on the main, jip, and spinnaker. This also caused the boat to be more on an angle than pictured.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

So, Scot veterans, how does one right the boat, if the board is

So, Scot veterans, how does one right the boat, if the board is up and the mast is pointing down? What is the trick, short of having another boat around to hold up the mast? Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

If by "pointing down" you mean straight down, i.

If by "pointing down" you mean straight down, i.e., turtled, I think that you will need outside help. If she is on her side and the board is up, I think the only shot that you might have is to lean against the bottom of the hull and use one of the sheets (or, perhaps, the spinnaker halyard) to try to pull it over. [?]

I think that first thing that has to be done when capsizing is t

I think that first thing that has to be done when capsizing is to tie a fender or a life jacket to the mast head. second thing would be to turn the boat into the wind to reduce preasure on the hull - and have the boat standing and not sailing once stood up. un cleating all the sails. i once capsized a Hobbie 18 with my wife as crew - and couldn't by any chance pull it back up. i asked my wife to grab me from behind - and help me pull from the water - using her as anchor. though she was not in a hugging mood at the time - she agreed to hug me from behind and this way we were able to pull the boat up again. (it took days after that till she hugged me again...)as for C/B handeling - i always leave a few inches out... they will not disturb down wind - and will make a whole lot difference when capsizing... i would think...

I am a novice, and from previous threads it seems like you Claus

I am a novice, and from previous threads it seems like you Claus are experienced. Why is it that it's the natural tendency to go upwind instead of going leeward and downwind when overpowered or fear of being overpowered downwind? Also, being a novice, how does one successfully come out of going downwind when one is feeling of getting over-powered downwind?

quote:[i]Originally posted by frank barbehenn[/i] [br]I am a no

quote:
[i]Originally posted by frank barbehenn[/i] [br]I am a novice, and from previous threads it seems like you Claus are experienced.
I'm not sure about that. Due to a young kid I don't get as often out sailing as I want to. Now that he just got big enough to go along we have another one on the way. Not having a fleet doesn't give me much opportunity to race either. So most of the time I just sail for pleasure and don't push the boat, crew and myself very hard.
quote:
Why is it that it's the natural tendency to go upwind instead of going leeward and downwind when overpowered or fear of being overpowered downwind?
Being used to do it from tacking against the wind? ... afraid of sudden gype? ... dunno. *shrug*
quote:
Also, being a novice, how does one successfully come out of going downwind when one is feeling of getting over-powered downwind?
Drop the spinnaker, turn up-wind, and don't trim the sails. You probably want to trim the sails a little otherwise you end up in irons.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

It seems that most of the capsize stories I hear are in really r

It seems that most of the capsize stories I hear are in really rowdy conditions, and often involve very gusty days and sailors who are new to racing and spinnaker handling. I have not capsized, but it seems that there are some common threads: 1) Spinnaker up, big gust from astern, and the skipper steers upwind some, when turning off the wind may have been more appropriate. This seems to be accompanied by skipper and crew sitting too far forward. 2) Spinnaker up, newbie crew is slow to get spinnaker down at leeward mark, skipper rounds anyway and turns to weather, and maybe forgets to lower the centerboard in the excitement...oops. It is OK for the crew to cry in this situation. What good is a sport where you can't cry occasionally? 3) Sailing to weather, with main and jib cleated, or with 95 pound Golden Retriever sitting on mainsheet, giant gust (Northwesterly at Nockamixon) boat almost capsizes, I uncleat jib and get dog off mainsheet, boat does the weeble thing and pops back up. Nice! At Nockamixon, a majority of the boats have the flotation for the head of the sail and that seems to prevent the boat from turtling, making righting simpler. When I first started racing, I was at a race where we got a chance to talk to longtime Scot sailors, at Monmouth Boat Club in NJ, and many said they had sailed Scots for years without capsize. Have fun. Time in the boat is the key to uprightness. Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Well, here's my .

Well, here's my .02 First of all, when the wind is piping and you're heading off the wind, you should always have the board down some. This adds stability and helps the boat track. And, obviously, helps you right it when things go south Frank, when overpowered and heeling a bit, the natural tendency is for the boat to head up. When a big gust hits, it's imperative that the helmsman feel it and react by heading down...otherwise a broach is immenent. Just be careful you don't sail by the lee and have a crash jibe. Frank, to come out of "downwind" mode safely, first get the chute down (you probably shouldn't have it up if it's that bad) then simply head up and leave the sails eased and then slowly bring them in. [8] FS4830

Having a family I think about this a lot.

Having a family I think about this a lot. How about looping a line around the leeward (underwater) jib ratchet block, which is pretty strong. Next throw the other end over the cockpit and hull to the other side where the centerboard may or may not be extended. Grab the line, and with feet on the underside of the boat, pull it over. If the centerboard is up, then the centerboard line may be available to tie a loop in, attach to the ratchet block, and throw over. I would be a bit concerned about stressing the centerboard hardware itself. Based on sunfish experience, having sheets uncleated would seem important to let the sails escape from the water escape easily. I am not comfortable with jib sheets (yet). I just bought a few $5 dock lines a WalMart. One end has an eye splice (I cheated) and it is 15 feet long. If the dock line is kept available on each side or sliding around from the center, it could be used for the task. Maybe I will tie one as a loop around the foot of the mast or hang one from the eye bracket under the tiller. We just got the mast floatation and hear it is key. We hope to try a drill this summer at HSC.

In a previous boat, Precision 18.

In a previous boat, Precision 18.5 ft, I drilled a small hole in the trailing edge of the centerboard and tied a loop of small cord (as recommended by forum due to centerboard going into the trunk if capsized). So I went out and tried it (it in fact turtled in 15 seconds, sure enough the centerboard disappeared into the trunk). The cord loop was a lifesaver and we were able to lift the 70-80 lb board out and hence get the leverage we needed to right it....took 3 people leaning for all they were worth standing on the rubrail and/or on hull. Wonder if a similar cord could be attached to a hole drilled in the FS board?

Wow I never capsized a boat "YET" But I am glad the have read al

Wow I never capsized a boat "YET" But I am glad the have read all the entries under this topic. I liked the idea about getting a lifejacket connected to the mast head. I never given much thought about what to do if this should happen to me... My Scot is my second sailing boat and I still concider myself barely a novice and without any sailing education, I am truly at the mercy of the wind.. I have been caught in several Passing thunderstorms in Lake Pontchartrain. My ranger 22 actually sailed on the gunnel while I tried to pull the Genoa down...the wind kept blowing the genoa back up the mast. Luckly my crew of one was more experenced than me at the helm that day...The wind was actually downward when the frontal cloud rolled by above us... Now I have a smaller and much lighter Flying Scot I am overly cautious and always scanning the sky looking for a surprise thunderstorm....Thankyou all for your imput on this topic, It may just keep me and my crew from washing up on the beach, and I will have an extra lifejacket on board too...

----------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Quote: "In a previous boat, Precision 18.5 ft, I drilled a small hole in the trailing edge of the centerboard and tied a loop of small cord (as recommended by forum due to centerboard going into the trunk if capsized). So I went out and tried it (it in fact turtled in 15 seconds, sure enough the centerboard disappeared into the trunk). The cord loop was a lifesaver and we were able to lift the 70-80 lb board out and hence get the leverage we needed to right it....took 3 people leaning for all they were worth standing on the rubrail and/or on hull. Wonder if a similar cord could be attached to a hole drilled in the FS board?" I think you run into two complications with the FS centerboard design. First, the board is pretty heavy (105 lbs) with most of that weight concentrated in a lead casting at the bottom of the board. You would be trying to lift 80 lbs of lead straight up from a turtled boat under what are presumably less than perfect sea and weather conditions. Second, if you did get the board vertical, there is a very high probability the board will fall straight down through the centerboard trunk opening, restrained only by the centerboard pennant. Your best strategy is avoidance by proper boat handling. Your back-up plan (from an equipment stand point) would be to use the mast-head floatation from the factory when conditions warrant it.