Turning turtle

Last week I got the mast of my Scot pointing toward the bottom. It took 2+ hours before we were rescued. Subsequently, I have been told that we could have detached a shroud, righted the boat, and pulled the rig back in the boat. Has anyone ever done this? How did it work. Thanks

Comments

I am assuming that the mast got stuck in the mud in which case t

I am assuming that the mast got stuck in the mud in which case the power boat has to pull the boat so that the pull direction will get the mast unstuck, mostly in line with an imaginary extension of the mast. Consider yourself fortunate that there was no damage and no one got hurt. Many years ago we had a boat with the mast stuck in the mud and one of the shrouds finally broke. The mast promptly put a hole in the deck. Disconnecting a shroud may work in certain situations but it always carries the risk of having the mast be an uncontrolled spear. I assume that you had the centerboard down and sticking out of the bottom of the boat. If you could not get enough leverage then I would look at the catamaran rescue system which uses a pole to give the crew more leverage in righting the boat. More to the point, what caused the boat to turn over and what should have been done to avoid it. FS3512

Ok, I was hoping to avoid this embarrassing post.

Ok, I was hoping to avoid this embarrassing post. As to what caused it…the short answer is skipper and crew error. We were sailing in light air with the spinnaker up. I noticed that the jib was wrapped around the forestay. My crewmember moved forward to untangle it. My attention wandered to what he was doing. The guy was not properly trimmed for the puff, and the spinnaker tack was some distance away from the pole – again a result from inattention. Neither of us was in a position to release the sheet. With more wind, it was all downhill from there. The boat healed; the rudder lost grip; and we broached. At this point we both jumped into the water. We both pulled the cords on our inflatable life vests. His inflated – mine did not. I immediately began to inflate my vest by mouth. By the time I finished the boat was beginning to turn turtle. This was far faster than I had seen in demonstrations. I still don’t know why it turned so fast. There were no waves to speak of. The mast was not stuck in mud. I’d like to think I would never make similar errors. As I get older my errors seem to be increasing. There are a lot of things I could have and should have done. I’ll be better prepared next time. Now back to my original question. Has anyone disconnected a shroud, righted the boat, and retrieved the rig?

Did you have the mainsail flotation device in place when your bo

Did you have the mainsail flotation device in place when your boat turtled?

Nope, but I'm ordering the flotation device and will use it when

Nope, but I'm ordering the flotation device and will use it when I'm sailing without a rescue boat on hand.

What experiences have sailors had with the flotation device? Doe

What experiences have sailors had with the flotation device? Does it always prevent turtling, usually or just sometimes?

To answer your question, if your mast was not stuck in the botto

To answer your question, if your mast was not stuck in the bottom, recovering from a turtle should not take 2 hours. In general, you get a couple people standing on the gunwale holding lines led across around the opposite gunwale, and then lean back. A motor boat can exert similar force. But I speak from theory and not from experience (thankfully) and so I'll look forward to answers from others on this forum. I would avoid detaching a sidestay for the reasons stated in posts above -- as soon as the rig is not attached firmly to the boat, all kinds of bad things can happen. J. Lott FS 5698

I would agree with Jay.

I would agree with Jay. Detaching a shroud seems like a big problem waiting to happen. I have capsized, but never turtled. Some guys in my fleet swear by the mast flotation. I have heard of one boat turtling with it, but I think it was from the wind pressing really hard on the surface of the boat. The key is to get on the centerboard quickly. if you had headed directly the the centerboard, you probably could get the boat headed for upright, or at least stable, and then blow up your PFD. If the person with the PFD stays in the water, at the stern, they can stablize the boat. The easy way to get from water to centerboard is to swim up between the boat and the boom. Release the sheets. Step on the seat at water level, then the mast and over the gunwale you go, onto the centerboard. I was amazed at how quickly the boat starts righting itself, and it will generally go head to wind. We had only a few scoops to bail. Have fun, Phil Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Do not take your shrouds off, who ever told you that has NO IDEA

Do not take your shrouds off, who ever told you that has NO IDEA what they are talking about. There is NO WAY you will re-attach it while you are still in the water. First Thing, get a real PFD, not an inflatable. There are so many good light ones that will save your life, it makes too much sense. Go to a company like EXTRASPORT.com or a kayak store, they have the most comfortable ones. APS or Layline have great lines too; imagine you were hit in the head and thrown overboard and it didnt inflate.....are you really going to trust your life to a canister? On the righting. If the boat is in tombstone mode, completely upside down, its a chore to get it righted. But here are some tips. You need to get both crew members toes on the same gunnel / rail near the centerboard. Have one person holding onto the board. But prior to this you need to get a line that is somewehre attached to the boat on the far side, jib sheet should work, and one person will hold on to that. The key here is leverage and you need as much you can get. So "hike" out together, one holding the line and the other holding the board or another line. Also a key will be have the your back pointing downwind. You want the wind / waves to help get under the deck of the boat and help your cause. The boat will most likely flip back over, but its not turtled. It is interesting that she went over so quick. I have only flipped one once (on purpose) and we didnt get a drop of water in the boat. Couple housing keeping notes. I would strongly urge you to make sure your float bag in the bow is installed properly and inflated, if you are sailing with an inexperienced crew and not racing, you may want to install and sail with the mast float all the time. Lastly, and I know there are plenty of people who disagree with me on this, get a real PFD. Until you are knocked in the head and tossed over board (had it happen) the foam PFD will be your best friend. Are you really going to risk your life for comfort and a cartirage? When you really need your PFD the most, things happen very very quickly and it only has to not inflate one time........ Travis

Thanks to all.

Thanks to all. Here is a scenario. What would you do? You are in the water, your Scot has turtled, the mast is not stuck in the mud, your 76 year old crew has panicked and will not be useful in righting the boat, and two miles down the river is a tug pushing six barges that is heading for you. The tug cannot see you, and even if it ever does it won’t be able to stop. You have 30 minutes to get out of the way. You can’t move the boat fast enough in a turtled position to get out of the way. You can’t right it with the rig on because your crew can’t help. Your choices are: · Abandon the boat. Swim out of the way of the tug and barges. · Release a shroud. Right the boat by yourself. Retrieve the rig if possible or attach a float to the rig and leave it. Paddle the swamped Scot out of the way. Fortunately for us the tug never appeared when we were in the water. I was able pull the boat out of the way in a little over an hour. If you want to indulge in what I should have done before we turtled – that’s OK, but it doesn’t really help once you find yourself in a bad situation. Thanks again,

That is a tough situation for sure.

That is a tough situation for sure. Of the two choices presented I and my crew would leave the boat if it appeared the barge was a danger. The boat is insured and can be replaced or repaired. Also if the boat is upside down in deep enough water so the mast is not stuck then the centerboard will be fully inside the trunk. In that position I don't think anyone could retract it so righting the boat will be more difficult. Even if a shroud was disconnected I think one person would have a really difficult time trying to right an upside-down hull by standing on the gunwale and hiking out on a line led from the opposite side. The deck of an upside-down boat will have a lot of form stability, that and the suction will make righting it very difficult. It sounds like the boat is used for recreation and not raced (the RC could have assisted) so given the crew situation, mainsail flotation would be a must have, along with a waterproof hand-held VHF radio. The commercial traffic threat is a scary proposition. Good topic for discussion.

That's a no-brainer: Abandon! You and your crew is in persona

That's a no-brainer: Abandon! You and your crew is in personal danger by the tug boat. Especially since your crew is panicking you need to help him/her to get into safety. There is not much chance that you can calm the crew and righten the turtled boat. Aside I'd say if you can't righten the boat with the mast you probably still won't be able to do it without the mast, especially withing the 30 minutes. Not to mention you still have to move the boat out of the way. Just swim your crew to safety. Get some help with a motor boat. Since your sailboat isn't stuck in the mud the tug boat will probably push your boat out of the way with minimal damage. So even if your boat isn't insured, don't worry about it. Instead worry about your personal safety. BTW, did anybody try to detach a shroud under water? I bet the mast is still placing tension on the shroud(s) with the water current and/or wind blowing on the hull. I imagine something else could go nasty doing so.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

Was your spinnaker still sheeted in? I am the guy that turtle

Was your spinnaker still sheeted in? I am the guy that turtled with the mainsail flotation. The foam had deteriorated and I recommend everyone check theirs every season. Having turtled 2x with the Scot, I have some experience righting her. I just took a jib sheet and threw it over the bottom and did a batman walk up the hull which righted her easily. The second time I had difficulty due to the spinnaker being in the water. (I broached in a gust and the sheet was fouled and unable to be released). I was able to get the boat to 90 degrees and support the mast. I then detached the spinnaker sheet and was able to right the boat completely.

Having turtled yesterday, I feel qualified to throw in my 2 cent

Having turtled yesterday, I feel qualified to throw in my 2 cents: During our weekly Beer Can race, one of the frequent Florida summer thunderstorms hit us. The wind turned from about 10 to about 40 kts in a few minutes. We were hard on the wind, both of us hiking out with both sails free, yet we still capsized. Having seen the videos and followed this thread we were pretty confident (that didn't last too long). I stepped on the boom to climb to the high side and almost immediately she started to turtle. At about 95 degrees the centerboard slid up all the way and was of no further help. Pretty soon the masthead was stuck in the mud (river is only about 8 ft deep). Eventually a sailboat managed to right us. In the process the top of the mast above the shrouds broke, along with the forestay. As a side note, the other Flying Scot in our fleet capsized a few months ago. He had the same experience of the centerboard falling into the boat and not being able to extend it. He too required "rescue".

With such a high likelihood of your mast burrowing into the bott

With such a high likelihood of your mast burrowing into the bottom and getting damaged, it sands like you are a great candidate for the mast-top flotation. Sounds like the mast float would be much cheaper than new masts. To break the mast it sounds like the boat is getting worked by waves/chop and wind on the hull with the mast hard against the bottom. OUCH! I noticed that you say you stepped on the boom. That will push the mast down pretty hard. Step on the mast, right at the base, where it meets the boat. That way, the weight is more on the boat and less leverage is applied to make the mast go towards China. Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Gents.

Gents. My exerience . FYI. The one and only time in almost 30 years of Scot racing when my Scot went over was when as skipper I fell out of the boat just before a tack. I was already in the water and swam toward the centerboard. With some difficulty I reached up and grabbed the centerboard and after sever minutes of effort the boat came up dry. I was wearing a life jacket which helped me to be floating high in the water and be able to grasp the protruding centerboard which was pretty slippery and pretty high off the water surface. I saw the video on the web with the person stepping on the mast and climbing over the hull and onto the centerboard to right the boat. I suppose that this is Ok once there is some flotation at the mast tip. But my experience from other sailboat classes is that when you tip over the skipper should swim for the centerboard and if he gets there quick enough the boat will not turtle even if for a while all he can do is keep the boat from turtling. If the crew swims to the bow and holds on while the boat is on it's side then the body of the crew will act like a sea anchor and the boat will tend to swing into the wind making the righting process easier. Of course if your boat is full of the recent gagetry such as thru the deck spinnaker sheets and thru the seat jib leads then the boat will be slowly taking on water with all the thru hole openings for the ropes. And if there is a bow bag strapped to the bottom according to the approved installation then the bow bag bouyancy will promote the turtling of the boat when the boat becomes swamped. Gabor Karafiath FS3512

Personal safety is the key; any water less than 98.

Personal safety is the key; any water less than 98.6 degrees and without a proper PFD, you are on a slippery slope. A simple six inch lift in water without a PFD is a near impossible task. In our many capsizes (not in the Scot), my son would go right to the masthead and hold it to prevent a turtle, then release it as the boat comes up. Be safe and invest a hundred bucks in a top notch PFD; helps with the hypothermia, too. Two hours in the water is scary stuff.[V]

Phil, The pity is, I have the mast flotation device.

Phil, The pity is, I have the mast flotation device. Just wasn't using it that day. Learned my lesson, the 1/4 kt speed difference is not worth not using it. Alan S/V Uh-Oh

One missed shift going to weather can negate the 1/4 knot, if it

One missed shift going to weather can negate the 1/4 knot, if it is even that big a difference. We have some guys in our club who use them in every race and they go as fast as the rest of the boats, often faster, around the course. Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Believe me, I've learned my lesson.

Believe me, I've learned my lesson.

I had a Boston Whaler Harpoon 5.

I had a Boston Whaler Harpoon 5.2. The boat was designed with flotation sewn in the mainsail. I think it is probably more important than bow flotation bags. I wonder if the class would consider changing the rules so that sewn-in flotation is required on all new mainsails. It might make the class more attractive. Floyd

Hello all, Hi - I am a new member and prospective/pending own

Hello all, Hi - I am a new member and prospective/pending owner of a Scot. Used, ostensibly built in late 50's - early 60's, so a Douglas built, as I understand the tree. My question is this - how tender is a Scot? I know all boats may capsize/turtle, but is this common on a Scot? I will be sailing on an inland lake - with known shifts, gusts etc... I consider my sailing experience as good - but unpracticed and rusty - which is the reason for acquiring the Scot - to hone sailing skills - not swimming lessons...[:)] . Thanks in advance... -Stu ~~~/)~~~

Flying Scot #907 "Abeo"

Flying Scot #2411 "Angel"

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Stu, Stability is one of the strengths of the FS.

Stu, Stability is one of the strengths of the FS. I found it to be much more stable than similar sized sail boats, thats why I bought one. If you have crew, you can go out in some pretty strong winds. If you single hand like I do, reef the main. That takes all the stress out of sailing in stronger winds. Sail smart, practice, keep main sheet in hand and free to run. Peter Dube' Vero Beach

PC Dube is right, the Scot is very stable compared to most cente

PC Dube is right, the Scot is very stable compared to most centerboard boats. It all depends on how comfortable you are in and around the water: Can't swim=ALWAYS wear a PFD and not the inflatable kind. Don't feel confident righting the boat=buy the mast flotation. Single hand a lot=get crew, or sail in less wind, or reef. Don't think you can climb back into the boat=get the swim ladder. (My kids love it too.) I disagree that the class should require mainsail flotation. It will makes sails cost more and perform worse, even if ever so slightly. The flotation in the bow is to make the boat rescuable, which is an issue for the race committee at a large event. Imagine if a bunch of boats swamp, and the RC has to slowly tow each back to the dock. That can take a long time. The Scot is a great "Weeble" if you remember those toys with the slogan "weebles wobble but they don't fall down". With the board down the boat has a lot of stability. Keep the mainsheet in your hand, let it out when the puff hits to keep the boat flat. You'll go faster and feel "safer" If the puff is gigantic, then the jib may need to go out too. If the puffs are that big, and you are single in the boat, it's time to think about heading in. I have had my Scot since 2005, and have capsized once. We got cocky and tried to sail too high with the spinnaker, the wind went left about 40 degrees and over we went. We had the boat back up before the rest of the fleet caught up, but retrieving crew and wet spinnaker allowed the fleet to overtake us. I always wondered how hard a Scot would be to right, and I was amazed at how fast it can come up, from it's side. By the way, if we had let the spin sheet go, we would have been fine. (Note to self) Have fun, Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

PC Dube is right, the Scot is very stable compared to most cente

PC Dube is right, the Scot is very stable compared to most centerboard boats. It all depends on how comfortable you are in and around the water: Can't swim=ALWAYS wear a PFD and not the inflatable kind. Don't feel confident righting the boat=buy the mast flotation. Single hand a lot=get crew, or sail in less wind, or reef. Don't think you can climb back into the boat=get the swim ladder. (My kids love it too.) I disagree that the class should require mainsail flotation. It will makes sails cost more and perform worse, even if ever so slightly. The flotation in the bow is to make the boat rescuable, which is an issue for the race committee at a large event. Imagine if a bunch of boats swamp, and the RC has to slowly tow each back to the dock. That can take a long time. The Scot is a great "Weeble" if you remember those toys with the slogan "weebles wobble but they don't fall down". With the board down the boat has a lot of stability. Keep the mainsheet in your hand, let it out when the puff hits to keep the boat flat. You'll go faster and feel "safer" If the puff is gigantic, then the jib may need to go out too. If the puffs are that big, and you are single in the boat, it's time to thing about heading in. I have had my Scot since 2005, and have capsized once. We got cocky and tried to sail too high with the spinnaker, the wind went left about 40 degrees and over we went. We had the boat back up before the rest of the fleet caught up, but retrieving crew and wet spinnaker allowed the fleet to overtake us. I always wondered how hard a Scot would be to right, and I was amazed at how fast it can come up, from it's side. Have fun, Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

I agree with all that has been said.

I agree with all that has been said. Just reminding people of my experience, and I don't blame the boat (which I still love). If the wind suddenly comes up at 40kts, releasing all the sheets will not necessarily keep the boat from capsizing. In the 3 ft. seas this wind will create, it's next to impossible for a 62 y.o. man (me-whose in reasonable shape) to climb on top of the centerboard before it falls back in the trunk as the boat goes past 90 degrees. Moral, wear a PFD and have other helpful boats around. (and use mast flotation if you have it). Alan S/V Uh-Oh

Thanks!!.

Thanks!!.... and also impressed by the group! Yes, I plan on wearing a PFD - I'm too old for marathon swimming/treading any more. Actually, ya'll reaffirmed all I thought I knew about the Scot - the good stuff. But after reading the posts where even racers were getting knocked around, I was beginning to wonder. I plan on starting out "small"w/ main only and/or reefed main... half board (from what I have read about balancing the boat) and just getting used to her. Sidebar question - why have I not ever read about anyone just flying the jib alone? I am comfortable around water and don't mind getting wet - and will likely even do a capsize drill when I have time under my belt at the tiller... I have a healthy respect for things that can escalate from a minor inconvenience into a full blown calamity. Thanks again - and after I have taken her out - I'm likely to have a bunch of new questions. But I am looking forward to picking her up this weekend. -Stu ~~~/)~~~

Flying Scot #907 "Abeo"

Flying Scot #2411 "Angel"

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Stu wrote "But after reading the posts where even racers were ge

Stu wrote "But after reading the posts where even racers were getting knocked around, I was beginning to wonder." Just a quick comment about racers. THEY are the ones likely to be pushing the boat to the limit, so therefore much more likely to go swimming. I also think that using the spinnaker (in higher winds) is a contributing factor to capsizes. If you are careful you will be fine. I had ordered mast head flotation with my boat, but returned it after sailing the boat for awhile. Reef early! Peter Dube' Vero Beach good luck with the new boat!!! where is the lake you will be sailing on?

Hey, Lake Lanier in Georgia.

Hey, Lake Lanier in Georgia... I know what you mean about racers pushing the envelope... but "theoretically" - they are the most skilled with their boat also... I may want to do casual races after I get settled with the girl- because that does bring skills online quickly - but I do not have any aspirations to actively campaign. But that's what I like about Scots - any boat can race - and you are not racing with your wallet (for the most part) - sure you can have fresh sails - and hot rod rigging, a super-slick hull - but at the end of the day - they will all be reasonably close.... In its current state, I doubt if the one I am getting is even close to being race-able. She needs a new boom that I know about, and I am sure I will find out more after I pick her up. But if I can use her this summer and fall, and then work on her and sail her over the winter - then by then by next spring - who knows... Thanks, -Stu ~~~/)~~~

Flying Scot #907 "Abeo"

Flying Scot #2411 "Angel"

~~~~~~/)~~~~~~~~

In answer to the question, "how tender is the Scot," the answer

In answer to the question, "how tender is the Scot," the answer is, you can stand on the gunwale, hold on to the sidestay, and lean out. The boat will tilt a little. Try that with any other centerboard boat and see if you stay dry. J. Lott Fs 5698 P.S. Your results may differ depending on your weight and whether your centerboard is up or down

Hi Stu, We sail on Lake Lanier and came close to a capsize on

Hi Stu, We sail on Lake Lanier and came close to a capsize one time. Wind was 15 – 20 and I was falling off, I eased the main but the boat kept heeling. The boom went into the water, water was coming over the side and I thought we were turning turtle. I started climbing to get on the centerboard then my daughter released the jib and the boat righted itself. What I think happened is that the jib was not eased and this was what was causing the heel. I have the flotation, but of course this time it wasn’t being used. We just started a fleet on Lanier this year. The fleet captain sails out of LLSC. We’ve raced a few times. Everyone is moderate to beginner racers. No pressure. We are going to try and race tomorrow night with the Barefoot Sailing Club. Let me know if you would be interested and I’ll get you in contact with our group, or give me your email and I’ll add you to the next message. Tim Potts Tpot...@bellsouth.net

Please heed this advice.

Please heed this advice. Do not ever go out on the water unless you are prepared to go in the water. Expect the unexpected and as you sail, visualize and prepare for how you will avoid danger and respond to adversity. A planned response will save your life, a panicked reaction will get you and others killed. I was an ocean lifeguard for 10 years and am a life long surfer, I can handle myself in the water, but, I ALWAYS wear a PFD when I sail alone or with inexperienced crew. One blow to the head and a fall overboard and you are done. Sail safe!
"So, can you sail under the command of a pirate?"

Hey, Thanks for the reminder - and agreed - which is one rea

Hey, Thanks for the reminder - and agreed - which is one reason I wanted input as to the sensitivity of the Scot. And yes - situational awareness anticipates rather than reacts.... Short story - when I was a teenager (about the time they invented fire), a friend of mine's dad introduced me to sailing (and instilled the life-long passion). He was a very good sailor and skipper with stern admonitions for safety always. We sailed coastal waters off GA and SC. A fluke accident of an anchor rode grabbing his ankle took him under and that was it.... Moral - "be mindful always" is burned into my dna. Knowing that I am rusty, I am not approaching the Scot with the bravado of decades of sailing and racing - but with the humility of a healthy respect for things that can happen - particularly on an old boat that I am not familiar with and that I have spent more time on land for the last few years than on the water. Again,thanks for the reminder.... I am just strongly agreeing... -Stu ~~~/)~~~

Flying Scot #907 "Abeo"

Flying Scot #2411 "Angel"

~~~~~~/)~~~~~~~~

Hi Stu, So sorry to hear of that terrible tragedy.

Hi Stu, So sorry to hear of that terrible tragedy. My stern warning was really meant for the original poster but thank you for acknowledging. We're all guilty of being careless here and there, me included, this thread was a nice wake up call. I'm new to sailing and the Scot (been sailing a little over a year now). Really love the Scot as we have grown into her, spinaker is next for me. Have a great season! John FS3867
"So, can you sail under the command of a pirate?"