capsize, turtle, carnage

In a race on Saturday I managed to get wetter than planned.[B)] As a result I have a number of questions.
Winds were forecast to be ~15mph with gusts to 21. There were whitecaps on the water and the wind was probably at the forecast levels. Novice crew who was learning well. Coming up to the windward mark on the last lap of the last race we got headed and came up short of the mark. Came about and went right over. I am still not sure what went wrong, I suspect that the jib was caught on the wrong side as we turned. In any case, before I could get over the high side onto the board, the board slid up into the trunk with a tremendous crack. I tried to get it back out but could force it out (I was pulling on the rollers and trying to turn the drum with my hands. Without the board for leverage we couldn't get the boat upright and turtled. We got the boat back on its side and then upright with the help of the crash boat. But my bow bag lost all of its air in the meantime and we couldn't tow the boat dry. So, I rode the submarine all the way back to the dock.

Now the questions:
1. The CB disappeared super fast once the mast touched the water. Is there any way to prevent this or recover if it happens?
2. When the CB slid into the trunk it went so fast that it seems it cracked the wooden CB cap. Is this a structural problem or should I fill and move on.
3. Got towed back by the bow eye, it looks like it might have shifted a bit in the process - any suggestions for rebedding it?

In total, things were OK. We were wearing PFDs, the crash boat was close, and the only lost items were a couple of lengths of line, a boat hook, a cell phone (in a dry bag that filled with water), and a cracked batten on the main.

Good news is I wasn't the only boat to capsize, 3 Thistles and a Snipe lost it as well.

FS 4964

I am glad that no one got hurt in the capsize. The CB cap is an integral part of the trunk so you need to determine if it is truly cracked. With some of the adhesives available you could very well be able to make it good as new.
This is not the first time that I heard that the bow bag collapsed. At least one person in my Fleet 42 thinks that the bow bag is useless because his deflates all the time.
I have another sailboat that has no weight in the centerboard and there is a positive down haul line on the centerboard in addition to the line for raising the centerboard. The downhaul line is a real nuisance when I want to adjust centerboard location.
In thinking about this centerboard dropping issue, and you are not the first victim, it seems that a way of restraining the centerboard from falling all the way into the slot would be the answer. If enough of the board were left sticking out of the slot then perhaps it could be fished out from the bottom side. During racing, I rarely if ever really raise the centerboard all the way up. Even on the lightest wind days when I raise the centerboard on the downwind and I think it is all the way up there is probably some of the tip sticking out. So a restraint, possibly made of a large diameter shock chord, fastened to the centerboard rollers and led aft could keep the board from getting fully housed and at the same time it would go slack for all normal sailing and not interfere with racing.
Where were you racing? I was out on Smith Mountain lake sailing this past weekend - in a wet suit.
Gabor FS3512

I don't know if this will be helpful but I wrote about capsize recovery on my blog here is a link to it;

1- Idon't know a way to keep the CB from retracting aside from keeping the boat from getting past 90 degrees over. From the water I can't see how anyone could get it down again once fully retracted.

2- The wooden cap is attached to the fiberglass which closes up the top of the trunk. If the cap is damaged the glass under it would also likely be damaged. I would remove the cap and get a look at it or shine a flashlight in form below to inspect it.

3- I recently replaced the wooden backing block for the stem head fitting on #4901 the old one was soft. You might check that while you are up forward near the bow bag.

Good luck.

I met up with Harry Carpenter last weekend. If you get the chance to meet him he is really nice and gives advice freely, well worth spending some time talking to. He gave me a few pointers.
1. The CB sliding up in the trunk is a common theme. He does not have a way to prevent it. Best way to recover is with the help of a motor boat. Also, get the crew to the top of the mast to prevent turtling.
2. The CB cap is really just decorative trim. He said the crack is nothing to worry about. His boat has a crack there as well.

(I sail Lake Lanier).

FS 4964

We have a fleet of three Flying Scot club boats that are shared by members of our Sail Away program at the White Rock Boat Club here in Dallas.  Recently we have initiated a series of seminars in which we intentionally capsize one of our boats for instructional purposes, teaching members (and even non-members) how to right the capsized boats.  I have linked a number of resources to our website, including summaries of some of these seminars and YouTube videos that others have prepared:

phebejim's picture

Two suggestions:
1. Don't ever cleat the mainsheet.
2. Get a boarding ladder from Flying Scots

The boarding ladder is extremely helpful once the boat is back up to get folks back in the boat.  One key is to get someone on the board, while the boat is up on its side, before the mast starts sinking. The mast head flotation can help greatly.  If you don't have it, get over the high side and onto the board.  If everybody is in the water, and has life jackets on (which you should if it's blowing hard enough to capsize), I agree that having someone hold the top of the mast is helpful.  DO NOT do this if the crew does not have a jacket on.
Getting from the water to the high side is easy.  Quickly uncleat the main and jib, if they are cleated.  Release the spin halyard if the spin was up.  You can then go from the low seat, step on the mast base, and swing legs over the high side to get onto the board.  Dont miss the board, or you get to repeat, as the mast tip is sinking further. If the mast tip starts sinking, this is when the board can go up, slamming into the trunk.  I have only capsized once and it was a great learning experience.