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post #11 of Old 05-06-2013
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Re: My sons were asking

Originally Posted by mustangchef View Post
Mine is a 1977 Holman Nichols#13121. It does have the big molded in seat/ flotation tanks. I will have the boys tip her over and practice righting her in the first few times out. Thanks
Once may be enough, and perhaps after going out a couple of times. Capsizing a Lightning is a hassle. It is a good deal more difficult tip a Lightning over than it is a Thistle, for example. The centerboard is pretty heavy, and the form stability is there on purpose to help keep her upright. If you do go for a capsize drill, make sure EVERYTHING is attached in or to the boat. Mast step and partner blocks can get loose, along with life jackets, and float away, for example. Bailers, loose line, shoes, sunglasses, foul weather gear, anchors, spinnakers, and aluminum spinnaker poles can all sink. You also want to be careful about leaving an aluminum mast in the water too long. It it may fill with water and the added weight could cause the boat to turtle. The mast inevitably gets stuck in the mud - where it breaks. The weight of the lowered centerboard may be enough to counter that tendency, but it might be better not to find out that it doesn't. The flotation tanks should help make the experience short enough. They certainly reduce the amount of water inside the hull, so 'righting the boat should be relatively easy. It may or may not be desirable to lower the sails before turning the bow into the wind and righting the boat. (Sometimes the wind can catch the sails before the crew can get back in to ease them, and 'over she goes again.) Don't bend the centerboard by standing too close to the tip. Be careful! There are lines, sails, people and stuff all over the place, and things are all out of kilter and not working the way they're supposed to while you're swimming around yelling to be heard and getting really tired. Having a crash boat standing by to help would probably be a good idea. Capsizing is a hassle. I try to avoid it.
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