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post #30 of Old 10-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Dinghy Capsize

Originally Posted by titustiger27 View Post
My last time out this year, I capsized.

one of the things I have read --- practice capsizing... but when you practice (which I have never done) you are never in the worse case scenario..

Things you really only learn, but a not purpose capsize.

1) Always strap things down, if you have a wet bag, use it.

Before I went out I thought about taking my waterproof bag, but did not. I put my camera in a plastic bag, it was protected from spray, but when it floated away out of my pocket... not so much. Ironically my only picture of the boat rigged in water.

My paddles also floated away... Actually lots of stuff floats for a bit, but when you spend an hour or so, in the middle of the lake, righting the boat... bailing... then watching the wind push the boat over... bailing.. you don't spend much time searching for a floating paddle.

2) have a life jacket handing and on. My friend had to put his life jacket on while we clung to the boat that had water to the gunnels... had there been a problem -- a whack to the head (or his bad heart failed) he would not be here...

The fact that we were a live at the end of the day made a loss camera less important. Over all you realize how on a small lake a small boat, with lots of water in it, is hard to move, even tow. And how dangerousthat situation is

One of the things a planned capsizing might have helped.

I would have realized that the cockpit is self-bailing, but under the cockpit is space that filled with water. That part of the boat was not self-bailing. Had a guy on shore not seen us and got in his boat to help us, I don't know what would happen.

The capsize happened in the middle of a small lake and the shore we were towed to was not a beach, but a rock cliff. I don't know how you plan for that! Fortunately we found a spot where we could wedge the boat and bail the two levels. It is that spot on the late that the winds are the most fluky. I think it is because it opens up so when the wind changes directions... it takes over...

I am selling the boat for a bigger one, but My first project would have been to fill the space below the cockpit. I did put some sealed, empty juice bottles below. Not so much for flotation, but just to take up space and the hope there would be less to bail.

A couple good things, I had read about loss rudders, so I had a cotter pin in so it couldn't come out.

My Main doesn't track on the boom, instead of knotting it to the end, I put a snap shackle, this allowed me to quickly release the say, which made righting the boat much, much easier.

Another thing I had done was replace the velcro on the little storage space and that stopped it from opening... Had my camera been in there it would not have been lost, but destroyed because of the water.

My friend loss his keys, I always leave mine at my car.

As for a bailer, I have this idea

Take a small rubber ball or even a stopper. Drill a hole in it and run elastic through it. Run that through your drain, and attach it outside the boat. Then when you are moving and you want to drain the boat, you pull the ball away, but when you let go, it goes back as a stopper.

Titus thanks for the candid post. I really like the idea of velcro on the storage compartment lids. Mine are bungee corded and they fail often. Which why my bilge probably had 30 gallons of water in it after my capsize.

Some things I learned and am regularly putting into practice is:
  1. [1]I now have a sealed empty plastic container at the top of my mast to act as a float
    [2]If i do tip then when I am in the water I need to swim my mast around so that it is pointing upwind. This way I am working with the wind to right the boat instead of against it.
    [3]Everything is dummy corded.
    [4]prefer not to sail alone. I know I need to try it and I need to get a controlled capsize, with other crew nearby so that I can work past the adrenaline rush and keep competent about the technical aspects.

I still had a good summer on the dinghy this year and here in Ohio we are anticipating Indian Summer before the snows set in and then she goes into storage.


Brian W3ODF
Quib Quib, 12' O'Day Widgeon
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