Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England USA
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The best way to recover from a knockdown is... to avoid them in the first place!
Lessons are in order here. A 34 footer is an awfully big boat to learn on, but hey, I''ve seen worse.
By nature, in most sailboats with a fixed keel, once the mast hits the water, the wind will be out of the sails, and the boat just pops back up. Wait ''til you see the mess below! Everything not secured prior to the knockdown will be all over the place!
Then there are the cases of a boat getting knocked down in heavy seas, the "wrong" wave rolls you further over and you go turtle, not a pleasant thought. There are all sorts of formulas to predict the likelyhood of this occuring. The types of waves that you would need to do this are pretty big, large body of water stuff. I would hope you keep to protected waters until you are more proficient in your technique.
Again, prevention is the best remedy. A knockdown needs very high winds, you should be prepared to sail in the conditions present and have your sail shortened in advance.