Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
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Interesting post, MazeRat.
Great link too. Having filled the cockpit a couple times on very windy days,
I can tell you that the first thing to do is to keep your hatchboards in place and find a way to make the cockpit drain faster. I invested in the kit from Catalina Direct that allows you to drill holes in the transom to mount their thru-transom scuppers. They work great, draining the cockpit a whole lot faster than the little factory-mounted drains in the forward end of the cockpit. The instructions in the kit are straightforward, and the tools they send you almost assure a professional result. Mine look great and don't leak into the bilge.
Something else I've toyed with is finding a way to fill mast with styrofoam popcorn, or otherwise making it somewhat water-tight by somehow sealing the ends of the mast to limit how fast water can get into and fill the mast. This wouldn't make the mast bouyant enough to keep the boat from turning turtle, but it would slow the ingress of approximately 2.7 cubic feet of water entering the mast. This might at least slow the capsize process long enough for the skipper to regain his wits, and to climb onto the keel to re-right the boat before it's too late. Has anyone else done this?
Sailing isn't a matter of life and death. It's much more important than that!