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Old 06-07-2010
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Iíd have to dig up my old C22 files, but Iím sure that the C22, like other swing-keel trailer sailors have a point of vanishing stability of somewhere between 90 and 100 degrees. My biggest broach was somewhere close 80 degrees as I was standing on the side of the lower cockpit seat (and my crew hanging on for dear life on the high side) when I released the mainsheet. IMHO, way before you challenge the point of vanishing stability, you will be subject to down flooding and sinking. There are no bulkheads to speak of and even a lazarette hatch flopping open could be terminal. We were pretty lucky insomuch as the next wave righted us (you are right Ė you do not want to beam reach if at all possible) and our main sail did not go under water. It is heart stopping to see the boom end skipping along the water. We were not so lucky on my second broach, although not as severe from an angle standpoint, we did break the headstay. The gods were again smiling on us as we had our #2 up which had a wire luff that kept everything together long enough for us to jury-rig the spinnaker halyard.

Swing keel trailer Sailors are really made for more calmer conditions. Your best bet is to run for cover at the first hint of trouble, or better yet, listen to the NOAA forecast before you go out. Yesterday, we had winds up to the low-mid thirties on Bay. On the way home in the Estuary, we encountered a Macgregor 25 with a badly bent mast and a couple of broken shrouds. I donít know what happened (could have been a broach or very bad gybe) but a replacement spar and rig could exceed the scrap value of his boat (if he even had insurance). So letís be careful out there!
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