Definition of Knockdown? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 08-24-2009 Thread Starter
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Definition of Knockdown?

I've read/heard of knock downs but never experienced one...unless:

I was sailing Lake Texoma on my Islander 30 this weekend (as usual) which had some quirky winds from the east/southeast. Heading north hugging the east shore where the channel is I was on a starboard fore-beam reach with winds about 15 (less than 20 as there were no whitecaps) a gust almost dipped the rail but not quite and I instictively headed up to take advantage of the blow with full main and genoa flying. The wind strengthened and dipped the rail to the enthusiasm of my First Mate Barbara (we had only buried the rail once before on this boat...unlike the regular routine on the J24 we used to sail). The boat then dipped further and white water on the rail turned to green water on the rail to white water over the coaming and into the cockpit dowsing my aft portside stern mounted speaker. Vanishing Point got a little squirrely feeling momentarily as though she was trying to spin on her side to starboard as everything starboard side in the cabin crashed accross the cabin sole. This lasted all of 5 seconds or less as I corrected to port and she stood back up and sailed on as if nothing had happened on a steady beam. As Barb and I continued to feel our quickened pulses and laugh in amazement listening to the garbled water soaked speaker we noted the bottom 12" of foresail was also wet and had obviously dipped.

So, does this qualify as a knockdown? I've heard a knockdown is when the mast hits the water (though I'm not sure if this is meant literally) and I know the spreaders didn't touch. Also, was the side spin feeling the start of what I've heard as a broach? I want to put this one in the log book, especially if it qualifies as a knockdown (not something you're suppose to strive for I suppose...but worthy of documentation).

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post #2 of 32 Old 08-24-2009
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to me a knock down is at least a spreader getting wet.

a broach is rudder out of the water, and boat turning up real hard and fast, often getting the spreaders wet again
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post #3 of 32 Old 08-24-2009
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I always thought a broach is where the bow digs in and the stern passes the keel. I believe it includes a knockdown, but doesn't always start with one.

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post #4 of 32 Old 08-24-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks...I guess I'll have to settle for green water over the rail and white water over the coaming...neither of which that I care to experience again anytime soon. I can't imagine being over far enough the spreaders or mast touch the water. I could foresee people in the water with that experience.

Looking forward to more input/definitions regarding a broach...

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post #5 of 32 Old 08-24-2009
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You're right, that's a green water thriller. Paloma has never been completely knocked down - the closest we've ever come was at the begining of a Force 10 storm in Gulf. When the storm hit us full abeam (according to the Coast Guard a cold from moving at 35mph, packing internal winds of 50-60), it knocked us from a 10-15 degree heel to port, through a huge arch all the way over to burying the starboard handrails in the water and filling the sails with water, filling the cockpit with water and drenching the interior. She quickly rounded up into the wind, shaking hundreds of gallons of water over the entire boat. But, even that wasn't a true knock down - just the begining of a 36 hour adventure.

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post #6 of 32 Old 08-24-2009
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I wonder if there's an official definition. My personal definition would require the top of the mast to get wet, but I guess I'd settle for the spreaders.
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post #7 of 32 Old 08-24-2009
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Santiago - I'd call that a sweet BFS. Stolen and catalogued.


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post #8 of 32 Old 08-24-2009
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I'd define a knockdown as any time the boat gets rolled to near 90deg heel - whether by a gust or wind or a large sea, or as the aftermath of a broach when sailing downwind. Generally by then your fins are nearly out or out of the water, no longer effective and, indeed, the spreaders may well be wet.

I'd call a broach the result of a spinnaker overpowering the boat, causing the rudder to cavitate resulting in a severe round up, with a resulting knockdown if the wind is still in the kite. "Thumb's" definition of a broach sounds closer to a pitchpole to me....

Any of which ought to qualify for a BFS!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Any of which ought to qualify for a BFS!!
Only if you get her back up and keep going with the racing pulse, huge guffaw, and rebel yell.

Otherwise it's an SAR. And those suck.


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post #10 of 32 Old 08-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllThumbs View Post
I always thought a broach is where the bow digs in and the stern passes the keel. I believe it includes a knockdown, but doesn't always start with one.
That is pitch poling. A broach is when you have boarding seas coming over your broadside.

Have had a knockdown in a Catalina 25. The spreader was soaked royally in the water. But she came back up. One of the reasons I don't drink on a boat anymore.

1600 Ton Master, 2nd Mate Unlimited Tonnage

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