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Old 08-14-2012
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Capsizing fears

Even after many years of sailing, I've never truly gotten over my fear of knocking down the boat. This my Rhodes 19 with a 440lb keel -- and a sail area of 175s.f. // I know the boat is underpowered, but still when she heels in the gusts it feels like it's going to tip, rather than right itself. My question is, what exactly does it take to knock over a keel boat of this size? Wave action aside, can I bury the rail knowing the wind will spill? Thanks, as usual, for the great advice. I realize that I can reef or take down the jib, but that's not really my point. I'm trying to figure if I can ride out gusts in the 12 to 15 knot range; and even just push it a little in 8 to 10. P.S. Main is on a barney block, so there is no traveler. Thanks again.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Capsizing fears

I am in no way an expert in sailboat design but seriously I doubt you have anything to worry about in 12-15knots, if at all. I have no experience with your boat but have read that they are very seaworthy and forgiving. I am sure other with real experience will chime in. My Alberg is very tender, meaning she will heel to just about 2" from the rail and then stay there even in gusts. It takes over 20kts and a unreefed main to dip the rail. It took a while to convince my wife that the boat wouldn't go over.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Capsizing fears



You have to really work hard at it in most keelboats and generally need a Spinaker gone bad*



2011 Manhasset Bay fall gusting 30 knots nobody fell over going upwind*
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Capsizing fears

Thanks for posting this guys
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Capsizing fears

In a boat like a rhodes 19, you want to prevent putting the cockpit coaming under water as you can ship a large amount of water very quickly once this happens. Once it goes under, it does not want to come back up as much and you risk swamping.

Most larger keel boats can heel much farther than a boat like a rhodes before downflooding becomes an issue. This is because the boat is closed and provided that the hatch boards are in, flooding is unlikely to be a huge issue in the occasional gust.

You will never find the limit of your righting moment, you will swamp long before it.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Capsizing fears

Hiee,

I don't know if this will help or not but here it goes. A bit about our boat. Its a 22 foot yankee condor. Classed as an ultra light cruiser. Its a swing keel. Its current rigging is that of a fractional rig. There is a 1 foot deep steel box below the boat keel that the swing keel lifts into. Its ~ 250#s or so. The swing keel itself is ~ 250#s or so. Inside the hull and on each side of the keel are lead pucks glued and glassed onto the hull for an additional ~230#s. Keel down she draws about 5 feet of water.

Ok on our first sail with this boat, we were in the atlantic ocean and just offshore and sailing under jib along. Basically trying to get a feel for the boat.
Winds at the time 10 to 15 knots. The wind began to pick up and under jib alone we could make no head way so decided to hoist the main. We pointed into the wind. Just as I got the main hoisted and cleated we were hit with a 20 knot gust pushing us abeam to the wind. The main sheet was midship and locked in the cam cleats at the time and we were basically dead in the water. Well she heeled 'Way' over not quite to the rails before I was able to release the main and spill the wind and she poped right back up again. Needless to say it was somewhat scary for a second as I thought for sure we were going to go over. Seas were maybe a foot at the time.

Second time I was sailing downwind and began coming about to sail upwind again. As I began my turn I was bringing the main sheet to gain speed for my turn. I did not notice that again the main sheet had worked its way into the cam cleats and was locked. When I came beam onto the wind I could not release the main and spill the wind and she heeled 'way' over again,but not the rails. This was all of a fraction of a second before I was back into the wind and into and windward tack. On both occasions I think she was 30+ degree's heeled, although it certainly felt like twice that at the time. Again the wind was 15 and gusting to 20 knots. She seems to sail happiest at about a 10 to 15 degree heel.

c_witch
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Re: Capsizing fears

That's great advice, Klem. It's a definitive way of looking at it, rather than reefing at a particular wind speed, or whatever. I think then if I keep my eye on the rail, I can know when to head up the boat or ease the main. Actually, the way the boat is designed, it would take a lot to put the cockpit coaming under. Thank you very much. And thanks to the others, too, for posting replies.
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Re: Capsizing fears

I don't know the boat but see there is an active class association. Probably they can best advise you.
I would not expect it to flip at the wind speeds you mention.
In general terms the keel becomes more effective as the boat heels, and you have a righting effect from the bouyancy of the immersed hull depending on shape.
Against that you have the force on the sails. Whatever windspeed the sails are designed for will involve an angle of heel. Generally one wants to keep the boat flat or under 20 deg anyway. If the wind incresaes by about 6 knots the force on the sails doubles as it is proportional to the square, but the effective sail area needs to half to match this which requires you to double the heel angle from 20. At that point most would be pretty uncomfortable and concerned. At that stage a lot of boats are designed to round up.
I think if it were me I would assume it could go over unless I sailed it even though it would be unlikely in those winds without a strong gust. You could get used to dipping a rail, but then easing the sheet or better turning upwind in the gusts or both. I see most of those boats have travellers and backstay tensioners both of which help in flattening the sails. If your sails are old they may be baggy and overfull.
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Re: Capsizing fears

This was me a few weeks ago, got knocked by a very sudden gust, wasn't quick enough on the sheet/traveller so over we went. Boat rounded up and popped upright again in a couple of seconds. Safe as long as you are holding on, I think we were a little past the optimum amount of heel for my boat
Bilgewater and BreakAwayFL like this.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Capsizing fears

Years ago I sailed in a friends Mariner 19 center board sailboat (close relative of your boat) on the Rappahonac River, lower Chesapeake.
The strongest winds we encountered were around 20 knots which made for a bit of a hairy ride. We never capsized but did get rounded up a bit. Pretty sure we did not reef the main or jib.
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