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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Dinghy Capsize
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-29-2013 08:53 PM
W3ODF
Re: Dinghy Capsize

Quote:
Originally Posted by titustiger27 View Post
My last time out this year, I capsized.

one of the things I have read --- practice capsizing... but when you practice (which I have never done) you are never in the worse case scenario..

Things you really only learn, but a not purpose capsize.

1) Always strap things down, if you have a wet bag, use it.

Before I went out I thought about taking my waterproof bag, but did not. I put my camera in a plastic bag, it was protected from spray, but when it floated away out of my pocket... not so much. Ironically my only picture of the boat rigged in water.

My paddles also floated away... Actually lots of stuff floats for a bit, but when you spend an hour or so, in the middle of the lake, righting the boat... bailing... then watching the wind push the boat over... bailing.. you don't spend much time searching for a floating paddle.

2) have a life jacket handing and on. My friend had to put his life jacket on while we clung to the boat that had water to the gunnels... had there been a problem -- a whack to the head (or his bad heart failed) he would not be here...

The fact that we were a live at the end of the day made a loss camera less important. Over all you realize how on a small lake a small boat, with lots of water in it, is hard to move, even tow. And how dangerousthat situation is

One of the things a planned capsizing might have helped.

I would have realized that the cockpit is self-bailing, but under the cockpit is space that filled with water. That part of the boat was not self-bailing. Had a guy on shore not seen us and got in his boat to help us, I don't know what would happen.

The capsize happened in the middle of a small lake and the shore we were towed to was not a beach, but a rock cliff. I don't know how you plan for that! Fortunately we found a spot where we could wedge the boat and bail the two levels. It is that spot on the late that the winds are the most fluky. I think it is because it opens up so when the wind changes directions... it takes over...

I am selling the boat for a bigger one, but My first project would have been to fill the space below the cockpit. I did put some sealed, empty juice bottles below. Not so much for flotation, but just to take up space and the hope there would be less to bail.

A couple good things, I had read about loss rudders, so I had a cotter pin in so it couldn't come out.

My Main doesn't track on the boom, instead of knotting it to the end, I put a snap shackle, this allowed me to quickly release the say, which made righting the boat much, much easier.

Another thing I had done was replace the velcro on the little storage space and that stopped it from opening... Had my camera been in there it would not have been lost, but destroyed because of the water.

My friend loss his keys, I always leave mine at my car.

As for a bailer, I have this idea

Take a small rubber ball or even a stopper. Drill a hole in it and run elastic through it. Run that through your drain, and attach it outside the boat. Then when you are moving and you want to drain the boat, you pull the ball away, but when you let go, it goes back as a stopper.

Titus thanks for the candid post. I really like the idea of velcro on the storage compartment lids. Mine are bungee corded and they fail often. Which why my bilge probably had 30 gallons of water in it after my capsize.

Some things I learned and am regularly putting into practice is:
  1. [1]I now have a sealed empty plastic container at the top of my mast to act as a float
    [2]If i do tip then when I am in the water I need to swim my mast around so that it is pointing upwind. This way I am working with the wind to right the boat instead of against it.
    [3]Everything is dummy corded.
    [4]prefer not to sail alone. I know I need to try it and I need to get a controlled capsize, with other crew nearby so that I can work past the adrenaline rush and keep competent about the technical aspects.

I still had a good summer on the dinghy this year and here in Ohio we are anticipating Indian Summer before the snows set in and then she goes into storage.

THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR COMMENTS
10-29-2013 02:39 PM
Steve in Idaho
Re: Dinghy Capsize

Guess I missed this thread the first time around.

When I first started sailing in (on?) a Sunfish, capsizing was pretty normal stuff. Righting that boat and re-entering was so easy, that it led me to be a little cavalier about it.

This summer, I got hit by a strong gust "out of nowhere" while sitting a dead-calm waiting for the breeze to come back (it had been the usual light and variable summer day here). It was odd, in that it hit us almost head-on, but then whipped around to the side. Caught us flat-footed, and we couldn't get to the high side fast enough.

Anyway - I found that righting a C-Lark isn't is easy as a Sunfish. Had I thought of hoisting a flotation device with the main halyard, as described in an above post, it may have been a much quicker process.

Anyway - my camera was waterproof, and it wasn't harmed. My cell phone was also "waterproof" (I had gone swimming with it several times from my river canoe with no ill effects), but it turns out that the manual says that is only good for a short time in the water - and that is correct. Everything was secured though, and we didn't lose any gear or parts.

The C-Lark will bail itself just sitting there once it's upright, BTW.

I had been telling myself that we needed to do some capsize recovery practice with that boat, but just hadn't done it yet. The thing about dinghies, is that you will get that practice - sooner or later. Better to pick the time & place.
10-28-2013 01:51 PM
puddinlegs
Re: Dinghy Capsize

i guess this is a pretty old post and the OP is no longer around. We learned to sail in Widgeons. We were in elementary school. One of the things we had to do to earn our 'skipper's patch' was to right the boat after an instructor capsized us. I was able to do it on my own. It sounds like the OP hadn't released the main and jib sheets which makes it very tough. We always had the rudder attached to the hull with a small line and learned, in fact were encouraged, to find the edge of the boat's performance limits. Bottom line is, when dingy sailing, expect to capsize. When it comes, and it will, it'll just be something that happens rather than a life event.
10-27-2013 11:59 PM
titustiger27
Re: Dinghy Capsize

I was kind of lucky, my keel was half in the hull and my friend was going to help me by pushing it the rest of the way in... I stopped him and was able to stand on it, for leverage, to right the boat.

Lucky or unlucky we were in way too deep of water to get the mast stuck.

Another thing about practicing capsizing.... it's only good for the people who practice with you. Most non-sailing people don't realize the keel is what you stand on to get the boat over, to them it seems like it would hinder in righting the boat.

"Hey, do you want to go capsize the boat and see if we can right it?"

doesn't have the same ring to it as:

"How would you like to go sailing today?"
10-27-2013 11:45 PM
Chas H
Re: Dinghy Capsize

My first experience dumping a boat was my fathers Rebel 16 on Clark's Lake in southern MI. I was sailing with my girlfriend when a gust hit (I hadn't learned to read the wind on the water) and the boat went over. The centerboard slid into the trunk. I couldn't get it out to stand on it. The boat swamped quickly while I was frogging around with the CB. The top of the mast went to the bottom and stuck in the mud. Fortunately a sailor I knew from high school was sailing his C-scow with a group of friends. He swam to my boat, dove under water and pulled the mains'l down the mast. He fastened a PFD to the halyard and pulled it to the bottom of the lake up the mast. The mast rose to the surface. Then it was easy to right the boat. I accepted a tow back to the mooring. I would have been stuck a lot longer if John had not been nearby. I did not think of that option.

Twenty plus years later my Zuma sailed away from me on Wisconsin's Lake Butte des Morts on a warm September Sunday when she dumped on a run over quartering seas. I fell in the water wearing a PFD. The wind caught the hull and spun the boat so I was looking down the mast just out of reach. I considered for a second, doffing the PFD because I was quite sure I could get to the mast without it. I didn't see any other boats on the lake because most Wisconsinites were watching Green Bay Packer football. I did the wise thing and let the boat sail away. Two boys on a PWC came to my rescue and towed me down the lake to a runabout that had caught my Zuma and held it for me. They later said they saw the scene unfold before their eyes. I was disappointed at my inability to keep the boat on her feet. I searched for reviews on the boat and found that even good sailors said the Zuma is a tough one to keep upright on a run.
10-27-2013 10:16 PM
titustiger27
Re: Dinghy Capsize

Quote:
Originally Posted by W3ODF View Post
Caleb you beat me to it.

Joe, I wouldn't be terribly concerned. 99% of the reason for my knockdown was improper weight distribution (sitting on the low side). When I have another person for crew the boat is very stable. I have sailed her late into the season, even when we needed a windbreaker and hats. With nary a fear of getting any wetter than the occasional spray.

When I am alone - its a whole nother story!

I did get back out with a a crew member. I was bit skittish at first (down right scared at first); but actually started feeling better about it as the day went on and then found my confidence again. Now I am itching to get out and try it alone when we have some light airs.

in my case, my crew was in the middle... the consistent wind was not enough to be on the high side.. In the middle he would lean as the boat dictated...

It was the best place to be for the sudden wind shift but it didn't help.

To your point though. the same thing happened to me a week before when I was alone and when the boat suddenly shifted, I released the jib and main and sat down in the boat. I tipped, but didn't go over...

I seem to have more problems with a crew in a small boat, since I can control where I am moving, but not the crew.
10-27-2013 10:10 PM
titustiger27
Re: Dinghy Capsize

My last time out this year, I capsized.

one of the things I have read --- practice capsizing... but when you practice (which I have never done) you are never in the worse case scenario..

Things you really only learn, but a not purpose capsize.

1) Always strap things down, if you have a wet bag, use it.

Before I went out I thought about taking my waterproof bag, but did not. I put my camera in a plastic bag, it was protected from spray, but when it floated away out of my pocket... not so much. Ironically my only picture of the boat rigged in water.

My paddles also floated away... Actually lots of stuff floats for a bit, but when you spend an hour or so, in the middle of the lake, righting the boat... bailing... then watching the wind push the boat over... bailing.. you don't spend much time searching for a floating paddle.

2) have a life jacket handing and on. My friend had to put his life jacket on while we clung to the boat that had water to the gunnels... had there been a problem -- a whack to the head (or his bad heart failed) he would not be here...

The fact that we were a live at the end of the day made a loss camera less important. Over all you realize how on a small lake a small boat, with lots of water in it, is hard to move, even tow. And how dangerousthat situation is

One of the things a planned capsizing might have helped.

I would have realized that the cockpit is self-bailing, but under the cockpit is space that filled with water. That part of the boat was not self-bailing. Had a guy on shore not seen us and got in his boat to help us, I don't know what would happen.

The capsize happened in the middle of a small lake and the shore we were towed to was not a beach, but a rock cliff. I don't know how you plan for that! Fortunately we found a spot where we could wedge the boat and bail the two levels. It is that spot on the late that the winds are the most fluky. I think it is because it opens up so when the wind changes directions... it takes over...

I am selling the boat for a bigger one, but My first project would have been to fill the space below the cockpit. I did put some sealed, empty juice bottles below. Not so much for flotation, but just to take up space and the hope there would be less to bail.

A couple good things, I had read about loss rudders, so I had a cotter pin in so it couldn't come out.

My Main doesn't track on the boom, instead of knotting it to the end, I put a snap shackle, this allowed me to quickly release the say, which made righting the boat much, much easier.

Another thing I had done was replace the velcro on the little storage space and that stopped it from opening... Had my camera been in there it would not have been lost, but destroyed because of the water.

My friend loss his keys, I always leave mine at my car.

As for a bailer, I have this idea

Take a small rubber ball or even a stopper. Drill a hole in it and run elastic through it. Run that through your drain, and attach it outside the boat. Then when you are moving and you want to drain the boat, you pull the ball away, but when you let go, it goes back as a stopper.

07-21-2013 07:14 PM
W3ODF
Re: Dinghy Capsize

Caleb you beat me to it.

Joe, I wouldn't be terribly concerned. 99% of the reason for my knockdown was improper weight distribution (sitting on the low side). When I have another person for crew the boat is very stable. I have sailed her late into the season, even when we needed a windbreaker and hats. With nary a fear of getting any wetter than the occasional spray.

When I am alone - its a whole nother story!

I did get back out with a a crew member. I was bit skittish at first (down right scared at first); but actually started feeling better about it as the day went on and then found my confidence again. Now I am itching to get out and try it alone when we have some light airs.
07-21-2013 05:19 PM
JoeLena
Re: Dinghy Capsize

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
So, JoeLena, keep sailing your R19. The only thing you have to worry about is when the wind is strong enough your R19 can get knocked down. For strong wind you can either put a reef in the main sail or drop the jib and just sail with the main.
That's reassuring, thank you. I just need to push it harder and see how far I can go. On the very few gusty days here so far she really takes off, heels a lot and I usually wuss out and let the main sheet out to round up. I doubt I have been close to being knocked down yet really. Need to find someone experienced around here to go out with me, then I would feel better. In the meantime (tomorrow) I'll try and worry less about it.
07-21-2013 01:24 PM
CalebD
Re: Dinghy Capsize

O'day widgeon specs:
WIDGEON 12 (O'DAY) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
Rhodes 19' specs:
RHODES 19 CB sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

If you compare the displacement (weight) of these 2 boats you'll see that they have very little in common. The Widgeon weighs < 200 pounds while the R19 weighs > 1000 pounds. The R19 is more like a tiny pocket cruiser than a dinghy.
It would take a lot of force to tip over a 1000 # boat but not a whole lot of force needed to tip a Widgeon. Another useful comparison is your body weight as a percentage of the boats displacement. On a Widgeon a 190 Lb. man's weight is 100% of the displacement; on a Rhodes 19 the same man is about 20% of the displacement, so your body weight on the Widgeon is extremely important for keeping the boat balanced but on the Rhodes not so much.
So, JoeLena, keep sailing your R19. The only thing you have to worry about is when the wind is strong enough your R19 can get knocked down. For strong wind you can either put a reef in the main sail or drop the jib and just sail with the main.
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