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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > knock downs
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-28-2004 09:55 PM
sailnaway
knock downs

OK I have been sailing for a long time and have been knocked down twice be four this summer once years ago in Biscayne Bay on a gaff rig cutter under full sail and another time on a Benateau 35 when a squall caused the jib roller furler to let go. Out came the jib flapping like mad and the sheet line wrapped around a stanchion and sheeted the jib and over she went in about 40kts of wind.This summer while watching a squall about three miles away and moving kind of away from us we sat at ease under the binini top when a cold breeze hit the back of my neck. I stuck my head out and looked straight up and moved to pull in the second reef at that moment it was to late. We were hit and over we went but I was already into a turn and she came back up as we rounded up. All three knock down''s we had the boards in and the hatch closed and you should to if it is nasty weather if it is real bad slip a pin through the hasp to make sure the hatch does not come open.Don''t lock the hatch.The boat came back up when we let go the sheet lines.
07-02-2004 04:49 PM
sneuman
knock downs

I have a similar story about a Hobie 18 that went turtle. When I was living in Hong Kong, sailing a Dart 15, a buddy of mine capsized in his Hobie 18. I was on the beach and after seeing him struggle to right it for about 10 minutes, I set off with a burly partner to try to help. I circled as my partner jumped in to lend assistance. Little did we know that leaks on alone the V chine on the bottom of the hulls ((from repeatedly being dragged across coarse sand and, well, from lack of maintenance) had filled one or both hulls. It was all but impossible to right the thing. We probably spent an hour out there before we managed to get the mast to point skyward again and limp back to the beach. If it had happened in anything but warm tropical waters, we''d have been forced to abandon the boat or risk hypothermia!
06-18-2004 09:03 PM
mmccoy
knock downs

Worst ''mess'' I ever got myself into was on a Hobie 18. I got knocked down and unbenownest to me there was small 1/4" hole due to corrosion at the top of the mast. So while trying to right it the mast slowly filled with water and it turned turtle.

Ever try to right a turtled cat with full sails and a mast full of water while singlehanded? Trust me, it''s not something I recommended
06-17-2004 07:03 AM
jbanta
knock downs

I sail a 30 footer. I was knocked down as I approched the marina entrance in about 3 knots of breeze. Out of the south came a gust I was later told topped 60 mph. I was so close to the shore (breakwater) there was no time to prepare. It wasn''t a really big deal I let go the sheets the sails drained, the boat righted hersels and the cockpit drained. I was embarrased but never in any danger. I have been hit by these same sudden gusts while I was in open water. I saw them coming at me across the water and was ready when it arrived..
06-16-2004 06:37 PM
Tom3
knock downs

I was sailing with a dingy sailing freind on a 30'' lwl 9 ton gaff rigged sloop coming into Portland Maine. The day was perfect, the sun was out, The wind was strong, 20-30 miles per hour, we were on a beam reach in protected water with no waves to speak of and sailing as fast as the boat will ever go. She had a bone in her teeth and a long wake spread out behind. I was loving it, my freind was terified that the boat was about to roll over...

It all perspective. To knock down the 34 footer will take either really bad seamanship or really bad weather. Do you plan to go sailing in gale force winds? If you do will you refuse to reef the sails? I won''t go any further because I think I have made the point. Don''t spend a lot of time worrying about knockdowns on a 34'' sailboat of the type your thinking of buying. Worry about weather, worry about becoming a competent sailor. If you do those two things you will probabley avoid knockdowns all together.
06-16-2004 07:29 AM
chrondi
knock downs

What our friend, the sea-wolf, seems not to grasp in the first place is that a 16-foot dinghy frequently or less so capsizes for fun or unintentionally without any major consequence, while a 34-footer that is knocked down (not because of detachment of her keel) had better stay at port under such weather conditions!
04-13-2004 05:46 PM
Irwin32
knock downs

I will go one step further than posts here that say a KD is less likely on a 34 than a 16. I say there is no comparison at all. What causes the 16 to be dangerous can be the fun of the 34.
04-08-2004 06:14 PM
capttb
knock downs

And a handheld VHF is a good idea, I think we all keep an eye on the smaller boats when we are entering and leaving. Just since Jan. of this year I have heard keelboats calling Harbor Patrol to assist small boats many times, probably good to have your own if no one''s around. Most sailors have been in centerboard (or leeboard) boats, and probably most have been knocked down. I started as a kid in Sabots and it was a required drill. When the Santana winds would start unexpected it came in real handy to know how to right the boat, and with that how to keep things a little flatter as mentioned. Didn''t take too long to catch on and later sailed 14'' boat in ALL kinds of conditions without putting it wrongside down, thankfully, would have been harder to upright. Personally, I like keelboats at my age cause I don''t like getting THAT wet anymore.
04-08-2004 04:49 AM
ccboston
knock downs

As others have said, it''s much harder to knock down a 34 foot keel boat than a 16 foot centerboard dinghy. And, even if you do manage to get knocked down, it''ll probably pop back upright as soon as the wind pressure is off the sails. There is, as Jeff points out, the possibility of water entering through the companionway or cockpit locker while the boat is on its side, but that is not supposed to happen in a properly designed boat in non freak conditions.

But my main advice to you, worth every nickel you''re paying me for it, is to keep sailing a lot in that 16 foot boat you mention. It''ll teach you more about sailing and boathandling, and teach you much faster, than the 34 foot boat. Practice in heavier and heavier air and bigger and bigger waves, but pick times and circumstances in which you will be safe (such as, larger boats nearby who are aware of what you are doing and who can rescue you if you get in trouble). Bring along a physically strong friend, ideally one who is a good sailor. Get to the point when you can maneuver that boat through tacks and gybes, in gusts and in lulls, on top of waves or in troughs, and keep it flat the whole time.

That''ll give you some satisfaction and confidence in your skills, which, at the end of the day, will make more difference in your safety and comfort than will the boat design.
04-07-2004 01:58 PM
eric97217
knock downs

A boat as small as 16 foot most likely did not have ballast to offset the force of the wind on the sails. A keel boat will lean so far before either the rudder looses "grip" and the boat heads into the wind or the boat and wind finds a happy medium. I have sailed my 23 foot boat in some heavy winds and it has healed over 40 degrees or so and then did not go any more, it found its happy medium. To get knocked down would take a lot on a boat your size. A lot of wind and some big waves hitting you from the side at the same time.
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