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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Knock Down Drills?
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Thread: Knock Down Drills? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-22-2009 10:53 PM
Sabreman Yeah, I survived....not quite a candidate for the Bonehead Moves thread, but here's what happened. http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...e-sailing.html

We were about two miles from the marina (to our west) when a summer thunder storm line came rolling at us from the west. We thought that we could beat it in, but didn't. We were caught with full main and jib and lots of wind/rain/lightning, etc. My dada and our guests below and my Brother in Law and I stayed on deck. I went forward to get the jib down (no roller furler) and slipped on the radically heeling, wet deck. As I went over the side, I grabbed the sheet and clew of the partially lowered jib and was dragged along until the boat rounded up and stopped. While being dragged, my dad came on deck, took one look around, and started to lower the main. In the commotion, he never realized that his son (me) was in the water (thanks dad!). We laughed about it for years, but that's another lesson - with all the confusion it's easy to forget simple stuff (like your son), so practice, practice, practice.

Fell off our Sabre 28 about 8 years ago. That one made it into the Bonehead Move thread.

casioqv - Learn how to reef. This weekend. It can mean the difference between a busted, broken crew & boat and fun. On the successor to my dad's C27, a C30, we exploded the gooseneck and tore the mainsail luff 4' while running downwind at 12+ kts in 8' off Montauk in 25 kts wind. But that's another story. Learned how to sew that day.
09-22-2009 10:18 PM
GaryHLucas Good thread!

I've owned and sailed a C22 and I have to agree, down flooding is the major peril. I forgot about the keel lock bolt. On many C22s they don't work anymore because they've been bent by the owner raising the keel with the botl tight. I had to grind out mine and replace it.

This thread also made me realize I missed the whole hazard of a knockdown with my own boat. However, while it would scare the hell of me, the outcome would surely be different. It's an ETAP, with a foam filled double hull. So even with down flooding it won't be sinking. Also every hatch, even the companionway and slide is fully gasketed. So if I'm closed up, as I do if the weather is looking bad, I probably won't need more than the sponge. There isn't any bilge pump, so that is good!

I've often suggested to sail boat owners to sit in the companion way and imagine in your mind what would happen if your boat was very slowly rolled over completely. Picture what the interior will look like when she is completely upside down. Cushions on the ceiling? Floorboards on top of the cushions? Smashed batteries spilling acid? All of your galley, food, clothing etc. added to the pile? Now picture it all happening in a split second! Are we all prepared?

Gary H. Lucas
09-22-2009 09:29 PM
MazeRat7
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Did you survive?

Seriously it sounds like an event, what happened?
I getting the sense my neighbor Smack may want this story in his BFS thread....



MZr7
09-22-2009 08:15 PM
davidpm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
In the interest of disclosure, I once went overboard on my dad's successor to the C22 which was a C27.
Did you survive?

Seriously it sounds like an event, what happened?
09-22-2009 07:17 PM
casioqv The "dinghy" thing makes a lot of sense.

My '74 C22 seemed to sail a lot like a dinghy in 25 knot gusts with the full main and 110 jib, as long as we had all 3 crew on the windward rail, and kept the main uncleated to let it out quickly in gusts. We were going about 7.5 knots (hull speed 5.9) on a beam reach, and the leeward rail only went underwater when we didn't sheet out the main fast enough in sudden gusts. We should have reefed the mainsail, but I still need to learn how...
09-22-2009 06:51 PM
tommays Number one most of us have to sail some place when we misjudge the weather and need to stay away from land which makes things like downwind with a drogue and and unlikely option due to lack of space

You most likely skill is leaning how to heave to which still requires space and will not be and option if your close to land (i am almost always close to land )

Heaving to - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And unless your doing spinnaker stuff a knockdown is really pretty hard to do under main and jib without getting caught up in some crazy storm related wind burst ,Rounding up from weather helm would be the most likely outcome and this will just tell you REEF NOW



I can always find out whats going on before i even get in the car

Rounding up - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A J24 like i sail is a tender boat and as the wind speed picks up we can drop the jib and reef the main and sail UPWIND in 25+ knots without a lot of issues and get home fine.

If something really crazy happens then we drop the main completely and hope that outboard starts easy and it passes real fast
09-22-2009 06:28 PM
Sabreman My father owned a C22 and I worked for a dealer when I was much younger so I know the boat. We sailed out of Ocean City, NJ so the weather could be "robust". A few suggestions:

1. For this boat "high winds" to me goes up to about 20kts. The boat isn't designed to be an offshore vessel. To prevent a knockdown above that range, stay at the dock.
2. If encountering gusty conditions while out, a) reef, b) shorten the jib, c) reef again, d) shorten the jib again. In that order. A roller furler is a great safety item.
3. Quickly ease/release the main when the "big one hits". The boat should flatten right up. Someone said to sail it like a dinghy. True!
4. I like to douse the main and sail with the jib. Yes, there will be a little lee helm, but not overpowering. We sail with jib alone quite often.
5. A drogue is good offshore with enough sea room, but I doubt that will fit the vast majority of C22 circumstances. Keep the head to the wind/waves; don't get fancy.

For the most part our weather is quite predictable; in 40 years of sailing I can't recall a single time that the weather gave me NO notice. With today's technology, we know if bad weather is in the area if we take the time to check. On a boat like the C22, there is nearly always enough time to take precautions. To paraphrase, the time to take action is when you first think of it. And that action is pretty simple - check the weather, sail cautiously, shorten sail early, dump the main, stay pierside if beyond the crew's ability.

In the interest of disclosure, I once went overboard on my dad's successor to the C22 which was a C27. We tried to outrun a thunderstorm and were knocked flat. Lessons learned: a) you can't outrun a storm except by pure luck b) we were negligent, we saw the storm, the knockdown was our fault c) if we'd dropped the main and stayed with the jib (or vice versa) we would have been fine.

Don't mean to preach, just my $0.02.
09-22-2009 05:47 PM
casioqv What would be the best strategy to prevent a knockdown in a C22?

In really high winds would it be best to fly only a single reefed mainsail, or a 110 jib on a Catalina 22?

Would a jib alone cause lee helm, preventing the boat from naturally turning upwind in a blow?

Which direction would be safest in a strong wind with a C22? I know people on here generally recommend running downwind with a drogue, but it seems like the low flat stern of the C22 would pound hard in the oncoming waves, and fill the cockpit quickly.
09-22-2009 04:10 PM
Barquito Note - Usually, the advice for heavy weather is to tighten the vang. This flattens the sail (depowers). You might be able to increase twist a little by tensioning the backstay more (will depend on having sufficient foreward shroud tension). Mostly everything should be tight and flat: Halyards, cunningham, vang, outhaul.

I keep the mainsheet in my hand, uncleated, when things are getting interesting. The C22 really seems more like a dinghy than a keelboat in winds greater than 25 kt!
09-22-2009 02:53 PM
MazeRat7 First I would like to thank everyone for their comments. While I hope to never find myself in such a situation I must agree 100% that diligence at practicing good seamanship is the best preventative.

Here are a few take aways for me personally: (This list may continue to expand I'm sure)

1) Make sure the lazerettes are latched closed before leaving the slip. I generally do this, but have been known to be lazy and forget. Be sure all other hatches are closed and dogged down when underway.

2) I need to build some new crib boards. When I took title to the boat almost 2 months ago it came with a one-piece, homemade companioinway cover. Its heavy and almost impossible to stow. That opening is always wide open. Looks like down flooding is my biggest risk here. This will be a good winter project for in the shop and a top priority. (I do keep the sliding hatch closed however, FWIW).

3) Buy a new working jib (the one that came with the boat is shot) and use the new 135 only in light to moderate air.

4) When we see the thunderheads building, get that first reef in before its needed. I have been known to do this before leaving the slip since mine is a simple system that requires me to go to the mast. Perhaps I should look into a single line kit to make it easy to do while underway so I don't have to go on deck.

5) Keep working on sail trim techniques (ie traveler & genoa car position, vang tension, etc).

6) The keel bolt is always tight before I leave and something I check regularly - keep doing this.

7) I've looked at the thru-transom scupper kit from CD and am now convinced they are a must add this winter as well. Those factory scuppers are slow and easily clogged.

This is not something I have thought about in much detail but has been on my mind a lot lately. For me personally, having a plan of prevention is far more valuable than a plan of "correction" after-the-fact.

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions,
MZr7
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