Welcome anonymous guest

Please Support

First capsize, sailing solo  Bottom

  • I capsized today on the Prindle 18, sailing solo. I could not get the bow to sink enough to get boat to rotate so the mast would be 45 degrees of windward. With the mast pointing leeward, I was stuck. The sailing center sent out the rescue boat and with a second man on the hull, everything worked like it should.
    I did not try to stand on the bow with my water bag, maybe that would have helped, but without being able to turn the mast windward, I was going nowhere.
    I weigh about 215, wind was blowing about 15 mph, maybe a tad more.
    Any tips on what I could have done, or am I simply not heavy enough to make this work by myself?
    Thanks guys!

    edited by: kgatesman, May 12, 2009 - 05:07 PM
  • you should be able to get the boat to turn into the wind... even at 110 lbs

    did you furl the jib?
    did you uncleat the main?
    did you stand on the inside of the bows?

    any front tramp?

    If yes.. then it should have worked... no reason i can think of besides these reasons
  • At 215 lbs, you have 35 lbs on me and this is the same technique that I use on the Nacra. How far out on the bow are you getting?
  • No furler, the mainsail and mast was about 1/4 under water. Main was uncleated.
    No front tramp.
    Not sure what you mean by "the inside of the bows". I was standing up, on the tippy-tip of the bow, of the "down" hull. Holding on to the "up" bow.
    It simply would not rotate.
  • When I was out on the tip of the bow, it would not submerge at all. When the other guy got on, the bow submerged about 1.5 feet at the tip, and then the rotation started.
  • That is strange Kenny. I would expect the bow to sink at least enough to get you head to wind.

    It is also a little strange that you went from nothing to 1.5 feet by adding an extra person.

    Did you have any water in the hulls and a blockage at a bulkhead? I can't really work out why this would happen.


    edited by: rpiper138, May 12, 2009 - 10:16 PM
  • There was no water in the hulls.
  • It looks like you need to gain 100 lbs.

    Hopefully someone has more insight than I do.
  • Haha... i had just posted this the other day on the "other cat site"

    Sounds to me that you are Pizza deficiant... try my meal plan.... 1/2 a pie for breakfast, 1/2 a pie for lunch... then an extra large with pepperoni and mushrooms (for your recommended allowance of veggies) for dinner... don't forget to snack between meals... (i suggest pizza)
  • My suggestion is to get a righting pole. When I right my boat, I don't even bother getting it head to wind. I just climb out on the pole and it pivots to wind as it comes up.
  • A technique that I have yet to try... still requires the mast to be 90 degrees towards the wind. That is to go to the back of the boat and step on the block and tackle forcing it down and making the angle of attack more pronounced and generating more lift.

    Sailors who have told me about this technique also point out that as the mast starts in ernest to rise, standing on the back of the boat allows you to just step on the tramp as the outer hull splashes down.

    Like I said.. I have not used this approach yet. Normally I rely on an eight foot righting poll that is barely adequate.

  • Thanks to all.

    Andrew I lost 25 pounds since January and am working up to 30. I eat berries, lettuce and chicken, saving up calories for Lou Malnati's sausage pizza, yum, yum. When you come to Chicago get some, get the thin crust, trust me.

    Rhuntback, I am totally with you on the righting pole, I just sent my wife the information for my birthday/father's day present.

    On sailinganarchy, besides a little razzing, a tip I recieved was to swim out to the spreader bars, swim the boat around to windward, then get back on the bow to right it. But when doing this, never, ever let go of the boat. Thoughts on this approach?
  • Swimming around seems a little risky. The boat may decide to turtle while you are getting her head to wind. Before I went swimming, I would try a sea anchor. Unfortunately it will het you pointed directly into the wind and make righting the boat more difficult that the 45 degrees that you are going for.
  • I dug out my owner's manual, which granted is where I should have started. The manual describes to rotate the boat, walk towards the transom, not the bow, go figure. Here is the language:

    If the mast is
    pointed into the
    wind, the boat
    may flip over in
    the other direction
    as you try to right
    it. To swing bows
    around into the
    wind, walk back
    towards the transom
    slowly until
    bows are positioned

    Quote is from this document: http://www.thebeachcats.com/performance/Prindle151618Manual.pdf
  • You will be amazed at how easy it is with one other person, without righting poles.

    Never letting go of the boat is sound advice. The wind can push a capsized cat faster than you can swim for it.

    I have a G-Cat 5.7. as long as the mast is sealed the boat seems to not want to turtle, unless I try reaching around the back to uncleat the main... then it starts to go... but if I back off, it comes back up to float easily. It is all about getting to know your boat in all conditions.

    all razzing aside... we have all done it, we have all stubbed our toes and felt dumb. We have all needed help. Welcome to the brotherhood of beachcats.

    Ironically... good weather never made a good skipper. Wear your lifejacket.
  • it really would be worth it to try going aft (in good conditions). this is a skill you want to have down before you need it (say as your boat is upside down, floating quickly toward a sea-wall).

    a few weeks ago my friend capsized his beautiful supercat17 and couldn't right it. AS he drifted (at 10knots) toward a sea-wall i told him to set his anchor... He has super light aluminum anchor with no chain and only about 10' of line. IT WOULDN"T SET!

    He literally had to wait till he floated 4' from the sea wall and STAND on his anchor to keep his cat from being destroyed. He stood there for 20 minutes until i got my boat anchored (far from the wall) and swam over to help.

    Take your cat out on a mild day... with crew and dump it.. .try righting it solo... till you get it down!
  • Walk out towards the bow and gently bounce the mast around. Works like a charm.
  • One man bouncing on the bow of a Prindle 18 gets you nothing, I can attest to that. I am going with the manual's recommendation: going to the transom (I already know if you go too far, the bows will point straight up!).

This list is based on users active over the last 60 minutes.