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View Full Version : Sailing - and swimming - with Beth/Canook



outofthenorm
15th Oct 2008, 02:39 PM
In case anyone reads this without having read the building thread - it's here http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=78322
http://web.mac.com/outofthenorm/iWeb/Site%202/Beth%20%20Build%205_files/IMG_0243.jpg

Well, a few things I learned today;

1 - Canook will pass a laser on a close reach :cool:
2 - My new PFD works just fine :oo:
3 - An IPhone in an air-tight pouch will receive a call while under water :D

It was blowing about 12, gusting 15 this afternoon. I took a reef, then went out to see if I could handle this little trickster. The answer is a little yes and a little no.

When you get in a groove, she'll get up and plane just fine, with very fine helm control. Reaching was very cool, running was a walk in the park, but upwind - not so much. I think my fine steering skills need some work ;)

First time I dumped, she was going like a bat on stbd tack, but I wasn't quick enough in a gust, the end of the boom touched the water and over she went in a sort of lazy slow motion.

No problem. I had my wetsuit and booties on and the water is fairly warm. There was also land about 200 yards to leeward, so no worries.

That is, until I tried to right her. :? I let go the main sheet, tightened the mizzen, got her bow as close to the wind as I could, grabbed the board, and pulled. She came right up, slowly and sweetly - then continued rolling right over on top of me. H'mm I said (or words to that effect). I ducked under and grabbed the board again and pulled. She came up - and rolled right over on top of me. Okay I said (or words to that effect), and decided to bring down the main. That was easy enough - the halyard is easy to reach and everything works as it should. Grabbed the board and pulled, she came up ---- and stayed up. Oh good, I said.

Now to get back in the boat. I grabbed the mizzen and started rolling up into the cockpit - and over she went, right on top of me, then completely inverted. Oh darn I said (or words to that effect).

Then a friendly windsurfer came by and offered help that I was glad to accept. I pulled her upright again and when he steadied her from the bow I was quickly back on board. A little bailing, a little untangling of sheets, the main was reset and I was on my way, a bit tired, but none the worse for it.

15 minutes of close reaching at outrageous speed had me rounding the little point that guards the club, turning upwind. What I didn't know then, but soon was the victim of, was the fact that my beautiful hollow, tapered aluminum mainmast was now full of water. I didn't find that out till I was taking it down later, but the effect was that as soon as I turned to windward - over she went. What the frack! I said (or words to that effect)

This time, she wouldn't come up and in fact went inverted and stayed that way. Fortunately both the rudder and board stayed in (thanks for the heads up Mik) and everything else (except my bailer) was tied in. That's when the phone rang. I figured it was my lawyer, calling about my will, so I didn't answer it.

It was getting late by then and I was lucky that someone from the club saw what happened and came out in a rowing dinghy to help. He held the mast above the water while I got back in the boat. The funny moment was when the sails caught the breeze from astern while I was still in the water hanging on to a sheet. Canook wanted to keep going! She was taking the whole shebang across the bay at about 4 knots. I was practically body surfing on the end of that sheet until I got the rudder kicked over to stop her. After that, it was just a matter of getting back on board, lowering sail and accepting the kind offer of a tow back to the dock - just about 2-300 yards away. I could have sailed, but I had no bailer now and she was half full of water and I was tired and happy to get the help. I owe Dave (my rescuer) several beers.

Lessons learned?
1- the mast should be sealed or filled with foam so water can't get in.
2 - tie in the bailer better
3- take her off the beach and practice capsizing (I'm new at this small boat business and clearly don't have the right skills)
4 - Don't make stupid sailing mistakes too often.
5 - If you're going to capsize, it's better that there be people around.
6 - This boat will keep me humble.

All comments and advice welcome.

- Norm

Boatmik
15th Oct 2008, 03:20 PM
Howdy Norm,

It might make it easier if you don't tighten the mizzen before you bring her up. You see the wind coming from the side will tend to lean her to leeward so you can climb in over the windward side.

Then pull the mizzen sheet in so the boat goes head to wind and will sit more or less that way until you have her bailed.

MIK

arbordg
15th Oct 2008, 04:32 PM
Howdy Norm,

It might make it easier if you don't tighten the mizzen before you bring her up. You see the wind coming from the side will tend to lean her to leeward so you can climb in over the windward side.

Then pull the mizzen sheet in so the boat goes head to wind and will sit more or less that way until you have her bailed.

MIK

Norm,

This same advice was what Mik offered when I capsized Sisu, our GIS, the first day I sailed her... and experienced the same Roll Over On Top Of You dynamic. She'd pop up beautifully, but wouldn't stay up.( I guess that such an experience was so foreign to me, I had no clue where to begin :wink:)

It never occurred to me to turn her broadside to the wind and enter over the windward side, so the wind in the sails would offset my not inconsiderable bulk rolling in over the gunwale. My limited subsequent experience with capsize drills suggests that it makes all the difference in the world.

I need to do more capsize practice, and applaud your intention to do so yourself.

Sounds like you had a blast!


"First, master your instrument. Then forget all that $&#*@^&%$^ and play!" -- Charley Parker

m2c1Iw
16th Oct 2008, 05:31 PM
Norm,
Thanks for posting both this story and the building thread, contratulations on a great job all round.:2tsup:

Have fun

Mike