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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    New York, United States
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    Default How to get into a Beth after a capsize?

    I've now sailed my Beth three times, and loved it. Highly recommended. But I don't how to get back in after a capsize without help.

    Righting it is easy. Getting into after that seems impossible for me - 6" 4", 190 lbs. Do you have to be an athlete?. I spent 45 minutes today trying every which way I could think of, and failed (sails up, sails down, mainsail spread in water, from the bow, from the stern, etc ). The boat rolls and capsizes again. I tried getting in with the wind against the sails, but I couldn't make that work. The wind was only about 5mph.

    Any suggestions? I have what might be a cunning plan for temporary ballast, but it would involve some shop work.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
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    64
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    10,712

    Default

    climb aboard over the stern?
    regards from Canada

    ian

  4. #3
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    Jul 2013
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    New York, United States
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    Default Over the stern?

    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    climb aboard over the stern?
    Thanks Ian. I tried that, and tried climbing in over the bows. The only other comments I've seen say: use the wind against the sales to counterbalance your weight, or 'somebody else was there to help.'

    Yesterday I thought of a water-bag, hung from one side of the boat. Use it only after you've capsized: a tube-shape bag hanging just below the water line when the boat is standing upright.

    Because it's underwater, it won't weigh anything until you try to get into the canoe from the other side. Then the boat will roll, the bag will come out of the water, and become ballast. I weigh 200lb, so I reckon the the bag would need to weigh the same - ie 20 imperial gallons/24 US gallons/90 litres.

    Overkill? Maybe. But until I can work out a way to fully recover from a capsize, I can't really take the boat out into the bay.

    Some people have already suggested an outrigger - but that would completely change the boat.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
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    64
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    Default

    I think there may be a strong hint in this part of the boat's description

    This boat is only suitable for people with a reasonable sailing background.


    I'll let other sailors comment on what that really means in practice.
    regards from Canada

    ian

  6. #5
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
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    Default

    Hell yes, I was totally warned about that. Actually, I don't find it too hard to sail (30 minutes total so far, 10 of which were in a 15 mph wind, which was great). The chances of capsizing in the mostly gentle sub-10mph winds around here are very slim. But it could happen, and equally importantly, I can't have fun in stronger winds until I can recover from a capsize.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Helensburgh
    Posts
    5,829

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    I think there may be a strong hint in this part of the boat's description

    This boat is only suitable for people with a reasonable sailing background.


    I'll let other sailors comment on what that really means in practice.
    Unfortunately that does not prevent a capsize, inexperience, a gybe gone wrong, an unforeseen wind shift etc and over it goes, been there and done that.
    CHRIS

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    'Delaide, Australia
    Age
    60
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    8,117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStammers View Post
    Hell yes, I was totally warned about that. Actually, I don't find it too hard to sail (30 minutes total so far, 10 of which were in a 15 mph wind, which was great). The chances of capsizing in the mostly gentle sub-10mph winds around here are very slim. But it could happen, and equally importantly, I can't have fun in stronger winds until I can recover from a capsize.
    Thanks for the email Tim!

    Its kindof a knack rather than requiring a lot of strength.

    Main idea is to fall into the boat as quickly as possible ... Try and keep your head or feet away from the tiller as you do so it doesn't get broken ... it's the only vulnerable thing in the cockpit.

    The more wind .. the easier it is because the wind will stop the boat from falling over on top of you. I'm sure you will get the knack. Side entry only ... stern or bow entry won't work very well or at all with the rig in place. Boat must be across wind - h wind with the wind from the side ... any other direction is wasted effort ... maybe you were too tired after the other attempts?

    Stronger the wind the better it works.

    So lets go into the detail from the beginning.

    At the beginning don't cleat the mizzen .. you need the boat to sit across the wind with the wind coming from the side you are in the water

    You can change the angle by holding onto the boat from the water at different places along the side. Move forward and the nose goes more toward the wind. Back and the nose goes away from the wind.

    I am not sure if you are having physical problem getting in or the boat is recapsizing.

    The boat has a lot of water in it so the deck is not far above the water. Push down on the deck and kick to surge so your stomach is on the deck. then swivel to get your legs on the side deck to and fall into the boat immediately.

    It is all one movement ... not really divided up. UP as far as you can, swivel, fall. I usually end up on my back like a whacked cockroach.

    Don't get into the cockpit with controlled action ... just fall into the water already inside the cockpit. then sit up and start balancing the boat to adjust the mizzen.

    Do NOT pull the mizzen really tight ... give the sheet about a foot of slack.

    If the mizzen is pulled tight the boat will point into the wind and the wind will come from one side then the other side meaning you have to move around a lot because of unpredictable balance.

    With a bit of play in the mizzen the wind will only come from one side. And you have a much more predictable wind direction.

    Practice the righting with an onshore wind again and again. Anything except wind from side is useless. It is not a precise angle .. a bit nose upwind or a bit nose downwind is OK but basically across the wind.


    I find it depends a lot on my strength at the time. I'm overweight now and haven't sailed for a bit so I will have to get strong again before I get into the Goose!!!

    Push ups and lifting light hand weights make a huge difference a few times a week. 3 to 5lb weights 30 to 50 reps. OR regular sailing gives nice upper body strength for capsize re-entry.

    After you are in the boat then you focus entirely on balance initially until the boat is settled. Then think about the mizzen

    Then you can bail. Big bucket that fits under the front corner of the cockpit deck.

    Hope this helps

    MIK

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
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    Default Fab, will have another go

    This looks great, thanks Mik. I will have another go next weekend, and report back.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Helensburgh
    Posts
    5,829

    Default

    We used to use a wooden shovel on the skiffs to bail the water, much faster but then you might not have the room to do that. No self bailers? get it moving down wind a bit and self bailers will empty it once the water level gets a bit low. VJ's and Skates didn't present a problem unless the deck leaked!
    CHRIS

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
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    24

    Default Success!!

    Well, actually two steps forward, one step back.

    I built a temporary water ballast system. I really appreciated Mik's advice, but want a foolproof way of getting back in, that didn't rely on technique or muscle. I'm far from the ideal shape for this: 6'4 and skinny (190lb) so a lot of me to get into the boat, and not a huge amount of muscle.

    The ballast bags worked perfectly. They took me about 6 hours to make, cost about USD50, and weigh about 90lb when full.

    I rigged the sails on the boat, swam out with it to deep water, deployed the bags, and climbed in over the opposite side. As easy as climbing over a brick wall. Took about two minutes to deploy the bags, and less than a minute to empty them and stow them back in the cockpit. Three sausage shaped bags, hung horizontally, just below the surface of the water. They fill themselves with water.

    That in was a very gentle wind, maybe 3-4mph. Then I sailed for 45 minutes, and of course: capsized. No problem I thought, just use the bags again. But second time around, I couldn't do it. I think the problem was that the wind had picked up a little. Still very gentle, only about 5-6mph at a rough guess. But I couldn't handle the boat in the water - it blew over before I could get the bags deployed. That happened twice. I was also bailing it out each time, so I was getting tired. Then I let the mainsail down (I thought that would help), but I got the rigging snarled. So I gave up, and got towed home.


    But all this is still progress. It's a joy to sail.

    Next step: learn how to handle the boat when I'm in bobbing about in the water next to it. Either I learn how to get it to stay pointed into the wind, or learn how to use the wind against the sails when you're trying to climb back in. I'll re-read Mik's instructions, and maybe practice this handling part in shallow water (a lot less tiring.)

  12. #11
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    Jul 2013
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    New York, United States
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    Default In case Mik's reading this

    I've just re-read Mik's instructions. The Whole Point is Not to Point the Boat Into the Wind. Right, got it at last.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    'Delaide, Australia
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    60
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    8,117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStammers View Post
    I've just re-read Mik's instructions. The Whole Point is Not to Point the Boat Into the Wind. Right, got it at last.
    Yes! That's the big secret.

    The early sailing books laboriously went into detail with the wrong advice about how essential it was to point the boat into the wind.

    Like most racers I spent the first year or so capsizing. I found it was really bad advice to point the boat into the wind when righting from capsize.

    We just get into the business of getting the boat up and that process IN ITSELF turns the boat around enough (but not too much) to get the boat upright and not so much that it wobbles from side to side as the wind comes from one side then the other.

    After sailing for a year I finally realised that nobody except books and some sailing instructors actually followed the advice.

    Keeping the boat side on to the wind is the first concept to grasp to allow capsize recovery and re-entry in most types of interesting sailboats.

    Best wishes to all
    MIK

  14. #13
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
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    Default TEMPORARY outrigger

    Thanks to Mik and others for the comments. I waited until I had something useful to report back. I'm posting this in case it helps somebody else.

    Having slept on it and thought hard about Mik's instructions, I practiced solo recovery again. In a light wind, about 6 mph. Total failure.

    So I built a folding outrigger - for use *only when recovering*. Drop the mainsail, fit the outrigger, climb in, raise the sail, put the outrigger back in the cockpit, and you're away again. Admittedly, I only practiced doing that once, but it was easy and pretty quick. And the foam float makes a nice seat in quiet winds. Maybe one day I'll be able to recover without the outrigger, but for now, it'll do fine.

    Spoil Beth with a permanent outrigger? Never!

  15. #14
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
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    Default

    Thanks to Mik and others for the comments. I waited until I had something useful to report back. I'm posting this in case it helps somebody else.

    Having slept on it and thought hard about Mik's instructions, I practiced solo recovery again. In a light wind, about 6 mph. Total failure.

    So I built a folding outrigger - for use *only when recovering*. Drop the mainsail, fit the outrigger, climb in, raise the sail, put the outrigger back in the cockpit, and you're away again. Admittedly, I only practiced doing that once, but it was easy and pretty quick. And the foam float makes a nice seat in quiet winds. Maybe one day I'll be able to recover without the outrigger, but for now, it'll do fine.

    Spoil Beth with a permanent outrigger? Never!

    Best to all

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