repeated capsizing

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by MLAW6993, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. MLAW6993

    MLAW6993 New Member

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    Hey all,
    New to sailing, bought my first boat- a Capri 14.2 (1996). It has a hobie bob on it for anti-turtling and I have been reading forums here and anywhere I can find on tips and such but I still have a few questions.

    I've set up a MinnKota 30 for getting in and off the ramp. Since I'm new, I don't trust my ability at all at this point for getting in and out of the water without this assistance. But this leads to two questions. Is the weight of a 27M battery and the motor itself too much dead weight affecting handling? That is, should I stow this up under the hatch while once I get away from the ramp? And two, is the motor in the water affecting handling under sail? I've capsized a LOT and finding it hard to believe it's all me. I have noticed it's helpful to raise the rudder when motoring. If the motor 'shoots' at the rudder you'll think you've entered a swirling vortex of doom. Physics in action...

    So about that capsizing: The first time out on Saturday had the family with me and we weren't doing great but starting to get a feel for it when a regatta going on suddenly came toward us. I had not seen the buoy for their outer turn on my end of the lake. Usually they are further away from where we were currently practicing. Anyway, I made a quick turn and we got out of the way pretty fast and the next thing I know over we went. Quite a shock for the wife and teenage daughter and sucked the fun right out of it for them. No big deal we got righted headed home. But I was determined to figure things out and decided to go out to a different lake on Sunday with more room. Bigger water, choppier waves, more wind... less than ideal to be sure but I saw other boats and made a go of it. I turned it over 6 times and spent over an hour IN the water at one point, too exhausted to get back in boat. Twice I went over without the sails even up. WHAT in the world is going on? I'm not exactly discouraged; I expect a learning curve but what can I do to shorten that up.

    Specific questions:
    • How can I find out what the wind actually was YESTERDAY? I know what the forecast said but want to compare that to actual. Resources anyone??
    • How much wind is too much wind for newb?
    • Is there a hand-held economical 'wind-o-meter' that is reliable/useful?
    • I have a rope ladder for assistance getting back in but the real trouble spot is not having good hand pulls inside the boat to get up over the edge. Anyone have a method that works? I really don't want to go the route of affixing a hard ladder to the back if I can help it.
    Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Any and all criticism welcome and appreciated.
     
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  2. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    The trolling motor isn't doing much except adding drag when its hanging off the back turned off.
    the battery needs to be placed to prevent it from adversely affecting the boat, and at the back is the wrong place. Most likely it needs to be forward of the mast, centered as low as possible and tied in so it can't shift.

    Lock the motor straight fore-aft and steer with the boat's rudder, not the trolling motor.

    The first way to prevent flipping is when you feel the boat start to go over IMMEDIATELY let out the main sheet to de-power the sail.

    For getting back in without a hard mount ladder the best idea I have is making a rope ladder that ties to the mast. There are inherent problems here with having something you can easily get tangled in as the boat goes over. But it can provide handholds all the way to the mast.

    How much wind is too much changes depending on the person and boat handling skills.

    If you are flipping over without even having the sail up you definitely need to get in person assist from someone to point out what you are doing wrong. I can't even think of how you'd do that without trying. Maybe having that trolling battery placed badly....
     
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  3. MLAW6993

    MLAW6993 New Member

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    Thanks for your response, some good info there.

    Following up I found a site at intellicast.com that does past observations of weather. Below are some observations in the area I was in according to the site. My guess would be that wind on a big open area like a lake surrounded by hills might even be a little higher than that observed at the weather station. Either way, 12-14 mph with 20+ mph gusts looks too strong to learn in. What sort of wind speed do you guys look for as ideal?
    upload_2016-10-18_9-16-19.png

    Any thoughts on ways to secure the battery behind the hatch are welcomed. At a glance I'm wondering if maybe gluing down a couple runners of pressure treated wood might be sufficient to screw some brackets or tie downs.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. gregwcoats

    gregwcoats Member

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    Is the centerboard down and locked. Also, never cleat the sails.
     
  5. MLAW6993

    MLAW6993 New Member

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    centerboard was locked by means of lines cleated, it was definitely down when capsize occurred.

    As for cleating sheets, I can't imagine just holding the line and controlling the sail that way. I would've been beat to death. I keep the sheet in my hand, yes, but did not seem practical to leave it uncleated the whole time. I'll try to pay more attention to that next time I go out.

    I was hoping for some feedback on ideal or recommended wind conditions for a green learning environment.
     
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  6. Al W

    Al W Member

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    First I would say to some starting out, if the winds are gusting to 20-stay home. Ideal for beginner would be IMHO 8 to 12 knot breeze with few gusts. A gust of 15 will heal the boat over and the sheet line must be quickly let out or head up more into the wind allowing the sail to dump the wind. I have some good sailing experience and I have never gone over in my Capri. Let go of the sheet lines and it has always come off the steep heel.
     
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  7. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    He said he's dumping it without even having the sail up...

    That's a basic how to keep the boat upright issue.
     
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  8. gregwcoats

    gregwcoats Member

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    I sail solo most of the time and head to the launch ramp when the wind reaches about 10 knots, I want to sail not swim. If your lake sailing the wind can change direction and speed at any time, which is why you should try not to cleat the lines, you may not have time to uncleat them when a gust hits. I sail on the ocean, which is almost always steady wind from one direction.
     
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  9. ross ellena

    ross ellena Member

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    The C14 has a round bottom & is pretty "tender". That is, it heels and capsizes fairly easily when not balanced by the skipper &
    crew. Especially when the board is up! I've seen boats capsized at the dock without the sails up if , when the board is up, someone steps onto the boat without regard to keeping weight centered. Your problem does seem a bit extreme?
    Of course, be sure that the drain plug is closed so that you do not have a lot of H2O sloshing in the bilge.
    With sails up and sailing single handed, or with crew, the in jib is big enough to capsize the boat in a gust, even with the main eased. So I suggest sailing in about 8 mph wind max. and keeping the board down until you get this figured out.
    To right the boat after capsize of course you will need to have the board down (extended).
    To get back into the boat from the water, I carry a loop of line in my pocket to hang over the rudder head and climb over the transom.
    P.S. Three newbies plus motor and battery is quite a load for c14.
    Cheers, RRE
     
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  10. MLAW6993

    MLAW6993 New Member

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    I was hoping to get out for another go yesterday but winds were in the 10-14 mph range again so I passed. I did however get the battery situated under deck ahead of the mast so I'm hoping that helps. I'm convinced the major source of my issues though is with too strong of wind.

    Thanks all for your input and feedback.
     
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  11. 8dust

    8dust New Member

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    My battery is just inside hatch on a wood stand with a clampdown bracket from autoparts store. I would think any farther forward would be a real pain to remove/install & charge.

    I'm a lake guy and only dream about how predictable the days were long ago on the ocean. For an extra chalange, my lake is U shaped. My favorite boat accessory are a pair of 8" x 1/4" telltales cut from a plastic grocery bag. Tie them to your shrouds, 1 per side, just above head height. Super easy to see the wind direction and intensity. I'm not 20 anymore, and IMO there's no reason to be up on the side all healed over. I'm not racing anyone, just looking for some peace.... KEEP THE MRS. DRY.... If you start to feel the least bit uncomfortable, let out your mainsheet, and keep your head down (rest of the crew too).

    How you tipped, twice, with the sails down I'm not sure. I did let mine roll sideways off the trailer, but I blame the wife who denies mistaking the gas for the brake. Sounds like you just maybe need to be more conscious of staying toward the centerline of the boat. I wonder too if your mast float may have actually taken on some water and made it extra top heavy. I use something different, but I imagine those BBobs are hollow.... Even a gallon or two at the top of the mast like that would make it super unstable... just a thought.

    Good luck, and calm seas (lake)
    Fred
     
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  12. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Hello!
    Just bought a Version 1 Capri the first week of October and had her out 3 times before the season in Chicago ended. Global warming works for me! Am a former Catalina 22 owner, 5 years on Lake Michigan. Have read all the chats and would like to address a few related subjects here.......
    1. Seems like the smallest electric motor is my best option. All advice listed is great but I am curious about one thing. Knowing there will come a day when she gets knocked over, what are the ramifications for the motor and battery?
    2. Regarding how to best reduce the chance for a knockdown........
    a. Installation of reef points and roller furling jib. Then what would be the best order of precedence for reducing canvas? I imagine the
    following.......
    * Full main / jib.
    * Reef main / full jib. OR full main only? Which is best?
    * Reef main / partially furled jib.
    * Reef main only.
    b. Modifying the keel. Would adding a 20 lb weight at the bottom be worth the trouble? I know about the fixed keel version of the Capri but
    added 200 lbs and far greater depth requirements needed to float off trailer would make launching/retrieving more difficult for a guy who's working alone.
    3. When the dreaded knockdown occurs....
    a. Version 1 has no floatation devices below the seat areas, correct? Can something be added?
    b. Also saw where the cuddy opening has to be covered or the boat will flood out and sink, correct?
    c. And definately need to install the float device at the top of the mast......
    4. Motoring out from dock, then hoisting sails:
    a. Saw a picture of a Capri with a topping lift. I assume this would be a small line that could be disconnected when hoisting the main. Can't
    see how you could motor around with a boom and sail lying on the cockpit floor!
    b. My C-22 had lugs on the main that enabled me to hoist much easier than feeding the bolt line up through the slot. I will see about having
    those installed when they do my reef points.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2017
  13. Al W

    Al W Member

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    Hi Aquaman
    Lots of questions! Great! I will try to answer as many as I can.
    Version 1, same boat as mine. Love sailing it.
    1: Small electric is way to go with battery in forward compartment. When the 14.2 tips over ( never did it by the way) with a float on the mast top the boat will not sink if sealed. The seats will not even get wet it floats so high. So electric motor stays up out of the water. Floats almost like tipping it on a dry beach. Sides hold it out of the water. There is a pic on the somewhere.
    2: Heavy gusty winds I use full main only. Never cleat the sheet line, get ready to let go in the gust and boat stays up. If you were to sail in heavy winds all the time then adding reef points would be fine.
    3: If you stick a mirror in the front storage area and look back under the seats you should see air bags, like plastic empty water jugs. Most boats have them, so yes there is flotation. But check. yes Cutty will let water in if you turtle. Make a hatch as water tight as possible. Yes a float on mast head is insurance.
    4: simple to add a topping lift. I used 3/16" line, left long for sailing and shorten with hook when motoring or on mooring. I also bought slugs on EBay and added them to the sail. Just sewed them to the track rope on the sail. Now I can lower very easily without having to take the sail off. I have a sail cover that goes on at the dock.
    Think that answers all.
    Happy Sailing......winter here in the northeast
    Al
    I like the mast head float pic I attached
    IMG_4886.PNG

     
  14. Al W

    Al W Member

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    Oh by the way, I forgot to add that if you add slugs to the sail, you need to get a second mast track stopper to put just above the opening that allows the rope or slogs to go in so the slugs do not drop out when you lower the sail.
     
  15. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Hello
     
  16. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Hello Again. This computer is driving me nuts! Accidentally put in the wrong registration address so I had trouble getting on board here. Anyway I will put this group of questions on the table for further discussion:
    1. So my version 1 has a hollow transom. Saw Catalina Direct has a nice motor mount for $110. It sets the motor back from the transom. Connected to boat with 6 through bolts. Now when you tighten the nuts you're squeezing the transom. I'm considering just making up two wood mounting plates to spread the load and clamping the motor directly to these, hopefully that would help. Also wondering if it's worth the $ to buy that mount. It would put the motor behind and below the traveler line which would be nice.
    2. Have read that version 1 boats have the plywood stringers below deck. Said that if these were deteriorated that could be a big problem, I can do an inspection with flashlight and mirror. I bought this boat for $1200 (cheap) and plan on investing substantial time and $ to make it a long term commitment. The boat is basically in good shape. Anybody know what the remedy would be for possible stringer repair?
    3. Now the sails. They are the originals, in average condition. I will upgrade to roller furling jib with reef points in the new main. About a $1600 investment that should make her far more versatile in different winds. The guy I'm working with said the jib could even be made in a 135 size for light air and then furled back as needed while underway. With my proposed set up the boat could be sitting on trailer at the marina, ready to drop in and go!
    4. A great option is the the "boomkicker". Springloads the boom against the vang pulley to hold it up. Then with slugs on the luff of the main you can motor out and raise sail on open water, not at the dock. Not to mention the sail could be flaked and bungeed to the boom for storage.
    5. Anybody know what the minimum length is per side for the jib sheet? Factory sells stock length of 38', that seems like a lot. The less line to deal with the better.

    Also 2 other things to mention:
    1. Catalina Direct website is a great resource for checking out hardware.
    2. I have been also talking with a sailmaker in the St Louis area who was quite helpful in discussing proposed improvements. I don't want to bail out of this transmission to forward his contact info so I will do so later......

    Now I have read that the newer versions of the Capri are superior in many ways to the first. I grabbed this boat for a great deal and because the seller was a 5 hour drive from my home. I want to remain optimistic that once my $2,000 investment has been made into her I will have something that will give me enjoyment for about 10 years to come!

    "Aquaman"
     
  17. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    You don't want to be squeezing a 2 layer fiberglass transom with an air gap. Even with the plates to spread the load you'll end up cracking the transom.

    To put on the mount for the outboard or trolling motor you need to fill the gap.
    This can possibly just be 2-part medium to high density foam poured in.
    (positioning the hull to get the foam to stay in the area desired might be "interesting")

    In addition to the transom filling, I'd still consider added plates to spread the load.

    ******************

    Regarding the jib sheet... use stock original length or longer. Making that line short reduces your ability to properly adjust the jib. Note that the sheet will be attached to the jib at midpoint of the line so half is available on either side of the mast.

    You might be tempted to use half the line and swap the line from side to side when you tack. Not a good idea at all. It will take you much longer to adjust the jib and you'll have to move forward to deal with it right at a time when you need to be handling the tiller, main sheet and jib sheet all at once.

    I'm more inclined to make lines longer or add lines rather than try to shorten or delete lines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  18. Al W

    Al W Member

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    As fhhuber said the transom can be filled with foam. I would do it differently though. My boat is wrapped for the winter so I can't take pics but if you do a search on this Forum "outboard motor bracket" you will find pics of an installation of an "inspection port" in the seat area back corner by the floor not the seat back or transom. It is about 6" round. With this hole you can push "wood filler" the thickness between the outer and inner transom. Then add the motor bracket and tighten.....all solid, no squishing of foam.
    Your stringers should be ok if boat was not stored with water in it. Floor will move some but not feel soft. No easy fix.
    Jib sheet line 38' sounds correct, tied in middle to sail 19' each side sound right.
    My guess is that a new 14.2 and our models feel about the same, just better "water tight " storage area. They all sail about the same......or they would not be allowed to race together!!!
     
  19. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    While sailing in light wind and getting used to a small boat...

    After ensuring you have good stopper knots at the ends of the lines (after passing it through any eye or guide it normally runs through) you can toss any line you aren't dealing with over the side to get it out of the way.

    It is a good idea to put in the stopper knots as you raise the mast and sails.

    Not the greatest general practice to drag the lines, but it keeps things from getting tangled until you figure out where to store each line you are not working with.
     
  20. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Duly noted about the transom. Now could I get some kind of pressure injected foam that could be shot in through a small access hole in a fairly large quantity while the boat was level? If the foam was stiff maybe enough could be injected providing sufficient body to hold level in the needed area and just let the rest go where it goes. I also wish it had the larger trailer line eye on the bow like the newer versions. Mine is part of the plate that secures the forestay, a poor angle for the line to draw the boat on to the trailer. Would it be feasible to think that a boat shop could seperate the two pieces of the boat?
    They could then:
    1. Stiffen the transom properly and install the mount.
    2. Install the better bow eye.
    3. Improve the floatation system under the seats.
    4. Verify that the stringers are in good shape.
    5. Do the misc fiberglass repairs that are needed.
    6. Any other improvements that could be made which are currently part of the newer designs.

    When I'm done with this venture this boat will custom rehabbed into something to fit my long term needs. Say that I had come across a newer version in good shape it would be selling for a lot more than the $1,200 I paid for mine. And most of them I saw online were located quite far from Chicago which would have been a logistical nightmare.

    I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get this boat into top condition!
     

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