"Woodbark takes a swim"

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by woodbark, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. woodbark

    woodbark Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    And I'm not very good at it, so my pfd is on the minute I step on board. It so happened, on this particular day I chose to use a smaller device. This was not a wise move as I found out when I tried reaching the capsized centreboard. I'm only 5'5" and with the low buoyancy from the small pfd it was not impossible. My brother wore a similar device and is the same height but 5 years younger so .....guess who reached the board?

    The next challenge, the mast refused to pop out of the water, main & jib sheets were free but it refused to lift. Two factors, my brother is abt 165lbs and the bottom of the hull is full faced to the wind and I don't even have enough buoyancy to push up on the mast. We were just getting ready to try and swing the cockpit to windward when some friendly power boaters offered to help raise the mast, 12" up and she just went straight up like a good thing.

    How did we capsize? we all know the answer to that and it was the classic one as described by a fella by the name of Bradley writing on how to be a better C14 sailor in "Heavy Weather" This is what he writes:
    Keep the boat on it's feet Keel boats like to be heeled.... Capri 14.2's don't. Try to keep the heel angle to no more than 10 degrees when beating to weather. Hike out, ease the sheets, ask for divine guidance, whatever, but .....avoid large heeling angles. The reason is that when the boat heels, the force vector from the sails will try to turn the boat upwind. And trying to stop a round-up with rudder won't be as effective as you might expect because most of the rudder will be out of the water. A round-up in a puff can happen in a heartbeat and if the boat flops onto the opposite tack the windward jib can capsize you. And there you have it folks! our classic flop!

    My lessons learned, since I'm not interested in racing at this time:
    1. Pay attention when you're sailing.
    2. Keep your heeling to maximum 10 degrees.
    3. Reef the Mainsail if winds are heavy.
    4. Furl the jib if winds are heavy.
    5. If you are sitting in your normal position you will be just aft of the jib sheet car and using the tiller extension (hiking stick). Reduce weather helm by shifting your weight aft a few inches, or raise the centerboard 2-3 inches to swing it aft a few degrees.
    6. Wear a pfd that will keep me well up out of the water.
    7. Install a mast floatation device.
    Additional suggestions are very welcome, I want to be a happy sailor not a wind surfer!
  2. woodbark

    woodbark Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Forgot to mention

    It's all coming back to me now (slowly) ... Capsize was to the port side, it so happens the 4hp outboard mounted to the factory mount is also on the port side (my guess it weighs abt 40lbs). Could this have been a contributing factor to our difficulty in getting her back up?

    For those interested, we had no trouble getting the motor started after the capsize. It is 2-stroke single cyl. with carb. and the the fuel vent & stop-cock were both shut off before the capsize so there was no fuel loss or water contamination problems!.......Like I said, ....... it's all slowly coming back to me ..... I seem to have a faint recollection that the hull was floating so high out of the water, the motor may not have even been submerged, the cuddy and contents was completely dry.
  3. JGM

    JGM Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hey George,
    I kinda doubt it. The motor was situated very closely aligned with the righting fulcrum. More likely, and this is just speculation, I think the capsized boat was rotating counter-clockwise, propelled by the wind against the upturned hull, and the sails were acting as aqua-planes trying to scoop up water as the boat moved. The weight of water holding down the sails could have been hundreds of pounds with lots more leverage working against the weight you and your brother could apply to the bottom of the centerboard. I'm thinking you're pretty dang lucky the boat didn't go turtle, and even luckier to have someone boaters come along and help.

    Isn't this fun! :)


Share This Page