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Boat sailed off without me


I flipped over and my boat turned upside down- not sure how to keep that from happening. When I turned it upright it sailed off without me quite a ways before flipping over again and I had to swim after it. It sailed off so fast that I couldn’t even grab on to it. How can I keep this from happening again??

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Did you have the mainsheet locked in a cleat when you capsized?
Be sure to point your boat into the wind when you right it so your sail is luffing rather than filling with wind!

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen. Was there something that kept you from holding on to the boat when you flipped it upright?


New Member
I think it was just a fluke thing. If your mainsheet gets hung up around the ratchet and keeps the sail from heading into the wind it will sail just a nicely without a captain as with (in my case, much better). You would think the rudder would swing to one side so the boat would sail somewhat in a circle, but who knows. As Breeze Bender suggested, try to get the bow into the wind before righting and you should ok....although admittedly I never do that...I just right it and get ready for it to either dump me over the other side, start sailing again or sit there in irons...


Upside down?
Staff member
Yes, you want to hold on to something ALWAYS while recovering. For instance, the board, the edge/rim of the boat, the bow, or the sheet.


Active Member
ALWAYS point the bow into the wind BEFORE trying to right the boat, and do your best to keep it facing the wind til you get back into the boat; this should/will keep the boat from trying to run you down. I believe it's called "safety position," with the sail depowered and just flapping around. This can be a bit tricky in shifty wind conditions. And hang onto the boat like grim death!


Well-Known Member
What velocity of wind were you sailing in? (I agree with matrix).

Ten mph/knots or less is a good start.


Well-Known Member
All good advise....especially pointing into the wind. Consider the category of boating safety too. You certainly wouldn't want the boat to sail away triple the distance, much less into other boats, etc.
You wouldn't sail in 50 degree water without a life jacket and proper wet/dry suits. Maintaining contact with the boat at all times is a sub catagory.