FAQ: What Should I Do To Prevent Turtling?

You can also get an elastic mainsheet to absorb the impact of a strong gust before you can release the mainsheet.
sealing the mast is not enough. Not enough flotation to keep boat from dipping the mast.

I have turtled a few sailboats. You are sailing along in total control, suddenly a very strong gust hits you and the boat goes over before you can release mainsheet. Within 1 minute mast is under water and straight down. Once it's over it's a bear pulling it out. I have never had success righting boat without outside aid. Hiking strap, righting strap and all. Once over it creates suction to stay that way.

I solved the issue by taking out the CB and making one with plate steel and Bondo. Final weight was 70#. Never went over again.. The weight down under prevents it.
wanhanlu - I like your steel CB idea. I sometimes sail in light winds with a trolling motor and two deep cycle batteries resting just inside the cuddy, wired in parallel. That's about 90 pounds at the waterline. Do you think that'd be just as stable if I got surprised by a sudden heavy gust?


Upside down?
Staff member
A contrarian opinion:
Gusts are not sudden, but one needs to look ahead while going upwind to see them coming.
Assuming one pays attention, one can sheet out for the gust (and hike), or one can let go of the sheet altogether, if necessary.

Now, if the captain wants to enjoy tea and crumpets with a loved one, a heavy centerboard might make sense. Presumably, that would make your boat 'illegal' for serious competition.
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Well-Known Member
Take it from a Lightning sailor: a steel centreboard is a very bad idea. The only thing it's good for is hitting rocks at slow to moderate speed. The Lightning centreboard weighs around 50 kg and doesn't add any significant stability. It's just useless weight and a pain to handle. And it doesn't keep the boat from turtling, in which case it turns into a guillotine blade.
I had a turtle the very first time I sailed my Capri 14.2. It took almost an hour where I was in the water which was 60 degrees and the help of 2 men in a bass boat to get her upright. The very next day, my Hobie Bob came in the mail.
I made a mount and installed it. I sailed it the next weekend solo again and made too sharp of a turn and capsized it. This time I was back in the boat within 60 seconds. That Bob is the ticket!
A young friend (age 11) just bought a capri omega 14. She has no center board. I see this forum has gone on for quite a few years. I wonder if any of you owners could post demensions of the center board and even pictures if you have them. It would be much appreciated.