getting back in my sunfish

Serpant

New Member
Thread starter #1
This weekend after sailing in great windy conditions I finally succeeded in losing my grip on the tiller resulting in a capsize.my family now arrived something like the Spanish Armada. As I was wearing a good life jacket and the water was warm the only problem was getting back into the boat.
I was only about 200 yds from shore with the wind in that direction so was finally able to reach shallow water.and walk to the beach.The question
is how does an 83 year old get onto a sunfish.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#2
If you have a Medicare supplement, most plans offer a free membership at most gyms thru the Silver Sneakers program . Doing great for these old bones. Hopefully something like that is available for and near you. Otherwise...hmmmm.....sail in shallower waters when you flip?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#3
You might want to sail with a crew to help get you back aboard in case of a capsize. Otherwise there is no magic bullet to get yourself back in. You’ve got to pull yourself either into the cockpit or over the stern, using the bridle as a handhold.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#4
Plus...something like a rope ladder or something, I don't see working. Unless you're back into the cockpit fairly quickly, at least for me, it's easy just to swamp the boat and pull it on over you, if you're taking your time getting back in. Strong winds on the windward side, obviously counteract that to a huge affect. Climbing up the transom is tough for me. Gotta grab that cockpit lip or the other side of the boat, for a hand hold. Then there's stepping on the daggerboard as you start to go over, keeping your feet mostly dry. I've tried that in controlled, steady winds...but....eh...must be a technique for the 20 yr olds
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#5
Yup, it's trying to grab the cockpit lip on the "far side" of the cockpit that's the challenge—even for 74-year-olds. :(

I've added a one-foot-long "starter cord" to one side of the cockpit. It has a wood handle, which would float a few inches closer in the "new" cockpit water. (Although there's a 50-50 chance of having to swim to the "other" side to use it, depending).

That floating handle should be "reachable", but attaching that handle has prevented capsizes for over a year :confused: so I can't count on its effectiveness—yet. :cool:

.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#6
We had a thread on this very topic a while ago. But as I vaguely (!) recall, there aren't any really good solutions to make getting back in easier if you don't have the upper-body strength anymore.
Going to the gym, or exercising at home, is good for anyone, anytime, as mixmkr already suggested.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#7
Howdy

83?! Awesome! One suggestion I saw recently from an experienced Masters racer was to remove the PFD to make it easier to slide back on board. I have mixed feelings about that. You might try swinging a leg up, hooking a foot on the coaming and rolling onboard, use your core vs depending totally on upper body. Might also be able to reach and grab the mast to swing aboard, saw the Father In Law do that around age 74.

Another was at one point to abandon trying to get back on board but hold onto the rudder/bridle/sheet and sail back to shore or shallow water, dragging behind the boat.

I'll send the Skipper out to test all these theories later :)

Cheers
Kent and Skipper
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#8
Howdy

83?! Awesome! One suggestion I saw recently from an experienced Masters racer was to remove the PFD to make it easier to slide back on board. I have mixed feelings about that. You might try swinging a leg up, hooking a foot on the coaming and rolling onboard, use your core vs depending totally on upper body. Might also be able to reach and grab the mast to swing aboard, saw the Father In Law do that around age 74. Another was at one point to
abandon trying to get back on board but hold onto the rudder/bridle/sheet and sail back to shore or shallow water, dragging behind the boat. I'll send the Skipper out to test all these theories later :) Cheers Kent and Skipper
I watched as a passenger was dragged through about .6 of a mile of cold New Hampshire water. Though big and chubby, upon crashing ashore, she couldn't lift herself from her position from a wooden race-scow sailboat. :confused: A sailing friend, who'd built up his back muscles for a sailboat race to Bermuda, held onto a post, kneeled on the dock, and used one arm to lift her (by her life jacket) onto the dock! :eek:

The August temperature of the lake is now 82°, so it should be safe for such "self-rescue". :)


.
 
#10
While I have not tried this...

You might be able to tie a temporary bowline loop (or even a quick overhand knot loop) into the free end of the halyard and use it as a foot loop to give yourself a boost. If the halyard is not in a great place for you to climb on, you could likely run a loop from just about any fitting on the deck.

Using a long line on your bow (for docking), you could temporarily pass it around something to give you a line where you want it (mast, halyard cleat, daggerboard, sheet cleat, cockpit hook - if not removed ;^), even the the bridle that the stern end of the sheet clips onto should work in a pinch.

Hope this helps.
 
Thread starter #11
This heavy rung rope ladder attached to the added grab handle works for me. Length of hanging vertical about 3Ft but depends on leg length etc. I tried out using dilibirate capsize got back in boat. A good two handed pull and strong leg push did the trick. Try to get your wt well into the boat to prevent capsize towards you
 

Attachments

#12
Hey Serpant! More power to you my friend but I'm afraid you're going to have to find a way to strengthen your arms & shoulders. You've got to be able to reach the near side cockpit edge and pull while & sliding yourself aboard. Has to happen pretty quickly, too, or the boat will have a tendency to roll over on you. Make sure the bow is pointed into the wind. If you're agile enough you can angle the boat to get yourself on the upwind side and use the wind to help you lever on board. Keep on truckin'!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#14
I would put a hiking strap in, it would be a shorter reach to grab or as pointed out before, climb over the stern.
If you have an inspection port at the stern, you could keep a stirrup ( ) on a length of line stored inside—as a step-up aid. A couple of Harken handholds would help slide across a wet deck. APS has them.

41cXjbLsUXL._SX466_[1].jpg

Hey Serpant! More power to you my friend but I'm afraid you're going to have to find a way to strengthen your arms & shoulders. You've got to be able to reach the near side cockpit edge and pull while & sliding yourself aboard. Has to happen pretty quickly, too, or the boat will have a tendency to roll over on you. Make sure the bow is pointed into the wind. If you're agile enough you can angle the boat to get yourself on the upwind side and use the wind to help you lever on board. Keep on truckin'!
No need to "hit the gym" around lakes in Southeastern states: we'll find the strength... :cool:

We've got alligators! :confused:

.
 
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