Help for uprighting a capsized Catalina 14

Yesterday, on the first sail (solo) of my new 14.2, I caught a gust and capsized. I was unable to pull myself up to the center board, but thankfully, a motor boater stopped by to help upright it. Once the boat was righted, I tried getting up using the home made loop step hanging off the top of the transom, but was unable to get in- the rope kept sliding to the side of the boat and my lower leg submarined under the boat. I had to use the motor boat's ladder to get out of the water and back into the Capri.

So last night I did some searching and found this thread. This morning I practiced capsize recovery with the bow tied to my dock and the stern to an anchor. Anita's method worked perfectly. Tossed the lower jib sheet over the top (took several tries) and was able to use that to walk up the sideways bottom of the boat to get it upright. You dont't really need to walk yourself up too much, but you need to wait a few seconds while hanging on for gravity to do it's thing.

To get in, I modified my rope loop step to route it through one of the drain holes. I attached it to a U-bolt was already mounted on the transom meant for a docking line, but you could also tie it to the hiking strap.


Very Senior Member
Maybe this is a stupid newbie question, but why not lower the main before righting the boat?
It's a dangerous nightmare under there with all the lines etc. Stuff that was neatly tucked away while you were sailing is now all over the place, just trying to snag you and cause problems. A loose halyard is even more problematic.

On my old C-15, I found that sealing the mast and boom helped quite a bit. I used silicone at all the holes/joints. I was never a fan of foam, as it might get water in it and then never get dry. Plus it adds measurable weight.

When the sail is up, and the boat is turtled, the main or jib halyard makes a good rope to pull on to get the mast back to the surface. It gives you a purchase up ( or down, as is the situation is when turtled ) so you have more leverage against what is certainly a waterlogged mast. However you have to swim under the boat to get it, and it's no longer coiled neatly at the base of the mast ( see first sentence ) so be prepared to go carefully so as to not get snared by something under there while you're sorting out a halyard to use.

It does not happen fast. You apply pressure, and wait. It will happen eventually... the old beast will begin to rotate and come up. Much slower than it went down (c: ..
My first time over, the bungee on the center board broke. Which meant the center board retracted completely up into the boat. Mine had completely turtled and at one of the more shallow sections of the lake. The mast was just stuck in the mud. I had to go under the boat, un-stick the mast, pull the mast up to the surface, while a buddy counterbalanced the boat, flip the center board back down, tie it down with a line, and then right the boat. Second problem was I didn't have the hatch tight, so the hatch had come off. Which meant the boat was over half full of water. Bailed as much as we could, put the hatch back on, bailed some more. These boats will still sail with only about 6 inches or less of free board. Was doing pretty good until a drunk in a ski boat decided to put his wake over my transom.

Completely filled me again. Luckily I was only about 100 ft from shore, was able to pull it the rest of the way in. Also, luckily DNR was patrolling and saw the whole thing, Arrested the ski boat operator, threw him in jail, and impounded the boat. I saw the ski boat again at the DNR auction the next January.

At the start of each season, I practice capsizing and righting the boat. So far have not had to do it in two years, knock on wood. Also I make sure to not let the fore sail to get back winded. I found out real quick, back wind the fore sail and then normally over you go.

wear a life preserver and carry a floatation seat. pull the mast up with mainsheet, tie the floatation seat to tip of mast to keep it afloat, swim back to boat and stand on centerboard tip. Once the mast is horizontal it should come up a lot easier. If there are two persons on can lift the masthead while the other rights boat from centerboard..