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How fast does the 14.2 turtle?

Winston29

Active Member
This is a silly question, because the results could vary widely depending on conditions, like wind speed, wave height, etc, so I just mean in general how long...

One day, when I get around to it, I'm going to tie my Capri up at the dock, with the mast float removed, and tip it over, just to see how fast it goes turtle on me.
I'll tie a length of rope to the masthead so it doesn't go all the way upside-down before I can save it.

I don't waste a lot of time getting my boat back upright after it capsizes, so I'm wondering (hoping) I can do away with the heavy, ugly thing.
I mainly use it because the water where I sail is ridiculously shallow and has a super muddy bottom that likes to grab masts and hold on tight.

I get that it's easy, cheap insurance against turtling, but I've read many, many times that the added weight up high, increases the likelihood that I'll capsize in the first place.

I'm just curious what other 14.2 owners have experienced when capsizing their boats.
 

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FreeRide

New Member
Before last weekend, it had been awhile for me. Granted last weekend Free Ride only went on its side. But it took a few seconds, and I had about a second to realize I was going over and still had time to slide into the water. In that instance I was solo and got caught by a wind shift and mild gust (10-12 knots) mid-gybe. I was pleased I got the boat back on its feet in short order.
In a instance a several years back, we were trying to get out to a race course in ~25 knots of wind with gusts. I was trying the short traveler with knots to keep it centered for the first time. It wouldn't point worth a damn. The vang was insufficient to keep the leech trimmed and the boom was flogging around mightily. As soon as I got it to nose up into the wind, it slammed over to the other tack and slammed into the water. In that case it went from upright to full turtle with the mast buried 5 feet into mud in about 2 seconds. We stood it up and restarted 3 times before we gave up trying to actually sail away. We finally stood it up and slowly reached around the point, driving and trimming from the water, back out of the full wind, before climbing aboard. That incident broke a spreader and my pride. The other Capri 14 (we are both mod 1s) made it out to the course, but also had problems staying up. They lost their hatch and swamped. Fortunately, I had the prescience to duck tape my hatch in place and add air bladders inside the hull. I still drained a butt load of water from the hull.
To make a long story short (too late, I know), I have only ever turtled in high wind and laying it on its side normally feels like slow motion when it is happening. In my cases, two outta three times, I "tripped over the centerboard" during a gybe that was screwed up by a wind shift. The full turtle was due to being out in conditions that exceeded mine and the boat's capabilities.

Cheers, Karl
 

Winston29

Active Member
As soon as I got it to nose up into the wind, it slammed over to the other tack and slammed into the water. In that case it went from upright to full turtle with the mast buried 5 feet into mud in about 2 seconds.
2 seconds?? Yikes! Fortunately I plan to sail in much lighter winds.. Mellow daysailing is my main interest, to start at least.
Still, I guess I'll hang onto that ugly float a while longer. Better safe than sorry.
 

FreeRide

New Member
2 seconds?? Yikes! Fortunately I plan to sail in much lighter winds.. Mellow daysailing is my main interest, to start at least.
Still, I guess I'll hang onto that ugly float a while longer. Better safe than sorry.
Well it felt like 2 seconds. It was probably longer before the mast was burried in the mud. It was a very rough day in all respects.
However, I recommend you get out with a able-bodied crew on a nice day and practice laying it on its side and righting it. One trick I heard from my friend who swamped that day was to have the crew get into the cockpit while it is on its side. It should make it easier to right and will come up with them in the boat. I want to practice that when I have the right crew along.
 

Winston29

Active Member
My first week of ownership, I knocked it over at the dock several times, and quickly found I was grateful the previous owner had installed a rope, boarding ladder, attached at the Barney Post. I have since installed a second rope ladder, made with 1/2" rope, that runs through one of the drain holes in the transom. I plan to add a 4" length of PVC pipe to the rope to act as a more comfortable and supportive step.

The third week, a friend (a much more experienced sailor) and I got the chance to practice unintentional capsize recovery in open water and high winds, twice in the same day. It was great fun! :D I wanted to try the "scoop" method, but with me weighing 240# and him a scant 150#, it wasn't happening.
Both times he didn't even get his feet wet when we capsized. He was always able to end up straddling the high side of the boat, and right it without going for a swim.

I found the 14.2 so ridiculously easy to get back upright, I found myself laughing out-loud when it just popped back up with almost no effort on my part. Getting back in, on the other hand, proved to be a "little" more difficult.
 

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stevenwp2

New Member
Man, I have been skeptical hearing how fast these things turtle... No more. Winston, I'm wondering if you took the float off the mast of your 14.2. I got knocked over completely for the first time yesterday and could not believe how fast she turtled (realistically about 8-10 seconds) in about 12 feet of water and there was no way I was getting her righted by myself. I got to the centerboard before she turtled and pulling myself up (I'm 220#) about halfway out fo the water seemed to do nothing, presumably because the mast was already filling with water. Humbling experience and big thank you to the chase boat at Ocala Sailing Club's 2019 Sunset Harbor Challenge Around The Lake Regatta.

Also, as far as spraying closed cell foam in top of the mast as mentioned elsewhere, indeed, it provides no real buoyancy per se, but does stop water from entering the mast. I'll be doing so but also looking at a 420 mast float. ;-)
 

Winston29

Active Member
Thanks for the report, Stevenwp2. No, I haven't tested it without the float, and now maybe I won't bother. :D
My mast came with foam injected into the masthead, but since the previous owner installed the float, I'm guessing the foam didn't have much effect.
 

stevenwp2

New Member
Yeah, having the float probably works great. I struggle with the concept of weight-aloft on a boat I'm racing, weighing under 500 pounds... The guys surrounding me are not using shackles on halyards on 2,000lb+ boats to reduce weight. YIKES! But if it comes down to turtling or being slightly less competitive... pretty easy decision. ;-) I think I'll shoot some foam in the mast, tip her over and see what happens. I'll have to rig some kind of ladder system as well since I really struggled to get back in the boat, never doing so on my own. I like this float system:

 

Winston29

Active Member
A plastic, 5 gallon water bottle! That's priceless! I wouldn't have the courage to take that out in daylight, when someone might see me. :p

My 14.2 came with a (slightly) sleeker-looking RS Quest float, so I was spared the embarrassment of having the Hobie Bob atop my mast. :D

I'm also curious about the issue of having weight aloft, but so far I haven't noticed any ill effects.
 

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caprintx

Member
Winston - I'm no maritime engineer, but can't imagine the weight of that float having ANY affect on performance in 99% of casual sailing scenarios.

The thought of going inverted while sailing solo is my worst nightmare, especially as the temps start to go down for the winter.

I may try those inflatable tube mast floats. I have a Hobie "Baby Bob" in the garage, but never found a mounting solution I like for it.
 

Winston29

Active Member
It's not performance I'm concerned about. It's extra weight aloft, pulling on the mast when the boat is heeled over. Some feel that the extra weight increases the likelihood the boat will capsize, and that without the float it wouldn't be an issue.. Then again, those people might not own a 14.2, so they're just voicing their opinion based on their own experiences with their particular type of boat.

For me, capsizing where I sail, the water is very shallow and the bottom is a sticky, silty, muddy mess, that grabs masts and won't let go.
A guy I know got less than 6" of the mast on his RS700 stuck in the mud, and it took 4 people to get it unstuck...... And this was at the dock where we were all standing on solid ground. :eek:

One day, just for fun, I plan to remove the float at the dock, hand onto my topping lift/line, and knock the boat over to see just how long it takes.
I hope to get a video of it so I can post it on YT to help others know just how quickly it happens.
 
My 14.2 turtles in under 15 seconds when capsized. Once I put the Bob on, it was a breeze to right it after a capsize. I needed help to right the boat when turtled.
 

drm901

New Member
While it seemed a long time, I agree it probably turtled in under 15 seconds. I had some time to react, but was too surprised by the unexpected wind gust to react. Just coming out of the marina with nice winds, looking to head out into the lake, and surprise, surprise. Power boater helped me right it. I've since foamed in the mast but I haven't turtled it since the eventful 3 hour tour.
 

Winston29

Active Member
You should try it out. Everything I’ve read suggests that adding foam to the inside of the mast does nothing at all.
 

drm901

New Member
I read the same thing, after I did it. You know how it is; it won't hurt and it may help. If it just gave you another 5 seconds, that would be a 33% improvement!
 

caprintx

Member
I mashed a dollar store pool noodle down the mast of my Laser just for the heck of it. I should do the same to my Capri because, hey, it's only a dollar.
 

caprintx

Member
Doh! You're right Wave, I just went outside and checked. It's sealed by plastic caps on both sides. And there's nothing in the bottom mast. I checked my other two boats, nothing in those masts. So must have been a boat I've since sold off :confused:.

While I was checking, however, I did notice that a previous owner of my Capri did shoot some expanding foam down into the top of that mast, which I was unaware of 'til now ;).
 
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