Photos Baby Bob Mast Float on Capsized 14.2

Thread starter #1
Been meaning for a while to post some staged capsize photos of a Hobie Baby Bob equipped 1987 Capri 14.2 (Mod 1). Finally got around to it today while waiting out a thunderstorm warning. The wind was 10 to 15 MPH, mostly broadside against the hull bottom. I let the boat float on its side for about 15 minutes hoping for a 20+ gust but never got one. Did get some 15s though and the Bob never went under. Your mileage may vary.

The sail is nice and clean now from the long soak. Downside was seeing how cruddy my hull had gotten from being left in the water for three weeks - an hour of scrubbing and lake spider removal that I could have done without. :)

There is a 20 second video at the URL below for those who just can't get enough of seeing C14s go over and back. :)



Sailing on Shelter Bay
Thanks, interesing photos

Interesting because I was thinking of filling my mast with foam to prevent a turtle. However, now I see that only the tip of the mast is on the water when the boat is at about 90 degrees of heel. So the foam wouldn't be as effective because it is not out at the end, and because the further out the better effect (longer lever, or moment arm). So thanks, Jim M
foam vs float

Thanks for the pics. My son turtled ours, and so I ran out to the hardware store and got some foam. When I looked inside the mast with a flashlight, I found the foam was already there. :eek: The float is definitely the way to go.


Sailing on Shelter Bay
Thanks Jeff

Thanks for that information. I purchased the foam but didn't know if it would work or not. Apparently not. Again, this forum has been a big help. I think the reason the foam doesn't work is because it doesn't provide enough flotation way out at the end (top) of the mast where it is needed most. Actually sealing the mast so no water can get in would work as well, or slightly better, than filling it with foam. Jim M

Hey Jim, I bet the foam didn't provide enough floatation to prevent the turtling but probably helped my son to right the boat. It's a cheap and easy upgrade and I would say it can't hurt. I may buy a baby bob after seeing MajorH's great video performance :)
Thread starter #8
> Is the boat floating there? If it is it sure floats high in the water!

Yes, the boat was floating.

My C14 does float very high in the water. As shown in the photos below, there was only an inch or less of water over the starboard gunwale. The odd thing is that in my memory of several real world capsizes last summer there was no water over the gunwale at all. Its a strong memory but I guess its wrong.

The high floating can be a challenge if one's pull-up days are far in the past. In the video one can see that I am in waist deep water, so it was no problem to get up onto the centerboard. Out in the lake its a different matter with just your head and shoulders above water. The first time I went over, I had to cinch up my PDF really tight and pull it down a bit in order to get enough floating height to reach the board. At that time I couldn't do a full pull-up but I could get enough of my 250 lbs out of the water to get the roll started but the beginning motion was very slow. Since then I have shed 25 lbs, have made it a habit to do a few pull-ups every time I am around my dock, and I practice the righting drill the first week of each season. :)

By the way, I am 60. I didn't even start sailing until I was 58 - although I had recently done a fair amount of river kayaking and canoeing.


Thread starter #9
By the way, some have posted in other threads that turtling a C14 is no big deal. I agree with that except that the lake that I sail on is very shallow. A turtle would likely put the end of my mast into one or two feet of mud. I had that experience on a Sunfish and it was a bear to get it back up.


Sailing on Shelter Bay

I'm 70 this year and I started sailing lightnings at 28 and have been sailing one way or another ever since. I recently sold an Ericson 29 that I liked very much, but decided I had done enough (30 years) of cruising in the Puget Sound and adjacent islands I had seen it all and got tired of the maintenance etc. The Ω 14 was the perfect size because I can step the mast and launch and sail by my self. Also perfect for taking the grandkids out and teaching them sailing. I had owned a Lido 14 (two actually while I was racing) and I think the Ω 14 has some nice design features the Lido does not have. It has been nothing but fun and very easy to maintain and tune and sail. I just ordered a new main sail from Karl Deardorff at SLO Sail and Canvas. I'll let you know what I think after I get it out in a breeze.
Jim M
The high floating can be a challenge if one's pull-up days are far in the past.
Thanks for the pictoral, sure beats trying to conjure up images of the dreaded "capsize" my mod 2 also floats very high. Last time over was on the port side with outboard attached; the motor never got wet. Reaching the CB was the big task as you rightly emphasized, and having worn a lite-weight pfd made matters worse.

Looking at your pics would you say it's about 30" from water level to the CB?
How does your ladder work?
Thread starter #12
> would you say it's about 30" from water level to the CB?

Sounds about right - to the base of the CB. Maybe a couple of more inches to the tip, when on its side, due to the angle that the boat floats at.

> How does your ladder work?

See photo. The ladder is on hinges. When it is swung up, the step tubes collapse into one another. When it is swung down, the steps just drop down. I keep it up with a short bungee cord - one hook on a step tube, the other on the centerboard bungee cord anchor eye below the tiller. I chose the ladder instead of a loop strap in case I were injured or weakened (I had a stroke some years ago) or if I were to need one hand to hang onto a grandkid.

The ladder occasionally snags the traveler/mainsheet on launch - if I am careless - but it is in easy reach to fix quickly. Seems like it could have been mounted six or eight inches lower to avoid that but that is where the tech at the sailboat shop installed it.


Thanks MajorH, I'm definitely in favour of the ladder. I have tried the rope with the loop on the end, just does not work for me, I need the rigidity of a ladder to get above the water level; something to do with "one's pull-up days being far in the past" ..... or maybe a "too lazy 62 yr old" :p. I broke down and spent the big bucks on a decent PFD so hopefully I'll be able to reach the CB with the x-tra lift, will try out as soon as I get a ladder installed!
Thread starter #15
The "Baby Bob" is made by the Hobie Company. Most sailboat shops have it or can order it. It can be found online by searching on "Hobie Baby Bob". Cost is $100 to $120 depending on source.

Mine came with brackets that needed to be cut a bit to fit inside the C14 mast and holes needed to be drilled in the mast for the bolts. I'm 250 miles away from my boat at the moment, so I can't post a photo of how mine was done.

There are a number of articles on this forum that show several installation approaches that folks have used. I used just the parts that came with the bob so my installation is a bit wobbly - but is still secure. If you don't like wobble, search this forum using "baby bob" and you will find several photos of non-wobbly but more complex approaches.