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Prevent turtling with a sail float sleeve

liketoboat

New Member
I recently started sailing and decided to move up in size what what I had to a Capri 14.2. After searching for some time I found #1945 and bought it. I read many of the past threads that concerned turtling . I saw on Ebay a sail sleeve that contains floatation material that slips over the top of the mainsail . The person selling it states it comes from Catalina. Any viewers ever try that product in lieu of the Hobie Bob? Looks like a much sleeker solution than a H- Bob.
 

jcorliss78

New Member
Ask the seller for dimensions

If you're referring to the auction I think you are, that item is for a Catalina 16.5. You might want to email the seller for dimensions before you bid, as I do not know if the sail head is the same shape.

Catalina designed the sleeve to fit on either side of the mainsail and it looks like a viable solution if you have used your masthead for something else, such as a flag or more technical wind direction indicator model. I've not used it, but it does indeed look like a sleek design. Note that if you trailer your boat like I do, you will probably have to unsleeve and resleeve the float each launch, vs. perm attachment with the baby bob.
 

JGM

Member
There are a couple differences between the Hobie Baby Bob and the foam flotation sleeve sold by Catalina. The sleeve only provides about 12 pounds of buoyancy while the bob gives you around 33. As far as I know, 12 is adequate but there is no data either way from what I can see. I have the Bob and testing with the boat pulled over on it's side has shown it very effective in preventing turtling.
As to which one impacts sailing the most, it's hard to say but my guess would be the Bob. Although it's aerodynamically designed to reduce drag, it is sitting up there in the open unlike the sail sleeve.

Hope this is helpful,
Jim
 

chemprof

Member
In sort of a hijack of this thread, three questions regarding the baby bob:

1. Anyone who has one of these ever turtled their C14.2?

2. Do you remove the baby bob when trailering or can it take 60 mph winds?

3. Anyone give their baby bob a different decal?
 

JGM

Member
In sort of a hijack of this thread, three questions regarding the baby bob:

1. Anyone who has one of these ever turtled their C14.2?
I really don't think you can turtle a Bob equipped C-14. After installing ours, I purposefully pulled the boat over on it's side in the shallows at our marina. When it goes over like this, most of the hull is sticking out of the water and in the case of high-wind capsizing, it's the wind pressing against the bottom of the hull pushing the boat upside down which causes it to turtle.

To simulate the force of the wind, we pressed against the bottom of the hull, pushing the boat through the shallows along the beach. During this test the Bob refused to let the mast sink. Even during our hardest effort, we could only momentarily get the Bob to submerge, and then it would bob right back up again. ;)

2. Do you remove the baby bob when trailering or can it take 60 mph winds?
I guess it depends on how well it's attached to the top of your mast. I leave ours on during trailering without any problems whatsoever.

3. Anyone give their baby bob a different decal?
On ours, the Hobie logo is baked into the Bob's plastic but there is no reason someone couldn't get creative and cover the logo with another decal or even paint over it.

Jim
 

chemprof

Member
Thanks Jim!

Sounds like we'll have a baby bob under or maybe on our Christmas tree this year!

I think I remember some picts of how you attached yours here. I recall it looking very nice and also strong.

On another forum, I saw that someone had covered the Hobie with a decal of a shark. I like the idea of painting a nice nested C14 on bob.
 

JGM

Member
Hey Chemprof,
Here's the link to my turtling post way back when: Baby Bob to the Rescue!

If you need a bracket, I still have a few left. I've also been thinking of another way to mount the Bob which makes an intermediate bracket unnecessary. Basically you cut four slots in the top of the mast using a hack saw. These slots are wide enough and positioned exactly so the two Bob flanges can slip down into the mast on either side of the pulley. Then, when the Bob is where you want it, drill two holes perpendicular to the flanges so pins can be inserted to hold the Bob in position.
It's a better solution but cutting the slots and drilling the holes can be tricky. Maybe next spring I'll work up a template people can use to layout the process.

Hope this helps,
Jim
 

chemprof

Member
Thank you Jim. Your post was the one I was remembering. I am also trying to think of other ways to mount the baby bob.

I saw in a Hobie forum where a guy mounted his mama bob to a Hobie 18, which doesn't have the mast top that either bob was designed for. I'll attach some pictures he posted. Here's the url for all of his pictures:
http://www.thebeachcats.com/index.php?module=pictures&g2_itemId=34617

-- Ed
 

Attachments

RC14A

Member
While these are good solutions to prevention of Turtling , I wonder how many have sealed the bottom of the mast ?

Rob

C14.2 #1174
 

paulsheller

Administrator
While these are good solutions to prevention of Turtling , I wonder how many have sealed the bottom of the mast ?
Actually the question is how many have sealed the bottom of the mast and actually tested it. I would love to hear from someone who has.
 

RC14A

Member
I remember reading a post where someone had filled their mast completely with foam and it cured his turtle problem . I'm thinking sealing the bottom would help tremendously .
 

JGM

Member
Guys and Gals,
When the boat capsizes, the bottom of the mast is out of the water by at least a foot or so. Assuming you haven't drilled any more holes in the mast other than the ones put in for the shroud and forestay tangs, and the foam plug in the top of the mast is intact, the mast shouldn't fill with water unless the wind pushes the boat completely upside down.

Of course, by then the question is moot. ;)

Jim
 

My-Ria

New Member
Baby Bob Mounted to the mast head halyard pulley bolt

Jim,

Your bracket works real well when it is held in place with two strips of aluminum (stock available at Lowes) held in place inside the mast vertically attached to the mast head halyard pulley bolt.

I use a single bolt with a metal/plastic friction nut to attach the Baby Bob & your bracket to the aluminum strips attached to the halyard pulley bolt.

I drilled throught the Baby Bob bracket and your aluminum bracket to attach the Baby Bob to the aluminum strips.

I can now remove the Baby very easily/quickely with that single removeable secured bolt/nut whenever trailoring or storing the boat when space is limited.

Rick
 

JGM

Member
Rick,
What a great idea!!! Why didn't I think of that? It takes all the guesswork out of drilling the mast. But you have to post a picture if you can.

Jim
 

paulsheller

Administrator
Yes, please post a picture. I'm not sure I understand the setup.

The bracket is designed to sit inside the top of the mast. I assume your straps put it above the mast? If so, what keeps it from wiggling around?
 

JGM

Member
Paul,
The way I understand it, the bracket fits as it was supposed to with half inside the mast. What Rick has done is run a couple thin aluminum straps up the outside of the bracket, but inside the mast connected to the main halyard pulley bolt. As you can see in the picture of my mast top, there is enough room for these straps to slip in there.



Then I guess the straps are cut off at the top of my bracket and a hole is drilled through the bracket and Baby Bob flanges for a bolt. If you have a snug fit on the bolt holes, there shouldn't be any slop whatsoever and the hole through the bracket/Baby Bob flanges is much easier to drill than the one through the mast. I like it! :)

Jim
 

My-Ria

New Member
Baby Bob Secured with Aluminum Straps

Jim,

You're right on target with the description of what worked for me. My boat is in storage and I can not get a picture, but your explanation with your picture says it all!

You correctly identified the last step as drilling the hole in your bracket attached to the Baby Bob bracket to ensure a tight fit. If I chose to sail without the Baby Bob the straps do not interfere with the halyard pulley.

What really makes everything work is your bracket that fits so well at the mast head.

Catalina should really consider contacting you about securing your design or arrange to have you provide the brackets as a dealer installed option!

Rick
 

chemprof

Member
Thanks for the offer on the bracket Jim. I'll PM you. -- Ed

Hey Chemprof,
Here's the link to my turtling post way back when: Baby Bob to the Rescue!

If you need a bracket, I still have a few left. I've also been thinking of another way to mount the Bob which makes an intermediate bracket unnecessary. Basically you cut four slots in the top of the mast using a hack saw. These slots are wide enough and positioned exactly so the two Bob flanges can slip down into the mast on either side of the pulley. Then, when the Bob is where you want it, drill two holes perpendicular to the flanges so pins can be inserted to hold the Bob in position.
It's a better solution but cutting the slots and drilling the holes can be tricky. Maybe next spring I'll work up a template people can use to layout the process.

Hope this helps,
Jim
 

JGM

Member
Catalina should really consider contacting you about securing your design or arrange to have you provide the brackets as a dealer installed option!

Rick
Hey Rick,
Thanks for the very kind words. Unfortunately I suspect Catalina prefers such discussions would disappear. The last thing they want is a general understanding that one or two of their designs might be easy to capsize or easy to turtle. I believe the most they'll ever do is quietly offer the flotation sleeve which, as far as we know, is plenty.

Catalina isn't anything like Hobie which seems to have the mindset that it's OK for their sailboats to be a little unpredictable. When you hear about someone stuffing a Hobie Cat into a wave and pitch-poling everyone overboard, it's not scary, it's "Awesome Dude!" ;)

Anyway, thanks again!
Jim
 

JGM

Member
Thanks for the offer on the bracket Jim. I'll PM you. -- Ed
Hey Ed,
Got your message and responded. Thanks!

BTW, just so everyone knows, after Ed gets his bracket, I'll be down to four left. The remaining are what you might call cosmetically challenged in that they have some drill holes which came in the aluminum from back when it was intended for a sliding door track. These holes do nothing to impair the performance of the brackets and I've marked them with red pen so there's no confusion.

Jim
 

chemprof

Member
Hey Jim -- If they have holes in them, raise the price, and label them "Ultra-Light"; sort of like this guy I know (nameless here) who drills holes in his motorcycle engine's connecting rods to make it go faster. BTW, I'll take the unholy one unless someone beats me to it. -- Ed

Hey Ed,
Got your message and responded. Thanks!

BTW, just so everyone knows, after Ed gets his bracket, I'll be down to four left. The remaining are what you might call cosmetically challenged in that they have some drill holes which came in the aluminum from back when it was intended for a sliding door track. These holes do nothing to impair the performance of the brackets and I've marked them with red pen so there's no confusion.

Jim
 

JGM

Member
BTW, I'll take the unholy one unless someone beats me to it. -- Ed
Sorry Buddy, it's too late. But technically speaking, yours is a weird hybrid - it has an extra hole and doesn't have an extra hole at the same time. You'll see what I mean when it arrives.

Regardless, I absolutely guarantee no nearby boaters (within about two feet of the Bob) will see the hole that is not a hole. ;)

Jim
 

MajorH

Member
> In sort of a hijack of this thread, three questions regarding the baby bob:
> 1. Anyone who has one of these ever turtled their C14.2?

I agree with the comment of a previous poster, I doubt that a Baby Bob equipped C14.2 can turtle, even in gusty wind. I was knocked over in a heartbeat by a "dust devil" on a West Texas lake last summer. The boat went over and then spun completely around while laying on its side. I don't think the Baby Bob ever went under the surface and the boat floated so high on it side that it didn't take on a bit of water. I was able to release the main as I dropped overboard but not the jib. Was then easy to right the boat and to get my portly frame back in via a folding ladder that I had installed aft.

> 2. Do you remove the baby bob when trailering or can it take 60 mph winds?

The Bob itself is very solid. I don't remove it when trailering even though my home made mast connection is a bit crude and wobbly. I have made several 250 mile trips at 60 plus MPH.
 

prig0026

Member
Old thread, but since the original subject applies I thought I would tack on instead of creating a new one...

Has anyone actually had experience with the float sleeve from Catalina? Somewhere it was mentioned that it has 12lbs of buoyancy vs 33 for the baby bob. Where did this information come from? Catalina just quoted me $180 for the float sleeve which seems crazy, but a Baby Bob is no steal at $115 either. I guess I would prefer the float sleeve just because its ready to use out of the box, and it probably looks better, but I want to make sure it actually works if I'm going to drop that kind of money on it.
 

JGM

Member
Has anyone actually had experience with the float sleeve from Catalina? Somewhere it was mentioned that it has 12lbs of buoyancy vs 33 for the baby bob. Where did this information come from? Catalina just quoted me $180 for the float sleeve which seems crazy, but a Baby Bob is no steal at $115 either. I guess I would prefer the float sleeve just because its ready to use out of the box, and it probably looks better, but I want to make sure it actually works if I'm going to drop that kind of money on it.
I haven't used the float sleeve but there are specs for it in my C-14 manual. You can deduce the buoyancy from the size of the foam and then calculate the displacement. I figured it was about 10 pounds but 12 is in the ballpark. Hobie says the Bob gives 32 lbs of lift and although I haven't tested it, that seems about right.

As to whether the sleeve provides enough buoyancy, I don't think anyone has ever provided first-hand testimony. Pretty much everyone here has gone with the Baby Bob or some other mast-topping floatation device (or nothing at all). If you get the sleeve, maybe you'd be willing to test it for us by purposely pulling the boat over in the shallows, and then try to turtle it by pressing hard against the bottom of the hull to simulate wind pressure. When I did that with the Baby Bob, it refused to let the mast submerge.

On a side note, I can't help but wonder if there are any other mono-hull daysailers out there which have something as peculiar as a flotation sleeve designed for them to prevent turtling. Maybe I'm just not with it, but I can't remember seeing anything like it for any other boat. Anyone?

Jim
 

RC14A

Member
Hey Jim , good to see words backed up with experience and testing .

A question - were the sails hoisted and cleated during your test ? I'm wondering as it seems to be a common denominator in most turtling situations .

Rob
 

JGM

Member
A question - were the sails hoisted and cleated during your test ? I'm wondering as it seems to be a common denominator in most turtling situations .

Rob
It's a really good question. I didn't have the sails up during the test because I never assumed they played a role in turtling once the boat is capsized. The wind blows the boat over and the sails end up in the lee of the hull and out of the wind.

BUT!

It's possible the sails act similarly to the bow plane on a submarine. As the wind presses against the bottom of the hull, attempting to roll the boat upside down, the sails catch the water and angle the mast downward, speeding up turtling. If that's the case, the more mast flotation the better to keep the sails from snagging the water in the first place. And even if the flotation sleeve is sufficient to keep the mast afloat in moderate winds, it might not in higher winds where the sails are also pulling the mast under water. Or maybe that's the beauty of the sleeve in that it prevents the sail head from slipping beneath the surface, avoiding the "down-plane" effect. :confused:

Obviously it would be great if we could get a Bob outfitted mast and a sleeve outfitted sail and test them together with and without the sails hoisted.

Jim
 

prig0026

Member
I've come across a few other options:

This one is a self inflating device, very discreet, and probably the one I would choose, except I can't seem to find anyone that sells it in the U.S.
http://www.sailboats.co.uk/Catalogue~Secumar_Anti_Inversion_Airbag_Mast_Float_20L_Volume~p_KSK20~c4875.html

This one looks pretty good actually, and the right price.
http://www.apsltd.com/c-4686-buoyancybags.aspx

http://www.tridentuk.com/sailing/product-Crewsaver_Mast_Float_9Ltr-1_CS10085.html

Seems as though the UK is more concerned about turtling than we are. Wonder why no one tries to sell these products here.

I'm undecided with which route to go. I think I'm going to try something other than the baby bob, the $60 option at www.apsltd.com looks appealing.
 

JGM

Member
I'm undecided with which route to go. I think I'm going to try something other than the baby bob, the $60 option at www.apsltd.com looks appealing.
I like it! The same functionality as the sleeve for 1/3 the cost. I would've opted for this one, too, had I known it was out there. Get it and let us know how it works!!!

Thanks!
Jim
 

prig0026

Member
Just ordered the buoyancy bag mast float from APS, I'll report out on how it works once I get it on the boat. Just couldn't bring myself to drop the $180 on the Catalina float panel. This has to be better than nothing as long as it stays inflated and in position at the top of the mast.
 

sailorlem

Member
Mast Floats

I have been using plastic gallon milk jugs for years. Not particularly "cool" but very effective. Also cheap, very light weight, easy and quick to install/remove (just run up mast with sail), adjustable (1, 2, or 3). Could probably paint or add decal.
 

RC14A

Member
I have seen pool noodles , antifreeze jugs and old life jackets hung at the top of masts , whatever floats your boat , or should I say - the mast :D

Rob
 

unclesmitty

New Member
I remember reading a post where someone had filled their mast completely with foam and it cured his turtle problem . I'm thinking sealing the bottom would help tremendously .
My mast is completely foam filled. Haven't tested it yet but will post on it when I do.
 

prig0026

Member
Following up on the inflatable mast float I mentioned purchasing in a previous post... I haven't tipped the boat yet so I can't say how well it actually performs, but can comment on a couple of things:

- Once it is up, it looks ok and isn't all that intrusive. (helps that my sails are blue, yellow, and white)

- Getting it up the mast can be sorta difficult sometimes. It often gets caught on the spreaders and requires a couple tries to get it past them

- It is good quality, and it does LOOK like it would work just fine.

So far I'm convinced its a good lower cost alternative to a baby bob.
 

rmark

New Member
I went with the decorative '5 qt yellow plastic pennzoil jug' tied to an eyebolt that replaces the axle bolt at the top of the mast. And it worked quite nicely at 2:00 this afternnon when I accidentially jibed the boat and over we went.
 
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