Tips, help, anything...?

Thread starter #1
I purchased a Capri 14.2 this summer and have been learning to sail on it. This summer has been going okay so far, I had a couple of bad flips and even turtle the boat several times but I made some adjustments to the boat and everything was fine. Today was a bad day though. Winds were fifteen miles per hour steady out of the north and gusty. I took off from the beach and got about halfway out into the lake before attempting to tack and turn around. However, I couldnt tack at all. The wind kept hooking my jib sail and main sail just right and it would rip me back and flip me over (even though I had my mainsail loose while tacking). Then towards the end of it all I just could not right the boat for the life of me. It was pointed into the wind, the sails were loose, the jib was furled and every time I attempted to right it I ended up on the other side. I finally gave up and a power boat towed me back to the beach where I righted it, trailered it and took off. This experience today made me wonder whether or not I should have this boat anymore. Is there anything I could have done differently or do you have any tips for sailing the capri because Im at a loss right now.
It is hard to say what was causing the problem however, you might consider a few things such as:

1)make sure that you shift to the windward side of the boat as you tack, since you are most of the ballast in the boat you really need your weight on the correct side of the boat to counter the wind or you will tip over;

2) if your jib is unfurled make sure that both jib sheets are un-cleated before tacking (when I have capsized it has always been because the jib was backwinded)

3) release the main sheet from the cleat and hold it in one hand while holding the tiller in the other when tacking, that way if the wind is too strong you can let out the main sheet which helps to flatten the boat. Typically when you tack you are in a close haul (heading almost into the wind) or a close reach (heading about 45 degrees off the wind) which means your main sail should be sheeted in fairly tight. As you tack the boom will shift from one side to the other (although with the main sheet fairly tight the boom won't move very far.) As you tack if the wind catches the main and the boat tips too much releasing the main will help right the boat (or keep it flat.)

4) If the boat tips too much you can hike out (put your feet under the hiking straps, sit on the side of the boat and lean out) which will also help right the boat. It has been my experience that the boat lays over rather slowly so there is time to hike out over the high side of the boat if you have moved over to that side during the tack.

15 MPH winds are challenging for sailing alone. Sailing alone, you are light on ballast and you have no help with the jib. Were it me, I would sail with the main sail only; you will catch more than enough air and simplify the sailing task. Having a sailing companion is helpful when righting the boat too. Just this weekend, I installed a Hobie baby bob on my mast to add some floatation. Tipping on the side is one thing, but turtling is another problem completely and should be avoid. Those of us that sail in areas where the wind is variable in both velocity and direction know how these boats like to sail with the centerboard to the sky. I will post some pics of the baby bob on the mast once I get them from the camera memory.
Thread starter #4
Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it. Steve, I actually have a hobie bob mounted on my mast right now because I experienced the turtling problem. I also had a custom plug made by a friend specifically for the top of the mast, the mast is completely water tight. I have no trouble flipping the boat back over by myself now that the mast is sealed and the bob is on... other than in high wind challenges.
I also added a hobby bob to the top of my mast last fall after I turtled. Fortunately, I haven't capsized since then so I can't say how well it works but I feel a lot more confident now without having the worry of turtling if I do capsize. I hope you enjoy your boat as much as I am enjoying mine.
I am not very knowledgeable about the 14.2 but I do have a little experience on small boats. When it comes to the problem of a boat going over the opposite way when put back on its feet I have found that the biggest issue is the sails catching wind even with the sheets loose. When I experience the problem I take the sails up (down if the boat were upright). This sounds a little unreal but if you are a good swimmer it is no big deal. There is usually air in the cockpit that can be used as you loosen the halyards and then pull the sails up toward the deck. The sails don't have to be 100% raised/lowered, any amount will help but the more the better. With the sails retracted the boat is easier to get upright and the chances of it rolling over again are greatly reduced.

I have not yet had an issue with the 14.2 so I am not sure this will work on this boat.

As to the question of keeping your boat I must suggest you hang in there and continue to learn about the boat and how to handle it under any circumstances. Depending on your experience this could take a while but the reward is well worth your time and effort. From what I have seen so far, the 14.2 is a super boat that can be a kitten or a lion depending upon your knowledge of the boat, your sailing knowledge, the winds you venture into and your basic sailing skills.
I sail my 14.2 solo inside Ventura Harbor, wind is constant from the West. Once the wind hits around 8 knots I furl the headsail and use the main only. Once the wind hits about 12 knots I head for the launch ramp, put the boat back on the trailer and head for home. I want to sail not swim. I might add that I am 67 years old and sail about once a week year round. I almost never cleat either of the sails and when I do it is for a very short time. I have owned my boat for about 5 years now and have yet to flip it, but my day will come so I always wear a lifejacket and have a Baby Bob mounted to the top of the mast. Once you figure out what you are doing wrong, you will love your 14.2. Over 15 knots is more than one person can handle, unless they are very experienced with the boat (and much younger than me).
I sail my 14.2 solo inside Ventura Harbor, wind is constant from the West. Once the wind hits around 8 knots I furl the headsail and use the main only.).
I have never had a great time sailing on main alone in strong winds. Any tips on trim to make it point? In theory raising the centerboard would help to balance, but in this situation it is scary to do because you want to keep the boat upright. I have often thought about getting a high wind suit for the boat (smaller main and proportionately sized jib). Has this been considered or done. It would be fun to go out solo in a stiff blow with a set of storms.... Anyone ever tried one on?