Turtle on Superior

Thread starter #1
I just got back from my fourth of July sail (testing out the new reef points that I had installed by a local boat shop) and it was the most exciting thing that I have done since sailing butterflies in gale force. I think that my reef points worked well to reduce my sail area but I found that the end of the boom was hanging closer to the deck than when I use the entire sail. I tried to adjust while on the water, but could barely get it to clear my evinrude lightwin. So we had the boom unexpectedly come about in a 20 mph puff, the boom got hung up on the motor, not allowing us to dump sail, and we were capsized instantly. It was here that I learned that I had committed cardinal sin, sailing without having my hatch cover closed. So my crew and I are under the sail and as he tries to throw our floating dry-bags. and miscelaneous stuff into the forward compartment I swam under to grab the centerboard. It took about three to five seconds for the boat to turtle entirely (I think this happened so quickly due to the bow taking in water because stupidly I hadn't secured the cover) during which time I was already hanging all of my weight off the centerboard, feet on rail . Once my crew joined me in the effort to right the boat it took about ten to fifteen seconds of us hanging but thankfully it righted itself (and rather quickly once it decided to). Lake superior is cold when you are out away from shore, we were happy to be back in the boat, but I was sad a I realized that I gpsmap 60csx was sacrificed to gichigumi. I had it on a lanyard tied to my belt, the lanyard was in tack so the plastic housing on the unit must have broken. We also lost a cooler, waterjug, some flipflops, and my nice metal pole for supporting the mast while trailing. With our new found respect for the puffs we had been previously playing upon so youthfully we decided to lower the jib and head to shore. We beached the boat, and walked up about a mile to get my crew's Starcraft and a plug wrench and some ether. This fourth of July has been one that this young sailor will never forget. Mistakes were made by me today that I will never make again in the future. Number one, always keep the dryhull-closed. Number two, tie down the cooler, better. Number three, bring a plugwrench and some ether, (spare plugs too) in the unlikely case the motor gets swamped it can be revived. Number four, when not using the motor close the vent on the fuel tank/disconnect the lines, because we had to bring some fresh gas out there as well. Number five, keep the gps below and use for navigation only if necessary, not worth dropping an expensive unit in the drink to see if we are making a new high speed record.

I now know that I need to make my boom clear that motor somehow if I am going to use the sail with reefing points. Did anyone else have this problem with having trouble raising the boom because of a reefed sail? I also know that I need to get a float for the end of my mast. I filled it with the foam as suggested but I now know that I need that float to feel safe again out on that lake, it is a scary one, but so fun (my adrenaline is still pumping as I recall the event more than an hour later). Is there a place online I can order one of them? Would this same place happen to be able to replace that nice steel cradle that I had to support my mast during travel?

Happy fourth of July, I have never felt more alive and thankful to enjoy this beautiful north shore, but I want to do it safely. Lessons learned, capsize w/ gear stowed properly=fun Turtle on superior recklessly=Scary, to say the least.
Thanks for posting this interesting event, a most valuable contribution to my artificial experience! I am planning to install reefing points to my mainsail, as well as a jib furler and mast float. Never imagined there could a problem like you are having.
I'm thinking, the Tack adjustment is preventing the main halyard from lifting the Clew end? I am anxious to hear what the reefing experts have to say!

Sorry to hear about the Turtling, your hull seems to float very deep when on it's side. My cuddy never even saw water, I am sailing a 92 mod2.
Do you think the use of a topping lift would have kept the boom up? With the main reefed, the topping lift might work. I have a "BoomKicker" on my boom, and the boom stays at the same height all the time, even with the main down or off the boat. Thanks for sharing your story.
Kdub without being able to see the rigging of your reefing system I will throw this out there.

Your Main halyard was lowered too far , raise it and you raise your boom. As Greg mentioned, a topping lift / boomkicker is highly recommended reefing or not.

Dry rig your boat and get your main and boom in the sweet spot when reefed , then mark your main halyard so you can drop it into place consistently.

Pilots have a saying - "Fly the airplane" , we can say "Sail the boat" don't let problems cause more serious problems .

Good luck and sailing on that big pond of yours !

Thread starter #6

I did attach a topping lift to assist in the making of the reefed sail, but I was under the impression that it was not meant for use while sailing. The topping lift was one of the things that my crew and I talked about trying to rig, but since I was only planning on using it to keep things neat the line is antiquate, however I have already asked for some old line from a friend of mine who is a kite-boarder which I think will be perfect for a stronger topping lift (that line is amazing). Another idea we had was to raise the distance from the boom to the bottom of the mast (with that screw, not sure what it is called).

I am leaving in a bit to go down to northern wisc. to pick up the line and do some waterskiing with my Hawaiian kiteboard-guru acquaintance. He raced small boats in Hawaii before committing to kite-board circuit and will no doubt have plenty of valuable wisdom to share. We will have lots to talk about as we camp for a couple days. I will let you all know what I come up with when I get back.
My reefing kit is from Sailrite and they recommend and sell seperately, a boom stop. I made my own with a ss machine screw, 2 washers and a wingnut. You put it into the boltrope track in the mast just below the opening for the mainsail. You can loosen and adjust the boom to any height and I like to have it well above my head. When reefed, everything seems nice and snug and safe.
Outboards on C14.2's

KDB: For most places I would pick to sail, a motor on a C-14 is overkill and can cause more problems than it solves. It can get in the way of sheets and rudder, and it adds weight where you don't want it, up high and way aft. Paddles work OK where there is no wind, and sails work where there is , just stay away away from currents. If alone and using a paddle, its best to tie the tiller in place to keep heading forward more than laterally. RK