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Turtle Prevention

Lateen

New Member
I thought this looked like a good idea (4 big pool noodles on the upper spar to prevent turtling). Has anyone done this? If so, have you tried capsizing? Do you have any advice?
 

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Dickhogg

Active Member
Have never done it on a sunfish but at our club we sometimes tie old 4L plastic milk bottles to the tops of the masts of training boats (toppers). Does the trick.
 

Keukasail

New Member
I thought this looked like a good idea (4 big pool noodles on the upper spar to prevent turtling). Has anyone done this? If so, have you tried capsizing? Do you have any advice?
I did practice capsizing a couple of summers ago, and found it quite easy to slide off the leeward side, hang on to the boat, quickly move around the stern to windward, step on the daggerboard, right the boat sliding on as she rights, in time to prevent a turtle. Need to be quick, but no need to panic...and I'm an old slow guy..you have a few minutes before the sail begins to submerge. Only danger is you need to stay very close to the boat when you go into the water (hang on to the boat) so you don't wind up out under the sail. Oh, my grand-daughter laughed when I told her I'd practiced capsizing.. Said she and friends do it all the time for fun!
 

RogerMusser

Member
This sounds interesting, how much “lift” do you get out of the pool noodles as shown?
It doesn’t seem like it would provide much flotation but then maybe not much is needed. The mast-head floats that zip onto the Flying Scot mainsail looks to be much too small but I hear that it works.
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
I am 75, have been sailing/racing small sailboats since age 16, have capsized at least once per season but never turned turtle....until last summer. I was sailing the Sunfish close hauled in gusty, very shifty conditions and sailed right into 20 mph 100 degree shift. The sail instantly filled on the other side, pushed the boom into my chest and over it went with me scrambling to get out from under the rig and back to the surface. The boat turtled before I could get around the hull and grab the daggerboard. Righting the boat and dragging my sorry butt back on board took about 5 minutes (glad I was not racing when all this happened.) In retrospect, I wondered if a better move would have been to swim out to the head of the sail and grab it to prevent a turtle then swim for the daggerboard when things stabilized a bit. Any thoughts? And, no, I will not tie a plastic milk bottle to the rig!

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Lateen

New Member
Maybe I will add pool noodle and test it in shallow water. I appreciate you who've commented. Still hoping to hear from someone who's tried the pool noodle. I'm wondering what sort of tape to use--gaffer?
 

Mashmaster

Active Member
We use a pool noodle on the upper spar. we use on of the thicker ones cut in half. cut a split along lengthwise and then zip tie it onto the spar. It doesn't guarantee no turtle but it helps.
 

Mashmaster

Active Member
I am 75, have been sailing/racing small sailboats since age 16, have capsized at least once per season but never turned turtle....until last summer. I was sailing the Sunfish close hauled in gusty, very shifty conditions and sailed right into 20 mph 100 degree shift. The sail instantly filled on the other side, pushed the boom into my chest and over it went with me scrambling to get out from under the rig and back to the surface. The boat turtled before I could get around the hull and grab the daggerboard. Righting the boat and dragging my sorry butt back on board took about 5 minutes (glad I was not racing when all this happened.) In retrospect, I wondered if a better move would have been to swim out to the head of the sail and grab it to prevent a turtle then swim for the daggerboard when things stabilized a bit. Any thoughts? And, no, I will not tie a plastic milk bottle to the rig!

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
It is probably an age thing, my scouts can turtle and do often in a flash. usually they are righted in about a minute. For me in my 50's it is like two minutes.
 

Fremont

Active Member
The Hoofers Sailing Club in Madison WI has, among it's fleets, 12' dinghies. Most everyone that sails them, likes to go out into the middle of Lake Mendota, capsize and turtle, and sunbathe on the hull bottom!

Speaking of masthead floats, my Hobie Cat Getaway has a big obnoxious float (they call it a Bob) attached to the masthead. I always tell people it's my radar dome. But it does keep the boat from turtling, and you really don't want to turtle a catamaran.
 

Lafayette Mike

Active Member
We have attached about 12" of split pool noodle at the top of the upper spar on our club boats. Seems to keep the mast from sinking long enough that most people can get the boat back upright quickly. Pick the correct color and you hardly see it up there.
 

RogerMusser

Member
Lafayette Mike: The 12-inch piece? That’s on a Sunfish?
Any drawbacks? Such as storage problems, wear on sail , other issues?
 

Lafayette Mike

Active Member
It may be hard to visualize......I'd take a picture if I was near the boat..........Just to clarify. 12 inches long, about 3 inches in diameter. We just split a piece and tied it to the upper spar. Trimmed it to fit between the end of the spar and the first sail clip. rotated it such that the split cut is next to the sail. Nothing rubs anything, spar fits back into sail bag with no issues. If and when the noodle rots out, we will put another piece on it. Not just like this, but similar. 1589926290430.png
this is on the forum.........https://sailingforums.com/threads/help-with-mast.18314/

Mike
 

Lateen

New Member
We use the large size pool noodle without the big hole in it. We slice the noodle lengthwise and wrap it as shown. More flotation than the one above.
Do you know what is the diameter of the "large size pool noodle?" Would 6 inches work?
 

RogerMusser

Member
This post concerns boats used by children during lessons. I’d like to make recovery from a capsize quick and easy so that the student can spend more time sailing and less time righting a turtled Sunfish. Maybe for other novice students, too.


Typically masthead floats are placed at the top of a mast, the float gets the maximum amount of leverage, or moment-arm there. However, unlike boats with a mast and boom, the top spar on the sunfish is hinged where the halyard attaches the spar to the top of the mast. The hinge effect might allow the mast to go below horizontal to the water’s surface.

Might it be that a better place to attach the pool noodle is just above the halyard connection? That is, not at the top of the spar but closer to the very top of the mast.

Or, how about putting a small section of pool noodle at the top of the top spar and another at the bottom of the top spar? Would that help to keep the entire spar on the surface of the water and better prevent a turtle?
 

Serpant

Member
I cut noodle in half lengthwise and slotted each half. Snapped one on top of spar and one on end of boom.They snap tight and do not require any other fasteners.Never had a turtle problem & being 85 I end up in the water quite often
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Your quote:

"I cut noodle in half lengthwise and slotted each half. Snapped one on top of spar and one on end of boom.They snap tight and do not require any other fasteners. Never had a turtle problem & being 85 I end up in the water quite often."

'Sounds like the answer! :)

What diameter and length(s) of pool noodle are you using?
 

Njlarry

New Member
Why not make spars air tight or insert air tight pve tubes or short lenght of foam in top end of spars?
Expect foam could get wet and heavy but not if dryed out after use?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Why not make spars air tight or insert air tight pve tubes or short lenght of foam in top end of spars?
Expect foam could get wet and heavy but not if dryed out after use?
The boat will turtle with air tight spars. You will find when you flip the booms remain empty. More flotation is needed thus the solutions presented.
 

Keukasail

New Member
I'll be teaching my 6 year-old grandson to sail on my Sunfish this year. Our first 'lesson' will be capsizing, so this guidance on preventing turtlling is especially useful to me. Righting the boat will be hard enough for him without having to deal with the challenges of a turtle!
 

Sailflow

Active Member
I would go milk jug or foam on the upper boom and have it extend well beyond the end of the boom. People who sail should learn to right a boat that has completely turtled for safety reasons. You won't always be sailing a boat with foam or a bottle.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I would go milk jug or foam on the upper boom and have it extend well beyond the end of the boom. People who sail should learn to right a boat that has completely turtled for safety reasons. You won't always be sailing a boat with foam or a bottle.
This summer, I'll have to test two Sunfish side-by-side, comparing the two remedies.

A half-gallon bottle would seem to be less harmful to airflow, but both need testing. Maybe a quart bottle would suffice?

As for sailing a boat with foam or a bottle: In my younger days, I could be seen sailing with a bottle and foam. ;)
 
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