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Turtle Prevention

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my2fish
That price is cheaper than most of the Hobie cat mast floats.
A slightly cheaper option is this one:
 

Pippins

New Member
I will attest to the quality of the dinghy bob from Areo South. I bought one for my father, we race regularly. It is well made and works. My 71 year old father capsized on Saturday during a race and the bob prevented a turtle.

I feel that it's the tool for the job, I appreciate that it's feathering to the wind, sized just right and shouldn't effect the flow over the sail. (The pool noodles seem like a bad idea and a great way to stall air going across the sail).
 

barnmom

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
I'm impressed you could climb back in the boat. I usually have to swim to shore and get a motor boat tow for the boat. Any tricks to share?
 
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.
When did people start doing that? Are you talking about the ‘bath tub’ dinghies? I can’t think of anyone doing that when I was in the Hoofers Sailing Club, but that was back in 2007-2010. Feeling old now, as I realize how long ago that was. I do recall sailors putting great effort into trying to capsize them for practice, as they are very hard to capsize.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I'm impressed you could climb back in the boat. I usually have to swim to shore and get a motor boat tow for the boat. Any tricks to share?
I assume you got the boat back on its feet.
Hang on to the hull and wait until it's head to wind.
Then grab the overhang/lip on the cubby with both hands and pull yourself up enough to drag your body back in. If your arms are long enough you can use the hiking strap as well. And yes, you do need some upper body strength...


There has been at least one thread, some time ago, about using a rope ladder or something similar.
For instance, getting back in my sunfish | SailingForums.com
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
...I would also add that it is easier to frag yourself back on the deck a little aft of the cockpit where the deck is narrower. A good frog kick
timed with an arm pull also helps.

Alan Glos
 

Fremont

Active Member
When did people start doing that? Are you talking about the ‘bath tub’ dinghies? I can’t think of anyone doing that when I was in the Hoofers Sailing Club, but that was back in 2007-2010. Feeling old now, as I realize how long ago that was. I do recall sailors putting great effort into trying to capsize them for practice, as they are very hard to capsize.
I've been a Hoofer on and off since 2006. Yeah, the little 12' dinghies. It's always been common to turtle them, in my experience particularly by the college kids. Did you ever do a dry capsize and recovery of them? Grab the mast, lean back, roll the boat and step over the gunnel as it turtles? Then grab the board and right it the same way, stepping over the gunnel into the boat. If you do it right, almost all the water drains out too. I got pretty good at it, didn't even get my feet wet. I could sometimes do it with the Lasers, too.
Hard to capsize? Do you mean the 18' Badger sloop? Those are hard to capsize and really hard to right.
 
I've been a Hoofer on and off since 2006. Yeah, the little 12' dinghies. It's always been common to turtle them, in my experience particularly by the college kids. Did you ever do a dry capsize and recovery of them? Grab the mast, lean back, roll the boat and step over the gunnel as it turtles? Then grab the board and right it the same way, stepping over the gunnel into the boat. If you do it right, almost all the water drains out too. I got pretty good at it, didn't even get my feet wet. I could sometimes do it with the Lasers, too.
Hard to capsize? Do you mean the 18' Badger sloop? Those are hard to capsize and really hard to right.
I meant - as you described - you pretty much had to hang your body weight off the mast to capsize those boats. Particularly popular to board another dinghy and capsize it on Pirate Day.
I just had never seen anyone leave it turtled to sunbathe on it - the piers would always be popular for that.
You definitely wouldn’t want to capsize the sloops - they’d sink real fast, as you know. Thankfully they were also hard to do that to - great learning boats!
The Hoofers sailing club was great - I wish I could have stayed closer to Madison to stay involved.
 

Fremont

Active Member
Salty dog,
Oh, true, I had to hang my large posterior over the side, and then walk on the mast to turtle it. I wonder if I can do that party trick on my Sunfish?
The Badger sloops now have floatation bags, so they’re letting them out in higher winds now. Fun boat!
Hoofers and the Terrace are wonderful It was all shut down last year, but now open again. I’m looking forward to brats and beer! ⛵
 

samystine

New Member
I just used a cheap pool noodle. My boat weighs about 180lbs so its hard to right it. The pool noodles didnt stop the sail from going under, but it slows it down noticeably. I zip tied them to the end of the top mast, and the end of the bottom one.
 

Serpant

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?
If you lock back a few items you will see the story on this
 
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!
I posted a video about doing a "dry flip" where you right it before it has time to turtle, without getting wet. Although not always practical, it's worked twice for me so far when flipping unexpectedly. This may actually be easier since you can stand on the daggerboard and not have to pull so hard from a turtled position.

 

shorefun

Active Member
FWIW, I was recently working with some booms and found some have cork in them.

This was an upper boom and it was at the front. I was trimming off the end to fix the corroded holes for the eye bolts.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
You need agility and 'spatial awareness' to do a 'dry capsize' recovery.
It's also done with Lasers, but I don't know which one is easier to do.
Dry-capsize training in a laser - YouTube

I hope that people realize that these videos are not (very) realistic because the conditions are so nice. I capsize when it's rough!
:(
 
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CB Mac

New Member
I'm impressed you could climb back in the boat. I usually have to swim to shore and get a motor boat tow for the boat. Any tricks to share?
I"m IMPRESSED TOO! I am 75 yrs old (with Arthritis in my lower back) and the only way I can climb back into the boat is by using a line around the mast with a bowline knot as a stirrup to help me leg up into the cockpit. I capsized with my 10 year old Grand Daughter last year which was not as much fun as sailing but we both had a great time. What is the method you use in climbing back onboard?
 

RogerMusser

Member
I’ve been teaching Capsize Recovery to some adults new to the Sunfish and for some students the hardest thing is to get them to turn the boat on it’s side. They tend to get clear of the boat just before it goes over, this leaves them in the water and the boat floating right side up. It’s good that they learn how to re-board the Sunfish, which is a valuable lesson, but I’d rather do all the steps at once. I tried putting a gallon milk jug at the top of the mast for the first capsize but I decided that it was just as good of a lesson to flip the Sunfish 180 degrees as it was to flip it 90 degrees. Lightweight adults seem to have the most trouble righting the Sunfish. Anyone have any teaching tips?
 

SilverSailor

New Member
I am brand new to the forum and was glad to find it! I am a 60 year old woman who started sailing again 5 years ago after moving on to a small lake in Michigan.

I am 0 for 2 when flipping my Sunfish and turtling - the first time about 5 years ago, the second time yesterday afternoon. I sailed a mini-fish in my youth and I don't think I ever turtled. I was in gusty conditions yesterday and a rogue gust just yanked the boat over and I slid off before I knew what was happening. I wear a manually inflatable life preserver, so I yanked the cord as soon as I was in the water, and swam around to try and grab the centerboard before it turtled. I swear it turtled so fast I had no chance, and the life jacket prevented me from reaching the centerboard once it had turtled. Fortunately some folks on the lake came over in their pontoons and 3 guys jumped in the water to help. I took off the life jacket so that I could help the 3 guys, but it took a huge effort from all of us to get the thing upright. Once it was upright and I said my thanks, I pulled myself back up on the boat and sailed it in, immediately starting to look for a mast float or something to prevent this from happening again. I'm going to try the one in Post #37 and will let you know if it is able to be affixed to the spar of my sunfish, and how it fares in a flip-test in shallow water. Stay tuned!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Regarding the Zim mast float in post #37...
Mast Float (zimsailing.com)

I think it was intended to be tucked into the luff's groove in a [non-lateen] mast, and securely to hug the sail—although I haven't seen one—or read the directions! :oops:

As for getting back in, I'm using a small bolt to hold a wooden handle to grasp when trying to get aboard. It might be better to attach the [floating] handle to a hiking strap, but I don't have one. :rolleyes:

P1010008.JPG

The other gizmo is a RV "hammock" to store stuff. Anything heavy just falls out. :confused:
 

RogerMusser

Member
I find it easiest to get back on the Sunfish by swimming onto the back deck, the smooth surface just aft of the cockpit.
I don’t try to board the boat as I would from a pool onto a pool deck, that is: my body is not vertical in the water. I get my body horizontal, and float onto the aft deck; one hand on the inside rim of the cockpit and the other hand on the tiller or tiller extension (mostly to keep the tiller out of the way). As my weight on the back deck increases, that back deck goes lower in the water making boarding easier.
 

Weston

Well-Known Member
Silly rabbit..Trix are for kids. Sorry, I thought it was obviously a bad thing to do and my old man joke, failed once again. Boathead, you may need to adjust your cone for predicting incoming sarcasm!
Have you forgotten that all visitors from Remulak have a very literal sense of humor? I got your joke and enjoyed it almost as much as I enjoyed Beldar's reaction.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Notice the use of the word "rope" above. Everything else on a sailboat is a "line"--but the rope imbedded in the luff is properly a "rope".

For those who started reading from page #1, almost everything I wrote was tongue-in-cheek. :rolleyes: I really had to hold myself back when reading of "fragging myself onboard". ;)

Now, with that said, how does one join the Hooters Sailing Club? :p

Member Wjejr...where y'been? :eek: Sailing, I hope... :)
 

Weston

Well-Known Member
… I was in gusty conditions yesterday and a rogue gust just yanked the boat over and I slid off before I knew what was happening. …
it sounds like the same crazy wind that flipped you over attacked us as well. We were on Whitmore Lake Sunday afternoon when that storm came up out of nowhere. A strong gust of wind ripped the Bimini off of a pontoon boat in front of us and snapped the halyard on my super sunfish. I had to flag the pontoon boat down to tow us in to shore, as paddling would have taken too long and I was worried about lightning.
 

tag

my2fish
it sounds like the same crazy wind that flipped you over attacked us as well. We were on Whitmore Lake Sunday afternoon when that storm came up out of nowhere. A strong gust of wind ripped the Bimini off of a pontoon boat in front of us and snapped the halyard on my super sunfish. I had to flag the pontoon boat down to tow us in to shore, as paddling would have taken too long and I was worried about lightning.
I was on Ford Lake near Belleville on Sunday about the same time - but luckily was already heading for shore and got out before the big winds really hit. Glad you made it to shore ok.
 

SilverSailor

New Member
it sounds like the same crazy wind that flipped you over attacked us as well. We were on Whitmore Lake Sunday afternoon when that storm came up out of nowhere. A strong gust of wind ripped the Bimini off of a pontoon boat in front of us and snapped the halyard on my super sunfish. I had to flag the pontoon boat down to tow us in to shore, as paddling would have taken too long and I was worried about lightning.
I am right up the road on Silver Lake(!) and it got a lot gustier right after I came in (and right before a brief downpour). Must have been the same system! Glad to meet you, neighbor!
 
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