Turtled on 29 July 06

Thread starter #1
I've heard that there are two types of sailors - those that have capsized and those that will. On Saturday I moved to the "been there done that" - capsized category.

Here in southwest Oklahoma I have sailed 4 times successfully on a fairly shallow lake with lots of dead trees. On Saturday at 1050 in the morning just as I was raising the main a gust of wind hit and pushed my boat over. Reaching for my cell phone I noticed that it was full of water (duh) and my watch had stopped at 1050.

Unhooking the forestay so the mast could be lowered allowed the boat to get upsided down but it chewed the teak up (no sweat) twisted the base of the mast a little (I think its fixable) and allowed me to start putting the sail back into the cuddy cabin. This 53 year old, overweight grandfather starting laughing and then got serious in flipping the boat back upright. I allowed the forepeak or cuddy to fill with water and that made a lousy day.

After flipping the boat upright I had to take a piece of rope and fashion a small rope loop and tie it inside the boat to allow me to get back inside (I'll do that before next time). My small cooler, hat and one paddle floated away. Recovered the cooler and the paddle later.

After seeing that I couldn't raise the mast again and sail home I started bailing and paddling. A capri can hold over a million gallons of lake water. Har har. The wind and the waves pushed me in a half hour over a half mile away on the shore where I was able to start towing the boat through the mud and trees along the shore. Four and a half hours later I got to the boat ramp and was able to get the boat with only a half million gallons of water onto the trailer. As I waited for the boat to drain I slowly moved up the boat ramp when all of a sudden the pin on my tilting trailer popped out and the transom of the boat dragged for about 6 feet opening up a crack in the bottom of the transom that I'll have to fix now.

After using the last of my strength to tie the boat onto the trailer and stow the gear I started home. In all that time there was not one other human in sight.

I did many things wrong to start with and I'll have to do some fiberglass and aluminum (mast) work but I will sail again.

Don't do what I did. Learn from this one.

..... should I just have reading as a hobby? ..... NAH!! sailing is more fun!!

Ed Jones

Secretary/Vice Commodore
Left me breathless

Wow. I'm breathless. I've read dozens of capsizing reports, but yours...

Let's say the capsizes I've seen or read about form a scale. At the upper end of the scale is one I witnessed. An experienced father-son team capsized on a gusty day. Like cats, they leaped onto the centerboard, gripped the gunnels and leaned back. In seconds the boat popped upright as they scrambled aboard and sailed away. They didn't even get wet!

Now yours. I'm proud to be able to say that your experience was the absolute worst I've ever heard of in my 21 years experience as a Capri 14.2 sailor and writer. Congratulations!
Thread starter #3
Dear Breathless ...

I was very proud to say that I survived and got my boat back home. There were many lessons that I and others should learn from this and I'll think hard before going out again. The wind is not something to trifle with.

Do you know that after all that I am missing my small cooler lid and the tiller and a 1 liter cooler jug that I use for all my registration paperwork. They were in the cuddy when I got to the boat ramp and I think that they are somewhere in the hull!

The lower 6 inches of the mast are chewed up with the mounting hole on one side almost ripped out along with a 10 inch section of the lower transom seam split and open about a 1/16 of an inch. I will repair and sail this baby again.

I am a sailor. not a very good one right now but I will get better.

Thanks for the encouragement and all the tips that I pick up in the forum.

Darn the mud and trees! Full speed ahead!


......... an artilleryman sees the world as full of two kinds of people ..... artillerymen and targets ........
Thread starter #4
Jan 2009 update to the turtling incident

Well, .....

After turtling the boat in July 06, I repaired the bottom of the transom where I split it, repaired the bottom of the mast (cut 4 inches off and drilled a new attachment hole), and took it out in September 06 (work kept getting in the way of sailing).

I had lost the original sail bag (hull #352), my tiller (actually a replacement made from a post hole digger handle, the lid to my little coleman cooler and a small jug that I used to stash paperwork on the boat.

Just finished tonight (12 Jan 09) putting in 4- 4 inch inspection ports on the seats of the Capri to allow me to put more floatation in the hull and guess what I found????

All my stuff. Had to snake it out and it was tough. So everything is ready to go now ( with the exception of new lines and much cleaning.

Since getting back in the water with boat #352, I have switched jobs, went to Iraq for a year, returned August of 08 and had to see relatives. Ended up buying a 25 foot Coronado sailboat for $500 and outfitting that. Now I get to sail here whenever I have a few hours and for a weekend I can drive to the big boat and sleep aboard.

I do think that the Capri is my favorite. Its a fast little boat and will give you a run for the money. This forum is loaded with golden information, too.

Pardon the ramble.

Steve Brockwell
Elgin, Oklahoma