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Alan Stewart

B&B's first annual "Capsize Camp" July, 20-22

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"Ignorance is bliss" is what comes to mind here. Why do folks like B&B have to go and tell us about the bad stuff that can happen? Much more of this kind of thing, and I'll just stay in bed every day!

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11 hours ago, Beacher said:

This is the worst thread ever. Before, when I sailed my CS 20 I was only concerned about keeping the mainsheet at hand. I believed Designer's assurance that releasing the main would prevent a capsize. Why prepare for a capsize when it won't happen?

 

Yesterday when I went sailing I was looking at all the loosely stored junk on board the would go overboard.

 

I didn't capsize, but I was afraid that the topic was so much on my mind that it would be a self fulfilling event.

I can sort of agree. This is the kind of thinking that took the fun out of motorcycling for me. I started wearing ballistic armor, driving defensively, realizing everybody driving is texting, etc. which are all smart, but I started worrying so much the fun was taken away and the heat of all that gear made me hot and miserable. So I stopped riding. 

 

People have been sailing all sorts of designs with poor safety and they've been having all kinds of fun. Warm water, PFD and people being around are sometimes all the safety you need. Tons of people sailing Lightnings, Thistles, Snipes, etc. over years are a testament to that.

 

It's best to know all of this stuff, but please don't let it take the fun away.

 

What I really like about all this testing is it let's each person decide where the envelope is for them. I admit that while I have sailed my Sea Pearl all over the place, it's lack of recovery and my common sense have made me miss some things (like the EC) that interest me. The CS20.3 I'm building wouldn't have been considered without it's recoverability.

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   Beacher,

   Don't let this thread take the fun out of it for you.  Make it an excuse to go out properly prepared and roll the boat over in warm water and a good breeze.  You might have a lot of fun getting really, really close to rolling without quite going over.  I have had loads of good times almost, but not quite rolling my CS17.  They're quite trustworthy boats and the more you play around at the edge of rolling, the more confidence you'll have when you find yourself in unexpected weather.

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I am with Ken, I do not find this subject a downer at all. I have a lot of miles under me in the CS17 and 20 and have never capsized one unintended. The picture of me sitting on the centerboard of my CS17 at the beginning of this string was taken before I went in the EC. It pays to find out if there will be any issues and to solve them before you commit yourself. Instead of depressing me, it made me feel more comfortable when running hard through the night way offshore in the Gulf and very alone, that if something went wrong I could get myself out of it.

 

My first boat was an 11' moth. I weighed less than 100 # and was totally ignorant. I was lucky that it was totally decked over and was easy to right. I capsized so many times that it became a family joke. With all of that practice I became very good at the art of the capsize and would be over the top and onto the board and back over the rail as the boat came back up, barely getting wet. On a blustery day on the river, a good samaritan saw me capsize a few times and called the police. I do not know how they knew where I lived but when the officer told my mother that I had capsized 5 times, her response was "only 5 times"!

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My previous post was 85% tongue in cheek. It is a valuable thread and kudos to the organizers for hosting the event. I learned to sail on a 12' tech dinghy with one sail. It resisted capsizing unless you assisted it, but then it turtled. Righting the boat wasn't a problem.

 

My interest in capsizing a CS 20 is to know how far it can go under real sailing conditions before it goes over. And I'd like to know how fast it will turtle and how it recovers from that.

 

In the meantime I will look for ways to better secure all the junk aboard.

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I stole this idea for a boarding assist from some one on the forum.  Wish I could remember to give credit.  It works and stores out of the way.  The line was free, it was the excess cut offs from my running rigging. The step is a shop scrap of Teak.

 

(note: the rudder isn't really crooked)

20180726_110342.jpg

20180726_110407.jpg

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I started out in a competitive Windmill racing fleet before I really knew how to sail.  Had read all the library books on sailing boats but in 1966, that was not very many.  In our first couple races with Liz as my crew, we dumped in blustery conditions at the leeward mark.  The early Windmill was completely open and did not have any flotation other than the wood in the boat so flipping it back up and sailing on was out of the question.  I was able to bring it back vertical with tons of water inside and tossed out the anchor which brought the boat head to wind.  With Liz hanging on to one rail, I bailed with a bucket until the water was below the daggerboard slot and climbed aboard to get more water out. Finally I was able to pull my long suffering crew aboard and hauled the anchor.  We finished the race and and Liz asked me if that was the worse that could happen.  After I assured her that a capsize was about it, she said "well I won't worry any more" and we went on to years of more racing capsizes, some easier, some worse and a few much more difficult.  The experience gained from easy situations stood in good stead whenever Murphy decided to try new tests of our skills.  After this episode, I installed port and starboard air bags that allowed for much easier recovery.

 

One crazy capsize occurred in a regatta in Chick's back yard at a small lake just south of Asheville on the first week of November.  While attempting to get relief from very blustery wind, I sailed into a downwind cove.  I immediately saw that this was a stupid thing to do as the wind remained high as well as having large shifts side to side in the cove.  Managed to tack around but one shift just flipped the boat over.  My boat "Don Quixote" rolled mast down and on through a 360 and came back upright.  By this time the capsize practice paid off and I just walked the boat all the way over and stepped back inside, where the water finally came over the top of my boots and got my feet wet for the first time.  The lake is cooling water for a power plant and is so tepid that tropical fish live there.  Of course on the first of November, the air is cold and we sailed back to the club dock for my crew to get out and dry out in the warm clubhouse.  I was ashamed to admit to my crew that I was all dry and he may have never forgiven me.

 

Many capsizes in Lasers and many other boats came along at regular intervals while racing.  It is a general truth that if you do not capsize from time to time in a high performance boat while racing, you are probably not sailing on the edge that is necessary to win.  A boat can go under water with out a normal capsize.  Racing against Graham in frostbite races in Spindrift 10s, I sailed the boat under the water down wind in strong wind.  With the sail of a Spindrift so far forward, the pressure overcame my ballast sitting on the transom and just went under a wave.  Graham just looked over at my swamped boat as he sailed by and won the race.  In all 50 plus years since 1966, I have never capsized when not racing.

 

Capsize drills, like all drills are intended to make the real thing less serious and allow you to follow your training and do what is necessary without having to think for the first time about how to go about it.

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20 hours ago, Beacher said:

...I'd like to know how fast it will turtle and how it recovers from that.

 

 

With Graham at the tiller it'll usually go over gracefully and come back up almost immediately.  With me at the tiller the crew will be launched a few meters downwind (Woo!) and the recovery will take some time.  Practice, practice, practice... :)

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Has anyone capsized tested a Belhaven 19?  

Calculations say stable to 80 degrees before the batteries, fuel, extra lead in the keel, and of course the wine cellar and hot tub.  She behaves so much like a keel boat that my 200# on the rail doesn't result in much heel.  After a few years of comfortable sailing I've become complacent.

Left wondering after reading these posts if she would really roll on over if pushed to 80 or 90 degrees.  Certainly not much buoyancy in the mast.   I think I will tighten up the lockers and round up some "rail meat"  for shallow water testing.    

Randy  

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Just want to add my two cents - Kudos to Graham, Alan and all the other folks who made this event happen. The ability to recover from a capsize was an important feature for me when I chose to build the CS17 design. I sincerely appreciate the event participants, the videos, the ongoing R&D (mast float), and the community discussion. I will be practice capsizing my boat in the near future. I am interested in purchasing plans for the masthead float when available. 

Brian

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Randy,

 

It has been a long time since I did stability calculations for the Belhaven. I was thinking recently that I need to see if I can even find them and revisit the calculations and bring them up to date. I recall that the 80 degrees was a very conservative number because I was considering a worse case situation like crew falling into the mizzen sail etc..

 

With feedback and experience I know that you have a greater point of vanishing stability than the mk3's.  

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Graham,

Thanks for responding.  My thought is to do a shallow water test on a sandbar and see if I can find the equilibrium point with the board up and 80 pounds of batteries mounted on the forward floor. If that goes well I'll try it in water deep enough to put the board down.  I'll follow up after testing.

Randy

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Since when is being in the water "not fun"?  

 

There's this guy on the Duckworks FB Magazine.  He has designed a sailing pram for his son.  When I quizzed him about floatation, he said there was none planned.  They wouldn't sail that far from shore-- they can swim it ashore to right the boat.  I suggested that he try this himself, before putting his child's life in jeopardy.  SOME PEOPLE!!!

 

I know that it has become a cliche, but "Be Prepared" is still a good motto.

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