Jump to content

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

Alan Stewart

Recommended Posts

Really great stuff! Thank you so much for posting the videos, and to Matt and crew for capsizing his boat! I thought it was interesting to get a sense for how much weight has to be on the tip of the centerboard to get the sails out of the water.  Love the goldfish...Looking forward to any more posts, and some word on how well the latches work.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Capsize Camp 2018 has wrapped up! Much was learned and a huge thanks to everyone who attended but especially to Matt, Richard and Michele for bringing their boats and really taking advantage of the weekend and offering to capsize their boats with other people. Your participation really made this great learning experience for everyone. 


Here are two more videos from Saturday (day 2) of the event. The first is featuring Richard and Michele's CS-17 Mark 3 'Avocet' and the second features Taylor and Alan's CS-17 'Soutbound' using the new mast float. 


Some observations on the 17mk3. The main one is that the boat was very easy to right from a capsize and the self draining cockpit and tall cabin make her float very high and no bailing was required. As is apparent from the video the boat was not quite able to "self-right" with her ballast tank and centerboard alone and still needed a little help from the crew. A mast head float would be a good idea to have on the Mark 3 to prevent the boat from going turtle in the event the boat ever capsized with the ballast tank empty. We tested that righting capability with the centerboard retracted but were not able to right the boat without assistance. A small line attached to the lead tip of the centerboard would have made it possible to pull the retracted board out after the uphaul was uncleated. 





  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


 Thank you for the video and for setting up the Camp.   It was a tremendous amount of fun. We were both really impressed with how easy the boat is to right, and the fact that no  hatches leaked and the cockpit was virtually dry. ( It was drained by the time I got in the boat)  When the gold fish design goes into production please let us know.  We would like to have one.  In rough weather, having the luxury of getting things sorted out before righting would be helpful.  I hope that Capsizing will become part of the Messabout.  It is a necessary life skill. 


Best Regards to all.  I hope everyone enjoyed a good splash.  


Richard and Michele


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woohoo! Cheers to Michele and Richard for dunking their MK3!! Exciting to see how quickly it popped back up. That was really instructive to see. (Hope your outboard is ok.)


Thank you - and thanks to Alan and everyone who made CC possible.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


 Good evening.  All the capsizes were done with the ballast tank full.  I have only sailed the boat once with the ballast tank empty which was in light air.  The boat seemed too buoyant. The result being the masts were rocking the sails could not draw.   Even in light air I fill the ballast tank.  The boat is much more settled.  That is why we did not  practice capsizing with an empty ballast tank.  Perhaps at the Messabout we can. 




pS.  The motor works fine.  No problems from all the dunking.  Michele and I have a renewed respect for it.  It is excellent for docking and short trips down a creek. It would not be good for a trip where you needed to motor for hours.  




Link to comment
Share on other sites


The drone of tires on the west-bound North Carolina highway does not quiet the excitement in my chest nor the churning in my gut.  Soundless thoughts and visuals are looping through my head as Bumpkin and I attempt to make practiced conversation on a twelve hour drive home—there is only one subject—Safety protocols and equipment we want to maintain on the Core Sound 17 Mark 3-2/Bones we are building.   

We have spent a short two days accumulating a years’ worth of knowledge during the Capsize Class at B&B Yachts and endorsed by WaterTribe.  The class goal was to learn how to self-rescue from a capsize, however, it was much more.  Our discussion on the ride home was a cornucopia of wisdom gleaned from the other participants, Roo, SOS of B&B Designs, Chief and of course learning from the exposure of our own potential fatal inadequacies. Each sentence shared a fruit harvest, each paragraph a bounty of fresh understanding.  Here is what we learned at this event and how we are applying it to our Core Sound build in progress. 

• Attach rigid folding recovery ladder on the stern of our boat. 
• We will have a secondary soft ladder system on-board.
• Attach a grab handle approximate to ladder for aid in boarding. 
• Individual safety lines attached to base of the mizzenmast adjusted just long enough to be within reach of boat ladder if in water.
• Righting line stowed on mizzenmast with pre-adjusted foot stirrup used to assist in applying body weight in righting the vessel.
• Having seen its success, we will be purchasing a “Goldfish” masthead float from B&B.
• We intend to sort a kick-up centerboard downhaul, or a streaming string to pull CB out of the trunk when capsized, or a shear pin to hold down the centerboard.  We want the centerboard extended or the ability to extend it when capsized.
• Our ballast tank will be normally full, as opposed to normally empty.
• We will maintain our hatches with leak proof seals.
• Our cockpit drains will be oversized.
• We will maintain an electric and manual de-watering pump. 
• We are going to sail within the limits of our boat and skills to minimize unintentional capsizing, yet during our crew training periods, we intend to practice intentional capsizing until it is boring.
• The proper footwear and PFD, (worn at all times while underway), that allow righting/boarding relatively unhindered is paramount to us. 
• Firmly secure everything in the boat we want to have at the end of the voyage.

The above we learned about capsizing and recovery.   However, there was so much more gleaned on sails, rigging hardware, equipment, placement and techniques of everything and slick tricks in general. 

We appreciate those who sacrificed their time and provided their personal boats for this event.  There is no doubt what was learned at this training program will save a life in the future—probably mine, and I thank you in advance cause I have a good life.

Capt Bones & Bumpkin

Link to comment
Share on other sites


     I have a line on the back of Avocet that runs from one side to the other and between the rudder and the transom, above the lower gudgen.  I expect that is not very clear. I will get a photo when I get home this weekend.  I used the line as a step and grabbed the front of the rear seat on the cockpit.  Also not a good description.  I think it worked well. It would be better If I had a grab handle or ridge on the edge of the edge of the seat.  Once again, this needs photos. 


All in all not too bad. I tend to try cheep and easy methods first. 


I will follow up this weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



On a CS17 there is not enough volume in the masts, even if perfectly sealed to prevent inversion. If the crew makes sure that the sheets are free and that the board is down and immediately gets around or over the boat to the tip of the board and starts to right the boat, they do not need a mast float.


The problem is, if something gets fouled or goes wrong or the crew is slow, the boat goes upside down or the mast tips get stuck in the mud, then they need outside assistance which may not be available or might damage the boat trying to help. 


There is also the rare event when a major front passes through  with winds so strong that the safest strategy is to stay in the water until the wind eases up enough to right the boat. Tom described such an event that he was in when most of the very large fleet capsized. I have been caught i such weather myself but fortunately I did not end up in the water. It is times like these when things can go wrong which is why we wanted to do this so that we can get an idea of what to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this thread is incredibly valuable.  Not long after I launched my EC22 my wife and I capsized our boat while on a trip in April with no one in sight. Some tips that Graham had shared with me helped us right our boat and sail eight miles back to the dock. Wetter but a little wiser.  That situation  could easily have become miserable or tragic. B&B's knowledge and experience is broad and always growing.


Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found that as I have gotten older, I can't pull myself up unless I have a step lower below the bottom of the boat. This is the one that I like.


On Summer Breeze, I mounted it towards the top of the transom and when folded up, it stuck up too high and fouled the mizzen sheet. If I'd mounted it lower, it would have been much better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.