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Alan Stewart

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

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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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The second annual Capsize camp is right around the corner. Scheduled for the 20-20 (weekend after next). If you can't make it to the shop don't worry! we'll have another one with more advanced warning.  The schedule will be the same as last year which was basically sail around and capsize your boat as you like! We hope to demo version 2 of the mast head float as well. 

-Alan

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We had a very successful albeit HOT capsize camp on Saturday Here is the proof I mean footage!!!  An enormous thanks to Will and Rob for bringing there really nice CS-17 and offering themselves up to the camera and spectators! They did an amazing job, no boats or humans were damaged and everyone learned a lot. Thanks also to Nick for the extra video footage, Rob for coming out and taking our Spindrift 12 for a much needed spin, Tana (the main camera woman), Dawn and Taylor for being our "rescue swimmers" slash "I'm going to cool off in the water now" spectators and Dejah and Zoey for moral support aboard Southbound the camera boat. We will have info up soon on the mast head float and how you can get one. We will be offering them as easy to put together kits which will pop right onto any existing Core Sound boat's mast. 

 

 

 

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Peg and I did a capsize drill with Deluge (CS17.3) in Lk Washington earlier this month. No video I'm sorry to say, so here's a description of our experience and what I think we've learned. Water warm, light chop, 3-5 kt winds, and we were 50' off the beach in around 15'-20' of water where a few folks were casually swimming and hanging out. The ballast tanks were full for the two tests, washboards in, companionway hatch and fore hatch closed and latched.

  • 1st capsize to port, sails sheeted, cb down. I swam immediately around and leaned on the CB, which popped the boat up before Peg could get into position for crew rescue.
  • 2nd capsize to stb, sheets tight, cb down. I lingered a few seconds in the water to ensure Peg could be in position, and this time released the main and miz sheets. Within seconds the boat started to roll; I swam around the stern just in time to watch the CB drop back into the trunk. We retrieved the righting lines (secured to cleats amidships, just forward of the coaming) and the two of us (~300 lbs) hung on it with no appreciable movement. The mast had gotten stuck in the mud, hull was ~160 degrees off upright. Two adult swimmers joined us  and the 4 of us reefed on two righting lines - the 2nd tied to the mizzen - again, without budging the boat. A very small dinghy with a 2.5 hp ob offered a hand, and by towing the bow backward and the 4 of us reefing on the lines for all we were worth, were able to slowly roll the boat over. Unfortunately though, the cabin was full of water.
    • I got the anchor down and cleated, then boarded to bail. The boat was unstable and felt like it could roll back over. The stern was high (CP compartments stayed dry), bow was down a good 20 degrees, which left the CP half full of water since the CP drains were well above the waterline. After about an hour or so of bailing (bucket and manual Whaler) we were able to get Deluge back sitting on her water line and we sailed back to the launch.

Here are some of the lessons I've been mulling over for a few weeks now:

  • no future capsize drills without a motorized support boat
  • the CS17.3 is very stable with the ballast tanks full, but once the hull is more than maybe 110 degrees, I don't think self recovery is possible (with or without righting lines), especially on a stb capsize, where the CB is high and will be quickest to roll into the trunk.
  • Sheeted sails laying horizontally in the water provide resistance as the masts transit down thru the water, and that resistance offers time to get around to the CB. If the sails are released, as I did, the sprits pivot, allowing the sails to slice through the water and hasten the boat's roll. Even at the risk of the boat sailing away, I'll never release the sheets from the water  again.
  • The cabin vent hatch (stb side for Deluge) that opens to the anchor locker, was open, and (I believe) allowed the cabin to flood more quickly than it would have otherwise. I plan to keep that hatch, and the forward hatch secured while we're underway, or at least under dicey conditions. (I presume the cabin would have eventually flooded anyway. Our companionway hatch was closed and washboards in.)
  • The large, forward cabin storage compartment was completely full of water  (and water was pretty much above the  compartment throughout the cabin). I plan to make the hatch cover water tight so the compartment can provide flotation. I suspect this should float the flooded hull closer to the DWL, and enable the CP drains to drain more of the cockpit. That should increase the stability of the flooded hull some.
  • Even in perfect swim weather and conditions, communication in the water is difficult face-to-face, and essentially impossible on opposite sides of the boat. Crew need to know their tasks and do them once in the water without expecting to chat about it during an event.
  • Inflatable PFDs make it very awkward to reboard  with our ladder (our's is a Garelick 2-step, swing-down model). I plan to add a couple of large grab handles, and if that isn't enough, replace the ladder, since the first step is quite high (esp when the stern is so high off the water) on this model. I also plan to research a less bulky PFD.
  • I believe the self-rescue sequence should be:
    • beefy-guy swims immediately to the CB and rights the boat as quickly as possible
    • crew immediately positions self for a gunwale rescue. Once the masts are out of the water, or as soon as possible after that, he/she releases all sheets, then seeks to support beefy-guy's re-boarding. The crew then sheets the mizzen, leaving the main free, to heave-to. I think it's critical the crew be immediately in place for gunwale rescue so they can release the sheets, otherwise bad may go to worse in a hurry.
  • Secure as much masthead flotation as possible.
  • Don't tip over.

I'm looking forward to any discussion this prompts from folks -- thanks in advance for your insights.

Fred

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Fred and Peg,

Thank you for sharing your capsize testing results. Invaluable testing data for all of us. I hope there was no damage to your gear and it sounds like you were well prepared to carry out the test. Here are some of my thoughts after reading

I think the mast head float is the obvious choice to address concerns of capsizing the 17mk3. We have seen that she is pretty easily recovered in calm waters with ballast in and board down but in other configurations and more importantly, worse or real conditions (or less capable hands) I think that additional measures are prudent. Capt. Bones had a float on his 17mk3 in the EC and i plan to have one on my 20mk3. It is very difficult to design righting moment AND shallow draft AND light weigh trailering all in one and the 17 and 20mk3 are both tradeoffs in this regard. We could bolt on a lead keel shoe and increase righting moment but at the expense of the other factors. Perhaps this is an option we should consider for builders to choose. The Belhaven has two lead ballast options. The 17mk3 has more stability than the standard 17 but that also means the water ballast providing that stability can "swing both ways" if the boat reaches a certain angle of heel. This presents as the boat rolling over faster once it crosses that fated angle of heel as you experienced. Certainly the cabin of the 17 and 20mk3 should never be allowed to flood. The free surface effect produced means almost certain game over for self rescue and outside assistance required.

Options going forward as i see them are, installing a mast head float like the one we have been working on for the standard 17 with sufficient flotation to prevent turtling even without the water ballast and with the board up. This addresses turtling concerns in all configurations. We will see what size float that would require. It could be that it is too big to be practical. 

Or adding ballast in the form of lead either in the form of an external keel shoe or internal ingots bolted inside the ballast tank to increase righting moment. Perhaps enough to prevent turtling in the event of capsize with ballast tank full but board UP.

Or perhaps a combination of both.

Graham and I will take a look at the 17mk3 hydrostatics model and report back here with some numbers for the discussion.

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A good tip Alan mentioned earlier is to make sure your masts are sealed so they provide flotation rather than filling with water.  Might want to check that if you haven't already.

 

Interesting observation about the sails acting as baffled while sheeted, slicing through the briny deep when not.

 

Based on your description, my thought would be to have your skipper get to the CB as quickly as possible and do the righting.  If the crew can get to the low side coaming in time, fine, but rather than wait for crew, get the boat upright first, and get crew in second, through boarding ladder if needed. 

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