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Masthead float


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I thought I would like to assure Graham, Alan and all CS sailors that the masthead float works as intended.  That is, with 'Moby Turtle' the streamlined turtle ball in place atop the mizzen mast of my CS17 yesterday, there was no turtling, just a capsize.  The masts lay flat on the surface.  This was not planned, unfortunately, but I'm not up to relating the details yet.  Nothing injured but my ego.

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Paul ,


Thanks for the feedback. It does not matter how many times we test something, there is nothing like a real life situation with Murphy watching for a chance to get us.


I do not need to know how or why you capsized. Most of mine have been my screwups.

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I appreciate your capacity to manage the ego-thing enough to share this part of your story… good to know. Thanks.  It gives some added assurance to those who made and use a mast float that one can be spared some of the “worse” aspects of a capsize… such as the boat wanting to roll over or actually turtling. 

If you feel up to it, I find myself wondering about some of how elements of managing a capsize would go… I hope you might eventually be willing to describe a bit of your recovering process. I’ve seen the B&B capsize camp and other videos but I’m sure an actual unplanned capsize would be a LOT wilder and out of control. 

I’ve not done a capsize drill yet (work has been impeding my water play this summer and even more distracting than family things). But I finally did get out of my CS15 one day to try some reboarding from deep water.  The only good success of various reboarding methods was for me to put both feet into a couple steps in my emergency strap ladder attached to the transom… I found using only one foot in a step required too much force to get my body out of the water than a single leg wanted to provide.  I still haven’t tried the little aluminum ladder I installed on my CS17m3… almost tried it last week… soon.  At least The Wheezer successfully used it a few weeks ago when she just wanted to swim a while when she was with me for a local sailboat race. 

A few more of my musing wonderings… did the actual righting of your 17’ go ok?  Was the water inside bailed out or could you just sail on for a while?  Were you alone?  😬. How was getting back on board for you?  How did loose stuff in the boat and things stored under the hatches do?  I would think/hope that an anchor in the anchor well would likely stay in place if the mast float kept the boat at 90 degrees from upright. 

These are just questions that arise in my thinking about the likely eventuality.  I guess, Paul, I’d better get myself to do some capsize drills to learn some of this firsthand. 🙂


And, I recall Moby from my visit back in 2020… I think your B&B float was still in the experimental stage (8 sided plywood fish structure… I suspect the new kit with foam insulation makes for an easier build.)



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As one of the few, if only people who turtled a Mark III, I know the feeling of not wanting to share. I considered myself a pretty accomplished sailor, with a lot of experience in much worse condition than "that day". I owned a Sea Pearl for 13 years and sailed it in much crazier conditions and took pride in never capsizing it. I've raced Thistles and had many speedy boats over the years.


So it took me awhile to fess up that I'd turtled Skeena. Lost some gear. Had to be towed by some clueless law enforcement jamokes. It took me awhile to realize in telling the story it helped me think through the event to make better choices going forward. And sharing with others hopefully helps them.


I'm 100% sure if that day happened again it would be a different outcome.  And time fixed my ego. 

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