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Core Sound 20 Mark III #3 "Skeena"


Steve W
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Yes it does I went ahead and used what I had and that was mahogany I cut it into 1/4” thick strips and made a gluelam and then weighed it down on the keel until cured I hope it will work well, as for a keel strip I used a 3/4 half oval brass.could not find a hollow back locally and shipping was a killer.

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Most people use hallow because it is cheaper and still works fine. I used solid half round bronze and it is almost indestructable when secured to the keel.  It is a little heavy, but looks cool too. Solid will spread out the force of a bang or bump a little better than hallow, but one would hope you don't do that often.

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  • 3 months later...

So I capsized and turtled Skeena this past summer. It's winter and she's snug in the shed safely for the winter so.....

 

In an embarrassing display of poor seamanship, I did about everything you could do wrong and had my own private capsize camp. But I got lucky and other than losing my GPS and my son’s phone, swimming suit, towel and a little daypack he got at USA Nordic Nationals (I’m saddest most about that) we came away lucky and the boat is fine.

 

This happened in June and I have been embarrassed to write about it, but what I learned and may help others. The most important part of the day was that there is nothing wrong with this design if you use what was designed into it.

 

The day was forecast for light winds on all my apps. Trusting the forecast was the first mistake I made. It was really the first nice day after the ramp opened (COVID-19) and there was a long line of boats/trailers waiting in line. It’s a single file line, so while my son Teddy drove, I rigged the boat as he drove and had it all rigged by the time it was our turn. Except the reef lines, which would become mistake number two.

 

The dock has only room for two boats in line and folks were impatient and after quickly parking the car, I launched. We hauled up the sails after a short motor and were having a great light wind sail with Teddy having most of the helm time. I noticed the wind had a few stronger than expected gusts and Teddy was playing the puffs perfectly. After an hour or so of sailing the wind built and I decided to put a reef in the main.  Adding a reef was no easy task because I hadn’t rigged it and it was so hot, I didn’t want to stop sailing. If I had just dropped the sails, it would have taken a minute to rig. And instead of rigging one line I could have added all four.

 

But really, I failed to do the obvious which was to fill the water ballast. I have replayed this over and over in my mind and it was just nothing short of a gigantic moment of stupidity. With the main with one reef she was sailing beautifully. After 15 more minutes or so, we were in deep water and during a tack we stalled and lost all our boat speed. Ted asked me take over, which I was happy to do. I pulled the the mainsheet to backwind and get us out of irons and as she was coming broad to the wind and waves I thought it might be time to reef more. The main wasn’t cleated, but the mizzen was sheeted hard as we’d been beating upwind just before. No sooner did I have those thoughts and I don’t think I’ve ever been over in a boat so fast. Did I mention not filling the water ballast tanks was just stupid?

 

In replaying in my mind what happened, we had just tacked and didn’t have any boat speed. I had the main in my hand, and released it when the gust hit, but the mizzen was sheeted hard and without boat speed to steer we were goners, both of us spider-man-ing onto the sails. I was alert enough to try and swim out and grab the mast, thinking I may be able to hold it up with the buoyancy of my life jacket, but Skeena turtled fast.

 

The next mistake was that I didn’t have the upper hatch board in. Anyway, in we went. My GPS was not tied down and it went to Davy Jone’s locker. The luckiest part of the day was we were in about 50’ of pretty warm fresh water. I took off my life jacket and the rig looked eerie down in the deep crystal clear water. A bunch of powerboats converged to help us and they grabbed a few things that had floated away. Teddy climbed up on the hull and couldn’t get the centerboard up. He was asking for a thin line so I handed him the trailing halyard line and he looped it under the board and pulled it up. He leaned way over and made progress tipping the boat a bit, so I climbed up and we just pulled, leaned and persuaded the boat back up. A couple of little kids on a tube came over and added their 90 pounds at best to our total. By now the wind was really whipping so I dove back in to un-cleat the halyards, and make sure nothing would get in the way so the sails wouldn’t knock us back in. The power boaters wanted to tow us to shallow water, but I knew that would spell disaster.

 

We rolled it back up slowly and it was floating fine, but the cockpit was full and the cabin was full. My nice cushions were floating, as was a lot of gear, but I could see we hadn’t hurt the rigging and while everything was wet, we were out of danger. We thanked all who helped us and by know the county sheriff came to do their part in embarrassing us with sirens wailing and full lights justifying their existence. Teddy and I bailed the cabin with a three-gallon bucket. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

 

All the while I’m just thinking what an idiot I had been. 13 years of sailing my Sea Pearl in way worse conditions and I’d never flipped WildCat. But I would always put in the water ballast. Just stupid. I flipped Thistles and 420's racing many times, and many others, but we had a crash boat and that’s racing.

 

Anyway the Sheriff towed us to the ramp, lights and siren wailing. The wind had slowed right down, so when we got closed to the ramp they got on the bullhorn and were yelling at the boats at the ramp which was uncalled for.  There was zero emergency. I unhooked the tow line without asking them. They looked super bummed, but we just paddled in with my SUP paddle as the wind was blowing us toward the ramp. FWIW, I’m thankful for their help but in any on water experiences with them I’m always amazed at their aggressive nature and lack of water experience.

 

I got the boat on the trailer, de-rigged it and towed it home with all the berth and forward hatches full of water.  It took a long time to pump and sponge all the water out. Noting got ruined, except the main downhaul line which was snapped in two. Not sure how that happened. I disconnected the solar panel and my depth sounder and I am happy to report they dried out and are all back working fine. Again, glad this didn’t happen in salt water.

Drying out the cushions consisted of removing the foam, squeezing it until most of the water was gone, then putting it in the laundry room with a fan and a de-humidifier.

 

The only damage to the boat was the Douglas fir top to the centerboard case split where the centerboard crashed into it. It split it’s entire length. I noticed Sailorman’s 17MK3 had the same damage. The glass was quite a bit smooshed so I had to pull the boat off the trailer, roll it on it’s side and coat and glass another 2 layers of glass on the underside of the top of the case after spreading the crack and injecting epoxy in. The sweet foam bumper Pete M gave me was cleaved right in two.  

 

This all happened on a Saturday. By the following Tuesday we had her and the little Suzuki dried and ready to go sailing, so my daughter Helen and I spent two days on Sodus bay. More on that later.

 

Things I learned.

1.       Put the water ballast in. All I had to do was hit a switch. I converted a small bilge pump into an effective bilge filling pump by having Teddy 3-D print a cap. It works awesome. Between the phone and my GPS this was a $1000+ mistake, but it could have been way worse.
 

2.       Then reef. I should have rigged the lines in the parking lot. Since then I tied the lines to the sprit so having things rigged isn’t an option. I always rig all four. Tip: The bands girls wear in their hair around your sprits are awesome to tuck the reef lines into when reefed or not in use.
 

3.       Sail a tight ship. I only had hinges on all my berth hatches. It’s a miracle I didn’t lose more stuff as all that gear was laying on the cabin top when it was underwater. They now have latches.
 

4.       A CS has way more sail area than my Sea Pearl. I needed to be more respectful of that. The mizzen on my Sea Pearl just didn’t have that much power. And the narrow nature of my Sea Pearl kept the rudder in the water and even with water coming over the rails I could still steer. Just different designs.
 

5.       I can see why the centerboard was moved forward in the revised plans. There isn’t a lot of weather helm on these early designs. I'm still not blaming the boat, just something to be wary of.
 

6.       Sometimes bad luck combined with a mental lapse causes bad things.

This all happened on Saturday and by Tuesday I was sailing again. I added the water ballast while I parked the car. I had mostly light winds the first day but it piped up the second and reefing was so easy when pre-rigged (Gee…..ya think?) . I added another down-haul to the main and it makes putting that first reef in really quick without having to move the reef hook.

I’ve had the boat out on some crazy windy days since them. I can tell you it took a bit of time to trust my skills again, but the water ballast just flat out works. 
 

Don't try this yourself. Learn from my mistake.

 

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Steve!  What a frightful experience.  Totally upside down!  But your recovery was really amazing.  If you had ballasted her do you think she would’ve gone over?  I thought the hollow masts would’ve provided enough floating torque to prevent her from going bottoms up.

 

Glad you and Teddy are safe.

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Thanks for the detailed write up.  Lots of lessons we can all learn from.   I have a list of things that must be done before getting underway  though it is tempting when the weather is nice or I am in a hurry to skip or forget some of them. 

 

I suspect you know but I have found that if I miss a tack it helps to loosen the mizzen a little. That makes it easier to use the main to push the bow out of the wind. Also if the mizzen is out a little the boat accelerates more quickly. Then if you want to be close hauled you can snug up the mizzen as you pick up speed.

 

I often use the mizzen sheeted in tight to heave to, and when getting underway the first thing I do is loosen the mizzen. That has helped train me to be attuned to how the mizzen is sheeted and its affect on the boat.

 

I am glad to hear you were able to make some adjustments and get back to the joys of sailing.

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Hey, Steve,

Having turtled my 17 a few years ago, I know the embarrassment and chagrin.  No surprise you didn't rush to write about this.  It took me months to go public, and months to get my confidence back. 

 But  I also know the learning that can follow, and certainly laud you for your insightful report.  Mine, too, was totally operator error.  As my wife just said, "Good for you men to write about this."  I'm glad to hear you got back on the water so quickly.  

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1 hour ago, Paul356 said:

Hey, Steve,

Having turtled my 17 a few years ago, I know the embarrassment and chagrin.  No surprise you didn't rush to write about this.  It took me months to go public, and months to get my confidence back. 

 But  I also know the learning that can follow, and certainly laud you for your insightful report.  Mine, too, was totally operator error.  As my wife just said, "Good for you men to write about this."  I'm glad to hear you got back on the water so quickly.  

 

Paul,

 

I was totally embarrassed and for awhile didn't tell many people. I didn't sail again in Conesus lake for most of the summer. It was a humbling experience that only added to all 2020 has had to offer. It's hard to believe I missed your story, but maybe I blocked it thinking it could never happen to me. Thank you for re-sharing. It was stressful to read having gone through my adventure. Funny thing is Teddy doesn't seem the worse for wear!

 

 

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WAY back when I first married my wife, she bought me a little used day sailor for a wedding gift, and I bought her a washing machine. Anyway, I took her sailing and was showing her how to jibe. And---OOPS---flipped---dumped us out---filled with water. Didn't turtle, but full of water that couldn't be bailed. Bass boat pulled us to shallow water where we could empty it. We hung on the back as we were towed---she slipped off. What a way to start a marriage!

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I’m ready for bed and thought I’d have one more quick read... well, Steve’s capsize saga above wasn’t quick but helpfully informative. (Thanks, Steve, for a willingness to describe your event... I found myself thinking about a stupid motorcycle-riding error that taught me a few things... I tend to keep the embarrassing story to myself.)

 

So, I’m reading Steve’s post and the comments that followed, kinda readying my eyes to close soon for sleep, when I read about Chick’s romantic early-marriage exchange of gifts (day-sailor and washing-machine.)  I don’t know why it struck me so funny, but my guffaw laughter certainly changed my sleepy demeanor.  (I enjoy Chick’s commentary and enjoyed meeting him.) Sleep was was elusive for a while last night as I kept thinking about how it seemed so funny to me... and I picked up the laughter feeling this morning.  
 

So, a relative story in my very short sailing experience... On my second sailing with my wife this fall on our new CS15, it was breezier with some gusting.  I had the reefs in before launching.  I raised the mizzen leaving it lower than full height.  The mainsail was getting stuck a bit and I was trying to figure out why... and my sprits at that time were still too long. The mizzen sprit was extending even farther forward than normal because of it being reefed. Still fooling with getting the mainsail up a bit more (I think the downhaul had become cinched in the cleat, keeping the mainsail too low) a gust hit us, the mainsail leech swung over and was caught by the mizzen sprit... and we are heading over.  Both of us uttered the technical nautical term describing the quickly evolving situation while scrambling up to the top of the listing sailboat, somehow preventing the capsize and freeing the mainsail to luff in the wind (the sheet was free and the catch by the mizzen sprit came as a real surprise).  After successful recovery and more effectively setting the sails in the stronger winds (stronger for me... I’m a newbie to all this) my wife chose to sit in the bow area, which we learned could be a wet place with some wind and waves.  She’s a good sport.  We had some fun and a small learning adventure that day. 
And, I just bought her a yet-to-be-delivered new oven.  ?

 

(Maybe this line would work???   “I was scammed... I ordered you a bunch of really nice gifts, but instead they sent me a bunch of non-refundable sailboat parts.”)

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I guess we all must have wife---boating adventures. My poor wife has survived a few, but none as much "fun" as that first one. She'll go on short outings but has never spent the night aboard. No hot shower or real toilet. Not to mention those pesky skeeters! And no fancy kitchen with 4 burner stove, frig., oven, pots and pans, etc, etc. She just doesn't like my Chef Boyardee-in-a-can supper or Vienna Sausage and cracker lunches. She doesn't understand why I don't cook REAL food. I DO have a neat little one burner stove. I reminded her of how I tried to boil water once, but burned it. And I do have a perfectly satisfactory head---a 3 gallon bucket wit a bag and toilet seat on it. Even a Sun Shower that I can hang from the Bimini top. I always anchor in a little private cove for my shower with no one around to peek. As far as the skeeters go, we don't have them here in the mountains, but she does have a point with coastal cruising. Skeeters usually win. Y'all heard about the two skeeters down on Shackleford banks that were carrying a big he-coon between them. One turned to the other and said, "We better hurry and get him home before the BIG boys come and take him away from us!" It's true. And down there they say that the skeeter is our state bird.

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Glad that it didnt turn out worse and glad you shared this story.

This about forgetting things: 

When I bought Muckla, my Diabolo, in 2009, she was in the water. I had a cold but sunny week of autumn cruising on Chiemsee in her before I took her out of the water and brought her home. So pulling her out, unrigging and trailering was all new to me. I was amazed, how hard it was to winch her on the trailer until I heared a crack and realized that I had forgotten to hoist the CB up. So the first repair was due to stupidity. Lesson learned, I thought - until it happened again this year....

Mucklas CB does have a downhaul, which I reguarly forget to uncleat when I should. I am not shure if this could prevent the CB from falling back and damaging the CB-trunk if she really capsized - but that's the reason why I always cleat it. I hope, I can never report if it does.

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Checklists !!!

Where forgetting is fatal, they are a requirement.  Flying an airplane, scuba diving, etc.

Also where forgetting is expensive — like loss of boat, big repairs, etc.

 

For Chessie I had a checklist for approaching the dock, hauling out, making rig “road ready,” etc.  Kept it in my shirt pocket for easy reference.  Also one for rigging and launching.

 

They are especially important at the end of the day when you’re tired (even exhausted).  Also at start of day when you may be in a hurry to get under way — or distracted by “helpful” bystanders.

 

Even with checklists, I’ve forgotten important steps — and Lady Luck has often saved my butt.

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On 12/15/2020 at 11:33 AM, Wommasehn said:

Glad that it didnt turn out worse and glad you shared this story.

This about forgetting things: 

When I bought Muckla, my Diabolo, in 2009, she was in the water. I had a cold but sunny week of autumn cruising on Chiemsee in her before I took her out of the water and brought her home. So pulling her out, unrigging and trailering was all new to me. I was amazed, how hard it was to winch her on the trailer until I heared a crack and realized that I had forgotten to hoist the CB up. So the first repair was due to stupidity. Lesson learned, I thought - until it happened again this year....

Mucklas CB does have a downhaul, which I reguarly forget to uncleat when I should. I am not shure if this could prevent the CB from falling back and damaging the CB-trunk if she really capsized - but that's the reason why I always cleat it. I hope, I can never report if it does.

The type of cleat (CL 257) used on the rudder that releases under high strain would keep it upright. It wouldn't take much to hold it. I've consider doing this, but it's not an easy job and working under the companionway deck is about my least favorite workspace. I think if I'd had the water ballast in this wouldn't have happened. But I also know that when that C-board comes down it has a lot of force. Teddy said he didn't have much trouble snagging the C-board with the halyard......I was busy with other stuff. I was swimming and looked up and he had it extended.

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