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 Post subject: point of no return?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:43 pm
Posts: 22
I'm new to sailing this being my fist season, I've sail my 16 around 10/12 times, I'm guessing around 30 hours. SO as I'm feeling pretty comfy I still haven't capsized her or sailed alone. my question is, is there "always" a point of no return, the angle at which you went to far and are going over?(providing you keep the tip of the pontoon up) I've watch a ton of video, read alot of material preparing for it lol. I also notice some Hobie's on one pontoon ride much higher in the water than others, but thats a side curiosity.....
Is it simply a feel thing? have to go over a few times to learn? is it the Puff that seems to get you ?
Thanks for any input and stories!


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 808
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Experiment, under control. and do this gently please.

Find a sandy beach, with little/no waves, and deliberately capsize your H16...
probably thigh deep is good,
with friends around to help 'catch' the mast so you don't break anything.
Then right the Hobie.
Get a 'feel' for how far over she'll go before 'its too late'.

The biggest challenge with H16s is digging in a bow 'cos your weight is too far forward, especially when running.

Get wet, have fun, be safe.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:11 pm
Posts: 239
Location: West Point, Utah
I agree with John. Try it, you'll like it. Most of the capsizing I have done has been when I am pushing the boat for speed and I dig in a bow. Can you say "pitchpole". I have almost never had a bad experience going over either. Nearly always come up with a ear to ear grin. My son in law and I were out one time and the wind was a perfect 18 knots and I was trying for a personal best speed and was really cranking. We were both way back on the hull and out on the traps. Heard a "ping" and then a splash and immediately started going over. As the mast gently settled into the lake I looked back to see my son in law waving to let me know he was OK. His dogbone had failed and he'd gone over backward into the water. Didn't quite get my personal best, but had a great time trying. Had it up and sailing again in about 5 minutes.
The worst time was when I got caught out in a storm on Great Salt Lake. They come in quick and furious. I had been watching the storm and it was moving North and I could see it move so knew it was not coming at me. When it stopped moving I knew it was either heading towards me or away so headed into the marina. I had talked earlier to a German tourist who was out on a rented kayak and I could see him out by Egg Island and knew that he had no idea what was coming at him. By this time I had determined that the storm was headed towards us as the wind had picked up quite a bit. I headed over to warn the kayaker and was on the way back about 200 yards from the marina opening when it hit. Later was able to determine that the winds were initially about 32 knots and gusting to about 40. I was solo that day and just did not have the weight to keep her down. It was a pretty violent capsize. I was so close but was being blown away from the marina and towards the causeway. I righted the boat about 8 times and each time was immediately blown over before I could get aboard. So I rode it to the causeway and was lucky that it was a sandy spot without many rocks where I was washed up. Some cars had stopped on the causeway to watch the show and to their credit a couple came out into the huge surf to help me land the boat safely. We got it up out of the water on its side and the only damage was to some of the batten pockets. The guy in the kayak headed straight for shore at my suggestion and walked back to the marina. Even this was not a "bad" experience. Just a little scary at points. All good. (set a personal best for solo that day at 21.6 knots. Garmin Etrex)


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 278
Location: Buffalo, NY
Simple answer? Yes. In Naval Architecture-speak, this is called the "point of vanishing stability." However, when sailing such a small boat, you can modify that point considerably. I can get my boat to about 50-60 degrees without capsizing.

The point of vanishing stability for a cruise ship, for example, is pretty well fixed. The weight of the passengers and their effects, while not insignificant, is much less than the weight of the ship's structure, machinery, outfitting, fuel, ballast, stores, etc. When it reaches the point of vanishing stability, it will roll and continue to roll until it finds a more stable point - usually either on it's side or upside down. However, one of the key factors in the point of vanishing stability is the "center of gravity," or center of weight, both it's height and transverse position. On a Hobie cat, the weight of the crew makes up nearly half of the total loaded weight of the boat. Moving your weight further outboard and down lower effectively increases stability of the boat and increases the "righting moment," or the "force" trying to keep the boat upright. There is also a "heeling moment," which is essentially the "force" trying to heel or capsize the boat - caused by the lift in your sails and rudders. This too can be modified by letting your sheets out, pinching higher into the wind, or "turning down" to use the lift on your rudder to counteract the heeling moment. Once capsized, the next stable point is on it's side, unless you have a leaky mast, in which case it's upside down.

The point in all of this is that two of the primary factors in determining the point of vanishing stability are very much in your control and can be drastically altered to keep from capsizing. Imagine if you were sitting on the leeward side of the boat when a gust hit - the boat will go over a lot faster and capsize a lot sooner than if you were out on the wire, and let the mainsheet out in a puff. That said, there will always be a point where you've exhausted your options to keep the boat upright and it will capsize.



Capsizing on a Hobie cat is nothing to fear, however. It's not as violent and doesn't happen anywhere near as quickly as it sounds. After about 45 degrees, the mast seems to "float" down to the water. As long as you're not completely unprepared for it, it gives you plenty of time to sit up on the side of the boat, grab onto something, and/or jump clear. As long as you have enough weight to right the boat, it's no big deal whatsoever, once you've experienced it. I agree with John; on a moderately windy day, try with a friend to get the boat as high in the air as you can without capsizing (it's exhilerating!). When you inevitably do capsize, don't panic, just hold on until the boat is on it's side, then jump clear. Read up on righting technique and watch some youtube videos so you know how to do it, then give it a shot! You'll be amazed at how simple it is!

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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:18 am
Posts: 767
Location: Virginia Beach VA
I've flipped my boat dozens of times. It is always a surprise. :o


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:43 pm
Posts: 22
thanks for the advice and stories, I will try the practice thing for sure have a great beach for it. I'm not afraid at all of the going over, i bought the "ultimate righting rope" and have watched alot and will be ready when it happens, unless it's a surprise lol. really love sailing, it IS such a rush when the boat goes up, and thank you for all the technical terms to. I've got a ton to learn but am obsessive when i find things that make me this happy to do, I'll get it.
:D


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:17 am
Posts: 15
Location: Roanoke, VA
I sail solo a lot and enjoy reaches where I can fly a hull. Personally, I don't think it is necessary to capsize need to figure out the balance point. Keeping the main sheet uncleated allows you to release it quickly if you think the boat is coming up too quickly. Releasing the main sheet, combined with a quick turn upwind, allows you to usually recover even if the mast is practically horizontal. Experimenting with this combination of sheeting and steering will allow you to find a balance point you are comfortable with. At least that has been my experience. Hope it helps.

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Leigh Huff


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:18 am
Posts: 767
Location: Virginia Beach VA
Get your legs out from under the hiking straps quickly so you don't twist your knee and try not to land on anything hard. Try not to fall into the sails either. I was pitched into my buddies Mylar mainsail and shredded the bottom panel.


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 2:28 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Chicago
Your point of no return was probably outing number 6 or 7.

In capsizing, the older and fatter I get the less I like cold water and if the water is warm and the wind is good I don't want to spend time swimming. Like sunvista said it's always a surprise. For me it's over the front or over the back. I typically hit almost a stall when it's going up on its side, which I control with steering. Turn up to stay up and don't cleat the main if it's gusty. I like getting more speed staying kind of flat letting the windward hull just skim the high spots. With the windward rudder clear of the water I am slow. The worst is the pitchpole, over the front on a broad reach. I always seem to catch a stay on the way by and get those big purple bruises. I hate pitchpoling. The biggest surprise for me is when someone shifts weight to the back, like when I get swept off my feet by a wave when out on trapeze and losing lift, the bows come up and the wind gets under the tramp and if you get a well timed gust it goes up on its tail and cartwheels to the side. That's also way more likely when you forgot to put the plugs in. Don't ask how I know. We had a squall line come through over the weekend that did that to a Getaway on the beach - flipped over the stern in a second. Surprise!

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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 808
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
HullFlyer, good advice.
Time to upgrade to a H18 or a F18?

_________________
1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 2:28 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Chicago
I thought long and hard about a H18, even made a couple offers on one, but I single hand most of the time and have come to love the H16 too much. And I hate to admit how lazy I am about beaching my boat, so none of those high tech boats for me.

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hullflyer


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 258
Location: St. Helena, CA
My solution for not Flipping enough is adding more sails.
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1989 H18 SX with a few upgrades

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Corkguy H18


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:50 am
Posts: 11
Location: Annapolis, MD
I couldn't tell if I should pile on here, or start my own thread...

Got some quality time on the Hobie today, in 10kts, building and gusting to 20kts from 12kts, so large jumps in intensity.

Been sailing leadmines since '09, but I'm new to beach cats, and trying to sail conservatively. I sail with the mainsheet in my hand, ready to let go.

There were a few times where I felt the windward hull get too high and a capsize seemed imminent, and I dumped the sheet and feathered up, making this crazy "flair" landing, almost like an aggressive helicopter landing. This does not feel right, and I suspect my technique is wrong.

Top speed today, was 13kts which is fast for a leadmine sailor. I don't have traps, and wouldn't feel comfortable using them yet anyway. The rudders hum, then howl when I hit 12kts. Got some cool video, but none of the capsize (thank God)

On my way back home, I got cocky and was really hoofing it when a large gust overpowered me. I blew the sheet, but I was too late and too powered up by then and capsized. Luckily, all of my crap was well secured to the boat, and only my emergency paddle got loose, but I saved it. I uncleated the sheets, but my 235lb. ass was not enough to right the boat with the regular righting line. Almost, but not quite.

I need a righting bucket. A kind woman in a kayak, gave the tip of the mast the "oomph" it needed, with me on the righting line, to get it back up.

Question: When the $h!t's about to hit the fan and you blow the sheets, do you feather up, or do you fall off?
I tried to feather up, and the lee bow seemed to dig in, not entirely sure. Turning up seemed to make things worse. My life was busy flashing before my eyes. It was definitely a surprise.

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Is it sailing time yet?!?!?


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:43 pm
Posts: 22
Well the ice has been broken for me now! Flipped it this weekend with my girl all went well other than the actual reason we flipped, It was during a tack when I let it get stuck in the irons, i was trying the steer the boat backwards because i thought that was right, it was a VERY gusty day on the lake, i had my sheet cleated but very loose, next thing i knew the boom came my way, the far side of the boat went up,.... i made it over but the GF couldn't get there and slid off, I dropped off when the boom hit the water lol. I'm not exactly sure how it all happened or why, but after my GF fell off the boat while pulling the first time we got it flipped up the second time without to much trouble and no help from the boats offering to throw i line which to me was very important. on a side note the wind gave me alot of fly time, got my girl out on the trap and she loved it,(she was terrified at first and took alot of coaxing) I got to practice holding the sheet close to my chest and working it out and turning at the same time, it was a great day on the H16 !!


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 Post subject: Re: point of no return?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:43 pm
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Ajax, great story thanks for putting it here, lol. I actually had the exact same issue, the guy i bought the boat from taught me for an hour or so how to sail, I've never sailed anything. he taught me to tie the end of my sheet to the tramp string so i wouldn't lose it, that made sense to me and one time saturday when i sheeted all out to the end and it hit the tied on part i was still going over, i was lucky and could turn into the wind real quick, (feather up)? if that's what that means. but that doesn't mean it's right lol I'm new!


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