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 Post subject: When Things Go Wrong
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:20 pm
Posts: 407
Location: West Maui
There's a thread at Catsailor that shows how things can go horribly wrong. The video starts off great and takes a while before a capsize turns into a lost crew and multiple pitch poles.

http://www.catsailor.com/forums/ubbthre ... w=1#UNREAD

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 Post subject: Re: When Things Go Wrong
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 6:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:06 am
Posts: 278
Location: Charlotte, NC
Wow - that's frightening. On top of all that, to "lose" your sister for an hour....

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 Post subject: Re: When Things Go Wrong
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:26 am
Posts: 140
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Yeap, One second is all fun, and next second is all confussion and distress. Last year we were sailing along ( on broad reach ) and suddenly, the wind abruptly changed, I was not paying much attention to the Sail, so the Boom found my face in it`s way to the other side, and Wamm !!!..... I woke up in the water some seconds later, all confussed and hurt, the 16 on its side, and my copilot-girlfriend some 200 feet away forward under the 16. Luckily ( with a cut on top of my eye and badly bleeding ) I woke up and managed to help her because she was way scared, she just hung to the boat and ended far from me, and she could not see where I was until I screamed to her.

Lesson learned; BE READY AT ALL TIMES !!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: When Things Go Wrong
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:15 pm
Posts: 1092
Location: Oakland, CA
This video is a good example of what not to do. Move to about 12 minutes into the video for the first capsize.

The first thing I tell my crew about capsizing in strong wind is, NEVER LET GO OF THE BOAT!!!! And if you do then get back to it as quickly as possible. Aboard a disabled boat is better than being alone in the water.

The troubles began with the leeward rudder popping up. Instead of heading to wind or loosening the sails to put it down, the crew came off the wire at full speed and caused the boat to lose its leverage against the wind which led to the first of many capsizes.

Seeing the crew's harness tangled in the rigging was scary enough, but to watch the skipper swim away to right the boat before helping untangle the crew made the feeling worse. I can understand wanting to counteract the wind pressure on the boat to turtle, which may have been the reason for grabbing the righting line, but using one's buoyancy and grabbing the mast may have been more effective if that were the case.

Sailing with the jib wrapped around the forestay and rendered ineffective makes upwind sailing and rescue of the lost crew very difficult. Unwrap it before righting.

Lock the rudders in place before righting since the tillers will be out of reach. I'm guilty of not doing that.

Going on a distance race in those conditions in open water without a radio? And don't take a cell phone because who are you going to call that can assist? That is, if water doesn't ruin the phone first.

Consider abandoning the race after such an ordeal if much of your strength and morale is sapped.


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 Post subject: Re: When Things Go Wrong
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:04 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am
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Location: Clinton Lake, KS
Skipshot wrote:
Seeing the crew's harness tangled in the rigging was scary enough, but to watch the skipper swim away to right the boat before helping untangle the crew made the feeling worse. I can understand wanting to counteract the wind pressure on the boat to turtle, which may have been the reason for grabbing the righting line, but using one's buoyancy and grabbing the mast may have been more effective if that were the case.
.



I agree with everything else you said... but I have noticed this comment a couple times as the video circulates the web.. I think he did the right thing here..

a 16 in those conditions will go turtle in a second... let alone with crew hung up in the sail..

I don't think he was trying to right the boat, but simply keep it from going turtle. Your buoyancy wouldn't be enough to lift the mast with the crew weight in the sail.. Typically your own buoyancy is barely enough to lift the mast out of the water in totally normal conditions.

So I think he done good there.. It was the second he noticed his sister drifting away and started losing his cool little by little that each small mistake started stacking up into very big problems.


What the heck was he thinking trying to right the boat with the jib still hung up.. Heck.. in those conditions he could have hiked out and still had the boat blow over if he had dropped the main and was under the jib alone. Then to lose the down haul... Oh my..

all this is pretty easy to armchair quarterback... But it is very teachable and I appreciate the lesson..

This is very much a classic case of "Slow down to Speed up"


A couple nice long deep breaths during one of his capsizes would have went a VERY long way to a better day....


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 Post subject: Re: When Things Go Wrong
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:26 pm
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
It looked like the first flip was at 7 minutes or so. He does wait until the sister is free of the rigging before righting it, but since she didn't hold onto the boat it was blowing away much faster than she could swim.

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