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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:39 am
Posts: 22
Location: east of Toronto
Near death experience for sure! I have an 2005 Getaway. I capsized in the middle of the lake. Within a second or two, I was separated from my Hobie and unable to swim to the speeding Hobie. You see, the wind caught the tramp & it acted like a sail. I quickly tired trying to swim for my boat. No way! Thank God for my PFD or I'm sure I would have drowned. Waited for what seemed an eternity to be rescued by some fishermen. Family on shore saw the whole thing, tried to rescue me with the jet ski. They freaked when they found the overturned Hobie to find I wasn't there.

Lesson here is to always where a PFD & never, never get separated from the boat in high winds when she capsizes.

Bob from Central Ontario


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Yes, wearing PDF is a given. Glad in ended ok.

Were you sailing solo ? How much wind ?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:54 am 
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Location: east of Toronto
Seemed safe. Higher wind gusts. I wasn't paying adequate attention. I didn't respect the boat. I was alone. Thought I was experienced enough that I knew it all. Mistake #1.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:23 am 
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Were you wearing a wet or dry suit? The water there has got to still be really cold!

I got separated from my boat during a regatta last spring. Like you said, it only takes a second. Fortunately, other racers rescued me and the safety crew stopped my boat before it made it to the dam. If I had been alone, it could have ended very badly!

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2006 Hobie Wave 7358
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:13 am 
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When I go sailing with people I haven't sailed with before, I ALWAYS emphasize the importance of grabbing whatever is attached to the boat in the event of a capsize. And I say it many times. A getaway will go really really fast when capsized.

Also, in general, when I am not sailing with other boats around me (even when I somebody else on my boat), I sail in areas where I in the event of big problem (i.e. mast going down) I will drift into a safe location. I am always thinking about a B-plan. I always wear a wetsuit, and if I don't wear because it seems warm I will definitely take it on the boat in case the wind increases.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:15 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Strahan Tasmania
Lucky lucky.I had a similar incident where my crew and i were practicing capsizes and she got separated from the boat leaving me on board unable to right it and she was left in the middle of nowhere,lucky a fish farm boat seen it and picked her up,very lucky!The Getaway being so bouyant has a habit of fast drift.
Tasmania's only Getaway sailor.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 8978
Location: Oceanside, California
Things happen quickly... I had a trapeze hook break. I fell into the water and the boat sailed off without me. I had just tacked and I was setting up for the sail back in... about 2 miles offshore / single handed in light air. Reached in to sheet the jib. When I straightened back up, the hook failed. I didn't have a grip on the mainsheet. The boat sailed straight to the beach. It was a long swim, but fall in the gulf of California is warm at least.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:39 am
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Location: east of Toronto
Appreciate the responses. Good safety points raised!

No I didn't have a wet suit. The waters in my lake in south central Ontario warm quickly. The incident happened in June 2009. The other thing to mention is that at age 58, it took everything out of me both physically and emotionally. A good quality PFD, controling the sense to panic, conserving energy and trying to stay calm till rescue arrives is critical. On large inland lakes, rescue capabilty is unknown. I like the comment on ensuring you have a plan B.

Neighbours on shore saw me go over. They told me latter that "we knew you were experienced, seen you go over before and would know what to do". That's why nobody came to my rescue right away.

How many folks out there may not think about WWTTCH: [what's the worst thing that can happen]". Yes, Getways are great boats (this being my 5th sailboat). Being alone is one thing. I never gave it much thought that if the boat goes over with crew, being separted from crew (ie loved ones) could be catistrophic. My wife crews for me and she is disabled. Now mix in alcohol into any sailing equation.

The message is, safety, safety, safety... respect the boat and always consider a rescue plan.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Just wanted to say thanks to all of you who are sharing your experience. I have been following the posts in preparation for our first sail on the Getaway and when we dumped last Saturday, my first instruction to the kids was grab something/anything... My 10 year old daughter was very near to getting left behind and it took us 20 minutes to right the boat without it flipping it over again. (The boat does move quick in high wind due to the trampoline....)

Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience.
Cynthia


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:48 pm 
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You're welcome. It is great knowing that the advice from all of us in the forum made your sailing day safer and helped not getting separated from your 10 year old. For me that is more than enough reward for the time invested sharing my experiences.

best regards,

Guillermo


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:39 am
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Location: east of Toronto
Cynthia: how did you find righting the boat for the first time?

I'm interested in keeping this thread going as we don't talk enough about Getaway safety. Anybody else got any safety stories, lessons learned to share?
Bob


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:36 am 
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Does anyone have experience with righting with and without wings? Do the wings make righting, including turning into the wind more difficult? Do the wings, one adding windage and the other in the water ressistance, increase or decrease the often noted sailing speed of the Getaway on its side? Perhaps a warm water area sailor could volunteer to perform and publish the research. Alternatively could a race orgainizer add this as an optional post race activity?

Full disclosure, as a new owner several years ago, I did a classic pitch pole. I was crewing on the wing and thrown well clear. The helmsman was a highly experienced sailor but new to cats. He stayed with the boat and drifted several hundred yards to shore. I was stunned that I could not swim fast enough to catch it. I was wearing a wet suit and a Hobie vest PFD. I got a ride from a passing motorboat. The submerged wing was stuck in the mud and we had to walk the boat out to a little deeper water to bring it up.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:26 pm
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Location: Unity, SK, Canada
I will echo what's been stated already: a Getaway moves -incredibly- fast on its side. No one's going to catch one once its gotten loose in winds strong enough to cause a pitchpole event. Not Michael Phelps. No one. Our mantra: even if you're hurt get a hold of the boat first and -then- have a little cry. PDF's are mandatory.

This season we'll be adding whistles to everyone's PDF in the event any/all crew become separated from the boat. (A signaling device lashed to the boat doesn't help you much when it's long gone...)

We are a family of 7 and novice lake sailors. Bought a new Getaway last summer and love it, but found out the hard way that (1) the boat's ample tramp space all but invites inexperienced crew/passengers to get out of position, (2) it's really quite important to keep the bow up, and (3) problems relating to #1 can quickly lead to problems relating to #2 and the next thing you can expect is an abject lesson in rapid deceleration!

On my first pitchpole maneuver I only half-way's managed to follow the "golden rule" for ditching, which is apparently to ensure that both feet go to one side of the mast (LOL!): I smacked my knee on the mast (bone chip) which slowed me up enough so that I crashed down shin-first onto a wing seat (ouch!) before finally ending up in the water with the mast slamming down inches from my head. Two of the four of us aboard did not catch the cat before it took off, but luckily we were not far from shore. Even in chest deep water with a boost off the bottom I had a very difficult time scrambling up on the hull to right the boat due to my tender knee. My point? When you're formulating your "Plan B", factor in the prospect of contending with an injury to yourself or a crew member/passenger.

As I stated, we're warm weather lake sailors in wetsuits and pdf's; while the prospect of having to follow one's cat back to shore is not a welcome one, in our scenario no one's life is likely to be at threat if the boat gets away. I'm far more concerned about injuries caused by rapid deceleration--especially when sitting on the wing seats since there is literally nothing to hold on to. The first time we momentarily dug in a hull I slid along the seat and drove my 11-year-old son's thigh straight into a shroud wire, leaving a nasty bruise.

Has anyone ever seen or considered fabricating some sort of handles on the wing seats?

I hate to sound like a safety Nazi, but I sometime wonder about whitewater rafting helmets for those times a guy goes out looking to push the envelope...

-david

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2009 Getaway. “One out of four people in this country is mentally unbalanced. Think of your three closest friends; if they seem OK, then you're the one.” -Ann Landers


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 8:45 pm
Posts: 606
Location: Saskatoon, Sk. Canada
I'm sure most of us have stories to tell, I have only dumped my getaway once and that was 20' from shore showing off to my friends, did a quick tack pulled in the sheet lines and over I went, all in the blink of an eye lol. I did dump my 16 many many times, including backwards. I have lots of little scars from it. I am off to Coeur d'Alene in a few weeks for a wedding and am going to take my getaway with me. That is a big lake so all the advice is great. One thing I will do right away is to attach survival whistles to each PDF on board, I thought that was a really great idea. There was a really long discussion a while back about attaching a line from you to the boat, I don't think there ever was any consensus about the proper thing to do.

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06 getaway -- always remember, man with both feet in mouth have no leg to stand on.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:16 pm 
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I don't think it is a good idea to attach yourself to the boat because it could be dangerous. You could get tangled and the speeding Hobie can be pulling you hard, maybe getting you underwater, or maybe wrapped around your neck or something.
I do attatch the end of the main halyard to the Type IV PFD I have on board. My idea (though I have never been able to try it) is that if somebody separates from the boat I can throw the PFD and there will be several seconds until the halyard unwraps and gets tight, so the swimmer could get to the Type IV PFD and grab the end of the halyard before it starts following the boat.
I'd say just be ready and make sure everyone is ready to hold onto anything in the event of a capsize.

Guillermo


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