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 Post subject: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:33 am
Posts: 51
Location: Ballina NSW
:shock: First time I ever even came close was nothing like what happened to me, my mate, his wife and 5 year old daughter when I took them for a sail today.
I had to reassure my mates wife that these did not tip like the cat we had just seen tip before we ventured out.
I was about to tack for the return leg back to shore when I warned of the sail's tendency to flap when into the wind then half way around without warning we were hit by a large gust and over it went, I watched as the down wind ama disappeared under the water throwing all of us off and into the water. It was not front to back it was a side ways capsize, it was surreal!
First thing was a head count and all of us were floating, I instructed my mate to pull the inflation cord on the PDF his wife was wearing and I did the same with mine. At this point a couple of guys on a wave runner came to see if we needed help and they quickly took all three of my passengers ashore.
I had about 5 minutes to contemplate how to get the TI upright and I soon realised it was the mast digging into the sand on the bottom that was stopping both me and my TI being sucked out to sea with the outgoing tide.
I managed to unclip the tramps and swing the amas in and free the furling and sail ropes from their cleats.
Upon their return we managed to right the TI twice but both times it continued to travel right over again and seemed to like being upside down this was due to the sail being still in place so with two of the guys counter balancing we managed to get the sail off the bottom long enough for me to unclip it and pull it free, really lucky they float!
The sail surfaced and was quickly picked up by a second wave runner that had now joined the operation. This made it easy to wright the craft and we then got a tow back to shore to access any damage.
Nothing broken except my ego. reassembled it and then sailed back up the channel to the boat ramp.
Three things I have learned, TI's can be capsized!, inflatable PDF's are terrible when you are trying to manoeuvre around stuff in the water, last but probably most important I will have to install a float to the top of my sail so it will not end up completely upside down if I am to ever go over again.


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:30 am
Posts: 270
Location: Clearwater, Fl
Yes, it's not fun when capsized in the water while big waves and strong winds are beating you up while trying to right the boat. I was overconfident and sure my AI would never experience that until the day I pitched forward in very strong winds. It was not easy righting the boat in those conditions and if the water was colder and we didn't have appropriate attire then it could have been a bad situation. Many lessons learned that day.

Sailing habits have changed since then and are more conservative with one hand on the sheet at all times ready to spill wind from the main when it starts being too much fun. And EVERYTHING is tethered to the boat at all times. Also I'm more aware how to load passengers/weight in rougher conditions. Keep the weight as far back on the tramps/hakas because when one ama starts digging in in strong winds, any extra weight in the forward area by that ama makes it more likely in certain rare conditions to induce capsize/pitch.

Glad everything turned out ok for you and your passengers on your swimming/sailing trip. They'll at least have a good story to tell their friends.

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Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1862
Location: South Florida
Good report, RF. From my little knowledge, it seems that AI/TIs are more likely to flip when they are hauling passengers on their tramps. True? Have any of these boats flipped when they did NOT have tramps deployed?

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2036
Location: High Point, NC
If you put a float on top of your mast you'll want to purposely flip the boat and test things out. Trimarans sometimes behave funny with a float up top. You may find it still turtles, or sits at an angle that won't allow you to reach the locking arm for the floating ama. Just make sure you give it a try before betting the farm on it. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:47 am 
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 6:36 am
Posts: 45
Location: CT
I like to swim, so I keep an old pair of swim googles w me on the kayak. Small n easy to stow
I have gone overboard to look or check on the hull underwater, so in a capsize,
Being able to SEE underwater is a big help in figuring out what's broken!

I'm glad everything ended well!


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:53 am
Posts: 299
Location: Palm City, Florida
Romenfree,
Glad to hear that you and your passengers are okay and no one was hurt - that's the main thing. As scary as the whole experience was, I admire your calm thinking under the circumstances. I give you credit for that and to Hobie, for building such a boat that even after that kind of knocking around, was not seriously damaged. I'll also take an uncomfortable PFD any day over the alternative :wink:.

Your story reminds me of a recent "learning experience" I had while sailing with my Daughter.

We were going very fast downwind and I was just beginning to think to myself as I saw the shoreline getting larger... "Okay Smartypants how are you going to come about now?".

When sailing downwind I sometimes attach a short and removable bungie to a loop I've installed on the stern ends of my Aka. I then clip the other end of the bungie to a loop that's tied close to the clew of the sail. By doing this, the sail goes further out (a sort of barber hauler). It also keeps the sail stiffer and I go faster. With moderate winds I can just reach out and detach the bungie from the clew loop before coming about.

However with the super strong winds we had that day, when I went to tack, the sail went flying to the other side - full out with the bungie still attached! I couldn't furl it in and we started tipping over. Luckily my Daughter quickly jumped to the upwind Haka and leaned way out as far as she could. The sail lost some of it's pressure as it got closer to the water and I was eventually able to turn into the wind. As soon as the sail started flapping I released the bungie and furled the main sheet in. That was as close as I would ever want to come to tipping over.

Note to self: Okay to use bungie barber hauler for some downwind sailing but only under moderate wind conditions and, furl the sail in BEFORE coming about!

By the time we stopped for lunch we were able to laugh about how close we actually came to capsizing and I realized my mistake. Later on the return trip, the winds had died down considerably and my Daughter fell asleep on the Haka listening to the lap of the waves against the hull.
"Live and Learn".

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Ezra Appel
Palm City, Florida
2014 Tandem Island


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1261
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
romenfree :
I very nearly joined the same club last weekend, I was out sailing with the Hobie Island club last Saturday at an outing. It was a little windier than normal for around here, I would guess the winds were 12-15mph but once in a while there were gusts over 20 mph. I was sailing along on a reach (not the best point of sail for my TI), and a just minding my own business when one of those gusts came up and the boat began to go over. I always keep my hand on the control rope and am usually quick enough to either turn up wind, or release the line on the sail. Well for some reason I couldn't get the cleat to release (it was stuck), so the boat tipped to past 45 degrees, and almost stopped (usually a sure sign your goin to get wet). I finally got the sail line free of the cleat and the boat righted itself. Everyone in the group saw it happen an all were sure I was going to go over. Here is a video I made that day showing the winds (same video is also posted in another thread), but unfortunately I didn't catch the almost tipping event on film (next time I'll keep the camera rolling all day)


This time of year I always wear my wetsuit, the water temp was around 74F degrees, and the air temp was around 80F degrees. Everything on my boat is always leashed down ever since I capsized and swamped the TI trying to run class 2 rapids on the Huron river (in Ann Arbor MI), and lost pretty much everything we owned down the rapids, I'm sure the residents enjoyed all our stuff (ie coolers, life jackets, paddles, water bottles, cameras, all our beer was lost). We just had the TI kayak (no sails or AMA's) and were running the rapids with friends, my wifes sister capsized on a big rock in front of us (she was in a sit inside kayak and also lost everything). My wife opened the hatch to get the camera out to get a pic of her sister, then we got caught in the same current and ran over her capsized boat, then capsized ourselves in the fast rapids, stuck against a big rock. The hull immediately completely filled with water, and everything we had on the boat shot down the rapids along with all her sisters stuff. We never found most of our stuff. Ever since then I always lash everything down.

I think just about every time I have almost capsized it's been in high winds with a lot of waves. It seems the tramps catch a lot of wind and if you crest over a big wave sideways and the wind catches the underside of the tramp, it wants to tip the boat over, if your not hiked out, or you can't release the sail fast enough, you will likely go over. I imagine it would be worse if you had a passenger on that tramp that was going under. I've had 4 or 5 passengers on my TI many times, but never in challenging conditions, and never too far from shore.
I have a tether line that I attach to my life jacket when in rough seas. If I fall out the tether kills the motor, then releases about 5 ft of line so I don't get too far from the boat. Hopefully with me dragging in the water, the boat will stop so I can get back on board. The jury is still out with me on the tether line idea, I would hate to fall overboard and have the boat sail away without me, but I'm not sure being dragged by the boat is a good thing either (it could drag me underwater), or if the boat capsizes I may get trapped underneath if the line hangs up on anything. I always carry a knife in my lifejacket pocket (as everyone should), but getting to it might be difficult depending on the situation.

I have never practiced any of this stuff, it would probably be a good idea to practice a self rescue (on a nice day, in warm water of course). It is probably a good idea when taking out passengers, before going out, briefly go over what to do if something goes wrong, I think I'll be doing that from now on (once I know what to do myself LOL).
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1862
Location: South Florida
Maybe the boys in Hawaii could speak to the tether question. In general, they seem to favor tethers. I don't think you need to worry too much about being dragged by your boat--it will likely round up into the wind and just drift along. Without a tether, your boat is just going to drift away from you. Under windy conditions, it is not going stop and wait for you to swim to it.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:28 pm
Posts: 31
For solo sailing I use a big wave surfing leash - about 12' long and with a pull-pin release on the ankle cuff. Yes, it's more clutter in the cockpit but the reality here is constant 10-15 knot trades, so if you fall off with the boat trimmed it's heading to Tahiti. If it's just inshore (Kaneohe bay) I'll use a shorter, lighter leash without a pull pin, but I definitely want to stay tethered to the boat when solo. I'm still very much a believer in being able to swim home, but I damn well sure couldn't catch up to a runaway TI in the Hawaiian trades.
-RH

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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:30 am
Posts: 270
Location: Clearwater, Fl
Chekika wrote:
Without a tether, your boat is just going to drift away from you. Under windy conditions, it is not going stop and wait for you to swim to it.Keith


A few weeks ago my wife and I were sailing in windier than normal conditions. After a couple hours we stopped for lunch on a spoil island. Just as we were finishing up, a group of catamarans flew by and headed for an island about a mile away.

After we got underway and started approaching the island they were at, I noticed one of the cats leaving ... looked like he was heading back. I turned slightly to intercept him as he started getting closer. The odd thing I noticed was his rudders were up in the back. I'm scratching my head wondering why in the world someone would be sailing with his rudder up. As I get closer I noticed there was nobody on board and this cat was flying.

We immediately turned and gave chase in our TI with a slightly furled sail. We were both pedaling like crazy to catch it and came pretty close a few times. I tried to grab a line from the cat dragging in the water but with no success. Looked back at the island, now there's people running around on the beach frantically getting their cats back in the water. I honestly wasn't sure what I would do if I caught the boat as my plan still wasn't fully developed.

Just as we were approaching a busy channel the other cat sailors waved me off and they caught the runaway boat by jumping off one cat to the runaway. As they were doing this a jerk in a massive yacht going very fast decided to weave amongst us and almost turned the whole thing into a disaster. But fortunately they were able to get things under control safely before it crashed into the Dunedin Marina which was still a couple miles away. I'm glad we didn't catch the cat because in retrospect, if we did stop it or pulled that line, the strong winds may very well have crashed the large mast down upon us. I don't know about a TI or AI but those cats are pretty fast sailing by themselves.

When I'm out by myself on windy days on a haka, I surely tether up. Especially in the winter. My tether can be released easily in the water if need be.

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Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Maui, Hawaii
On tethering the captain, it's a personal choice. Each of my Islands has a surfboard leash mounted for quick (and mostly) one-handed access for when conditions turn bad quickly. I normally wear mine if out alone, after clearing any shore-break and need to remember to remove before reaching the shore-break when coming in.

When out sailing with friends, when it gets rough, I let them know I'm putting my "leash" on. If I was out with only two of my Islands and a friend got separated from the other boat, it could be a hard call on which to rescue first! :lol:

On tethering gear, I come from a whitewater river kayaking and canoeing background, so if anything isn't leashed I don't expect to return with it. To date, it has worked well for me. I have sailed with many others that have lost many different items, especially hats and glasses. Nothing beats an under chin strap on a hat and a adjustable glasses strap tight to the back of your head. Many short leashes and connect points in and on my Islands are important too.

Glad everything worked out on that capsize. I wonder if your friends are up for another go at sailing on it. :)

I haven't capsized a TI yet, and only once on an AI in over 7 years. Most here in Hawaii don't use tramps much except in very calm conditions because of the "second sail" factor but haka seem to work great. I do wonder how easily righting a TI with haka would be in questionable conditions though...

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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:33 am
Posts: 51
Location: Ballina NSW
:) Thank you all for your well wishes, as no one was hurt the whole experience is a learning one. I honestly believed it was mostly impossible to tip an AI or TI of course I now know this is not true. As per most of your posts it comes down to the unusual conditions on the day. I have sailed in much larger winds and never had any trouble.
I will try to test the whole float on the sail theory before committing.
Thank you all again and any other tips would be greatly appreciated :D


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2688
Location: Kailua 96734
Not had the pleasure yet. :wink: 'Cept on the Cats.

Image

I do tether when sailing solo but not when on the tandem as crew. I figure I'm expendable then,..

But I ALWAYS hold onto the mainsheet like a baby, and usually will wrap it around my hand. Anything can happen out on the Hakas.

If you get dragged behind a Hobie 16 at speed, you will very likely take the whole boat over with you. It will often pop a wheelie and tip over, especially if you are on the trap line.


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:33 am
Posts: 51
Location: Ballina NSW
I think the whole thing was bought about by my mate wanting to come with me when I took his wife and daughter for a ride. I was under the impression he was not coming but he hopped on the tramp at the last minute. In hindsight as usually would be the case I should have insisted he (80kg) sit in the forward seat and his daughter between his legs (15kg) and his wife (50kg) on the tramps. Turned out he was on the downwind tramp when I tacked but he did not move quickly and it was his weight and the gust of wind that filled the sail that sent the whole thing over.
It was no fault of the TI it was my poor judgement, I will however practise the process of getting the TI back up after a probably to never happen again capsize. And everyone on my TI will wear a PDF as has always been the rule. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Capsized TI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1487
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
I was wondering where you had got to in your travels Romenfree, but I wasn't expecting a capsize as the reason for your return to the forum!

Glad it turned out OK!

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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