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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral FL
OK, so we are having a great time, 2 hours into a good sail tacking back and forth practicing our boat handling skills, and we get a little to comfortable. My wife reaches for a water bottle in the tramp bag, takes a sip, then holds it to me and says "want a sip"? Oh, sure I say........

I was block-to-block on the main and I put down the main sheet to have a sip of water and wouldn't you know a puff fills in and over we start going. No time to pick up the sheet, i turn her into the wind to head up and cut-off the angle, but no go, we went over.

This is only our second time over on our H16, and in hindsight we were not careful of how/where we fell. I fell on the main first, then i felt her slide down next to me, and then "Pop" we went into the water. I only assumed we slid off into the water. It was not until we got up on the hull to try to upright her that i noticed the main torn in half.

My question to everyone: is this normal? The sail is from 1995, so its very old, and it did rip right along/below a batten seem. Would this happen if we fell on a brand new sail? How careful do you have to be about where you ditch?

Since the main sheet was block-to-block, there was not much room under the boom to fall under.
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Location: West Maui
Note to self: Do not ever fall on sail if the boat goes over.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Location: San Diego
I've heard that some cat sailing teachers say that when you flip over you should jump on the sail but don't land feet first. Hit the sail flat with your whole body. Fall on it like your falling laying down to distribute the pressure evenly. They say it wont damage your sail hardly any if done right and it kinda helps you from getting caught in the sheets. Just got to watch out for the harness hook when landing.

To answer your question I'd say it is normal to tear a sail like that under those conditions. A new sail would have probably done the same thing. You applied a lot of pressure to a small spot onto a tight sail.

Sorry to hear about your sail getting torn. It must of been tough getting back, how did you get back?

Also can your sail be repaired buy sewing the panels back together at the seams? If the stitches are what tore, then it should be repairable.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:01 am 
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Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
2nd note to self. Cut the sheet if you are going to let go of it.

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Marc...
1978 Hobie 16 Keoke, sail# 36 84
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:39 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
Most likely that sail has spent many hours being exposed to the intense Florida sunlight. The UV rays from the sun will weaken and degrade the sail material, especially in places like Florida.

I would not say its "normal" for a sail to fail the way yours did, but it does happen from time to time. Try to prevent yourself from falling hard into the sail, but this is not always possible. New sails should be able to take the impact from someone falling onto them in most cases. 15+ year old sun fried sails are a different story.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:48 am 
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Location: Clinton, Mississippi
I agree with srm. The only sail I've had rip like that from falling on it was really old and it ripped at the batten pocket just like yours. Good news is it should be a pretty easy fix for a sail loft. While it should be avoided, I'm sure a new Hobie sail would have taken the hit. The more you flip, you'll get to know when you're past the point of no return and slide down easier/earlier. Hanging on too long makes you fall farther out.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:35 am 
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Location: Fort Myers, FL
My first ever sailing experience was when I rented a wave in the keys. The rental guy gave mentioned that falling on the sail during a capsize was by far, the most common way his boats were damaged. I didn't worry to much, but after my boom punched a hole in the mainsail when I was forced to drop the mast with the mainsail up, I realized that my aged sail would provide little resistance against a person falling on it.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
It might be an easy fix for a loft, but likely the sail will not shape up the same. The problem is that much of the sail's shaping is achieved by the curvature cut along the seams/ batten pockets.
When you blow out an entire seam, you destroy that curve and the repair loft has to do their best to recreate it as closely as possible from the tattered remains.
If they know what they're doing, it might be Ok. If they don't, the shape will be distorted. For fun sailing, this may not be an issue. Tears in the center of a panel are easier to fix well because they don't affect the sail shape.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral FL
hobie1616 wrote:
Note to self: Do not ever fall on sail if the boat goes over.


In the future, couldn't agree more. I don't wan't this to happen again.

jmecky wrote:
Sorry to hear about your sail getting torn. It must of been tough getting back, how did you get back?


Thanks, it was very tough getting her uprighted as the wind would not fill the sail from underneath, needed some help from a passing boater willing to jump in and add some weight. Luckily, it was downwind back to the beach, and the top halve of the sail would flow out and stop against the sidestays and we rode that and the jib back to the beach.

56kz2slow wrote:
2nd note to self. Cut the sheet if you are going to let go of it.


Couldn't agree more. I've spent a lot of time reading these forums learning as much as I can from lessons already learned from others. Hope some one learns from my lesson and saves their mainsail. LET THE SHEET OUT BEFORE PUTTING IT DOWN FOR A DRINK.

rattle 'n hum wrote:
Good news is it should be a pretty easy fix for a sail loft. While it should be avoided, I'm sure a new Hobie sail would have taken the hit. The more you flip, you'll get to know when you're past the point of no return and slide down easier/earlier. Hanging on too long makes you fall farther out.


I agree that it should be fixable, and i am hoping that a new sail would be stronger. I guess we need to also practice more on dumping it, i guess there is a right way and a wrong way.

srm wrote:
It might be an easy fix for a loft, but likely the sail will not shape up the same. The problem is that much of the sail's shaping is achieved by the curvature cut along the seams/ batten pockets.
When you blow out an entire seam, you destroy that curve and the repair loft has to do their best to recreate it as closely as possible from the tattered remains.
If they know what they're doing, it might be Ok. If they don't, the shape will be distorted. For fun sailing, this may not be an issue. Tears in the center of a panel are easier to fix well because they don't affect the sail shape.


I agree once again. The good news is that I was able to GET NEW SAILS, and oh boy are they a different shape. Old sails just are not competitive. here is how much the rope in the luff of the mainsail has shrank in 17 years. Its no wonder i could never downhaul the sail to get her flat. This old sail was always shaped full, and now i know why.

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This is the new sail on top of the old sail, and the heads of both are pulled even. So, you can see how much the old sail's luff rope shrank.

The jib was just as bad, look at how blown out it was.

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Here is the bottom of the jib, i think it shows how the new Jib is cut differently from the old jib, allowing for the increased mast rake.

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Check these bad boys out!!!

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:44 pm 
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Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
Quote:
Couldn't agree more. I've spent a lot of time reading these forums learning as much as I can from lessons already learned from others. Hope some one learns from my lesson and saves their mainsail. LET THE SHEET OUT BEFORE PUTTING IT DOWN FOR A DRINK.

BTW, I did not want to be hard on you. I'm new to this too. Just happens that I sail on a small lake, so it's really gusty. Always have to be watching when sheeted tight.

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1978 Hobie 16 Keoke, sail# 36 84
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:55 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral FL
56kz2slow wrote:
Quote:
Couldn't agree more. I've spent a lot of time reading these forums learning as much as I can from lessons already learned from others. Hope some one learns from my lesson and saves their mainsail. LET THE SHEET OUT BEFORE PUTTING IT DOWN FOR A DRINK.

BTW, I did not want to be hard on you. I'm new to this too. Just happens that I sail on a small lake, so it's really gusty. Always have to be watching when sheeted tight.


No worries, didn't take it that way. It just goes to show that things happen fast on these rockets, so don't let your guard down.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:02 pm 
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Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
Your new sails are awesome by the way. I need new sails too, but I have a 34 year old boat, and mostly stock except for the standing rigging. So a whole new(er) boat might be a better option.

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Marc...
1978 Hobie 16 Keoke, sail# 36 84
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:39 am 
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Location: Clinton, Mississippi
Sweet!

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