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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:26 am 
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Location: Clearwater, Fl
I recently left Florida and took my AI up to Lake Leelanau in northern Michigan. Due to the truck being completely loaded down with a large item to deliver along the way I wasn't able to bring the hakas and instead brought the tramps.

The wind was quite strong so my 13 year old nephew sat on the tramps while we enjoyed the day on a fairly long trip along the 22 mile lake. He shifted back and forth along the tramps to stay on the windward tramp while tacking.

On the way back, the downwind started us submarining which was intially a lot of fun. I pulled the drive and daggerboard for better speed but after a few underwater surges I wisely decided to put them back in and made sure everything was tied down. Shortly after that, a big gust of wind hit us hard and dumped us up and over toward to the side where my nephew was sitting and we went completely over with the AI coming down on top of us. I have to say it did get my heart beating a lot faster than normal.

Fortunately we had our life jackets on and my nephew is a good swimmer. He kept his cool and held onto the rudder while I attempted to right the boat which took about 10 minutes. I unsnapped the tramps on one side and folded the akas in. The hard part was finding something to grab to pull the AI back over in the windy conditions. The daggerboard saved the day and was primarily what I used. I could have unsnapped the tramps and folded the other side too but I wanted to try to right it with one side still open. When It finally righted, the sail immediately caught the wind and started dragging us a little until I was able to release and furl the sail.

All in all it was a humbling experience and my nephew and I had some pretty good stories to talk about later. I can't blame it on the tramps but next time will reef it in quicker and be better prepared to quickly release the sail line in these conditions. The blame is more from getting somewhat complacent after 5 years of sailing an AI.

It was fun and educational but I don't want to do it again.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Wow!. You didn't have to try and act out your username!!! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Thanks for sharing. :lol:

Those gybes will catch you wrong-footed really quickly, even faster on the TI. Even faster with the tramps. :wink:

You reminded me that I forgot to pack the righting line on our last trip. All you need is one or two tie down straps, like you use on the roof rack or trailer. But they need to be "accessible".

How high were the winds?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Blame them or not, as far as I know, the tramps have been deployed in 100% of these wind-induced capsizes. With the wisdom of hindsight, it would have been a good idea to sit your nephew in the rear cargo bay. A rear passenger is a great way to prevent submarining.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Location: Florida
CaptnChaos wrote:

On the way back, the downwind started us submarining which was intially a lot of fun. I pulled the drive and daggerboard for better speed but after a few underwater surges I wisely decided to put them back in and made sure everything was tied down. Shortly after that, a big gust of wind hit us hard and dumped us up and over toward to the side where my nephew was sitting and we went completely over with the AI coming down on top of us. I have to say it did get my heart beating a lot faster than normal.



Way to go Jim! :shock: I knew you could live up to your namesake CaptnChaos :wink:

I wouldn't have thought it possible to pitch-pole but then again we saw you get pretty close at Ft. DeSoto in a squall. Glad nobody got injured nor any equipment lost or broken.

Did you have your splash guards in place? and if so could they have caused the nose to dig in more?
Did you have any heavy gear in the front hatch?

I have experimented with sitting in the back hatch on top of an ice chest and it does a great job of keeping the nose quite high at the expense of putting a little more water in the trunk section. I like to think sitting there would prevent the extreme submarining that could lead to pitch-pole.

Been sailing an AI since they came out, about as long as you, and no turtle or pitch-pole, just a few close calls. :P

BTW sewed up a set of splash guards that have fiberglass rods in the hem to add strength and shape. Have yet to use them.

Thanks for the story, I'm sure your nephew never expected sailing would include being catapulted into the air.

Yakaholic aka Darrell


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:00 pm 
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So, was it actually a pitch-pole or a turtle? Inquiring minds want to know :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Location: Clearwater, Fl
Yes Tony and Yak ... there were definitely a few moments of chaos intertwined. :wink:

NOHUHU wrote:
Thanks for sharing. :lol:
Those gybes will catch you wrong-footed really quickly, even faster on the TI. Even faster with the tramps. :wink:
You reminded me that I forgot to pack the righting line on our last trip. All you need is one or two tie down straps, like you use on the roof rack or trailer. But they need to be "accessible".
How high were the winds?

NOHUHU, not sure how high the winds were that day but quite strong. And I didn't have the jib or any of my speed contraptions on this trip. Just a straight AI with tramps and splash guard. I agree with you about the righting lines. A nice flat strap attached to the middle of an ama would work great. I actually had one available but didn't have to use it.

Chris, the nephew actually was sitting toward the rear of the tramp. I had just moved from laying on the port tramp to the seat in the kayak. If I had stayed on the tramp, maybe it would have been prevented.

Darrell, it's interesting you mentioned the splash guard. I did have it deployed and it's the only thing that was damaged. The clip that it used to attach to the bow was destroyed. That actually surprised me. Maybe that had something to do with it. There was very little gear on the AI that day. Just my nephew and I with a few cushions. I love the splash guard and I'm sure you'll love that new one you made. Interesting idea with the reinforcements you added. Since I'm redoing my hull reinforcement frame out of aluminum (for the jib) maybe I should rethink splash guards. Do they really need to go all the way to the front of the bow ????? Hmmmmm, now you got me thinking.

Bob, I'm unsure of correct sailing terminology but I think it might have been a pitchpole / partial capsize. It was on a strong downwind and we flipped forward but angled a little off to the side and the AI ended up completely upside down with the mast directly under the AI. The one thing that creeped me out was swimming out from under the tramp and feeling lines around my feet. If your feet got tangled in a line that would have been a problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:17 pm 
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CaptnChaos wrote:

Darrell, it's interesting you mentioned the splash guard. I did have it deployed and it's the only thing that was damaged. The clip that it used to attach to the bow was destroyed. That actually surprised me. Maybe that had something to do with it. There was very little gear on the AI that day. Just my nephew and I with a few cushions. I love the splash guard and I'm sure you'll love that new one you made. Interesting idea with the reinforcements you added. Since I'm redoing my hull reinforcement frame out of aluminum (for the jib) maybe I should rethink splash guards. Do they really need to go all the way to the front of the bow ????? Hmmmmm, now you got me thinking..


If memory serves, the clip holding your splash guard was pretty solid. To have it destroyed by the force of the water implicates the splash guard. It held the nose underwater and abruptly halted the boats forward progress, like hitting a wall. The wind did the rest. Maybe it acted like a sea anchor as it filled with water, or maybe it acted more like the bow plane of a submarine set to dive. :o

At Ft DeSoto you were using the splash guard and nearly pitch-poled. We saw plumes of spray come up from the bow as is dug into the water. I launched right after you (silly me 8) ) under full sail and while my boat was a handful it never got caught under a wave.

In fact, when I first read your pitch-pole story the first thing that came to mind was your splash guard; which is why I asked about it.

Certainly something to consider anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:20 pm 
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The kid probably enjoyed it. :lol:

I think that tying to the (collapsed) Akas or opposite carrying handle would work better, while you stand on the deployed leeward Ama.

If you pull too hard on the Amas from underneath, you may be able to stretch the bungees and pull them right off the Aka, messing things up as the boat is righted. But you can stand on the bottoms of them if the Akas are braced in place.

Sadly, I have yet to complete a full pitchpole and test this. Couple close calls though.

Lotta folks sail with a bowline and that could be detached and used as a righting line, if nothing else is handy. Before the boat is turned, I would try to uncleat the rudder or even raise it (plus the dagger) so the boat won't get away when the sail enters high wind again. Just don't swim UNDER the boat for any of these maneuvers.

More things to think about,... for the next time! 8)

How much does the nephew weigh? How long did it take to recover?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Is your splash guard one of my Sprayskirts, or one you made yourself? :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Darryl, from the descriptions so far, I think you are spot on.

It's possible to pitch one of these boats, even if you are hiking out using Hakas, but it gets much easier to do when you put a sea anchor in front, a young adult on the wrong side and an extra 20ft of tramp sail to windward. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:29 pm 
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NOHUHU wrote:
It's possible to pitch one of these boats, even if you are hiking out using Hakas

Has there ever been a reported instance of this?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Hi Jim,

Good story! Glad you and your nephew got out ok. No mention of cold water?

I'm looking forward to "the rest of the story" this fall when we get together.

Keith

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am 
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NOHUHU wrote:
The kid probably enjoyed it. :lol:
How much does the nephew weigh? How long did it take to recover?

You're right, my nephew loved retelling the story to his friends. I was leading up to letting him take the AI out on his own until this happened. The first words out of his moms mouth after this were "He's not taking it out by himself". I'm guessing he is around 100 pounds and it only took me 10 minutes to recover completely
Yakaholic wrote:
At Ft DeSoto you were using the splash guard and nearly pitch-poled. We saw plumes of spray come up from the bow as is dug into the water. I launched right after you (silly me 8) ) under full sail and while my boat was a handful it never got caught under a wave.

In fact, when I first read your pitch-pole story the first thing that came to mind was your splash guard; which is why I asked about it.
Certainly something to consider anyway.

NOHUHU wrote:
Darryl, from the descriptions so far, I think you are spot on.
It's possible to pitch one of these boats, even if you are hiking out using Hakas, but it gets much easier to do when you put a sea anchor in front, a young adult on the wrong side and an extra 20ft of tramp sail to windward. :mrgreen:


I completely agree with both of you. Especially since this almost happened once before with haks in crazy wind. I will certainly tweak my splash guard design.

KayakingBob wrote:
Is your splash guard one of my Sprayskirts, or one you made yourself? :shock:

Bob, the splash guard is one I made myself. Similar to yours but a little different.

Chekika wrote:
Hi Jim,
Good story! Glad you and your nephew got out ok. No mention of cold water?
I'm looking forward to "the rest of the story" this fall when we get together.
Keith

The water was actually a nice comfortable temperature. And no salt water critters to look out for :lol: Yeah, I'm also looking forward to going on another Everglades trip with you Keith. Hopefully with my AI speed mods completed so I can keep up with you.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:01 am 
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Speaking of water temperature, here in Forster, Australia, air and sea temperatures are about the same at 17 degrees celcius. A bit cool to swim in comfortably, but not so cold as to ruin your world


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