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 Post subject: Wild Ride
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 758
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
I had quite a sail at the Wallula Gap on Friday, 10/12/12. It was blowing 10-15 knots so I headed downstream (up wind) about 10 miles averaging 8-10 knots boat speed before turning around. It was great being out on the water in a moderate wind. While coming back (but still 7 miles from the launch point, Port Kelly) the wind came quickly up to 25-35+ knots (a regular dust storm). What a wild ride. Initially the waves were small (1-2 ft) and I got up to 18.2 knots (21 mph) without really trying, so I furled the jib. The waves quickly built to 3-5 ft. I weaved myself through the waves and made the first two of 4 needed jibes, but flipped on the next one. The wind was blowing so hard I barely had to pull on the righting line to right the boat, only to have it cartwheel. I was holding onto the windward hull, but even with my 210 lbs, was tossed up like a rag doll and the boat turtled. Had I been in the center of the river, I might have settled to wait out the blow turtled (there is nothing more stable than a turtle catamaran). But I was near the rocky shoreline and was being pushed by wind & waves toward it. So after a short break (to GMST), I righted the boat again (very easy with the wind assist). I was pointed toward the shore and too close to round up, so I did a quick jibe and took off like a bat out of hell. It was then I noticed that my leeward rudder was up, so I was just steering with the windward one. There was no way I could move over to lock it and not flip, so I weaved through the waves at 15+ knots using just the windward rudder. I had one more jibe to make, but soon as I started it I knew it was a mistake, buried both hulls in an endo capsize. Once again the boat righted quickly and pointed in the right direction, but I was so tired that I could not get on the boat normally (4 tries and I was pooped out). I had to go under the boat to the back, then up along the windward side and with the help of a big wave was able to haul myself aboard (seal style). One broad reach later I was back at the landing, felt like kissing the beach. This all happened, traveling 7 miles (point to point, so boat course distance was further) and 3 capsizes (w/turtle) within 1 hour. The 3 capsizes are a new 1 day record for me. A deputy sheriff stopped by while I was taking down the boat and said there were a couple reports of a capsized catamaran. Good to know someone is looking out for you. In the end, all’s well that ends well. 8)

P.S. I made a 3' rope loop (6' of rope total) to use on either end of the front cross bar as a leg up step. I store it in the center lacings of the tramp near the mast. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Ride
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:52 pm
Posts: 97
Helluva ride fastcat, glad that you and the boat did not get broken - sounds like it could have happened easily enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Ride
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 758
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
gmhendo, interesting you should mention that. A week later, on my next outing, as I got about 100 yards from shore, I hear - BAMM and my rigging is suddenly loose, but the mast is still up. I can’t see any apparent damage, though I know something is very wrong, so I return to shore. As it turns out, the nut that holds the bolt for the starboard lower and upper bridle spreader pole yoke assembly (that’s a mouth full) to the spreader pole end cap came loose while I was sailing. The starboard upper and lower bridles are still attached (by a pin), but without the bolt holding it to the end cap, the bridle have shifted a couple inches and bent the lower bridle (SS rod). At home, while repairing, I discovered the SS rod of the lower bridle had a crack (`1/4 the way through and been there for a while, based on the discoloration). Testing it in a vice, it broke in half without too much effort. I replaced it with a spare (good to have parts on hand). I also checked the Port one as a precaution. Who knows what kind of hurt I would have been if that failed during my 3 flip adventure. Or on my sail last week when I was out along with 2 windsurfers and 2 kiters and blowing 20 – 25 knots without a capsize. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Ride
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:52 pm
Posts: 97
Damn that was a close call. Buy a sweepstakes ticket while your luck holds.

And consider getting a head cam to record your next hairy adventure...


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