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 Post subject: mast flotation disaster
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:56 pm
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Location: Daytona Beach Florida
My last time out in high winds(15-29 kts) my boat went over due to the locked main line that I locked accidentally when I was shifting on a tack. When my boat came around the gust tossed me and the boat over and I scrambled for the righting line like any experienced sailor would do. However, this time was different than anything I had experienced in the past. The high winds caught hold of the trampoline and ripped the righting line from my hands with such tremendous force that I could not reestablish my hold on any line or part of my wave.
Totally helpless afar from land or any other boats watching my Hobie fly away with the wind. The mast bob carried the wind load as the 15 kts winds pushed the boat further and further out of my reach. I am a great swimmer but could not keep up and my life vest became my only salvation. The capsized boat must have caught someones attention on the shoreline and thankfully they contacted the United States Coast Guard and after only 15 to 20 minutes a small Coast Guard life boat appeared and began looking in my area. I was pulled out of the drink and taken to safety and my boat was continuing on down the coast and eventually landed on a shoreline were I reacquired it back later on.
Sharing this unfortunate experience with other wave owners will hopefully raise your conscience awareness of the infinite dangers of solo sailing without tether or some kind of life line attached to your wave.
The mast float is a fantastic aid and I believe that it is worthy of the grand purpose that it serves as long as sailors understand the dangers involved in higher wind sailing. We should remove the mast bob in high winds!
No known words could began to express my gratitude for the fine life saving work of the United States Coast Guard station in Ponce Deleon Inlet, Florida.


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 Post subject: Remove the float?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:37 am 
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I would caution against removing the float as the boat going turtle can be an equally bad or worse situation. You likely can not right a Wave with one person when fully inverted (turtled).

We tested in lighter winds, so perhap in higher wind you can drift the hulls over the mast to get it righting. We could not right from turtle with about 350 pounds of crew. I never have sailed them without the float since.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:12 pm 
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I was so surprised when reading this, because I had a very different first encounter with Hobie Wave capsizing.

I am a fairly seasoned sailor, but had never sailed a small cat solo before. A firend has a 2011 Wave which I asked to try it out on a windy day on the Oslo Fjord. I set out without having received/read any instructions, but quickly figured out the sailing bit. I had a fantastic time, and was really enjoying the "dating face" with the boat. Playing with the jib trim I end ended up teasing her until she came around and tossed all 6'4 200lbs of me into the sea. Some part of the rigging or rudder hit the back of my head, but nothing serious.

I emerged grinning and just then I realized that there was a point to the ugly blimp I had mistaken for a wind indicator, LOL. A second later I was thinking "this is definitely THE Hobie scenario I should have studied!". I loosened the lines from the brakes, and went on to swim and push the boat so that the floaters pointed into the wind. I then climbed onto the floater in the water, close to the aft end. My hands went over the airborne floater. I pulled myself up by my arms, and after s few seconds hanging onto the floater in the air, the mast started to come out of the water and the boat flipped back. I grabbed the rudder crossbar and pulled myself onto the trampoline and took off.

I still have no idea if the boat has a righting line, but I know I'll be sailing it again this weekend, and I will check it out.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Wow, Thanks for the words of warning. I'm new to sailing, am also located near Ponce Inlet, and have taken my wave out a few times in light / medium winds. I've been looking forward to a high wind day and now I know to have 1 more step added to my launch list. tether myself to the boat if winds are high. Hopefully I'll not have a similar experience.

On a positive note, I'm having a blast out on the ocean with my wave. Dolphins, Pelicans, Rays, and a sweet ride. Hope to see you out on the water sometime.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:04 pm 
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I would never....repeat NEVER remove my Hobie Bob when sailing solo. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Remove the float?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:08 am
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Location: St. Charles, IL
mmiller wrote:
I would caution against removing the float as the boat going turtle can be an equally bad or worse situation. You likely can not right a Wave with one person when fully inverted (turtled).

We tested in lighter winds, so perhap in higher wind you can drift the hulls over the mast to get it righting. We could not right from turtle with about 350 pounds of crew. I never have sailed them without the float since.


I must be a beast then as I managed to right it from a turtle @215#. I was more worried when the boat blew away faster than I could swim another time. I did catch it though...

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'82 H 18
'96 H Wave


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:40 pm 
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Quote:
1 more step added to my launch list. tether myself to the boat if winds are high.

Ack. This one comes up for discussion repeatedly. (Do the search on tethering and you get lots of hits.)

Tethering? Tying one's arm, leg, whatever to @200 lb floating object that can move pretty fast when the tramp is a sail... Tethered, you pull yourself back to the boat OR you get dragged along because the resistance is too great. Why go through this thought process though? (Don't sail alone.)

I keep working through a list of things to avoid:

1. Don't cleat the mainsheet in heavy air if can help it. (Which means wear gloves sometimes.)
2. Don't gybe in heavy air. Do a loop instead. Don't ask me how I know. Practice gybing more.
3. If the boat starts to go over, don't grab ropes, but aim to grab hold of the hull or crossbar or a corner hole of the tramp -- I haven't figured out which yet I like best, but one these things is my friend -- and count on resting and getting a good look around and working the bow into the wind...

At least if you are going to tether, use a surfboard type that breaks loose under extreme conditions... Ugh


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:18 pm
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Location: Slovenia
If I sail solo (or with a friend) in heavy winds I use a 20 meters of red floating line which is tied up on the rear crossbar and floats behind the boat. I have used it since my first pitchpole experience. I jumped from the boat but she recoverd from pitchpoling leaving her captain in the sea. I was lucky since I was not far from the coast.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:32 pm 
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I flipped mine this fall on a small lake in VT and while everything was fine I made a few mistakes that could have multiplied into a disaster. Sailing in a gusty winds ranging from 10 to 25+ I flipped at the far side of the lake. I was the only boat out as it was raining and gusty. Being a dinghy sailor I went to the high side and then dropped over the hull. It is a far fall as I found out and a roto moulded hull makes you bounce. I bounced to windward about 8 feet. Having read about the speedy track Waves take when on their side I swam like hell for the boat, and made it. That was good because, like a dumb a$$ I was not wearing a pfd, but was wearing jeans, a shirt, and full foulies. Swimming would not have been easy for long. I walked aft, uncleated the main and then walked forward. I got the boat up quickly. This was no ocean, ocean waves experience but if anyone is thinking of a tether I would suggest that you very carefully calculate the length. Too long and it will be a problem. Too short won't be great either. Also, there may not be an answer to this question.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:34 am 
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This is a very interesting thread. As an accomplished solo dinghy cruiser (1000 + mles on open ocean) I have learned over the years it is necessary to be ready for a worst case scenario. With regards to this thread I wear a professional grade tether, used by ocean-going sailors. Fortunately it never needed to be put to use but is part of my standard safety equipment aboard my sailing dinghy. When I purchase a Hobie Wave I may have to lengthen the tether but the harness should work.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:26 pm 
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I have thought of a tether too but I have a reservation about it. Could the boat, with a person dragging behind, balance the helm and pull the sailor under? I think the answer is yes for nearly every boat at a certain wind speed. Granted it would be very unique circumstances to make it happen but it could. Case in point, at a Flying Scott Midwinters on year a sailor drowned when he wad dragged under by the boat. It was obviously windy and the boat was sailing down wind with the spinnaker up. Something went wrong and the skipper wound up in the water tangled in a line, spin sheet I think. The story was that the boat took off again down wind and the guy dragging behind balanced the boat just right, the crew had a very tough time getting the boat to luff. Not sure if the line was around the rudder or what but by the time they got him aboard it was too late. I heard that at a midwinters in about 1997 I think, wasn't at the event when it happened.
I suppose it is still better to be attached for the 99% of times it would be better than watching the boat drift out of reach. Has always stuck in my head though.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:38 am 
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This is a really interesting thread, hope to see more like it! I had a pitchpole recently, sailing solo in a large bay when I got hit by 30+knots (see post 'sudden squall and pitchpole'). Luckily I managed to grab the boat fast because it was moving through the water on its side, mast float to windward, faster than I could have swum. Since then I've thought about using a tether but I'm concerned about getting tangled in a pitchpole, making a bad situation much worse.

Has anyone had personal experience of pitchpoling on a Wave or other cat, while tethered to the boat? Would you recommend it?

stuart

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2011 Hobie Wave with jib kit & mainsheet traveller


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:58 pm 
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Do you mean you could not hold on to the boat, while it was drifting away?
I have pitchpoled and capsized a few times, on a G-cat 5.0 (with a squared tornado sail,for people who think you can't pitchpole a G-cat 5.0) also with double tramps. And I noticed that they go faster capsized then many monohulls upright!
But I always was able to hold on to the boat or turn it around in the wind.(Mast upwind) by hanging on the bow, or better just stand on it, so it drags.
You always have a couple of minutes to climb aboard, because they capsize or pitchpole with the mast downwind. And then the cat wants to turn around(in most occassions) so it is in ideal position to take of with the tramps downwind, dragging the sail. But it was never a problem to hold on to parts or rope..And I'm sure in those conditions it was 20 knots and up. I'll keep my float.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Location: OC, MD
Two posts.
The first it was probably appropriate to wear teather, even though may have contributed to death.

http://nasailor.com/2011/10/31/us-saili ... -capsizes/

Second post probably the trapeze acted similar to how a teather would work.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -boat.html

I would not wear a teather on a hobie. Expectations are you may end up in the water and that they capsize. As opposed to a larger boat where staying with the boat offshore could mean life or death.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:04 am 
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By the way, we sail with a personal gps-beacon. That might be a safer option then a teather. It is $400.- a pop, but an investment well worth it for when you get separated from your boat. And you can use it on land too! (when hiking).


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