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 Post subject: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:21 am 
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It occured to me recently that should I get knocked out of the A1 while leashed on, I might be dragged quite some distance without ever climbing back aboard. Now I have never come close to entering the water but the thought did occur to me from a post Kayaking Bob wrote some while ago. It does seem very sensible to have everything tied down and to use a leash where possible.

I understand that in a capsize, the issue of being dragged along is unlikely but I was thinking that if I accidentally fell out or was given a helping hand by a big wave, I might not have time to free the sheet.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what the best practice should be.

Many thanks,

Upyaboya

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:34 am 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
I might be dragged quite some distance without ever climbing back aboard


I think you'd make a fine anchor :shock:

Even with the sail adjusted perfect and cleated, I don't think it would go more than a few feet without slowing to not much more than water speed.

Kayaking Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:54 pm 
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If you leash to the bow... at least it should turn the boat into the wind, as you act like a sea anchor.

A leash would have saved me a 2-3 mile swim one October afternoon years ago. I had the unfortunate experience of an equipment failure on my Hobie 16 that dropped me into the water off the trapeze. Had I not been sailing in towards shore... my boat would have sailed to mainland Mexico from San Felipe. Lucky for me it sailed itself to the beach.

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:29 pm 
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reconlon wrote:
Quote:
I might be dragged quite some distance without ever climbing back aboard


I think you'd make a fine anchor :shock:

Even with the sail adjusted perfect and cleated, I don't think it would go more than a few feet without slowing to not much more than water speed.

Kayaking Bob



I'm glad I asked the question, never pictured myself as an anchor but now that you mention it, I think that should work fine!

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:32 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
If you leash to the bow... at least it should turn the boat into the wind, as you act like a sea anchor.


Now that too makes a lot of sense Matt, thanks for the tip.

Congratulations on designing and building a great piece of kit.

Upyaboya

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:29 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
If you leash to the bow... at least it should turn the boat into the wind, as you act like a sea anchor.


That's an interesting thought Matt. Got me wondering, is there a risk if you fell between the akas, that the leash could get fouled and pull you under?

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:40 pm 
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That's a good point Chrisj because I would have to think that in the event that you were knocked into the water, to your point, you would fall in between the akas. Now that might result in a right good bang to the head.

When the water warms up a bit, I might jump out just to see what would happen - I hate surprises.

All in all, I think it's sensible to use a leash when the conditions are challenging. Broaching is always my primary concern but as I said earlier, the A1 is a great performer and very stable so I haven't come close to greeting the water. The bow has submerged, the ama's have buried and the seating area has filled with water, but the A1 is robust and can take weather.

Getting fouled would prove challenging and probably give the heart good cause to beat that bit quicker.

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:49 pm 
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I've got a surfboard leash attached to my rear aka crossbar Upyaboya. I had never thought about attaching it further forward.

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:14 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
I've got a surfboard leash attached to my rear aka crossbar Upyaboya. I had never thought about attaching it further forward.


I too Chrisj usually surfboard the leash to the rear aka crossbar. I'm intrigued by the suggestion by Matt to use the bow as a potential anchor. I buy the logic and will definitely try that option to see what happens.

My accidental prang with the submerged bouy taught me a few lessons. I was surprised by the speed and strength of the impact, the brace giving instantly and the bobbing of the aka's while I came close to capsizing. All of this happening so quickly had me trying to do a number of things at once and that suggested I could easily have ended up in the water.

I like the idea of acting like an anchor thereby bringing the A1 into the wind which should slow things down and give me a chance to climb aboard. My experience had me worried that if I had fallen overboard, I could be dragged along for some distance.

I will definitely experiment so I understand how best to handle such a situation in the future.

Upyaboya

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:07 pm 
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'clipped to the bow line...
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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Is that a karabiner attached to a life vest area61?
If so, does it stretch the full way to the bow line?

I had thought of a cowtail but it won't reach. The surfboard leash will reach the bow line and give the required flexibility.

Thanks

Upyaboya

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:46 pm 
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Being dragged or getting fouled in the rigging are serious considerations, but with the choice of being left behind being the other option? If sailing alone or with no other boats in the area... I might be inclined to hook onto something. This is common practice on big boats. Even when sailing with other crew.

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:20 pm 
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I capsized twice in one day last year. One wave caught me sideways and rolled me over. The other wave was bigger. I went right at it. It stood the AI straight up and drove it over on it's back. The amas collapsed but nothing broke. Wouldn't recommend it. Some days you are not supposed to go out there. Believe it.

The thing I am sure of is I would NOT want to have been tied to my boat when it flipped over. I was trying to get away from my boat as it went over. The idea of it coming down on top of me or banging me around in the waves was a very real concern to me.

I understand the idea behind a leash. But if something goes terribly wrong, the leash may not be your friend.


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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:39 pm 
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The "safety tether" has an internal bungee...3' stretches to 6' under load...
Attached to a PFD with a quick disconnect...I have a 15' heavy bow line pulled tight and stuffed where I can reach it from the seat...when the weather/waves warrant an extra margin of safety, I'll hook up.
Falling out is unlikely but the extra insurance when I venture out into open water is a reassuring option...
The quick safety release on the buckle is a no-brainer and I can easily cut away by pulling the rip cord...

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Last edited by area61 on Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Capsizing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:02 pm 
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Matt, I wasn't questioning the wisdom of being leashed, just wondering whether attaching the leash near the bow mightn't increase the risk of getting fouled.

drgatsea, We've discussed leashing before on the forum and generally agreed being leashed is not a good idea in a breaking surf.

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