How to sail – Capsize a single handed sailboat

How to sail – Capsize a single handed sailboat


This training video looks at how to deal witha capsize for a single person sailing dinghy. Capsizing is a normal part of everyday sailing. There s nothing to worry about, the boat won
t sink. Single handed boats are lighter than two handed boats and so are much easier to
deal with after a capsize. Even sailors with years of experience capsize. And you should
practise your technique with deliberate capsizes on light wind days to perfect your technique.
To force capsize the boat simply lean heavily to one side or the other, this imbalance of
weight will capsize the boat. In the unlikely event of becoming trapped under the sail,
simply push up on the sail. This will introduce a pocket of air and then you can swim free.
When in the water it s important to keep in direct contact with the boat at all times
to prevent you from getting separated. This can be done by either holding onto the mainsheet
or by holding onto the hull itself. s now look at what you need to do step by step to
recover from a capsize. When you first go into the water, check that you are not caught
up on any loose ropes and make sure that the mainsheet is fully slack, which will mean
that the mainsail flaps when the boat is pulled upright. Next swim to the rear of the boat,
this will ensure that you do not get trapped under the hull should it invert. And while
you re there check the rudder hasn t fallen off, if it has, refit it. If you feel the
boat rolling on top of you, you need to swim clear and let the boat settle. If however
you do get trapped under the boat then you need to take a deep breath and bob out from
underneath the upturned hull. In this example the boat has fully inverted. To make it easier
you need to swim to the centreboard in preparation to right the boat. To increase leverage try
to get out of the water by climbing on the lip of the upturned hull and grab hold of
the centreboard. If the centreboard has slid back inside the boat, simply grab it and fully
extend it like this. This provides greater leverage to right the boat. But be careful
not to damage the trailing edge of the centreboard as this is a thin edge and is delicate and
very easily damaged. Now you just need to lean back, there s no need to strain here
as a gentle and sustained pressure will suffice and is the key to an effective capsize procedure.
Slowly the boat will adopt the flat capsize position, which, when reached you need to
apply all your weight to the top of the centreboard and push down. Surface tension of the sail
on the water may need you to apply a quick pump to break the seal, which when happens
the boat will right quickly. Once the boat is upright you can then clamber aboard. Do
not climb in under the boom as it is likely that the extra weight of you under the boom
will pull the boat over once more so you should swim to the opposite side of the boom and
climb in from there. To help you, grab the toe straps for extra leverage. Once aboard
be careful to keep your head clear of the flapping sail and boom. Sort out all the ropes
and make sure nothing is tangled and open any drainage points and start sailing. As
you get more proficient and more experienced it is possible to right the boat without actually
getting wet this is called a dry capsize and here s how. As the boat flips over, if you
are quick, you can end up sitting on the uppermost side of the boat, you can then quickly step
over the boat and stand on the centreboard. Using your weight lean on the centreboard
to pull the boat back upright. As the boat rights itself step back over the side back
into the cockpit and keep yourself dry. As before you can then sort out all the ropes
and making sure nothing is tangled, open any drainage points and start sailing. During
the capsize process you may have become stuck in the middle of the no go zone and be unable
to sail away. This is called being stuck in irons. If this happens simply push the boom
well out to one side and steer the boat backwards away from the no go zone. See our First Sail
video for more details on this. So let s recap the key learning points: Dinghies do not sink
when they capsize Everyone capsizes, even the most experienced sailors so don t be worried
or embarrassed To ensure that the sail flaps when the boat is pulled upright make sure
that the mainsheet is loosened Swim to the stern and make sure the rudder is in place
You must keep in direct contact with the boat at all times to prevent you from being separated.
Remember just lean back, there s no need to strain here as a gentle and sustained pressure
will suffice and is the key to an effective capsize procedure. When the boat is flat on
its side it may be necessary to apply a quick pump of pressure to the centreboard to break
the surface tension caused by the sail sticking to the water. Once the boat is upright you
can clamber aboard. Do not climb in under the boom as there is a good chance you will
capsize the boat once more. Once aboard be careful to keep your head clear of the flapping
sail and boom. When you get proficient you will be able to right your dinghy without
getting wet. Next steps Good capsize drill is an important part of sailing, being completely
familiar with what you need to do allows you to be more confident with your general sailing
You should practise your drill on light wind days to perfect your techniques Glossary Boom
– A horizontal spar attached to the mast that supports the mainsail Centreboard – A large
plate that pivots and retracts inside the boat, used to prevent sideways slip (called
leeway) particularly when sailing close hauled Mainsail – The main sail on a boat, the largest
sail (except for the spinnaker) controlled by the helmsman Mainsheet – The line used
to pull the mainsail in or let it out No go zone – The area in which a boat won t sail,
45 degrees either side of where the wind is blowing from Rudder/rudder blade – A flat,
underwater blade that steers the boat Stern (or transom) – The back of the boat. Stuck
in irons – A term used when the boat is stationary with the bow head to wind PAGE [email protected] gdO8 gdO8
[email protected] gdO8 wfwf gd’j gdO8 :pyI Sailaboat Transcripts 12th November 2009 tash Normal penny Microsoft
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