“Knowing how to recover from a capsize should be one of the first things you learn.”
"It is not to be feared. It is to be practised"
inc GP 27 Aug 2015 00:00:19
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Prevention is better than recovery! – If capsize is imminent:-
- Crew – Get “Weight up!”
- Helm – Point up into wind.
- Mainsheet - Ease/Release it. (Takes the wind out of the sail – reduces the heeling force)
- Jib sheet - Ease/Release it. (Allows the bow to come up into wind)
These might prevent the capsize occurring.
“The advice is not to worry - it is part of sailing. It happens to the best of sailors.”
If capsize is inevitable:-
- “Dry capsize” - As "Molly" goes over, climb up to the upper gunwale. The mast will lie horizontal on the water. You may only get a wet foot
See Animation >>
(Don’t believe it? There is a video later.)
“The more you practise, the easier it becomes”
Immediately after capsize:-
- Whoever was in command, resume captaincy. Generally this will be the Helmsman.
- Others quietly follow practised procedure.
- Check the crew (headcount and condition).
- All crew get within the boat confines, ideally sitting on the upper gunwale, or standing inside on the centre-plate housing, or the lower gunwale. Otherwise lying in the water parallel to the boat.
- Adopt responsibility for whatever tasks are nearest to you:-
- Chuck any drifting kit back within the boat.
- Un-cleat the MAIN HALYARD. “Haul down” the Main Sail.
- Check the centre-plate is extended, and secured with the elastic strop.
- Captain, solicit a suitable heavy-ish "Hauler".
- "Hauler" take the “upper” jib sheet* (as a hand-hold), step out on to the centre-plate close to the hull. Take in all jib-sheet-slack, pull hard, lean back. If she won’t “un-stick”, walk slowly out onto the centre-plate. Don’t rush or bounce – this might break the plate. Step back in as Molly comes upright.
- All crew - As "Molly" comes upright, adjust your position to maintain trim.
- Sit low, preferably in the bilge; you are probably wet already! - A boat full of water is more unstable than usual.
See Animation (2) >>
*(Instead of the jb sheet, un-reeving the bottom end of the jib halyard to gain purchase from the top of the mast may be more effectve - TBC).
- Helm - Check the rudder is fully attached.
- Helm - Keep boat pointing up, head slightly off the wind.
- Jib – Adjust jib-sheet to provide forward motion for steerage and improved stability.
- All other crew - Sit low. Bail and pump. Tidy the main-sail.
- Mainsail – Does it need to be reefed? (or rig “Julia”?). Haul up.
- Sail-on while bailing, or heave-to (if safe) to complete bailing.
“Capsizes are a shock when they happen for the first time,....
Being prepared to deal with them is a major confidence booster”
- Prevention – Weight up. Head up. Dump. Dump.
- Climb up.
- Helmsman in charge. Others quiet.
- Head count. Crew condition.
- Crew & Kit inside.
- Main Halyard, un-cleat. Main Sail “down”.
- Centre-plate - extended & secured?
- “Hauler” out to base of plate with “upper” jib sheet..
- All crew - Maintain trim. Sit low.
- Helm - Check rudder. Head slightly off wind.
- Jib – Adjust sheet - gain headway, steerage, stability.
- Sit low. Bail. Pump. Tidy mansail.
- Mainsail, reefed, Julia? Haul up.
- Sail and Bail
See these four videos >>
If any crew are left overboard when Molly uprights, recover them as per "Man Overboard" drill - (Not yet written!)
Briefly - Two strong crew allocated to haul one person aboard
at a time while everone else sits low in the bilge.
(Sections plagiarised from
Caution Water.com, and Overy Staithe SC .)
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