Righting a dumped Sunfish

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by David1st, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. David1st

    David1st New Member

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    I am 5 year race veteran, who still gets nervous, when the wind gets above 20 knots, fear of turteling downright scares me and effects race performance. I have dumped twice before, its no big deal, except I have great difficulty reaching the centerboard after a capcise. with short arms and bad shoulders . Has any one out there beat this problem!!!!!
     
  2. Paul_D

    Paul_D Member

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    I assume you race because you think it is fun. If it's only fun if you're in the top 5 then there is only one solution...get over it! ;-) and focus on position in the boat and fast smooth transitions. If your ok in the middle of the pack then relax enjoy the race "off the edge" so to speak.
     
  3. David1st

    David1st New Member

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    I think I could get over it if Ihad a solution to grabing the center board to bring the boat upright again, I can't seem to get myself up high enough to grab it. What is the solution to getting myself up on the boat? getting myself more horzontal and swimming onto the boat, instead of dead lifting myself?
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    We all get a bit nervous when the wind pipes up; without that we wouldn't have any stories to tell!

    Regarding capsizing, usually there are two stages and I am not sure which one to address here. Let me try to explain two of the possible scenarios.

    Once you capsize; the hull will be vertical initially and the sail roughly horizontal in the water. Maybe you are still inside the hull, hanging on to the gunwhale. If so, you can try to recover with the 'dry capsize' maneuver. Assuming (part of) the daggerboard is out, you move one leg out and step on the board with your foot, ever so gingerly. Then you move your weight out to slowly get the boat/sail up. At just the right time you slide back into the hull. Not so easy, but practice makes perfect.
    If you have somehow parted company with the boat, the first thing is to get the daggerboard extended, if necessary. Then you swim, or move, around the hull and grab the daggerboard close to the hull. Even with short arms, that should be possible. To increase leverage you move your hands outward until the boat starts to come up. Initially this will be slow because of all the water in the sail. But once the water is dumped, the boat will come up much more quickly. Be aware of that, or the boat will capsize on top of you. Finally, you need to get back into the boat.

    Turtleling the boat isn't automatic after a capsize. You can prevent this by tying an empty milk bottle to the top of the gaff. Ugly, but it's supposed to work.
    The turtle position can be restful, because you can climb on the hull and figure out what to do. This includes waiting to be rescued. But to get back to normal by yourself, the most important thing is to get the daggerboard out (no surprise). If it isn't , you will need to push the board out from the deck side. But hopefully, tension from the shockcord tied to the board should have kept it in place, more or less. Now grab the board. Easy if you sit on top of the hull; harder if you are in the water. In the latter case, grab the board close to the hull. Then you move your hands outward to increase leverage. At some point the boat should come up (see above).
    I agree that short arms and bad shoulders will make some of this more difficult. But the boat doesn't turtle in one swoop normally. Perhaps in a big wave; I don't know.

    In higher winds, it's really helpful to first get the boat head to wind. This will prevent the boat from capsizing a second time (and on top of you).
     
  5. David1st

    David1st New Member

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    Thanks for all your help, that dry manuver sounds more like a laser move, is it possible in a sunfish also?
     
  6. Tim Polaski

    Tim Polaski 79429

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    The dry maneuver is possible in just about every dinghy I have sailed on thus far, with the exception perhaps being the opti which just acts like a giant water scooper, and the E-scow, which is a definite no-no as there are 2 centerboards, one on each side and the boats are 28 feet long:eek: . Thistles don't lent themselves too well to dry recovery either as they are mega giant water scoops, but it can be done

    In most cases, speed over the high side is critical; so making the decision that you are beyond recovery, just prior to going over to high side, is critical. If you hang out on the windward side gunwhale too long after capsize, you will promote turtling. Practice makes perfect.

    When I was growing up, my friend had a minifish which we spent more time sailing upside down (on purpose). It makes a great swim platform and you can also partially right it and use the daggerboard as a diving board.

    Sailing camp was just another excuse to flip more, different kinds of boats over more often.....

    When I had a laser, I would spend some hot, light air days just flipping over in different ways. Standing on the bow, grabbing the mast and leaning toward the bow makes an interesting event. Once you flip over enough times, it becomes merely an inconvenience or minor setback on the race course, definitely not a race ender.

    Again, the only way to learn is to do. Have fun.
     
  7. David1st

    David1st New Member

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    Thanks , Tim for your great, explanation of how to right a sunfish. I just bought rick whites dvd on the sailing basics, watching it done, will diffenately improve my sailing . Seeing is believing!!!
     

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