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A Righting Line To Help Right A Boat

by Peter

A righting line on aboat (I would advise it to go slightly higher up the hull)

A righting line on aboat (I would advise it to go slightly higher up the hull)

I have a Miracle dinghy which inverted last week and the centreboard went in. Where is the best place to postion a righting line?


Hi Peter

At school, we sail 420s (which you may or may not may have gathered from this website) and they have righting lines.

In case there are people reading this who don't know what a righting line is, it is a rope that helps you pull the boat up when it capsizes or inverts and especially if the centreboard goes in or if you fall off the boat.

On the 420s the righting line goes right underneath the lip of the hull (the area where you sit on - under that). It then connects to the back of the boat and the front of the boat by knots.

I was searching on Google Images to find a good example and the one above is a great example of how to connect it to the boat, without drilling any holes in the hull or damaging it in a any way.

So to answer your question, the righting line should be as close to the side of the boat as possible and just under the lip of the place you sit on when hiking out.

Thanks for asking! Best Regards,


Comments for A Righting Line To Help Right A Boat

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Apr 24, 2009
Righting lines
by: Peter

Thanks Alex,

I have read about a line which can be thrown over the inverted hull - and possibly tied somewhere near the base of the mast. Such a line would have good leverage.

I am not sure how the righting line you suggest could be used for an inverted boat unless one leaned on the hull and reached down on to the righting line - but where would the leverage come from?

Apr 24, 2009
Righting Lines
by: Alex

Hi Peter

The leverage would come from putting your feet on the opposite side of the boat to where the righting line is.

On some boats there is a groove or bump on the bottom of the boat on either side that runs down the length of the boat, which you can put your feet on. Otherwise you will have to stand on the lip of the boat.

It is almost impossible to do a dry capsize without a centreboard unless you are very agile and quick as you will have to wait long enough and then pull yourself over the side and stop yourself going over again.

If your not afraid of getting wet do the stance and eventually it will come over and point head to wind and then you can just hop in the back.

I may or may not have put on here that I am a RYA qualified Safety Boat driver (page on that coming soon). If there is a powerboat present during this capsize (and their should be for safety reasons) then the safety boat would hook a rope round the shroud on one side and pull the boat up as the sails and water resistance provide the leverage. Obviously in that case you would have to be taken out of the water by safety boat and should only be used if you don't have enough weight to pull it up.

Thanks for your comment! Best Regards,


Apr 24, 2009
by: Peter

Thanks for the ideas, Alex.

We inverted on Windermere in gusty conditions. All was safe and the safety boat righted us in the manner you mentioned. I think you have to be quite tall to right the dinghy using your method but it is worth a try. Prefer to do this on a nice peaceful reservoir. Tomorrow we will cleat the centreboard so that it can't drop back in the boat - then we are in with a chance.


Jul 29, 2009
righting lines
by: Julian

I've been advised to add some righting lines to my Laser 2.
I'm told when it capsizes it usually turns turtle and in the weather we have had this year off the South coast England, that seems likely. Also despite new gusset/gasket on the dagger board slot, the dagger board is very free and is likely to shoot out.

I've been given two different pieces of advice on positioning the lines. One is to run them around under the gunnel as Alex describes but incorporated with a length of 'bungy'. The other is to attach one end under the gunnel, probably amid ships then run the rope along under the gunnel and attach it with 'Velcro' or similar. One of these each side. then the line will reach over/ under depending how you look at it so that you can pull on it. the helmsman of course has to make sure the line is available on capsize. I suppose that's o.k with practice I suppose!
My problem is that I'm a bit nervous of drilling into my boat. it's fibre glass
with sealed bulkhead and hull. is all right to drill and screw into this anywhere or only into those parts that single skin, i.e. not part of the sealed skin.
Any special tips on drilling, any danger of cracking etc.


Jul 29, 2009
Righting Line
by: Alex

Hi Julian,

If you are in any fear of drilling into your boat, you should not do it and ask a professional or the person who manufactured your boat to do it.

As you say, there is significant risk of the boat cracking, which will give you even more cost than the drilling in the first place.

I think you should definitely go and find someone very knowledgeable about these things or go for the velcro idea that just sticks to the boat.

Hope it works out for you and thank you for visiting my site :)

Best Regards,

Feb 21, 2010
Righting line for a miracle dinghy.
by: John Wheeler

I took some advice from another sailor. I now sail with a righting line tied to the bottom of the mast and bungied above the deck height. One the end of the line I have a rubber ball that gives you some weight for throwing the line over the boat. The miracle sits very high out of the water when capsised onto one side. By the way, I did some experiments a couple or years ago deliberately capsising my miracle in every permutation I could think of. The huge flotation compartments have the unfortunate habit of forcing the tip of the mast down. It inverted every time. I went and got some closed cell poly float from a chandlers, put it into a ripstop nylon bag. I hoist it on the tip of h the foresail. It gives me the time to right the boat without worrying!

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