Dinghy Capsize - How to right your boat!

If your boat capsize, then you are in trouble. It might have been because you were too cocky with the spinnaker or that you didn't heel out enough on the beat.

It doesn't matter how it happened, what the issue is how to get the boat righted again.

The easiest way to do this is to drill yourself as often as you can, by intentionally getting the boat in the water and trying to haul it back up.

The more often you do it the more quickly you can do it in racing.

The boat can either go 90 degrees or go 180 degrees (commonly known as 'turtling').

Obviously the less the boat is in the water the easier it is to right the boat.

Also every single one can be either a dry capsize or a wet capsize (I think the meaning of these words are obvious!).

The best drill is that you do a dry one and the boat is only 90 degrees in the water.

Wet Capsize

Haha! You got wet!

Oh well better luck next time. Lets try and figure out what you are going to do next if you fall into the water.

If the water is nice and warm then your fine, but if it is really cold, then make sure the other person knows about it and can pull it over quickly.

If you're in a single handler, then you had better get the boat over quick.

Check that the centreboard (or daggerboard) is out fully.

Swim around to the back of the boat and check that the rudder is on. If not simply fix it on as you would normally do.

Make your way to the 'bottom' of the boat.

Climb on to the centreboard and take the genoa sheet. Then pull with all your might with your weight.

If you are both in the water, the other person should lie on the water next to the boat, ready to be scooped up when it comes back up.

If your in a single handler then you won't need a genoa or sheet to hold onto.

The boat should just fall over on its own.

Dry Capsize

Well done on being so quick!

This should be easy. Just take the genoa sheet and pull using your weight against the centreboard.

The boat should flip over in a dandy.

See how much easier dry ones are compared to wet ones?

In all cases make sure you hold onto the main sheet so that if there is a current you don't get swept away.

Also if you are both light, then you may both have to get onto the centreboard.

You should have gone out with safety cover so alert them using hand signal or they will probably come out automatically.

Make sure the genoa is uncleated when you capsize or else one of you will have to jump in and get it.

If it is cleated, is it pretty much impossible to right the boat.

It is not usually dangerous, but if you do end up turtled and you are under the boat, don't panic simply swim underneath the boat and outside.

If there is air under the boat you have sometime to think and calm down.

On a turtle, there is no centreboard to hold on to either.

Instead put your feet on the ridge and hold onto the centreboard with your hands.

As the boat comes over to the 90 degree position, then do the normal drill listed above.

Sometimes the mast may have some 'gunk' on it. On the Welsh Harp if you turtle, you will invariably get wet mud on the sails and mast.

If this happens you should clean it and not forget, else the mud will just cake inside the mast and your boat will not function as well as it should.

Take care of your boat and yourselves! Never go out in a boat without safety watch or anyone knowing where you are/going!

But at the same time, have fun!

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