Had a great holiday on Windermere – first holiday for a couple of years. Good to get away.
We did do a few capsize drills which was interesting.
My Wanderer has lots of buoyancy in the side tanks which causes her to float very high on her side. This makes her likely to invert. I really didn’t want this to happen as I wasn’t sure how deep the lake was at that point and getting the mast stuck in the bottom could really ruin the day, particularly with no rescue boat available, so I hoisted a couple of fenders to the top of the mast.
Custard capsized fairly easily with two heavy blokes standing on the side-deck. Water poured in and over she went.
Following Internet research I had rigged righting lines. These proved vital – there are no jib sheets to pull on in Custard as she is junk rigged, and the centreboard was out of reach due to the buoyancy in the side tanks. Once the righting lines were thrown over she came up very easily.
Getting in was much harder than I expected. The tapes for holding the tent down can be slackened for use as footholds and these helped, but the biggest help was some foot loops I had tied in the righting lines.
Once I was in the next challenge was the amount of water inside the boat. She was still stable – just very slow to row! It took a while to bail out. I later discovered that the water had also seeped into the buoyancy compartments.
There are a few things I need to sort out this winter:
- Make the boat watertight. She leaks a bit too much at the moment. This is probably the self-bailers. Since we don’t go fast enough to use these I’ll probably make up fibreglass replacements for these, with the option to put the self-bailers back in in future.
- Get the buoyancy compartments watertight. Lots of water got in when doing capsize drill, probably due to the screwholes for the clips holding the floorboards down and the inspection hatches. There was also water getting in while afloat – maybe via the rubbing strips on the bottom. I need to take these off and reattach with Sikaflex.
- Reduce the halyard load. I injured my hand pulling the sail up so I need to do something about this. The sail bundle is too heavy so I might be able to reduce the weight of the yard and battens. I could increase the mechanical advantage of the pulley system at the mast top but this would result in a lot more string to stow. I don’t think this is due to needing a halyard crane at the mast head – nothing seems to be rubbing – but I will check this out.
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