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Old 04-07-2018, 15:43   #46
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

best quote i could give would be

"The more you get wet now,
The more you stay dry in the future !"
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Old 04-07-2018, 15:48   #47
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

This is all amusing because it brings back so many memories of capsizing Sunfish and Hobies. If I could have a dollar for every time I was a second too slow on the main sheet on my catamaran. But it taught me a lot and I got better and started winning races instead of being horribly embarrassed by flipping in a race
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Old 04-07-2018, 17:58   #48
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

I know that feeling too well. I had a lot of motorboat experience in my youth but began sailing more and more with friends. I soon wanted my own boat and a trainer of sorts and bought one of the 1st Lasers offered (this was 1971). I couldn't sail it till Spring weather came; the anticipation was exhausting. But one pretty day, I rigged it and launched. I, almost immediately, would "death roll" it to windward for the 1st of many times but stuck the mast and that pretty white sail into the bottom's muck. I sure wondered if I was "right" for it. Not too long ago and many miles under my keel, I showed up at my college's Alum regatta and rolled a college boat in the same kind of roll but fell backwards out of the boat. I was rescued immediately and very embarrassed but surprised too that no one really seemed to care. DO GET on with livin' and just forget the small stuff !
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Old 04-07-2018, 18:17   #49
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

You had a "learning experience" which is very common, do not be embarrassed and welcome to sailing! BTW, you didn't "keel" over, your boat "heeled" over.

Which wind angle did you have at the time? In such light winds I think you probably capsized due to misplacement of your own body weight. But perhaps you jibed accidentally? Lake sailing can be just tricky with sudden wind changes, so you really have to be alert at all times.

Some small high performance centerboard boats are very easy to capsize in a jibe. I have a ton of dinghy experience - but a friend of mine loaned me his little racing dink and I couldn't get it to jibe for the life of me - almost capsized in about 15 knots of wind.

You are not too old or inexperienced to learn to sail dingies, just do it in light winds. It might be a good idea to take a one on one lesson to build your confidence and knowledge.
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Old 04-07-2018, 18:20   #50
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

As a kid I learned to sail in a 17' Grumman canoe. Got good at bailing the canoe. Learned how to sail it, bailed less often but always pushed the limits. Flew Hobie cats on one hull a lot too, did not have to bail them...
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Old 04-07-2018, 18:21   #51
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

Next time don't let them pick you up....make them teach you how to right the boat yourself and continue on.
I started sailing in an El Toro at age 10. Capsized them all the time. 50 years on I still capsize small sail boats....if I don't there is no wind or I'm not having fun.
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Old 04-07-2018, 18:52   #52
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

People say we learn from our mistakes. Therefore I must be pretty smart. I have made a lot of mistakes. In your case look at it as a learning experience and go do it again. Er sailing of course.
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Old 04-07-2018, 19:38   #53
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

I flipped my dingy off a restaurant and got the mast stuck in the mud. A patron called 911 about a capsized boat and by the time I made it to shore 2 fire trucks, police and ambulance were waiting along with the local paper. I made the front page the next day with a half page color photo and the headline of boaters lucky to be alive. Still have it on my desk wall. We still joke about that many years later even though I was very embarrassed at the time. Keep trying.
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Old 04-07-2018, 19:48   #54
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

Ditto all who said learn to right the boat after you get dumped. In small boats you need to move fast sometimes. Keep a weather eye..look for gusts coming. You will learn to unload the boat in a timely manner before she unloads you:-).
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Old 04-07-2018, 20:21   #55
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

We have a word for people like you. We call you sailors! Welcome aboard.

I too learned to sail on centerboard boats, but when I was in my teens. Invaluable sailing lessons. Right now, my wife and I are on our 44foot catamaran in Sicily, having sailed here from Florida last year.

But I will tell you, the last time I was on a centerboard boat was when I was in my early 50's. I saw a friend's boat, remembered my youth, hopped on...and promptly capsized on my first tack! My friend's teenaged son had to come get me in a motorboat. Somehow I wasn't quite as agile as when I was a kid. (Who knew?)

So, while I will happily sail across an ocean, I've concluded those centerboard dinghies are too much for me! I applaud you for keeping after it - you have nothing to be embarrassed about, sailor.
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Old 04-07-2018, 20:32   #56
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

A few years ago I watched a small cat with 2 crew go out of Ventura Harbor, California in over 30 kts of gusty wind. As soon as they cleared the windward breakwater, while directly at the end of the leeward breakwater they were knocked down flat with the tip of the mast five feet from the rocks. They both hiked out on the upper hull and I suppose it was a reflected wave that righted them in a flash, were one of the crew flew off the hull right through the main. Then they turned outside the breakwater and headed towards the beach in 10 foot breaking waves filled with surfers. I began running out on top of the breakwater where I saw an enormous wave pick the cat up, flip it over again and crash it onto the rocks. The cat disintegrated to pieces no bigger than 18" and the mast in several 6' pieces. The two crew were at the bottom of the breakwater clinging to rocks ( I was never so happy in my life because I was sure I was about to jump into the water while I was running). I told them when to climb and when to hang on and in a couple minutes they were on top. They were both older than my 60 years at the time. One was an instructor teaching a student. Luckily they had helmets and their life vests acted as flak vests. The student was in shock but the instructor was saying that he had gone out in the conditions for years and never had any problems. He never took any responsibilty whatsoever. But I think he made a few errors. About that time a lifeguard showed up and told us it was too dangerous in the current conditions to be on the breakwater and ordered us to vacate the premises so I left. A little later they passed us on the beach and when I told the instructor that my daughter had been taking pictures with her phone he was excited to get somes pics. So one man's embarrassment is another man's bragging rights. I have seen many boats on beaches and on rocks and in various crazy situations, and been in a few of my own making. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, which isn't necessarily true, but sounds good. The first time I took my 26', 50 year old first boat out sailing with a guy who had taken a one hour sailing lesson the year before and me who had never been on a sailboat actually in the water before that day we found a broken thru hull had flooded about a foot or so over the cabin sole. The old engine was flooded and we sailed back a couple miles to the marina and into the slip. A month later I was weekending at Santa Cruz Island.
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Old 04-07-2018, 20:41   #57
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

Dude,

You can't be a college prof. if you're worried about what people are saying about you behind your back! I'd think you'd have dealt with that emotion a long, long time ago.

For the record I was a college prof and can't tell you how many times in my career my fly was down in front of 200 students. Did I care? What do you think?
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Old 04-07-2018, 21:26   #58
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

Oh my god, don't admit your fly was down in this present climate. Students are going to crawl out of the woodwork now to accuse you of some heinous thing or another. It could be construed as an unwanted advance.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:33   #59
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

You should not be embarrassed but in my opinion, a buoyancy aid is better on a dinghy than a life jacket. This is because a life jacket is very buoyant so difficult to get out from under a boat or lines or sails etc. while a buoyancy aid helps but is easier to swim in.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:56   #60
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Re: Embarrassing story, seeking advice

As others have said it is all part of learning. Consider your swim tuition for the class .

As an ASA Instructor I remind you of the course you took “Basic keelboating”. Keelboats have a low COG because of the weight of the keel. Vessels such as the 15’ dinghy you sailed have a higher COG (as you discovered) and require thier ballast (crew) to move about to stay in trim. Stated differently, your mass offsets the healing forces the sail puts on the boat.

So now that it is clear why you fell in- let’s not do it again.

How? When tacking or jibing your weight must move inboard as the healing force decreases and outboard as the force increases on the other side. As the boat enters the “no sail” zone, she will heal less and less- you move to the center of the boat. As the boom moves to the new leeward side, and the healing forces increase, you move to the windward side.

OR, rent a keelboat- much more forgiving. I recommend to all of my students that for thier first trip should be on a day with good winds and to either take along a competent sailor who will not teach, but serve as a “guardian angel” or have a charter captain who agrees to do the same.
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