Capsize

Discussion forum for the Otter class of sailing dinghy

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torchy
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:12 am

Capsize

Post by torchy » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:19 pm

Hi all, We were doing capsize and recovery drill at our club the other day for my son who is new to sailing. This was the first time we had capsized our Otter and we found that once righted - which was relatively easy - the boat was full of water right up to the gunnels. Other boast I have sailed seem to right with only a few inches of water in bottom. Has anyone else experienced this? And any tips for getting the boat up dryer would be appreciated. Roger

Otter915
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:18 am

Re: Capsize

Post by Otter915 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:11 pm

Hi Roger,
My otter tends to float fairly high in the water when capsized and is about half full of water when righted with me inside it (although mine does have the fully enclosed foredeck). You certainly have a problem if yours floats that low.

I assume you had water trapped in the side tanks and foredeck when you recovered the boat later. I would try to make them as water tight as possible by checking the bungs fit tightly and then checking for cracks in the fibreglass by putting soapy water on the tanks and blowing into them. If there are any cracks just stick a bit of fibreglass over them. Otters only have a few cubic feet of foam inside as reserve buoyancy (yours may well be waterlogged).

You could I suppose fill the tanks with foam (you are supposed to use the 2 part closed cell stuff in boats). Or you could cut hatches in each side buoyancy compartment and remove the old foam and replace with approx 100 litres worth of plastic bottles but it could be a bit over the top depending on where you sail.

As for the water that is onboard, it's amazing how quickly a frightened man with a bucket can shift a boat full of water!

torchy
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:12 am

Re: Capsize

Post by torchy » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:39 pm

Otter915

Thanks for the tips. I am thinking that some sort of airtight cover over the forward deck compartments may help as they are currently open and useful for storage. Or perhaps some airbags inflated inside.

There was very little water in the side compartments, probably a couple of litres in all. I noticed the plastic bungs for these was a loose fit so that could also be a cheap fix. I will however check for leaks as suggested.

I am not going to spend too much time on the side tank buoyancy as I currently only sail on our clubs sheltered lake which I can stand in up to shoulders at deepest.

Someone at the club suggested fitting acrylic flaps over holes in transom like some enterprises have. Not keen on this as I think it would weaken the structure.

The self bailers were useless as there was very little wind to get a decent speed for them to work.

albacore43
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:00 am
Location: West Norfolk

Re: Capsize

Post by albacore43 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:21 pm

Torchy, you are right not ot consider transom flaps.
You have already appreciated the uselessness of self-balers if you are not underway, and you certainly will never be that with a hullful of water. Transom flaps will merely have you baling for ever and ever and ever.....

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