Capsize recovery topic

Steve Gray posted this 5 Weeks ago

I note that there are now three threads on this forum on the difficultly of righting a Solo, particularly in wind and chop, and that the class measurer asked for comments in his AGM report.

If you're sub 40 and winning opens this is not an issue, but for those of us the wrong side of 60 and club racing it is.

Our new fleet at Whitstable has had three aided rescues in the last month - and whilst there is doubtless pilot error in all three, its not a great look for the Solo brand to be seen struggling...

Personally i have righting lines (not very helpful when inverted) and have just bought a mast float for use when free sailing and to revive my confidence.

I will stick with the Solo, but my reason for moving from a Laser is undermined by the inability to self rescue - I may be doing something wrong (other than capsizing!), but i would appreciate the views of members who may have solved the problem?

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Ian McDonald posted this 5 Weeks ago

My first foray with the Solo 25 years ago and you are right - no problem.

Having been back 5 years- for sure I am more aware of turtling. My righting lines and centreboard just with friction brake, allowing it to be adjusted from outside makes recovery from a turtle ok. Is the modern trend of having cleats on the board uphall making capsized adjustment of the board harder an issue?

Am I wrong in thinking that Whitstable at some tide points is shallow enough to ground a mast tip?

At least inverted, the boat stops and stops helm separation. The boat washes round with mast upwind whilst capsized needing a San Francisco roll to get helm and board on the upwind side.

I am not brave enough to accept my age and launch with a B rig to avoid falling in!

How about a decent Solo approved mast float that fits as unobtrusively as possible ? I am embarrassed to say I have only recently looked at the rules and seen that a float is ok for racing. It will be slow- but not as slow as being upside down! Reducing rescue boat usage is good too.

It would be good to get some feedback from others!

Last Edited 4 Weeks ago

Will Loy posted this 4 Weeks ago

Here at Dittisham Sailing Club we allow mast floats and with a fleet of sailors with mixed abilities it does provide a confidence boost to the less experienced. During lockdown we instigated blue flag racing which was socially distanced and required mast floats fitted to all competitors, reducing the workload on rescue teams. While the milk bottles were pretty ugly they did do the job. Many of our beginners still fit floats to all types of dinghies and I would advocate their use on the Solo circuit. It would be great to have a well designed float that would sit snug to the mast but would possibly require attachment points for fixation. We have upwards of 20 female sailors, some who race the Solo, an ergonomic float would be welcomed.

Doug Latta posted this 4 Weeks ago

I noticed on a for sale item (Solo 5660) posted the other day the second photo shows a pretty snug masthead float. Might be worth enquiring where the owner got it from.

Ian McDonald posted this 4 Weeks ago

Looks like the float sold by Hartley Boats.

My view on floats are changing- I think my high wind threshold where I stay on the bank ( or get in the Osprey) could well be higher with a credible mast float. And I apologise for missing the most important- shallow water and mast grounding. I am lucky to be sailing over 20ft plus of weed free water. Turtle is annoying. But shallow water and a soft bottom makes it much more of a priority

Great to see "Solo Royalty" putting their views forward!

Last Edited 4 Weeks ago

Steve Gray posted this 4 Weeks ago

Hi Ian - apparently so..

Challenge is to find a float that can be used when windy, but not is the lighter stuff...

Ian McDonald posted this 4 Weeks ago

My Solo is berthed next to the Hartleys at Blithfield. I will pick Marks brains when possible!

Ian McDonald posted this 3 Weeks ago

Feedback from a Solo user- two floats don't stop turtling.

I spoke with our club Senior Instructor -we use them on our training boats. They are good because they are permanently fixed so its easy to check they are in use. And being solid there can be no punctures or leaks. Weight is not great but certainly heavier than an air float

Sailing in deep water at Blithfield its not a major problem- but I sympathise with those shallow water sailing.

On a personal level-I am going to sail float free and follow Mr Loys advice and put some controls on the centreboard to reduce capsizes. I am going to continue to follow David Greenings guidance on kicker tension to further avoid downwind swims. And maybe in big winds ( if not in Osprey!) tack round the odd scary gybe. Sorted!

Last Edited 3 Weeks ago

David Greening posted this 3 Weeks ago

No shame in tacking round

Ian McDonald posted this 6 Days ago

I have had several specific bits of advice from experienced sailors like David which has certainly reduced my capsizes.

Of course good capsize recovery is very important- but every swim that can be avoided helps as much

Ian McDonald posted this 2 Days ago

Very useful righting lines and capsize article from Andrew Liddington in the current members magazine

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