Capsizing – How to Avoid Capsizing

The following article may be of interest anyone in ANSA who owns or has access to a sailing dingie. I found this article on the-ABCs-of-sailing[dot]com, category “Sailing Information Articles.”

“Capsizing usually happens when using small boats or Dinghies. There are situations where Capsizing appears inevitable, and you need to make the boat upright again. Knowing the Methods of Righting a Capsized Boat will help you in dealing with the situation. However, you can do something to avoid capsizing.

  • Familiarize yourself.

Keep in mind that Capsizing is very common when sailing a small boat. This fact can make you prepared. Know the different situations where Capsizing becomes inevitable. Getting familiar with the causes can help you in avoiding them as you go afloat.

It is wise to know the things you need to do if the boat capsizes. In protected waters with good conditions, practice dealing with a capsized boat. Get familiar with the steps to do to make the boat upright again. Make sure that you wear a Life Jacket. It will be better if you have someone on another boat to give assistance when necessary.

  • Know your limitations.

Sail within the limits of your skills and ability to respond to situations. Knowing how to make the boat upright when sailing a Dinghy or small boat is very crucial. If you do not know how to deal with a capsized boat, sail on a more stable one. Small Keel-boats and other types of Dinghies are more stable and less likely to capsize.

For obvious reasons, do not go afloat if the conditions are not favorable for Dinghy Sailing.”

This next part reminds me of the last Senior Crew day-sail meet-up in September 2014. Jim Openshaw had us each take turns reefing the sails, then doing it over, and over… and again… for time. (The best way to learn such a task)

  • Know how to reef a Dinghy.

“A Dinghy becomes easier to handle in strong Winds if it is reefed. Reefing, or reducing the Sail Area, is an important skill to learn. Knowing how to properly adjust the Sail area of a Dinghy while on the water can help you in keeping it upright.

  • When Sailing Downwind

Place crew weight astern and keep the boom down.

  • When Sailing Upwind

Place crew weight to windward. Slightly raise the Centerboard or Daggerboard to decrease the Heeling effect. Take control of the speed of the boat. It is more likely to capsize if it heels and slows down.

Knowing the causes of Capsizing will help you in avoiding it. In the event that your boat capsizes, do not get embarrassed. Having a capsized boat is not something to be ashamed of. Many sailors have their own share of experiences in getting their Dinghy capsized. The important thing is that you learn from the experience.”

 – “Capsizing – How to Avoid Capsizing @ ABC-of-Sailing.”