|This article is in response to many questions that I answered over the last 2 years with respect to people getting older boats and what they should do to make them safe to sail. Many times the boats would be on large bodies of water like Long Island Sound. Bill Blaine wrote an article in 1991 that described his experience shown in this picture. I will use some of his account of the fun that he had getting the boat back to the dock. Plus both mine and his suggestions for making an older boat safe in the event of a capsize|
If you sail long enough and in heavy or gusty winds you will have the experience of capsizing your boat. If the boat is anything but the new Nickles Rebel you will have a difficult time righting the boat and getting the water out. Bill Blaine's account at the 1991 Nationals It was a hot and windy day, we got down early to make sure that everything was tied down in the boat, just in case. Yet, although we always anticipated that a capsize would happen to us sometime today would be our first in 15 years of sailing a Rebel. Last year several boats in the last race in Toledo submarined, capsized and turtled. That experience told us that our boat needed more flotation because other similar hulls went over and had only their stern most gunwale and a portion of the stern protruding above the water. For us it happen in the blink of an eye, we tacked, I lost the tiller, a gust of wind hit us, Tokiko slid into the boat while I tried to get out to the centerboard. Within minutes the bow filled with water and the boat was upside-down. Since this was a race, we had a rescue boat that knew what to do to help us. If you happened to be out sailing on your own you could have serious problem, either from no help available or for help that runs over your mast or lines.
If the boat is on it's side it is important to get the crew out to the end of the mast to make sure that the boat does not tip any further. In the case of Bill they had the mast straight down. For this you need to put a rope on the chain plate that will be the high side when you pull the boat 90 degrees. That rope goes to the rescue boat and they pull slowly. When you get the boat to that point you should try and release the main and jib halyards so that the sails will come down as you pull the boat up the rest of the way. Depending on the amount of flotation will determine if you can bail water out then or have to be towed to the dock.
With a Nickles Rebel that is righted in a timely fashion you can sail the boat away and all the water will go out by itself. The key is getting on the centerboard right away
The Rebel is a very stable boat and can handle high wind condition so if you choose to sail in 20 MPH ++ winds then make sure that your boat is equipped to handle anything that could happen.
FOR HELP ON ADDING FLOTATION GIVE ME A DESCRIPTION OF YOUR BOAT. THE SAIL NUMBER AND IF IT HAS SEAT. Also if it is a pre 1800 do you have wood floorboards
If you have a boat around 2000-2600 series that is heavy and thus is waterlogged you need to read this article by Jack Bartlett