Home Forums General Weta Stuff Shallow Water Capsize Recovery

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  • #3832
    Paul White

    Righting a Weta when the water is deep enough to allow it to completely invert (around 7m) is fairly easy – however, in shallow water when the mast can dig into the bottom you have to use a different technique to reach and undo the ports on the amas.

    1. Furl the Gennaker (if not furled) & Uncleat the Jib

    a) Swim round to the cockpit side, furl the gennaker and cleat it. If you can’t reach the furling line, you may need to turn the boat first.

    b) If you can reach the jib sheets also uncleat them.

    2. Turn the boat to undo the ama ports

    You cannot undo the ports while they are underwater or in the air, so you need to rotate the boat around the mast until both ports are clear of the water.

    a) Pull on the gennaker sheet to pull the bowsprit down so it’s pointing into the water and the lower ama port is out of the water.

    b) Now quickly move back to grab the lower ama and undo the port before it sinks – you may need to use the hatch safety line to pull the hatch open if the water pressure is keeping it closed after undoing the thread.



    b) Once the port is open, use the gennaker sheet to pull the bow down until the ama is horizontal and air can escape and water enter. As the ama starts to sink keep your weight on the front of the ama to keep the hatch filling and allow air to escape – you may need to stand and bounce on the front of the sunken ama to get rid of the residual air.
    3. Uncleat the main and get ready to right the boat Once the ama has sunk, and the boat is horizontal in the water.

    a). Swim round the stern and uncleat the main sheet if cleated.

    b). If you have crew, get them to swim round to the cockpit between the tramps (this is so they will end up in the boat when it rights) as it’s easier than trying to pull the crew into the boat while trying to steer and deal with the sheets.

    4. Get on the daggerboard

    Reach up and grab the daggerboard and pull yourself onto it – It’s better to do this from the bow side so it doesn’t cut into you.

    NOTE: be careful of carbon splinters if the board has any damage to the edges.

    Once you are on the daggerboard stand on it while holding the gunwale, and without lifting the mast out of the water, lean into the cockpit to uncleat the jib.

    5. Right the boat

    a) Gradually move your weight back along the daggerboard and the mast will start to lift out of the water, as soon as the wind gets under it, it will start righting.  Move quickly to step into the cockpit as the boat comes upright. You will likely get showered with mud from your “choc top” at the top of the sail

    b). Quickly grab the tiller and don’t allow the boat to tack – keep the flooded hull to windward to prevent another capsize.

    c). If you need time to sort out the rigging/sails or bring a crew member aboard, put the boat Hove-To (back the jib and let the mainsail right out, then tie the tiller so it’s trying to turn the boat into the wind).

    d) Bring the crew member aboard from the leeward side.

    6. Drain the Port

    a) Sail upwind with the flooded float on the windward side out of the water so it can drain. Keep sailing until most of the water has poured out – then move to the back of the tramp and lean back to do up the port.

    Carry on sailing.

    Once on shore, clean off any mud on the sail and check for damaged battens.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Paul White.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Paul White.
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