|I managed to capsize my RL24 last week. I must say that the discussions recently are very relevent to my experience. I managed to completely fill the boat with water and the natural waterline height was about 3 inches above the top of the boats side where you sit - so you have no chance of bailing it out. The fact that the southerly buster which helped create the initial problem then managed to whip up some large waves which further exasperated my problems by dumping even more water over the side of the boat once righted. I noticed when the boats mast starting to sink below the top of the water that water then was able to flow into the cabin over what should have been the top corner of the cabin where the hatch slides back to, which simply added to the weight of the water in the cockpit. I know the boat has the standard foam installed at time of manufacture but after my experience there will be further foam installed both under the rear of the cockpit floor and in the rear quarter storage bins. I only had flaps on the the cockpit drain pipes and these will be replaced with a proper plug because when the boat was submerged, they were at the same pressure level as the water in the cockpit so no matter how hard you bailed out the water, the flaps never shut (a loosing battle). I did run a safety pin in the swing centre board case which allowed the centre board to swing back about 60 degrees but this will now be changed to something more like 30 degrees just to allow a little helm adjustment, although the board didn't swing into the hull on this occassion. The other lesson learned was that if the boat tips over further than say horizontal, you cannot physicly reach the centre board to help right the boat if you are in the water. Some valuable time was lost when I jumped into the water by choice to swim around to grab the centreboard just to discover that I couldn't reach it from the water. I had the choice before this to climb over the top of the boat to stand on the board and will now veiw this as an essential requirement to right a capsized RL24. I can also state that when the cabin and cockpit of an RL24 are full of water the new natural water line is above the height of the swing centre board case top so if you haven't got the top of your centre board case sealed then this is another source of water flow inwards as you are trying to bail water out (another loosing battle). |
Alas it is not all bad. We managed to recover the boat by allowing the southerly buster push it onto a beach where we tipped the boat over deliberately by pulling on the the main halyard which dumped water out of the boat, which then gave the ten blokes that were bailing a head start to beat all the other probelms we had, including a howling southerly still persistant in creating large waves to fill her up again.
But I will be back on the water asap and the boat suffered only minimal damage.