Author Topic: cockpit flooding  (Read 575 times)

Offline Duckie

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cockpit flooding
« on: September 12, 2016, 06:13:52 PM »
So, two days ago I submerged the combings on my CP 16 and got water in the cabin.  The long and short of it is I had too much sail up when I got blindsided by a terrific gust that laid me over and swamped the cockpit.  My instinctive reaction was to let the tiller go and let the boat round up to take the pressure off the sails.  This worked like a charm except that it seemed to exacerbate the flooding.  Also, there was a fair current flowing through the whole mess and dumped water into the cabin like a fire hose.  Fortunately the boat popped up so fast that I couldn't believe it.  The whole thing was over in a couple seconds, but it left me ankle deep in the cockpit and it didn't seem like the scuppers wanted to clear the water very fast.  By the time I had the genoa rolled up, the water was almost gone from the cockpit, so I guess it wasn't that bad.  I doused the main and did an inspection to see if I had a flooded cabin.  I couldn't find any wet spots which amazed me after seeing all that water pouring in there just a couple minutes ago.  Later I discovered that all the water flowed onto the cabin sides and the bunk pads soaked it all up.  Whew!  I was out on Lake Superior when this happened and I figured I should head in, so I fired up good ole Yamaha-san and motored in to the safe harbor. 

Upon reflection, I wonder if I should have stayed on my side without rounding up and kept the same course to wait out the gust, or if rounding up was the right thing to do.  I have a new policy for my 16 now that if I have to feather the genoa to keep her on her feet it is time to roll it up.  I also will reinstate my old policy of closing up the cabin in anything but light air.  If I had left at least the bottom wash board in, I probably wouldn't have gotten any water in the cabin. 

Anyway, has this happened to anyone here?  I would like a little input on this because this isn't the first time I have been in this situation.

Al

Offline Vipersdad

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Re: cockpit flooding
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 08:34:55 PM »
Well, here goes..............First of all if you are feathering the genoa does that mean you are not sailing with some luff in the main to depower it rather than trying to depower the genoa?  In the video I recently posted on the CPYOA F/B page we were sailing with a single reef in the main and the working jib and I still had to depower the main a bit on a close reach.  Did anyone have their hand on the mainsheet during the knockdown?  On my boat in heavy wind I want someone (usually me) ready to release the mainsheet so I try to keep it in my hand and untangled on the cockpit sole ready to be released in an emergency.

Secondly, "Batten Down The Hatches" has a place with wind and seas.  Keep those boards in and your hatches closed and latched.

When risk factors add up they can domino into a very bad event:  hatches open or unsecured, mainsheet fouled or cleated and not released, green water flowing into the cabin, having someone go overboard without wearing PFD, losing the skipper over the side without a crew onboard that can execute a man overboard drill, etc.

V.
s/v  "MaryElla"   Com-Pac 19 / II  #436
Lake Winnebago, Lake Mendota, Lake Namakagon, Lake Superior.

"To Hutch, Gerry, Buck, and Clarkie--Who made it so much fun.".....Robert F. Burgess, Author-Handbook of Trailer Sailing 1984

Offline Duckie

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Re: cockpit flooding
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 09:48:18 PM »
Normally I set the genoa and then set the main to suit that.  In this case I found that I had to feather the genny so that there was a little luff in it instead of set to pull full force.  It is something like a fisherman's reef for the head sail.  If I am doing that, the main is already luffing along the leading edge to cut back on the heeling force.  Which as I understand it is an actual fisherman's reef. 

On this particular day I had been out for a couple hours beam reaching up and down the north shore hauling the mail.  It was great to feel the boat at the speed that it was doing.  The gusts were welcomed because they were not heavy enough to make me respond with more than the tiller.  Until I got hit by that one.  It wasn't a surprise except for its force.  Normally I keep the main sheet on my lap.  My other boat has no cleat for the main sheet so it is second nature to let the main fly.  I may not have mentioned it, but I did let the main go right away, but once you are over that far, I couldn't feel much effect from doing that.  I'm not sure, but the rudder may have been out of the water so I probably didn't have much choice but to let the boat do what it wanted.  The last two times I did this it was with the big head sails on both boats.  Letting the head sail fly when the boat is standing on its ear is a bit problematic.  Getting a hold on the leeward sheet means heading toward the water and potentially upsetting the boat.  I have made adjustments on my other boat for that, but I haven't figured out how to accomplish it on the CP yet. 

I'm not particularly afraid to have this happen, but I don't want to go to the bottom.  The 16 popped up again so quickly that I was shocked.  If I keep the wash boards in, I doubt that it will go away as long as I stay in it. 

Al

Offline Bob23

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Re: cockpit flooding
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 02:58:15 AM »
  I had this exact same thing happen to me last summer on my 23. Running with the wind from my starboard quarter and with a bit too much sail up (but enjoying the speed!), the gust suddenly hit from more forward and although the mainsheet and tiller were in my hand, she instantly heeled pretty far, welcoming some bay water into the cockpit, but not the cabin. The heavier displacement and higher freeboard of the 23 certainly worked in my favor but it all happens so fast that there is sometimes no time to release the main. And with the jib being the bigger sail, you just have to deal with it.
  Fortunately, our Compacs are well behaved and mine rounded up just as she should so she self corrected for my inattentiveness. Still, seeing that mast go beyond 45 degrees can be a bit unnerving.
  Lesson learned and one that my longtime sailor father in law stressed upon me: reef early! And I honestly wanted to but it was soooo much fun surfing down those waves at beyond hull speed!!!
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Offline Duckie

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Re: cockpit flooding
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 05:41:48 AM »
Yeah, I am pretty happy with the performance of my little yacht in that situation.  I don't think that I was past sixty degrees of heel, more like fifty, when the water started coming in.  I never felt like I was going to go over or anything like that, but the flooding kind of startled me.  That is why I asked if I wouldn't have been better off to hold my course and wait it out.  The boat felt pretty solid under me. 

I doubt that I would have reefed in those conditions in any case.  The wind was fairly consistent with puffs that lasted for several minutes and really made her get up and go.  The one that got me just as you said took me over in less than two seconds.  Reefing my boat is such a miserable process that I would rather roll up the genny and give up on the speed.  If I were motorless I would have been fine to sail back to the safe harbor under main alone without a second thought.

Maybe I have too high expectations for those scuppers, but I was disappointed in their performance.   Bob, when you took water into the cockpit, how long did it take to drain? 

Al

Offline NateD

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Re: cockpit flooding
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 09:17:08 AM »
My response was going to be to let the main sheet fly, but in a later post you said you did that.

I know what you mean when you said you rounded up and that seemed to increase the amount of water coming in, I've been there. My guess is if you maintained course the water would have poured in for a longer period of time, but maybe at a slightly slower rate. So in the end it's either round up and take the water a little quicker, or maintain course and take the same amount of water slowly. If I'm right about that, then the only solution is the keep the companionway boards in and ride it out either way.

It does take a while to drain the water. Think about how long your bathtub takes to drain through a 1.5" pipe. I forget how big the scuppers are on the 16 (7/8"?), but combined they probably flow close to a 1.5" pipe. It will take a minute or two to clear a couple inches of water.

Offline Duckie

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Re: cockpit flooding
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 06:22:31 AM »
You are probably right.  I think I will continue to round up if for no other reason than my other boat does well doing that and I might as well be consistent.  You are also right about the scuppers.  All that water wasn't sloshing around but was confined to the cockpit foot well, so it didn't destabilize the boat much.  The worst of it was that the stern was dragging big time and I couldn't predict what effect that would have.

The boat's response to getting knocked over was pretty darn good.  If it happens to me again, I won't get as excited as I did this time, but I will keep the cabin shut up if there is any chance of it. 

Al

Offline Mas

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Re: cockpit flooding
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 11:42:11 AM »
Was just pondering this as we just acquired another 16. Never got knocked down in the past but did have rail buried more than once. Always a little disconcerting when all you see is water through the lee ports!

Used to do a lot of white water paddling both in kayaks and open boats. Even with lots of floatation bags the open boats could ship a ton of water in an instant and you needed to get it out fast. I always kept a sturdy bailer (clorox jug cut open) attached with a lanyard that could in just several scoops remove much water. Might be handy to have such within reach in the cockpit to help the scuppers deal with it. The problem, as all are aware, is that if you are stern down the scuppers are not doing their job very well and can actually add water to the cockpit.

It is wise to have things buttoned up if conditions warrant it.  :)
S/V  'Mas'  87' CP16/2
S/V  'Interlude' 89' PSC31