How To Right Capsized Sailboat
Even the safest sailor on the seas may need to one day know how to right a capsized sailboat, so before you hit the wide blue yonder, you should at least know how to get the thing sunny side back up. Smaller boats, such as Hobie Cats or Sunfish, may flip over easier, even in fairly mild seas. One rogue wave or stiff wind may be enough to send it over. Righting smaller sailboats in fairly easy but, depending on the size of the sailboat, you might find yourself sending out an S.O.S to the Coast Guard or your local boat tow to help you right your capsized sailboat.
- For a monohull boat, righting the sailboat is much easier than with a catamaran or other sailboat type. For a monohull, righting the capsized sailboat may be as simple as standing or pushing with your feet on the centerboard while pulling the side to you with your hands. Your weight should flip the boat right side up when the mast is about thirty degrees from the horizon.
- To right a capsized catamaran sailboat, a righting line (attached to the downed hull) is fed over the hull and pulled upon by crew members while they stand on the downed hulls. Pulling on the righting line while pushing on the hull at the same time should right the catamaran.
- Once the sailboat is righted, immediately board and start bailing. Get as much water out of the sailboat as you possibly can. Use any container possible to scoop up and bail the boat.
Tip: You should always wear floatation devices, especially on smaller sailboats, as you most likely will end up capsized one day.