Capsizing

Ok we all do it, some in a more spectacular fashion than others, but at sometime you are going to get wet!

The perceived problem with the Phantom is that there is a huge amount of intrinsic buoyancy built in and when fitted with an unsealed mast the boat tends to turtle easily. As the boat is buoyant it can be quite difficult to climb onto the hull to start the righting process.

The easiest way to help in a capsize situation is to try not to get into the water in the first place. When you feel the boat going do everything you can to get onto the centreboard via the side tanks. Once you are there you should be able to balance the craft whilst you recover and decide what to do.

When you are on the centreboard, try to lean in and let off the kicker control and the outhaul. The huge sail area of the Phantom means that you will be trying to pull against a large amount of water collected in the sail when you start to right. Letting off the kicker means the water will run off the sail so righting is made easier. If the mast has turtled, when the boat starts to come back over the inertia caused by the mast being full of water will very often cause the boat to flick through the 90 straight back over into another capsize. When you roll into the cockpit try to raise the centre board! This little trick seems to stop the boat from 'tripping over itself' and will usually stop the second capsize.

capsizing self drainer

When you go into the water you probably have about 30 seconds to swim around the boat to grab hold of the centreboard before the boat starts to turtle. A carbon mast does seem to help in delaying the turtle, especially if it is sealed (as per  some of the Superspars).

 

Remember - Don't panic!

 

1.Get your bum over the side faster and prevent the capsize in the first place

2.If it does happen try to release the Kicker control.

3.If possible raise centreboard to prevent the boat tripping over itself as it comes back upright

 

Mike Potter has adapted the design of his composite phantoms and has introduced a 'semi flooding' deck that makes his boats settle down further into the water during a capsize. Interesting concept that does seem to work.

One erstwhile correspondent says it is possible to step onto the very base of the mast and then hop over onto the centre plate. However he did catch part of his anatomy and had tears in his eyes and therefore recommends a reinforced wetsuit.

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