Capsizing is a normal part of
dinghy sailing and demonstrating proficiency in capsize recovery is required to earn a rating.
Recovery Process Tips
- Try not to entangle yourself in lines, straps, etc as the boat capsizes.
- Try not to fall onto the sail, spars, or rigging on your way to the water. This will prevent damage to the boat, and more importantly, you.
- Uncleat the sheets if applicable.
- Once the boat begins capsizing, resist the urge to put weight on top of it. If applicable, tell your crew to keep their weight off the boat. Remaining in or on the boat while capsized may cause it to turtle (turn completely upsidedown), making it more difficult to recover and possibly trapping you underneath.
- Once in the water, move to the daggerboard or centerboard by pulling yourself around the boat. Do NOT let go and swim around; on a windy day a capsized boat can sail away from you faster than you can swim.
- If the bow is pointed downwind, rotate the boat to point it upwind before trying to right it.
- Pull down on the end of the daggerboard or centerboard and then transfer more weight to it by pulling yourself on top.
- As the boat begins to right itself, grab the gunwhale (side of the boat) to continue pulling it upright.
- Pull yourself in as the boat rights itself, or after it has righted.
- Ensure that the sheets are eased and grab the tiller to keep it centered.