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Dinghy anti-roll/capsize set up for a mooring?


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Hey all - Dinghy sailing newbie, looking to learn a bit more.  I just built a B and B Yacht Designs Two-Paw 8 nesting pram dinghy as a sailing/rowing tender for our 33’ cruiser, and as a way for my newly minted sailing coach teenage daughter to get out sailing occasionally.  The idea was that she could row out to the big boat and launch the tender to go for a sail.  Or me, for that matter.   Not easy to do, but doable. Much harder to do, however, when the boat is in a marina all winter (lives on a mooring buoy the other half of the year).
 

So now I’m starting to think of getting a sailing dinghy to keep on the mooring part of the rest of the year (fall/winter), so we could more easily get out for a sail. 
 

A very experienced dinghy sailor friend keeps his Catalina/Coronado 15 on a mooring in summer - first time he’d done it.  (It was always trailer-sailed previously.). It was good all summer, and early fall...then one fateful October day, wind and swell conspired to capsize the boat.  He’s loathe to keep the boat in the water past September now!

I’m thinking that someone, somewhere must have devised a way to secure a simple temporary, removable outrigger (or outriggers) system to prevent dinghy capsize at a mooring?  Simplest thing that immediately comes to my mind is 2x lumber with some small fenders on the end(s)...the key, of course, being how to secure the rig to the gunwhales...in short, what methods have folks come up with to prevent dinghies on moorings from capsizing?

Pic: the sad October day for the Coronado 15 - rudder lost to Neptune (a diver couldn’t find it...), but the boat survived the turtling, as the owner got to the boat just in time...)

EB6E63F9-E737-45C6-A176-E7ED7A6381B8.jpeg

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Saw Lightnings capsized at their moorings in Larchmont NY harbor once. The crews had left their boats with the centerboards down so the bow-moored boats couldn't turn into the wind. A shifty and hefty breeze caught them broadside and over they went. Looks like that was the problem with your friend's boat too.  Take the rudder out and leave the centerboard up so the boat can weathercock to the wind.  If you're really worried, hoist a lifejacket to the top of the mast.   

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38 minutes ago, PaulK said:

Saw Lightnings capsized at their moorings in Larchmont NY harbor once. The crews had left their boats with the centerboards down so the bow-moored boats couldn't turn into the wind. A shifty and hefty breeze caught them broadside and over they went. Looks like that was the problem with your friend's boat too.  Take the rudder out and leave the centerboard up so the boat can weathercock to the wind.  If you're really worried, hoist a lifejacket to the top of the mast.   

With the centerboard up you run the risk of capsizing in the wake of other boats. Larchmont has an exposed marina (assuming you are referring to Larchmont YC), so the rules change with regard to standards. Generally though, the boat is best off with a mooring cover, masthead float and (if possible) floating dock to hoist it up on (otherwise you will need a bilge pump). 

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Our club Wanderer (14ft and very heavy) has just capsized and mostly sunk on it's moorings during a Storm  a few days ago. I was down there watching it the day before it capsized. We have very turbulent winds here on the Dart and the boat was being blown around on its mooring a full 360deg. Wind was gusting 40mph according to Met office. Centreboard was up.

Following day went down again it it had capsized, mast in the mud. Overnight we had torrential rain. My guess is that without a cover on it filled and was not able to respond to the gusts and roll with the punches.

The boat also leaks into the port buoyancy tank and it was interesting that it had capsized on the port side. We  rescued it. No damage.

So I think as long as you have a boat that is reasonably stable, keep the CB and rudder up, keep the rain out and have no leaks into the buoyancy tanks you will be ok.

If you wanted to be really sure, some boats have tabernacles that will allow you to lower the mast on the water easily, some in the UK have a Gunter rig where the top half of the mast comes down with the sail so much shorter mast at a mooring.

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1 hour ago, Dart96 said:

So I think as long as you have a boat that is reasonably stable, keep the CB and rudder up, keep the rain out and have no leaks into the buoyancy tanks you will be ok.

If you wanted to be really sure, some boats have tabernacles that will allow you to lower the mast on the water easily, some in the UK have a Gunter rig where the top half of the mast comes down with the sail so much shorter mast at a mooring.

Thanks for your thoughts. I am considering a Wayfarer, which I think are considered fairly stable (unless one is considering a cruise to Iceland in one à la Frank Dye, in which case, maybe don’t go there by dinghy... :-) )  As well, Wayfarers have a mast tabernacle, I understand.

But, in a way, wouldn’t having the  mast up be a benefit? Since you could put buoyancy at the top of it (in the form of a hoisted life jacket, as someone suggested above). If the mast is down and a large swell or wake makes the boat roll and capsize, theoretically buoyancy at the top of the mast would prevent turtling (whereas with no mast, it could turtle?).

I’m surprised not to have heard of a basic, temporary removable outrigger system to prevent a dinghy from capsizing.  It’s fundamental to outrigger canoes (paddled and sailed) in the Pacific, etc. Think I’m gonna fabricate one - seems like the most secure way to keep a dinghy on a mooring buoy.

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5 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Thanks for your thoughts. I am considering a Wayfarer, which I think are considered fairly stable (unless one is considering a cruise to Iceland in one à la Frank Dye, in which case, maybe don’t go there by dinghy... :-) )  As well, Wayfarers have a mast tabernacle, I understand.

But, in a way, wouldn’t having the  mast up be a benefit? Since you could put buoyancy at the top of it (in the form of a hoisted life jacket, as someone suggested above). If the mast is down and a large swell or wake makes the boat roll and capsize, theoretically buoyancy at the top of the mast would prevent turtling (whereas with no mast, it could turtle?).

I’m surprised not to have heard of a basic, temporary removable outrigger system to prevent a dinghy from capsizing.  It’s fundamental to outrigger canoes (paddled and sailed) in the Pacific, etc. Think I’m gonna fabricate one - seems like the most secure way to keep a dinghy on a mooring buoy.

The capsize thing for dinghies is not generally a design requirement.

 That's why it is a problem. Dinghies go on docks or on shore.

Will a wayfarer be better than a GP14? Or a Flying Tern? Or a Cottontail? Or a Laser Bahia? Hard to tell really--they are all unballasted moderate performance relatively heavy dinghies....

We could go calculate the GM, and the gyradius, the windage, the heeling moment versus windspeed, the damping coeffiient with or without board, (heeling moment too will vary with board) and in any case I will almost bet you 10 bucks that all of the above will fail in flat water at 30 knots broadside quasi-static analysis.

 Then again, my cousin published his belief in the Flying Tern at American Yacht Club. So there is that, haha.

Let me note that a lighting set up for cruising with a cover flipped in my yacht club in a 40 knot blow one weekend. She was left that way too long.

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Generally speaking -- don't do that. As others have noted, the dinghy is meant to be kept on shore. You can get away with leaving it on the water overnight once or twice but that's about it. 

The only solid exception is that a very small number of dinghy-sized boats have a ballasted keel. K1 is one, there's a few others I can't recall now. 

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Leaving the board down does not actually increase the stability. It just dampens rolling.

I'd be willing to bet the Lightnings that rolled over either 1- got hit by pretty severe wind gusts -with- a dramatic shift to catch them broadside, like 45 kt or so and or 2- had a fair amount of water in the bilge.

Water sloshing to the low side can seriously reduce stability.

But yeah, dinghies are not self-righting, generally. Not good to leave at docks or on moorings long term. How about getting one of those floating jet ski docks and putting that on the mooring, and keeping the boat on it?

FB- Doug

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"  I am considering a Wayfarer, which I think are considered fairly stable (unless one is considering a cruise to Iceland in one à la Frank Dye, in which case, maybe don’t go there by dinghy... :-) )  As well, Wayfarers have a mast tabernacle, I understand"

Wayfarers are often left on exposed mooring here in the SW of the UK, Dartmouth, Salcombe. They tend to go inside about the end of October. I would have no worries leaving one on a mooring. The issue for our Wanderer which is a 14ft Wayfarer by the same designer was the torrential rain and no cover so loose water sloshing about and in the tanks.

I will not be putting our club Wanderers back on the moorings unless the club splashes out on cockpit covers (we were quoted about £500 each from a local sailloft), and they go to a professional boat builder to have the tank leaks sorted. I refuse to do it!

If I can convince the others on the committee we will buy a couple of Devon Yawls. These will be much better on the moorings, are set up for cockpit covers and for their bulk and stability sail really well.

Wayfarers do have a sort of tabernacle. We had a Mark2. It's not a real tabernacle as you have to lift the mast out of the step push a pin in and then drop the mast. It's a PITA. Proper tabernacles allow the mast to drop without lifting it. I had one on a dinghy years ago that had a wedge under the mast foot to take the load off the pin. Just knock the wedge out and let go the forestay and down it all came.

Our Drascome Lugger on the mooring next door hardly moved during the storm. Rock solid.

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6 hours ago, Dart96 said:

"  I am considering a Wayfarer, which I think are considered fairly stable (unless one is considering a cruise to Iceland in one à la Frank Dye, in which case, maybe don’t go there by dinghy... :-) )  As well, Wayfarers have a mast tabernacle, I understand"

Wayfarers are often left on exposed mooring here in the SW of the UK, Dartmouth, Salcombe. They tend to go inside about the end of October. I would have no worries leaving one on a mooring. The issue for our Wanderer which is a 14ft Wayfarer by the same designer was the torrential rain and no cover so loose water sloshing about and in the tanks.

I will not be putting our club Wanderers back on the moorings unless the club splashes out on cockpit covers (we were quoted about £500 each from a local sailloft), and they go to a professional boat builder to have the tank leaks sorted. I refuse to do it!

If I can convince the others on the committee we will buy a couple of Devon Yawls. These will be much better on the moorings, are set up for cockpit covers and for their bulk and stability sail really well.

Wayfarers do have a sort of tabernacle. We had a Mark2. It's not a real tabernacle as you have to lift the mast out of the step push a pin in and then drop the mast. It's a PITA. Proper tabernacles allow the mast to drop without lifting it. I had one on a dinghy years ago that had a wedge under the mast foot to take the load off the pin. Just knock the wedge out and let go the forestay and down it all came.

Our Drascome Lugger on the mooring next door hardly moved during the storm. Rock solid.

The Drascombe Lugger was on our Short List when I was a kid. We ended up with a GP-14 and my father had a beautiful camping sailcover made in Eastport MD (for $300 which in the mid 70s was a good deal!) and he made sleeping slats.

The Drascombe would have changed my sailing trajectory, as there would not have been any racing.

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Did race our Lugger a few times this year by myself. Slow, slow and slower. Given it's length it is surprisingly slow. Ours has 150sq ft (bigger rig) on about 16ft waterline. Maybe it's the agricultural steel Centreboard!

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Wayfarers generally sit fine on moorings, though local conditions may prevent it.

 There was a version on the Mk2 produced with a raised floor and self-bailers positioned above it, so that it would self-drain on a mooring (logically enough known as the Mk2-SD), they mean less dependence on a cover to keep the water out but my experience is that they can be a handful to keep upright immediately after a capsize (the water in the higher cockpit being a real liability at first).  I don't think I'd leave one out over the winter around here, though, that's asking a lot. Later versions of the boat have stern flaps that might achieve the same sort of thing but I have no personal experience on one of those on a mooring. There's a Wayfarer FB group that would almost certainly be able to provide more detail- https://www.facebook.com/groups/892101991152771/

 A good cover makes a big difference and some people have reported success using a pump that is actuated by wave-action on the mooring line: https://www.unimer-marine.com/products/drainman-bilge-pump/

  I would subscribe the the centre-board up/rudder out school, so the boat can skid sideways if it gets a gust to the beam and wouldn't fancy raising the mast on a Wayfarer afloat, though I'm sure there are ways to make it work when necessary!

 They are great boats- versatile, seaworthy, sail very nicely and can be set up for racing, daysailing or extended cruising.

 Another possibility for your situation might be a Flying Fifteen.  The keel will assure stability on the mooring but handling on-shore is a more challenging proposition being a much bigger, heavier boat. Draft is fixed at 2'6", if that's a concern, but they are really nice to sail and exciting when you have enough breeze:Welcome to The Datchet Flying Fifteens | Flying Fifteens – Great Club  Racing PLUS The Most Fun You Can Have With a Keel On….!!!

Cheers,

               W.

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On 8/29/2020 at 7:50 PM, Steam Flyer said:

How about getting one of those floating jet ski docks and putting that on the mooring, and keeping the boat on it?

FB- Doug

That’s actually a good idea.  Never thought if that. I’ll have to check with “the local authorities” to see if they’d permit a floating dock on a mooring.  We’ve had some problems in the past with people anchoring their shit out in a mooring —like a floating storage shed with gas cans, etc.— which ended up creating problems when they tipped over...but this might be the good solution - especially in fall/winter/spring when they will be way less inclined to care, I think :-). Which would absolve me from the responsibility of checking with them - ignorance is bliss :-)

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