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Fw: SJ23 Heel Response

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Schimmel <>
To: sanjuan23@PEAK.ORG <sanjuan23@PEAK.ORG>
Date: Sunday, June 14, 1998 9:37 PM
Subject: SJ23 Heel

>How far can an SJ23 heel before "all hell brakes loose".
>I just had a very nasty experience this weekend when a squall front hit
>me like a brick wall and I couldn't lower the mainsail.  At the time my
>working jib was sheeted in for a close reach.  I was alone and it was
>all I could do to stay in the cockpit.  The deck was nearly vertical as
>I was balancing on the leeward side of the cockpit, hanging on to the
>windward toerail.  Believe me, it was not an experience I want to
>repeat.  I have been on a knockdown on a Yamaha 38, but this was far
>more violant.  Now I know what they mean when you read those stories
>about capsizes; and you wait for, what seems like an eternity, the hull
>to stand up again.
>I was only shook up and the good ole SJ suffered absolutely no damage.
>Why the rig remained standing is something to thank Dan Clark for I
>The crazy thoughts that went through my mind at the time were the
>comments about if an SJ23 would float, which I rather doubt.  Amazing
>what can go on in your head!!!!!
>But the question I ask is: how far will she go over and still come back
>Bob Schimmel
>Spruce Grove, Alberta
>San Juan 23 Internet Fleet:
>This list sponsored by PEAK,Inc., ISP and Education Center, Corvallis,

In our recent "Around San Juan Island" race Hal Mueller and I came close to
the same experience you had. It was somewhere on the order of a 40 knot gust
that hit us when we were looking for wind to get across the finish line in
Friday Harbor. I was single-handing and could not see how far over Hal went.
He may have been able to see me but was probably too busy also.  My
situation was complicated by the fact that when I released the 150% jenny
the sheets tangled on the whisker pole ring on the mast and it backwinded.
Once I released the main I slowly came back up. At that point I used my jib
downhaul to get the 150 down and dragging in the water and pulled the main
back in to maneuver for the finish line. It took two passes but I finally
made it then dropped the main also.
It probably seemed worse than it was but I was standing on the port side
with the toerail below the water.  But I got no water in the cockpit, so I
am pretty sure the mast was at least 30 degrees off the water. I have a lot
more confidence in the SJ 23 now that I have been through that. Of course I
sailed Hobie 16's for many years and they go over quite quickly if you are
flying the hull and get a sudden gust. So I am used to laying a mast down
without worrying. However cats come back up without damage whereas monohulls
have a tendency to fill with the element that surrounds them if it can find
an opening!

Chuck Vande Wetering

San Juan 23 Internet Fleet:
This list sponsored by PEAK,Inc., ISP and Education Center, Corvallis, Oregon

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