How To Right A Capsized Catamaran
Due to the great speeds of a sailing catamaran, capsizes are often spactacular. However, a catamaran with sails over-sheeted can capsize just as easily while moving slowly. The crew will not be able to react quickly if a wind shift occurs, resulting in a capsize to leeward.
A less common, but dangerous, catamaran capsize happens if the bows are allowed to dig into a wave, causing the boat to flip forward, stern-over-bow. Luckily, this is only possible in rough conditions when the boat is traveling at very high speed.
The first priority during a catamaran capsize is to release the crew from the trapeze. A catamaran can be much more dangerous than a standard sailboat. The crew’s capsize drill needs to be well-rehearsed and quick.
By immersing the stern or bow until the hulls are vertical, smaller boats, can easily be righted. Once vertical, the catamaran can be pushed back to its normal sailing position. Righting a larger catamaran is a more difficult process. The jib sheet is used as a lever to apply weight to the uppermost hull, and right the ship. Very large crafts may need to resort to outside assistance for help after a capsize.
Righting small catamarans
1. Both the helmsman and crew position themselves at the bows or sterns of the boat and apply weight to one end of the lower hull to immerse it.
2. The uppermost hull will begin to drop. One person applies weight to the end of the upper hull with the other on the lower one.
3. The boat will come into a vertical position. Both helmsman and crew swim to the front and push the boat over to right it into normal sailing position.
4. Once the catamaran is righted, both climb aboard and prepare to sail off. This must be done quickly to prevent the boat from sailing away on its own .
Righting large catamarans
To prevent a catamaran from fully inverting, t he helmsman and crew must react quickly. One sinks the bow or stern while the other grabs a jib sheet. There is always the danger of the boat from sailing away on its own a s the boat comes upright. The crew must board quickly and gain control.
1 First, both helmsman and crew move to back of boat. The crew grabs the jib sheet while the helmsman steadies the hull.
2 Crew applies pressure to uppermost hull with the lower centerboard and jib sheet. At the same time, the helmsman applies pressure to lower hull until the catamaran begins to right.