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Sidewinder turtling - ball or floater for top of mast?

Posted by Cathy 
Sidewinder turtling - ball or floater for top of mast?
August 31, 2015 04:37AM
Can anyone suggest a solution for a Sidewinder that turtles when it capsizes? I'd like to try more heavy weather sailing but after a bad experience I am hoping to avoid turtling again! We almost lost the centerboard and had a **** of a time righting the boat without a centerboard in place. Does anyone use something at the top of the mast and does it work? Also is there any way to ensure the centerboard won't fall out during turtling? Thanks for any suggestions! - Cathy S.
Re: Sidewinder turtling - ball or floater for top of mast?
August 31, 2015 06:44PM
Cathy, that sounds like a terrible experience. I am surprise you did not lose the centerboard. You must have had it tethered to the boat. Well done!

I've never seen a sidewinder turtle. I'm thinking of a couple of things here:

1. Does your mast have a piece of styrofoam inside it? I'm going from memory, but I think many of them did back in the day
2. Does your mast have a cap on the end? If the air stays in, and water cannot get in, it should be pretty buoyant.

I have heard of people with other boats spraying expanding insulating foam in each end of the mast to steal it off so water can't get i. I'm not advising that, just passing the info along. I have seen boats with plastic milk jugs tied to the top of the mast (and I have heard it works well, although so much for fashion...), and I've seen boats with Hobie mast floats mounted up there.

I once say a guy who had made a couple of brackets out of aluminum that he slid down the slots for the nylon bushing, on each side, after the centerboard was installed. The brackets looked really good and screwed into the aluminum frame around the centerboard slot. With that setup, the centerboard could not be removed.

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