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Capsize Test

This is the technical side of achieving the new rules and a new level of safety but the real test was always going to be the capsize! The new rule calls for new boats to be pulled over to 90 degrees for one minute and then when fully swamped after this minute to float with no part of the deck awash for thirty minutes. Probably naively I was extremely confident this would be no problem, until the night before we were to do the test when I did have a sleepless night!

This is not the kind of test often done on 2000kg keelboats (the last time Petticrows did this was in 2000), so even pulling the boat over safely and quickly was a challenge. There was a moment when we were pulling her over and the water started to pour in over the coamings when someone shouted "she's sinking" and my heart missed a beat. However as the pictures show it was a huge success with the boat sitting happily on her side and plenty of freeboard even after floating for the thirty minutes full of water. We even had three people on the aft deck at one time, with the boat still full of water and good of clearance from the deck to the water.

We did the first test as privately as possible with measurer Peter Duce witnessing but somehow Rob Campbell found out and Mike Hayles very interested to see his new test in action jumped in his car to witness our second capsize of the day in the afternoon!

Please be reminded that for all boats the new rules from 1st March also ask for two buckets each holding 9 litres instead of one, with 1M rope attached. Both need to be stored in the cockpit , as does the anchor. Furthermore, the spinnaker pole and eye on the mast are measured separately and off the boat for the length. ( Pole length is now 2240 mm end to end)

The full latest rule changes can be found on the ISAF website on page http://www.sailing.org/2036.php under 2008 ammendments .The new rules on buoyancy only apply to new boats after March 1st.