Topic : Swamping - do you carry buckets?

Do you guys carry buckets! I swamped my NSM 3, 3 times on Saturday with water over the side. We stayed upright but it is a complete show stopper as far as I can see.  The boat has a low stern tank and with the boat upright the water flowed in over the back faster than we were ever going to shift it through the bailers. The stern drain tubes were no use at all and that space under the transom rail will have to be filled in. A bit of flat carbon sheet will sort that,but just how do you empty one of these boats if you want to keep racing?

Posted: 09/09/2013 09:03:12
By: Edward
A bucket is usually only needed if the wind drops otherwise (if you have control of the boat) going onto a reach will get the water down quickly.
We had a stern tank when we had an NSM 2 and this did a great job at keeping the stern out of the water - have you checked for water inside the tank?
The stern drain tubes are only for letting water out when back on dry land.
I wouldn't fill in the space between the transom rail and the tank as this is where the water goes out once you start sailing again (if you do, at least put some flaps in).

Posted: 09/09/2013 13:24:39
By: Brian
Thanks Brian - the stern tank is bone dry. I note your point about the drain holes. The problem is that the boat holds so much water that even on a windy day (a very windy day) we couldn't get enough speed up to sail the boat dry and of course all that water sloshing about makes it very unstable and difficult to control.

The tank isn't flat but slopes up towards the stern so there seemed to be little chance of the water flowing out over it, but it cascades in at an alarming rate! I could easily make some high level transom flaps rather than fill the gap permanently. These would keep the water out till we bailed enough to make the boat sailable. Alternatively I suppose I could reshape the tank but it is a swooping curve in carefully contoured ply in two directions and does look rather good.

Posted: 09/09/2013 15:51:01
By: Edward
Our NSM2 has a rear tank but we are able to sail her dry by going on to a reach in even relatively light breezes, both sitting well aft and the water just runs out over the tank as you sail forward.

Posted: 09/09/2013 19:21:25
By: Alan3463
Try not capsizing

Posted: 09/09/2013 20:00:53
By: Old River Sailor
Does the boat have transom flaps?

Quite a few stern tank boats don't which is fine for most people most of the time, but if you're struggling you're either too far back in the boat, or at the heavier end of the weight spectrum or both.

Transom flaps solve the immediate problem, the you can sort out the technique.

Posted: 09/09/2013 20:52:11
By: Chris M
Thanks guys - Old River Sailor - sorry to disappoint but we shipped the water over the side. I know its careless but sometimes it happens. We have tubes but with the top of the tank under water the tubes stand no chance. Yes I guess moving further forward in the boat helps but at 75kgs am I really too heavy to be in the back of a Merlin? I hope not we are loving it. Any lighter and we would have been blown away. I guess I will buy a bucket and make some high level transom flaps to start with and concentrate on keeping upright. 

Can any design experts out there assist - Is the NSM 3 narrower in the transom and less buoyant in the stern than the 2?

Posted: 10/09/2013 12:13:20
By: Edward
Edward, don't do anything drastic - the boat has been Ok for the last 30 years! When I owned her, she was not the quickest to drain and I don't think the design of the stern tank is ideal, but I never recall any real problems getting going again after capsizing/swamping. I am sure you will gradually develop a technique that works for you. If it's windy enough to be filling up with water, it is generally windy enough to sail it dry. If you are filling up in light airs, then get a bucket! Regards the design, it is virtually identical to an NSM2.

Posted: 10/09/2013 12:49:39
By: Simon Hipkin
Thanks for the reassurance Simon -  we will buy a bucket 'cos they are cheap and weigh nothing and practice spilling wind and sitting out harder.

Posted: 10/09/2013 13:45:50
By: Edward
I capsized my NSM4 for the first time at the weekend and found it much easier to drain than any of the 12s I had. Don't worry about the tranom being below water it soon lifts as the water drains. The important things are to get on a broad reach and keep her flat. Rear tanks don't help as they creat an obstruction to the water going out but that usually only stops you get the last bit out that you can get rid of through the selfbailers. flaps to help if you are struu=ggling to get the water out as they stop what you have got out coming back in when you slow down.I would stick at it and you will soon get the hang of it.

Posted: 10/09/2013 14:13:41
By: Angus3364
Hello Edward 'practice spilling wind and sitting out harder.' Presume this is upwind? 

When sailing 2143 (many moons ago and only 9st) I found the solution to the swamping was to have less board down and keep the bows in the water, crew squashed against shrouds. Boat will go a lot quicker than sailing it on it's ears and it'll remain relatively dry.

Posted: 11/09/2013 10:43:52
By: Miles
Miles - yes the problem was upwind - we were struggling to adjust to sailing a boat which, with one unanticipated gust, can scoop up so much water that the boat is swamped and yes it took us most of the weekend to learn to get the bow dug in. What a difference that makes to the upwind speed! The problem on windy days of course is that you are so busy just trying to keep upright  that it is not until afterwards that you have any real chance to evaluate what you were doing wrong. Less centre board and more mast bend probably would have helped, whereas tired bodies and 10 years out of a racing dinghy probably didn't.

Posted: 11/09/2013 12:32:30
By: Edward
I always carry a bucket regardless of transom design. Useful for light wind bailing if you make a silly mistake and get wet (then you'd sit forward to keep transom up whilst bailing.

Also useful for a wee...

Posted: 16/09/2013 09:33:43
By: Mags
I was on Angus' NSM4 during a different capsize that same weekend and can vouch for what he says...sail onto a reach, close self bailers until most of the water is out the back, concentrate on keeping the boat moving as fast as possible and keeping it level. Nae bother! Quite fancy a carbon bucket for the bling though...

Posted: 16/09/2013 12:50:15
By: Andy
Carbon Buckets - now there is an idea, we can do those for you at a price - but they wont bend to the shape of the floor like a cheap plastic one!

Posted: 16/09/2013 15:19:17
By: Edward
When you first get the boat up after a capsize and it seems as though only the bow is above the water it can be a bit disconcerting, but as soon as the boat is moving the water will go and the boat will pop up.  I can't emphasize enough how much difference it makes making sure the kicker is COMPLETELY off before righting - makes it much easier to get the mast off the water and back up as well as making it much less likely to immediately capsize again when the wind hits the sail.  As you get moving again gradually get the kicker back on

Posted: 17/09/2013 12:02:24
By: Andrew M


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