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?
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.
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.
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.
Old River Sailor
Try not capsizing
Does the boat have transom flaps?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello Edward 'practice spilling wind and sitting out harder.' Presume this is upwind?
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.
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.
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...
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!
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