sunfish assisted capsize recovery

sailors at the North Shore Yacht Club on Lake Michigan in Highland Park, Illinois have developed some new techniques to help Sunfish sailors assist nearby sailors that have capsized their Sunfish sailboat and are having difficulty righting the boat or getting back out of the water into the boat.  Alan Cohen is an American Canoe Association certified Level 2 Sea Kayak Instructor, an experienced Sunfish sailor, and former Commodore of the North Shore Yacht Club, and he prepared an article discussing these methods and helped with the re-enactment to make the video below to help explain the methods.  Alan’s article can be found here or here (.pdf file).

a few of the reasons this method might be beneficial are highlighted in the article and video, including the following:

  • Sunfish has capsized and/or fully turtled
  • the daggerboard has fallen out, or won’t stay in the daggerboard slot to assist with flipping the Sunfish back over
  • sailor fatigue
  • help getting in the boat

there’s often discussions over on the Sunfish Forum about various ways to help with one or several of the above list, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them summarized so nicely in a written article, and now a video demonstration as well.  the article and video highlight (4) basic techniques to help a nearby Sunfish sailor recover from a capsize:

  • getting a fallen daggerboard back into the boat
  • helping to right a capsized boat
  • using a rope foot sling to assist with reboarding
  • steadying a Sunfish to assist during reboarding

North Shore Yacht Club has been a leader in putting together great videos to help Sunfish sailors, I’ve highlighted some of their previous videos on my blog already:

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