SNIPE CAPSIZE PROTOCOL
Provided by Gene Soltero Aug 15,2021
In a boat the size of a Snipe, capsize will happen occasionally to the beginner as he or she learns, and to the experienced sailor undersevere conditions. If you are new to Snipes, take out a boat in warm and light air conditions and practice capsizing and righting the boat until both skipper and crew get comfortable with working together to right the boat and sail it away. If you are older and less nimble sailors, prepare for each of the skipper and crew a short rope ladder with a snap hook (carabiner) attachment and keep them in PFD's. After you have righted the boat you can clip the ladder to a stay to get a foothold.
When you capsize: (1) the person(s) on the highside should climb on to the centerboard quickly to right theboat;(2) anyone on the downside or in the center of the boatshould get into the water so they don't press the boat down further; (3) don't climb up the deck to the high side. Thisswamps the boat or turns it upside down.
If both the skipper and the crew are in the water on the deck side, then one should swim around or duck under the boat to right it fromthe other side. The crew in the water should uncleat the jiband the main sheet so that they are free to luff when the boatis righted. He/she should rest deeply in the water tobe buoyed up by the water and PFD,holding onto the boat only lightly so as not to press it deeper intothe water. As the boat is righted, one crew member will beholding onto either side and can scramble aboard simultaneouslysoon to be sailing again at top speed.
Snipe Class rules require that all centerboards be rigged so that at least 12" of fin is sticking below the hull and that the centerboard lift restraint must be releasable from the bottom side of the boat by grasping the 12" fin and tilting it. Class rules also require a 15-meter (49') tow line of floating rope at least 8mm (5/16") diameter. Before taking a boat out, make sure your tow line is in the boat.
If you capsize in shallow water and the top of the mast sticks in the mud, you most likely will need the help of a motorboat to pull you out. You need to direct the rescue boat about the exact procedure to extract you from the mud without bending your mast. First position the sailboat so that it is perpendicular to the wind. Direct the motorboat to a position upwind of the sailboat and attach a line from the motorboat across the bottom of the hull and tie it with a bowline around the side stay on the side of the sailboat boat opposite the motorboat. Use the line to pull yourself up on the bottom of the boat so you can free the centerboard to its full down position. While the motorboat slowly pulls the sailboat upwind, you use your leverage on the centerboard to help turn the mast from upside down to a position even with the surface of the water. From there skipper and crew can right the boat continuing to use leverage on the centerboard.