Bow rigged scull - getting back in after capsize

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duncan...@gmail.com

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May 26, 2014, 11:55:25 AM5/26/14
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Hi

I'm looking at purchasing a used scull and number of available boats have a bow wing rigger (eg Fluidesign). I'm aware that getting back into a bow rigged scull after a capsize is going to be a little/lot different from what I learnt in capsize drills with a stern wing rigged boat.

Given that I often scull on my own throughout the year and the river banks/other exit points are not always readily available - having the option of being able to get back into my scull quickly and row (not just lie down and hand paddle) back to safety is vital.

I've spent a fair amount of time scouring the internet to find comments / videos but not come up with anything useful.

So can anyone direct me to some information or describe the best approach?

Thanks

Duncan

robin_d...@hotmail.com

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May 27, 2014, 2:54:41 AM5/27/14
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As an ex-Fluid owner who fortunately never fell out I can give a couple of comparative observations here based on experiences of capsize drills in another side-rigged boat as part of a coaching course. Providing you are able to coordinate the blade handles to get the boat rotated upright again, this process wouldn't be significantly worse than a conventionally rigged boat with top stays as you've still got pieces of metal coming overhead where you would be positioned to turn the boat over ; once flipped you can then get yourself into the gap adjacent to your seat between the rigger frame and the blade handles gripped together across the boat.

The bigger issue with Fluidesigns built before the splashboard construction was changed recently to a thicker edge would be actually scraping yourself in over the side without damage to yourself or the edge of the boat - it really is like a knife-edge. Lovely boats to row mind you, and I always found mine very stable even in the worst conditions that the Tay could throw at me, so probably less likely to chuck me out than some other shells we have in the boathouse.

sully

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May 27, 2014, 5:36:58 PM5/27/14
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I've not tested yet. Robin is likely correct, it makes sense that the boat would be no different than a boat with a bow stay, maybe even easier because there is no mainstay. OTOH, the bow rigger is thicker than the bow stay maybe causing you to have to shift closer to the oars, and perhaps have to hold the oars not quite perpendicular to the hull.

Climbing in with bow stays is more difficult, for sure, than boats with no bow stays, more so if you are thick bodied.






duncan...@gmail.com

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May 28, 2014, 3:52:46 AM5/28/14
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Thanks for those thoughts so far - in the case of Fluidesign specifically, I see some people have added rubber or similar material strips to the cockpit edges to round/soften them

Brian Chapman

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May 28, 2014, 7:25:05 AM5/28/14
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Having managed to fall in racing a loan Filippi with a bow wing the first problem is how to react to a crab. I did what I would normally in my own wing rigged boat and it made things worse and I went in. Climbing back in was not an option but I think it is the same as recovering from a crab, it will be possible just different.

Brian

Carl

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May 28, 2014, 9:52:29 AM5/28/14
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On 28/05/2014 12:25, Brian Chapman wrote:
>> >Thanks for those thoughts so far - in the case of Fluidesign specifically, I see some people have added rubber or similar material strips to the cockpit edges to round/soften them
> Having managed to fall in racing a loan Filippi with a bow wing the first problem is how to react to a crab. I did what I would normally in my own wing rigged boat and it made things worse and I went in. Climbing back in was not an option but I think it is the same as recovering from a crab, it will be possible just different.
>
> Brian

Interested to learn why "climbing back in was not an option". Was that
because you were rescued, injured, too tired &/or it was physically too
difficult?

Thanks -
Carl

--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
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robin_d...@hotmail.com

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May 28, 2014, 5:18:06 PM5/28/14
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While thicker than a conventional bow/top stay (ie probably 50mm diameter tubing rather than 25mm tubing), the Fluid rigger also appears to be mounted further bow-ward than a top stay would normally be bolted on at your back stops by 6 inches or so (from memory). The semi-enclosed area between the oarlocks, rigging and the shell is therefore surprisingly large owing to the lack of multiple stays - I really used to notice this when carrying the boat in direct comparison to conventional side rigged 2 stay frame+topstay (feet / mid / backstops) rigged Burgashell singles belonging to my club here. In that sense, once you've gotten over the confusion of falling in, worked out where the boat and handles have gone, and initiated the process of flipping the boat over to get back in, all you have to do is duck yourself into the gap between the blade handles and the rigger then somehow get your leg over to re-enter the shell without cutting yourself to pieces on the shell edges. In that sense, the modifications to the design would appear to have resolved probably the one major criticism of the design I had as an owner.

I should also stress that owing to my rowing ineptitude and lack of physical strength, I was grateful of the stable characteristics of the shell in our tidal waters and never noticed any untoward issues of rigidity linked to the bow-mounted rigger personally - frankly it made me a much better rower than I should have been. Probably the slowest Fluid in the world in my hands, but I enjoyed my rowing.

John Mulholland

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May 29, 2014, 7:31:37 AM5/29/14
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Climbing back in is not an option for many older and less flexible rowers. During capsize training it is very useful for people to find out if they can get back into their boat. If they cannot do it in a warm swimming pool with flat water, it is essential that they don't waste energy in the cold, choppy water trying the impossible. They must revise their risk assessment so that they don't rely on be able to get back into their and that they practise something they can do, e.g. straddle and paddle. I suspect that fewer than half novice masters can actually get back into their single in real water conditions. For those who can't, an outing on their own may not be sensible.

Alexander Lindsay

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May 29, 2014, 10:00:43 AM5/29/14
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>
> Climbing back in is not an option for many older and less flexible rowers. During capsize training it is very useful for people to find out if they can get back into their boat. If they cannot do it in a warm swimming pool with flat water, it is essential that they don't waste energy in the cold, choppy water trying the impossible. They must revise their risk assessment so that they don't rely on be able to get back into their and that they practise something they can do, e.g. straddle and paddle. I suspect that fewer than half novice masters can actually get back into their single in real water conditions. For those who can't, an outing on their own may not be sensible.

I am in that position. I am 77 years old, and not a novice, having rowed since 1950, and discovered, to my slight dismay, about 5 years ago that I couldn't get back into a single on my own. It was early morning with no-one around. Luckily it was high summer, the water was nearly still and warmish and I was only about a quarter of a mile from the raft, so I swam the boat back. Had it been further, or the water cold, I would have had to abandon the boat and try to climb the bank. I realized then that sculling alone was risky, and doing so in winter was no longer sensible.

This week I was out in a pair, when, to avoid a collision, we went too close to the bank, hit a branch and turned over. It rapidly became clear that we were quite unable to get back in. The water was cool. Luckily there was a friendly quad nearby who held our boat level, and a handy tree branch which I could grasp and pull myself up and into the boat. Even that was a struggle. On our own we would have been helpless. My partner is younger and then managed to climb in.

I recount all this, not just for your amusement, or for my mortification, but to emphasise that very veteran (masters!?) rowers and scullers, however experienced, need to think quite carefully about safety. In winter being alone on the water is probably too risky.

Alexander Lindsay

Brian Chapman

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May 30, 2014, 7:14:58 AM5/30/14
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Rescued, halfway down the course at the World Masters!

tony tarlo

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Sep 15, 2022, 10:15:44 AMSep 15
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Reviving an old post: Does anybody have specific suggestions for softening the cockpit edges? I recently flipped at 79 and badly bruised myself trying to hoist myself onto the hull.
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