Re: "Frostbiting" in a Sk

Posted by Bob Santore on Oct 3, 2006


Congratulations on finishing your boat! It's a great choice.

Sounds like you are prepared for immersion, which is always wise.

Not sure what the winds are like in fall on the Chesapeake, or what your sailing skills are. Since I don't know you, I will risk saying some things are probably obvious but still important.

For the most part the Skerry is easy to sail and not too tender. The sail does not reef as designed, although some have figured out how to modify to allowing reefing, the manual mentions taking out the sprit "scandalizing" as an alternative. I did not add reef points, and have no practical experience.

Obviously anything you wish to make sure will stay with you after a capsize needs to be lashed down. Oars too.

If you do go over, be prepared to bail a lot of water. Dealing with a boat full of water, with all the weight of mast and sprit up top, and the rather long time it takes to bail (and doing it in the conditions that caused you to go over in the first place) is challenging and it takes some time. It is not like righting a laser or sunfish and sailing away. Meanwhile, you're drifting with winds and currents and probably too tender to sail again until you get enough water out.

This is still something I'm trying to figure out how to deal with in a better and more efficient way.

By the way, I'm not trying to scare you. The Skerry does not have a huge amount of sail and it is pretty stable. I have never been blown over, or even been close, and the experience I do have is from a planned capsize. I think you'll find it would take a lot of wind to push it over. When I do go sailing the boat is a very dry ride.

Even so, if you're planning for what happens next, I'd make sure you have a way to move a lot of water out of the boat.

Hope that helps. Enjoy your boat!

- Bob

In Response to: "Frostbiting" in a Skerry by Wilke Nelson on Oct 2, 2006