Capsize made easy

In the final analysis, a capsize is a result of unbalanced torques. For small sailboats, the torque provided by the sailor’s position at the edge of the boat can provide the torque needed for stability. When a sailboat tips too far, the sailor’s torque is diminished as he is brought closer to the center of the boat. It takes a lot a practice to capsize as elegantly as this MC sailor.

flatcrop

When the wind is astern, the required restoring torque is small. The sailor can rest in comfort.

Almostcrop

At this point, excessive heel means the sailor is contributing essentially no restoring torque.

overcrop

This sailor’s final position clinging to the bottom might help a little. But it is too late.

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