Ok, we've run through some techniques for getting the boat back upright after a capsize. Sometimes it doesn't all go smoothly! In this section we'll look at getting back aboard, inversions, and what to do if the masthead strikes root in the sea-bed.

Getting back on board

This causes lots of problems, but the difficulty isn't physical: the situation is that the gunwhale's level with your eyes, there's no foothold, surely you need to levitate to get back aboard? Well, if you were on dry land that'd be true, but in the water buoyancy is supporting all your weight. With a bit of manoeuvering, it only takes a very marginal bit of lift to get aboard: here's how.
  1. Grab the gunwhale with both hands at the widest point of the boat. You should be on the windward side, with the sails all flogging and the boat pointing 60° or more off the wind.
  2. Pull the gunwhale downward and backward as if you were pulling the boat under you. This rolls the boat towards you and brings your chest onto the gunwhale.
  3. Reach forward with both hands, grab the toestraps (for preference, but anything will do!) and pull yourself the rest of the way on board: think 'snake going over log'.
  4. Plunge face-first into boat-full of water!
Getting aboard where the boat is widest means that the gunwhale rolls down to only millimetres above the water: most of your weight is floating as you initiate the move, and after that you are moving horizontally, just skidding your torso over the gunwhale. Works every time! ALAS! NOT EVERY TIME - Read THIS note!

Things I've seen and wouldn't bother with myself include: