I'm finishing off preparations to my Oughtred Fulmar for this year's Small Reach Regatta by checking off the safety items on the skipper's info sheet. One of the items is a requirement that "you must be able to block water from coming in your centerboard trunk". This got me thinking since I have taken to adding about 100 pounds of ballast next to the case anytime I am singlehanding to calm the boat down a bit, so I put in at a local lake and bailed water into the boat. Even with watertight decks fore and aft the water level in the case was only a few inches lower than the level inside the boat when the excess started to drain out the case.

My biggest concern is that with another crew member I will have to leave them in the water after a capsize until I can get the boat bailed enough to pull them over the side. In other words, the weight of another crew seems like it would be too much to keep from flooding in through the open case. Here's are pics of the configuration:

P2070453.jpgCenterboard case.jpg

As I see it I have four options: lash in some flotation under the side benches, ditch the ballast, leave the case open but raise the sides up a few inches, or enclose the case completely. I think enclosing the case completely would eliminate the chance of flooding through the case but would involve reshaping the centerboard for clearance under a cap and adding at least a 2-1 uphaul and either a downhaul or some weight in the board. I'm reluctant to go that route so close to the regatta without time shake out any problems that may arise but in the long haul this plan may be the best.

So, what am I missing? I know there's a whole fleet of Caledonia yawls participating that use the same open slot arrangement so I suspect there's a gap in my understanding.

Thanks in advance,