Today we did the IMOCA inversion test with Ocean Planet. It’s not every day I go upside down in a 60ft sailboat! The test went well, it just took a bit longer than I expected.
After being inverted, I opened the deck air vents for the starboard water ballast tank (usually used to let the air OUT) to let the tank start to fill. It filled some and I also started to pump water in with a manual pump that is set up for filling the ballast tanks while upside down.
I pumped for quite a while, about 45 minutes or so, before I realized that the water I was pumping into the tank was just draining out of the air (now water) vents. After closing them I made much better headway.
However, the pump is small and the tank very large….. It seemed like about 500,000 pump strokes before we were getting close. I wanted to hurry since the companionway hatch was leaking just a little… enough to get kinda deep in the sump, er, coachroof…. Every so often I would go up to the sail locker and walk back and forth across the floor, er, cabintop, to get the boat rocking and see if she would go. When she didn’t it was back to the pumping. This went back and forth a few times. Finally, with the ballast tank about 1/3 full, I got her rocking enough to go over.
It was strange, one moment I was standing on the cabintop on the LEFT side of the boat, then taking a couple steps on the side as we rolled up, then I was standing on the RIGHT side of the boat. Kinda fun, really. The whole thing took about 2 and half hours I think.
Thanks to everyone who came to watch! You encouraged me to pump faster… Also a big thanks to Trident, the folks running the big crane to flip us over, and Nelsons boatyard for all the help.