Using the Optional Floation Panel
Reprinted with permission from our supplier Northern Lakes Sailboats
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The flotation panel is an innovation created in 2007 for the Butterfly. It allows the boat to float on it's side when capsized instead of immediately turning turtle. This is an important safety feature and can reduce the chances of breaking equipment - especially if a capsize happens in water shallower than the length of the mast.
I have personally tested these both in light air and in winds over 30 mph and they work GREAT. They work especially well for young kids too light to normally right the boat themselves. With the flotation panel, they can climb to the high side of the boat via the cockpit and toe rails to get on the board. From there, even a 65 lb. child can right the boat! These are a MUST HAVE for camps and youth sailing.
Here is a sequence of photos showing the installation of the flotation panel:
Note the stopper and loop method of tying the main sheet. This method works very well on a Butterfly On boats with much larger sails, I would recommend a bowline, but this method is very quick and very effective on the Butterfly.
If you sail by yourself, are new to sailing, are going out in strong winds, or have difficulty righting a capsized boat quickly, this is the cheapest and best insurance you can buy!