To use or not use a masthead float?
In principle, Tiwal does not recommend putting a masthead float on their inflatable sailing dinghies, for crew safety reasons.
With a masthead float, in the event the boat capsizes, it will remain on its side, and the float makes it easier to right the boat. But if you have windy conditions, the hull of the boat risks catching the wind and being blown away from the crew. They would then have to swim back to the boat. This represents a potential danger to the crew.
Without a float, the boat flips over completely – it “turtles”. The overturned boat will stay next to the crew, who remain safe beside their boat. They can then proceed to right the boat.
Tiwal does, however, offer a masthead float solution which can be used in the following circumstances:
- Sailing clubs & schools, where sailors are under watch of their instructor on a motorized support vessel
- Where the sailor is very familiar with the area he sails in, and who understands the wind and is able to manage any sudden gusts
- For boats that have to pass a shore break on the beach before reaching their sailing area. In the event of capsizing in waves in shoal depths, the mast risks hitting the bottom with force and may break. The installation of a masthead float for a Tiwal 3 in Hawaii has solved this problem (without any warranty!). And the sailor should be aware of the potential dangers.