Recently the subject of flotation and stability after a capsize was discussed on the Yahoo Wooden Lightning forum. The consensus was that past experience has shown that a wooden Lightning without additional flotation has very limited reserve buoyancy and marginal stability after a capsize, and it is very difficult to get sailing again without outside assistance. So the question became how much flotation is necessary, and where should it be located to allow the boat to get sailing.
I never capsized my boat, but I still have a vivid recollection of sailing back from the beach as a teenager, putting the leeward cockpit edge under in a gust and taking about 9" of water into the boat. I was lucky to get it bailed out and continue sailing. Since I now have the appropriate computer software, I thought it would be worthwhile to analyze a few flotation configurations and provide the results to the group. Hopefully it will convince everyone of the need to have some additional flotation and provide some general guidance on where it should be located.
The basic flotation concepts included installation of watertight bulkheads at stations 3 & 8-1/2, flotation bags in bow, stern and under the seats, & foam flotation under the gunwales. The configurations analyzed are as follows: