-- Last Updated: Feb-03-13 9:50 AM EST --
It is much easier for those where the weight is balanced on the boat's end of the equation, especially smaller women in bigger boats. I am out of practice now, but when I could just flop and do it I did find that there was a slight diff between boats in its ease. The straight-sided Romany or Explorer was very happy to lie on its side without moving, my Vela with more of an inward angel to the side needed better form from me to not fall over on me again. The way the boat wanted to lay on the water was not quite as helpful.
The purposes that Jay pointed out are useful - it is halfway to a roll, especially since the second half is coming up on the back deck without having to rely on the anything more than a slight downward push from your hand. And it encourages relaxation and overall comfort in not-upright positions. Good way to cool off in a hot dry suit too.
Those who find it impossible to do tend to write it off as a party trick. Those who can do it find ways to make it useful. Thus far anyway, everyone I have heard call it a party trick is of the male persuasion.
By the way - on a stiff day, what Jay says. I don't capsize until I have parked my rear hand on the outer edge of the boat behind the cockpit and the other arm is ready to stretch out.