Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Re: More beginning sailing technique questions
Re para 1, use tape on the turnbuckles for a start, then decide later what's "perfect". the little "wheel" your buddy's using is probably a roller to prevent the jib from dragging across the spreader tip as much. Another eminently postponable improvement, for now.
Para 2: assuming your boat and rig are "symmetrical", it's probably "you". Many of us sail better on one tack or jibe, than the other. Are you tiller steering? One arm may be more in-tune with the wind, seriously. the other will get educated as you go along, just like learning to write with the "wrong" hand when your writing hand is in a cast. Sailing downwind is much less "intuitive" than upwind, the back of your head is much less sensitive to wind than your face. For now, be satisfied that you'll just have to learn-by-doing how to get more comfortable coming down to a dead-run on starboard (boom out to port) tack.
I find that telltales on the outer sidestays ("shrouds") have become my good friend downwind (masthead fly too, if you got). If they 're pointing "into" the mainsail, you're good. If "away", you're "by the lee" and risking a jibe (jibes, like say pregnancy? are okay if planned for, and not if not). And "straight ahead" is a dead run. Your jib too is a telltale of sorts-when it gets "soft" and begins to drift over to the "wrong' side, watch out, it's a jibe warning.
Give yourself time on this and it will come to you.
Upwind, there's a lot of diff between true and apparent wind once you're zooming along--downwind, much less so, since downwind your boatspeed vector and the wind vector are not opposing each other. and while wind speed may be lower at surface than 10 feet up, there's little difference in direction.
You have a healthy sailing mind if wing/wing scares you a little, 'cause it's sailing with the jib-warning-light already flashing. And dead runs are hard for beginners to discern whether the wind is still at the dead-astern angle. I would leave wing-wing sort of alone until your starboard-tack downwind steering arm--and brain--get a little more tiller time. The added benefit is you'll have to sail more broad reaches and jibe more to go downwind, and the jibe practice will be useful.
Double ditto on the above re spinnaker. Get more comfortable with walking with dogs before walking tigers.
Forget about leech lines for now? Or leave them loose, unless the leech flutters bad in which case tighten just enough to stop the flutter, no tighter.
So I humbly suggest the first priority is to get more skill and serenity sailing deep downwind on starboard, then work on the other stuff, all of which can wait.
Last edited by nolatom; 10-15-2013 at 10:35 AM.