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post #5 of Old 06-20-2002
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Fear of Heeling


It''s natural, don''t freak out.

Try steering for a while, and letting the boat actually heel while you are steering. Once you feel you are in control you will be able to begin to be less afraid. Some of the fear comes from not being in control of the vessel. Then you have to learn to trust those steering. Helped me. Course I had 3,000 miles under my belt before I knew what the bottom of the boat looked like!! Talk about freaking out!!

And don''t be afraid to stand in some ungodly poses while steering. On one trip to the BVI I spent what seemed like years with my knee in my armpit. (Not really, but you know what I mean.) We had really bad weather, but needed to make the headway.

Something that also may help is "surfing" while someone else steers. That''s nothing more than standing in the cockpit and obtaining a great stance with your balance, but it''s fun and teaches you balance and to be able to look out over the bow and both rails and not be so afraid. Now, never have one of your hands more than a few inches away from a secure handhold, for safety''s sake, please, but it''s fun when you can ''surf'' through all kinds of bounces and bumps and heels.

Fair Winds,
MaryBeth is offline  
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