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post #7 of Old 07-02-2008
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Monohull Tacking - A multi-huller's perspective...

So... you're a Multihuller and you want to particpate in a Monohull Tack.

First, let me set-up the situation....

When you arrived at the dock with your life jacket to join this motley crew you proudly showed off your collection of imported beers and top shelf rum and asked where the fridge was. You were immediately labled as a "multi-huller" and given 3 minutes to strip down to your boxers leave everything at the dock (including your priceless collection of Airline stirrers that you've been working on for years) except your Lifejacket. This was the first sign that you may be getting into something over your head....

You're on the water no less than 2 minutes...

You hear the skipper scream "Ready to Tack!!!" Note.. this is NOT a question but an order.

At this point, the boat is violently heeled over, your grasping for dear life with both arms around the windward winch - tossing your cookies overboard... again and again. Your feet are dangling in the cockpit. You are pale and actually find pleasure in the waves that crash over the bow and cleanse the hull (and your face) of your breakfast.

As you struggle to free one hand enough to wrap the sheet around the winch, (which way does it go again?) you notice a Cat "stroll by" whilst the captain is delivering a drink (with umbrella) to his hot wife who is sunning herself on one of the floatie things.. You notice that the front little triangle sail isn't even rolled out... a small tear rolls down your cheek.

The monohull skipper violently throws the wheel over and as the boat swings in the opposite direction you get a bloody lip on the winch, this is immediately followed by a rope burn on your cheek as the front triangle sail (which is *way* to big in your opinion) is pulled violently against the wires which hold the stick up.

There is a bright spot...You've managed to tune out the screaming by the other crew members at this point. It wasn't difficult considering the only words you had to ignore were "TRRIIIIIIIMMMMM" and "%^$&#*@(*#$&CK" it seems that's all you have to know of the English language to crew on a monohull...

The "Tack", -now complete- finds you upside down with your head in a combing compartment on the leeward side. You swear you just saw Jesus. No need to worry about taking the blessed escalator, a winch handle is holding you in the boat right where the guy who screams "TRRIIIMMM!!!'" left it.... in your rib cage.

At this point the skipper assigns the "multi-huller" (no one even asked your name) to what appears to be an extremely important job. Depth Monitoring... As it turns out, mono-hullers panic at anything below 12 feet of water... it becomes your job to constantly scream out the depth (probably because the rest of the crew only knows those two words and not numbers...) so that the skipper can "Tack" again.. and again... to get away from the evil shallow water.

As you swear for the 50th time to yourself that you'll never agree to "crew" on a monohull again you remind yourself with some satisfaction that it took no fewer than 13 glasses of rum punch last week at the party on your cat before you finally "caved" and agreed to join the loud man (friend of a friend) on an afternoon sail on his new Sabre 34...besides it was all an effort to get him to shut-up. He kept trying to pull all the strings and make one of the floatie thingys come out of the water. Doesn't he know that you might spill your drink?


1987 Sabre 34 "Saoirse"
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