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Old 08-26-2008
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avoiding a knock down when doing a u-turn

Today I was out sailing in about 12-15 knot winds with my 13 yr old in our 15 foot boat. This is as windy as I have sailed in my 5 weeks experience I have gathered. I had reefed the main but was running our only jenny, which is about 130% I would guess. Anyways, we were doing quite nicely tacking for a while. When we decided to turn back I was on a tack with the boom close hauled to the starboard. I decided to do a turn about 150 degrees to starboard which would keep the boom on the starboard side thru the turn avoiding a jibe. Since we would be turning the boat broadside thru the wind, i figured I would play out the main sheet while turning to avoid getting knocked down.

Well, I didn't get knocked down but we must have been heeled over 50 degrees during the turn, even with the main sail out somewhere around 45 degrees.

How should I have made the turn? Should I have made one more tack and done a jibe? Or some other way?

Thanks, Eric
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