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Old 12-07-2008
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Eclipse participated in a Safety at Sea Seminar for junior sailors sponsored by the Storm Trysail Club. After a "chalk-talk", we took the juniors took the boat out to see what would happen in "Quick-stop" maneuvers. As Giu says, tacking the boat without freeing the genoa sheet essetially stops the boat from moving away from the victim, and allows you to almost pivot in place. Going upwind in a 12-15 knot breeze, I tossed over a cushion, and on our first try we were back to it within 45 seconds. We fly a symetrical chute, with a pole. The procedure is to tack, all standing, and sort out the mess afterwards. That is what we did. It works equally well. We had no damage to the 3/4oz spinnaker. We must have made a half dozen practice runs. Our times improved from the original 45 seconds. The main problem was that the different juniors steering the boat were dinghy sailors. They were unused to the momentum of a 10 ton keelboat, and would return to the "victim" at 6 or 7 knots, not realizing that they wouldn't be able to slow down as fast as they wanted to when it was time to pick up the "MOB". Grabbing someone at that speed could break limbs or pull others overboard too. This seminar was a real eye-opener for me.
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