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post #5 of Old 08-18-2009
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I owned and sailed an H16 for about 10 years before I got my Pearson 30. The wife wanted a more family freindly boat. Anyway taking the H16 takes some practice and coordination. Here is a good cheat sheet that will get you off to a decent start:

1) Fall off slightly to build speed
2) Have your crew position them selves in the center of the trampoline under the boom as far forward as you can get them
3) Put the helm to lee no more than 45 deg. Do this quickly but smoothly. You will get the feel after a few times.
4) Leave the jib backwinded until the main pops across. It will actually sound like a pop when the battens flex to the new leeward side.
5) After the main pops immediately let it out about 12-16 inches.
6) At the same time have your crew tack the jib. If they cannot tack the jib, do it yourself after you let the main out.
7) Fall off on the new tack a bit to gain speed
8) As you accelerate head back up on coarse and sheet in the main
9) When you are established on your new course set the jib

All this said, you will probably blow some tacks at first. With a practiced crew this is all done seamlessly in seconds. It can also be done well singlehanded. If you do blow the tack, you will probably start sailing backwards. You can use this to steer the bows in the correct direction and recover. If this doesn't work go back to your original tack and try again. Leave yourself plenty of room to tack in case you run into trouble. On a Hobie you will eat up the distance quickly.

The reason you want weight at the forward part of the tramp during a tack is two fold. If the winds are up you want the help holding the bows down so you don't blow over backwards off a wave. Also, the assymmetric hulls are bananna shaped and the center fo the curve is just about below the forward cross beam. Having weight here will make is easier for the hulls to pivot. If you don't have weight here the boat will try to pivot around the rudders and drag both hulls through the water. It is much more difficult to successfully tack when this happens.

Do not worry about capsizing an H16. If it is windy enough to capsize it is windy enough to help right the boat with only one person.

Go and have a blast!
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