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post #1 of Old 06-01-2010 Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Grand Rapids Michigan
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Humbled and Excited but not totally discouraged

I may not have some of the terms correct, bear with me.

Went out on the first sailing experience with my Wife on Sunday. We purchased a 1973 14' Oday Javelin from Craigslist about a month ago and finally were able to get her up the cottage where she will be primarily used. After spending most of the day Saturday trying to figure out the rigging (it did not come with instructions and being a newbie it took a while). As I sat by the campfire Saturday night (and searching for any information on the Droid) I figured out the running rigging for the Mainsail which was the stumbling block during the day. I also discovered that the cleat for the main haylard was broken which would prove to be a bit of an issue. I also had one broken sail batten (two of them were made of wood and I did not notice the crack at first inspection, it only took 2 minutes in my 3 year olds hand to find the crack ).

Sunday, after figuring out the mainsail rigging and the boom (after the boom fell a few times. doh! I realized I had no way to support the boom when the sail was lowered.) (I was thinking that there would be something in the mast to support the gooseneck, but later research into this I found nothing except for a boom crutch that Oday used back by the tiller). Anyhow after a few head scratches and raising the sail and the boom raising up off the deck I realized that it was working properly so My Wife and decided to give this Sailing thing a try.

Out on the water we started out pretty good on a reach (I think that is the correct term) with me on the sail trim and my wife working the tiller. A couple minutes in, the boom and sail dropped a bit (because of the broken cleat) and we were a little discouraged. I fixed that with a pull on the mainsheet and off we went. We ended up heeling quite a bit and took on a little water at the stern. (I don't think that we had our weight adjusted properly as were on opposite sides of the boat) She turned into the wind and the boat came back down and we went on for a little bit. We continued around for a bit, heeling a couple more times and realized that we need to learn a little more before we are able to bring out the kids (we intend for this to be fun for them and we were thinking the heeling with inexperienced crew would have scared them and they are somewhat timid so it could have had lasting effects). At one point I lowered the jib as I thought the boat was too much for us and we did not heel again after that but the sail seemed like it was all over the place. I ended up losing one of the battens as I did not put it in properly. We were discouraged when were trying to head back to the cottage as their was no wind close to shore as it was clearing the trees and without a motor it was somewhat of a struggle to get back (until my brother in law towed us in with one of the waverunners). We were humbled by our lack of experience sailing into the wind and what to do when the boat was heeling (time for more research/reading/lessons/ and videos). We were truly excited because back on shore when we asked how we did the family all said "it didn't look like we didn't know what were doing". It will be a couple weeks before we get back up north so I have some parts to get.

At any rate, we had fun, got a little wet, got excited to go sailing again especially since we are learning together. Back on the beach we gave high fives to each other and wanted to go out again but the missing batten and the broken cleat held us back.

Sorry for the long post BTW but I know that people on this site will appreciate this and recognize newbie mistakes and maybe provide some advice for the next time.
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