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Old 07-06-2010
0verdrive 0verdrive is offline
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Practice makes perfect

As a second-year sailor, I'm getting to the point where I need to practice certain drills or methods to improve my basic skills. Unfortunately, I can usually only make it to the lake once a weekend, and that's often limited to 4-6 hours on the water.

In order to make the most of it, I want to strike a balance between practice and enjoying the day / sail. Last summer was mainly spent doing fewer drills and more sailing up and down the lake for the pleasure of it. But now that I'm relatively comfortable at the helm, I feel like I should fit in more drills in order to be more competent, and to be ready for less desirable situations.

That said, does anyone recommend certain drills?
I know I need the following:
  • Man overboard
  • Heave-To
  • Get out of irons (backing jib or mainsail)
Any other suggestions?

How about practice schedules? Would it be better to spend an entire day doing drills one weekend, then an entire day relaxing the next? Or would it be better to spend 2 hours on drills, and 2 hours relaxing each weekend? Keep in mind that while I'm gung-ho to improve my skills with any amount of drills, etc, my "crew" (my brother and one other varying passenger) isn't always as flexible. The ideal would allow us to make drills into a game, spending enough time to eventually become proficient at it, while not boring my crew too much.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
__________________
Dean Wilson
Melges M20 - The Can-Do Girl
Lake Perry, KS
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