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post #5 of Old 08-30-2010
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Yeah, practice is the biggest means of improvement on the items you mention.

It took our boat weeks to become coheseive and work as a single unit, without a lot of speech. As a crew, we were all at various levels of experience, never worked together, and learning this particular boat's layout.

I'm a freak about it. I don't like huge, banging gybes because it seems needlessly rough on equipment. Bring up the traveler, and as you gybe, have the main trimmer rapidly ease the traveler, and the sheet if necessary. It's a rapid, smooth operation if done correctly. This is another instance where helm and main need to be sharing a brain to synchronize everything.

Clean launches. Make sure your "sewer" person knows how to run the tapes when packing the chute. If you're using guys, have the guy person pre-feed once the foredeck person indicated everything is connected properly. The guy and the halyard/pit person smoothly and rapidly deploy the chute. I've noticed that any hesitation on our part often results in a failed launch and twisted chute. It's ugly.

If you know all of this already, then all I can say is "practice".
Do you normally do a bear away set of the chute? That's how we do it.

My motto is: "Smooth is fast, and fast is slow". Meaning, rushing things just snags everything and slows you down, but if you're smooth and deliberate, you will automatically be fast.

My skipper really listens to crew input and does not hesitate to drill holes in his boat to add hardware if it's clearly of benefit to the crew, and speeds things up or adds to safety. Ask your crew what would make their lives easier, faster, safer.

Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168
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