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Old 05-01-2012
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Re: question about dinghy sailing

Yes, dinghies are able to sail without capsizing. You just have to pay close attention to what is happening with the wind, the sails, and the rudder. This need for careful attention is a good thing--it is the very reason why dinghy sailing can make one a better sailor overall.

If you want to go out in really windy weather you may need to get reef points in your main and a smaller jib. You should also be aware that in really windy weather you are almost certainly going to catch a lot of spray. You may well end up just as wet as if you had capsized the boat.

But the most important thing to know is that capsizing a dinghy is really no big deal at all. Release the sheets, climb up on the centerboard, and voila! The boat comes back upright and away you sail. There is, in fact, a great deal of value in sailing the boat hard enough to capsize it. You will get to know what that feels like, and how a boat behaves when it is being pushed to its limits and past them. This, too, will make you a better sailor overall.

And after you have done it a couple of times you will find it very easy to avoid it in the future when you want to.
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