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Old 07-23-2012
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Dinghy sailing - tacking

OK, firstly I just got my US Sailing Basic Keel a few months ago. Did it on Lake Erie. But my personal boat is an ODay Widgeon sloop dinghy sailer. Secondly, I realize I am a pretty terrible sailer and still need alot of practice.

So here's my current sailing question/ dilemma, I am hoping someone can help me work through this because its driving me nuts.

I was out tonight on a small lake near my house. 15-17 knot winds out of the west. Well I got to a part in the lake that becomes a channel and was running nicely with the wind. Until I got nearly to the end of the channel (right side of the map) and then turned around to tack back to bigger part of the lake. Well there was no way the bow would move across the wind - it just seemed like I'd bring the main in, turn, and then the wind would blow me back the direction I turned from. I am thinking that either the channel was too narrow to tack outside of the wind's "no go zone", the winds too strong, and/or I am doing something wrong.

A couple times I tried to turn the stern through the wind but that seemed very counterproductive (going backwards alot). Eventually I resigned myself to being defeated and ran to the other end of the lake (with the wind) where there is a dock and hauled out on that side. I feel like I got beaten in some elemental game.

Thoughts, advice appreciated.
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Brian W3ODF
Quib Quib, 12' O'Day Widgeon
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