Re: Dinghy sailing - tacking
I don't get the "bringing the main in, then turn" part. Aren't you beginning the tack from close hauled? You should begin the tack from the highest point of sail that gives decent speed.
I remember that my Wayfarer (sloop centreboard daysailer) would be pretty much stopped after a tack. So for a short time the rudder is doing nothing, and the jib and main sheets are doing the steering (or their relative trim, to be precise).
What I found worked best is to uncleat the old jib sheet as the rudder goes over and begin the tack with the new sheet in my hand. Cleat it for the new tack as you come through the wind. That way as you come onto the new tack, both sails are properly trimmed and the boat will set itself up for the new tack and accelerate away in the proper direction until the rudder takes effect.
I also found that a slow, gentle tack was better, rather than throwing the rudder over. The slowness allows you to time the sheets correctly and thus keep good directional control.
1984 Bristol 31.1
Alameda, California, USA
Last edited by MarkSF; 07-24-2012 at 02:21 PM.