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Old 02-25-2013
ROTCatCU ROTCatCU is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Harker Heights, TX
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

First, thanks for the great advice so far. I'm excited to be a part of this community!

I'm starting to understand some of my mistakes. First, every time I tried to point slightly upwind, the sails would start to luff. So we eased the jib instead of sheeting in. When we eased, the jib would catch the wind and push us hard lee.

I also was not very smart about how we had everything set up on the boat. We had the main down, but still attached and lashed to the boom with a single tie. The result is the boom and the sail were basically sitting on our lap and we had to maneuver under and around it the whole time. Not being comfortable in the boat eroded our confidence in what we were doing.

The CE, or center of effort makes perfect sense. I suspected that that was the problem when I was on the water, but did not know how to put it into words. So how do I find a good CE with only the mainsail up?

Also, when sailing into the wind I need to sheet in. I know it depends on the angle, but how parallel can the boom be in relation to the axis of the boat?

I'm going to look for some little 2hp motors, and I have a friend that may give me an electric motor.

I did not say this in the OP, but when sailing and paddling both failed, I figured I would try with the mainsail. My wife and this point pretty much hit her breaking point, and started to panic a bit. So I raised the mainsail, but as I realized later I missed a pulley, and could not control the boom. So the net effect was to push us about a mile downwind.

That is when I admitted defeat and flagged down a passing boater.

I think my next plan is to leave my wife with the trailer, and if I can’t manage to get upwind I will have her meet me at a different ramp downwind. I'm going to only use the mainsail, and concentrate learning how to tack slightly upwind sailing across the lake on each tack. That way I don’t have to make many short tacks at steeper angles into the wind. Once I get that down hopefully I will have a motor and some skills and she will get back on the boat with me!

We did have fun before we realized we could not get upwind. It was very exhilarating! Thanks again for all of your comments

EDIT: Also changed my profile. If anyone is in central Texas let me know!

Last edited by ROTCatCU; 02-25-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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