Flossing for Weeds - SailNet Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 Old 07-05-2001 Thread Starter
Contributing Author
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 251
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 16
 
Flossing for Weeds

Where can I find information on flossing? I sail out of Santa Cruz, CA, and we have floating seaweed that occasionally needs to be cleaned away from the keel and the rudder. I know there is a technique using a line, but we've tried that and it wasn't successful. Can you help us?

Dan Dickison responds:
Good question; thanks for submitting it. Flossing is the technique used by sailors (mostly racing sailors) to rid their hulls, keels, or rudders of weeds and other floating detritus that might become attached and hinder the boat's performance. Essentially it involves the use of either a weed stick or another dedicated device.

A weed stick is usually a long, flexible rod like a VHF antenna or a long mainsail batten fitted with a long, narrow piece of cloth (often heavy terry cloth) at the end. To use a weed stick, the person doing this will usually start forward of where he or she thinks the weed or other item is lodged and, pushing the cloth portion down toward the centerline of the boat, he or she will sweep aft with the wand so as to have the cloth portion move over the hull toward the weed. Then the person will draw the sick up, bringing the cloth portion up out of the water in an attempt to dislodge whatever the foreign item is. As you've probably guessed, it takes a fair bit of practice to get proficient at something like this, so technique (and luck) is everything.

Other sailors have fashioned devices made principally of soft line (sometimes covered with cloth) and they use these by draping the line over the bow and working it aft until they get to the base of the keel where it joins the hull. Then they pull all of the line up onto one side of the boat hoping to remove anything that's stuck there. This can work well for anything stuck forward of the keel, but it's a little tough to use these devices between the keel and the rudder.

Now, in the waters where you sail, you're apt to find a lot of kelp, and that stuff is so large that it often requires more drastic measures like backing the boat down. If you have to do this during a race, it can be painful at the moment (in the figurative sense), but it usually pays in the long run in terms of average boat speed. Simply have the helmsman steer the boat into the wind as some of the crew back the mainsail out to leeward all the way so that the boom nears the shrouds. As the boat comes up into the wind, the mainsail will fill backwards and drive the boat downwind—backwards. This is tough to do with a sizeable sea running (not to mention dangerous) and also requires practice.

Here's hoping that this information helps you avoid trouble with items fouling and slowing you down. 

Dan Dickison is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome