Running before walking.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Running before walking....

So I've been sailing for about 6 years (this is my seventh season). Prior to getting my first boat (Nash 26') I had been on a sailboat but never sailed, or controlled one.

I feel that my skills are pretty good - definitely room for improvement, but I have a high degree of confidence in myself as a sailor.

Wait let me re-phrase that: "I HAD a high degree of confidence in myself as a sailor!"

What happened to shake my confidence?

This happened:



(Image from Topaz Website)

My brother picked up one of these little guys and, in the last couple of weeks, I have had the chance to play with it.

First of all it is a real blast!

Second of all it has demonstrated to me my (many) shortcomings with regard to sail trim etc.

Thirdly: it is a real blast!

I'm sure the more I get to sail it, the better my skills will be on the 'big' boat.

I really wish I had started out on the small boat and worked my way up. I know that many sailors have said that this is the best progression, but I frankly did not believe it until I experienced it for myself.

And did I mention what a blast it is to sail the dinghy?

1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Running before walking....

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...And did I mention what a blast it is to sail the dinghy?
Yeap, these things are fun!!!

Only problem is.... with both hands occupied, how do you wave at other boats?
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Running before walking....

Is that a Club 420? Laser on steroids?

Little boats rock! Literally and figuratively.
One might go so far as to say that they are a blast to sail.

You don't need a free hand to wave at other boats but for holding a beer. That is why so much beer gets spilled on dinghies.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

Everybody has one:

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Running before walking....

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That is why so much beer gets spilled on dinghies.
My boat must be a dinghy!

Seriously, if you are sailing a boat hard, without a cup holder, lots of drinks are spilled!

Yes a small boat will increase your learning speed... because if you don't learn, it punishes you! That's a given... It also rewards you, with an instant boost in speed.
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"Rum Line" a 1982, S2 7.9 - Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Running before walking....

Definitely not a Club 420. I think it's a Topaz uno.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Running before walking....

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Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Is that a Club 420? Laser on steroids?
It's a Topaz Uno.

1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-11-2013
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Re: Running before walking....

It's no coincidence that the Olympic Games have used the Finn as a sailing class since 1952 and still do. Just a main, no jib and every time you sail one it's a sailing lesson in disguise.

The top class racers in New Zealand go back to Finn to polish up on their sailing skills.


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post #8 of 11 Old 08-11-2013
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Re: Running before walking....

Dinghy sailing is God handing you the Cliff Notes.

You can change weather helm to lee or neutral helm by leaning out, or in. And understanding why, teaches you sailing the way the big, "forgiving" boats can't.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-11-2013
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Re: Running before walking....

For more than 10 years we would go to Newport RI for vacation every summer with the kids. I always took my sunfish. Sailed it near Fort Adams, out in Narragansett, in Jamestown. It was just a way to satisfy my addiction .

Years later we went partners on an H31 with a good friend of mine. It was his first boat. When he would sail her, she would lean, stall and stagger barely making way. Finally he would look at me and say "you take her" ..Then I would take the wheel and she would be off to the races! And neither of us had much of a clue why that was. But I would say to him things like " come off the wind just a touch" and he would say " what? why? " like I was speaking Japanese.

I think the difference was that Sunfish,

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Re: Running before walking....

Interesting... looked like an RS Feva (very similar).

"Rum Line" a 1982, S2 7.9 - Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.
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