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  #11  
Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Newbie Sailor

Hey,

What kind of boat? Some boats sail great on headsail alone, others sail great on main alone. When I was still learning a lot (and I'm still learning) I used to grab my older brother and head out on windy days to learn about sailing in more challenging conditions. This was back in 2004 when I had only been sailing for a year and 20 kts was a lot of wind. My Newport 28 sailed fine with just the headsail. Sailing with main alone was slow and I was unable to tack because the boat would stall when head to wind. With the headsail alone I could tack but there was a lot of weather helm. The boat sailed best with a reefed main and a reefed headsail (150 rolled up to a 100).

Some lessons I learned about sailing in windy / gusty conditions were:
- If you're hit with a big gust, head up real close to the wind and let the sails luff a little.
- Ease the main sheet a lot. The top of the sail will twist off and spill the wind while the lower part of the sail provides power.
- Sailing with headsail alone is pretty easy to do (on my masthead boats).
- Practice reefing a lot so you can do it quickly and easily. If your reefing system isn't set up to be easy to use then modify it. It should take just a few minutes to put a reef in. This way, when it's time to reef you will, instead of just wishing the wind would get lighter.
- Healing is scary when you aren't use to it. After a dozen or so times healing at 20 degrees, my wife and kids are now used to it and don't complain. To be honest, I'm not crazy about heeling that much either. I don't mind it, but it makes doing ANYTHING (making lunch, using the head, trimming the sail, etc.) difficult.

Good luck. On the long island sound, late fall sailing is my favorite time of the year because there is usually good wind, the water is still warm, and there are very few other boats out there.

Barry
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Newbie Sailor

On Saturday we unrolled about 3/4 of our 150 genny when it was blowing 18-20 with gusts to 25. We weren't trying to get anywhere, we just wanted to sail and it worked well. Our boat sails poorly on main alone. I could have had a reefed main, but we had our young son on board and I wanted it to be an easy/fun sail as much as possible. We did 5 knots or so under just that tiny bit of sail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geronimo69 View Post
then the gusts kicked in and we heeled to a point that scared both of us. Reeled in the Jib a little and continued on. Waiting for these moments to not be so scary anymore.
What you want to do is experiment with your boat and try get it to heel as far as you can. Do this in 12-15, full sail, close hauled as high as you can point. Fall off the wind a bit and let it push the boat right up on edge, a quick steer back toward the wind will lay you right back down.

Also, don't know your boat, but most keel boats are very hard to capsize absent some extreme wind and wave conditions. I used to work at a place that rented Rhodes 19's with small fixed keels. I was told to try and capsize it in 20+ wind just to see if it could be done, with powerboat standing by, and I could not do it.
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Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Newbie Sailor

how do you guys reef your jibs? Winch or just cleat it off? I ask cuz I only have two winches and need them for the jib.
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Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Newbie Sailor

Hey,

Assuming you have a roller furling headsail, unless you have a REALLY BIG boat, you should not need or use a winch to furl or reef your headsail. You will probably need to ease the sail and let it luff, but you should be able to furl the headsail by just pulling the furling line.

If you can't them fine out why. You might have too much or too little halyard tension or forestay tension. You might need to clean or lubricate the furler. You should not use a winch because that's how you break things if you aren't careful.

Some other things to try include running downwind with the head sail blanketed by the main, or just letting the sheet go and letting the sail luff. On my boat (O'day 35) I can just ease the sheet and pull the furling line. In a breeze it does take more effort, but it's not too bad.

Good luck,
Barry


Quote:
Originally Posted by abrahamx View Post
how do you guys reef your jibs? Winch or just cleat it off? I ask cuz I only have two winches and need them for the jib.
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Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Newbie Sailor

Things that would really help you get a good answer:
  • Tell us what kind of boat and what length.
  • If you are talking about reefing a sail - tell us which sail and type (Roller furling, hand tied on reef points ...)

To many questions here sound like "How long is a piece of line?"

Rik
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  #16  
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Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Newbie Sailor

Catalina 27 - good boat for learning on. And from what you say, I am assuming roller furling on the jib. Also a good thing.

Play with it and see how nicely you can sail her. See how fast you can get her going without excess heeling. Go for enjoyment.

Good on ya!

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  #18  
Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Newbie Sailor

Not all roller furler systems are good for reefing. Unless you have one with that type of drum/sail set up, you risk damage to your furler. My furler is designed to have the jib either all the way out or all the way in, not in between.
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Newbie Sailor

Hmmm I do have a roller furler system but how would I know if it's not good to partial roll in the Jib? I did sail her like that and managed better. However leads me to another question. To control how much power or to depower the Jib, I kept a hold of the sheet, once around the winch so I could ease out or bring in the Jib quickly. Is this good practice? I would understand the need for sailing gloves, especially as the weather will be getting cooler.
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