Big Freakin' Sails - Page 106 - SailNet Community
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post #1051 of 3043 Old 03-18-2009 Thread Starter
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Zie mein ondevare ein en tvisterhosen!
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post #1052 of 3043 Old 03-19-2009
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Originally Posted by bluwateronly View Post
Sorry man should have checked back farther. Got it and thank you for sharing.
I missed this and said this:

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It might help if you slow down and read the thread. It was well explained.
My apologies bluwateronly.
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post #1053 of 3043 Old 03-19-2009 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Smack Ė As you probably figured out by now, broken boats sail real slow and they are expensive to repair. And money spent on repairs is not being spent on improvements and new gear. A couple hundred dollars of repairs after each race is the price of a new spinnaker for me at the end of the season. Besides, my wife says Iím just one big disaster away from retiring from racing so I gotta play it cool. And, when are you coming out to the Bay Area? I want to show you what sailing in real salt water and in real wind is all about.
Trust me, I'm not an advocate of or groupie on the whole breakin' stuff thing. I can definitely see how expensive it gets. I just love the fact that guys are willing to get out in the snot and sail.

But this brings up an interesting point. As much as I like watching the big, ocean races, I'm personally not all that interested in racing myself (at least at this point). After hanging around SA for a long time and hearing the die-hards lament the fact that their sport is dying a slow, painful death...and after thinking about why that is...I think it just comes down to the equation of money vs. excitement. Sailing itself is freakin' expensive. And seriously racing a sailboat is exponentially expensive from what I've seen. You start to factor in the expensive-light-gear/heavy-air-sea equations and you've got a recipe for draining your bank account very quickly. Is it worth it?

Let's take a look at the ROI on that investment in terms of excitement - both for the general public and the sailing world. Unless we're talking about the Vendee or the VOR - the other 99% of the racing done out there is really pretty boring to the outsider. This and the expense of it is why the sport won't grow I think. It's just not that cool to a public who'd much rather watch the X-Games that involve crazy excitement on junk they can afford (motorcycles, skateboards, bmx bikes, etc.). Relative to that world - a yacht race is like watching a chess game. Boring as hell. And most could never afford to play anyway. So public excitement (which can obviously offset costs through marketing) is pretty much a lost cause unless Chall and I can figure out a way to direct coverage of the Vendee in a way that's much more exciting than it currently is (have your people call my people).

But let's keep the argument within the sailing world and look at the return on the expense of even semi-serious racing. Sure, racing is great excitement for the skippers, the crews, and the club that loses money putting it on - but what's the real payoff even within the realm of sailing? Most of the sailing world doesn't even seem to care about racing all that much. So the wider prestige of it can't be the motivator, right?

My hunch is that most will say it's just the excitement of doing it. Fair enough. And I absolutely have to give the racers credit in that they don't seem to bat an eye at having a full main and spin flying in 30+ knots. Them's stones - I don't care who you are. But then it's back to ROI. Is racing worth the money you have to continually sink into it?

Because of this thread, I have this feeling that there is a significant middle ground between cruising and racing that appeals to a lot of people. Something far more exciting than your typical no-heel conservatives buffing their biminis, but far less insane than balls-out racers going through 6 $3000 spinnakers in a season. And I'm wondering what exactly that world looks like.

I'd be very interested in having sailors around here weigh in on this.

George - I'll get out there soon (hopefully in the next 2-3 months). I promise. I have got A LOT to learn about this sport, dude. Please keep the invite open.
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post #1054 of 3043 Old 03-19-2009
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2008 Mills Race, first leg is a 17-1/2 mile downwind sleigh ride in 20-25 knot wind out of the WSW. We are the first in our class to pop the chute and we take off doing 9s and 10s I tell a new crew member to ease the guy and he lets it go instead. Mondo broach, which we recover from pretty quickly because the trimmer on the sheet dumps it quickly. (Note to self, not a good idea to get bowperson submerged to her waist and dragging through the water when she is your wife.) Back up again and flying as the other 9 boats in class ponder whether flying the chute in the wave conditions is such a wise idea. We round Middle Sister Island first in an hour and 55 minutes which is pretty good for a Sabre28 (average speed for 17-1/2 miles over 8knots). We have managed to sail through 3 boats in the class that started 10 minutes ahead of us with 30 sec/mi faster handicaps. The wind has subsided to about 15 knots so we put up the #2 for the 11 mile beat towards Green Island. The waves have died off to 4 feet so the ride isn't too bad. We see a large thunderstorm off to the west but ascertain it is at least 20 miles away and moving to the west and north of us. Life is good as the Sabre really likes these conditions. We are leading our fleet and dreams of an overall win and the picnic table sized flag that goes with it start to creep into my head. At 10:00pm we are 2 miles northwest of Green Island when visibility deteriorates precipitously. The wind softens to about 10 knots then wham! We are hit by driving water and 60 knots+ of wind. The Sabre lays over as I struggle to steer up into the wind. I immediately dump the main and #2 which luff violently. There is no way that I would let the crew try to get the sails down in these conditions. 3minutes into the squall we hear a loud boom, almost like an explosion. I look up to see the rig flying over the side in 3 pieces. The boom hangs on top of the lifelines attached to a stub of the deck stepped mast held on by the Garhauer rigid vang. The rest of the rig including the sails are over the side with the rig banging under the boat in a tangled mess. In another 3 minutes the rain had stopped and wind was back to 10knots. The crew immediately sets about cutting the halyards, pole lifts, vang controls etc to jettison the rig. The sound of the tangled rig banging on the side of the boat hastened the speed in which we did this. Not an easy feat in the dark and lying abeam to 4 foot steep chop. Fortunately the turnbuckles were pinned with Johnson wrap pins. It was easy to rip off the wrap pin and unscrew the turnbuckles. We cleaned up the mess and dumped everything over the side. I waited a few minutes as we watched the mess sink. Everybody listened to see if we could hear the rig banging anymore. I nervously started the engine which started on the first turn. I counted to 10, crossed my fingers and dropped it into gear not daring to let my hand off the gear shift. Thankfully, no screeching sounds so we motored the 5 miles to Put in Bay. As we approached the dock, my wife quipped that at least there were no wet sails to fold and that there would be more room to sleep on the boat. All I could think of was what fun it was going to be to deal with the insurance people and if I was going to get to sail the boat again that summer.

Epilogue- It turns out that we were hit by a microburst. Winds reported by other boats were from 60-80knots. The almost zero visibility and rain was actually the surface water being picked up by the microburst. The weather radar showed that the microburst jumped around as it hopscotched through the fleet. A lot of boats(45)lost sails or had damage and at least 2 crew on other boats were washed overboard and later recovered. The Insurance company treated me fairly and I ended up getting a deal on a C&C29-II with the proceeds. I'll have to wait another year to try to get that humongous brag flag shown below in someone else's hands. Anyone want to buy a Sabre28-II without a rig cheap??
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post #1055 of 3043 Old 03-19-2009 Thread Starter
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Holy BFS Sandusky! 60 to 80??? Ouch! At least you've got cool wife and a new boat.

BTW - I'll pass on the Sabre, thought she does sound like one tough mutha.
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post #1056 of 3043 Old 03-20-2009
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Well as of about 1pm PSDT and about 4=5pm eastern time in FL, my new boom should be on a truck to the opposite corner of the US. Hopefully it will be here by wednesday, on the boat by friday eve and off to the races saturday AM!

Emailed with jody a few times today, he is taking saturday pretty rough! HG is close to a total, found out his airstream and Jag had tree's fall on them saturday.............he's not real happy. He is not being flamed as bad on SA any more, most are acutally semi incouraging. Hopefully he gets out of this slump and goes on with life. I'm recalling him losing a job of some sort at MS a month or so too. not good times for him!

Any of you with a ph# or email, try to cheer him up if you can.

marty

She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
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post #1057 of 3043 Old 03-20-2009
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I just yakked at him over the phone. He's a bit ragged but doing ok. It's just been a crappy year so far. I know the feeling.....
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post #1058 of 3043 Old 03-21-2009
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I am doing better - websites online... you'd never imagine whom posted a comment.

Well do your research - we are live for awhile... I never make this stuff up... and yeah - I think we are in a ok position. Pics on blog, but nothing structural I can see - a keel bolt loose I think explains (IMHO) the oil leak through the keel...Won't know till mid of week but I think it may be looking up.. I hope...

-- Jody

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post #1059 of 3043 Old 03-23-2009
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Trust me, I'm not an advocate of or groupie on the whole breakin' stuff thing. I can definitely see how expensive it gets. I just love the fact that guys are willing to get out in the snot and sail.

But this brings up an interesting point. As much as I like watching the big, ocean races, I'm personally not all that interested in racing myself (at least at this point).
Hey, Smack. Race on someone else's boat. You get the thrills without the bills and a good skipper feeds his crew.

I've learned a lot from racing. It gets me out in weather that I never would've gone out in otherwise. Now my get-nervous threshold is far higher.
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post #1060 of 3043 Old 03-23-2009
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Between racing and cruising

Smackdaddy,

I think each of us will have our own viewpoint. I used to race 420's in college, had a long hiatus, and then did some local racing (Sag Harbor, NY back then) on my Express 34. As I got married and had kids, I've modified my thinking on performance sailing. One is to have a boat that can give you speed, and sail it as aggressively as you choose even when cruising. Another alternative is some of the longer (though not ocean) long-day or multi-day races. Depending on conditions, you may not be risking all your equipment.

You also have to accept that maybe you're not going for the trophy. Maybe you're going for the experience, deciding how hard you want to push yourself and your boat. It's all about the compromises we choose. A previous writer is also right, you could choose to do your racing on other people's boats. That's what I do when I want to push harder. Other benefits include meeting new people and learning from more experienced sailors.

As part of my personal compromise, I am buying a catamaran and selling my current boat. I'm doing this so I can enjoy the boat more with the family. Having done the test sail on the new boat, I was pleasantly surprised how fun it is to sail. Be sure, I will be trying to see how fast I can safely sail her.

I've read some of your posts on other threads, and you strike me as someone who does a good job of planning and analyzing what you can, and can not, do. Use your head, but figure out a balance that makes the sport fun and worthwhile for you - whether that's cruising or racing.

I'm looking forward to start reading some threads from you about your fun experiences out there!!!
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