Big Freakin' Sails - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008
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well, as I said, we pretty much did everything wrong, and lived to tell about it.. so .. 'lesson learned', and I'll never make those mistakes again (and will invest in storm sails, and more reefs on the main!)

I'm just glad the admiral stayed home that day
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post #22 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
Yeah! I love it when a wind gust causes the spreaders to touch the water just before we ease the sails a little and stand the boat back up again.
The looks on the newbies faces is something to enjoy....
What I like here is that you only "ease the sails a little" when the spreaders hit the water. Nice approach, Boasun - that's milking it for speed, baby! And it definitely impresses the newbies when you've got a snapper in your rigging.
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post #23 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008
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I've had kelp in mine, twas a biotch to get out cause I had to walk the spreaders to get it.
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post #24 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008 Thread Starter
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Casey - that brought a tear to my eye, dude. Epic. And, as a newbie myself, I particularly love the part about full-genny/reefed-main. Up until your post, I thought for sure that was the best storm strategy (guess I need some more time with Giu's videos).

Great BFS man!

Last edited by smackdaddy; 09-22-2008 at 04:07 PM.
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post #25 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008
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A couple of years ago when I was sailing with the Baltimore Downtown Sailing Center, we went out for our weekly Wednesday open sail as one of that year's hurricanes was passing by to the north. We had perfect blue skies in Baltimore, but 20-25 kt winds blowing right down the middle channel of the Patabsco River, right towards the Key Bridge.

I was skippering a J22 with two experienced sailors, and we went out with the jib down on deck, tied firmly down. It was blowing nice in the Inner Harbor, but as we neared the opening into the middle channel, right by Fort McHenry, we could see 2-3 foot swells actually breaking on the bulkhead opposite the fort and lots of whitecaps.

We had lots of weight and experience in the boat, and with the (unreefable) main only, we decided to go for it. The wind was on the starboard quarter the entire way to the Francis Scott Key buoy (set down where the ship he was on was located, just inside the Key Bridge), and we surfed a few swells, really hauling.

We made it to the buoy in record time, jibed neatly around it, and started heading for home. We had figured on being able to stay on a close reach, but the wind backed into the North and we ended up having to tack all the way home. Luckily I had some good beef on the rails, and we pinched it all the way, slamming into those 2-3 foot swells and taking lots of water over the rails.

We cruised uneventfully, though soggily, back into the Inner Harbor, tacked back up to the sailing center (right next to Domino Sugar), and in a good 15 kt wind made a perfect close haul approach into our slip, dumping the wind to control our speed and coming up into the wind to drop the main and coast into the slip.

A couple of boats didn't make it back in from the river that day, and pulled into various safe havens and waited for a ride home. We saw one with its jib up taking a pounding, and they later said they "couldn't get it down" with that much wind.

Of course, being sailors (even just harbor sailors) my crew and I had a good time bragging over a few beers about being the only ones to make it to the buoy and back. A great sail on a beautiful day.
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post #26 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008
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I know it's up here somewhere but I'll relate it again. Up here in the PNW, we rarely get a Texas style thunderstorm but the only one I've ever seen caught me on the lake.

As I rigged the V-21, I could see a thunderhead building SW of me but it didn't look bad at all. I launched the boat, parked the truck and climbed aboard as a couple of light drops fell. Just after I hoisted sail, caught the 3 or so knots of breeze and sailed out from the dock, hail started to fall. I had put on my slicker for the rain and had the hood up but had nothing on my hands yet. Suddenly, the water erupted in geysers that looks like shots from a 20mm cannon and the gust front hit, knocking the boat on her side. She stood up and rounded as I sheeted out quickly and the lightening started going off like flashbulbs at a concert. So here I am, the only boat on the lake, in a raging storm with an aluminum lightening rod hanging in the air, surrounded by metal bits, being pounded on while I'm making maybe a knot or two to windward in this crap. My hands are being pulverized as I sail slowly to the windward side next to a dock. Seeing I couldn't make the dock, I opted for the Lee beach next to it and grounded my keel in the mud. Being in the Lee, the sails were sagging so I hopped in the cabin to avoid the lightening and hail. There I sat, lighting up a butt and looking out the port, waiting for a bolt to come down the stick, not two feet away and fry my ass. Presently, the hail stopped along with the lightening, a light breeze blew and the rain started, lightly. Sensing it was over, the boat came unstuck and started a leisurely beam reach down the lake. I came out to over three inches of ice all over the boat and liked to have busted my butt moving around. It turned out to be a nice quiet sail after that but it taught me that just because you've never seen a certain type of weather somewhere before, don't mean it ain't gonna happen when ya go sailing.
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post #27 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008
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jaschrumpf I love it when you're the only boat out in the slop. Ya get some mighty funny looks when ya come back in around all the dock heroes.
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post #28 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008
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Quote:
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Casey - that brought a tear to my eye, dude. Epic. And, as a newbie myself, I particularly love the part about full-genny/reefed-main. Up until your post, I thought for sure that was the best storm strategy (guess I need some more time with Giu's videos).

Great BFS man!
if it's blowing at 45-50, and it's bigger than a loincloth, it's too big to control during a blow like that.. the good lord gaveth us storm sails for a reason..use them wisely!
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post #29 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008 Thread Starter
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rumpf - have another beer for actually sailing it back into the slip, dude! At my current level of skill - that's kind of the Holy Grail. I feel pretty good out in the open water - but still can't imagine that much control in tight spots. Some day.

As in Casey's story - it seems like sailing in somewhat sheltered waters is actually a blessing for newbies - you can push the boat with big wind without suffering the consequences of building seas. Is that a fair assessment?
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post #30 of 3042 Old 09-22-2008
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Without doubt.
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