Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Thanked 83 Times in 82 Posts
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They're great fun! Where to start...
Get a book on sailing them.
There is no need to backwind in a tack. There is a need to ease the main as you come through and get a cross just as the wind does. It's all timing.
Practice righting near the beach. The 18 is a bit harder to right because of its size - probably 320 pounds are required. The H16 takes about 270. You can get by with less with a righting bag, but it is very physical and very tough if it is windy. I'm not sure 1 person can right a H18 alone, with any aids.
You can't drag a H18 over the sand. Either get wheels or just use a ramp.
Knee pads are very handy, if you are over 40!
Foot loops on the rail real help when things get wild.
They are GREAT practice for bigger boats. My first boat was a Prindle 16 (very much like the H16) On my last boat (Stiletto 27) I would never let a non-beach cat sailor take the helm if there was much wind. Then again, the Stiletto is like a H18 that can't be righted! On my new cat I ma a bit less strict, but I still prefer a sailor that can gauge when a pitch pole is coming and when to ease up. The feel is different than a monohull and a beach cat is the best teacher.
So, in a season or 2, it is inevitable: you will move to the dark side! Welcome!
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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