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post #11 of 25 Old 07-18-2011 Thread Starter
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Capsizing a Mercury is not a good idea. They will float but not by much. You will essentially have a boat full of water and will not be able to get back to shore without a tow.

You need to learn the subtleties of how the wind and rudder act on different points of sail. When initially tacking the boat should want to go around fast. Once you approach head to wind, the same rudder angle will slow the turn and you may need to adjust or you will end up in irons. Irons is not such a bad thing. They should be teaching you about this and how to back a boat out of irons.

Go out with an instructor in light winds and have them handle all the sheets so you can concentrate on steering and how to properly tack the boat.
-I have capsized in the sunfish. Not the merc, yet. We will have to for class.

-I'm trying to learn the wind. The problem is partly with the river itself. The wind can change direction near the shore and they want us to get pretty close...they themselves get VERY close

-I have class on tuesday/thurs I'll be going out again, but for the first time in a month I'm really not looking forward to it.
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post #12 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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Sounds to me like you're doing just fine! Keep on sailing that Sunfish and having a blast. It takes time to learn and practice. Do it at your own pace and move up when you're ready and excited about moving up.

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I don't think I can sail the bigger boats at ALL
Of course you can! Most of us single-hand quite a bit. Once you get in a boat that is 22-25' or larger, you'll find they're not so "touchy" as the little Sunfish and may in fact seem a little sluggish to you.

You're gonna do just fine....really.....but keep studying and/or taking lessons, since you didn't know a basic concept like "reefing the main"....you may be at the point where you can pick up a really good book, like The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, and start studying that in between your time on the water. The knowledge development will help your confidence level.


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post #13 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesunshine View Post
-I have class on tuesday/thurs I'll be going out again, but for the first time in a month I'm really not looking forward to it.
I would encourage you to buck up and go for it...

BUT....I'm a Scuba Instructor....I encounter this at times...and here's what I tell my students:

"This is a recreational activity and it is supposed to be fun. If it's not fun, don't do it. Nobody is forcing you to do this. Anyone can call any dive at any time for any reason, no questions asked. If you don't want to do it, don't do it."

I try to get them to push through, and most do, but the point is, what we're doing we're doing for fun. If it's not enjoyable to you in any way, then simply don't do it. Life is too short and time too precious to waste doing something you don't want to do.


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post #14 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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Originally Posted by purplesunshine View Post
I don't know what reef is...is that pulling it in? I know to let out the sail.
Reefing means reducing the size of the mainsail by lowering it a bit and then making the sail fast to the boom again. With a smaller sail there will be less force generated by the wind on the sail and you will heel (lean) less. If your mainsail is equipped for reefing there should be a set of grommets called a "reef point" parallel to the foot of the sail and a little ways up. Your instructor will be able to show you how to do it.
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post #15 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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You have to be in front of the tiller. Learning to move in sync with the boat when tacking will save you from lots of bruises. Your doing very well.. but I think you need to verify who is actually an instructor in the class.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #16 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesunshine View Post
-I have capsized in the sunfish. Not the merc, yet. We will have to for class.
Is the Mercury a keel boat or a centerboard boat? I don't think they would be asking you to capsize a keel boat. If it is a centerboard then it probably doesn't weigh much more than the crew and where you position yourself, especially in strong winds, is very important.

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Originally Posted by purplesunshine View Post
-I have class on tuesday/thurs I'll be going out again, but for the first time in a month I'm really not looking forward to it.
Be honest about your trepidation with your instructor. If he is at all a decent instructor he should be able to help you manage your fear. He also needs to know that taking out raw newbies in a dinghy in a fresh breeze can be counter productive regardless of how much fun he was having.

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Originally Posted by purplesunshine View Post
I don't think I can sail the bigger boats at ALL.
Sure you will. I have a 15 foot keel boat that I have sailed for about 10 years. Last year my wife and I took a cruising/bareboat course on a Hunter 49 and I had the same nervousness about it that you are feeling now. What I found out was that it was actually EASIER sailing the big boat. Things happen much more slowly, the boat can handle a LOT more wind and there are more systems aboard for dealing with heavy winds.

Don't be discouraged. Once you have enough experience your confidence level will go up and soon you will be the one having a blast in 15-20 knot winds in a 16 foot boat.
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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Purple
First of welcome to the amazing, exciting world of sailing. Once you get addicted you will never stop even if it's on small boats.
Spend more time on the Sunfish, get to know it like the back of your hand and go out in the Mercury in lighter winds.
We have all been exactly where you are right now and we have all learned from mistakes. Bumps, bruises, capsizes, even turtles, and maybe a few groundings, but we learn. You've gotten some great advise here, don't be afraid to ask questions do it at your own pace and most of all HAVE FUN.
Peter
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post #18 of 25 Old 07-18-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CaptFoolhardy View Post
Is the Mercury a keel boat or a centerboard boat? I don't think they would be asking you to capsize a keel boat. If it is a centerboard then it probably doesn't weigh much more than the crew and where you position yourself, especially in strong winds, is very important.
Mercury is a centerboard that you drop using a rope & pully system....(unlike the sunfishes that you remove and dock)
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Be honest about your trepidation with your instructor. If he is at all a decent instructor he should be able to help you manage your fear. He also needs to know that taking out raw newbies in a dinghy in a fresh breeze can be counter productive regardless of how much fun he was having.
I went out with a staff member who's not my instructor. Though I'm not sure that my instructor will be much better...he told me I had to climb the mast if I let go of the hallyard and it flew up to the top. Which, as I've discovered is NOT what happens.

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Sure you will. I have a 15 foot keel boat that I have sailed for about 10 years. Last year my wife and I took a cruising/bareboat course on a Hunter 49 and I had the same nervousness about it that you are feeling now. What I found out was that it was actually EASIER sailing the big boat. Things happen much more slowly, the boat can handle a LOT more wind and there are more systems aboard for dealing with heavy winds.
It was mostly the trouble I got in with tacking...and coming about...I got nervous with the tilt but i was ok-ish.


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Don't be discouraged. Once you have enough experience your confidence level will go up and soon you will be the one having a blast in 15-20 knot winds in a 16 foot boat.
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post #19 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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Purple,

On your off days from sailing, search YouTube for the maneuvers you are not comfortable doing. It doesn't replace actually being out on the water, but there are some good ASA (and other reputable schools') videos online where they explain the maneuver as they do them. If you know what you're going to be taught ahead of time, you might even prepare yourself by looking for an instructional video.

As someone mentioned in an earlier post, the larger the boat, the less you'll feel how it reacts to the changing environment so learning on these very small boats will be to your advantage in the long run.

It's possible that your instructor may not be making this fun for you, not that you're incapable of learning how to sail. That's a shame and I hope you eventually find an instructor who knows how to teach. A good instructor doesn't just teach you how to sail, but is also in tune to when you're pushing your personal envelope and can pull back when necessary and let you take that more risky step when YOU are ready. Otherwise, both of you may be in danger and you'll walk away hating to sail.

Don't let anyone, even people with all the best intentions in the world who say "of course you can" push you into anything you don't feel comfortable doing. That's how accidents happen. We don't know you so we don't know what you're mentally capable of handling. Maybe you can, but it's up to you, not us.

There's no hurry. Sailing and sailboats have been around for a long time and it's one technology that will not have changed if you decide to give yourself a breather, regroup, and try again in a few months or a year.

And if you forge on (as I suspect you will from your replies to previous posts), good luck and welcome to the sport! It really is fantastic and if anyone you meet claims to be an expert, take it with a grain of salt. There is always something else to learn no matter how long you've been sailing. That's part of the intrigue for me.

Donna


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post #20 of 25 Old 07-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
On your off days from sailing, search YouTube for the maneuvers you are not comfortable doing.
That's really good advice....plus, if you have Netflix, there's a bunch of good sailing/learn to sail videos.


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