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  #1  
Old 09-05-2011
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how to handle waves??

Ok so this is my first boat. I am still getting the hang of the sailing thing and so I do lot of motoring. I have been wanting to be more adventurous and go up and down the coast for a few hours. Everytime I get just outside the mouth of the harbor the boat seems to get pushed around a bit. The waves come from various directions and sometimes push the boat sideways sometimes up and sometimes down. Under sail it should be less bumpy as the wind helps out but under motor how do i deal with this? Just keep motoring out? Try and head into the waves? Into the wind? This is in low wind conditions and the waves are maybe 3 feet I think. 5 max.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Your new at the whole thing and IMHP smart to be go it slowly to build up your comfort level BUT at some point you have to get a bit bolder or find someone to teach you the things you need to build up your confidence


On my now new to me Cal 29 even after a lifetime of sailing i used the boat with at least one other person before single handing it for about 6 weeks until i got a good understanding of how the boat behaved in different wind conditions and was SURE everything worked well after the refit
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Old 09-05-2011
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Yes, a boat is a roller coaster ride and yes, waves will move it about in three directions AND rotate it in three axes as well.

You don't mention what size your boat is. That makes a difference relative to the wave size.

How to handle waves gracefully? Some hulls do, others simply can't. Most do OK if you take the waves on the quarter, i.e. at a 45-degree angle to ride them instead of getting smacked broadside by them. The best way to get experience at this?

Go out with an experienced helmsman, let them show you hands-on. If you can't beg some help from your docks, odds are that someone at a local chandlery is a dock rat and will be glad to take you out for a sail--on your boat, yes. Worst case? Hire a sailing instructor to take you out for a couple of hours on a windy day.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Another thing to realize is that the boat's motion will be MUCH more comfortable and a bit more predictable with sails up. The wind pressure on the sails will resist rolling, especially, and leave you with a more linear pitching motion, depending on point of sail.

Many trawlers are equipped with small 'steadying sails' for just this reason.

So you need to move ahead with your sailing program and you'll see how much better things get. If you're really anxious, reef the main and roll out a little headsail to try things out - but you'll see the improvement right away, esp in a light air open ocean setting....
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Old 09-05-2011
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Have you tried motor sailing with your main up? It gives a little boost of power if you are at cruising speeds and the wind is coming from the right direction and should help the stability.

I also recommend finding a sailing instructor who can help you learn the 'right' way to do things. Lots of ways to get the job done, but it's nice to be able to learn to do it the safe/simplest/lowest wear way from a pro. It doesn't need to be expensive and will probably save you $ in 'oops' moments.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Thanks for the replies...yes I need to get those sails up much more frequently...I have learned and had lessons on small boats. My boat is a 30 foot WD Schock Santana 30. Its in amazing shape and all is working....
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Old 09-05-2011
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I've not allot of experience with waves but I did learn that in 3-5 ft waves to take them at a slight angle. That makes the boat "hobby horse" less and the bow didn't get the waves crashing over or on it as much. Following seas ( waves behind the boat)can be make it really difficult to keep a course. I've even had following seas push the boat sideways so much the water splashed over the rails. My experience is on Chesapeake and Delaware bays and the waves can be very close together.

So my limited experience so far tells me; to find a speed that works to keep the boat from crashing the bow when motoring and or sailing. And try to avoid "surfing" with the waves because it's very tiring for the helms person.

Knowing how waves, swells from wind current and tidal flow develop helps also. There are "standing waves, running waves, swells.. learning how to "read" the water is also a big help.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Newport, I'm south in San Pedro. We've traded a response before.

You really are new and just getting to know things, but that is also a really fun time. Perhaps you should trail along on a Catalina trip sometime. The wife and I love to sail there, and you could watch us and learn a bit. Not that we are experts, but we have sailed there several times every year for the past three years, so we might be able to share what we know.

At the least, we can recommend a good Scotch and show you how not to get sea sick if you have to sail with a hangover!
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Old 09-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomperanteau View Post
Newport, I'm south in San Pedro. We've traded a response before.

You really are new and just getting to know things, but that is also a really fun time. Perhaps you should trail along on a Catalina trip sometime. The wife and I love to sail there, and you could watch us and learn a bit. Not that we are experts, but we have sailed there several times every year for the past three years, so we might be able to share what we know.

At the least, we can recommend a good Scotch and show you how not to get sea sick if you have to sail with a hangover!

Thx! The boat I bought was harbored in San Pedro for 5 years before they brought it to Newport and I bought it...Yes I plan to go wit them, they are friends of my wife and they have been helpful, but I;d like to cut the umbilical cord as soon as I can! I hear San Pedro can be hairy with the BIG ships in the harbor...I am planning a trip to Catalina pretty soon...so yes maybe we can meet up! I'd love to learn as much as I can from as many as I can....
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Old 09-06-2011
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Here is an interesting example of handling waves!

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Point Panic! Rogue wave nearly takes out sailboat in Waikiki Harbor - YouTube
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