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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2012
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Re: girls and heels

Have her drive - you control main to keep the boat flat. Don't heel the boat, you'll go much faster.


In general, whenever there a woman in board I give them the helm as soon a possible. Kids the same.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2012
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Re: girls and heels

This topic comes up here at least once a year. There have been articles written about it. I used to teach when I was in a yacht club the wives, SO and GF's the finer points of sailing. For starters women don't like to be put in a situation where we feel we are in harms way. Not feeling secure in our environment and the skipper of the boat telling them "To get over it, the boat is safe" is not the way to win the hearts of their loved one. While burying the rail in the water might be fun, (I do in on many occasions myself) to most women it is not.
When I used to teach, I would have a small box on the dock. I would invite those who want to learn and overcome their fears over to Sundowners. While chatting about this wonderful sport over a few drinks and appetizers I would have all my guest write down on separate piece of paper all their fears. Of course heeling was #1. We would go over each fear with demonstrations, actually equipment use, theory, and a trip to the maintenance yard to see boats out of water.
For the fear of heeling I would use the fat boy on the teeter tatter theory to explain why a keel boat wouldn't tip over. We would than go to the maintenance yard to see, touch and feel the keel (fat boy). We would than talk about the different designs of all the keels and the effects of each in maneuvering the boat and the various characteristics of each keel. For the responder on going to hobbie cat to teach I would highly not recommend this one for the over coming the fear of tipping over. They tip over very easily. After we have discussed each of their fears those pieces of paper would go in the box on the dock. I would than announced when we leave the dock that their fears are left at the dock and let the fun begin.
I would than take the ladies out on the water with the main only explaining everything we do, keeping the boat as flat as possible. I would introduce the jib only when everyone is comfortable with first going downwind, slowly turing the boat to windward through the various points of tack in-between. Even on the reach I would keep the boat no greater than 15 degrees. Of course on most boats this is the efficient heel angle for speed.
The other concern of heeling is feeling secure in the cockpit and down below. On larger sailboats (over 30') there are few places to brace ourselves with our feet or other means. Most of us women have short legs. If we cannot brace ourselves using either the other side of the settee, middle cockpit table, or other bracing devices we will not feel secure. You will have to find a way for us to brace ourselves or we won't go on the boat in the future. For the real skittish person I love the two stern seats found on most production boats. I find these to be the best seats in the house.
Going down below to get refreshments, preparing a meal or using the head I alway suggest either flatting the boat completely by sailing downwind or my favorite heave-to (especially when preparing food) would do wonders in keeping us on board. If not you go down while we take the helm.
Taking the helm is another discussion all together and I will save my rant for a later time.
Hope this helps someone.
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Last edited by Melrna; 06-16-2012 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 06-16-2012
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Re: girls and heels

The analogy that's worked for me in explaining the stability issue is those old inflatable 'punching clowns'.. you know, the ones with the sand bag in the bottom and no matter how hard you hit them they always came back up.

I like the idea of a boatyard tour.. nothing like a visual.

Ironically my wife would rather be beating into 20 knots heeled over than sailing downwind similar conditions - but to be fair to her we've had some serious broaches racing in the past, including one where she managed to break all three of our rules by falling off the boat

She was a very nervous sailor to start.. it took a lot of patience and practice (and the first coastal cruise) to convince her - she's a trooper and after 30 + years loves cruising and sailing still.
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Re: girls and heels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
The analogy that's worked for me in explaining the stability issue is those old inflatable 'punching clowns'.. you know, the ones with the sand bag in the bottom and no matter how hard you hit them they always came back up.ll.
Analogy of a Fat boy vs a hitting toy, Difference between how men think and how women think. Why I strongly believe women teaching women make the best teachers.
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Old 06-16-2012
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Re: girls and heels

Melrna, I am just starting to teach two young girls the ways of a sailboat. they both like the aft seats the best but so does the Admiral when she is not at the helm. she says it is the best place to be when this boats crazy skipper is at the helm. I would love to hear your rant on taking the helm so please rant on.
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Re: girls and heels

Mel,

Great feedback - love the concept about seeing the underbody and keel.

Here is a link to a short video of a newbie gal sailing last weekend -

She looks like she is having fun
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Re: girls and heels

Optimum on my capri 22 seemed to be between 15 and 20 degrees. 32 you are swimming, 28 and your two handed trying to steer downhill. Agreed 10-15 degrees is faster than 20+

The women in my life have adjusted to heel.

PS: I was also disappointed after that topic line.
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Re: girls and heels

Quote:
Originally Posted by overbored View Post
Melrna, I am just starting to teach two young girls the ways of a sailboat. they both like the aft seats the best but so does the Admiral when she is not at the helm. she says it is the best place to be when this boats crazy skipper is at the helm. I would love to hear your rant on taking the helm so please rant on.
I won't rant tonight however if you are from Dana Point you might know my best friend Kathy at the yacht club there. She can probably tell you in person my rant. Your boat name sound familiar. We might be closer than you think.
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Old 06-17-2012
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Re: girls and heels

And I thought this topic was going to be about inappropriate footwear for the inflatable dinghy....

More seriously, my spouse and I watched a very amusing docking where the obviously inexperienced foredeck crew was wearing high heels... skidding around like the scene of Walt Disney's "Bambi" encountering ice for the first time ever.

Back to the original post, I agree that the feeling of being out of control is a bad thing.

Last edited by rgscpat; 06-17-2012 at 03:26 AM.
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Re: girls and heels

Just act like you know what you're doing. My guests happily never have a clue when I'm just winging it.

But seriously, having a calm and confident captain/helmsman will usually relax a nervous passenger.
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