Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?
I think the whole set of frictional loss, and dodger issues are a reflection of sailing styles and venues. Both can be real issues for the way that some folk sail but not for others.
Take the frictional loss issue, the increase in friction is a very real phenomina that results in part from geometry. There used to be an online calculator for mounting loads for a given block in a given configuration. There were much higher loads on the bearings of a block as the return angle increased and so the frictional resistance increased as well. So, while you would expect that a line which made a 180 turn (say a jib sheet on a deck mounted, turning block) to have twice the mounting load of the sheet tension, the mounting loads were increased substantially beyond that because of the greater bearing friction than would be present with a slight deflection of the line increasing the load on the side led to the winch.
On a boat with a mediocre deck geometry, on a halyard led aft, there would be friction from the 90 degree turning block at the mast, and the 35 degree deflection at the deck organizer.
If you are preparing a boat to go offshore, that becomes even more of an issue as salt build up in the sheaves and lack of water to flush the bearings add to friction. So for someone like S/V Auspicious who spends time offshore and thinks about those sort of issues in setting up a boat, I can see why it would not be a priority to run lines aft.
As someone like myself who loves performance sailing, comes out of racing, single-hands in coastal waters, carries more sail than I should,and is constantly tweaking, I could not live without my lines run aft. I purposely use low friction roller blocks and small diameter low stretch high modulus line to minimize the impact of the lines run aft. Like Take Five points out, I 'jump' my halyards at the mast when there is someone to tail for me, and at those times, I 'sweat' up the last little bit (pull the halyard away from the mast to get more mechanical advantage) which you can't do so easy from the cockpit.
The Bimini issue is a similar thing. I grew up with an 'ethic' that one never let salt water below deck. It was a religious belief in those days, a period where the clothing and interiors, and even the coverings on life jackets were loaded with cotton and wool fabrics, which when you added the short waterline boats of the era which tossed water everywhere when pitching upwind, and where salt meant damp and damp meant mildew and discomfort. A well found boat included a 'wet locker' that could be accessed from the companionway, and wet clothes never made it forward of the grating at the bottom of the companionway ladder, and that grating had a pan which kept the salt water out of the bilge (no-joking). The basis of this religion was that salt attracted moisture and once salt encrusted that fabric would stay damp until you were safely in port and could wash things out.
Even today, during long passages, allowing salt into the cabin is not the best idea for basically the same reason. While the court of common opinion's thinking about S/V Auspicious's idea about preventing leaks in the dodger is one of those things which have changed over time (like a boat needed a retracting bowsprit to be called a cutter), when seen from the historical perpective, and from the point of view of a long distance passage maker, it still is a discipline that has validity.
On the other hand, sailors like me and you and the original poster, we sail without dodgers, and that fits our sailing venues and sailing style perfectly, so, of course, we see a few more holes in a dodger as nearly irrelevant.
To me these discussions are helpful to people coming into the sport or experiencing new sailing concepts because they can hear the various sides on a range of topics. By the same token, those opinions are more useful if the individual posters basis can be explained, so that not only the raw ideas are presented, but also accompanied with the context in which the presenter is forming their opinions.
On a separate topic, the above electronics debate is interesting, but it also only scratches the surface. One thing that constantly surprises me is how insidious electronics have become.
For example, a few years ago, I was heading to a rather poorly marked channel on an overcast and moonless night in pretty heavy air. I had a hand held GPS but it was misbehaving (Somehow the battery saver had gotten reset to a very short interval, and so it could not even boot up long enough for me to diagnose it and reset it.) I figured that this was no big deal, I would simply dead reckon and pilot my way in. It worked out okay and we got in alright but once I was on the anchor I began to replay all of the electronics in the mix:
-I had used an electronic knotmeter to predict my speed,
-I had used an digital stopwatch to time my running time between marks,
-I had used an electronic depth sounder to track the shape of the bottom and confirm my swag of my line of position.
-I used an electronic autopilot when I rolled in my jib to slow down below 8 knots.
I used the electronic compass to watch my course with the teletale maked and off-course bars reading.
-I had planned to use a very bright, plug in, spot light to pick up the reflector on the channel markers (It stopped working just as we needed it so got by with an old fashioned double D cell flashlight)
And when I got in and as the anchor went down, I had a moment in which I congratulated myself on doing it the old fashioned way, until I honested up with myself.
The other issue is systems like the joystick control. Many of us in this thread sail comparatively modest sized boats. I chose my 10,500 lb 38 footer, in part because she was about the biggest boat that I could man handle with a fair degree of ease. Jon Eisberg admits to craving a bigger boat, but lavishes great love on 'Chancey' in part because she is a convenient size for one person to handle and so on. But as more and more of the sailing community move towards bigger boats with all the comforts of home, and as marinas get more crowded, and fairways narrower, it becomes harder, more dangerous and litiginously negligent *grin* to try to get by with simply being good at boathandling. (For example, I raced on a 36 footer which could not fit across the fairway. The owner would motor forward until the bow man could grab the boats across the fairway (with the stern still 4-5 feet in the slip, then crew on the bow, and crew on the stern would push the boat hand over hand until the boat was clear of the slip and aimed safely down the fairway and do the same in reverse coming in.)
In the post above, 'One' refers to that old sailing maxim variously cited as "The price of seamanship (also safety) is vigilence (also dilligence and prudence)" and at the heart of this thread is a series of opinions about how does each of us as a sailor come to grips with what we think is prudent and appropriate. With many of these topics, there is no answer which is any more universally correct than which is the better ice cream flavor 'strawberry', 'vanilla' or 'Peach'. But what is also clear, just like the ice cream analogy, for any given individual, and any given situation there is only one right answer, and for them, unless it hurts them or others, it is just that, the one right answer.
Good thread folks! (even if we have gone pretty far afield from the original programming.)
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 03-29-2013 at 11:42 AM.