Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
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Re: centerboard day sailer: raising/lowering sails in stronger winds
Eh, I don't live in these folks perfect world...
The lakes I've sailed had terrible ramps, and terrible depths at the ramps (after all you only need 1.5 feet of depth to launch your 16 foot motorboat).
Our local lake has it's ONE AND ONLY public launch on the windward side of the lake, with a narrow cut for the ramp. it's got a nice dock though, with 5 feet of depth, but 100 feet from shore, and 30 or so from the dock the lake depth drops to 1.5 feet, and is ONLY that deep 30 feet between 2 buoys (huge sand bar, thank god sand not rock).. Talk about threading the needle!
YES if the wind is right (where you can put your centerboard down) and you can launch away from the dock... You're good (that covers at least 270 degrees of wind you should be safe - again if there is enough water and if there is a dock).
If you have NO dock, and have to launch from the beach, and the wind is anything forward of beam... it's gonna be a real chore. The nice part is you'll have a wild beaching downwind run back to shore when you come back though!
Here's how I made it all work when I had my Capri 14.2. If I was head the wind, and in shallows for the first 100 feet or so of water... I'd launch out straight, with NO sails up... I'd paddle if I had to... then grab the halyard for the main, and crank the main up as fast as possible with the centerboard down... mainsheet free. JUST like you said! Got to have a clear sail path and no ginks in the lines.
If you aren't fast enough, you'll be swimming, but hey that's part of the fun.
For the record... I did this for 1 year then, I decided enough of that garbage, and bought an electric trolling motor. The private lake I sailed at NEVER had the wind from a favorable direction from launch.
The electric trolling motor was reliable, easy, and just worked. It allowed me to lock the tiller, go forward and raise (you know that 4 or 5 feet forward), or I could raise at the beach push off into the wind, motor into the wind a while, then sheet in and fall off.
Again without a motor, or a willingness to paddle pretty hard, it's gonna be a bear into the wind. This is why I laugh when people recommend a small centerboard boat to start with. It's 100 times less forgiving, and usually nothing but work. IT WILL TEACH YOU TO SAIL though.
Good luck. Don't wait for the motor, but taking a swim now and again builds character. Besides you have a plan for getting back on the boat right?
1983 WD Schock Wavelength 24. Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.
Last edited by SHNOOL; 04-29-2013 at 03:21 PM.