Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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Re: Another n00b question: strategies for handling chop
Nice discussion topic.
Are you sailing for fun, like a 2-3 hour day sail, or are you out there because you are trying to get somewhere?
For a short sail, especially when you are trying to gain experience, try both a reefed main and a reefed headsail. You will have enough sail up so you can move nicely through the water, but not too much so that you are excessively heeling. Taking the waves on the beam will give the worst ride, I try to take them at a 45 degree angle upwind or downwind if that is an option.
On a longer trip, like if I was trying to get somewhere and the conditions were bad I would put up the main only and motorsail as fast as possible and as close to the waves as possible. My goal would be to minimize the amount of time in those conditions. What is fun and exciting for an hour or two turns into just too much work after 5-6 hours. Having the main up will steady the motion of the boat and motorsailing will allow you to point much higher than normal. If you're going to be out there for a LONG time and have the sea room then maybe motorsail upwind for a bit, then unroll the headsail and sail downwind, which would be more comfortable. Fortunately, I have never had to deal with those conditions for more than 6-8 hours (which was bad enough).
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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