Hello! This last week I got to sail my Lido 14 for the first time. We drug the boat up to our cabin on Placid Lake Montana and had a fun week of sailing on a high mountain lake.
The first day we took it out we had 3 adults in the boat, 2 that have never sailed before. The wind was blowing around 10 mph and gusting to 15+. We learned a couple very important things in the first 2 minutes after the boat capsized and completely turtled. First, I should have taken a couple more minutes and fully explained what to do when the wind started to gust. The 2 guys handling the sheeting had them cleated so when it gusted the boat rounded up and because I was new/nervous I pulled the tiller the wrong direction and ended up back in the wind and before I knew what happened we were all in the water! The 2 other guys where hanging on for dear life when they should have just let go and started swimming. (We all had PDFs on) The bad thing about that is that the boat almost immediately turtled, probably quicker than it should have because they were pulling it down.
The next big mistake we made is that we didn't pull the bow of the boat into the wind before trying to right it. We got the boat righted from the turtle, but because the mast was full of water and the wind was still blowing fairly hard the boat ended up on it's side almost immediately again and this time it turtled because the mast was full of water.
When we righted the boat this time we broke some fiberglass and wood on the centerboard trunk that had rotted out that I missed on my repairs. Whoooops! We got the boat bailed out and got a tow back to the dock.
Day 2 we spent repairing the fiberglass and creating two braces that I should have installed before we left for the lake. Nothing major but it just took time as we only had 2 clamps and had multiple places that needed epoxying.
Day 3 Two of us went out in 7-10 mph winds. It was amazing! The boat sailed like a dream and since we figured out how to dump air from the sails we never ended up in the water again. The braces and repairs held strong and we got the boat planing for the first time on a beam reach. It's amazing how fast 6 knots feels! On the way back to the dock we learned how difficult it can be to dock a sailboat on a lee shore with nothing but sails and paddles. We finally sailed down the shore a bit and turned around to try to approach the dock on a beam reach and learned that you need more than one more boat length to slow down the boat by crashing into the dock. No damage done but egos were bruised.
Day 4 I took the boat out by myself with just the mainsail up. I learned right away that without the jib the boat is incredibly hard to get out of irons. I'd push the tiller and mast to the same side, the boat would turn away from the wind and by the time I could get the sheets pulled back in the boat would be in irons again. I found that I was being way too impatient and that if I let the boat turn away a bit more it was much easier to get some steerage by getting the sails full. Nothing too exciting this time as the wind was blowing along the shore so docking into the wind was much easier.
Day 5 we had thunderstorms so no sailing took place as I didn't want to see what would happen when lightning struck my boat!
Day 6 I took the boat out solo again with just the main. The winds were so light that I decided to go back for the jib. It was actually amazing how little wind it took to get the boat moving and I learned some interesting things about how the wind swirls around lake. A couple times I lost the wind completely and just had a nice relaxing float in the middle of the lake.
I ended up paddling back to shore that day.
Day 7 Amazing winds again. 10-15 mphs and we went out with 2 adults. This time we had a location in mind that we wanted to sail to, the inlet of the lake. It was really interesting planning our tacks to make sure we ended up where we needed to be, and made for some good practice. Nothing exciting happened this time either as we both were fairly confident in our skills for the level of wind we had. We made it back to the dock with no issues.
I went out again alone in the afternoon and can't say that I had the same experience. Because the wind was still blowing hard and my buddy didn't want to come out again I went out with just main sail. I learned right away that the boat wants to badly round up with no jib so I had to compensate with Tiller and dumping air from the sails. This made for some exciting sailing as the boat felt fairly unstable as the wind gusted around. I also learned the benefit of the chicken jibe when the wind is really blowing. I was really afraid of an accidental jibe and I didn't want to end up in the water again so all my turns I actually did tacks. It actually worked really well, I had to make the turns quick but never once did it feel out of control. I also learned that when running you can't dump air from the sails! I ended up doing broad reaches instead so I could dump some air if it got too gusty. Although running was sort of relaxing because everything got so quiet with the wind at your back. Because the wind was blowing onto the dock again I had quite the trouble getting the boat docked with no help. I ended up sailing off the dock a bit then dropping sails and letting the wind slowly push me to the dock. Worked fairly well!
I had a great time out there and this really gave me the confidence I needed to take the boat out on the Willamette in Portland. I'm really excited to get it out on the river for the first time!