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post #1 of 12 Old 08-05-2006 Thread Starter
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Newbie Single-Hander

So, I took my US Sailing course and signed up for a membership. Took my first single-handed ride today (the center's keelboats are Sonars). Any thoughts on how to trim the jib for least worry? Sailing under the main, I managed to handle the boat just fine, but then I got antsy to go a bit quicker, so I hoisted the jib, which immediately resulted in near panic as I tried to avoid a booze cruise (Boston's Inner Harbor's pretty busy). Got the jib up, sheets in, and away I went, but could definitely have trimmed it better for the 10 knot winds.

Any advice? What do people think about Sonars generally?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-05-2006
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I like sonars, but solings are more fun, and some of the solings have a self-tacking jib, which makes sailing them single-handed much simpler. If you're sailing out of boston harbor's Boston Sailing Center, you can sail on either.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-07-2006
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Generally, if you can trim the main, you can trim the jib, the in-out sheeting angles are more or less in synch. Assuming the jibsheet leads are in the right place, just bring it in for close-hauled work until you can't pull it in any more without turning a curved sail into a too-flat and strangled-looking one. It's hard to describe how far in is "too far", you just get to recognize it from experience. Racers sometimes mark the sheets with magic marker to line up with a point on deck. You can carry the jib flatter in a stronger breeze, and ease it out a bit for a deeper curve shape in lighter air or choppier seas. The telltales along the luff of the sail will assist you.

Other than close-hauled, it's like the main, you ease it til it just starts luffing, then trim it just enough to put the luff back to sleep. On a broad reach to a run, it'll start to get blanketed by the main and look limp and useless. This isn't your fault, and you don't need to keep letting it out.

On a dead run, you can wing it out to windward, but you might want to save wing-and-wing and dead-running til you have a bit more experience, especially if you're singlehanding, since you're constantly on the edge of a jibe if you bear off a little too much.

Hope this helps with what I think was your question.

Last edited by nolatom; 08-07-2006 at 05:15 PM. Reason: adding info
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-07-2006
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Also, when in doubt, ease the sheets... as most people tend to over trim rather than not trim enough. If the sail doesn't start luffing immediately, you're over trimmed.

Also, don't make the mistake of thinking the main is luffing if the jib is actually backwinding it.

Small changes in sheet position make a huge difference. On my boat, a change of just three or four inches on the jib sheets or six-to-ten on the main sheet, which is a six-to-one tackle, can boost performance by almost a knot.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-08-2006
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Other options

Another option is to find fellow sailors living in the area (Boston) like myself to crew for you until you work out the kinks, if you're heart set on single-handing. I have a friend who has a J-24 membership that I sail with on a fairly regular basis. Craigslist is a good place to find crew.

c2csailor@yahoo.com

Tim
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-09-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks, folks. c2c: Definitely. I basically am trying to get out onto the water in a variety of circumstances & as often as possible, though, too. On the question of my sail trim: I was definitely undertrimmed. Realized later that I didn't have it rigged right, which could presumably ended in disaster.

Side note: Went out the next day on a Cal 29 and had a blast.

I think I'm hooked.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-09-2006
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Yes, getting hooked on sailing is very easy...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-14-2006
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-14-2006
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Don't know if the Sonar supports reefing, since i never saw the boat, but if it does, you can try reefing.

Also easing the sails will help.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-14-2006
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I don't believe most Sonars have any reefing options on them. Most will have "storm sails" available for use, but generally do not have mainsail reef points or a roller furling reefing system.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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