I just bought a small sailboat, and went out sailing for my first time. I thought I would share my experiences for the amusement of the veterans and the education of newbies like myself. Let me start with my selection of boat. I shopped online, mostly on craigslist for something small and used. It is my first boat after all, and I didn't want to spend much money. I got real lucky with a snark sunflower 3.3. 400.00 bucks and I'm in water. It appears in good shape to.
I took it home and set it up in my back yard. I have never rigged a sailboat before so I wanted to see how it would go together. The boom, spar, and sail were already put together saving me some time. Since the previous owner had sailed it I assumed he had more experience than I and that this had been done correctly. I inserted the mast into a hole in the splash cover and through a ring at the front end of the boom. There was a line attached to the spar. I threaded it through a pulley at the top of the mast, and raised the sail. At this point things got a little fuzzy. There was no place to attach this line. I was expecting a pulley to redirect the line, and some sort of horn cleat to attach it to for quick release. The only place to attach it was an eye bolt in the bow, just above water line. I would not be able to lower the sail without getting out of the boat. This didn't seem right but hey, what do I know!!!
There was another line, with two pulleys, each with a small clip like on the end of a key chain. In the center of the boom there was a pulley. I threaded the free end of this line through the pulley in the center of the boom, attached the next pulley to the back end of the boom and the final pulley to a ring at the pivot point on the rudder ( or is it a tiller?). I could see that this set up provided excellent control over the sail. Except for the serious question I had about the line for the sail I was ready for the water.
The next morning I loaded up the boat and drove out to lake Mascupic in Tyngsborough MA.Commonly known as lake view in this area. There were lots of people putting in big power boats, and jet ski's of all kinds. I decide not to embarrass myself in front of all these boaters. Not to mention all the choppy water and skiers would provide more than enough hazard. I turned around and went to Freemen Lake in Chelmsford MA. No power boats allowed
) The local veterans club has so far not complained about my launching from their parking lot. So I set up just like I did in the yard, I push off from shore, I slid my daggarboard in, and start fumbling between the rudder and the line on the sail. ( tack line? ). After a few minutes I stopped fumbling around and had one hand one each and had gained some control over the boat or myself, I think. I found myself zig zagging up wind( tacking ? yes). A problem I found was turning into the wind often got stuck in the middle the the sail flagging. The wind was very light and I couldn't get enough momentum to going to complete the tack.
I sailed up and down the pond a few times getting the feel of it. Finally after turning away from the wind one time I noticed the line on the back of the boom had become tangled in the rudder. The wind was picking up a lot and I didn't want to be without control of the sail so I gave it a quick yank. Suddenly and with a jerk, the sail caught the wind and turned me around. With my heart in my throat I leaned to the side, let out a little line, and steered for shore. I had no Idea that little boat could pick up speed that fast. I aimed straight for my truck, and plowed into the shore at full speed, grinding my daggarboard into the muck. I wish I had video.
By the way, I figured out the problem with raising the sail today. Hidden under the splash guard there are a couple of pulleys, and a rubber cleat that pinches the line and provides a quick release. the reason I didn't see it is that there are a couple of missing pulleys on the top of the splash guard that redirect the line. I'm just going to drill through the splash guard and put in a metal grommet so the line doesn't fray.
Any way, this is my first time posting here. I find forums like this a great way to learn new stuff. You get to pick the brains of the more experienced hands for free!! Hello, and regards,