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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2007
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Hello,

Sometime you just gotta get out there and try it.

Go for it, you won't regret it.

My only advice is to pick a day with just a little wind, like 5-10 kts and no higher.

As previously mentioned, head directly into the wind, then raise the main. Fall off onto a reach, then unroll the headsail (assuming you have a furler). Experiment with different points of sail, try a few tacks (not no jibes). Then put the sails away and motor home.

I think you should have a checklist of things to do, include things like

remove sail cover
remove sail ties
check that main halyard is clear
ease main sheet
ease topping lift
raise main
etc.

Good luck,
Barry
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2007
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Don't forget the reefing lines need to be loosened... or raising the mainsail can get interesting...

BTW, if something doesn't feel right—something is resisting or too tight... take a good look around, chances are the boat is trying to tell you something.
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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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  #13  
Old 06-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL

I think you should have a checklist of things to do, include things like

remove sail cover
remove sail ties
check that main halyard is clear
ease main sheet
ease topping lift
raise main
etc.

Good luck,
Barry
Very good suggestion (except I would raise the main before easing the topping lift )...you think you have it all planned out in your head until you get out there and suddenly there seems to be a million "doh!" things that pop up.

But I think there is no problem with teaching yourself how to sail. Not the fastest way to learn, but if that is how you want to do it than don't let anyone stop you.
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2007
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Great plan. Just a word of advice: be prepared to panic. Then, when it's time, let the main sheet go, let the jib sheet go. If the boat is still standing and you need to get out of the way of that tanker coming through, try using only one sail. It's easier with the main, but most boats can sail all points with just the jib too.
When the wind goes over 15 knots, drop the sails. If things get hary on the first day, just motor back and get on you 200mph dragster to cool down your nerves. Save the boat for the next time the winds are favorable.
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2007
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Umm... You really should only let go of the main sheet and jib sheets if they are not cleated or held firm, like in a self-tailing winch.... otherwise, holding on to them is much preferred.
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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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  #16  
Old 06-22-2007
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You didn't say, but I'll assume your 30' has an inboard aux engine. My advice would be for your first few times to leave it running (in neutral) while you putz around trying to figure out the sailing thing. Murphy's law of sailing says that everything will go fine until you are; a) on a collision course with another boat/dock/etc, b) about to run aground or c) in some other complicating situation. That is the point where you will screw up a tack, or get something jammed or break something that compromises your ability to make the boat go where it needs to. Having the engine running will be enough to overcome those tendencies providing you always leave yourself plenty of room for options.

Just remember sailing is like sex. You don't have to be very good at it to enjoy it, and, while the basics only take a few minutes to grasp, you can spend a lifetime perfecting your technique.
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Old 06-22-2007
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Thumbs up Go for it

Utah
Remember, primitive man first "sailed" across a river on a log while holding aloft a branch with lots of foliage on it. The worlds first sail..

From that point on, he made it complicated for himself but he impressed all around him.
It is up to you if you want to go the simple route or complicated route.
Start out easy and simple and add to your knowledge as you experience things.
Listen and feel..If it don't feel right, it probably ain't.
Let go and start again.

But most of all, have fun.
Good luck and tell us all how you went.

Jim.
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Old 06-22-2007
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SailorJim..."Remember, primitive man first "sailed" across a river on a log while holding aloft a branch with lots of foliage on it. The worlds first sail."

As Giu will tell you...it was the Portuguese who were the first sailors. Actually one of his ancestors was standing on a raft in his overcoat when a virgin walked by. You might call it a "flash" of inspriation!

(I know I'm gonna get photoshopped but I couldn't resist! )
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Old 06-23-2007
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Thumbs up Good One

Hey Cam.
Right on..

Would you believe that when I was writing that last post, I was thinking about Giu.
I was trying to fit him into it somewhere but you did it nicely.

Top shot mate..

Jim.
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Old 07-02-2007
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Our first trip sailing

Well I thought I let you know how everything went my first trip out.

My first plan to motor out during the week ended about mile from the slip. Motor started to over heat, so dropped anchor and replaced the impellor. Let me tell you that it can get very hot working over a hot engine on the water during the afternoon. But all went well and back in the slip for the night. A 6-pack and off to bed.

My wife will be the helmsman today for our first sailing adventure. Wind was 10 to 15 knots coming up the river and very little traffic on the river.

The next morning I was up early and check over the equipment, and headed out with the tide. Motored out of the creek to the river channel and headed her in the wind

Raise the main sail and she steered into a close reach (Port tack) the boat heel very little so I released the Jib sail the boat heeled a little more, not as much as I had expected. (Motor sailing) Everything check out ok so we cut the engine Sailing for the first time (GPS Speed 4.3 Knots).

Now the river channel not that wide so we had to change tack about every two minutes. We were able to tack without getting stuck in irons, and 3 n miles down the river we was ready to try a run back up the river.

We steered to a beam reach and then a broad reach as she was steering to a run the jib started to luff and I haul in the sheet to get it to the port side the jib filled with wind and I easy the main out to starboard.

Now we had average 3.8 knots going into the wind per the gps and now on a run we only going 2.9 knots and then 2.5 knots. (And I had to look at the GPS to tell if we were moving) Then I realize that the tide was going out and the wind had died to 5 to 10 knots.
We made it back to the creek at and average speed of 2.8 knots all was well till I tried to furr the jib and found it was lock up on something at the top. (No choice but to lower the jib. I could just see my sail falling into the water. I untied the halyard and let the sail down with no problem. My lucky day. I secured the sail and went back to the cockpit.

We steered to port with only the main came around to a close reach and tacked once with only the main and on the second attempt to tack with the main only we was stuck in irons, (I believe the tugboat pushing the barge stole our wind) not to bad for our first time I thought to myself. I lower the main and started the engine and back to the slip. We reinstalled the jib sail and repaired the furling, install the sail covers and tidy up some loose line had a drink. Overall we had a great time. And can’t wait to do it again.

Things we learned today:

1.That the boat was slow to act to steering but when it did we could tell we had over-steered.
2.I need to replace the rigging on the outhaul.
3.Need to look at the way the jib rigging (sheets was dragging across my shrouds while change tack)
4. Main sail need a good cleaning.

Thanks to you guys for all the good info. That made this possible. I now have 6.82 mile under my belt in 2 hours 32 minutes. No world record. But a great time.

I not sure my dog liked it for when we got back to the slip she jump off the boat and went to the truck as if she was ready to go home.
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