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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 08-16-2007
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Renting a Sunfish. . .

I'm renting a Sunfish this weekend. I will be practicing my basic mainsheet techniques, I but I started thinking, can I get more out of this time on the water?? So here it goes. . .

What is a good list of sailing techniques to knowlingly practice while I play on the Sunfish?
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Old 08-16-2007
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Not sure I understand what you mean by basic mainsheet techniques, or how much experience that implies. But how 'bout ..

Coming about
Jibing
Figure 8's
Stalling the boat by heading into the wind
Getting started again after being in irons
Righting after intentional capsize
Sailing backwards

An afternoon of that kind of stuff on a forgiving boat like a Sunfish and you should be able to make that thing dance. They're fun.

Kurt
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Old 08-16-2007
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To the above, I'd add:

getting away from and landing at a dock or float, if one's available;

rigging, launching from a beach, and landing again, since Sunfish are typically beach-launched;

Dare I say it? Intentional capsize and recovery (or unintentional works even better) since that can happen, too.

Upwind sailing in a breeze is a challenge in these boats. They have to be close-reached to get up speed after a tack before you can jam them up to close-hauled. And it's easy to pinch too much and stall out, hard to get going again, you have to reach off briefly, then head back up. So practice it if you can.

And have fun! That's the whole point, while learning.
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Old 08-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poltergeist View Post
Coming about
Jibing
Figure 8's
Stalling the boat by heading into the wind
Getting started again after being in irons
Righting after intentional capsize
Sailing backwards
Good list , I would say jibing is very important to practice....
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Old 08-16-2007
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Nolatom-

Most new sailors don't need to intentionally practice capsizing and recovery.
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Old 08-17-2007
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Although based on a Laser, this book (learn to sail in a weekend) is an exceptional tool! and covers almost all the issues above,...including capsizing and recovery!

worst case scenario, jump in and go. remember if your in doubt, let go of the sheet!
I miss my Sunfish
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Old 08-17-2007
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I learned to sail on a sunfish. This spring I got to sail one again in Cozumel. Great boats, simple rig. Have fun this weekend.
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Old 08-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin2375 View Post
Good list , I would say jibing is very important to practice....
Yes and no, IMO; I have sailed Sunfish a lot and have a similar lateen rigged dink (a styrofoam Snark that I fiberglassed). With their ultralight booms you can develop some bad habits if you aren't careful. So while I agree jibing is very important, you have to keep in mind that a bigger sail with a heavier boom can do some damage to people and/or rigging if it comes zipping across like you can get away with on the lateen dinks. So experiment to find when accidental jibes happen but remember you can't get away with that on a bigger boat.
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