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post #21 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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A few things that Tenuki forgot to mention.

To help de-power the mainsail and genoa, you can also add tension to the backstay and tighten the cunningham.

Step seven should be deploy Jordan Series Drogue...

Step Eight should be hold on and pray...

Panicking never helps.

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post #22 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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Cunningham! I knew I forgot something. I'm not sure a beginner should be playing with the backstay on a boat that probably doesn't have an adjustable backstay system. i'm thinking you use the cunningham before the backstay in any event, right? I know I do, but then I don't have an adjustable backstay so I don' use it at all.

I don't have a drogue, so for me step seven _is_ panic. Besides if I ever get to step seven in Puget Sound I'm in big trouble!


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post #23 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rshanks View Post


- I had a LOT of problems turning into the wind as opposed to falling off into a jibe. The boat would start to turn and then just stall and start to fall off again without ever making it through the turn. Is that normal under the higher wind conditions?


I just took my BCC class in a Erikson 3/4 keel. We had a really hard blow on the bay and had the same trouble tacking. The instructor had the helmsman hold and back wind the jib a bit to bring the bow through the wind, helmsman would yell "cut" and the crew would trim the jib for proper tack. It worked well, there might be some more trick from the old salts on the board.
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post #24 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GySgt View Post
I just took my BCC class in a Erikson 3/4 keel. We had a really hard blow on the bay and had the same trouble tacking. The instructor had the helmsman hold and back wind the jib a bit to bring the bow through the wind, helmsman would yell "cut" and the crew would trim the jib for proper tack. It worked well, there might be some more trick from the old salts on the board.
Another thing that can help a lot is easing the mainsheet, so that the main doesn't hold the stern, and prevent it from swinging over. As I said previously, it is generally a trick needed on catamarans... it can be useful on other boats though.

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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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post #25 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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When reefing the main or lowering a head sail how close to the wind must one head up? Does it require running the engine and an autopilot? without an aitopilot how should a solo sailer hold a course? My wheel doesnt have a brake... should i tie it off with line?
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post #26 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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Don't let the lack of control you experienced intimidate you. Do some research on your particular boats' handling characteristics. I had a similar experience shortly after purchasing my first boat, and later learned that my boat has an exaggerated tendency to head up in winds above about 15kts. Now I leave the dock with the main reefed when there is a chance of stronger winds, and I have learned to balance the boat by only unfurling a small triangle of the jib. Again, all Characteristics of my particular boat.

What you had was a valuable learning experience, now do your homework and keep practicing. Good sailing.
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post #27 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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You folks would've loved it this Saturday. Myself and two others left Elliot Bay with Gale Warnings up and had a ball. BTW, furling a 135 in 30 knots and 8' seas after a screaming reach that ya can't pull out of isn't a lot of fun and attaching the baby stay is even less so. However, both are considerably more fun then dousing a single reefed main and said staysail in 42 gusting to 60 and 12' seas dead on the bow in the twilight. Trust me on this. I'll post a full account later this week after I complete the aborted delivery.
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post #28 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66luders View Post
When reefing the main or lowering a head sail how close to the wind must one head up? Does it require running the engine and an autopilot? without an aitopilot how should a solo sailer hold a course? My wheel doesnt have a brake... should i tie it off with line?
You can lower a headsail on a reach, or close reach. On a broad reach (and maybe a beam reach too), you can't in a fresh breeze, too much pressure. and the wind's blowing the jib away from the forward deck, rather than onto it. But bear off a little more to an "almost run", and now you can again, because it's blanketed by the main. and isn't fighting you any more...

Turning to reefing the main, I think it's best done on a close reach. You hold the boat on course with just the jib, and the main's reefed pretty easily. Any closer to the wind, and it's hard to balance (or even just sail) the boat with jib alone, since the main's all aluff for reefing. Any farther away from the wind, and the main's going to be out too far to be reefed easily.

Yes, you can "cheat" on either of the above by using the engine for propulsion rather than your remaining sail, but it's better practice to do this under sail alone. In a ripping breeze, funny things happen to engines, like prop out of water, or fuel tank debris agitated into the fuel system.

As a potential solo sailor, your autopilot may hold you on course, but the nature of reefing is that you're eliminating a big piece of sail area, either forward, or aft, and not simultaneously. So don't depend on your autopilot to make that kind of adjustment while you're away from the wheel. You may have to make several trips back to the helm during the reefing process to keep her pointed where you want, whether your helm is on autopilot, brake, tied down, or none of the above. Alternative: if you're sailing alone, take the reef in at the dock if you're not positive you can do it alone out on the big blue. If you reef too early, you'll regret it a little, but be around to complain about it. Not necessarily so if the opposite.

Don't count on being able to use your engine in truly snotty conditions, learn to rely on sail.

just my opinion here...

Last edited by nolatom; 10-01-2007 at 11:43 PM.
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post #29 of 46 Old 10-01-2007
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nolatom - I was reading through the thread, just about to make the same point. If you find yourself in winds to strong, and you keep falling off when trying to furl the jib, let the boat fall off and let the pressure off the sheets, then furling will be much easier. Just be careful, as tjk stated, to not let the sheets tangle. Then it will be much easier to point back into the wind and drop the main.

Great men always have too much sail up. - Christopher Buckley


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post #30 of 46 Old 10-02-2007
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As a beginner I used to drop either the main or jib which gave me full control over the boat and boosting my confidence.
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