I got schooled on Monday - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 09-10-2008
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I got schooled on Monday

So Monday was a windy day on the Bay of Quinte. 20 knots, gusting to 25 maybe (no significant wave action). We went sailing with our sailing guru, the guy who guides us through our boating experience. Guru was at the helm, and we flew a 180 and full Main. Wow. He put on a clinic. I'm still trying to digest what I saw. So if you're relatively new to this sailing thing and you can find a great sailor to go out with, do it.

The second part of my schooling came from my wonderful girlfriend. This is only the second time I have crewed on our boat because I'm usually at the helm. The first time I crewed, nobody knew what they were doing, so I fit right in. This time, she had a thing or two to teach me (where to be when so that each tack is perfect, where things are stowed so that the boat is a safe and orderly vessel, etc., etc.). It was an eyeopening experience. I think that every skipper should try it. I have always appreciated her contribution to our sailing, but this experience really hammered home the unique perspective that she is bringing to our boat.
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Old 09-10-2008
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Wow dude, that's a lot of sail in those winds and a 24' boat. I bet that was exciting!

How exciting to have your best gal right into it.
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Old 09-11-2008
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Not all great sailors are good teachers... so you really have to be careful about that. I know one sailor, who is currently sailing a miniTransat for a living, that used to teach...he was a pretty pathetic teacher as sailors go... didn't seem to care that he terrified his students... Didn't explain anything worth jack. When I saw what he was doing, I mentioned it to the management of the school, and they took a second look and yanked him as an instructor.

In 20 knots of wind, in a J24, he hadn't rigged the boat to depower it and it was sailing at 30˚ or more of heel. My friend was a student in the boat at the time, and she CAN'T SWIM. She was terrified the whole time she was out. I happened to be sailing that day, out of the school's associated sailing club and wasn't too happy about it, since I had recommended the school to her.
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Old 09-11-2008
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A 180 and a full main in 20 kts, gusting to 25? You must've either had a lot of meat on the rail or you were sailing on your ear the entire time you were anything above a broad reach.

Jim
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Old 09-11-2008
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I'd rather have a 'guru' teach me to sail in the normal 5-10 kts one can expect than learn to sail on my ear.
I took my sailing classes in 35kts of wind, double reefed main and #2 jib, learned diddly squat about how to sail a boat as all we were doing was trying to keep our footing. Skipped most of the lessons because conditions were too rough.
Damned school has a policy of no refunds if you withdraw and never cancelling a class based on weather (Annapolis School of Sailing).

As to learning to crew, I single hand often enough to keep ahead of the curve on where stuff is on my boat, and fully appreciate what the Admiral brings to the experience.
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Old 09-11-2008
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It would have been time better spent on how to reef and change to a 100% head sail
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Old 09-11-2008
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I don't sail Oh Joy in 25 with a 150, much less a 180. I don't like shredding Gennys, BTDT.
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Old 09-11-2008
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As far a learning goes practicing selecting the correct amount of sail, reefing (remember it is easier to shake out a reef than put one in.) My rule of thumb is to be conservative. If the boat heals past a 25 deg incline you won't be going faster, and it won't be more comfortable.
It is great to practice COB, throw a pfd over and try a rescue!
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Old 09-11-2008
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I wouldn’t call this guy a “great” sailor. As others have said, 20 kts of wind with a 180 and a full main is a huge amount of square footage of sail to fly, doesn’t matter what boat you are in. Unless you were running down wind, I can’t see how you would be “sailing” without full burying the leeward rail and deck on well trimmed sails. If he had the sails trimmed to reduce heal and weather helm, they would be flapping excessively, thus putting wear and tear on the sail cloth. A better lesson would have been to go out with the 180/Full Main Combo, show you would overpowered was in terms of boat heal and weather helm, then showed you what to do to depower the boat. Change headsail size, reef main, sail on main or jib only, etc. Or even better still, recognize the wind strength right from the start and set the boat up for the conditions before leaving the dock.

When I took sailing classes, they spent most of the time doing MOB drills. Why? Because it teaches you have to handle the boat. We’d toss the PFD (MOB) at all points of sail and sail the appropriate course to get back to the PFD. When we were not doing MOB drills, we zig-zagged around tight mooring fields, again for boat handling skills, and then in more open water to learn and understand heel, weather helm, and sail adjustments without the need to turn constantly.

So yes, you were “Schooled” alright; too bad poorly, IMHO. Overall grade for the "Guru" D+. The "+" because apparently he got you back to the dock in one piece.

DrB
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Old 09-11-2008
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Apparently Mr. Guru...

Apparently Mr. Guru didn't teach you one of the principle rules in sailing "flatter is faster"..

Time would have been much better spent on "how to reef", "how to power and de-power for gusts" and how to trim the sails to minimize weather helm which like, sailing on your ear, dramatically slows you down..

Perhaps you might consider a new "Guru".
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-11-2008 at 02:05 PM.
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