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post #1 of 17 Old 09-11-2008 Thread Starter
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How to enter harbor

I have been renting a Hunter 320 in Chicago and I have a question about entering the harbor. I recall that when motoring in, our sails should still be up in case something happens to the motor. But one day when coming it, the wind was across our beam and we had a tough time getting the mainsail down. The last time I was out, I noticed most other sail boats taking down their sails before entering the harbor. Which is correct? And if you are supposed to leave the sails up, what is the best way to lower them if you aren't facing into the wind?
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-11-2008
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I think it all depends on the conditions and what you're comfortable with (and knowing the condition of your motor). Generally, for the purposes of entering the harbor I drop the sails when it's convenient and motor in the rest of the way. I usually don't motor sail in the harbor.

As with anything, it's prudent to be ready to raise the sails if needed. Keep the halyards organized and maybe have a plan to get them up if needed.

I sail.
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-11-2008
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Typically you don't want to try to drop the main without being head to wind... so if you want to sail into the harbour (and if it's legal to do so) then wait till you have a little "sea" room inside the harbour to round up and drop the sail.

If the harbour doesn't allow for this then you're probably better off to douse the sail outside.. but as mentioned above have things ready to go up if need be.

The two major boat harbours in our area forbid entering under sail, and I've been "yelled at" (loudhailer under a bridge) by harbour traffic control once for sailing in when we were really motoring with the main still up! In the one case it's a concern over conflict with heavy shipping in a narrows, in the other it's buzzing with tiny people ferries.

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-11-2008
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If your in Monroe Harbor on a Mooring Can, you might be able to leave your sail up all the way to your mooring. There is in gereral a lot of room to manauver in Monroe, just be careful because you have a lot of boat traffic in that harbor.
Any of the other harbors in the Chicago system and I would have my sails down before entering. They are all way to congested and additionally have way to much boat traffic. A 32' boat is not like sailing in on a 420 or a dinghy. And like Merlin said, have them ready to go back up in an emergency.

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-11-2008
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Often, dropping the mainsail is a good idea, especially on a boat with roller furling headsail, since the RF jib/genoa can be deployed relatively quickly and easily in case of an engine failure.

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post #6 of 17 Old 09-11-2008
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OK this is something I don't know. Why would one WANT to be ready to raise sails in an emergency? What are you talking about?

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post #7 of 17 Old 09-11-2008
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Originally Posted by harpguitar View Post
OK this is something I don't know. Why would one WANT to be ready to raise sails in an emergency? What are you talking about?

Rick
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-11-2008
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Cool

Well, if your motor died you could sail into your slip versus being blown onto the rocks. That is the emergency situation they are talking about.
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And if you couldn't sail into your slip, you could probably get back out to where it would at least be possible to drop an anchor safely.

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post #10 of 17 Old 09-12-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! Lesson learned...I will drop the sails before entering. But I will be ready.
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