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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 09-16-2008
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Tacking procedure

So at the end of my lesson last night, I found out that we'll be getting tested soon, to be permitted to take out the school boats w/o an instructor herding us around. One of the qualifications of the test is using the proper technique when making a tack or jibe.

This school teaches the pass-behind method. This works great for me on the keelboats, but on the smaller 420s and Vanguard 15's (not to mention the Sunfish!) I have taken to making the transition facing the stern. I am 6' tall, weigh about 195 lbs, and between my size, the low boom, and the tiller extension, I just can't seem to tack cleanly with the "approved" method, something inevitably gets hung up.

Any advice on how to accomplish this? Also, why such a big deal? I have perused several sailing books, and it seems to be a 50/50 split on this technique.
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Old 09-16-2008
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The reason the pass behind method is preferred is so that the helmsman is always watching where the boat is headed and has a view of how the tack is progressing (sails, sheets, etc can get hung up). It's definitely the better approach whenever possible.

In reality, the size and ergonomics of some boats, as well as the stature or physical limitations of the helmsman, do not always permit the pass behind method.

In your case, I would pull the instructor aside and explain that because of your large size and the small size of the boat, it is nearly impossible to execute a pass behind without getting fouled in some way. The instructor should be reasonable about this requirement.

P.S. Congrats on the progress you're making!
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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
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Old 09-16-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
in that case, you really need to learn how to roll tack...

You simply duck a little, let the boom over your head, then cahnge sides..

It's trick to get it sincronized, but once you do it good, it's easy and you look like a pro..




Last edited by Giulietta; 09-16-2008 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-16-2008
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Does the tiller tilt? When I was learning, I had one of those "ah ha!" moments when I was having the same issue. By lifting the tiller up, out of the way, it allowed me to pass my arse through a little easier.
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Old 09-16-2008
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You have to do it the way that works for you first. The important part is to keep awareness and control and as long as that is maintained pass behind or not should not matter in passing the test - which is to tack or jibe not to execute a pass-behind.
I'm not as tall as you, but am not as flexible as a teenager anymore. I took lessons on a 420 this summer just to see if I liked dinghy sailing. I tacked and jibed the way I could, not the way they taught (pass behind).
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Old 09-16-2008
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Chuckles--I thouroughly enjoyed the tacking procedures you posted regarding your Gemini a while back. In watching the great videos Giu posted I can't figure out how one could roll tack without spilling one's beverage!!!!
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Old 09-16-2008
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Not to hijack the thread, but until I have a boat, I'm learning all I can from reading posts like these. What's the difference between a "pass behind" tack and it's alternative? (Which is called ... ?)
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Old 09-16-2008
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Farcry.
Cup holders.
Behind the chair on the left of the photo (next to the helm), and suction cupped to the area above the dash.
My cups are also 'tervis' style insulated, but made by Newport Tumblers -http://www.galleyware.com/default.asp?pg=products&grp=54 with rubber anti-slide feet
Planning is the key.
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Old 09-16-2008
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Chuckles,

Which model Grand Banks is that?

Just kidding. I love the lounge chairs!
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Old 09-16-2008
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Obviously, we only put them in the cockpit when we are on board
Seriously, the boat does heel
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