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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 10-18-2008
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I need a drink.

Last years boat we had an auto-helm so I didn't learn anything!!

This year, Catalina 30 with no auto helm on wheel steering I'm out by myself and I'm thinking I would like a drink. But that entails leaving the helm. So just how long will this boat sail straight with the helm locked.
I was on a beam reach doing about 4 to 5 knots, very little wave action. I locked the helm and tried to balance the sails. Nothing fancy, if it looked like it was about to fall off I would loosen the Genny and or tighten the main. Do the reverse if rounding up.
I was able to get it better but the best I was able to achieve was about 60 seconds.
On the way back close hauled I was able to get several minutes.
What tricks do you guys know so I can get a drink and stay on course?

Years ago on a O'day 22 with a tiller I rigged a block, bungee cord and some line and sailed a straight course for about 8 hours.
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Old 10-18-2008
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bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about
cooler in the cockpit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old 10-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
cooler in the cockpit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
That would be too convenient.
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Old 10-19-2008
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bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
That would be too convenient.
Your are a real sailor!!!!!! LOL
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Old 10-19-2008
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
unfortunately, rigging up self-steering on a wheel-equipped boat is a lot tougher to do than on a tiller equipped one. That is one major advantage of a tiller equipped boat. Most wheel brakes don't lock the helm sufficiently to hold a course, especially if the sail plan isn't properly balanced.
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Old 10-19-2008
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with all fun aside, David, People make sail adjustments to quick. leave the main alone. just try to balance the boat with trim on the head sail only. Yes you might have to leave your course for a minute. But never never never make to many adjustments to quick and to close together. give the boat time to react which can take a minute or two.
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Old 10-19-2008
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I just heave to. Make a drink. Move on. No hurry. No need to hold a course.
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Old 10-19-2008
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heave to. if you don't know how you have no business being out alone.

Giu has a great video about hoving to here:

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My long-keeler will hold a close haul with hands-off, pretty much all day.
I have yet to see one yet that will hold any other heading for long, but i have not sailed too many other boats.
Apart from close haul, the ship is always wanting to do something else.
Roll up your headsail, sheet your main in tight, and pour your whiskey quickly.
Better still, bring it on deck.
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bubb2's advice is right on. On my C30, I tie off my tiller and a bit of patience to balance with the traveler. Holds reach and close reach course beautifully, but I get bored after 20 minutes or so, so I don't know how long she'll really hold course. A cooler works best for me.
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