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Old 06-22-2009
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Heeling is SCARY!

I'm using a friends Tanzer 22 this summer ... our first sailboat! While sailing around Portland Maine I had the 135% genoa up with the main and the winds started to get gusty (maybe 10-12 kts w/ gusts to 15-18 kts). I'm not sure how far a T22 heels but it FELT like it was to much! We dropped the genoa and sailed back to the marina under main only.

How far is to far? There are a lot of races around and I see a lot of sailboats heeling over but they are much larger than my '22 (it has a center board not a fixed keel). It really does scare my wife and I to heel at 25-30 degrees ... I'm I overreacting?
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Old 06-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christmasisland View Post
Am I overreacting?
Probably. Just ease the sails a bit to level the boat out until your wife is comfortable. Better yet, hand her the mainsheet and let her trim for HER comfort level. You'll get used to the heeling, but the first few times it's a bit scary.

I got all of that out of my system my first season. 17 mile solo race, more wind than was forecast and way too much sail up. I found that my boat is perfectly safe at 40-45 degrees of heel. Not fast, but safe. Above 50 degrees, the boat just rounds up and it starts all over again. I could even leave the wheel for long enough to collect an errant main halyard while heeled at a ridiculous angle. No problem at all.
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Old 06-22-2009
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I would agree with US27 let trim to her comfort, you might also want to put in a reef on the main and or jib. Another way to help her is how My wife got over those same fears and others and that was to get on as crew on a race boat. It did wonders for her convinced and skill levels, now she can't get enough .
good luck we hope to sail your part of the East coast some day

Peter
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Old 06-22-2009
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Thanks - there's no substitute for experience.

Now I have to figure out when to dump air or reef! Lots of discussion on that topic already so I don't want to bring it up here.

I think it will be a while before I go forward when ridiculously heeled, though
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Old 06-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justified View Post
crew on a race boat.
Peter ... the guy we borrowed the boat from is a racer. He went underway with us the first time to show us around. He was WAY to bossy for my wife and now she doesn't want to have anything to do with racing.

I absolutely agree that the experience would be wonderful but it won't be happening with her crewing a race boat!

We've been sailing every good day so far (not many of those up in Maine this year so far ) and with time I think I'll understand the limits of the boat, I just wasn't sure how far was to far.

A friend of mine said if the leeward rail is getting wet - sheet out.
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That is a good adage. We always say " when in dought let it out"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christmasisland View Post
Peter ... the guy we borrowed the boat from is a racer. He went underway with us the first time to show us around. He was WAY to bossy for my wife and now she doesn't want to have anything to do with racing.
Whereas my wife can't get enough of racing. (And yeah, we've crewed on a J36 where the captain could get moderately testy.) Here's the deal on a sailboat: Unless it's just a "dinner cruise": Failure to heed the captain could result in damage, injury or even death. (I exempt "dinner cruises" from that because, well, things are usually pretty light and laid-back on such.) In racing: Failure to heed the captain can result in losing, damage (very easily!), injury or even death.

Captains can be bossy because captains need to be bossy.

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I absolutely agree that the experience would be wonderful but it won't be happening with her crewing a race boat!
So go on your own.

Not having been there, I'll go out on a limb and suggest you may have a problem. A sailboat is unlike a powerboat. Somebody has to be in command (should be true on a powerboat, too, but...), and the others must heed that person or Very Bad Things can happen--very easily and very quickly. In fact: I was just reading a thread, here or on another sailing site, where the wives, in each case, were not heeding their husbands' warnings about the boom. In each case there was finally an incident where husband eventually became verbally forceful with said wife (as in "Sit the %#$! down NOW!"), just moments before the boom came across. Had the captain in each case not finally put his foot down, I am confident each of those women would be either dead or permanently crippled now.

Just for the record: This isn't a man/woman thing. This is a captain/crew (or passenger) thing.

Oh yeah, heeling...

Generally speaking (this depends on the boat): Anything over about 20 degrees, ineffeciency starts climbing. Again, generally speaking: When the rail's in the water, she's "on her ear," as we say, and not sailing efficiently. However: If you're just out messing around, it is fun to sail with the rail in the water, sometimes, IMO (Tho I'm finding as I increasingly come to appreciate proper trim, I don't find it quite as satisfying as I used to.)

Jim

Last edited by SEMIJim; 06-22-2009 at 01:03 PM.
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In each case there was finally an incident where husband eventually became verbally forceful with said wife (as in "Sit the %#$! down NOW!"), just moments before the boom came across.
That was me I wouldn't recommend that anyone use this method with their crew, especially their wife, but it was better than fishing her out of the lake and taking a trip to the hospital or worse.

Edit: I do try to be very calm when speaking to my crew (usually my kids) and take the blame for anything that doesn't go as planned, but safety is safety and if I have to turn up the volume to make sure no one gets hurt, I'm more than willing.
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Somebody has to be in command (should be true on a powerboat, too, but...), and the others must heed that person or Very Bad Things can happen--very easily and very quickly.
I think something got lost somewhere ... my (minor) point was she decided that racing was stressfull sailing and she likes "dinner cruise" sailing. When we went out with our friend, we were not racing. She (we) listens quite well and we work together to make sure all things get done efficiently and safely. I like to think we have destinations but not ETAs.

Anyway ... 20 degrees - great that sounds do-able.
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With good sail controls (esp traveller) keeping your heel to 20 or so degrees should be easy enough... steering technique helps too, as you can "pinch" up in the puffs the feather the sails a bit and take some heel off - just don't go to far or you could be in for an unscheduled tack! The centerboard version will probably be a bit more tender than the fixed keel one.

You'll soon get the feel of it, and realize when you're becoming overpowered, and also feel when you're not sailing to the boat's potential.

As a general rule it rarely hurts to "reef early", generally the first time you wonder if you should reef is the time to do it. Leaving it too late makes it more difficult to do properly because by then the winds up more than ideal.

It's always easy to "shake the reef out" if conditions don't build after all. Plenty of practice with reefing will make it near routine for you, eliminating another potential anxiety builder.
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