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sharps4590 03-20-2010 08:05 AM

2 questions, simple for all but me
As I read through this forum I am amazed at the volume of knowledge. An incredible source of information and I'm grateful to those who started it and those who so generously post "what they know". I read posts I can barely understand about going faster and farther and I'm so new I'm still learning how NOT to turn over the darn boat!! One of these questions is about that

My boat is a Buccaneer. Let's say I'm running on a close reach in gusty winds, small inland lake sailing, and the boat gets hit with a gust and feels as if it is about to go over. Is the quickest and best response to turn the boat directly upwind, as if to put it irons? That is if one can react quickly enough. I know I'm gonna spend some time swimming but would like to reduce that as much as possible.

Second question. My main sail has no reefs on it. Will it do any harm to the main if I were to sew or have sewn 3 or 4 reefs, 30 inches up from the boom? I'm thinking I'd like to start out this spring with a shorter main and from what I have learned it's just a good idea to be able to reef the main on a Bucc.

Thank you


gaha_1 03-20-2010 08:39 AM

1.I would just dump the main,Heading up will slow you down dumping the main will let the boat stand back up. 2.I don't think it will hurt the main

T37Chef 03-20-2010 09:56 AM

My first keel boat was a Buccaneer 20...:)

Easing the main-sheet or traveler sheet with the gust is better, but pointing up a bit is acceptable IMO, if its a significant gusts its safer to release the sheet.

No more than two reef points would suffice, but considering where you're sailing, and the boat, you could fly just one sail for now ;)

My $.02 ;)

sharps4590 03-20-2010 04:13 PM

Thank you gaha and T37. Being such a noob I completely forgot about dumping the main. I just hope I can remember all these things come spring!!


sailingdog 03-20-2010 07:04 PM

I would highly recommend getting and reading Dave Seidman's book, THE COMPLETE SAILOR, which is about $16 in the local bookstore.

Easing the main sheet is a good idea when headed upwind, and adding reefing points and putting in a reef when you first think that it might be a good idea are key.

T37Chef 03-20-2010 08:40 PM

your other option is to get a boat with training wheels like Sailingdog has...:)

sailingdog 03-20-2010 08:56 PM

Nah, he couldn't handle it... either could you. :D

Originally Posted by T37Chef (Post 583162)
your other option is to get a boat with training wheels like Sailingdog has...:)

Waltthesalt 03-20-2010 09:20 PM

Two reefpoints should be enough. Have a sailmaker put them in and they'll advise you on how much sail reducion each should be. Taking in too much sail area on the main with a third reef can give you a lee helm which will make you boat want to fall off. If your rig is a sloop letting your jib back wind the main a bit in higher winds helps reduce the force on the main and let you still point well. One rule I use is to NEVER cleat the mainsheet. A cam cleat is ok as long as it's easy to get to to uncleat when you're heeled way over. Luffing up in gusts works but you gotta keep on some headway so you can steer. It's not that you'll get in irons so much that the boat will slow to the point that when it falls off from the wind you won't have enough way on to control the boat and it will take the wind on the beam and if you haven't or cant ease the sheets the wind will blow you over again.

sharps4590 03-21-2010 07:05 AM

Walt & Sailingdog, thank you also. Training wheels.....would that be a trimaran?

The Bucc's main sheet is through a fiddle block with a cleat so don't cleat it there either? I did look up backwinding the main and I understand that, thanks.

Seidman's book came with yesterday's post rider and I dove right into it.

I obviously still can't "talk the talk". I didn't mean 3 or 4 in up the sail vertically to reef. I meant 3 or 4 ties horizontal with the boom. From what I've learned about Buccs one reef at 30 inches should suffice. Any correction gladly accepted!

As it's been close to 30 years since I sailed, and that was a dinghy, I fully intend to start with the main reefed and no jib flying. I must be getting more conservative in my dottage.


Waltthesalt 03-21-2010 10:10 AM

The camcleat shuold be just fine to cleat off. It should be set up so just lifting up releases the sheet.

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