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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 05-12-2010
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dundee is on a distinguished road
Total noob

I just purchased a 1981 force 5 sailboat. I am completely new to sailing, and have learned a little bit from online sources such as this and watching you tube videos. I have to say that the first day of sailing was quite successful. With about 6 hours on the water we only flipped the boat 3 times and got bucked off once, in about 15-20mph winds up to 30mph gust in the afternoon.

After a first day I did come away with a couple questions.


As I'm sure most of you know, the force 5 sail is placed on the mast, then the mast is raised on the boat. Whats the best way to park this thing on the beach? I hate to leave the sail luffing in the wind while I eat lunch, but there is really no way to lower or reef the sail. I let the boat sit on the beach with the sail up and it ended up tipping over, though with the sail on the beach it did not catch wind and stayed put, so I left it.

So at force5sailboats.com I see that they have a zipper rig so that you can raise on lower the sail with the mast on the boat. Has anyone used this? I worry that the strain on the zipper with the boat under sail the zipper will end up falling apart.


What about the downhaul portion of the rigging? is this in place on this boat just to keep the sail and the mast in place, or is there a bit of sail adjustment that can be done from here. When and why would you adjust it? Also, every time I would get the rigging trimmed out (down haul/out haul/vang) the ropes slipped out of the clam cleats. A couple times I was able to tie figure 8s to stop the ropes from slipping, though I had a hard time doing that and sailing the boat at my skill level. Is that the only way, or is there a trick to that?



Also I understand that with the outhaul, you can adjust the shape of the sail, and the bigger the bubble the less efficient the sail is. Is it better to have a bigger bubble in the sail when running? Also should I be keeping the boom vanged down while in a run or is a 15 to 20 degree upward angle on the boom ok?

I know that theses are are completely noob questions, and I'm sure there are answers to these questions already in the forums, though I have not been able to find them in the application that I am using or not at all. Thanks ahead of time!

Last edited by dundee; 05-12-2010 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 05-12-2010
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nolatom will become famous soon enough
Your lay it down method on the beach is good.

Flatter sail for more breeze, and more vang too. So more downhaul, outhaul, and vang as the wind picks up. 15-20 degree ****-up sounds like you need the vang much tighter.

You must need new clam cleats, the teeth get worn down. Or else your lines are worn where they pass thru the clam. Try tying the lines a little different so you get "new" line passing thru the clam. if still slips, then it's a new clam for you.

Good luck! Once you can handle a Force 5, you can handle anything with a sail.
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Old 05-14-2010
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dundee is on a distinguished road
Thanks for the info! I kind of figured the lines needed to be replaced, but after looking at the clam cleats, it looks like its a combination of the 2 problems. Can't wait to get out again with the tips! Thanks again.
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