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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 05-29-2010
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Welp...I'm learnin'!

To all you guys who have been sailing for years, watch yer back trail...I'm a'gainin' on ye!!! LOL!

Yea, right, in my dreams. However, this week I've had two sails in my Bucc. Both on a little lake here in the Ozarks. I am thrilled at how much I learned so quickly....but isn't that the way it often is, that you learn...maybe experience is a better word.... a lot of things that are really fairly obvious then the learning curve becomes a lot longer.

At any rate, both sails were on bluebird days with light and variable winds...learned that for me light, variable winds coming off these ridges and outta these draws can be a might confusin' even watching the true wind indicator and waves...it moves so often. Also, it seemed to me that I could feel the wind pick up on my face before it actually had an effect on the sails. Is that right or am I just imagining that?

Had the pleasure and rush of gusts that would last for from a few seconds to almost a minute...it is a small lake...and the sails popping full, boat heeling over and the rush of water past the hull then feeling the smile on our faces....then tacking back through my own wake.

We got a rigging problem figured out so nothing is difficult now. And the best part of the first sail was that my oldest son and his wife were home from Omaha and he went with me. It was his first time on a sail boat and my first in 30 Years. He got a big thrill out of it too. He's usually quite reticent but I knew he was enjoying it immensely when a gust popped up, the boat heeled over, took off and he yelled.....he never yells...."YEA DAD!!!!! WE'RE DOIN' IT NOW!!"

I want to thank everyone on this board. I've read so much of it trying to learn as much as I could. The generosity of all you who share your knowledge is greatly appreciated. It certainly made my first two sails a pleasure and as far as I'm concerned a success. Thank you.

Vic
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Old 05-29-2010
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Sharps - I'm stealing this story for the BFS thread. This is what it's all about!

Congrats dude.
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Old 05-29-2010
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Good job, Vic! Sorry I never got back to you re: rigging. It's been Hell on Toast around here, with limited internet & Bucc18 face time to spare. Heh. I haven't even put the hiking straps back in the Bucc yet -- tho I'd best remember to, cuz you aren't going real far w/out them! You'll learn fast on that boat. Just watch your head on the boom, & if the wind starts kicking, get to shore. Any shore.

It's easier to advise than to do, but soon as the water is warm enuf, you should practice capsizing & righting the boat. The first time is slow and confusing and beats you up a little. Also, you'll find out which stuff floats away, how the sails behave, etc. Much better to run thru it on a calm day, near shore, with somebody watching from shore than to try it first time in 25kts in the middle of the lake. It's an easy boat to stand back up, but there is a knack. Make sure your rudder is pinned to the transom, or it can go bye-bye!

We splash the SJ21 tomorrow, hooray. Bucc needs to wait a few weeks; water's still in the low 40s and may actually get colder: the high mountain runoff is just beginning now, and the water pouring into our lake was snow a few days ago. But hey. We have a lake again, so who's complaining?

BTW, on real glass-over days, when the wind seems totally nonexistant, try easing the jib and the mainsail downhaul/outhaul quite a bit to bag out the center of the main. Then sit on the low side and induce ~ 20 degrees of heel. Really lean that sucker, until the rail is almost in the water. Bet you start moving. I've never seen a boat go in dead air like the Bucc will, once you reduce its wetted surface.
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Old 05-29-2010
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Ahhh Bob...I remember those days when we lived in Star Valley! Back here in the Ozarks it was summer and we were waiting for our very last snow, most water was snow yesterday and you still used neoprene waders in the Salt River, Strawberry Creek, The Grays....and any other water you fished...if you even bothered to fish it.

Glad you're getting a lake back and a boat on it! We lived there 3 years and I never did see the Palisades Reservoir anywhere near full. Sorry you've been experiencing Hades on Toast....life on lifes terms huh.

The rudder had a bolt in it instead of just a pin when I got it and you'd told me that also. Back 30 years ago when I was sailing the neighbors dinghy I dumped it over fairly regularly and I well remember the routine for it....didn't remember much about sailing but I DO remember how to right that boat....hehe. The Bucc is a lot bigger boat but I'm also a lot bigger guy than I was then....unfortunately out and not up. I do want to dump the Bucc sometime tho just to have that experience under my more than ample belt.

I don't recall if you told me about easing the sheets/downhaul/outhaul in light winds or if I'd read it here or in one of my books but we had them out as far as seemed applicable. We always moved but barely sometimes. We didn't sit to the leeward tho and I'll try to remember that next time out. We're pretty much past those strong spring winds we have around here. For a while now it's going to be more of a problem getting good sailing winds. I'm pretty comfortable in the boat and it's more stable than I was anticipating. You told me it heels quick and while I have nothing to judge from I'm going to agree with you!

Smackdaddy, thank you....and use whatever you need or find useful outta the post with my blessing....and may I ask what the BFS thread is?

Vic
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Old 05-29-2010
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sharps...what is BFS? Why it's only a collection of the best sailing stories on the whole damn web! And my raison d'Ítre!

Big Freakin' Sails

Keep sailing big dude!
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