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BC100700 06-01-2010 02:55 PM

Humbled and Excited but not totally discouraged
I may not have some of the terms correct, bear with me.

Went out on the first sailing experience with my Wife on Sunday. We purchased a 1973 14' Oday Javelin from Craigslist about a month ago and finally were able to get her up the cottage where she will be primarily used. After spending most of the day Saturday trying to figure out the rigging (it did not come with instructions and being a newbie it took a while). As I sat by the campfire Saturday night (and searching for any information on the Droid) I figured out the running rigging for the Mainsail which was the stumbling block during the day. I also discovered that the cleat for the main haylard was broken:mad: which would prove to be a bit of an issue. I also had one broken sail batten (two of them were made of wood and I did not notice the crack at first inspection, it only took 2 minutes in my 3 year olds hand to find the crack :) ).

Sunday, after figuring out the mainsail rigging and the boom (after the boom fell a few times. doh! I realized I had no way to support the boom when the sail was lowered.) (I was thinking that there would be something in the mast to support the gooseneck, but later research into this I found nothing except for a boom crutch that Oday used back by the tiller). Anyhow after a few head scratches and raising the sail and the boom raising up off the deck I realized that it was working properly so My Wife and decided to give this Sailing thing a try.

Out on the water we started out pretty good on a reach (I think that is the correct term) with me on the sail trim and my wife working the tiller. A couple minutes in, the boom and sail dropped a bit (because of the broken cleat) and we were a little discouraged. I fixed that with a pull on the mainsheet and off we went. We ended up heeling quite a bit and took on a little water at the stern. (I don't think that we had our weight adjusted properly as were on opposite sides of the boat) She turned into the wind and the boat came back down and we went on for a little bit. We continued around for a bit, heeling a couple more times and realized that we need to learn a little more before we are able to bring out the kids (we intend for this to be fun for them and we were thinking the heeling with inexperienced crew would have scared them and they are somewhat timid so it could have had lasting effects). At one point I lowered the jib as I thought the boat was too much for us and we did not heel again after that but the sail seemed like it was all over the place. I ended up losing one of the battens as I did not put it in properly. We were discouraged when were trying to head back to the cottage as their was no wind close to shore as it was clearing the trees and without a motor it was somewhat of a struggle to get back (until my brother in law towed us in with one of the waverunners). We were humbled by our lack of experience sailing into the wind and what to do when the boat was heeling (time for more research/reading/lessons/ and videos). We were truly excited because back on shore when we asked how we did the family all said "it didn't look like we didn't know what were doing". It will be a couple weeks before we get back up north so I have some parts to get.

At any rate, we had fun, got a little wet, got excited to go sailing again especially since we are learning together. Back on the beach we gave high fives to each other and wanted to go out again but the missing batten and the broken cleat held us back.

Sorry for the long post BTW but I know that people on this site will appreciate this and recognize newbie mistakes and maybe provide some advice for the next time.

Sailormon6 06-01-2010 05:11 PM

My only suggestion is that you enrol in any sailing class you can find. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and the US Power Squadron offer good ones that are very inexpensive. Also, the YMCA often offers sailing classes.

Otherwise, I'm amazed that you figured out how to rig the boat. If you've never sailed before, the hardware can be confounding. You did well, and each time you go out, it'll get better.

mdbee 06-01-2010 05:19 PM

Sounds like you are off to a great start. Classes are great, books, videos etc.

k1vsk 06-01-2010 05:22 PM

Good advice to take a few lessons, particularly if you intend to bring kids. One of the first things you should learn is how to dump the boat (tip over), how to get her back up and how to move as she is going over. You don't want the first time doing this to be in panic mode.
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BC100700 06-02-2010 07:45 AM

Thanks for the encouragement. I am actually planning on taking some lessons. My coworker has been sailing for many years and belongs to the local YC so I am planning on taking a lesson through his connections.

I figured out the rigging based on the internet. There is a lot of info on O'day Javelins so with thought and a few good web sites and tapping into the memories of sailing when I was a kid we managed.

Again, thanks for the info and encouragement in this journey.


ericread 06-02-2010 10:14 AM

This is soooo cool. It's fun to read about someone that's starting out. I also started sailing in dingeys as an adult. They are great fun to sail, and you will learn more aout sailing starting out that way as they also are a bit less forgiving.

I heartily agree with the post about learning how to dump the boat and get her back up. In the children's US Sailing class in Newport Beach (CA), they wait until the later classes to teach this to the junior sailors. Seems that it becomes more fun for the jumior campers to capsze, get wet and right the boat than to actually sail. The upside is that once the kids performed this maneuver a few times, they lose all fear of a capsize, and sailing became a lot more fun.

I have gone through US Sailing classes and ASA classes, and they all are really good in learning the fundamentals.

Have fun, and keep posting.

Eric Read

BC100700 06-02-2010 01:17 PM

Thanks Eric.

My wife did mention a lesson and we both agreed that it would be a good idea. In a trip around the lake on I noticed a couple of similar sailboats and figure I will stop by and ask them if I could go out with them. What the heck the worst they could say is no.


sharps4590 06-05-2010 06:39 AM

Congrats BC!! I'm enthused for you and your wife!!!! I bet you two will always remember your first sail. It's a hoot, ain't it!!! I'm exactly one sail ahead of you. We're going out again today for sail #3.

While probably nothing can take the place of lessons and experience I've learned about everything I know from this board, another board and the book Sailingdog always recommends, "The Complete Sailor" by Seidman and "The Annapolis Book of Seamanship". Both great books and I studied them for 3 months before it was warm enough here to sail. I haven't had any problems so far, have learned a great deal but I'm pretty chicken in how much wind I'll go out in for now. I wish I had the opportunity to take lessons and am glad to hear you are. Good luck!!!!


wind_magic 06-05-2010 06:50 AM

Sounds like you had a lot of fun! :)

Don't forget to take a little bucket that floats.

BC100700 06-07-2010 08:39 PM


Originally Posted by sharps4590 (Post 610053)
Congrats BC!! I'm enthused for you and your wife!!!!... the book Sailingdog always recommends, "The Complete Sailor" by Seidman

Thanks Vic for the kind words and encouragement. I purchased this book the first day back and have been reading in. There is loads of good information there. Congratulations on your journey as well.

I may have to seriously rethink leaving the boat at the cottage for next year. The hour or so my wife and I were on the water was fun. I might have to get a trailer just we can go on the weekends and weeknights...between graduation open houses and weddings we are booked solid for a couple more weeks. Looking forward to getting back up and trying some things.


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