Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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Your questions are very basic, and I would highly suggest you get a good sailing primer, like Dave Seidman's The Complete Sailor, about $16 at the local bookstore. This will answer a lot of your basic questions, as well as give you a lot of useful information.
The sheets need to be secured to the clew of the sail so they can control it. If you use a single long sheet for both sides, you'll probably want to use a cow hitch or larkshead knot to secure it. If you use separate sheets for each side, you'll probably want to use a bowline on each.
As CF said, don't use a shackle on the clew, since it becomes a fairly lethal object when the sail is flogging. The bowlines may hurt, but won't kill you.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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