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Old 07-02-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

Help,

Can someone tell me what is the correct procedure to stop a boom from swinging from the leeward to the windward side, in quick succession? This happened to me when I left the dock on my first solo sail yesterday. My instructor gave me a very complicated answer that I did not fully understand. Any assistyance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks....
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Old 07-02-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

It sounds like you did an accidental jibe. A jibe is when the wind passes across the stern of the boat from one side to the other (as opposed to a tack in which the wind passes across the stern of the boat from one side to the other). In a tack, the boom swings with the comparatively slow speed that the boat is turning, but in a jibe, the boom swings with the usually much higher speed and force of the wind.

When you want to jibe it is important that you do so in a controlled manner. Intially this means bringing in the mainsail to the centerline of the boat before you make a slow turn putting the stern through the wind. Once the mainsail has crossed to the new leeward side, ease the mainsail back out before turning onto a reaching course.

In practice this is not all that hard taken a step at a time. To prevent accidental jibes while learning to sail, avoid going dead down wind until you feel comfortable with your boat handling and wind direction detection skills.

Jeff
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Old 07-03-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

Thanks for your answer. I understand now. It is greatly appreciated. I will be more cognizant next time. SHould I pull in on my mainsail if this happens again or just change my course from a dead down wind course?

Eric
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Old 07-03-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

I would alter your course from dead downwind until you have more experience and confidence in handling the boat. It really is not all that hard to sail dead down wind in steady conditions but in shift conditions or waves it takes a concentration on the small clues that something is about to change and a bit of finesse, both of which come with experience. There is no sin to learning a step at a time, we''ve all been there.

Jeff
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Old 07-07-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

Jeff_H
Thanks for your experienced answer. I really appreciate all the information you have provided for me and the sincere and relaxed way you have offeredmit. Thank you
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Old 07-07-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

I would like to thank you for your sincere assistance. I appreciate the fact you did offered serious and credible information to me.
If I could ask you just one more question, I realize I am pushing my luck, but I desperately need the info.

When I first leave a Mooring should I have my Mainsail up with the Jib, or just the Jib or Just the Mainsail?

This question is the only other area I show a weakness in so far in my very limited sailing career. Thanks again...
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Old 07-07-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

This will vary with the boat and the amount of room down wind. If you are on a boat that sails well under the mainsail alone and have some room downwind of the mooring, then leaving under the mainsail is fine and probably is preferable. If you are in tight quarters then the jib can be helpful in maintaining control. Backing the jib to weather as the mooring is released allows a precise way to turn the bow in a specific direction and then by trimming the sails in concert they allow you to build speed and control in a very precise way. I would practice this manuever in an open area with a floating object such as a speed marker or crab trap float. I would practice approaching the object from down wind and gaging the distance so that you end up stopped in the water next to the marker (or slightly down wind of the marker). Once stopped I would practice steering with the sails and rudder to reliably go off in one direction or another and at a specific angle. Doing repetative practice exercises like this not only builds boat handling skills, sail interaction skills and an understanding of how a boat behaves at low speed, but the confidence to do more complex manuevers.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 07-08-2003
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Question? Swinging BOOM?

Jeff,

Thank you, once again your detailed answer is clear and concise and makes a lot of sense to me. I will practice this manuever today. Thank you for all of your assistance. It is greatly appreciated.

Eric
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