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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 08-13-2011
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Overwhelmed, but happy...

Hi there,

I just bought a Camper Nicholson 33 3/4 Ton (thought it was a 345 when I first posted). Anyhow, this is alot of boat compared to my Coronado 27.

Sailing the Coronado was so simple, this new boat though, has so much more "stuff". For example, I'm used to a simple whisker pole. This things has two ginormous poles with machined ends and cars at the mast.

Also, a huge brightly colored sail. A spinnaker or a drifter? I'm thinking I could spread it out in the lawn to check? Then study up.

I need to learn this boat before I take my family out and sail proper. I may just use a no. 1 jib downwind until I get all the gear figured. What should I read, or where to look for info on how to transition from what I've been used to on my small cruiser to this big old racer/cruiser?

Totally stoked about the whole thing- just want to make the leap without getting wet or hit in the head...

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 08-13-2011
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99.9% chance it's a spinnaker. There is a ton of information about flying spinnakers online, both in print and on youtube, or you can just go to a book store and buy something like this:

Amazon.com: Sailing For Dummies (9780471791430): J. J. Isler, Peter Isler: Books

and see chapter 12. Then, find a friend, aquaintance, or experience dock neighbor to take you out, help set up your boat (or go out on theirs), and show you how to fly your chute. You might also want to fly a smaller jib at first if it's blowing any more than 8-10 kts. The loads on the sails will be much higher than you're used to. Keep your fingers out of the winches. At 33-34' feet, you have to be a bit more respectful of the forces involved.
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Old 08-13-2011
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A rule of thumb is that the loads cube with doubling of size of sail area.


Big Boats can be a handful at first - but are great for long weekends away.
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Old 08-13-2011
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What does the 1/2 or 3/4 ton refer to?
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Old 08-13-2011
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Google "PHRF rating explainations", set your snooze alarm and start reading. It refers to an arcane rating system that mainly probuced boat that had fat mid ships and pinched bow and sterns. Most of the were a bitch to control downwind and needed larger crews on the gunnels for anything resembling stability. Within that rating system boats became non-competitive quickly as new boats found new ways to exploit the rating system. 3 or 4 year old boats that originally did well in class soon became the dogs of the fleet in races as newer boats came on scene.
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Old 08-13-2011
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I beleive it was not PHRF but the IOR rules that had the ton classes. it is a measurement rule formula. instead of having a handicap rating and winning on corrected time like PHRF. the boats would be built to fit into a ton class set of measurments so all the boat in a class would be equal in performance and be racing for first place with no handicap time penaties. it was more exciting then PHRF because you always knew where you were in the race like one design racing. but you needed a new design every couple of years to stay compeditive so it was very expensive to race not like PHRF isn't expensive.
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Last edited by overbored; 08-13-2011 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 08-13-2011
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Flapping Dacron

So... Fingers out of the winches- good advice as well as the thoughts about sail load. I've always had a tendency to cheat a bit when sailing, i.e., not using a winch handle and just spinning in sheets with a single wind on the winch in moderate air, etc. Looks like the weights and measures are beyond the bicep and body mass. Really appreciated that perspective- likely will save me some rope burn or broken fingers at the very least.

My plan is to undersize sail for conditions until I get the feel for the boat. Like putting a smaller jib up than seems justified, and only going out in a fresh breeze, with an even more vigilant eye on the weather until I have the feel and rhythm.

Is it right that the spinnaker pole would be the beefiest pole on deck, and the smaller one would be a whisker/jockey pole? I think flying the kite will happen later on- I've been spooked by videos of broaching. Great advice on getting a more experienced gang to help me on that when the time comes.

I'm sailing in Puget Sound with winds that typically run 5-15. Is there a standard scale for the use of the jib numbers for all boats? That is, is there a rule of thumb for when to use a no.1 jib, or no.2 when looking at wind speed? On my Coronado, I had a storm jib, 100%, and lite Genny. I would pick by feel, and lessen sail according to comfort. But still, I knew that a close reach with that Genny would get a bit uncomfortable with 12kt gusts, so I'd plan accordingly. Hope there is a chart somewhere with kts and sail recommendations- or I'll need to make one for my boat. There's a bunch of sails...

Again, your advice is greatly appreciated

-Phil
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Old 08-14-2011
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Phil, if you're near Seattle, PM me. I'd be happy to go out with you, or you can join us for a sail. Jib numbers... really depends on the boat, the number of crew, your trimming skills, and point of sail. About your two poles, yes, the larger pole is probably your spinnaker pole. The other, if much smaller, may well be a reaching strut.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 08-14-2011 at 05:57 PM.
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