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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #31  
Old 02-25-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

I'd think it'd be worth investing in a sailing instruction book. There are many good ones. For me (maybe I'm just old) having a piece of paper with a drawing showing the points of sail and how the sheets should be handled is invaluable.
Sailing: The Basics: The Book That Has Launched Thousands: Dave Franzel: 9781585748075: Amazon.com: Books Sailing: The Basics: The Book That Has Launched Thousands: Dave Franzel: 9781585748075: Amazon.com: Books


one I have that's less than $10.

There are many good web sites, too. But unless you print out the pages, you can't take take the web with you. And, IMHO, there's a level of quality from a book that is published and printed that tends to be a cut above random web sites.
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

A lot of good information for you; some of the questions you are asking understandably jump from the basic to the more complex, and I though some basic ones may not have been addresed, so...

* When you are trying to sail close to where the wind is coming from (as you know you can't "point" directly at it), your jib and mainsail will be tight. Your boom will probably be in the middle of the boat. The travller helps you keep the boom close to the midline ("close hauled").

* When the wind is behind you, the jib and the main are loose, so the sails are spread out ("Running".

* When the wind is coming from the side, your jib and main are half way out ("reaching").

* In general, it is better to tack - that means turn through the wind. Gybing can be tricky for a beginner, because your boom swings from way out on one side to way out on the other. It can swing very fast unless carefully controlled, possibly injuring you or damaging your rig.

So next time you go out, gently steer closer to the wind, tightening up both jib and main. If the sails start flapping (even though you tightened them up), then you are pointing too close to the wind - so turn away from where the wind is coming from until the sails get tight again.

And if the wind gets too strong, letting the mainsail out tends to reduce the power...

Have fun!
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  #33  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

Quote:
parts of boat flying everywhere etc.
And when you don't yell "Gybe-ho!", you blow the gooseneck into 20 pieces and shred the luff. Did that in 8' seas off Montauk. Learned to sew that day. I was 21.
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  #34  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

It is better to learn sailing from someone else, but it's not so complicated that you can't do it from reading a book and/or watching a video, as long as you start out in gentle conditions. But my advice to anyone learning on his own in a small boat like your is DO NOT GYBE until you have several days experience. Learn what direction the wind is coming from and never let it cross behind you. If you need to turn in that direction do a 270 instead ("chicken gybe").

Gybing is one of the more dangerous maneuvers that you can make, do don't do it until you fully master tacking. After you've mastered tacking, hit the books and videos, learn how to sheet in the main for a carefully controlled gybe, and go at it after you have some experience.
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  #35  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

You don't need a motor a paddle will do - its a lot cheaper, lighter and more reliable

Sounds to me like you probably had other things than the CE preventing you sailing upwind - likely not having the jib sailed correctly, and enough headway or enough daggerboard down. Just to nay say some earlier posts I've found most boats I've sailed will sail on head or main alone just not as well as when you have all designed for sails flying nicely.

Find someone to go sailing with - offer beer at your local marina in exchange for a lesson, it'll be more fun quickly than teaching yourself the first few steps.
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Last edited by theonecalledtom; 02-26-2013 at 01:39 AM.
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  #36  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

Since people are generally fearful of that which they do not understand, instead of buying a motor, perhaps it would be more fun and effective for the OP and his wife to learn to sail together. My wife did not know how to sail when we met in 1978. We bought a GP-14 and I taught her to sail. Today, she a highly competent sailor (if non-technical) that I trust with my life. She is the only one who I trust to belay me when I go aloft. When one is an active participant instead of a bystander, they tend to enjoy it more. Just a suggestion based on experience.

After her first overnight race 2 years ago, her quote was "That was a blast!" She's the one in pink on the rail in the photo above.
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  #37  
Old 02-28-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

Before you go out on the water,always bringing a floatation device and knowing in advance how to swim.No doubt it's great initative.Better to learn sailing from someone else.
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  #38  
Old 02-28-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

It's not the actual sailing that's daunting. It's the plethora of rules, regs and protocols that mire one down!
I wanna weather-proof flip chart ; big enuff to read across the 'pit, with alla the rules and regs; but it seems it would be too large and heavy for the boat!
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  #39  
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

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Originally Posted by davidryan8100 View Post
Before you go out on the water,always bringing a floatation device...
I strongly recommend always WEARING a pfd - don't just have it with you. If the boom knocks you out and you fall overboard, having the pfd sitting in the cockpit may not do you much good.

This is doubly true for a 14' boat...and even more important for an inexperienced/untrained sailor, given the likelihood of making a costly mistake.

There is a guy who came here last September for advice (I know his name and userID, but won't identify him here). He went out and bought a mint condition Flying Scot (refurb direct from manufacturer) and took it out last fall. On his very first time out he capsized and needed a rescue boat to come get him. He had rented several boats before, up to 25' long, and thought he knew what he was doing. From talking to him online, I thought he knew what he was doing! But he capsized, and would have drowned if he didn't have his PFD on.

This kind of stuff happens. Wear your PFD. You'll live to have your family thank you for it.
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  #40  
Old 02-28-2013
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!

Want to learn how to come about/ gybe...rent a Hobie Cat 16. has a jib and main. It unforgiving. If you dont do a controlled jib...you drink water. It teaches you the timing on pulling you main in as your tail goes through the wind...it also teaches you how to handle the jib at the same time and time it. Same thing with coming about on a Hobie. If you **** to soon...you stall and go into irons. If you smootghly go through , back wind the bib a little before pulling it through it urns the boat the correct way and speeds the bow through the wind. Same principals for the keel boat. Just accentuated on a Hobie cat. I see many people for instance when tacking start tugging on the jib or relaease it too early when comming about. best thing is to go woth someone experience who will help you walk through it multiple times. Whats nioce about a hobie is you acn tack..gain speed...tack...gain speed etc a milliontimes in a small distance and practice and learn it through repitition quickly.

Dave
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