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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Near disasterous first sail
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-26-2014 08:27 AM
titustiger27
Re: Near disasterous first sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain jack View Post
having extras is always a good idea. i have a little 'sailing' bag that i keep with extra things i think i might need.
That is my next project... a sail bag... and attachments or tie downs.

The previous boat had both a cuddy and a little velcro sealed compartment (it was about a square foot of space, but held a lotof little things
05-26-2014 01:13 AM
captain jack
Re: Near disasterous first sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by titustiger27 View Post
Great idea.... I have been having anxiety attacks worrying about losing a clevis.

My worry solution is two part... I just ordered a couple clevis' with push locks (you push the button and the ball bearings retract. I am also going to attach flshing line to the stays and clevis so they don't disappear over the side.

The fear of losing things is greater than the reality (yet with the potential), but because of that I always have extra cotter pins and things in case.
having extras is always a good idea. i have a little 'sailing' bag that i keep with extra things i think i might need.
05-26-2014 12:57 AM
titustiger27
Re: Near disasterous first sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain jack View Post
i always worry about dropping tools overboard. when working on the boat, i keep a piece of light line handy and tie it to the tooll and the other end of it to my wrist. haven't dropped any tools, yet, but, if i do, i'm prepared.
Great idea.... I have been having anxiety attacks worrying about losing a clevis.

My worry solution is two part... I just ordered a couple clevis' with push locks (you push the button and the ball bearings retract. I am also going to attach flshing line to the stays and clevis so they don't disappear over the side.

The fear of losing things is greater than the reality (yet with the potential), but because of that I always have extra cotter pins and things in case.
05-26-2014 12:41 AM
titustiger27
Re: Near disasterous first sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
Having been a Naval Aviator in my prior life, checklists were a part of everything you do in an airplane. I carried that concept into my marine activities and have never "forgot" (or missed) anything important, (like a seacock for engine cooling water being closed). Highly suggest the use of checklists.

Dave

This is kind of funny... I just sold a 12 foot boat and bought a 15 foot boat...

For the owner of the 12 foot boat, I created a check list --- in reality it was kind of a list of the things I have done wrong on this boat. I am going to use the check list for my new (to me) boat, but I wish the previous owner would have created one for me..... Might even consider e-mailing him and asking for one
05-25-2014 11:46 PM
captain jack
Re: Near disasterous first sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by OZWILD View Post
The few short months we have been sailing "proper," we've yelled and screamed at each other, run aground, crash tackled the jetty with the bow, lost an antenna and six caps overboard, chosen the exact incorrect place for the rest of the club vessels to raft up, destroyed two halyards, been forced to navigate at night because we couldn't get enough speed out of the hull and dropped numerous tools into the drink.

Still we go out every weekend. Wouldn't do anything else.
i always worry about dropping tools overboard. when working on the boat, i keep a piece of light line handy and tie it to the tooll and the other end of it to my wrist. haven't dropped any tools, yet, but, if i do, i'm prepared.
05-25-2014 11:36 PM
captain jack
Re: Near disasterous first sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
Having been a Naval Aviator in my prior life, checklists were a part of evrything you do in an airplane. I carried that concept into my marine activities and have never "forgot" (or missed) anything important, (like a seacock for engine cooling water being closed). Highly suggest the use of checklists.

Dave
that's a good idea.

i don't use check lists. i make rituals and follow the precisely, each time. after a bit, the rituals become so ingrained you don't really have to think much to remember everything you need to do. the only thing that went amiss my first sail was that i forgot to put the plug in. i had always been in wooden boats, without plugs, so, in the dark the night i first bought that dinghy, i never considered it might need a plug. i got about 5 yards from the ramp and realized the freeboard was quickly getting smaller. i turned back and saw the problem. thankfully, i had an old wine bottle cork in my truck. after tipping the boat up to drain the water out, the rest of the night went really well.

that incident made me begin launch rituals. i didn't want that to happen again. i still sail that dinghy a lot and as insurance that i don't forget the plug, i keep it in a bag tied to the bow line. i never forget the bow line. tying on the bow line is the second step of my launch ritual. the cork is number 3. i do a similar thing with the plug on the holiday.

of course, i don't use a wine cork for the dinghy, now. i use a rubber cork, instead. i thought about getting a proper plug for years but, the rubber cork worked well so i never did.
05-25-2014 11:12 PM
captain jack
Re: Near disasterous first sail

i don't know the waters you sail but, i'd say forget the motor and sail from the dock. i have a 20' holiday. it's a centerboard sloop. it's the second boat i ever sailed. my first was a 9' dinghy with a single sail that i taught myself how to sail by reading books ( it was 18 years ago. no internet to learn from ).

here is what i always did to set sail in the hioliday:

bend on your sails. keep them all down. use your topping lift to keep the boom out of your way. as others have noted, there should be a gate or something to keep the slugs from slipping off the track. then, i'd back the trailer down the ramp. determine which way the wind is coming. using the bow line and stern line, maneuver your boat to the side of the dock that allows it to face into the wind. i am assuming a square or rectangular dock like at most ramps.

then, i'd tie the lines to the cleats on the dock and go park the truck.

once back in the boat, i'd raise the main. then, i'd lower the centerboard and rudder. sometimes about halfway if the water was too shallow to lower them all the way.

then i undo the bow and stern lines and shove off so that the boat heads off the wind as it leaves the dock. sheet in the main. once it fills and you are sailing, adjust your heading to where you aim to go and trim the main accordingly. after i was underway, i'd secure the tiller ( or have my girlfriend hold her steady as she goes ) and i'd go forward of the cuddy and unlash the jib ( which i'd have lashed to the fore deck to keep it from getting in the water). back in the cockpit, i'd hoist the jib and sheet it in ( or have my girlfriend sheet it in as i took my place back at the helm).

after i'd sailed her a number of times and knew her better, i'd hoist both the main and jib before shoving off and sheet in whichever was most advantageous first, as i launched. so, if i needed to fall off the wind to take my desired heading, i'd sheet in the jib first. if i needed to sail close hauled, i'd sheet in the main first.

if i had to leave the dock with the centerboard and rudder halfway down, i'd lower them both all the way as soon as the water was deep enough.

if you can't face into the wind, it's ok to be beam to the wind. if you have to do that, it's better if the wind blows you from the dock rather than to it. just remember that, when you hoist the main, you will want to let it run free. then, when you shove off, you will just sheet it in.

if you must set sail with the wind blowing you towards the dock, you need to shove the boat away from the dock as you shove off and you also need to make sure your sail, boom, and running rigging don't get fouled up on the dock, itself. i have set sail this way a loads of times, if the side of the dock i needed was occupied.

if you must set sail while facing down wind, hoist only the jib and sail til you can point up and raise the main. some boats don't balance well enough under jib, alone, to point but, most boats should be able to reach under jib, alone...at least long enough to get the main up.

that would be my advice. in the 17 years i have owned that holiday, i never used a motor once.
04-26-2014 02:50 AM
DayDreamer77
Re: Near disasterous first sail

My first day sail with my wife was interesting. We rented a capri 22 from my local club in San Diego. We sailed away from the dock with my wife on the tiller & me getting ready to unfurl the jib. As soon as we tack the boom crashing down into the cockpit landing on my wife & myself. My wife freaked out & so did I at first. Anyhow we were still close to the dock so we sailed back using the jib only (outboard motor would not start).

Turns out the bowline on the halyard had come untied.
04-20-2014 02:14 PM
Lemonshirt
Re: Near disasterous first sail

though the weather has been crappy all winter long, I have managed to get out a couple of times since my first outing. ...with much better experiences. Of course, I'm still yet to get my wife back on board.
04-20-2014 06:40 AM
PaddyMac
Re: Near disasterous first sail

I realize this is bit dated but I just came across your post and it brought up so many memories of my first days sailing on my beloved Balboa 21. I think I made every mistake you did and more! My biggest trials were with my trailer (including one unforgettable day when my buddy and I watched the trailer with boat attached go careening down the boat ramp and slam into a concrete wall! I can laugh about it now but still remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach. Shortly after that I found a slip for her in a marina. Fortunately nobody was ever hurt in all of our misadventures and we sailed the S#!& out of that boat over the years. She taught me many things as I am sure your Southwest Explorer will do for you. The nice thing about some of these older boats is they didn't know how much fiberglass was enough back in 1969 so they stand up to a lot of beginner mistakes! Enjoy!
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