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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-10-2007 03:02 PM
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Of course, to do what Matt has suggested requires the wind be coming from across the land or docks... which may or may not be the case.

Not really... it depends on how the dock is designed. Many places have a square dock at the end of a long walkway near the ramp. This allows you to tie off the bow and let the boat point into the wind for just about any wind direction. Just depends on the dock.
07-10-2007 12:19 PM
sailortjk1 Have you tried launching from a beach or shore instead of the busy boat ramp area?
In my teenage years, I sailed a Sunfish. On busy days we would just carry it over to the beach and launch from there. Plenty of manuverablity, no other boats to contended with, and no ramp to get in my way.

A boat ramp is generally not needed to launch a small boat.
You should be able to do it from shore. (Unless the shore line is all rock or similiar)
07-10-2007 11:02 AM
Ahh those were the days...


I can't add anything to what these folks have said, but i will say that I, too learned on a Puffer. What a great little boat! I'm sorry i sold it! (I ALWAYS had a paddle on board and always used it getting away from unfamiliar docks with other traffic around - like impatient bass fishermen).
07-10-2007 10:48 AM
arbarnhart The Puffer is a 12' fairly light rowing/sailing dinghy. Unless there is fairly strong wind or current, a good shove should get you far enough out to begin sailing. When the sail is up and free, it is generally pushed off to one side or the other by the wind. When you get in and start to sail, you want to pull the sail back toward the center of the boat with your weight off center on the other side of the boat. Launching capsizes (a phenomenon I am all too familiar with) generally occur when you are on the same side of the boat as the sail is or wants to be.
07-10-2007 10:41 AM
knotaloud I teach sailing to kids at a local club. You wanna see a cluster, try it with ten, overanxious 12 year olds, all at the same time. Obviously the wind direction can mess things up, but generally, if you point the bow into the wind (or in that direction) with dock lines loosely wrapped fore and aft, then raise both sails (while still tied up) allowing them to luff. Then push the boom over it to catch the wind, when it fills, release the bow line. Then ease the boom as the bow comes away from the dock. Sheet in the jib on the leeward side. Let go the stern line and sail away. Easy right? Practice makes perfect.
07-10-2007 10:30 AM
skipwalker This is great info. I think I will love sailing as I have always wanted to do it, and this forum is very nice. Thanks.
07-10-2007 10:12 AM
sailingdog Cam... that's even more basic than what Seidman covers...
07-10-2007 09:25 AM
camaraderie Here's some good basics. Basic Sailing
A canoe paddle makes a good "engine" for getting away from the dock. (G)
07-10-2007 09:13 AM
sailingdog Of course, to do what Matt has suggested requires the wind be coming from across the land or docks... which may or may not be the case.
07-10-2007 09:05 AM
Stryker72 As a new sailor myself I have encountered the same problems. What I have done in the past when in doubt was to paddle out from the pier. Lately I have been doing as Txmatt recommended, point the bow of my boat into the wind and raise the sail, then head out.

Hang in there and it will get easier. Everytime I go out I have learned something new.
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