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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-15-2003 03:56 PM
Fear of Heeling

I came from a motorcycling background so fear of heeling was not a problem when I started out sailing.
It was the "gee we are taking a long time to get round this bloody corner!" syndrome I had to get over.
11-19-2002 05:01 AM
Fear of Heeling

I too have a fear of heeling. Don''t know that I will ever get over it. But I do cope. I was steering in about 15 - 20 knot winds when a gust of wind came and blew us over. My husband knew what was going to happen and never said or did anything to stop it. He wanted me to understand that the boat will come back up when the sail spills. I was almost standing on the side of the boat when it just popped back up. I do have a better understanding now but still have a fear of heeling. I am hoping that once we move aboard the boat and sail all the time that I will get over this feeling. I hate being afraid all the time and want to be a better sailor.
Fair winds and smooth sailing!!
11-16-2002 05:49 PM
Fear of Heeling

I have had this fear in the past as well, and with the understanding and assistance of folks I sail with, I have learned to get past it. Learning how adjustments on the main can ease heeling has made me far more confident about a boat heeling.

Add to that just plain spending as mich time as I can on as many different boats as I can, and I''m getting there. Did my first "almost" single-hand a few weeks ago. Captain was on board, but he just sat and watched. Did all the dock work and everything else on my own! It was just too cool!!!
11-09-2002 08:10 AM
Fear of Heeling

I used to think it was a girl thing, but last summer I had a newbie couple on the boat in a strong breeze. The harder the wind gusted, the harder she pulled on the tiller until the boat was near broaching. Meanwhile, her husband was cowering inside the cabin in near terror. I think it''s a "mental conditioning thing." Heeling will scare you if you are not conditioned to cope with it.
11-08-2002 05:11 PM
Fear of Heeling

Please don''t say it is a, "girl thing." When someone asks my husband, "How did you get your wife so enthused over the boat?" His reply is, "Its her boat." Yes indeed, it was my idea to sail. At first, heeling is uncomfortable for anyone, male or female. After a while though, you will trust your boat and you will know that it is a natural occurence especially in heavier wind. It will eventually make you smile and you will enjoy heeling. Just relax and let the wind and your boat carry you.
11-05-2002 02:18 AM
Fear of Heeling

Mary Beth said: "Unless, of course, there is the fear of the giant squid (hey, we all have our own ghosts)..."

I say if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. If life hands you a giant squid, make calamari marinara!

11-04-2002 08:01 PM
Fear of Heeling

Deb, yes, this does help, but - you can''t really picture that big bulb underneath unless you''ve seen it out of the water, no matter how much you trust the woman who describes it to you. And, you''re right, steering the boat can alleviate most fears. But if someone in your party is so uncomfortable as to feel the need to wear a life jacket on a clear, flat, calm day; best for all to wear one to make her feel even less unafraid. In my experience, when it starts out like that, on a nice, calm day, you all end up enjoying yourselves. Unless, of course, there is the fear of the giant squid (hey, we all have our own ghosts)... But, we got over that, and enjoyed many a sail after.
10-28-2002 04:07 PM
Deb on Air
Fear of Heeling

A little understanding of ballast and sail control can help this situation. What helped me when I first learned to sail (and girlfriends that I have taken out to sail since) is learning that there is a keel with a significant amount of lead in it under the boat. This is not always easy to understand so a verbal description to help them visualize the "fin" underneath is helpful, as well as how many pounds of lead it contains. When I told my "most fearful friend" that there were 5000 pounds of lead underneath us it helped to quell her fears. Also, demonstrating to them how some adjustments on the mainsheet/traveler can help ease the situation... (involve them in these controls if they are willing and able) will give them confidence that the boat is not out of control. Of course the most obvious is to stay ashore in questionable weather and provide a life jacket option to those who are uncomfortable.
10-03-2002 05:57 AM
Fear of Heeling


Can''t help you much there; sorry. I have observed that fear is often irrational, and it is very difficult to logically convince someone that his/her fear is not justified.

When I got my wife into a situation she disliked (or feared), I often heard the familiar, "you owe me a BIG piece of jewlery for this, buddy!" Fortunately, she was only partially serious. I now tell her we can''t afford trinkets and worthless (i.e. non-boat) stuff so that I can afford to buy us a boat that will make her more comfortable.

Good luck helping your wife over her fears.

10-03-2002 05:30 AM
Fear of Heeling


Thanks for your advise. Thats about how it happened. I think the Powerboat wake hitting the deck also helped to push us over a bit more.

Myself and crew have already tried telling her about sailboat stability and how it would take a lot more than that to capsize, etc.

I was hoping for some input from female sailors as to what to say to her to ease her fears. I''m not being sexist, just trying to get another view. Just for the record, I have other female crew and they are all just as good if not better than their male counterparts (nothing they have said has helped either). I doesn''t help that I''m male and always say the wrong thing )

Happy Heeling,
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