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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-21-2008 01:39 PM
sailingdog IMHO, you're better off having harnesses and tethers in this weather, than PFDs... since one helps keep you on the boat, the other only helps you if you fall off.
01-21-2008 01:29 PM
back-up here

i don't have very much experience( dingies and such), but i'm thinking the first thing to do is make damn sure everyone has their pfds on and on corectly. it doesn't sound like you could have recoverd a man over board. could you have called for help quickley? i know i sound like an old hen, but your crew puts thier lives in your hands.
01-20-2008 01:25 PM
lakesman Have a look at this thread by Guilietta, you'll be amazed what you can learn from them.
01-20-2008 07:30 AM
yankeefan It sounds like you did a great job your first time out as skipper. If your crew was unaware of the outright panic you must have felt; well then kudos my friend. We had a similar experience last year with gusting winds reeking havoc with the furling jib. I headed into the wind but still had quite a time getting it in. I have a feel now for when to furl it in before we get into trouble and have practiced reefing the main in manageable winds. I will be better prepared next time knowing now what to anticipate with high gusting winds. It is a good idea to run through these types of 'drills' to learn the physical limits of your boat. Again, what a great story for your first time out.
01-17-2008 08:15 AM
Tipped or flat it is up to you!

I think you did well for a newbie. You made it back without swiming for it!

My advice is to always check the weather. Do not go out until you are comfortable with the idea of sailing in that wind force. For instance if you are comfortable with 15 knot breezes, then it's time to go to the next level. By watching the weather you can incrementally advance your wind comfort window. If you do this, at some point you will find yourself heading out into wind advisory conditions. The way to learn to handle a gale is to sail in a gale.

You were overpowered on your first solo trip. The winds kept picking up and the boat became hard to handle. When this happens it is time to shorten sail. Roll up a bit of jib and set your first reef in the main. Boat control instantly returns. A lot of heel is fun but, most boats are faster when sailed on their lines or at reasonable angles of heel. It's ok to "detrim" your sails a bit if conditions get stronger. But do not let your sails start luffing.

With a sloop you should drop the jib first and then the main. The mast is better supported under the main alone and you will have good boat control.

My advice to you is to go out when you will be a little challanged. Practice sailing heeled over and flattening the boat. Watch the speed. If you are trimmed right, flat will be anywhere from almost as fast to faster. It is important to be able so comfortably sail the boat both ways. If I am almost to port and the wind kicks up why bother reefing? Plus company loves the thrill of potential tipping that heeling brings. I prefer flat as less wine gets spilled.

One very good book you should consider purchasing is the Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere. It has excellent chapters on sail and boat trim. It will serve you well if you want to continue learning on and off the water.

Best regards,

01-16-2008 11:32 PM
bakerha51 Gary: I agree with the "Hove To" thought. During my Basic class we got into a little more wind than the instructor expected so we learned that early. Made reefing the main simple and more controlled. Dropped it to the second reef and we had the furler at about 80% already so no further work was needed.
01-15-2008 08:07 PM
CharlieCobra I've heaved to with Main alone while I was fishing the chute out of the water. It went well. We fore reached a bit but considering it was blowing over 35, it was an easy ride while we got things sorted out. After we got the chute below, we walked around the boat making sure no lines were overboard before we cranked up the engine, doused the Main, fell offwind ad I rigged, hanked on and raised the Staysail. It was easier offwind because the pounding was minimized.
01-15-2008 07:51 PM
Plumper No one has yet mentioned "heaving to" to put in a reef. I regularly heave to to put a reef in my main. Then it is a one man job and my wife can just sit and watch. In the ketch I used to sail I always heaved to to reef the main. It balanced up really well on the jibs and mizzen. In fact she was a pleasant sail in high winds with just the jibs and mizzen (jib and jigger) although she looked funny.
Heaving to does not help reducing jibs or changing them. For that you just have to get on with it. That is why the cutter rig is so nice.

01-15-2008 07:35 PM
CharlieCobra True but I haven't seen winds that high yet. Of course, 60 knots on my boat is probably a lot different than 60 knots on someone else's boat. Mind you, I've not tried beating in winds higher than 40 knots yet. Not sure I wanna.
01-15-2008 07:12 PM
sailingdog Depends on how strong the winds really are... at some point you need to drop all the sails and hang on for the ride.
Originally Posted by bluepearl View Post
IMHO it is always better to keep some sail up to steady the boat in the waves. Obviously, less in high winds. Next time try dousing your headsail and reefing the main. When you find the right combinaton the boat quits seeming to fight you and the motion is better, which always makes everyone happier!
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