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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Racing vs Cruising boat control
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Thread: Racing vs Cruising boat control Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-11-2010 02:50 PM
hellosailor "how much do you have your hands on "
Is that a trick question, something like "How many margueritas is enough?"

Really though, I think it is just a question of your personal comfort level. If you want to lay back and don't care if the boat wallows a bit, you let it wallow. If you're awake and don't mind keeping busy, maybe you play the traveller, or the main sheet, continuously. And you hold off on anything else that might fill your hands.

You're in cruising mode, so, you do what makes YOU happy.
06-10-2010 07:02 PM
futureshock999
Cruiser here...

OK, I have a Laser, Soling, J/24 and J/30 past, so I usually love to play the lines and tweak things...

But my current boat is a full keeled, heavy cruiser, and she doesn't even HAVE a traveller. No, really.

When I want to play with boat control, I usually just finger the radio control key fob for my bow thruster, and if I'm feeling frisky I'll give it a shot to wake up my crew suntanning on the foredeck...
06-04-2010 08:38 AM
bshipp I have a fairly heavy weather boat with a full keel, so I wouldn't exactly describe her as "tender." As a result I'm not a constant tweaker nor am I a set-and-forgetter. To windward it's usually haul 'em all in and play the wheel. Off the wind there's a fair amount of tweaking, particularly the jib and the main, somewhat less so the mizzen and the staysail.
05-26-2010 08:30 AM
DrB
Game On.......

I own a PHRF club racer. It's a performance oriented boat, so my goal is to maximize the performance that I can get out of it every time I sail. My goal is to always catch the boat, that is on the same tack as me, in front of me and not get caught by any from behind.

I usually let someone else drive and I work the sails. That being said, I don't constantly tweak the sails for every little puff or lull. If I am driving, I will adjust the main as needed, but leave the jib/genoa adjust to someone else. I will instruct them what to do, if they they don't know.

I make it sound more anal than it really is. Basically we set a course and we steer to it as best we can. If the tell tales aren't flying back, we tweak the sails until they do. I can do it all myself if need be and guests can just enjoy the ride.

DrB
05-25-2010 05:34 PM
AdamLein Very mood-dependent for me... but when I'm at the helm, I always have a hand on the mainsheet, and my crew are instructed to do the same when they're at the helm. On a longer trip, part of the joy of my day is tweaking sails, but only part of the joy. Another big part is knowing the boat and crew can tend to themselves for a while... very liberating feeling
05-25-2010 04:07 PM
sailingdog Keeping a hand on the mainsheet and not cleating it off in gusty conditions is really key.
05-25-2010 02:22 PM
Hesper I'm just not a "set and forget" kind of guy. I don't usually play with the traveller all that much, but I'm constantly on the sheets.
05-25-2010 09:32 AM
zz4gta Only difference for me is how much junk I have below decks. Some people look at you funny when you ask for a little more jib halyard, good crew just do it. I look at sailing as the reason I go sailing. I don't go sailing to read, or drink beer, or get a tan. I go to sail.
05-25-2010 09:04 AM
DropTop Mostly depends on the sail, and who is onboard... When I've got another experienced person onboard, I usualy try to have the sails trimmed at least every 5-10 minutes, sooner if conditions or course changes.

If it's just me and my girlfriend, and we're just out for a long lap out and back with no schedule to keep, I'll watch the main, and if I hear the jib luff I'll go forward and check the trim, other than that, unless conditions or course changes require action sooner I will go ~30 minutes between checking the sail trim on lazy cruises...

As for the main sheet, it's just a arms length from the tiller should a big gust come in and start to round her up (usually takes a gust about 1.5-2x the average wind speed that the sails are trimmed for to cause her to round up, so it's not often a problem)
05-25-2010 07:50 AM
Jeff_H It all depends on the day, the crew, and where I going. If the gusts are intermittant and rare, and I am not going anywhere in particular, or if I have a skittish crew, I will feather up as much as I need to keep the boat moving well and on her feet. If I am heading some where or big gusts are cycling through, I will play the backstay and traveler in the gusts.

On small boats, having the mainsheet handy is a part of sailing safely on gusty days.

Jeff
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