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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-29-2012 09:07 PM
Sea Dawg
Re: What should i practice next?

+1 on Storm training. Three things will happen (perhaps at different times) to all sailors no matter how new or well equipped your boat. You'll run aground, the motor will not work and a storm will be upon you while you are out. Ok, maybe you'll ALWAYS stay in DEEP water and never see a shoal. Prepare for these instances and determine how you will deal with them.

Of course docking practice will pay off as one of the most important thing back at the dock is to not look like a dork!
07-29-2012 08:23 PM
Re: What should i practice next?

Storm training! It could save your life some day.
Years ago, my friends and I thought we were good sailors, but needed storm training. So, anytime a storm was brewing in Galveston Bay, we would head down to one of the boats and go out in it. Storms are nasty in Galveston Bay because, while the bay huge, it's shallow.
That came in handy the fateful day in 2008 that three of us got caught in, what the coastguard later told us was a Force 10 storm with 28-30 foot seas, while sailing Paloma from Puerto Isabella to Freeport.
07-29-2012 07:56 PM
Re: What should i practice next?


over and over and over
07-29-2012 04:05 PM
Re: What should i practice next?

Heaving to
07-29-2012 03:59 PM
Re: What should i practice next?

sailing drills above are a good idea. Also get comfortable with coastal piloting/navigation, chart plotting, laying out a course, fixes, judging speed, adjusting for current, "sailing where the rocks aren't", steering a compass course, taking bearings off shore objects.

Weather monitoring and forecasting too. Reefing/unreefing. Estimating fuel and water consumption. Radiotelephone, how to use. Recognizing running lights of other vessels, dredges, etc.

The list never stops really. But at some point you just go out, and learn the rest from the school of hard knocks. What you do before then determines if the knocks are going to be learning opportunities rather than fright and panic.
07-28-2012 10:29 PM
Mike Huston
Re: What should i practice next?

The list DavidPM gave your a few minutes ago is a good list. I would like to suggest getting some lessons where you learn the right way to do these things. Probably a sailing school associated with a charter company would be best - I say this only because you want to cruise and these organizations are geared to teaching these skills.

Ask the schools about boats they teach on and the experience of their instructors. If you can go to a school where you spend several days on the boat it would be great - this gives you real cruising experiene.

Sailing Instructor
07-28-2012 10:00 PM
Re: What should i practice next?

Docking, using engine,using propwalk, bringing the boat in via inertia, stopping boat to dead stop before letting passengers off. .. sailing on or off docks and moorings (I've only done that a few times) Anchoring, reefing,
07-28-2012 09:56 PM
Re: What should i practice next?

Sailing in circles and figure eight
Crew over board
Holding course with compass only (have another person be lookout)
Coastal navigation, charting
Steering the boat with sails only
Practice rounding an upwind mark being able to predict number of tacks
10,15,20,25 knots of wind for all of the above
Doing all of the above at night

Each of you being able to do all of the above solo.
Each of you being able to do all of the above taking turns doing opposite tasks.
07-28-2012 09:32 PM
Re: What should i practice next?

Man overboard drills.
There are several techniques. Pick one and practice it. I don't want to get into a war about the best method. Go to a book, study up on the Figure 8 method (probably easiest for beginners) and the Quick Stop method. Then try it and practice.
07-28-2012 08:49 PM
Re: What should i practice next?

Originally Posted by Fau View Post
I'm brand new to sailing-sailing a 27' O'Day on the FL intercoastal. We've successfully unmoored, sailed up and down the ic, tacking well and mooring again. i'm eventually wanting to go out to the ocean for coastal cruising. What should I be working on next to improve my skills?

Tacking: Bringing the bow through the wind.
Gybing: Bringing the stern through the wind.

Practice gybing, carefully. Start in a very light breeze, so that you don't blow your mainsheet blocks apart or yank the traveler out.

The way I do it, is as I bring the stern through the wind, I'm trimming the mainsheet ever tighter so that when the boom flips over, it's a gentle flip instead of "wham!", and the instant that the boom is over, I uncleat the sheet and let it run out "bzzzzzzzzzzt!"

Just a thought.
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