off balance while tacking - SailNet Community

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Old 08-08-2009
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off balance while tacking

i am a mainsail trimmer and sailed on a henderson 30 for the first time. during the tacks i had big problems staying on my feet. i usually wait for the boat to head to wind before crossing with the main sheet. just before reaching the new windward side i would be thrown to the stern and windward rail. ok i am 40lbs overweight but have done main on boats over 40' to 22' and never had this much trouble. i think the helm might be turning to fast or is it just the nature of this light weight huge sail sport boat.
any thoughts?
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Old 08-08-2009
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Nice-looking boat -- hadn't ever seen one of those before. I'm guessing your helm is turning fast, but that's required on these lightweight sporties. Leave em bow to wind for three seconds, they stop dead. And I'll bet when the power comes on, it REALLY comes on & lays that boat over much faster than you are used to. Start crossing one beat earlier than normal? May take some practise to get out of ingrained habits. Your footwear is up to snuff, right?
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Old 08-08-2009
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mr31, bend those knees. Yes a sportboat has to tack quickly, no inertia. Practice moving about with your knees well bent and a wider stance.
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Old 08-09-2009
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shoes are good. only used on the boat. what you say makes sense. wider stance, bend knees, start a little earlier and hope nobody gets in my way. they take the rudder off this boat before they park it. its over 6, long and looks like a blade of knife. its then put in a riffle like case and stored below. it also has an articulating sprit pole. never seen one of those before. i will let you know how it goes next thursday. thanks for the feed back.
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Old 08-09-2009
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I think you'll find it helps. I practiced with that technique in very rolly conditions often and found that I could keep my feet and move about quickly in any conditions without looking for handholds.
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Old 08-09-2009
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In addition to bending knees and wider stance, it also helps to position one foot forward of the other, so that your wide stance helps you maintain your balance, regardless of whether the boat rolls or pitches.

Also, I always position my weight slightly on my heels, so that, if I fall, I'll always fall backwards - never forward. If I fall forward, I'll have to reach out with one hand to catch myself, so I don't smack my face into the cockpit seat. You can't tail a sheet with one hand while you're catching yourself with the other. If I fall backwards on most boats, my bum will plop down on the cockpit seat, and I can continue tailing the line with both hands, even while I'm falling. It might not be pretty, but it'll still get the job done.

Last edited by Sailormon6; 08-09-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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