Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New England
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Lousy Sailing Skills
Before I tell my story, my boat is a Pearson 10M which is mostly genoa powered compared to the main. Okay now back to my story.
So I am on a J105 and the main trimmer. Winds are up up in the 15 to 20 kt range and we were beating to the next mark. Boat is riding the rail in and out of the water and in and out of weather helm.
We are on a port tack and another boat is coming on a starboard tack. Boats were an estimated 20 seconds apart, when I say to the captain that we are on a collision course with the starboard boat. Cap'n says no we are not to which I reply, I have been watching for the last 10 seconds and pretty sure we are. Cap'n says no we'll easily pass behind them.
Fast forward 15 seconds and the bowman screams that we are going to hit. Cap'n says we're going to turn and quick duck behind them. He quickly turns the wheel, but the boat continues straight. As luck would have it, we do JUST pass behind them; our bow literally inches from hitting their port stern quarter panel.
Okay the heart rates come down and then the Cap'n starts reaming me another butt hole saying that I almost caused a crash and damage to his and the other boat. Stunned, I say I told you that we were on a collison course with plenty of time to alter the course safely. He then said I was an incompent sailor because when he said "ducking", I should have released the main, it's basic sailing. The mood soured quickly after that I wanted off the boat immediately.
Back at the mooring, I was still pissed but he had calmed down and said that he had so much weather helm that until I released pressure on the main, he had no turning power. Basically he used the rudder as a brake.
On my boat, I said, even if I have a a decent amount of weather helm, I can still turn the boat without releasing the main; although releasing it makes it easier. I later learn that the J105 is mostly powered by the main and has a smaller spade rudder, compared to the 10M's larger skeg rudder. These mean that you really pay attention to the main during course changes.
He did allow me back. I haven't made that mistake again.
If you liked my advice/response, give me some rep points. If you didn't......well what do you expect, it was free.