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  #1  
Old 06-29-2012
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Just for kicks and grins...

I'll post up what I normally do after each race, to try and learn from my mistakes. I jack my handheld Garmin into OpenCPN and overlay the track onto a chart, with the race marks on it.

My crew is very new, so I draw lots of pretty colored arrows and give them a run-down of "the good, the bad and the ugly". I can usually trace certain "wiggles" in my track to a particular event or problem that happened during the race, and I'll point it out to them. They all say that they find it to be very beneficial to have a graphic as a frame of reference.

To forestall certain unnecessary comments, let me say that I'm fully aware that my tacks are bad, and greater than 90 degrees. The boat doesn't point well in a very faint breeze, overloaded with 8 crew. I also chose a jib that was too small, because the breeze started out gusting to the 20's, but promptly faded out. I should have manned up and used the #1. With 8 bodies, the boat would sail on her feet, all the way up to 18 knots for sure.

Legend: Blue is wind, red is "outbound" leg, and green is "inbound" or return leg.

Note: My club has no boats. We don't set a "square" line. We have a committee stand and a bouy out in the water, that marks the line, so the starting line is permanently fixed. The start is "Joker's Wild", might be upwind, downwind, beam reach, who knows?

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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

Bubblehead,
Question; after you tacked at the channel into Shady Side, Why did you not keep on that for enough distance so that you could get to G3 with just one more tack? How do you evaluate/compute time lost tacking vs added distance travelled?
I am not very experienced racing and have only raced Flying Juniors.
Thanks,
John
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

Excellent question, John.

My depth finder fritzed out on me a week ago. I was relying on my local knowledge of the waters to keep me from running aground. The tide was low, but rising.

I swore I felt a bump, thought we might be touching the bottom, so I called for a tack.

I fixed the depth finder yesterday, so hopefully this won't be a problem in the future.
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

I actually like the fixed "Jokers Wild" starting line idea.
I suppose you always use the same marks then?
Or do they sometimes use a mark up the mouth of the Rhode River?
I watched a Sunday race from the West River group while anchored in the Rhode once.
Beautiful area but definitely shallow and that bump is always possible.

It is nice to be able to visualize your track on the chart and figure out the
"good, bad and the ugly" as a race postmortem procedure.
We usually do this without the aid of such a nicely laid out chart.
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Old 06-30-2012
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Yes, always the same marks and there is a mark up on the Rhode. With the marks we have, there are 22 possible courses.
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Old 06-30-2012
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

I can see the tack near F to avoid the shoals, but then once you'd gone North towards X, couldn't ou have played that leg further north and then avoided a couple of more tacks on the way back west again?

Not knowing any local currents or rounding requirements that may be a dumb question. Or were you just tacking to cover the competition?

Sailboat racing. Just like poker, a simple game with a small rulebook.
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I can see the tack near F to avoid the shoals, but then once you'd gone North towards X, couldn't ou have played that leg further north and then avoided a couple of more tacks on the way back west again?

Not knowing any local currents or rounding requirements that may be a dumb question. Or were you just tacking to cover the competition?

Sailboat racing. Just like poker, a simple game with a small rulebook.
We call that "banging the corners" of the course. It's very difficult to accurately call a lay line so far away. I've constantly been advised not to try, and to just make a few extra tacks. Yet, frequent tacking impairs speed, so what to do?

The wind was fading fast, and after each tack, I'd fall off a bit to build speed, and find myself not driving where I wanted to go, so in this instance you're probably correct.

If I'd had more breeze, I probably would have pointed better, not need to drive to "X", and not needed some of those tacks.

There are several things I can do to help mitigate the poor pointing in light air:

Not carry a full crew.
Buy a new, high tech genoa.
Empty out the boat some more.
Replace my running rigging with light, high tech stuff.

It's a process.
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

Light air prep:
Dump fuel
Dump water
Dump batteries (except one small one)
Dump spares
Dump any padlocks
Have crew empty out their pockets before leaving dock, trim fingernails, take laxatives.

THEN we really start paring dead weight. :-)
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Old 07-01-2012
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Light air prep:
Dump fuel
Dump water
Dump batteries (except one small one)
Dump spares
Dump any padlocks
Have crew empty out their pockets before leaving dock, trim fingernails, take laxatives.

THEN we really start paring dead weight. :-)
I hear you man. For the local races:

I usually race with only 1/4 tank of fuel.
I only keep about 3 gallons in the potable water tank.
I only care the sail of the day, plus spinnaker.
I only keep an impeller, distributor cap and a little oil onboard for the engine.

Stuff I could legally do:
Remove one battery.
Offload some of my tool kit.
Offload any non-original cushions.
Offload the cruising kit of plates, bowls, cups, flatware.
Carry a smaller anchor and rode for local racing.
Not carry as much beer, rum and soda (Pfft, yeah right!)
High tech sails.
Lighter running rigging.

To comply with local PHRF rules, I cannot:
Remove factory installed furniture.
Remove factory cushions.
Remove factory equipment (stove top, toilet, etc)
Cannot (and would not) race without an anchor.

To make matters worse, I have installed a shore power system, so that's a little extra weight. (Blue Sea Systems AC panel, outlets, battery charger)

I cruise too, and shuffling the gear on and off the boat for racing is a lot of work, but I don't mind.
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Old 07-01-2012
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Re: Just for kicks and grins...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I hear you man. For the local races:

I usually race with only 1/4 tank of fuel. Good
I only keep about 3 gallons in the potable water tank.

A gallon jug is all you need.

I only care the sail of the day, plus spinnaker.

Our weather is all over the map, so sails stay on the boat. Additional sails might be brought on for specific courses/races. Stack them on the cabin sole in the main salon

I only keep an impeller, distributor cap and a little oil onboard for the engine.

Stuff I could legally do:
Remove one battery. One for near shore, two for off.

Offload some of my tool kit.
We keep the tools. It's amazing what you'll need and when. That said, we're pretty efficient and compact.

Offload any non-original cushions.

Offload the cruising kit of plates, bowls, cups, flatware.
A couple of paper cups and plates are good to have around and weigh nothing.

Carry a smaller anchor and rode for local racing.
Not carry as much beer, rum and soda (Pfft, yeah right!)
High tech sails. Buy an Olson 30.
Lighter running rigging. Strip the covers

To comply with local PHRF rules, I cannot:
Remove factory installed furniture.
Remove factory cushions. Take out your v berth cushions. No one keeps them in. They get trashed if left in.

Remove factory equipment (stove top, toilet, etc)

Cannot (and would not) race without an anchor.

To make matters worse, I have installed a shore power system, so that's a little extra weight. (Blue Sea Systems AC panel, outlets, battery charger)

Very little

I cruise too, and shuffling the gear on and off the boat for racing is a lot of work, but I don't mind.
Dude, there's so much and Olson 30 in your future that it hurts to know you're not already sailing one.

Seriously though, isn't this an evening beer can? Keeping extra crap out of the boat is one thing, but 'extreme' stripping of the boat for a beer can seems a little over the top... at least until you have new sails... or an Olson 30, which ever is cheaper.
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