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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 06-21-2013
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Cruising Skills/Practice

Hello all,

I'm moving onboard a boat I bought (surveyed, good, solid). A Pearson Triton, nicely equipped. My plan is to sail north this summer from Newport, RI. I'm trying to keep my goals to a minimum and focus mostly on being safe and enjoying myself, but I'd like to make it to Maine and if things are going really nicely to Canada. I have 2 or 3 months.

Anyway, I've sailed and raced in small boats quite a bit, and sailed a bit on larger boats, mostly as a kid. I raced in Rhodes 19s last fall and winter and have been sailing them a bit this spring too. I've had a chance to sail in some pretty windy conditions and I feel pretty good about what I'm doing with those boats.

That said, as far as sailing a moderately heavy displacement keel boat, and cruising, my actual hands-on experience is limited. I've read extensively (Pardeys etc) and have a pretty good idea what I need to do. But I'm going to have to put that book knowledge into use this summer.

(please no discouragements if you would. I'm going to do this, regardless, and I think I will be fine).

I'm going to have some time with the boat in Narragansett Bay. I can lay at anchor there for as long as I like while practicing handling this boat. I was thinking of giving myself a cirriculum of things that I should be able to do without fail before I set off. I'm just trying to figure out what that might be.

Things that I've been thinking of
1) Figure 8 mob drill
2) quickstop MOB drill
3) Find a dock or float and do touch and go landings on it from all points of sail (hopefully can find that float somewhere)
4) Anchoring under sail, dropping anchor on a run and into the wind.
5) Pulling the anchor under sail
6) Reefing the main under way (jiffy reefing)
7) changing the furling genoa to the working jib

I have ideas about other things, like maybe doing a slalom course with some little buoys, or things like that. But I was wondering if you might have anything to add to a list of essential skills for cruising? I'd like to leave Narragansett bay feeling very comfortable handling the boat by myself. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-21-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

8. Pissing off the side of the boat while hanging on the the shrouds and scanning the horizon for ships.
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Old 06-21-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
8. Pissing off the side of the boat while hanging on the the shrouds and scanning the horizon for ships.
Interesting. I usually go off the transom. Don't want to get any piss on the sheets or sail.
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Interesting. I usually go off the transom. Don't want to get any piss on the sheets or sail.
Exactly - which is why you need to practice. Pushpit peeing is for amateurs...the pulpit should be your next goal!
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Old 06-21-2013
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#9 and #10

#9 Changing head sails while sailing
#10 Heave-To

Also how confindent are you at handling two sails at once, especially on a gybe?
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Old 06-21-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Originally Posted by DrB View Post
Interesting. I usually go off the transom. Don't want to get any piss on the sheets or sail.
Well duh, you don't hang on the windward shrouds! Leeward peeing only.
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

If you are single handing I would like to see what those MOB drills are??? Jump off while tethered and try to get back on? Maybe while pissing off the stern?
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Originally Posted by cranki View Post
If you are single handing I would like to see what those MOB drills are??? Jump off while tethered and try to get back on? Maybe while pissing off the stern?
That would be a good drill to practice - while pissing over board, lean over the rail/lifeline and go head over heals into the drink! Then, if you remembered to attached your harness, you can "re-position" yourself, zip up your zipper, and practice hauling yourself in or, alternatively, practice drowning...
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
Well duh, you don't hang on the windward shrouds! Leeward peeing only.
Isn't the sail on the LEWWARD side of the boat? So peeing while hanging on the leeward shrouds would be potentially peeing on the sheets and the sail. And how does one "Hang" on the Windward shrouds. If the boat is heeled any significant amount, you can't hang off them over the side. You would "hang" over the deck.

Most folks pee off the leeward side of the transom if they are going to pee off the boat.
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

Hmm, finally another thread where one can find salient advice on the art of cruising....

Of course if cruising one may expect the need to piss to occur and therefore should study the matter carefully. I would suggest having your crew position themselves about the boat along the rails and in other key positions, then haul your dinghy into position and let them monitor the spray array.
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