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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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  #11  
Old 07-24-2007
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....and would the captain leave the kid in the back of the pickup while he did some 4-wheeling?
Kids can get hurt down below. You were right. Leave him below if he likes but with a bicycle helmet on and vest.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2007
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I beleive your asking how to get your point across to your significant other that you don't feel safe playing that intense. If that's the case and they are not interested in listening to your opion. I would suggest that you inquire whether they would rather single hand on the windier days. That's the polite way of saying "screw you guys I'm going home".
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2007
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I see at least three separate issues being confused here.
1-When is it time to reef.
That's a question of both safety AND better boat speed, unless you have seen the polars for your boat or done a lot of testing, most people keep the sails up too long and they actually are LOOSING SPEED TOWARD THE MARK by not reefing early enough.
Which also brings up point #2,
CREW SAFETY. I don't care how young/old/agile you are, if a boat bounces the wrong way and you stuff a counter or table into your ribs, you are breaking ribs. That's just unsafe.
If there are insufficient handholds and you've got a wide fat open boat below--that needs to be looked at. For any sized crew. Now for kids, IF the kid knows what is going on, and IF the captain calls out each tack so there's some warning, all a kid has to do is typically sit down on the floor and they're perfectly safe from tack to tack. It's the ones they don't expect that can get them, and then you need to consider lee cloths and the v-berth or quarterberth and a house rule about being IN it.

Finally, there's the basic rule DON'T ARGUE IN FRONT OF THE KIDS. Whatever the two of you have to do to hash this out, work it out off the boat, and present a united front, because that's the only way it will be accepted with minimal argument by your daughter.

Helmet and PFD down below? I don't think so. If it is that rough, or you are that uncomfortable on the boat, it is time to head home--or stay home, and find some reason to say "Dad's going sailing without us today" without making it into a "because we're not tough enough" inferiority thing for the daughter. Turn it around the other way: "We're going someplace special, and poor daddy can't come with us!"

Kids routinely used to climb trees, fall down, break bones, skin their knees, chip teeth on monkeybars, and no one thought there was anything unusual or wrong about it. You guys may need to just take some time and discuss comfort levels and acceptable risks one day. Someplace quiet, away from home, while there's a babysitter taking care of your daughter.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2007
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It sounds like both of you were thinking of different things. The boat was safe although sail reduction would usually be desirable. Most standard sails are set for 15 knots and by 25 require a halving of sail area for the same force.
The child's safety was a concern. He or she could easily fly from one side to the other and break something, unless wedged in a quarterberth which would not be pleasant.
Even being in a cockpit with short tacking going on in 25 knots would not be great, if your legs would not reach the floor and you could not brace yourself let alone relying on the child to change sides at the right time versus starting late and being thrown against the cockpit sides easily breaking something.
Sometimes spouses have been known to say unkind things when stressed and defensive. So I hear.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2007
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Disclaimer: I don't have much recent experience sailing (crewed for a couple years 25 years ago, sailed a couple time recently, incl. on ASA 101 and 103 courses), but...

ISTM the child was safer down below, on the sole, probably, than up in the cockpit with all that tacking going on. Probably would've been best to call out "prepare to come about," etc. as you maneuvered, so she could prepare herself. I assume everything below was securely stowed, so there wouldn't be things flying around.

I am surprised she wasn't already wearing a PFD. Were you guys wearing yours?

Jim
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Old 07-24-2007
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Then let that training guide you. I have a kid nearly six and just short of 40 pounds. I follow essentially the same rules as Bestfriend on the old 33 foot racer, because it snaps around a lot. We allow no PFD below on the new-to-us full keeler because the motion is significantly different, and in waves of any size he's in his bunk watching a DVD anyway. On deck or on dock, it's ALWAYS with a PFD, because his swimming is still a little lacking, and being a skinny kid, he's got a buoyancy deficiency, so to speak.

If he's on deck in heavy weather, he gets clipped on. Being a kid, he tends to get himself lower (right down to lying on the deck) the harsher it gets. He seems immune to seasickness.

His only hesitation is in stepping off the boat (about an 18 inch drop) because occasionally we are blown off a few feet, as we are at a finger end and I prefer a bit of space. But he already knows to stand on the breast line to bring the boat closer to the dock, but at 40 lbs. and a 13 tonne boat, that takes a little while to work! ("DADDY! MAKE THE BOAT MOVE IN!")
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  #17  
Old 07-24-2007
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My hat's off to all you brave souls who put yourselves squarely in the middle of a domestic disagreement!! Ummm...you guys are all single right??
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  #18  
Old 07-24-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickm505 View Post
My hat's off to all you brave souls who put yourselves squarely in the middle of a domestic disagreement!!
Brave? Dunno as "brave" would be the correct adjective in this context

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Originally Posted by Rickm505 View Post
Ummm...you guys are all single right??
Nope! But, in addition to not much current sailing experience, got no kids, either. So I guess my opinion really ain't worth spit

Jim
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  #19  
Old 07-24-2007
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Driver,

For sailhandling in challenging conditions, we always preferred to have the tiny kids belowdecks. The situation you described is a good example of why it is important to have a safe place below where kids can sit securely when weather conditions or other circumstances demand the full attention of parents. In our experience, the bigger the boat the harder it is to find those places, so they normally have to be created. Lee clothes on the settees, and an athwartship leecloth on the v-berth, worked well for us when our kids were tikes. Even now that the youngest are elementary-school aged, these modifications still get a fair bit of use for naps etc.

My wife and I have different ideas about reasonable heeling angles, but I defer to her and we are the boat you see with a reefed main at 15 knots. And a partially furled genny at 18 knots. Two reefs at 22. You get the idea. Fortunately our boat sails well even undercanvassed.

But in defence of your skipper, there are many boat designs (ours is one of them) that will SAIL much more comfortably, and faster, than they will motor. In our boat, sailing to weather in 20-25 knots of wind, with the boat reefed down, is a comfortable, easily managed affair. Motoring upwind in the same conditions is another matter altogether: Pure misery, and SLOW! We empirically proved this many times when the boat was new to us. Fortunately we eventually gave the boat a chance to demonstrate its prowess in adverse conditions. My only point is that there are some circumstances when dropping sails and motoring is neither the best nor safest answer.

Then again, sometimes it is. In general, with young kids aboard, the more conservative approach should be the default.
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  #20  
Old 07-24-2007
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I think it's time to move on to a crusing catamaran. No heeling or rolling, no more disagreements.

(OK, I'm bad...but I couldn't resist)
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