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post #11 of 30 Old 10-05-2008
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A surprise gust can even catch your instructor off guard as it did us. We were in our Starwind 22 with just the main up. A gust hit us on a beam reach and in the water the rail went. It was a good learning experience and we found that she would round right up. Don't want to do it again but now I know how to handle it.

Like us in time you will learn to trim your sails correctly. Personally I would leave the genoa in the bag and use the jib.

I read and read for over 3 years before I purchased a sailboat. Until you experience it all the reading in the world doesn't help. I'm sure you could find an experienced sailor that would love to go out with you. Just ask around.

Did any of the schools in the Galveston area survive Ike?

Have fun
David
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post #12 of 30 Old 10-05-2008
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I did a little racing this weekend, one on my boat, and 2 on a friends Ranger 22. The wind was blowing 19 with gusts to 29. Needless to say the little Ranger was less than pleased. My friend Bill steers, I do everything else. Most of the time when going upwind, I was watching the tiller and trimming the main to reduce weather helm. We tried to keep the heel below 30 degrees with this method. The result was a first and a third place against a pair of fully crewed J-24's.

The moral of the story is that if the heel gets uncomfortable it's probably also slowing the boat down. Ease the main to stand the boat up. When the gust passes sheet it back in and keep going.

BTW you're not going to capsize that boat without the help of a very large (not on a lake) wave. At about 50 degrees the rudder would likely lose it's grip and the boat would round up. It's not the most comfortable feeling when you're out of control, but not too dangerous either.


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post #13 of 30 Old 10-05-2008
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I think we are on the same lake. I thought of going out last night but turned back into the marina because it was too gusty for my experience. Today was just as bad.
If it is the same lake, those gusts are too unpredictable
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post #14 of 30 Old 10-06-2008
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Watch the videos that the moron in post number four linked to-they're excellent.

btw,
You're right on pace with the learning curve that 99% of us followed as well!
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post #15 of 30 Old 10-06-2008
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Play around with the traveler if you've got one. Try sliding it down to take some power out of the main.

Also, I'm guessing that your boat will sail fine with just the jib in heavy winds. My 28 footer sails well with the genoa rolled up a bit and no main. Not quite as well balanced, but pretty close.

Keep pushing yourself out there, it's the only way to get better - but don't force anyone who is with you into feeling too scared. My wife was put off at first as I scared the heck out her too soon.
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post #16 of 30 Old 10-06-2008
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Try going out next time fully reefed.
You can always shake out the reef if need be.
Getting knocked down is educational.... often wet and educational.
We sailed right across the Atlantic and never got knocked down once, yet got knocked down on a Summer's morning inshore in conditions like you describe. The ship weighs about 10 tonf. It happens, particularly near a steep land mass.... hills and things. "Catabatic winds" I think they call them, and they catch you with too much sail up, and the ship cannot take it unless you are very quick with the main sheet, and there is not much time before your ship is flat, in our case with all the portlights open, such was the sunny morning, and so greater was the surprise.

"Gentlemen, that's what we call a broach", then said my rather cynical captain.

At least he had seen it before.

I was left to clean up the salt water... a big puddle of it swilling between chart table and hull, soaking everything.

Last edited by Rockter; 10-06-2008 at 01:00 PM.
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post #17 of 30 Old 10-06-2008
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Keep pushing yourself out there, it's the only way to get better - but don't force anyone who is with you into feeling too scared. My wife was put off at first as I scared the heck out her too soon.
Lets see- where can I start on this one.
-wife wanted boat almost as much as me
-bought boat
-wife pleased but thought it would be "nicer"
-made the mistake of showing wife brand new boat
-rode home with her screaming "I want that one!"
-took wife out in our boat in a light breeze, wife screamed "I want a faster boat"
-wind picked up a few days later - wife screamed "This is boring, take me home!"
-went out Friday in a nice wind, boat went fast and heeled, wife screamed "I'm scared, cold and now my hair is messed up. Take me home!"
-Saturday spent he day alone on MY boat
-Sunday spent the day alone on MY boat
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post #18 of 30 Old 10-06-2008
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Originally Posted by berkshire1 View Post
Lets see- where can I start on this one.

-Saturday spent he day alone on MY boat
-Sunday spent the day alone on MY boat
WOW sounds like you had a great weekend. Well, Saturday and Sunday at least.


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post #19 of 30 Old 10-06-2008
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You were carrying sails for 10-knot conditions, and you got 20-knot puffs.

So you were overpowered. Getting overpowered in a gust can be scary. But you did pretty well for someone who's still waiting to take that first sailing lesson.

Sail area is supposed to match the conditions. With the genoa, you had about 130% of your sail area, in wind conditions that called for about 80%.

You correctly realized that you were over-canvassed. That's a lesson best learned the hard way, and you learned. No shame in that, you did fine considering the cards you dealt yourself.

Next time, you'll reef the main early, choose a smaller jib, and handle it pretty well. Just remember, it's a lot easier to add sail area than it is to reduce it. The former is done in a decreasing breeze, and it's casual. The latter is done in an increasing breeze, and it's tense.
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-07-2008
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practice sail handling on light air days. learn from your boat the techniques for safely and quickly reefing and practice. once you have that down, try combinations in heavier air to learn what setups work best, i.e. my boat likes a reefed main and more genny while other boats prefer less genny, more main. pay attention to how the helm feels. look up at the main as you trim and learn what appropriate sheet pressure feels like. drop the traveler to leeward, raise the traveler, tighten vang, loosen vang, play around with it. you want as little pressure on the helm as possible. learn to recognize puffs by watching the water. it's all about balance, control and anticipation. sailing with the rudder turned is slow and strains everything. when in doubt, let it out. more often than not while sailing upwind excessive heel is uncomfortable, strains the gear and scares your mate (well, my girlie anyway). you will go just as fast without dragging the rail. watch wind speeds, sail combis and boat speed.....really pay attention to how the boat feels. as you get more experienced, it will become natural and you will feel when the boat is struggling to stay on its feet. one clue is when you are struggling to stay on your feet.

out sailing this w/e.....rail down, blowing 20-25. reduced sail by 30% or so and gained about 6-8" of leeward freeboard and boat speed was exactly the same. weather helm all but gone. boat happy.

oh, don't forget to look around for the other boats.

cheers
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