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post #1 of 11 Old 01-13-2010 Thread Starter
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Sailing Backward

So we have this new yacht and we are required to have a Vessel re-Naming Ceremony per tradition. However, the one aspect of this that has me perplexed is the first sail after the ceremony.

According to what I have read on this tradition, I must sail my yacht backward in order to erase her previous name from the waters I sail in. How exactly does one do that ?

I've got a few ideas, like point to the wind, backwind the genoa, and let her drift for a while. There are going to be several other skippers in boats documenting the "attempt" and I really would like to get it right. Not to mention there are going to be lots of libations involved. This all sounds like a youtube "your owned" moment to me.

Any tips on how to accomplish this would be appreciated.

Peace,
Maze

1985 Catalina 36 Tall #404
s/v Peace of Mind
Austin, Tx.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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NO you got it wrong, Sail hard close hauled and then just turn around and face the aft end of the boat. Viola, you're sailing backwards. Some people just over think everything.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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Or get in a stiff current with minimal sail, and you will really sail backwards. Although Prairie Rose's suggestion is MUCH SIMPLER..........i2f

20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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Back the mizzen, let the others luff. She'll back right down. Done it a hundred times. Add mizzen as necessary. Disregard the sloop-snobs.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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The trouble with backing the genoa is that it makes the boat fall off quickly. If you back your sailplan as far aft as possible, it is a lot easier. On ketch/yawls, this means the mizzen. To aid in steering since the rudder doesn't work that well when doing this, you can alternate sides that you back to and steer with the sail.

You could also just hold up a big tarp in the stern?

I have never been superstitious enough to worry about renaming.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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When there was a Navy Yacht club in Long Beach Calif. The boat slips were such as that you literally had to sail backwards to get out of the slip. So those of us who were members learned, could and still can SAIL a sail boat backwards. It isn't that hard, but you have to put some thoughts into it the first few times you do so.

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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Go head to wind then set the chute off the main halyard.

Actually, if you have a preventer rigged, after going head to wind you can backwind the mainsail along with the genoa, but on the opposite side. It works best if both sails are reefed down a bit below what you'd use for going forward in the prevailing winds. Try to keep the rudder centerlined, and use it judiciously to counter any yaw.

We do this sometimes when backing down on the anchor under sail. We can usually keep it going just long enough to set.


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NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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Also a good skill to have if you catch a lobster pot or other similar floating obstacle.

(Of course, I'm speaking theoretically. Being from New England, I've never ever caught a lobster pot.)

Hylas 47
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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Have a crew member hold the boom out when you're head to wind. Racers do this all the time to get grass or kelp off their foils before a race.

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-13-2010
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We used to routinely sail backwards to be sure the keel and rudder were clear prior to a race start... but it takes a fairly responsive boat to do it easily.. the C36 might not cooperate that well.

Backing the headsail is not the first choice as it tends to push the bow off and you will simply bear off, backing the main works better.

As Wandering Star says, a mizzen would work best.. but rigging another mast will be in the way. .. followed by JRP's reverse Spinn hoist...(that would be entertaining for your fellow skippers!)

Keep in mind that once you get going backwards keep a firm grip on the wheel.. the rudder will want to go hard over in a hurry otherwise.

btw that's one tradition I hadn't heard of before this....

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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