Join Date: Jun 2013
Thanked 40 Times in 39 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: First sail report!
Spiral - I'd like to make a recommendation that might save you a expensive or painful, even deadly mistake: Don't sail directly downwind until you get more experience. You can make downwind progress by sailing across the wind while pointing slightly away from the wind. This is called a 'broad reach.' During light wind periods, start practicing 'jibing.' When you get good at jibing, you'll understand how to prevent an accidental jibe. The accidental jibe is a mistake that can be costly.
Remember: if you are sailing downwind and your sail starts to flutter or your boom starts to float around on its own accord, your boat is fixin' to jibe. Modify your heading by turning slightly more into the wind.
Remember this saying: "tiller toward trouble." In this case, the boom is trouble, so you would move your tiller toward the boom. So, if you are running (sailing downwind) on a starboard tack (the boom is over the port and the wind is coming across the boat from the starboard) and the sail starts to luff (flutter) and the boom starts hinting that it might want to swing over, that means that the wind has shifted - it is now coming directly parallel with your boom. Another slight shift will put the wind on the port side of your sail. The sail will slam across the boat, bringing the boom with it. That is an accidental jibe. It might happen so fast that you don't notice the precursors. To avoid the jibe, your strategy is to ensure that the wind stays on the starboard side of the sail. You do that by turning your boat to starboard a bit by moving your tiller to port, or towards trouble, that is: the unstable boom.