Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: First sail report!
A couple quick thoughts here:
First of all Spiral,
Do not let anyone dampen your enthusiasm. We all learn to sail in our own ways. There is no one size fits all way right way to learn to sail. My family and I learned to sail back in the 1960's when there wasn't ASA courses or an internet. We read a book called "The Golden Book of Sailing", which was very simple and similar to the Red Cross book that you read. We went on to read a lot more over time.
My Dad then bought a 25 footer, and the first day that we went out, we did not know enough to realize just how much of wildly gusty day it was. My Dad had the sense to put the small jib on the boat, out we went, raised the jib and mainsail, and went sailing. It would be easy to argue that we probably should not have been out there. It was a day when the America's Cup 12 meter 'Constellation' lost her mast near where we were sailing. And at one point we jibed over in what was probably around 20 knots of wind to stand station with a 'Dragon', which had broken its boom until a powerboat took him in tow.
Like you, my Dad was methodical as he tried each new thing. We actually safely jibed in those conditions. I still recall that as we were jibing and as my father did each step of the jibe, he verbally described the process just as he had learned it from the book; turn almost down wind, hobble the jib (tighten the jib sheets on both sides of the boat to center the clew of the jib), bring in the mainsail, turn slowly across the wind, let out the mainsheet slowly once it crosses, and then ease the weather jib sheet. A big grin crossed his face as we turned up to our new course on the other side of the jibe and roared off towards the boat in trouble.
It sounds like you are doing all of the right things; you are taking it slow and carefully-one step at a time, you are reading, you bought a boat which is small enough and responsive enough and a model which sails well enough that it will tell you when you are making mistakes, you are being introspective enough to learn from your mistakes and also learn from what you did right, you are reaching out to more experienced sailors with questions and comments so that you can benefit from their collective knowledge, and you have kept your sense of humor. You should feel very good about what you have done so far.
Regarding putting covers or rollers on your outboard shrouds, it can be done, but it should not be necessary. When the jib sheet leads (the blocks on the tracks in the foreground of your photo) are in the correct position, and the sail is adjusted properly, the loaded side of the sail should barely touch (or not touch at all) the leeward shroud. In other words, there should not be chafe. No matter what you do, there will be a little friction as the jib and its sheets slide over the shrouds during a tack. But if you learn to coil the sheets so they are free to run, wait until the jib starts to luff and completely release the old working sheet from the winch so it is completely free to run, allow the jib to blow through as suggested above, taking the slack out of the new working sheet as it comes across, then tacking will be easier and you should not require covers or rollers on your shrouds.
Do not be afraid to do things a step at a time. Do not worry that you don't do things perfectly, even us old dogs do silly things at times, but pay attention to what you are doing, don't get cavalier and go with you instincts if something seems dangerous, don't do it. We are all rooting for you, even the naysayers.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 10-26-2015 at 03:13 PM.