Important and Cool things to teach - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 40 Old 10-22-2017 Thread Starter
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Important and Cool things to teach

The sailing season is officially over for us in CT. So unless I can find something this winter someplace warm I'm back to the regular office grind until the spring.

As a sailing instructor, I would like to offer the maximum benefit for my students. We recently had a thread where the consensus seems to be that folks can learn how to sail by themselves and maybe a class can help a little. I don't disagree. If people are going to insist on paying me to learn to sail I figure I should do the best I can to at least save them some time and mention things that might not be in the book or are not obvious and common sense.


The following is the list of possibly useful tips that wouldn't be in a typical book that I previously posted plus a few more.
Also, some items that are in the book but don't seem to translate to real life.

What would you like to recommend that I add?


Engine
1. If you switch the main power switch to off while the engine is running on many boats you will fry the diodes and the alternator will no longer work.
2. If you have trouble starting the engine; shut off the raw-water thru-hull so you don't pump water into the cylinders. You have a plenty of time to open it up if it starts.

Navigation
3. How close do you think we will come to that buoy ahead that is leeward to our course. OK, why did it look like we had 150' clearance but only missed it by 20'.
4. Why did I ask you to call for the bridge even though four other boats are ahead of us and we heard them all call?
5. Why did I ask you to make a wide turn a dozen boat lengths before the bridge before we headed to go through instead of just coming around the corner close to the bridge and going through?
6. Why did I ask you to hang back and not follow a small powerboat through the bridge so we would both be in the span at the same time?
7. There is a ferry a half mile off. Do we have time to cross the channel?
8. Where are the rocks in reference to the danger mark?
9. Lots of live practice on rules of the road. Answering questions on paper and getting it right on the water seem to be different skills.

Boat Systems
1. Use as much toilet paper as you need but flush the head after every 6 pieces.
2. Flush with fresh water if leaving the boat for a few days to keep down smells.

Cool Tricks
11. Sail Backwards (jeff_h)
12. Lighting method of tying a bowline
13. There seem to be many docking tricks and strategies, with spring lines, ferrying, prop walk and wash that books can get you started with but practice makes perfect.
14. Steer the boat towards the Woolley that is fluttering.


The more I get to thinking about this the more I see that there are probably hundreds of things that are not in the book.
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post #2 of 40 Old 10-23-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

No love, I'll add more myself.

Carefully check-out the boat regularly.

Oil, Water, voltage, belt tension, sea strainer, cotter pins on turnbuckles, winch caps tight, smooth idle, Test forward and reverse at the dock.

Put transmission in reverse (on many boats) when under sail.

Scan the boat for overboard lines

Have-to on starboard if possible.

Come on guys/gals, there must be something you learned the hard way.

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It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
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post #3 of 40 Old 10-23-2017
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

Unbreakable wine glasses?
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post #4 of 40 Old 10-24-2017
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
14. Steer the boat towards the Woolley that is fluttering.
¿Que?



Quote:
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Test forward and reverse at the dock.
I've never done that, but it makes sense.



Quote:
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Put transmission in reverse (on many boats) when under sail.
Unless it's a Yanmar or it's Tuesday or the Cubs are winning, then it's in neutral.
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post #5 of 40 Old 10-24-2017
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

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14. Steer the boat towards the Woolley that is fluttering.
¿Que?
Steer to your telltales on the head sail. Do it all the time to stay as hard on the wind as possible. When we do a "Trim to this course" it keeps you on the track you want.

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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

Another "nice trick", use the traveller instead of the main to manage puffs. Drop the traveller down in the puff and then bring it back up. Works great, get the main trimmed and then use the traveller.

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post #7 of 40 Old 10-24-2017
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

Sailing in and out of dock?

Learning how to do this with a toasted engine is the wrong time imo. Plus, you get to combine it with sailing backwards (maybe).
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

Or, how about sailing with no sails?

I covered about 3 downwind miles through a twisty river with no sails up on Saturday. My son was napping in the cabin and I didn't want to wake him by reaching our destination too fast.
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

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Steer to your telltales on the head sail. Do it all the time to stay as hard on the wind as possible. When we do a "Trim to this course" it keeps you on the track you want.
Ah. Never heard a telltale called a Woolley before.

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post #10 of 40 Old 10-24-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Important and Cool things to teach

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Ah. Never heard a telltale called a Woolley before.
I picked that up from just finishing the Nauticed.com online courses.

Must be a Kiwi thing, but I liked the sound of it.
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The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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