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post #51 of 62 Old 09-12-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Wind power varies as a cube of wind velocity. Therefore, when the wind velocity doubles, the power increases by a factor of 8!

When the wind velocity increases by 30%, the power is more than doubled, and when the wind speed increases by 60%, the power is quadrupled.
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post #52 of 62 Old 09-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by jwing View Post
Wind power varies as a cube of wind velocity. Therefore, when the wind velocity doubles, the power increases by a factor of 8!

When the wind velocity increases by 30%, the power is more than doubled, and when the wind speed increases by 60%, the power is quadrupled.
Well, that certainly explains a lot! >_<

The last couple of weeks I was always seeing people saying things like reefing at 15 knots and taking down sails and so forth and couldn't help but think, "I know these people know what they're doing and I'm sure they have a good reason for it that's grounded in experience, but that seems kind of extreme, doesn't it?"

No. No it doesn't. Shut up, past me.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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post #53 of 62 Old 09-12-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

I was curious about your mooring line observation, above. It sounds like you are suggesting that she cleated the thinner pick up line and not the thicker pendant/pendent (that will have a loop). If she did that, that would be odd. As you probably know, the thinner pick up line is tied on one end to the pendent and the other end is tied to any type of light bouy (on one end of the spectrum, a plastic milk jug - on the other a nice lobster bouy type float with a wand sticking up). The idea with the thinner line, is that it is easier to catch with the boat hook and that it is easier to pull up thicker pendent with your hands than with a boat hook. Once the thicker pendent is aboard, its loop gets thrown over the center, beefier cleat. At that point, the thinner line and its bouy is aboard and it serves no purpose. You could cleat it. Some people throw it back overboard. I hang it from a lifeline hoping the bouy scares birds away. Anyway, that is the basic setup. Many harbors have their own systems that can be interestingly different. Cuttyhunk type mooring has no pendent and no light line. Westport, Ma, you bring the mooring bouy aboard. Anyway, the initial system I describe should allow you to get off your mooring quickly, by just taking loop off cleat and tossing the whole kit and caboodle overboard. Any other type system, should not take much more time than that.
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post #54 of 62 Old 09-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Oh, another mini-update I almost let slip past:

I met up with Jeff (username reduc) late last week after the weather allowed him to finally take the ferry over from Nova Scotia, and he was generous enough to show me around his Canadian Sailcraft CS36T while he spent a couple of days moored here in Portland. Some takeaways:

  1. 36 feet is a surprisingly large amount of boat. Heck, even 28 feet (from Lauren's Pearson, above) is a surprisingly large amount of boat. Boats are surprisingly large.

  2. Being handy is very helpful. I'm not handy yet, so I definitely don't want to end up in a "I'm going to rewire the boat" situation right off the bat. Small projects? Perfect way to get started. Major projects? Maybe something best saved until I have some real experience under my belt.

  3. Single-handing looks like a pain in the butt, but it also looks like something that, once you can do it, would be very satisfying. This was also a mini-takeaway from my afternoon sail with my friend above, because neither her husband nor son is into sailing, so she spends a lot of time handling it herself. It's obvious that there's just a lot to deal with all at once, especially on a larger boat. It's also obvious that it's something that both Allie and I will need to practice, especially once we have our own boat—you never know when one of us will take an unscheduled, surprise swimming adventure, and that is definitely not the preferred time to get one's first experience with single-handing anything.

  4. Jeff was very friendly and very patient with my general noobish ignorance, for which I am immensely grateful. He went over a ton of other stuff with me that I wish I could recount here, but it'll be some time yet before I'm even competent or knowledgeable enough to describe everything we talked about.

  5. When putting into a port you're not familiar with, make sure you check Google Maps (or equivalent) to know where things are (especially relative to wherever you moor/anchor/dock). It's only about a mile from the dock to the nearest grocery store, but it's literally uphill both ways. I know if I were putting into port, that's something I'd want to know ahead of time.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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post #55 of 62 Old 09-12-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

One other thing that you may know by now, but if you are just doing day sailing for the forseeable future and you can solve bathroom access issues, I'd sail that Ensign all day long over any larger boat. If you are cruising and moving into overnight, that's another matter, but the Ensign is a great, great sailboat.
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post #56 of 62 Old 09-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by GMC View Post
I was curious about your mooring line observation, above. It sounds like you are suggesting that she cleated the thinner pick up line and not the thicker pendant/pendent (that will have a loop). If she did that, that would be odd. As you probably know, the thinner pick up line is tied on one end to the pendent and the other end is tied to any type of light bouy (on one end of the spectrum, a plastic milk jug - on the other a nice lobster bouy type float with a wand sticking up). The idea with the thinner line, is that it is easier to catch with the boat hook and that it is easier to pull up thicker pendent with your hands than with a boat hook. Once the thicker pendent is aboard, its loop gets thrown over the center, beefier cleat. At that point, the thinner line and its bouy is aboard and it serves no purpose. You could cleat it. Some people throw it back overboard. I hang it from a lifeline hoping the bouy scares birds away. Anyway, that is the basic setup. Many harbors have their own systems that can be interestingly different. Cuttyhunk type mooring has no pendent and no light line. Westport, Ma, you bring the mooring bouy aboard. Anyway, the initial system I describe should allow you to get off your mooring quickly, by just taking loop off cleat and tossing the whole kit and caboodle overboard. Any other type system, should not take much more time than that.
So, I'll try to describe this as best I can, which won't be very good. Also, it's dangerous to start any sailing-related sentence being spoken to me with "As you probably know."

The pendant lines (thank you, I couldn't remember what they were called—my ASA 101 class didn't really cover mooring, just docking) did go around the cleat. But they're very thick (especially relative to the cleat), so it looked like they might be too bulky to really get on there as cleanly as Lauren wanted them to be. So after hooking them over the cleat, she then used a thinner, free line (by which I mean, a line that wasn't attached to anything else, i.e. not the pickup line) to basically tie down the pendant lines to the cleat so that they couldn't work themselves loose. Basically, the pendant lines were hooked over the cleat, and then tied to the cleat with a separate line in what my untrained eyes would have considered something akin to a rat's nest. I'll have to ask her about it the next time I'm on board and/or take a picture of it.

The pickup line and its attached lobster-trap-esque buoy were hauled on board, and the pickup line itself just got hitched around one of the stanchions.

After all of that was done, she also tied another line whose name I forget, but which was itself attached to the boat more center-wards (it might've been tied around the base of the mast), through one or possibly both of the loops on the pendant lines—not to affix them to the cleat any more than they already were, but to make sure they were still attached to something on the boat (and vice versa) in the even that they wiggled off the cleat itself. That part, at least, made sense to me as a reasonable safety precaution.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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post #57 of 62 Old 09-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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One other thing that you may know by now, but if you are just doing day sailing for the forseeable future and you can solve bathroom access issues, I'd sail that Ensign all day long over any larger boat. If you are cruising and moving into overnight, that's another matter, but the Ensign is a great, great sailboat.
Makeshift head space aside, I do really like the Ensign for day-sailing. I love the full keel, since I don't have to be as paranoid about lobster traps with that (Lauren was very concerned about lobster traps yesterday, and apparently has "hooked" a couple of them in the past, resulting in an emergency stop to disentangle). It's easy to handle (as far as I can tell, at least), it doesn't have a lot of hokey complicated arrangements or systems on it. It's just a very solid boat for beginner sailing, and I'd happily suggest it to anyone looking for a boat for such a purpose.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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post #58 of 62 Old 09-12-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

She knows her boat, and sounds like she doesn't trust that cleat (both in terms of its size to hold the loop and perhaps has concerns about the backing plate). Maybe that's her regular way or maybe she had some concern with Hermine rolling around. Interesting.
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post #59 of 62 Old 09-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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She knows her boat, and sounds like she doesn't trust that cleat (both in terms of its size to hold the loop and perhaps has concerns about the backing plate). Maybe that's her regular way or maybe she had some concern with Hermine rolling around. Interesting.
Of that I have no doubt. I'm sure she had a good reason for all of it, and it's always useful for a novice to see a non-novice doing anything because it makes you think about why that non-novice is doing something a particular way.

One more piece of boating-related news (man, I thought last week was a slow sailing week, but every time I look back at it I remember one more thing)—Allie's uncle (who lives down in... not-Maine. Connecticut, maybe?) is apparently interested in selling his O'Day 27. No idea what kind of condition it's in, but hey, a possible lead.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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post #60 of 62 Old 09-13-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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... I'm sure she had a good reason for all of it, and it's always useful for a novice to see a non-novice doing anything because it makes you think about why that non-novice is doing something a particular way...
There are many ways to do things and many reasons for doing them the way that people do. However, just because somebody has more experience does not mean that they do things the best way, or even in a way that is not unassailably wrong. I've seen this many times in all areas in which I have knowledge. In fact, many incorrect ways have been passed from "expert" to novice, and eventually the novice is seen as an expert and the cycle repeats. That leads to people not knowing why they do things a certain way other than, "That's how I've always done it."

That is why novices should not rely on one source of knowledge, and should always be actively learning. With so much information and expertise available in books and online, there is no excuse to be ill-informed. Study several sources, then use experimentation and your judgment to apply what you've learned to your own situation.
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