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SanderO 04-08-2019 05:38 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I would have thought that after own and sailing a boat for some time the skipper would be sharpening their sailing skills with or without racing. You can self teach by trying / playing around with sail control and this is something a monohull can tell you probably better than a multi which does not heel. If you have an accurate speedo and wind instruments with reasonable steady conditions... whatever they are... your tweaking will become apparent in you boat speed read out, and your course made good as well as your heel angle.

My knotmeter reads to .01 accuracy. And regardless of whether it is calibrated or not you can see very minor changes in speed and use this to inform your sail trim. Of course if you are using only GPS speed you likely can't see the impact that minor tweaks on the control lines have on performance. For me excessive heel is a tell that the boat is over canvased and likely making too much leeway... and it's not comfortable either. All of this performance information has nothing to do with what another boat is doing... for me 99% of the time. Because I sailing locally and mostly on the weekends it is inevitable that other boats are going to the same destination. I can and do use their performance as a bench mark for my performance. I take into consideration their LWL and what sort of boat they are. Are they a loaded up cruisers towing a dink or a sleek sailing boat? And a clean bottom makes a world of difference. I notice I scrub a knot or more with a fouled bottom and towing a dink with a fouled bottom slows me even more. Since I tow because I cruise and don't use davits I take this into consideration.

The social aspect of competition is either something you crave or don't. I don't. Yet I do admire a well oiled crew working a sleek sailing boat who definitely are getting every .1 or even .01 of a knot of speed from the boat.

Any cruising sailor with tell tails and decent instruments can and will get their boats sailing as good as they can. Lazy sailors don't seem to care as just being on their boat going somewhere seems to be what it's about for them.

Sal Paradise 04-08-2019 08:57 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Sandero-- I know you, as they say, IRL.

I don't see you racing Shiva around the cans on Thursday nights. No way!! I LOL thinking about that one. Although you are really fast and your boat is fast, so you would be very good at it.

And I'm with you in that lack of racing. I have a great sailing club and racing league right next to my dock. I always think it would be great to hang out with sailors and get together and then I remember I just want to do my own thing with my boat and yeah -- not break it. I put the autopilot on and stare at the clouds. And I have no desire to have orders yelled at me by same racing skipper. The other thing is schedule. I like to sail when the wind is strong and steady and the racers get what they get.

And so I never race. And I probably, no - I almost certainly never will.

SchockT 04-08-2019 10:37 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying if you don't race you CAN'T learn how to make your boat go, just that you will learn MORE if you race. You can certainly compare your performance to whatever random boats are around you on any given day. That still is not as good as comparing your performance to the same boats going to the exact same place as you on a regular basis.

Another interesting point; when you race you sail in whatever conditions you get on any given day, you dont get to pick and choose. That means you could end up sailing in light air. Light air sailing, can be very frustrating but also very rewarding. It doesnt take all that much skill to reach in 20kts and go fast. It takes a LOT of skill to get the most out of your boat when it is only blowing 5kts. You never know, that skill may come in handy if your engine dies on a long light air passage.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

paulk 04-08-2019 11:02 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by roverhi (Post 2051594320)
I've crewed in less that 15 races in my 60 years of sailing. At least that was in official races. If there is another boat out there will do everything I can think of, short of jettisoning crew, to better the performance of the boat. Just a natural competitiveness and desire to see what the old girl will do.

Jettisoning crew is not permitted! :wink (RRS#47.2) Anyone leaving the boat has to be back aboard before you continue racing. Only certain classes (like Bermuda fitted dinghies?) permit finishing without everyone you started with in their class rules.

I lost a crew overboard in a race on lake Ontario once when he missed his hiking strap on our Soling. We were in about 5th place in a 30-boat fleet, surfing with the spinnaker up when he went swimming. It did not improve our results, though we did not finish last.

Racing and the discussion afterwards does help learn the rules. On a Soling if you duck a starboard tack boat by more than three feet, you've ducked two feet too far. We try to allow a bit more space now, with our bigger boat.

capta 04-08-2019 11:43 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SchockT (Post 2051594400)
There are so many different levels of "racing".

I'm sorry to disagree, but there is only one level of racing if one wants to win consistently. One can go out and dither around, getting in the way of the serious racers on the formal races or club races, but if you want that trophy, you've got to pay for it one way or another. And IME that takes hard work, risking equipment and a dedication to do whatever it takes ti to be just a few seconds faster than the next guy.

bshock 04-08-2019 12:12 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I have to respectfully disagree with Capta. We don't race our boat too hard, but a couple years ago we did buy new sails to replace the original 2979 sails, a cheap whisker pole, and a speed puck, so there is investment in getting enough gear to be competitive. But there very much ARE different levels of racing. It all just depends upon the club, the fleet, and the other racers around you. Most of our spinnaker fleet racers are very competitive, and pay for the fancy laminate, carbon/whatever sails. Our JAM fleet is competitive, but very few, if any, "racing" sails, mostly just dacron. We have gotten the blue flag for the spring, summer, and fall series' (about 9 races each), in the JAM fleet for the past couple years, all but a couple times, and those times we got the red flag. It's a competitive, but friendly group of people. You don't have to yell or be yelled at to race. that's just bad skippering, as far as I'm concerned.

We've been racing for a few years now, and when we started we didn't know anything, and it showed. Often finishing dead last, but still having fun. Watching what winning boats did on the race course helped educate us, and of course talking with those skippers and crew afterward helped a lot. We've been the boat to beat in the JAM fleet for the last year or so, and it's fun to be that boat. However, we learn more when we don't finish first, because we can try to figure out what we did wrong, or what the other boats did differently and why, allowing them to finish ahead of us.

We're going to figure out how to fly a spinnaker, and move up to the spinnaker fleet for Summer, and maybe Fall. We won't even get a sniff of a third place finish I'm sure, but we'll still have fun, compete with similar boats, and try to learn and improve.

I love racing. First race is Wednesday here in Central Ohio.

jeremiahblatz3 04-08-2019 01:35 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051594482)
I'm sorry to disagree, but there is only one level of racing if one wants to win consistently. One can go out and dither around, getting in the way of the serious racers on the formal races or club races, but if you want that trophy, you've got to pay for it one way or another. And IME that takes hard work, risking equipment and a dedication to do whatever it takes ti to be just a few seconds faster than the next guy.

Sorry, but your response, which technically correct, is not helpful. There are a few Olympic winners, most classes have a world championships, and there are a bunch of big races (Newport-Bermuda, Sidney-Hobart, America's Cup, etc.). By your logic, unless you are working to win one or more of those, you're not *really* racing. I mainly do club racing, and last summer I helped some liveaboards race their houses PHRF. Yes, I have had somme (limited) success in more serious racing, but even the folks who are dragging all their worldly possessions around the beer cans are also doing their best and becoming better sailors.

Just as people can recreationally play basketball, they can recreationally race sailboats. Those weekend hoop-shooters will never be in the NBA, but that doesn't mean they are not playing basketball.

SanderO 04-08-2019 01:46 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Obviously there are different levels of racing... and there is as far as I know no major leagues except if you consider off show sponsored races the big leagues.... but this is not round the cans short races.

The race I referred to out in the east end of Long Island and there are several including the Whitebread... and the weekly Wednesday or Thursday (forgot which one) race from the jetty in Greenport to the west to the buoy at the SW corner of Shelter Island and back. This evening race is for anyone who want to join in and the start is the 6 o'clock siren from Greenport. Obviously for local sailors and visiting ones who happen to be there and want to spend 3 hrs tacking and reaching with a few tens of boats which range from Solings to heaving long LWL cruisers. Don't know any organized post race gatherings. I presume Shelter Island Yacht Club opens their bar after the race. I think I did this once back in the 80s. It was kinda fun. But not something I would do every week as many do.

MikeOReilly 04-08-2019 01:53 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
In my nearly 20 years of sailing on keel boats now I’ve been in exactly one actual race. We came in second … there were two boats in the race :)

I have no — have never had any — desire to race. Sure, if a similar sized boat is within view I might do a bit more sail tweaking, and I do like to sail efficiently, but honestly, the whole racing around the cans thing holds zero interest for me.

I’m a cruiser, which to me means I am in it for the lifestyle. Sailing is fun, and interesting, and a nice way to move my home around, but it’s not the reason I own a sailboat.

My attitude is, I’m a cruiser, I’ll trim those sails after lunch ;).

capta 04-08-2019 03:05 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremiahblatz3 (Post 2051594554)
Sorry, but your response, which technically correct, is not helpful. There are a few Olympic winners, most classes have a world championships, and there are a bunch of big races (Newport-Bermuda, Sidney-Hobart, America's Cup, etc.). By your logic, unless you are working to win one or more of those, you're not *really* racing. I mainly do club racing, and last summer I helped some liveaboards race their houses PHRF. Yes, I have had somme (limited) success in more serious racing, but even the folks who are dragging all their worldly possessions around the beer cans are also doing their best and becoming better sailors.

Just as people can recreationally play basketball, they can recreationally race sailboats. Those weekend hoop-shooters will never be in the NBA, but that doesn't mean they are not playing basketball.

Helpful or not it is my opinion.
As I said, anybody can putter around the race course and get in the way of the serious racers, but those folks are not the ones consistently standing on the podium at the trophy parties. All I ever said was that I wasn't going to enter my boat in any race for any reason where I wasn't willing to risk it all to be the winner. I don't need sailing lessons in some harbor or lake somewhere on Wednesday evenings and I couldn't care less if another boat passes me on a fine or foul day out where we do sail.
I wasn't telling you what you should do unless you decide you want to be a consistent winner.
I cannot see how you can compare recreational basketball to racing and risking your home and livelihood. Remember, we are from two different worlds and your boat is nothing more than an expensive plaything to you. You have nothing to lose, should you dismast her, other than some time and money, your life goes on. We could lose a whole season's income and more, as a dismasted 50' sailboat is not going to be very charterable! My insurance company is not going to buy me a new 60+k rig if they find out I was racing, even for fun.
But having stood on that winner's podium for 5 out of 7 seasons in Frisco Bay racing, then cruising, chartering and a circumnavigation under sail to boot, I think I have some idea of what I speak.
If you don't think my response is helpful to you, that's cool with me. But somebody else out there could read it and come away with a completely different take than you and consider it helpful, don't you think?


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