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SanderO 04-07-2019 08:05 AM

Non Racing Sailors
 
I was wondering if there are many sailors who are totally not into any formal racing? Most races as far as I know are organized by a club or clubs. But I know that there are things like Thursday night races which start at some designated point at say 6pm and end back at that same point... no handicaps.. anyone who shows up can join the fleet. I suppose members of a club would hang out together at the club after the race... the others go their separate ways.

I have only participated in that race one time and once in the Marion Bermuda race. The later was my first ocean passage and I joined the race for safety reasons... not to compete.

I admire skills of many of these crews for sure. But as a single handed sailor the crew sort of sailing is not something I do in any case.

Aside from getting one's boat going fast and working with the currents etc... the real challenge in racing may be sailing close to other boats where collision avoidance and following the rules of the road becomes very important. As I try to stay away from other boats in principle this sort of sailing is something I would normally avoid at all cost. Wifey would be petrified! We do try to "race" with a same size or larger boat who appears to be headed for the same destination to see how well we can get Shiva sailing. We don't typically get close to the other boat.

Is my approach to exception to the rule that sailors love to race?

pdqaltair 04-07-2019 08:37 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I look at sailing as a matrix that includes:
* Movement
* Achievement
* Curiosity

These can be explored with varying levels of intensity and mixed up in may combinations. Racing addresses the first two. Circumnavigating perhaps the second two at a high level of intensity. Local gunkholing the 3rd, at a low level of intensity.

They all make sense to me, but not for me, not all the time.

jephotog 04-07-2019 09:15 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SanderO (Post 2051594272)
Wifey would be petrified! We do try to "race" with a same size or larger boat who appears to be headed for the same destination to see how well we can get Shiva sailing. We don't typically get close to the other boat.

Is my approach to exception to the rule that sailors love to race?

Goes to prove my theory: If there are two boats sailing with two guys at the helm, they are racing, whether they both know it or not.

I love all forms of sailing from dinghys, to daysailing or cruising on larger boats. A majority of my time has been spent racing. It is a completely different sport. While a yachtsman like yourself is a well rounded self sufficient person who does everything from maintenance to navigation, to single hand docking.

On a race boat there may be a crew who are all really good at what they do. Some may have been sailing since they are two at their parents yacht club and are good all around sailors like yourself. Others may have never been on a sailboat that was not racing and know nothing about sailing besides their one job. It always amazes me a crew can make a boat sail so competitively when only a few members of the boat really know what is going on in the big picture. By big picture I mean amongst this crew of 10 only 2 or 3 may know the rules, and be able to navigate and dock the boat if something happened to the Skipper.

What I love about racing is being able to sail a boat like you stole it. Sailing a boat to the limit of its potential. Each owner will have a limit of how hard they want to push it, but in general they will be providing a well equipped boat with newer sails and ask you to do your part to push the performance envelope. Another neat thing about racing is the teamwork. Guys can be racing competitively into their 70s or 80s by filling their boat with the right crew.

For some people racing is just not their thing. Some may watch this video and think the sailors are reckless. I watch this and wish I was young or good enough to compete at that level.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Noe8xUKSVKs" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

JimsCAL 04-07-2019 11:09 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
The main thing I learned from my years of club racing that carries over to my current daysailing and cruising is sail trim. I still enjoy tweaking the sail adjustments and getting the boat to go a bit better.

capta 04-07-2019 11:49 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I do not, ever race my own boat. If there are two boats sailing the same direction, it improves the view, and if he's a bit ahead I get a foreview of the winds I may get.
Don't get me wrong. I love to race sailboats and was fairly successful when I did it on Frisco Bay, but I just can't justify the gear one will break when one is pushing their boat hard enough to 'beat the competition'.
But hey, if you're looking for someone to put a few trophies on your mantle, then give me a call. Just be prepared to write the checks that pushing a sailboat up to, and slightly beyond the limit, will cost.

roverhi 04-07-2019 03:16 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
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.

BarryL 04-07-2019 04:08 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Hi,

I’m a member of the mount Sinai sailing association (near port Jefferson, about an hour from you). There are about 100 families on the MSSA. We do racing (about 40 races a year), weekend cruises (about 10), social other events.

Generally the racers don’t cruise and the cruisers don’t race. Of course there is some overlap.

I started racing to become a better sailor. If you want to learn, racing will teach you how to get the most performance from your boat. How to optimize sail trim, sail handling, the importance of a clean bottom, etc., all are very important for optimum sailing performance.

Racing isn’t for everyone and i completely get it. When the wind is light (or nonexistent ), or blowing like crazy, i understand why you would not want to race. Personally, if I’m sailing to get somewhere and the wind is light i will motorsail at 6+ kits towards my destination. If you are worried about boat handling in close proximity to other boats then racing may not be for you. I can tell you that when my wife and I started sailing, she was nervous if we were within 100’ of another boat she was nervous. After doing some racing she is now much more calm when we are around other boats.

My last point: i don’t understand the fear of ‘sailing hard’. Just because you are racing doesn’t mean you have to stress the boat any more than cruising. Maybe you reef a little later, if you’re afraid of damaging your boat then something is wrong with your boat. I’ve raced in 30-40 Kts. of wind, upwind and downwind. It is scary but i know that the boat can (or at least should) be able to handle a lot more.

Barry

capta 04-07-2019 05:10 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BarryL (Post 2051594334)
Hi,
My last point: i don’t understand the fear of ‘sailing hard’. Just because you are racing doesn’t mean you have to stress the boat any more than cruising. Maybe you reef a little later, if you’re afraid of damaging your boat then something is wrong with your boat. I’ve raced in 30-40 Ltd of wind, upwind and downwind. It is scary but i know that the boat can (or at least should) be able to handle a lot more. Barry

It isn't about being scared, it's about common sense. Our boat is our home, our livelihood and our means of transportation. Sure, if your boat is your plaything, you can go out there and beat the daylights out of her, then go home and take a shower and give her not a thought until the next race.
To be a consistent winner in racing you must push the boat and her equipment far beyond the general level of what would be considered prudent seamanship. I don't see the Volvo boats easing off in any weather. It's balls to the walls 24/7 and that takes a huge toll on the men and the equipment, and they are running multi-million dollar budgets!
And for what? Fun? Bragging rights? A silly little trophy?
We have to do that often enough to meet our charter schedules, but we are paid for that and that money goes back into the boat a lot faster than from a cruiser's kitty.
I raced on a boat in Frisco Bay that won 5 out of 7 seasons, and the first season was division, which we didn't win. We never reefed, we rarely eased the sheets no matter how deep the rail was in the water and we replaced our sails seasonally. There were times when the boat was sailing beyond the crew's ability to control her, especially on the downwind runs from the GG bridge, and if the main boom hadn't been prevented and vanged down, we would have broached and dismasted her, nearly every single race. If you don't intend to 'stress the boat any more than cruising" then you are not going to be taking home any trophies, or you are going to be spending a great deal of money cruising.
As far as stressing a boat and being "scared" how about you do a Christmas bareboat charter in the Windwards or Leewards (not the VI because that is just the kindergarten) and sail a channel every day, especially north in the northeast Christmas Winds. No weather windows or going when you feel like it. Perhaps "fear" will take on a slightly broader meaning to you after a week of that, even if it isn't your rig or sails at stake.

mbianka 04-07-2019 06:21 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I never race my boat. There's plenty of stuff to maintain through normal cruising wear and tear without worrying about whether or not some other boats bowsprit is going to the tangled up in my boats life lines. It's something I never rather not worry about. I do enjoy watching the racing sailors head out of the harbor with their crews in their weekly attempts of one upmanship and earned bragging rights. I like to figure out if I can see who on the boats are the experienced crew and who are the novices as they sail by. Meanwhile I prefer to sit back and enjoy the sunset as they head out to the course.

SchockT 04-08-2019 12:54 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
There are so many different levels of "racing". Sure there are the hardcore ocean racers, with multi million dollar budgets, but the vast majority of racers, and the type that I think we are talking about are club racers.

How hard you push your boat entirely depends on how important the race is to you, and how much confidence you have in your boat and your crew. If you don't feel you or your crew can handle flying a spinnaker in heavy conditions, just don't do it. Many heavy air races have been won by the boat that sailed conservatively and didn't break anything. When it comes to club racing it is entirely up to the skipper how serious it gets. There is a level of racing for everyone, from full on Grand Prix to "No Flying Sails" divisions for cruisers.

I think many cruisers can learn a lot about their boats by racing. Contrary to what some believe, racing is not about just carrying as much sail area as possible no matter what. You will not see a competitive race boat sailing around with rails in the water, because that is not fast. Racing is about having the right sail configuration for the conditions to maximize performance while maintaining full control.
Sail shape and sail trim are critical in racing, and most of the tools and techniques racers use would also benefit cruisers, yet I am always amazed at how poorly equipped cruising boats are in that area.
Sailing upwind is one area where cruisers struggle. Where a cruiser might be reefing their main, the racer is using backstay adjuster, Cunningham, mainsheet and traveller to flatten and depower the full mainsail. The flattened sail is much more effective than the reefed sail, which is likely still too full.
Gaining knowledge of good sail shape will also make the cruiser look at their sails with a critical eye. I see so many cruising boats with atrocious sails. You can say "I don't race so it doesn't matter", but once you learn the benefit of good sail shape you may think differently. A sail that is too full, with the draft to far aft is going to mean more heeling force, less forward force, and more drag. I'm not saying you need to go out and buy new racing sails, although you may put new cruising sails higher on the wish list. In the meantime your local sailmaker can work wonders with a recut for a few hundred dollars.

Don't be afraid to go out and join in some races even if you just chase the fleet around the course. If you don't want to "risk" your own boat, try to get out and race on someone elses boat. I can pretty much guarantee you will learn something.

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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.

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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?

Arcb 04-08-2019 03:16 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I havent noticed any one mention the health benefits of racing. Maybe less so big keel boats but small boat racing is great exercise. I try to get out boating at least once a week for some exercise and to clear my head. Racing, actual or practicing/training is as good an excuse as any to get out of the house and go for a boat ride.

Minnewaska 04-08-2019 03:34 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I love to race, but only with friends who are going to the same anchorage. I've grown to hate course racing. It's often the people, especially snotty crew, but it's the schedule that sucks the most. Wed night 6pm, regardless of what's going on, regardless of wind conditions. It's a massive waste of my life, IMO.

On the other hand, if we've ginned up a flotilla out to one of the islands (or anywhere) for the night, it's game on. Point to point is much more fun that around the buoys to me. It's never more than a question of who's buying the first round. This doesn't matter much, because everyone will be buying a subsequent round. Thereby ensues the *****ing about LOAs and other completely unaccounted for disparities. They don't matter. First in the harbor wins. Period.

We will have not coordinated start. If you left an hour early, you better arrive and hour early or the guy behind will claim to have beaten you. Passing a boat that left first is the bragging home run. You never want to come up short on that measure.

My wife is rabid about it. Sometimes I really don't feel like working that hard, but she's energized by it, when it's for fun like this. If anyone is creeping up on us from behind, you'd think one of our kids was about to fall off a building, it gets so hectic to do something. Of course, text messages fly between boats too. I'll often let others know I'm having lunch and steering with my foot, especially if we're in the lead. Sometimes it's an excuse for doing poorly. Whatever.

I also race my friends to be the first to launch in the Spring. I was in this past Tues, one friend was in on Mon. That bastard. We're double or nothing to see who's off the dock first.

Yea, we race. We don't do the matching uniform, champagne, club thing.

SchockT 04-08-2019 03:35 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.

Of course there are different levels! I am just a club racer, but even in my local area I have raced in local club races in fleets made up of old racer-cruisers and various "furniture boats", and I have won my share of trophies at that level.

I have also raced on a regional level, where more serious racers come from clubs all over the region to compete in a regional championship. Even in that level the fleets are divided into divisions, with the lowest divisions made up of the ubiquitous " 4 Knot ****boxes" and the higher divisions made up of 40+ foot race boats with container loads of sails, and every kind of cruiser, performance cruiser and racer-cruiser in between.The boats I raced on won consistently in their divisions without having to spend anywhere near the kind of money the big boys did. I even raced with some of the big boys with big budgets.

I have raced in One-design fleets where you need to scratch and claw for every tenth of a knot, every degree of point, and catch every wind shift. Those are the fleets where you really do need to have perfect sails, as well as excellent crew work and excellent tactics in order to win consistently, but even then, you dont have to have an unlimited budget.

I have even raced One Design in a North American Championship level, that entailed trailering a 30foot keelboat down the coast to San Francisco, where we, as a motley crew of club sailors went up against boats crewed by professional sailors. We didnt win, but we certainly put up a good fight, and did so on a shoestring budget.

I have flown down to SanDiego to compete in a match-racing challenge, which is one- on-one racing with one-design boats, where crew work, boat handling and tactics are critical.

So even I, as a bush-league club racer, have experienced a wide range of different levels of racing. And I have sailed with Olympic champion sailors, Americas Cup sailors, and world champion one design sailors who all got their start racing whatever boat they had at the club level.

Now, as I get older, I am content to take my boat out in the less formal club races where we use geographical marks, rabbit starts, and take our own finish times. It will help me learn my new boat and get out on the water. If I want to do more serious racing, I can get out on someone elses boat be it for more competitive beer can races or long distance races like Vic-Maui.

So I know there ARE many different levels of racing because I have experienced many of them.



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pdqaltair 04-08-2019 04:18 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I wouldn't say two boats are always racing. Sometimes you just wonder if your sail trim is that bad. On a new-to-you boat, pacing a "trial horse" is one of the best ways to learn what your new boat likes. What you think is fast isn't always.

JimMcGee 04-08-2019 06:01 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
For me sailing is about being on the water -usually but not always with my wife or with friends.

Racing is a whole different vibe I don't need. I get on the water to get AWAY from stress.

hellosailor 04-08-2019 06:12 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I never had any interest in racing, until an instructor said "There's one open slip in the restaurant marina, and we have no harbor charts, but if you guys can get in there before sunset...that's a damned good steakhouse."

So one part of racing is simply learned to make a boat go fast with what you've got.

But that's not racing. A BIG part of racing is knowing the racing rules, and knowing how to use them, offensively, against the competition.

Then there's the question of commitment. Racing crew need to BE THERE every time,no excuses, the only death in family that counts is your own. You need to show up with a clear head and put in the time practicing, like the Rockettes, to make sure everyone has the same timing down.

And if you're going to get serious about it, you need to make a financial commitment that goes way beyond cruising. New sails as needed. Sails from a good loft. Get plenty of sandpaper, longboard fair the bottom, measure your spreaders (J/24's can point higher upwind if the factory spreaders are cut down to class minimum size, gee), learn to trim every last pound out of the boat. Replace stainless with fabric or titanium. And, isn't there a lighter VHF?

Going out to do some fun beercan races, can be good social fun. Especially if there's a nice buffet someplace after. But racing, real "We're taking first or someone's going to die" is a whole other world of sailing.

I don't have the budget and don't care for the Type-A temper tantrums. And I don't know how to trim the last 0.05 knots out of the sails, either.

jephotog 04-08-2019 06:35 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcb (Post 2051594610)
I havent noticed any one mention the health benefits of racing. Maybe less so big keel boats but small boat racing is great exercise. I try to get out boating at least once a week for some exercise and to clear my head. Racing, actual or practicing/training is as good an excuse as any to get out of the house and go for a boat ride.

Any of the health benefits of racing you mention is offset by the calories consumed after the race.

GeorgeB 04-08-2019 06:37 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
What exactly do you guys mean by “club racing”? Are you talking about weekly beer can racing? Or “club members only” regattas/races? There are only about four races a year that my club restricts to “members only”. We sponsor our Friday Night “beer can” races (yes, somewhere on or near the course is a pony keg with real beer so the big winner isn’t the first to finish!). Our beer cans are open to anyone from a club with YRA affiliation. The YRA/OYRA races do require a current certificate on file.

pdqaltair 04-08-2019 08:00 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
There are MANY things even laid back cruisers can gain from racers:
* Understanding sail trim means being able to press the boat in bad weather when needed. Everyone is a racer when beating into a near gale.
* Faster sail changes, or at least the idea that processes like this should be practiced until they are easy in any weather. Cruisers often hide from such challenges instead of solving the underlying procedure or hardware problems.
* Reliable tacking. Break it down into steps until it is mistake proof. Darn handy in heavy weather or tacking up a channel if the engine died.

And finally, tacking on shifts. Certain times of year, weather patterns bring oscillating winds with 15-30 degree shifts that last for 5-20 minutes. These can pay HUGE benefits working to windward, but you have to recognize the pattern and be ready to tack. Always prep the lines for the next tack as part of finishing a tack, and don't hesitate when you see it. And like a racer, you should be watching for it on the water ahead, just like you watch for gusts.

Even cruisers need to get to the harbor sooner, sometimes, even if only because someone is bored.

(And don't get the idea that because my avitar shows a quick boat that speed is everything to me. My last boat was a cruising cat.)

fallard 04-08-2019 08:21 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s we had an 18’ catboat and participated in a number of “race-rendezvous” in Fishers Island Sound. One of these events was Noank to Block Island, with a (cold) lobster dinner on the beach. More than half of the boats were 18 footers, but there were some 20 footers, a few 22 footers, a 26 footer, and a 35’ ancient wooden catboat. (The boom on the 35’ boat could have been recycled as a telephone pole.)

So, we had cats and dogs, and usually we had some kind of loose handicapping system. Some—but only about half—took the race component seriously, but all enjoyed the after-race social scene, which was usually at the race organizer’s home. We did this for 4-5 years. There were some folks who really honed their skills over a period of years in these races. One of these boats was modified with a larger sail plan and started walking away with the trophies, but his boat eventually ended up in the Chesapeake, giving the rest of us some relief. Another fellow started at the bottom of the pack and eventualllyl started winning with his Atlantic City 26 footer. There was enough mixing up of the results that it never got really boring on the race course. Still, there were some folks who were really serious. Most of us, including some of the competetive sailors were simply good sports and contributed to the incredible cameraderie that the catboat folks are know for.

So, those of us who raced for years really learned something and became better sailors, proving the adage: “It’s easy to sail a catboat, but it takes skill to sail it well.” Nonetheless, the highlight of the race-rendezvous was the rendezvous part, proving that you can use racing to develop your skills, but still have a hell of a good time socializing afterwards.

The highlight for us was the 1990 Catboat Association rendezvous at Mystic Seaport, where we had 106 catboats in the water, ranging from an 1895 racing catboat to a 19’ Menger cat on builders trials. Folks brought boats from the Chesapeake, Maine, and parts in between. One fellow trailered his boat from Illinois. My wife and I headed the local committee for that event. Our fondest catboat memories of are of the socialization, but the racing was an important component in developing our sailing skills, including reading currents and weather.

SchockT 04-09-2019 01:19 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GeorgeB (Post 2051594706)
What exactly do you guys mean by “club racing”? Are you talking about weekly beer can racing? Or “club members only” regattas/races? There are only about four races a year that my club restricts to “members only”. We sponsor our Friday Night “beer can” races (yes, somewhere on or near the course is a pony keg with real beer so the big winner isn’t the first to finish!). Our beer cans are open to anyone from a club with YRA affiliation. The YRA/OYRA races do require a current certificate on file.

When I say club racing I simply mean races that are part of a particular club's regular schedule, rather than a large regatta. I belong to two clubs, one is the largest club in the city, and the other is a much smaller community club. The larger club races are much more structured with proper buoy racing courses, mark boats, committee boats etc. The starts are much more aggressive as are the mark roundings, which can be intimidating to the uninitiated, although even in that club the slower divisions are more laid back.

The other club is much more casual with one of the competitors doing the start sequence from his boat, courses using existing objects on the water such as barge moorings and small islands for marks, and the honor system for finishing times.

In both cases all comers are welcome, not just members. They both have their merits, and quite a few boats from the small club make the trek out to the bigger clubs to participate in some of their more serious events.


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chuck5499 04-09-2019 05:07 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
We do not race - we did a few at one time until we won one and immediately someone filed a protest that was eventually overruled. But we said if they are that picky we want no part of that nonsense.

We were invited to a regatta over last weekend that was a 18nm sail and had 2 classes - fast serious boats and cruiser class. We went and went in the cruiser class and as all were working the starting line we just laid off and then started near the last 1/2 of the boats. For us it was not as much about racing but learning to make the boat go again. We have spent the last couple of years doing short hops in lite winds and not a lot of sailing and coming up in a month is a 3-5 day passage and we needed to work on our skill. We made some early mistakes when compared to the boats around us then we worked on our sail trim and got it right and blew a few folks away and most could not keep up with us. It was good practice for us and we learned a lot.

Say that one of the fast boats is a couple and she is a world class racer as is he. But she is a better racer. But she will not cruise with him as he always try to get the last tenth and makes cruising not fun when stressing the crew and the boat. To her it is more important for a comfortable good speed cruise than a very fast stress long sail. I would love to have her on this boat for a sail and learn from her as she is one of the best.

SchockT 04-09-2019 01:45 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chuck5499 (Post 2051594786)
We do not race - we did a few at one time until we won one and immediately someone filed a protest that was eventually overruled. But we said if they are that picky we want no part of that nonsense.



We were invited to a regatta over last weekend that was a 18nm sail and had 2 classes - fast serious boats and cruiser class. We went and went in the cruiser class and as all were working the starting line we just laid off and then started near the last 1/2 of the boats. For us it was not as much about racing but learning to make the boat go again. We have spent the last couple of years doing short hops in lite winds and not a lot of sailing and coming up in a month is a 3-5 day passage and we needed to work on our skill. We made some early mistakes when compared to the boats around us then we worked on our sail trim and got it right and blew a few folks away and most could not keep up with us. It was good practice for us and we learned a lot.



Say that one of the fast boats is a couple and she is a world class racer as is he. But she is a better racer. But she will not cruise with him as he always try to get the last tenth and makes cruising not fun when stressing the crew and the boat. To her it is more important for a comfortable good speed cruise than a very fast stress long sail. I would love to have her on this boat for a sail and learn from her as she is one of the best.

Unfortunately protests happen. There are rules to racing, and those rules need to be enforced. Some people that are more competitive tend to become "sea lawyers" and try to enforce the rules if it gains them an advantage, and bend them for the same reason.

When I was racing more seriously we had a protest flag in a quick release pouch tied to the backstay. We made a show of packing that flag into the pouch while waiting for the start sequence. We rarely had to use it, but having it hanging there ready to deploy sent a message...

Most of the time rule infractions are settled in a gentlemanly way, with the offender voluntarily doing their penalty turn. If the Bravo flag WAS flown, the issue was usually settled over beers in the bar. The only time I was ever involved in an official protest hearing was when it involved a collision causing damage, and fault needed to be determined for insurance purposes.

I have often sailed with fellow racers when we are delivering a boat to a distant event, or going away for a weekend somewhere, and I have never had anyone make it stressful. Sure, we all like to tweak sails and make adjustments, because that just becomes second nature. Constantly checking telltales is something that I do without thinking, but I certainly cant imagine stressing about it. The guy you refer to needs to learn to relax a bit...

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capta 04-09-2019 02:28 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
You don't have to race to become a better sailor. Try turning your engine off for the day, come what may.
One season down here, before we began chartering, we sailed nearly 2500 miles (all interisland day sails, no ocean crossings) and we ran the engine less than 20 hours for the whole year. One day we sailed from Young Island to Rodney Bay in one shot (windward side of St Vincent, leeward side of St Lucia), 79.3 miles in winds less than 18 knots: 12:22 (nice current).
Or sail your home grounds w/o turning on your engine, at all. Sail off the anchor, and to wherever you choose to go and sail onto the anchor again. Sailing the lees down here, with just you and your sailing partner (not a crew of avid sailors), actually sailing when all others are powering is an amazing feeling. Now there's a challenge that sharpens your sailing skills.
Then, when the engine does fail, you'll not be so quick to call a tow, but sail your boat to safety on your own. That beats any amount of trophies on the mantle.

cb32863 04-09-2019 03:04 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I race at a club that is focused on racing. We race on Thursdays, Saturdays, & Sundays. Part of the deal is if you get 15 attended races, weather being what it is, you get the racer discount on your slip or mooring. This is a significant savings as the lake is a very popular large lake with lots McMansions around it. Thursday nights are the most popular as we have 100 - 120 boats in 9 fleets, 2 are PHRF with spin and non-spin, on 2 different courses. Our race committee handles it all amazingly and rarely people hit each other. We have people that only get their 15 in so they save money on their fees to those that race nearly all races for the season. We also have people that sail not that well but follow the rules and are out there to have fun to a double gold medal Olympic sailor. We work closely with the community sailing center next door, classes start for kids at 5yo on up through hosting a number of High School teams and the Univ. of Minn sailing team. Most protestable issues are handled by people doing their turns, or around the free beer after each race. We are more cargo shorts and beers as opposed to the blue blazer & ascot crowd. Oh yeah, we also have a crew available table where anyone can sit and go out on a boat for a race. No one ever gets left behind. So, there are racing clubs out there that are not all banzai and crazy people on sailboats yelling at each other. Well, it does happen, mostly at starts with the Capri 25 fleet and the J's.... ;)

SchockT 04-09-2019 03:28 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051594878)
You don't have to race to become a better sailor. Try turning your engine off for the day, come what may.

One season down here, before we began chartering, we sailed nearly 2500 miles (all interisland day sails, no ocean crossings) and we ran the engine less than 20 hours for the whole year. One day we sailed from Young Island to Rodney Bay in one shot (windward side of St Vincent, leeward side of St Lucia), 79.3 miles in winds less than 18 knots: 12:22 (nice current).

Or sail your home grounds w/o turning on your engine, at all. Sail off the anchor, and to wherever you choose to go and sail onto the anchor again. Sailing the lees down here, with just you and your sailing partner (not a crew of avid sailors), actually sailing when all others are powering is an amazing feeling. Now there's a challenge that sharpens your sailing skills.

Then, when the engine does fail, you'll not be so quick to call a tow, but sail your boat to safety on your own. That beats any amount of trophies on the mantle.

You certainly are fortunate to be in a place where the wind blows strong and consistent! Not everyone is so lucky! I wonder how you would feel about sail only, "come what may" when it is only blowing under 10 knots, or 5 knots! That is what we sometimes get, and believe me, it takes some skill and patience to get some decent boatspeed.

If it took me over 12 hours to go 79 miles with up to 18kts windspeed and favorable current, I would be diving my boat to figure out what I was dragging on my keel! 6.5kts average boatspeed on a 53ft boat is well under hull speed!

I get that you are a heavy cruiser, and that you are in no hurry, but for many people, learning to get the most out of their boat is part of the joy of sailing! Many, perhaps most of us are stuck on shore earning our living, and when we get away on our boats we want to make the most of our vacation days. For me that means being able to cover a lot of ground under sail so I can get to farther destinations in a limited time.

But you are right, you don't have to race to become a good sailor, but it certainly helps, and it will likely raise your standards around your boat's performance potential!

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SanderO 04-09-2019 04:47 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Racing doesn't make anyone a better sailor. It gives them a set of skills that can be useful to any type of sailing. The performance of a sailboat is up to the skipper and if there is... a crew. Sailing is a dynamic activity involving the sails shape/trim and steering etc. The more you are engaged and sensitive to the controls available the better you are. Any type of sailor can maximize their boat's performance. These are learned skills.

capta 04-09-2019 06:34 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SchockT (Post 2051594892)
You certainly are fortunate to be in a place where the wind blows strong and consistent! Not everyone is so lucky! I wonder how you would feel about sail only, "come what may" when it is only blowing under 10 knots, or 5 knots! That is what we sometimes get, and believe me, it takes some skill and patience to get some decent boatspeed.

If it took me over 12 hours to go 79 miles with up to 18kts windspeed and favorable current, I would be diving my boat to figure out what I was dragging on my keel! 6.5kts average boatspeed on a 53ft boat is well under hull speed!

I get that you are a heavy cruiser, and that you are in no hurry, but for many people, learning to get the most out of their boat is part of the joy of sailing! Many, perhaps most of us are stuck on shore earning our living, and when we get away on our boats we want to make the most of our vacation days. For me that means being able to cover a lot of ground under sail so I can get to farther destinations in a limited time.

But you are right, you don't have to race to become a good sailor, but it certainly helps, and it will likely raise your standards around your boat's performance potential!

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Obviously, you haven't much experience with the island lees. Almost half of that trip was spent sailing the 18 miles in the lee of St Lucia. Winds in the lee can do 360's for a good bit of the trip, which is a whole lot of sail handling if you actually want to get anywhere. When I say a max wind around 16, that doesn't mean a steady 16 knots, but at times less than 10 knots with the current setting us toward the reefs of St Vincent for several hours.
I guess my post means little to those who haven't done that kind of sailing, so perhaps it wasn't a good example.
Personally, racing was very poor preparation for out of the harbor, real-world ocean sailing in the days before GPS and weather satellites. As I said, in 7 seasons we never once reefed the boat.
In 6 to 12-foot ocean seas with the current setting you to leeward, one doesn't get the kind of windward performance one is used to in harbor sailing.
And, as I said, I love racing, but I also want to win, and to me, that means going all out, even if it means taking risks. And I just won't do that with this boat.
There are lots of times when I have to sail this boat hard in unpleasant conditions because I have a schedule to keep. Few, if any, ever see it and even fewer care, I'm sure. We do it because it is our job, not to boost my ego or for some sort of glory or trophy. I think we do just fine with our boat's performance potential!

SchockT 04-09-2019 07:39 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051594914)
Obviously, you haven't much experience with the island lees. Almost half of that trip was spent sailing the 18 miles in the lee of St Lucia. Winds in the lee can do 360's for a good bit of the trip, which is a whole lot of sail handling if you actually want to get anywhere. When I say a max wind around 16, that doesn't mean a steady 16 knots, but at times less than 10 knots with the current setting us toward the reefs of St Vincent for several hours.

I guess my post means little to those who haven't done that kind of sailing, so perhaps it wasn't a good example.

Personally, racing was very poor preparation for out of the harbor, real-world ocean sailing in the days before GPS and weather satellites. As I said, in 7 seasons we never once reefed the boat.

In 6 to 12-foot ocean seas with the current setting you to leeward, one doesn't get the kind of windward performance one is used to in harbor sailing.

And, as I said, I love racing, but I also want to win, and to me, that means going all out, even if it means taking risks. And I just won't do that with this boat.

There are lots of times when I have to sail this boat hard in unpleasant conditions because I have a schedule to keep. Few, if any, ever see it and even fewer care, I'm sure. We do it because it is our job, not to boost my ego or for some sort of glory or trophy. I think we do just fine with our boat's performance potential!

Naturally since I have never sailed in those waters the reference means little to me. 6.5kt average speed is not that impressive on the face of it, but if you had to deal with massive wind shifts while doing so, that is clearly a more of an achievement than it appears! Context is everything I guess!

I'm sure you have put enough water under your keel that you know your boat pretty well. Again, not all of us are so lucky as to be able to spend as much time sailing our boats as you have.

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GeorgeB 04-10-2019 12:17 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
SchockT, this is the part that confused me. Down here in S.F. virtually all the races and regattas are sponsored (at least co-sponsored) by the hosting club. I guess if I eliminated the various National Championships and events like the Rolex, I get a better definition of “club racing”. But this will still leave all the YRA/OYRA events in the “club” category. In fact, I will be on the RC for leg one and two of the California Offshore Race Week (we are one of four hosting clubs albeit, my club does the over-all race management). Now Capta is being pretty modest about his racing chops – Keeping guys like Tom Blackaller and George Olsen off the podium for nearly a decade is pretty impressive in my book.

Rmaddy 04-10-2019 05:07 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I don’t race. I don’t care to. A good day on the lake is breezy enough to demand that I be skillful, but calm enough not to freak out my passengers. We are there for each other, not for a trophy.

SanderO 04-10-2019 07:57 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Perhaps a corollary to the OP... how many sailors do nothing but club racing? no cruising and no day sails with no goals but to enjoy the wind and waves?

Minnewaska 04-10-2019 08:23 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SanderO (Post 2051594980)
Perhaps a corollary to the OP... how many sailors do nothing but club racing? no cruising and no day sails with no goals but to enjoy the wind and waves?

That's not me, but many years ago, I had 'that boat' in the next slip. It was owned by a very wealthy local guy, whose rich kid exclusively raced it. He would have a half dozen of his "rich kid" buddies aboard, all dressed in matching monogrammed bibs, shirts, etc.

I have nothing against their money, I'm using the moniker in it's most denigrating stereotype. Snotty and privileged. Dad wasn't like that at all, but it's sad to see the kids act that way, given they've accomplished nothing in their lives yet.

One day, we get back to our slip after a nice day sail. Good wind. Lots of fun. They return from a race, while we're cleaning up. My wife looks over and says "beautiful day to sail, wasn't it?" The POS kid looks over and says "That's sailing?" and motions his finger like he's pressing a button, obviously referring to our powered winches.

My wife was just trying to be friendly. She'd spit on him in public, if she ever saw him again. Yes, it left a mark.

SanderO 04-10-2019 08:28 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I see some boats that are clearly only for racing... solings, etchells and some larger... so I am sure the genre exists.

cb32863 04-10-2019 09:52 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SanderO (Post 2051594980)
Perhaps a corollary to the OP... how many sailors do nothing but club racing? no cruising and no day sails with no goals but to enjoy the wind and waves?

There are many sailors at my club that only race and that is due to the boat they have. "Cruising" a J/70 or J/24 or J/22 really is not in the cards. Day sailing, sure, the 70 is fun for that but the 24 is not all that fun to be on. The 22 is not that great either. So those of us in PHRF, the S2 7.9's, the Ensigns, Capri 25's, and event the Sonars will at least day sail. There are some that sail in these boats that all they do is race. I find that to be a waste of a boat. I bought my 235 to race sure, but, I also bought it to enjoy a day on the water with my first mate and some overnights. We don't really go anywhere as we are on a lake but, we can have as much fun and enjoy the day as we can.

Arcb 04-10-2019 10:41 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I would say my local lake consists of mostly racers of some description. The lake has no navigable exits due to power dams and is only about 27 square miles total. There are maybe 1000 boats on it? (guesstimate by counting clubs and marinas). Boats range from dinghies to 35, 36 ft keel boats.

There just isn't any where to go, all clubs and marinas are bunched up in the widest section in the South West of the lake. So a big percentage of sailors there are racers, it seems like the best way to make use of a small body of water.

This was why I started trailer sailing, so I could get to other more navigable water ways.

pdqaltair 04-10-2019 11:27 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Personally, I find many race boats a blast to day sail. In fact, I don't understand why you would buy a cruising boat for day sailing; most are pretty dull, since they are hauling around a lot of stuff you don't need, like pretending driving a Winnebago is fun. A sports car is fun. The Alerion Express makes the point.

And that is why I downsized from my cruising cat; I was done cruising and I always liked smaller, quick boats. I can reef when I want slow, and still have sharp handling.

4arch 04-10-2019 11:33 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I participated in Wednesday evening races for 10 seasons on another guy's boat but I "retired" about 5 years ago and haven't participated in a single race since. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was having to show up several weeks in a row when temperatures were 90-something degrees with 5ish knots of wind. The downwind legs were absolutely hellish and I just got tired of feeling obligated to go out in those conditions. The dogged insistence of beer can racing clubs on setting upwind-downwind courses in all most all conditions is puzzling and infuriating when reaching courses would be much more fun in light wind.

More than that, while I do credit racing with teaching me many valuable lessons about sail trim/control, boat handling, and weather/wind assessment and giving me more confidence to sail in a broad range of conditions, I came to a point where I felt those years of racing had taught me as much as they could and going through basically the same motions every week ceased to be fun. There was certainly a lot about racing tactics left for me to learn, but that was not likely to happen in a second-tier beer can racing club.

I’ll also add that racing my own boat has never seemed all that appealing - not just because of the cost of the "arms race" but due to the extreme difficulty of recruiting consistent, reliable crew. My observation was that the boats with the most solid and competitive crews tended to have a core group whose friendship often predated the ownership of the boat. Whether the boat was owned in a financial partnership or not, the core crew tended to act as de-facto partners, each recruiting additional crew from within their own networks, thus creating a hierarchical system that wasn’t dependent on the owner/skipper being solely responsible for recruitment and logistics.

SanderO 04-10-2019 11:36 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051595012)
Personally, I find many race boats a blast to day sail. In fact, I don't understand why you would buy a cruising boat for day sailing; most are pretty dull, since they are hauling around a lot of stuff you don't need, like pretending driving a Winnebago is fun. A sports car is fun. The Alerion Express makes the point.

And that is why I downsized from my cruising cat; I was done cruising and I always liked smaller, quick boats. I can reef when I want slow, and still have sharp handling.

Our boat is our second home... and so we drag stuff around. It's not slow boat but clearly not competitive for racing. We moor it not terribly far from our primary residence... but it's far enough away that it IS getting a way. Keeping a day sailor where we moor hardly makes sense.

SchockT 04-10-2019 11:47 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 2051595012)
Personally, I find many race boats a blast to day sail. In fact, I don't understand why you would buy a cruising boat for day sailing; most are pretty dull, since they are hauling around a lot of stuff you don't need, like pretending driving a Winnebago is fun. A sports car is fun. The Alerion Express makes the point.

And that is why I downsized from my cruising cat; I was done cruising and I always liked smaller, quick boats. I can reef when I want slow, and still have sharp handling.

Yeah if all you do is day sail, a cruising boat is not the way to go. Presumably you are going to cruise as well.

Same goes for racing. Why would you buy a cruising boat with an interior for racing? In many cases cruisers are raced simply because they want to get more use out of their boats, and racing is more interesting than just going out for a day sail. Because, as you say, daysailing a cruiser can be pretty dull. If you have a scheduled race followed by a social event you are less likely to leave the boat at the dock until your next trip.

Having said that, now that I have a bigger cruising boat I have enjoyed bringing guests out for a casual sail just to look at the scenery, and put out a nice lunch spread on the cockpit table! It's all very civilized!

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chef2sail 04-10-2019 09:56 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Why does anyone do the best they can do at anything? Competition brings that out. You see it all the time in all sports . Competition forces people to achieve more than they could without it. Racing increases skills in sail trim.
It makes you read the minute wind changes , it develops teamwork as all team sports do.

My daughter and I raced Hobie 16 for a few years and were fortunate enough to be ranked in the top 5 in New Jersey. It built a forever bond between us. It taught both of us to push ourselves past points we were compfortable in which later transferred in to professional life. Racing was not a comfortable day cruising, but a day to intensely look at the sport we choose. My daughter has thanked me and me her for the valuable lessons we learned in how it applied to the larger keel boats we eventually bought.

I raced a number of years Wednesday nights in Annapolis with a great boat as part of it's crew. It was fun, got to share in some great comaradierie when some people got too serious about it I quit .

Racing helped complete the sailor I am. Complete let's different skill set than cruising. It made me a more well rounded sailor. It tonight me how to handle a boat in close quarters and not shy away from it or be afraid of it. It taught me etiquette rules in clLose quarters. There is nothing better strategy wise than the last 5 minutes before match racing and truly understanding all the factors leading up to starting a race with an advantage Over your opponents.

Racing is not for everyone. No value judgement there. Some don't want competition to interfere with how their perception of sailing/ cruising is. Some fear the close quarters. Some can,t stand to lose. Some just don't enjoy competition.

My wife is some of the above. Once in a while I push my 1983 racer cruiser Haleakula. A C+C 35 MKIII like Barry races on. On the Great Lakes it had a 1 class racing division a at one time where they were built. My wife ones not really like seeing the old gal get to 9 + to 10 + knotts. Humming along pushed close to her limits. She usually tucks under the dodger a nervously watches till it ends. She doesn't like the close quarters sailing , especially when we come up on a boat from behind, sail close Hauled and sail inside another boat on the same basic course, blocking their wind has we squeeze by. Haleakula points extremely well.

My competitive racing days are over, but once in a while it sneaks a peak in the past when opportunity presents in TT self.

chef2sail 04-10-2019 10:26 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051594878)
You don't have to race to become a better sailor. Try turning your engine off for the day, come what may.
One season down here, before we began chartering, we sailed nearly 2500 miles (all interisland day sails, no ocean crossings) and we ran the engine less than 20 hours for the whole year. One day we sailed from Young Island to Rodney Bay in one shot (windward side of St Vincent, leeward side of St Lucia), 79.3 miles in winds less than 18 knots: 12:22 (nice current).
Or sail your home grounds w/o turning on your engine, at all. Sail off the anchor, and to wherever you choose to go and sail onto the anchor again. Sailing the lees down here, with just you and your sailing partner (not a crew of avid sailors), actually sailing when all others are powering is an amazing feeling. Now there's a challenge that sharpens your sailing skills.
Then, when the engine does fail, you'll not be so quick to call a tow, but sail your boat to safety on your own. That beats any amount of trophies on the mantle.

Clearly you are right , you don't have to race to learn the skill. Clearly you are wrong some of us have learned the skills from racing.

We all use our boats and sail for different reasons. For some it's their home like yours. Or some it's a business Enterprise to make moneyy....like yours.

No value judgement to your choices but they are not and never would be mine.

My sailing is my therapy. Making my therapy into a business to make money would take away from that. I don't want to be confined to a boat even though I love them. I have far to many other interests like museums, mountains, to forgo them to live on a boat. I also like my home , my friends. I like to jump on a plane at. whim and go somewhere to experience other places. Our/ my sailing is good for our marriage, as we are together and our variety of our other interests compliments that. It gives us balance in our life.

So we use our boats differently. Neither is superior to the other, it's just a matter of our personal choices. Neither choice I the "best" way to sail or LL earn to sail, or makes anyone a suprior sailor or authority on it. You do what fits you and makes you happy. That leaves room for the racers too.

blt2ski 04-11-2019 01:19 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Some of us also know, if we do not force ourselves to a degree, to go out on those weekly, every other week events, the boat will not be used as much! Nor might we try to force ourselves to sail in those under 5 knots, or over 20-25 knot days like a race I did last saturday. Not every day is sunny, 60-80F or what ever is a nice day/evening in your mind. SOmetimes racing is like last weekend, where 1/3 of the fleet did not start, 1/3 did not finish, 1/3 of us finished. 5 of 17 classes had one official finisher out of 4 starters, out of 7 that were in that division, me for example. I was the finisher. I would not call it an easy win per say. But we knew what we needed to do to finish and survive per say the day!
SOme days we finish last, some first, some in between. Like snow skiing that I have taught for 35 years, done for 40+, the worst day sailing/skiing is better than best day at work! What ever gets me on the water, be it liquid or solid, is a good day!

Marty

SanderO 04-11-2019 07:36 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Great responses here. I was interested in hearing from the non racing sailors... but the ones who do both racing and cruising or day sailing explained their reasons for racing. Actually this is one of the interesting things about sailing... that it can be fulfilling for various ways of being on the water. No one will deny that competition *anything* makes you better at that genre... in terms of performance. Absolutely nothing wrong with stepping up your skill set.

Of course for the non racing sailor dismissing the notion that they too are looking to improve performance is denying the credit that is deserved. Aside from super lazy or dumb sailors... and there are very few of these because they don't go well with owning a boat every sailor going somewhere wants to get there a quickly (and enjoyably) as they can. And no matter how fast they go... it's a very slow way to get an anyplace that offers road or air alternatives. If we, for example, want to visit the Mansions in Newport, we can drive in comfort and get there in 3-4 hrs. Sailing takes say 25 hrs (guess). But getting there in the boat is much more pleasurable than driving... and more fun... and comes with a sense of accomplishment that driving on roads doesn't provide. Perhaps if I had a racing background I could cut the 25hrs down to 23 or 24... But why? Perhaps getting early enough to find a better spot to anchor or avoid an evening landfall? Whenever we are on a tack for a while and the conditions are reasonably stable... I will fiddle with my trim/control lines to get the boat going as fast as I can... and I can tell because of the sensitive instruments. I could get there with just a compass.. maybe not even that.... and charts, binocs... as it's mostly eyeball navigation. But without my instruments I would likely not be able to know how well my sailing tweaks are doing. I think all sailors will try to optimize. Not to compete... with others... but perhaps with themselves to get their boat sailing well.

I am concerned about sailing in close quarters with other boats... and mostly because there seem to be way too many who do not observer the COLREGs or don't care to. Way too many are not watching and unpredictable and that applies to operators of big expensive boats... power and sail. I suppose many racers will evolve to cruisers or day sailors because it's less stressful???? But everyone seems to want to go faster believing they can if only if only.

Minnewaska 04-11-2019 08:03 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SanderO (Post 2051595226)
..... But everyone seems to want to go faster believing they can if only if only.

Good post and I agree with it. Whether we want a schedule or not, they are forced upon us, due to weather, filling anchorages, time off, distance to destinations, nightfall, whatever. Faster can be better and some argue safer.

It is clearly a matter of relativity. One is trying to get the most out of what their boat will do, not necessary be faster than another boat. My boat is considered pretty fast by most of us. Non-sailors consider it pretty slow, even at hull speed. I'm occasionally asked why I don't just get a stinkpot for speed and I remind them they aren't all that fast either. Most are no faster than a good bicycle. If you need to get somewhere quickly, take a car or plane. The water is slow.

I'm also reminded of some of my most enjoyable sails in the Bay, when winds are so light, I can barely get the sails to fill. I don't want to motor 25 miles, so we stay close. So light, I reef, only because the weight of the cloth and sheets are too heavy. It's also a great sense of accomplishment to just make the boat move at all, taking hours to travel just a few miles to a local anchorage and go ashore for lunch. There is nothing fast about it. A counter current would stop you in your tracks. It's peaceful, zero stress, no need to trim much. It's what many landlubbers probably think of, when they think of sailing. Not like our offshore waves crashing, spray in your face and wind noise that rivals the decibels of a stinkpot.

SanderO 04-11-2019 08:19 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I would add.... it's not getting THERE but how and the joy of GETTING there. Some people feel a thrill from using just the wind... and a vessel that has roots in ancient times. Same propulsion but with science and technology applied. And for the most part you get some place without spewing smelly pollutants into the environment. It's like free energy! Being on the water seems to have a therapeutic impact on feeling of well being and health. How cool is that!

BarryL 04-11-2019 09:43 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
4 Attachment(s)
Hello All,

I am really enjoying this thread. Big thanks to SanderO for starting it. So many different perspectives, well written thoughts, and no attacks.

Just a few more points.
I've been an athlete my entire life. I played soccer, ice hockey, lacrosse, etc. As I got older, the opportunity to play team sports decreases. The opportunity to complete at a high level is really small. In sailboat racing a bunch of old guys on an old boat can still be competitive. In 2018, RJMS (the C+C 35 boat I race on) competed in the Off Soundings Spring series, Around Long Island Regatta, Off Soundings Fall series, Whitebread, Vineyard, and Greenport Ocean Race.

Our results:
Off Soundings Spring: 4th out of 15
Around Long Island Regatta: 2nd in class (of 10 boats), 3rd overall in spinnaker out of 33
Vineyard race: retired - broken mainsheet, terrible conditions (I was not on the boat)
Off Soundings Fall: Race 1: 1st out of 15, race 2: 5th out of 13
Whitebread: 2nd out of 12
Greenport Ocean Race: 5th out of 15 (I was not on the boat)

Pretty good performance for a bunch of amateurs on an 1988 boat.

Lastly, the 'big' regattas listed above have real big parties after the race!

Barry

SanderO 04-11-2019 10:06 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Barry,
Impressive! As a cruiser the distance races you mentioned do have some appeal to me. I did do the Marion Bermuda back in 91 mostly to prep me and the boat for the coming 4 years of doing the Caribbean and annual passages between LIS and the Caribe. The racing was not much interest to me... but of course we did try to do the best we could. We were rated in the exact middle of the entire fleet and finished exactly in the middle. It was a very tough passage... in fact the worst conditions I have ever sailed thru/in. No gear failures but crew were all sea sick! YIKES! That was the first and all subsequent passages were nothing compared to it.

I am not all that thrilled to "go out for the day" of sailing. As I don't live close to the boat... once I get there I am pretty much on the boat for the weekend or longer. So... I might as well sail somewhere. These days I am less and less inclined to sail when conditions aren't cooperative. I don't need to maintain hull speed... but sailing under 3 knots and suffering stink pot wakes is not my idea of fun. And no wind is clearly something races can face.

The races you mentioned seem manageable time wise so I might add that to my bucket list. Thanks for that!

Sal Paradise 04-11-2019 10:43 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I rented a J24 last summer while on a weeks vacation in Newport. Of course I waited until it was blowing 20+ knots so I would get my money's worth. Just me and my 22 year old son. We came out from Sail Newport right into the Candy Store Cup. Wow!! I was a couple hundred yards off the buoy when these big boats came around seemingly inches apart. What a thrill. , I appreciated the guts and glory of that sport. The adrenaline of that afternoon stayed with us into the evening.

jblumhorst 04-11-2019 10:54 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
My family skied from the time the youngest could walk. I never raced, never wanted to. My brother and I grew up with skis on our legs. We had fun swooping down mountains in all conditions. Skiing is dancing with gravity to me

I dance ballroom and other styles. Never competed. I dance for the pure joy of it.

I have sailed since I was eight. Sailing is dancing with wind and water to me.

I sail to be outdoors and to simply be. It’s a moving meditation.

SchockT 04-11-2019 12:36 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
As previously discussed, there is a type and level of racing for everyone. In my region yacht racing has been on the decline for years. My home port yacht club has hosted an annual regatta for many years. In the '90s we had over 130 boats show up. These days we are lucky to get 40. There are a number of reasons for this decline, not the least of which is the extraordinarily high cost of living here. Whatever the reasons for the decline, it has inspired those who are passionate about the sport to look for ways to appeal to a broader cross section of the sailing community.

With all the declining participation in racing there are a few events that are bucking that trend. A good example is the Round Bowen Island race. It is a race where the island is the mark. After you start it is up to you whether you go around clockwise or counterclockwise. You need to take into account not only what the wind is doing now, but what it will be doing later in the day. You need to plan when and where to get through the Lee of the island, and for that matter where the Lee will be. You also need to consider tides and currents, and there can be very strong currents, back eddies etc.

That event is gaining more and more participants every year, from the hardcore racer to the retired racers, to the diehard cruiser. I think that race appeals to a much broader demographic because the skills required are the same skills that make a good cruising sailor, planning for weather, currents etc. It is a race where a cruising boat can beat a sport boat because the sport boat sailed themselves into a hole, or didn't accurately predict the afternoon wind.

Of course they put on a great party afterwards, so there is that!

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

Minnesail 04-11-2019 01:44 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
I’ve only raced a sailboat once, it was a very informal race and I was give a “spirit” prize because I raced in a skeleton costume.

Some people just aren’t terribly competitive. I’m perfectly happy playing Scrabble without keeping score, I just like finding words. Other people don’t see the point if you can’t tell who’s winning.

I do a bike race every May and I guess I race in that I try to do my best. Last year I got my time down to 7 hours 40 minutes, which for the first time put me above the median into the top half of the finishers. Whoo hoo, I’m slightly above average?

On the little lake where I usually keep my little boat there aren’t really any destinations to sail to, so sometimes we chase each other around for fun, or practice passing close enough to do a fist bump or pass a can of beer. It’s always fun if I can make time on someone who should have a faster boat, but I don’t get too worried if I get passed.

It’s all about having fun.

rbrasi 04-11-2019 04:31 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
To me, a big part of racing is the problem solving. It's like doing calculus very quickly. Yes, there's camaraderie, after parties, fun and adrenaline as has already been noted. I cruise about 60% of the time I sail, so racing challenges my chops far more. Some sailors have raced and moved on from that, I get it. If you get just as much out of a day sail, then who are we to judge? I like to host friends and having a race on the schedule is an efficient way to get them out there. If I say 'we push off at 5 on Tuesday', then they know that what/when/why.
But that moment the P flag goes up, though.....

capta 04-11-2019 05:53 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chef2sail (Post 2051595186)
No value judgement to your choices but they are not and never would be mine..

I find this to be a very important and to the point statement.
Some have said how they think me "lucky" to be doing what I am doing. I don't see any of it as luck. It is a choice I made, way back when I was about 7. I was going to be the captain of a ship! At that age, it meant an ocean liner, but as I aged they fell from reality and other vessels presented other choices.
I could have chosen, as most others have, yourself included, to live in a residence ashore and work at any number of professions that allowed me to have a boat for whatever use I pleased.
I can honestly understand your comment, "My sailing is my therapy", but can you understand that it is also mine? Those days with no guests, my wife and I sailing 40 miles on a beam reach in the trades from Bequia to Tyrrel Bay........
Oh, and never mind the view out my "office" window. lol
No good or bad, right or wrong. As you said, individual choices.

SanderO 04-11-2019 06:55 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051595370)
I find this to be a very important and to the point statement.
Some have said how they think me "lucky" to be doing what I am doing. I don't see any of it as luck. It is a choice I made, way back when I was about 7. I was going to be the captain of a ship! At that age, it meant an ocean liner, but as I aged they fell from reality and other vessels presented other choices.
I could have chosen, as most others have, yourself included, to live in a residence ashore and work at any number of professions that allowed me to have a boat for whatever use I pleased.
I can honestly understand your comment, "My sailing is my therapy", but can you understand that it is also mine? Those days with no guests, my wife and I sailing 40 miles on a beam reach in the trades from Bequia to Tyrrel Bay........
Oh, and never mind the view out my "office" window. lol
No good or bad, right or wrong. As you said, individual choices.

Running a charter boat such as you do certainly is a way to make a living at what you love doing. My problem is opening my home to strangers week after week. Sure they may turn out to be incredibly interesting people who you might want as friends... invited to sail with you. But they also could be people you don't connect with or even worse. It's hard to know who buys your service and shares your home especially your boat. I could never do this. I did one delivery and the crew were sailors or competent crew. But several I literally couldn't abide... and that make the week not what it could have been. You never know a person until you sail offshore with them.

capta 04-11-2019 09:22 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SanderO (Post 2051595388)
Running a charter boat such as you do certainly is a way to make a living at what you love doing. My problem is opening my home to strangers week after week. Sure they may turn out to be incredibly interesting people who you might want as friends... invited to sail with you. But they also could be people you don't connect with or even worse. It's hard to know who buys your service and shares your home especially your boat. I could never do this. I did one delivery and the crew were sailors or competent crew. But several I literally couldn't abide... and that make the week not what it could have been. You never know a person until you sail offshore with them.

We aren't doing charters to make a living. That is incredibly hard to do, especially these days. We basically do it as an occupational thing. We like having a schedule and having places to be at specific times, and doing so under sail, whenever we can. And it is so much fun showing people our world; the phosphorescence in the water on a dark night, the stars in an unpolluted sky, and personally guided snorkeling, for instance. We may make a lot less than the 10 grand a week boats, but we get to go sailing a lot more often than they do.
Also, we get a completely different sort of passenger than I did when I was running very expensive charter boats, exclusively for rich people. I noticed that way back when I was a part-time bareboat captain. I much preferred the less affluent people and found, as a general rule, they were pretty easy to please and make friends with.
All in all, this time around, chartering has been a very positive experience for us. As for bad crewing experiences, I haven't had that much problem with that either, but I think as I aged I became a better captain (not just seamanship, but as a leader) and that made it better for all aboard.
However, you are absolutely right. There is a huge difference between being hired to operate a charter boat and opening up your boat (home) to strangers. Thankfully, we can screen our customers and don't need to take everyone who inquires.

chef2sail 04-11-2019 10:33 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051595370)
I find this to be a very important and to the point statement.
Some have said how they think me "lucky" to be doing what I am doing. I don't see any of it as luck. It is a choice I made, way back when I was about 7. I was going to be the captain of a ship! At that age, it meant an ocean liner, but as I aged they fell from reality and other vessels presented other choices.
I could have chosen, as most others have, yourself included, to live in a residence ashore and work at any number of professions that allowed me to have a boat for whatever use I pleased.
I can honestly understand your comment, "My sailing is my therapy", but can you understand that it is also mine? Those days with no guests, my wife and I sailing 40 miles on a beam reach in the trades from Bequia to Tyrrel Bay........
Oh, and never mind the view out my "office" window. lol
No good or bad, right or wrong. As you said, individual choices.

I do understand it's your therapy by the passion which comes through when you write about sailing and the enthusiasm you have to share it with others. We are more alike than different.

Like I mentioned in a previous post I'd love to share a sailing and stories with you. In today's world of hustle and technology passion for things seems to get lost.

Choices and respect for others is important in my life. It's what makes us unique. Here sailing is what draws us all together.....

jephotog 04-11-2019 11:14 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
If you look at this video and your first primary thoughts are questions like:

Why did the boats get so close to each other?

Why did they not reduce sail before they both went out of control?

Who is responsible for this reckless situation?

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u_OlS2PU56Q" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The conversation about racing on this forum reminds me of a poster a coworker had up. It showed a guy dropping in on a surfboard on what was maybe a 35-foot wave. Below it said, "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand."

Arcb 04-12-2019 09:42 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SanderO (Post 2051595226)

I am concerned about sailing in close quarters with other boats... and mostly because there seem to be way too many who do not observer the COLREGs or don't care to.

I agree round the buoys harbour type racers can have very strange interpretations of the collision regulations. However, there are many different types of racing. In distance style point to point racing the gaps between boats can really open up. Its not unusual to go hours without seeing another boat, I suspect in some its possible to go days without seeing another boat depending on the distance involved. So there is something for every one if you don't feel like mixing it up in close quarters. Personally close quarters doesn't bother me unless the other boats are much bigger, heavier and or faster than mine.

SchockT 04-12-2019 12:56 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
On the race course, particularly buoy racing, the participants don't adhere to a strict interpretation of ColRegs, they are adhering to Racing Rules of Sailing. While I don't think the RRS go against the VolRegs per se, but they certainly allow the limits to be pushed.

While the average recreational sailor should have no problem keeping a good distance away from other boats, that is just not possible when you have potentially dozens of boats all converging on and rounding a mark. In more aggressive one design fleets a certain amount of "bumper boats" is inevitable. Of course as boats get larger and the consequences of contact more severe and costly it does not happen nearly as much.

RRS are much more detailed and situational than ColRegs, but at the end of the day the onus is on both parties to try to avoid collisions, but they are inevitable when both boats want to occupy the same piece of water!

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

Arcb 04-12-2019 01:15 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SchockT (Post 2051595518)
On the race course, particularly buoy racing, the participants don't adhere to a strict interpretation of ColRegs, they are adhering to Racing Rules of Sailing.

Well, they still have to adhere to a strict interpretation of the ColRegs in relation to all vessels not participating in the race, something we all know gets forgotten, or flat out ignored at times.

rbrasi 04-12-2019 03:06 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Yeah, rule 14. Avoid collision. It's one of the first RRS they emphasize when discussing any situation in clinics, talks, whatever.

cb32863 04-12-2019 03:46 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcb (Post 2051595526)
Well, they still have to adhere to a strict interpretation of the ColRegs in relation to all vessels not participating in the race, something we all know gets forgotten, or flat out ignored at times.

That's a pretty broad generalization. "Those damn crazy racers!!" Well, there is a common courtesy thing that maybe one doesn't try to mosey through the race course unless absolutely necessary. Especially on a buoy race. I know the sailors I race with obey the RRS and ColRegs when on the course. We have had a few power boats think its a grand thing to mosey through us. Most people though know we are going to be out there because we have been doing it for over 50 years. We get spectators in power & sail on the edge of the courses. Its not hard to figure out where the "lines" are. And no, we do not take up the whole lake as that would be not a good neighbor thing to do.

Arcb 04-12-2019 04:06 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cb32863 (Post 2051595560)
That's a pretty broad generalization. "Those damn crazy racers!!" Well, there is a common courtesy thing that maybe one doesn't try to mosey through the race course unless absolutely necessary. Especially on a buoy race. I know the sailors I race with obey the RRS and ColRegs when on the course. We have had a few power boats think its a grand thing to mosey through us. Most people though know we are going to be out there because we have been doing it for over 50 years. We get spectators in power & sail on the edge of the courses. Its not hard to figure out where the "lines" are. And no, we do not take up the whole lake as that would be not a good neighbor thing to do.

The truth hurts.

I was a commercial seaman for 20 years. Ships navigator. Yes, I well know racers expectation is for every one else to do the courteous thing and go around their race. Even if it forces 700 foot ships into the rocks.

The courteous thing to do would not set up race courses in busy harbours, channels, ferry routes and commercial shipping lanes. But no, its every one else who is supposed to be courteous.

I don't know how many times I have had to alter ships courses in designated channels while some red faced beered up racer screams "can't you see I am racing here.".

SchockT 04-12-2019 04:10 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rbrasi (Post 2051595554)
Yeah, rule 14. Avoid collision. It's one of the first RRS they emphasize when discussing any situation in clinics, talks, whatever.

Yes, of course, but that doesnt mean you are not going to take advantage of your right to luff the weather boats over the line before the start, or take the inside line on a mark rounding etc. It is up to the boat that does not have right of way to avoid the collision, as long as you give them "room and opportunity" to keep clear.

That's the difference. The recreational sailor is likely going to waive their right of way to err on the side of caution, (assuming they even KNOW they have RoW). A serious racer is going to take full advantage of their rights.

Many incidents are a result of both parties believing they have rights.



Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

cb32863 04-12-2019 05:05 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcb (Post 2051595566)
The truth hurts.

I was a commercial seaman for 20 years. Ships navigator. Yes, I well know racers expectation is for every one else to do the courteous thing and go around their race. Even if it forces 700 foot ships into the rocks.

The courteous thing to do would not set up race courses in busy harbours, channels, ferry routes and commercial shipping lanes. But no, its every one else who is supposed to be courteous.

I don't know how many times I have had to alter ships courses in designated channels while some red faced beered up racer screams "can't you see I am racing here.".

This is more to do with the race committee and how they set up the course. But, yeah, sure, all us racers are dicks. Surprised it took this long for this BS to come up.

I should know better than to try to contribute to these sorts of threads with the positive things that my racing club has and does for the sport of sailing. Always comes down to how much a bunch of a-holes all racers are.

Arcb 04-12-2019 05:25 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cb32863 (Post 2051595580)
This is more to do with the race committee and how they set up the course. But, yeah, sure, all us racers are dicks. Surprised it took this long for this BS to come up.

I should know better than to try to contribute to these sorts of threads with the positive things that my racing club has and does for the sport of sailing. Always comes down to how much a bunch of a-holes all racers are.

Why are you taking this personally. The sport has a well established reputation. It goes right to the very top of the sport. Yes, I agree. Race committees share the blame. Would you go night fishing any where the Volvo Ocean Race?

chef2sail 04-12-2019 06:42 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcb (Post 2051595566)
The truth hurts.

I was a commercial seaman for 20 years. Ships navigator. Yes, I well know racers expectation is for every one else to do the courteous thing and go around their race. Even if it forces 700 foot ships into the rocks.

The courteous thing to do would not set up race courses in busy harbours, channels, ferry routes and commercial shipping lanes. But no, its every one else who is supposed to be courteous.

I don't know how many times I have had to alter ships courses in designated channels while some red faced beered up racer screams "can't you see I am racing here.".

Painting all racers with such a broad brush based on your experiences negates your experience.

I am sure there are quite a few "Wyatt Earp" large boat operators as well as navigators. Maybe even some of their fopahs have been documented as they crashed into other ships or fixed objects like rocks. I would not expand that to mean all large ship seaman are less than competent bullies using their large ships to demand the right of way. I have been bulldozed out of the way by a few tugboats pushing barges as they charge through groups of fishing or sailing boats on the Chesapeake when a small course deviation miles before would have seen them cruise the edges of them.

My experience has been the contrary with both groups being poor seaman or rules followers . Most exercise courtesy.

Racing in most cases I have seen ultra teaches most sailors the rules of the road. The first being of course safety of your crew as well as a other boats,

Many large ship seaman have great manners as both boats share the same waterway together. I have talked to many captains over the VHF on the Southern Chessie and off shore when contacted by them when we have crossing paths. Most are extreme professionals and make suggestions as to their or my boats movements to avoid any possible collisions.

Sounds to me you thought you as. commercial vessel believe you had ultimate rights of the water with small sailing vessels you contacted, thus your apparent bitterness to a few instances where a few racers crossed your path bringing out your ire.

Personally I don't force a larger less navigable ship to charge it's course in close quarters.

capta 04-12-2019 07:03 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcb (Post 2051595566)
The truth hurts.

I was a commercial seaman for 20 years. Ships navigator. Yes, I well know racers expectation is for every one else to do the courteous thing and go around their race. Even if it forces 700 foot ships into the rocks.

The courteous thing to do would not set up race courses in busy harbours, channels, ferry routes and commercial shipping lanes. But no, its every one else who is supposed to be courteous.

I don't know how many times I have had to alter ships courses in designated channels while some red faced beered up racer screams "can't you see I am racing here.".

Operating an 80-foot three-masted schooner in Charleston Harbor, 3 times a day 7 days a week in the season, we occasionally ran afoul of a 'cowboy' racer who loved to use the schooner like a fence to a horse wishing to rid itself of its rider.
One call to the harbor authority, who would call the appropriate club or race organizer and threaten to ban all racing in the harbor (force them to race offshore) would end the idiocy for a while.
Really, I didn't care if they wanted to bash their little plastic toys into my big heavy steel schooner, but I thought that the resulting USCG investigation would be rather bothersome and I preferred to avoid it.

Arcb 04-12-2019 07:37 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chef2sail (Post 2051595604)
Painting all racers with such a broad brush based on your experiences negates your experience.

I am sure there are quite a few "Wyatt Earp" large boat operators as well as navigators. Maybe even some of their fopahs have been documented as they crashed into other ships or fixed objects like rocks. I would not expand that to mean all large ship seaman are less than competent bullies using their large ships to demand the right of way. I have been bulldozed out of the way by a few tugboats pushing barges as they charge through groups of fishing or sailing boats on the Chesapeake when a small course deviation miles before would have seen them cruise the edges of them.

My experience has been the contrary with both groups being poor seaman or rules followers . Most exercise courtesy.

Racing in most cases I have seen ultra teaches most sailors the rules of the road. The first being of course safety of your crew as well as a other boats,

Many large ship seaman have great manners as both boats share the same waterway together. I have talked to many captains over the VHF on the Southern Chessie and off shore when contacted by them when we have crossing paths. Most are extreme professionals and make suggestions as to their or my boats movements to avoid any possible collisions.

Sounds to me you thought you as. commercial vessel believe you had ultimate rights of the water with small sailing vessels you contacted, thus your apparent bitterness to a few instances where a few racers crossed your path bringing out your ire.

Personally I don't force a larger less navigable ship to charge it's course in close quarters.

I don't know whose post you read, but it wasn't mine. I said the colregs get forgotten or ignored "at times". It's true. They do. I myself race. I have worked at a couple of the biggest yacht clubs in Canada. I know what happens.

I am not sure whose eyes you ultra defensive guys are trying to pull the wool over, or maybe you just haven't seen how the big regatta interact with shipping and cruising traffic?

Maybe I struck a nerve?

Deny all you want. It happens. A lot.

SchockT 04-12-2019 09:04 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
In my experience racers, for the most part completely respect commercial traffic, and give them right of way, and for the most part the commercial traffic is respectful of race courses. We do NOT set up race courses in the shipping lanes! Race committees contact Harbour Traffic and inform them that they are running races, where the courses are etc. Harbour Traffic in turn informs vessels approaching the area about the races so that they are aware. It is written into all Sailing Instructions that any competitor found to be obstructing commercial traffic will be disqualified. That's not to say that the occasional boat may try to cross in front of a tug with a long tow so they don't get trapped on the wrong side. I have seen the tugs slow down to let them cross, and I have also seen them speed up and lay on the horn. For the most part, however, racers and commercial vessels coexist just fine.

Sport fishermen and other pleasure boaters are the ones that come in most conflict. I can't count the number of times I've seen powerboats charge right through racing fleets. Sometimes you can give them the benefit of the doubt, that they thing it is just regular boat traffic. Other times they have charged right through the starting area where it couldn't be more obvious there is something going on, with committee boats flying signal flags, marks anchored, and groups of boats lining up and starting. I'm sorry, but when they do things like that, they deserve all the unfriendly gestures they get! Some of the more egregious offenders get reported to Harbour Patrol by the race committee that is in constant contact with the authorities.

Outside of the starting area and the vicinity of the marks racers around here realize that we are sharing the water. We give way to pleasure craft that have right of way, and we expect those that don't have right of way to give way to us. I don't think that is unreasonable.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

Arcb 04-12-2019 09:27 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
SchockT,

I know this problem isnt every where and its not every racer, which is why I said it how I said it.

Places like Toronto though it can be big. Toronto has racing nearly every night of the week. The Western Gap is the only way for ships to enter the harbour. Even kids racing optimists can be found blocking this channel, and they are not visible to the sugar and cement ships entering the harbour. The ferries learn to deal with them, mostly by powering through the fleet. But there is almost nothing the ships can do. It isnt like its dodging one boat once in a while. It can be dodging a dozen racing boats every single time a ship enters the harbour in the summer time. Of course Lake Ontario and Humber Bay are open water options, but racing on open water must too scary or something because most of the time they are in the harbour.

SchockT 04-12-2019 09:50 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcb (Post 2051595642)
SchockT,



I know this problem isnt every where and its not every racer, which is why I said it how I said it.



Places like Toronto though it can be big. Toronto has racing nearly every night of the week. The Western Gap is the only way for ships to enter the harbour. Even kids racing optimists can be found blocking this channel, and they are not visible to the sugar and cement ships entering the harbour. The ferries learn to deal with them, mostly by powering through the fleet. But there is almost nothing the ships can do. It isnt like its dodging one boat once in a while. It can be dodging a dozen racing boats every single time a ship enters the harbour in the summer time. Of course Lake Ontario and Humber Bay are open water options, but racing on open water must too scary or something because most of the time they are in the harbour.

I am not familiar with those waters of course, but it sounds a lot like a shipping lane. If it is that hazardous for ships navigating that piece of water why are they allowed to set up races there?

Even so, I cant imagine a racer yelling at a ship to get out of the way...that is just idiocy.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

theluckyone17 04-12-2019 10:15 PM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Meh.

I'm new to sailing. Picked up a damaged Force 5 dinghy for free; the romance of sailing fast wore off quick when I realized the slip-on sail means no stopping in the middle of the local lake. I'll finish up repairs to it and donate it to a local sailing school.

Picked up an O'Day 19 Weekender to learn to sail on; still completing the repairs. Discovering that I must be all sorts of crazy, since I enjoy fixing her as much as I enjoy being out on the water (plenty of kayaking done, including building four skin on frame designs). She should be hitting the water in the next couple of months. Problem is, that small little cabin is gonna be fine for a weekend, but not much longer.

Did more research and dreaming, then picked up a 24' Tylercraft twin keel for the price of the trailer. Needs even more work than the O'Day, but she's a project I can work on while sailing the O'Day. I'm finding a lot of pride in fixing up a 50+ year old boat and getting her back on the water.

So... racing? Well, the Tylercraft design allegedly won a few races back in its heyday... back in the early 60's. Gotta image things have changed a bit since then. I might be open to trying a beer can race or two, and I'd love to see some discussion regarding its PHRF (probably over more beer). Taking a race seriously?

Meh.

Minnewaska 04-13-2019 05:45 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
We have countless races on the Bay, during the season, from world class, to local clubs, to dinghies, to events like round the island. For the most part, all co-exist. However, there is no doubt that some races are set up, without appreciation for the recreational sailor’s sense of proximity. When you’re racing within feet of each other, that small lane they left open may seem significant, but to the weekender, it looks crowded up close and non-existent from afar. We have one shipping channel and I can’t say I’ve seen a course laid overtop. It would not surprise me. Since the tankers are not permitted to be outside their channel, the ColReg narrow channel rule must apply. A sailboat race would have to cross the channel expeditiously and give way to any other traffic within. There are no sailboat rights in a “narrow channel”.

I have seen them in front of harbor entrances and other places leaving me wondering why they couldn’t have been set up more out of the way, when there is plenty of room. You can get around, but it’s inconvenient and not obvious, until you get close. I’ve always highly suspected they simply didn’t want to sail further out to a better spot, making someone late for supper.

The one thing they’re never dumb enough to do is set over a heavy lobster pot field. That guy shows up and he doesn’t post about being annoyed. :) A guy trying to make a living the hard way vs a bunch of white bread spawn, trying to fill their spare time. Only one winner.

The conflict that makes me crazy are the line fisherman, who lay adrift exactly in the middle of a harbor entrance or right under the common bridge crossing spans. They bob side to side, casting and jerking their rods, like they rented that spot. It appears as if they believe they qualify for the “fishing” priority in collision avoidance, which they do not. However, my money is on them not knowing the rules at all.

SanderO 04-13-2019 06:38 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
Setting up a course in a channel or harbor entrance is simply dumb and probably selfish and lazy. Guys out fishing seem to cluster together around buoys... another dumb thing. We often sail through them and when they see use bearing down usually scoot out of the way. Waters are crowded and many play where it is most convenient for them and could't care less about COLREGs or show even common courtesy. This applies to high speed and wake production in anchorages, mooring fields and fairway/channels.

blt2ski 04-15-2019 12:25 AM

Re: Non Racing Sailors
 
A local colreg rule that many of us follow in Puget Sound. There is also a yearly meeting with the Coast Guard to spec out race rules, permit process etc that is done locally. If you get a 5 horn blast, that goes to USCG along with you getting an auto DQ. At the end of the day, when we have to deal with Tugs, barges, cruise ships, ferries, navy fleet etc, we avoid them, or at least make sure they know where and what we are doing near them.
I've parallel sailed along a ferry for a length or two as they pass, wave to the captain equal, then turned across the stern, probably closer than I should, I have made contact, wave, they wave back etc. Especially like the one I did a week ago, 100+ of us cross a ferry route. These races are made clear to us, avoid the commercial traffic! And also going into some channels, like the one into and out of Lake Washington, go in that channel, auto DQ!

marty

COLREGS RULE 10*
1. A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but, if obliged to do so, shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow. (Why Do This? Not only will this practice result in a faster crossing of the traffic lanes, but will reduce the amount of time of exposure to large vessels operating in the traffic lanes....Crossing at right angles will also make you much more easily detectable both visually and by radar....)
2. A vessel other than a crossing vessel or a vessel joining or leaving a lane shall not normally enter a separation zone. (Why? Separation Zones provide areas where a vessel can "bail out" in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, fishing vessels, particularly in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, have a tendency to fish in these "medians".)
3. A vessel not using a TSS [Traffic Separating Scheme] shall avoid it by as wide a margin as possible. (Why? Recreational boats are more maneuverable than a large vessel or a tug and tow. These vessels rely on the predictability of the traffic flow....)
4. Vessels, when leaving or joining traffic lanes, shall do so at as small an angle to the general direction of traffic flow as practicable. (Why? This allows vessels to safely "merge" with existing traffic in the lanes and minimizes disruptions to existing traffic flow....)
5. A vessel of less than 20 meters (66 feet), or a sailing vessel, shall not impede safe passage of a power driven vessel following a traffic lane. A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of a vessel following a traffic lane. NOTE: "Shall not impede" means a vessel must not navigate in such a way as to risk the development of a collision with another vessel (i.e. when a vessel following a TSS is forced to make an unusual or dangerous maneuver in order to avoid one of the vessels listed above, then the vessel following the TSS has been impeded.)
6. All vessels are required to keep the center of the precautionary area to port. NOTE: A Precautionary area is usually marked by a yellow-lighted buoy and is clearly marked on all nautical charts. (Why? This is an area where vessels following the TSS are negotiating course changes and where other vessels join or depart the TSS, therefore, all mariners must exercise caution....) NOTE: Failure to comply with these regulations could create an unsafe navigational situation and may result in a civil penalty of up to $5,000.
*Taken from USCG, "A Recreational Boater's Informational Guide to Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service," January 1995


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