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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
good evening. wanted to pop in and say hello. My husband and I just bought our first O'Day and just started our sailing journey. The first time my husband took me out we heeled way too much for my comfort and it scared me greatly as it was my first time out on a "real" sail boat. I was terrified that we were going to tip over and now I am afraid. My husband says that it is "hard" for an O'Day to capsize or tip over. Not that I don't believe my husband, but since we are both relatively new I wanted an outside answer. We sail in New Jersey area : )

Just wanted to thank everyone for the comments!! I went back out the next day with my husband again and he was great. If saw I was getting nervous with too much heel he would make adjustments. As the day went on it got more windy so he decided to drop the main and we only used the jib. I actually really enjoyed that and I was in control of the jib sheets which allowed me to focus on sailing and to heeling. Still a little nervous at times but looking forward to trying it again
 

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good evening. wanted to pop in and say hello. My husband and I just bought our first O'Day and just started our sailing journey. The first time my husband took me out we heeled way too much for my comfort and it scared me greatly as it was my first time out on a "real" sail boat. I was terrified that we were going to tip over and now I am afraid. My husband says that it is "hard" for an O'Day to capsize or tip over. Not that I don't believe my husband, but since we are both relatively new I wanted an outside answer. We sail in New Jersey area : )
Do you wear a lifejacket? As for capsize, listen to the windspeed on the weather report and stay home if there is a small craft warning.
 

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Heather,

To some extent it depends on which Oday you guys have. However in general your husband is correct. Absent very high winds (in excess of 50kn) or wave action, it is almost impossible for a ballasted sailboat (without a spinnaker) to flip over. What is going on may be uncomfortable in which case you need to trim the sails differently, but it isn't dangerous.

Without more specifics I wouldn't guess at the issue (if it's just your perception or mis trimmed sails).
 

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Old soul
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What Stumble says. A keelboat will almost never go over due only to wind. But comfort is important, and most boats don't need to heel more than 15-20 degrees even going to wind. If you're heeling more than that then you've got too much sail up, or the trim is wrong.

Don't worry about going over, but the next time it happens, just ease out the main sheet, and then reef main and jib. You'll heel a lot less, and probably go faster.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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The 15 to 20 degrees max is a good set of numbers to go by, HOWEVER, without an inclinometer, many over-estimate the angle of heel they are on.

I just love to heel, it's not unusual while out just messin around for me to sail it on its ear just because, but I've never gone past 30 degrees, the boat won't do it (without the spinnaker anyway).

But the advice is sound. You take control of the mainsheet/traveler. Get used to dumping the traveler when you heel a bunch... then dump the mainsheet if that isn't enough. Make sure you have a vang and its on, and you'll have taught yourself how to keep the boat flat, and faster.

If you have a knotmeter, try to "increase your heeling tolerance" by watching the knotmeter, resist the urge to dump the traveler/mainsheet, as long as speed is going up... you'll learn something else... heeling is a normal side effect of sailing.

Good luck, go safe.

Let us know if you can, exactly what size/model boat you have and we might be able to give you more specific things you can do.
 

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Where in NJ? Barnegat Bay? It's very unlikely that your O'day will tip over, in any typical weather that you'd sail in. Give it time and you will become confident in that fact. You may even come to enjoy it.

Wearing a life jacket may give you a better comfort level too. If you're in Barnegat Bay, the water is pretty shallow, warm in the summer into early fall and you're never far from shore and help. That said...you're more likely to run aground than tip over and fall in.

Have fun with it.
 

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One of None
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To give you a little encouragement. I've had my Oday30 for almost 10 years now. When I first bought it, I was afraid it would flip over also! It. Now I would scare your husband! Suggestion, he that claims to love you, :D should take it easy and allow your comfort level to grow. That will give him two options! 1, learn to reef, depower sails by letting out, etc. 2, Find out how soon he can Learn what the term SINGLEhanding means! IMHO NO helms person should try to scare anyone that comes aboard.

first experience, If is a good experience then they will come back. If the first experience is a bad one, they won't be back.
 

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If your boat has a fixed keel, you probably cannot capsize it in Barnegat Bay, as it takes a combination of wind and wave, both pretty severe, to overcome the ballast of a fixed keel. While wearing a life jacket is always recommended, if your husband is putting fear in your heart, your best course of action would be to gain knowledge in a more supportive environment. There are many women only outdoor organizations, as well as the American Sailing Association where you can learn to sail without the theatrics. Once you gain some knowledge and ability on your own, then you can show him a thing or two.
I'm impressed you posted here, shows your head is in the right place, ready to learn and get sailing. Welcome
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just wanted to thank everyone for the comments!! I went back out the next day with my husband again and he was great. If saw I was getting nervous with too much heel he would make adjustments. As the day went on it got more windy so he decided to drop the main and we only used the jib. I actually really enjoyed that and I was in control of the jib sheets which allowed me to focus on sailing and to heeling. Still a little nervous at times but looking forward to trying it again
 

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Heather,
We sail our O'day 25 on the Barnegat Bay. As the winds increase we reef early and frequently sail with jib only. This helps to keep the boat flat. If my wife is not with me I will push it harder and let it heel but the great thing about these boats is you can set the sails to keep it flat in up to 20 mph of wind.
Like you, my wife likes confirmation from others. Not that she does not trust me but she knows I too am learning. I'm fine with that.
The more experience you both get the more comfortable you'll feel with any heeling. Handling the lines yourself will also let you see and feel how easy it is to release the sails in a gust to keep from heeling over to hard.

Glad to hear your having fun!
 

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One of None
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"til death do you part" "yea that I blindly follow"... (goes to look for something appropriate from Shakespeare) Heather I do hope.. sincerely that you are trying to learn something from all this. Even if you need to take lessons from another woman. (YES!)

in the meantime...

This outfit RNLIshould have a station on the barney LOL

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Lol great videos! Yes I learn everyday. My husband is a great teacher and although he may be new as well. He has more experience than me and he is very patient with me and all my questions. Things are going much better and I'm ready for day three on Tuesday (weather permitting ). :)
 

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S/V Calypso
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Welcome aboard! One thing you might consider is taking some lessons to learn about sailing in general and sail trim specifically. What is "normal" and what is too much. It might also help you get more comfortable with the actions of the boat on all points of wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update.... Have about 15 hours of sailing under my belt. Still get nervous if we heel around 20 but we have perfected how to keep the boat between 0-15 the most. I am in love with the "mechanics " of how the boat works and sails. I'm the one who love to play with the sheets to find my "comfort" level. I also want to learn all I can about map navigation. I think the more I learn about how it all Works the more comfortable I'll get. Bottom line.....I'm getting better and really loving the sound of the wind in our sails.
 

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Your anxiety over heeling will fade away. Tell yourself that it is exactly like learning to ride a bike: at first it truly is a little scary, but you keep at it, and before you know it, it's second nature and you're doing tricks with it. One fine day you'll be out on the water and you'll suddenly realize that hey, you're doing it, you're relaxed and enjoying yourself with the kind of wind, waves, and heeling that used to make you want to somehow teleport home, directly to your bed . . .
Also, something I learned from whitewater kayaking: if you want to improve your skill (and thereby your fun), operate ON THE FRINGE of fear. Don't take too big of a step because spooking yourself just makes the next time harder, but yes, go ahead, scare yourself just a little . . . go ahead a heel just a little farther each time, and you'll be surprised at how much you'll want to push back your own limits!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I get out as much as my hubs and I can and I think as we both gain more experience the heeling will become.....dare I say....fun. With just this past summer we have improved and we look forward to continuing to learn.
 
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