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First String
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great job Beej ,

Was not to long ago I got my first run at the sailing big boats. I had some post from the pucker time I had in the marina trying to birth my CYC 30 MK1 after a day.

i's now in my 4th season and having a time of my life.
Goos luck and hang in there. BTW I keep a handheld at the helm but I just installed the The Matrix AIS/GPS (GX2200) by standard horizon. Gives me confort in kn owing what other comercial boats are out there in the dark. It sends a alarm when one ig heading my way. It does a lot more. I have been teaching my wife how to call for help just incase of stroke / heart attack or overboard condition.

have fun. Sounds like you care about your safety and the safety of others you will do fine. Here is a link to some of my first post.


http://www.sailnet.com/forums/learning-sail/90125-close-quarter-maneuvering-swift-current.html
 

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My world is so very different I have a hard time imagining what it must be like for newbies. While I have very limited experience on 20+ boats, I've been sailing dingies for more than 40 years. My take is utterly different.

I salute those of you willing to jump into this hobby and try something so utterly new.
 
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Discussion Starter #43
That's an awesome post ltgoshen. Does my heart good to hear it can happen to the best of us. I was actually pretty proud of the little lady and I. We got out there, sailed for a couple hours, hit nearly 7 knots (probably some current involved) and got back.

I felt like a bit of a cheater motoring the last 45%, but those gusts had really frayed our nerves and I thought I had fouled the jub-furler. Turns out I tried to unfurl from the wrong side after using it and then furling in higher winds. There was no reefing line in the main, so I decided to push back from the table with my modest winnings for the day and motor home instead of beating.

I can't wait to get back out but I won't go until I have a reefing line rigged, a handheld vhf, and a reliable power supply for my tablet/gps. The weather has been horrible. With some luck, I can make headway this weekend.

Sounds like you've put some thought into your comm setup. Are there combo AIS/VHF antennas, or is it always two separate components. That will likely be one of my wintertime/mast down projects as well.
 

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Beej,
Glad you had a successful first sail and have a good-humored perspective. During one of my early voyages on San Francisco Bay I came very close to beaching my beautiful blue water 37 footer on Crissy Field.

One way to proceed is to take lessons from a recognized sailing instruction organization like ASA. That way, you get to learn from your mistakes on other peoples' boat. Sailing with experienced friends is also good.

Review and discuss what goes wrong, and what goes right on every sail. Often you will be surprised to find that something you did a mile away, followed by a cascading series of little misjudgements and failures, finally leads to a crisis.

In my case, we came downwind towards a lee shore, intending to gybe and run parallel. The wind came up, so we decided to "chicken gybe" (come about) instead. The fellow on the main sheet couldn't haul in as fast as I anticipated and we ended up in irons (stalled out) and then lost the lazy sheet to the jib because one of the other crew didn't know how to tie a stopper knot correctly. Fortunately, the engine fired right up.

Really, it all came down to my inexperience with the forces and inertia being responsible for a bigger boat and wind than I was used to and getting task overloaded.

So, keep sailing and keep analyzing. You did great and thanks for sharing.
 

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Wish I never found SN!
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Great first sail congratulations. Keep doing what your doing and all the secrets will be revealed. As for some advice given take it with a grain of salt. Alfready there have been some inaccuracies and wrong information given by those i thought would know better. Eg. 5 short blasts on the horn means your in trouble. ..Wrong. 5 short blasts is you asking someone else what is their intention. The other thing to remember is even seasoned sailors muck up when first sailing an unfamiliar boat (sometimes). Or even their own boat after a long lay off.
 

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Last year was my first season on the water in a sailboat. We put the boat in the water the Thursday before Memorial day and come the weekend we were going sailing!!.
I'd gone through ASA 101 a month earlier and had sailed a few times with a friend. All in all since we made it out of and back to the slip in one piece it was a successful adventure. I had a few hiccups and might even have left a few pucker prints in thecockpit cushions. Mostly I was able to more or less convince the boat to do what I wanted it to do, mostly. My wife had never before been on a sailboat and I tried to tell her what to expect with regards to heeling and what she should do if I were to become incapacitated or adrift from the boat. We only had one Oh S**t moment(for her anyway, ive got a great poker face) when the wind had picked up and I let thing get a little out of hand. The boat rounded up and on the way around we washed the starboard rail pretty good. The wife let out a SONOFAB****! as we came around. Since by then we were pretty well head to wind I luffed up, dropped sail and motored back in. Must not have scared her too bad we went back out later in the day after the wind had died back some.
 

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Big ships have an all around white light in the bow and an all around white light in the stern. The stern light is higher.
Big ships have a ten point (112.5 degree) white light forward and a ten point white light aft with the aft light higher. These are generally called the masthead light and the range light and are very useful in determining the angle on the bow of the ship.

The stern light is a separate 12 point light shining toward the extended track (facing aft).
 

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Discussion Starter #48
She sounds like a keeper Larry.

We rounded up/dipped the rail on the delivery run and that was with three experienced sailors. The inexperienced sailor (me) was standing on the companionway stairs facing the cockpit before falling butt-first onto the corner of the galley stove. I didn't know you could bruise through the entire meat of your arse!
 

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First String
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I was actually pretty proud of the little lady and I. We got out there, sailed for a couple hours, hit nearly 7 knots (probably some current involved) and got back.
Thats fantastic. One word of caution: Dont spook her. You want a sailing partner for a long time. Its very easy to run off a lady from sailing and very hard to find one that will sail with you. Try to make yall's hobby not your hobby that she helps you with. Let her have the helm a lot. Sounds like you got toyr self a great lady there.



I thought I had fouled the jub-furler. .
My Head sails are all hank on but I have 5 headsails and 2 mains. Putting up the right sail for the condition and doing it early is very important.

Sounds like you've put some thought into your comm setup. Are there combo AIS/VHF antennas, or is it always two separate components. That will likely be one of my wintertime/mast down projects as well.

Here is my setup.
ST4000 auto pilot
ST50 Speed trim "thru the water"
ST50 Wind Tru/App speed and direction
ST50 VMG

My auto pilot is hooked up to the ST50 wind so that I can sail hands free with utilizing the best points of sail. This is very important for dropping sails if I'm sailing by my self and need to lff the sails for a head-sail chang or reefing.
I can also use the GPS and sail from way point to way point hands free.
This took a lot of learning how to make it all work. But its all starting to work this spring as I had hoped.


I have a hand held VHF for the marina and river areas.

I have the Garmin echo50 GPS with sonar using a in-hull transducer.
I have the new The Matrix AIS/GPS (GX2200) Here is the cool thing:
The GX2200 MATRIX AIS/GPS, features a 66 channel WAAS GPS antenna integrated into the front panel of the radio, now there is no need to hassle with wiring the radio to a GPS for DSC (Digital Selective Calling) or AIS (Automated Identification System). Out of the box and ready to go

Oh! and I have the Garmin and the radio hooked together so that I can see an overlay on the GPS the AIS function of my radio. Realy cool stuff. I wanted this because I will be doing over night trips I hope this spring to ports like Savannah and Charleston. I want to see all commercial traffic at the helm not just below at the radio.

The biggest thing is getting the boat user frindly. It needs to work for you. I had a lot of help from the guys on this site. I dont know how long it would took without them. I think I had like 500 post the first year. They are a great bunch and will help you a lot. 1 hint with help questions. Be very to the point and dont run on. Think out your question first. To see how it sounds. Then send it out. Take all their advice with a grain of salt. You will find that with ever 3 questions you ask 5 will argue the answer and leave you struggling to find resolve. But look for consences and common sence. Get out on the water ever chance you can. the first year I went 40 times with an average of 25 miles thats 1,000 the first year then I went 32 times with an average of 40 miles thats 1,280 miles. I cant do much more than that unless I leave for a cruise. In that time I have learned a wealth of lessions.I have replaced an engine. I have run aground. I have been over charged Pleanty that a ASA101 102, 303, would never have taught me even clos to the lessions I learnt.If you dont kill your self or heut anybody else you are doing good. If you can afford lessions ? Sure by all means. But for me life has always been a good teacher for me. Good sailing and remember dont run her off.






Cheers, LT
 

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Enjoyed your story. I know the terror, I have a new to me 25' Dufour I am itching to put in the water. Looking for a sailing partner with some experience. Thank god for luck,
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Beej-
"Smartphone apps are too small."
Speaking of small things, cell phones ALWAYS used to have a little hole where a lanyard or wrist strap could be attached. But the companies quickly caught on to the fact that they could sell a lot more replacement phones a lot sooner if they deleted the attachment point and made it impossible (literally, impossible) to put a wrist strap or lanyard on the phone.
Note that anything small and valuable stands a pretty good chance at going overboard unless you are clutching it tightly, or there's a way to attach it. Cell phone, handheld VHF, bottle of sunblock...especially if a wake hits you, unexpected, and the boat starts rocking.


Five-
"DSC or not, I thought it was illegal to use a marine VHF over land. "
It is illegal, unless you've got a special license, i.e. for a yacht club's dockmaster on the docks. There are plenty of other radios designated for shoreside use.

Simon-
Five horn blasts is not interrogation, it is the danger signal in US Inland Waters.
Boat US - Online Boating Safety Study Guide
BoatUS thinks so too:
"•Five Short Blasts - This is the DANGER signal. Remember, that when you approach another vessel and hear either one or two short blasts, and you both understand their signal and can safely let them do it, then you are required to respond with the same signal in response. However, if you don't understand their intentions, or feel that their proposed maneuver is dangerous to either vessel, then you are required to sound the DANGER signal."

And I'll tell you that I've heard it used by unschooled amateurs like the NY Staten Island ferries.

"Five" signals are actually common in the US. Five bells means "turn out all available equipment" to a fire company, a "five-alarm fire". Five bells on the old news teletypes meant "Drop everything the world just ended". Used when NORAD accidentally declared a nuclear attack had started, and when JFK was shot. Five bells is never good news.
 

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.... Eg. 5 short blasts on the horn means your in trouble. ..Wrong. 5 short blasts is you asking someone else what is their intention. ...
That may be the case in Australia, but in the US inland waters where the OP sails, it's the danger signal.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Itgoshen,

Thanks for that thoughtful response. I had wondered why radios displayed AIS. Seemed like the wrong component for it. Cool that it can talk to the plotter. I saw a chartplotter system with built in bluetooth or wifi.. either way, it could essentially project itself onto a tablet as well. Apparently that way you can keep your $ plotter mounted in the dry/safe and be more adventurous with the cheapo tablet. The more I learn, the more I realize I'm a bay cruiser guy for at least two years. Will take at least that long before the boat or I are ready for much more. You'll probably be upgrading by then and I'll buy your used lectronics!

Speaking of the little lady.. she's a real trooper. Brave as they come. She grew up near L.I. sound, so I assumed she'd been on boats a lot. I gave her the helm and she took the wheel without complaint. Turns out she'd never been at the helm on anything... EVER. I do let her steer most of the time though.

Anyhow, I ramble.
Thanks again.
 

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She sounds like a keeper Larry.

We rounded up/dipped the rail on the delivery run and that was with three experienced sailors. The inexperienced sailor (me) was standing on the companionway stairs facing the cockpit before falling butt-first onto the corner of the galley stove. I didn't know you could bruise through the entire meat of your arse!
It was only the 3rd time I'd been able to get her on a boat in 31 years of marriage. I was a little afraid I'd screwed the pooch with that manuever. She still sails with me but she prefers the light wind days.
 

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I saw a chartplotter system with built in bluetooth or wifi.. either way, it could essentially project itself onto a tablet as well. Apparently that way you can keep your $ plotter mounted in the dry/safe and be more adventurous with the cheapo tablet...
If you're going to get a turnkey chartplotter, I would recommend putting it in the cockpit. It's made to stand up to the elements.

I'm as big an advocate for tablets as anyone. I've never gotten a full chartplotter. Instead, I have a RAM mount with netbook in the cockpit (soon to be replaced by a tablet), displaying GPS and AIS using OpenCPN. But I sail on a protected river, and my cockpit is dry 95% of the time. However, I always have my Garmin handheld mounted next to it, and if it gets wet in the cockpit the computer goes down below. However, the Garmin is always there because it is waterproof. You need something in the cockpit that will not crap out if it gets wet. Either a chartplotter or handheld.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Take 5,
ty. That OpenCPN looks very interesting. Crazy to think you can see AIS, charts, tides, and weather with an open source program. If they incorporate the ability to drive an auto pilot and overlay analog radar, they'll put a lot of people out of business!

I'll be a tablet guy short term.. perhaps mounted on a swing-out in the companionway for shelter. Your program makes me think I should possibly opt for a windows os as opposed to android though.

Beej
 

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OpenCPN will accept any NMEA 0183 inputs, including wind, depth, fluxgate compass from autopilot, etc. Plus, AIS and GPS, of course.

There is a plugin available for radar overlay, but I have not personally tried it.

I will also control your autopilot. I do this routinely.

However, the interfacing for all this is pretty heavyweight stuff. It's not plug-and-play. But once you have it set up, it's very reliable.

I think OpenCPN makes the Win8 tablets more attractive than Android. But there are good programs for all platforms.
 

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Here is my advice: MOTB and KISS

Master Of The Basics
Keep It Simple Sailor

All you need are your boat, sails, a compass and a paper chart. A depth finder helps, too. A wife who is a good sport is icing on the cake.

Forget the frickin fancy electronics, and all the complications, and learn how to sail your boat without relying on the toys.

Too many people on Sailnet have skipped the elementary steps to becoming a good sailor by starting out with too many gizmos, on too big boats, with too many people onboard, including the "expert" skipper/instructor.

You have a tremendous opportunity to learn sailing in a somewhat challenging environment on a fundamentally sound good old boat. Buy the Maptech Chart Kit for Region 4 Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Buy the Maryland Cruising Guide. Buy Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2014 and learn how to use it. Buy Schelenger's "Cruising the Chesapeake".

Go out and enjoy! Take that trip to Cape May or Lewes. Time the tidal current right and it's a great trip. Go to the Sassafras River or Still Pond.

What you lack are practice, time on the water, experience and confidence. Sounds like you are doing well so far on your journey.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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Take 5,
ty. That OpenCPN looks very interesting. Crazy to think you can see AIS, charts, tides, and weather with an open source program.
Beej
When you graduate up to more distance cruising you will discover that the cost of the chart plotter is nothing compared to the cost of the charts. One major advantage of OpenCPN is that the US government publishes free charts of the entire US (including the USVI and Puerto Rico) that are updated on a weekly basis. We (the US) also publish free charts of all the big rivers - e.g. Mississippi. Each government publishes its own charts. Unfortunately only the US publishes them for free. In the old days when you purchased a US paper chart you were not purchasing the content but rather the cost of production. I have been told that this is a quirk that the original charts were not copyrighted.

Fair winds and following seas. :)
 
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