SailNet Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have sailed my boat 4 times now ( about 25 hours on a 27'' O''Day and 24 hrs on my 17'' O''Day Daysailor) and each time I get better but each time also shows me how much I have to learn. Aswe both know, reading about sailing and doing it are two different things at first. Its almost like I have to feel it first and do it to be able to say, "oh that''s what they mean in the BOOK"! Kind of reminds me of my college experience!

I am having two problems which I think are inter-related: Too much heeling, and poor sail trimming. The Daysailor has a lot of sail area for it''s size and I do not have reef points and I am trying to sail in 10++ knot winds... more like 15 knots. I am trying to sail alone. Jibes are real hairy because the jib sheet clamps are way up in the cockpit. It is hard to jibe right without letting go of the tiller but then things get a little hairy. Yes, I do NOT have a hiking arm yet. That would help. I also either have a lee helm or a weather helm. I can''t seem to get it balanced right to be somewhat neutral. I do try to keep it very close to the wind, not too close but pretty darn close as it seems easier to handle that way. Also I do have the main sheet out aways to de-power the sail. That also seems to help. And, I spend a lot of time following other boats to see what they are doing and it gives me some warning on wind conditions ahead.

I have come to the following conclusions:

1. The O''Day 17'' Daysailor is pretty high performance boat. At least, when I follow other boats bigger than me, they do not run away from me and sometimes I even pass them. But, this boat is a handful for a novice sailing solo.

2. I need to find an experienced sailor to get in the boat with me to teach me how to sail her properly.

3. If I do not do #2, I will probably drown!

Please comment on any of the above. I even can take constructive criticism pretty well for being 51 yrs old. Oh yes, I sail on a lake in Indianapolis, Indiana.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Check around for a local sailing club or association to solicit the help of an experienced sailor to come along with you. The first place to start might be the o''day owners association (www.odayowners.com) and the e-mail lists here on SailNet. John Kretschmer had a very informative piece on the O''Day 23 in the Nov. issue of Sailing that might be helpful. And looking for sailing instructors who will teach you on one or both?? of your boats would be a good option. (Not clear to me if you own both the 27 and the 17 or just the 17.) On jibing, you might want to bring the mainsail in towards the centerline to have a more controlled jibe, or you can try the time-honored "chicken jibe", a/k/a "wearing the ship" and do a 360 degree tack instead of a jibe--its slower and less scary! You didn''t mention what you do with your centerboard--I assume the 17 has one, but I don''t know, maybe it has a fixed keel--anyway, if you raise the centerboard while running downwind, that may also ease things considerably as a boat can "trip" over the centerboard while running (I know this is true from my experiences on my catboat!)Finally, there are several ways to de-power the sail: easing the mainsheet and letting the foot of the sail go slack so the wind spills, and the reverse, tightening in the mainsheet and the foot of the sail to flatten it as much as possible, reducing the lift. You''ll have to experiment to see which is best on different points of sail. You might also want to invest in an inexpensive clinometer to tell you how much you are heeling--the optimum amount of heel varies for every boat and sailor, and a clinometer will help you find the right degree of heeling for your boat''s speed and your comfort zone.

Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Bruce
PS--what lake do you sail on? I''m a former Hoosier...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
II have the 17'' O''Day and My sister owns the 27'' O''day. Sorry about that. I sail on Eagle Creek Res..
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,186 Posts
First of all, the Oday daysailer is a great first boat to learn on. It is small enough and simple enough that you can concentrate on the basics and not have to worry about a lot of details. It is responsive enough that you can begin to sense when you are doing things right and when you are doing things that are not exactly by the book. They are not so high performance to be dangerous for a beginner.

In reading your post I would suggest that you get a Tiller Extension (Hiking stick as you called it). This is a safety issue as there are time when it will be important to have your weight forward and out on the rail. It is even more important if you are single-handing.

It is really not posible to balance a small centerboarder to the point that you have a perfectly neutral helm in gusty conditions. Daysailors are usually sailed with a small amount of weather helm especially up wind.

To talk about sailing your boat in a breeze. The key to upwind control in a breeze is a very flat sail with a small angle of attack so that small course changes can quickly feather the sails. That means really tighten the halyards,vang and outhaul.

The Oday Daysailors that I have sailed did not have an adjustable traveler. In a breeze the mainsail is clamped down really tight for a second and then the vang tightened very tightly and tehn the mainsail eased. This allows you to do what is called vang sheeting. If you do not do the step of tightening the vang, when you ease the mainsheet you would actually be powering up the mainsail and initially increasing heel when you ease the sail.

Moving the jib sheet lead block slightly aft a hole or so can depower the jib as well.

Jibing singlehanded on a small boat requires some care. The first step in my mind is to head dead down wind and to "hobble" the jib. That means to pull the lazy sheet in to that the clew of jib is approximately on the centerline of the boat and alternately colapsed and full. Next pull in the mainsail to the centerline. Then change course just enough that the mainsail flops over. This may require you to quickly reverse your helm after the jibe so you don''t swing up on a reeach. Once the mainsail has flopped over let the sheet run so that the sail is eased out for your new course and when all has settled down, ease the weather jib sheet and then come to course. The key to singlehanding is to set things up so you can do them one at a time. It takes time to get to know how to do that for each boat and of course to have the experience to know how to do things easily and properly quickly. Over time you will build skills and this will all seem very natural. I frequently singlehand my 28 foot race boat and have singlehanded larger boats. Over time it becomes no big deal. Good luck and keep trying.
Respectfully
Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Needless to say, Jeff, the information that you provide here is quite helpful and educational. I am glad to hear that I did in fact choose the right boat. It is quite responsive and does give immediate feedback to inputs (both good and bad!).

I do not have a Vang but I have ordered the boom vang kit and it should come shortly. I can see that it will help me more than I thought it might. I am running with the jib sheet blocks all the way back on the tracks to keep the power down. And, I am getting reefing points put into the mainsail to shorten the sail by 35%.

The only thing that I have found out about jibing or tacking on my O''Day 17'' is that it is harder to do than on the 27'' O''Day because of the depth of the cockpit. A tiller extension would really help there as well as hiking out on the siderail. I am thinking about mounting a friction block (don''t know the right term for it, it is not a cleat and it is not like what is on the main sheet) on the centerboard housing at the back so that it is real handy to secure the jib sheet when sailing alone. I will do some testing first before I drill holes though.

I have not had much trouble tacking down wind though I did have one broach that I do not want to repeat! As you say, keep the sail in tight and it is easier. Up wind jibe is more dificult until I learned not to release the windword jib sheet too soon or the jib would darn near shake me and the boat to death and I would loose the jib sheets out of the blocks. I tied a knot in the end of the jib sheet and that helped but it took a lot of practice to make a few good tacks for a lot of bad ones. Practice, parctice and then more practice...

I am also just beginning to learn the personality of my boat, to be able to KNOW what it is going to do and what I NEED to do. I find this part really fasinating. She tells you when she loves you and she tells you real quick when she is being mistreated. I like that. But, no whining just straight communicating. Needless to say, I am hooked, turn me over, pat me twice and throw me on the plate cause I am done....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I''m learning to sail too. I''m in my 50''s as well and want to have some fun and maybe look at some serious cruising in a few years. I started with some basic cruising courses and joined a local club where we share 24'' sharks and do some club racing.

Some of the best lessons that I''ve had were when I''ve taken raw novices out with me. I have to explain everthing and actually act like a skipper. One experience was a little scary. I had my oldest daughter and son-in-law out on the local lake in heavy winds for me - 15 knots with gusts to 20+ and direction shifts. I didn''t read the gusts very well and should''ve been running under main alone (I had the 110 jib up). We heeled way too far and ended up taking water into the cockpit. Later on we ran aground on a rock which we managed to ease off. I was humbled. A good lesson.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
For sure, for sure! Sailing can be very humbling for us new guys when we think we might just be getting the hang of it!

Now winter has set in and I will have to wait until spring and by then I will probably have forgotten what I have learned and have to start over!

But, now I have time to work on the boat. I have installed a boom vang and a boom hanger and made up a gin pole for raising the mast. All seems to be working fine but not tested on the water. Next comes some minor fiberglass work and some mods to the trailer.
Fun, fun, fun.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
We had a similiar boat when we first started sailing almost 10 years ago. (its a precision daysailer 17 and we still have it) it is undoubtedly the perfect boat to learn on. You are forced to learn the basic fundamentals (also correct weight displacement) or the boat will never respond, but when the wind is right, the sails are trimmed correctly, it sails perfect.
The one down side i found is that it never sailed downwind that well. the boom vang really helped and kept the boom pretty low. without it, it would just fly out there and always seemed to a dangerous situation.

Last year we bought a typhoon (19'' 2000 lbs w/ fixed keel) and this year a bristol 29.9. We haven''t sailed the bristol yet but the daysailor was a lot harder or should i say more challenging to sail than the typhoon. With the typhoon we could set the sails, lash the tiller, sit back and sail for miles. Thats why i''m keeping the daysailer when i want to actually SAIL.


ROB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Rob, You are so right about the daysailor. It really lets you know like right now if you have her under control or she has you....

I really like the immediate feedback that she gives as well and she is the perfect boat to sail singlehanded or so it seems. I hate winter as I have learned so much so far and can''t wait to put it into practice.

I have been told the the boom vang really helps on downwind. Last time I sailed, (so many months ago it seems), I had one beautiful down wind run and got to plane her for the first time. Man, was that fun. She really flew....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
its funny you mention planing. after having the boat a couple of years, we were sailing with 3 of us on the rail in high winds on a reach, really pushing it. At the time i didn''t know that sailboats actually "plane". i asked the other crew if they felt the boat lifting out of the water and sailing on top of the lake waves. They looked at me like i was crazy. after i went to my sailing books and read about planing. i guess i wasn''t that crazy after all. unfortunatly i only got to experience it once (maybe i should sell the bristol and only sail the daysailor (only kidding of course) the daysailor is a great boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
dsteill
3 sumers ago I bought a 1974 Daysailer for $1200, including trailor, sails and all. I had always wanted to sail but never had tried. I''m 48 and have spent a lot of time in power boats. After reading a couple of books I began to make sense out of the tangle of rope and wire that confronted me. many hours of fun, challenge and learning have follwed and I now feel pretty confident in my boat. I single hand but I have a tiller extension and boom vang. Without the tiller extension, I don''t see how it''s done. Another great help that I added this summer is a tiller tamer that I got from West Marine. this winter I plan to overhaul and paint the hull & topsides. I have learned a great deal from discussions on the daysailer home page www.boonedocks.net/dayailer/index.html
You''ll find plenty of friends and help there. Fairwinds, Jim
 

·
Registered
Tartan 37
Joined
·
5,287 Posts
SD is sitting at his computer pulling his hair out wanting to say something... LOL...oh wait...
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top