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Forecast was for 10-15 MPH winds, N-NW. Giddy-up!
Got down to the boat earliesh, around 8:30, but the tide was LOW.
I didn't care, life is always in the way, go when you can.

Bumped a couple times on my way out of the creek (isn't that fun?), and then I saw it- The wind was almost howling straight down the river, and the river looked more like rapids than anything else. The waves weren't big, but there were whitecaps, and I knew getting back up this narrow river under sail might be a serious problem. I was also worried that more water would empty out of the creek.

A beam reach took me quickly to the channel, and with a turn to port it was off to the races. I had run before, but never this fast. I slowly let the mainsheet out as I got used to the speed. Running requires a lot of steering, no?

I made it down to Fairfield Harbour, where there was just one large sailboat making small runs back and forth across the harbor under a partially rolled-out jib. My plan at this point was to make a couple of runs on a beam reach, and then start making my way back. That's when things turned south. The wind was MUCH stronger in the open water, and a beam reach was taking me straight towards Hampton Shoals! So it was time for beating. The bow of the boat seemed to be handling it fine, until the anchor BROKE from its hangers on the pulpit! It caught itself just over the edge of the toerail, but I knew it wouldn't stay long.

It was panic time- I was headed towards the shoals without a reefed main, no self-steering, and an anchor that was likely going to beat the mess out of my bow. NOOB! I sheeted the main in tight and turned into the wind. The boat wasn't going to hold this position long, so I went forward as quickly as possible, and sure enough, she turned and started to lean HARD. Luckily, I got the anchor back on deck, but the chain was caught were it comes up from the deck. I had no time to mess around, so I pushed it under the stowed whisker pole, and ran/crawled back to the cockpit. Of course, we were headed straight to the shoals again!

To make this ridiculously long story short, it took a half dozen tacks to get back, and going out without reefing the main was stupid. It is time to add slab reefing to the to-do list. And a better anchor hanger!
 

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That's pretty much how it goes, when you're new.
You learned the lesson and now you're better for it. You will gain "local knowledge", (such as the fact that the wind is much stronger in that open area) and behave appropriately.

I'm guessing you have those wretched Danforth hangers on your pulpit.
Those are absolute crap, get rid of them.


Try this instead, from Windline:


When you get a chance, get some spare line and long bungee cords and learn to lash your tiller, so that the boat will hold a course for a couple of minutes on her own. That way, you can handle issues like this with more confidence in the future.

It's a little more than just lashing the tiller though. You need to learn to balance the sails against the rudder, so that the line or bungee will hold a steady course. Also, it helps to fall off just a bit from close-hauled. If you lash her in place while close-hauled, all it takes is a weight shift, or one little wave or wind shift of a few degrees to cause an auto-tack.

Then of course, you could save your pennies for a Raymarine tiller pilot too. :D

Edit: BTW, I'm jealous that you got out, in January. Good for you.
 

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Oh, it's so fun to single hand a boat...I'm right with you friend, I single hand all the time and I'm a totally noob :eek:

Most of my lines all ran to the cockpit but a few "enhancements" really helped.

So far, I've added a down haul for the main as that got hung up once as a storm was moving in and I was trying to drop the main and motor back in and was forced to go forward and persuade the main down.. Not fun !!

I also added a tiller tamer after that little experience and that helps a lot. I did have to learn how to trim the sails with the tamer as the boat wanted to just turn into the wind. I now find that a combination of setting the tiller tamer and adjusting the mainsheet and I can hold a course for quite some time.

The next step is to rig a reefing line back to the cockpit.

It's all good !
 

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I think one of the things you learned is how much stronger the wind appears when you are sailing upwind compared to downwind. Also, just as a suggestion, someday try 'heaving to'. If you have sea room downwind, doing this will steady out the boat remarkably with fairly slow movement through the water (sideways), and give you some time & opportunity to straighten out a problem. You have to try it to believe it.
 

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First, practice your “heaving too”. You had an opportunity to “hove too” away from the shoal area. It would have stabilized the boat enough so you could go forward and secure the anchor without too much drama (don’t feel bad, you’d be amazed at the number of times anchors have broken free from a bouncing bow). I half hitch my sail ties to the companionway hand hold so they are easily accessible in case I need to secure something in an emergency. You can even reef your mainsail in a “hoved” position. As you already noted, rig your main for reefing as you will now find yourself sailing in ever-increasing wind conditions now that you got your sea legs.
 

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I've had my anchor slip out of those dinky pulpit hangers before as well. Granted I was heading upwind in 30-35kts with 8-10ft waves but I still wasn't too impressed ;)
 

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^^ That's why I made the suggestion to get rid of them.
I donated a decent anchor with a long rode to Neptune thanks to those damned things. :mad:
I sent the new guy forward to retrieve mine before it went in the drink. Took him a few minutes of army crawling forward and holding on for dear life. Wish we had pictures and videos from that day. Something I'll never do intentionally again but it was fun at the time. Waves (not spray) were making it all the way back to the cockpit. I'm amazed we didn't break the boat actually :D
 

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Sounds like you had fun :)
That's also the best way to learn, go out, scare yourself, learn something, do it better/fix the issue for next time.
Your 27 should hove to better than mine as you have the deeper and more powerful rudder, however you'll likely find that you have to roll the genoa in to 50% in 10kts true, or even less if it's windier, or otherwise you'll end up hove to "backwards", where the wind is coming over your stern quarter and the boat is heeled over being pushed sideways. Ask me how I know.
Reefing will take a bit of practice, but now of course you know that if the wind inside is 10kts, it's likely to be a bit hairier outside so put the reef in before you leave the dock, much easier to shake it out. You've also discovered that the 27 is a fantastic reaching boat. Fun eh? :D
 
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