Everybody is an expert sailor?

Moderator: GreenLake

Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby tomodda » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:03 pm

Apologies, corrected now!

The parts I thought were of interest:

>>Ive just finished sailing a GP14 at the nats this weekend. My helm said rake forewards in the lighter stuff and back as to straight down when your hiking then start raking back as it breezes up.
>>Simply move it around a bit until your rudder feels best balanced. Over time you will get an idea of where it should be to feel right.

And:

>CENTERBOARD RAKE ANGLE
>Raking the centerboard forward effectively accomplishes the same thing as moving the pin hole forward – it helps induce some weather helm. This helps you steer better upwind (you make >less corrective action) and aids in pointing. The amount of rake needed is widely disputed. Banks suggests 4″ (6 degrees) and Neil Fowler has said that he uses 5″ (7.5 degrees), so somewhere >in this region should be fast if you’re pin location is correct. The detriment to raking is that the centerboard can stall more easily, especially in chop when you hit a wave and slow suddenly. >Neil’s board is always raked forward while sailing upwind.

I still don't understand why scooching your butt 12 inches forward wont do the same thing, but there you go. By the way, I wrote earlier that I can't rake my mast back due to my tabernacle. I lie, or at least forgot... this past season I've been putting a washer on my front pin (remember, I have an old fashioned, pin-and-hinge tabernacle, "3-point tabernacle," if you will). One normal washer, about the thickness of a quarter, rakes my mast back about 6 inches at the masthead, Nothing huge, but I can definitely feel the difference in weather helm now. It used to be too much (holding tiller at noticeable angle to go straight, throwing up a small tail in heavy air) to just slight, just enough to help me point better.

I think the real lesson here is that the DS easily and cheaply allows experimentation and creativity. It's all good fun.
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:21 pm

Well, since my CB now has that degree of freedom, I'll play with it and see if it helps upwind. (In lighter airs when weather helm is limited to begin with).

Now, just for laughs. I managed to sail 3 nm on all points of sail the other night w/ the CB up and didn't notice it. I had someone else on the helm for most of it and was wondering why she seemed to need an excessive tiller angle, but the penny never dropped. Finally did when I looked at the CB handle - still took about a minute until it registered why it looked wrong. Best excuse is that I've not been on the water enough this season for personal and public health reasons (each unrelated to the other).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby tomodda » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:12 pm

Ha! I've learned through bitter experience that the first thing to do when the boat is acting "funny" is look at the CB handle. Usually we've bumped over something, I didn't notice and now we're sailing sideways, unable to hold a course, etc. Guess I should be thankful that the boat is so thoroughly undramatic about hitting the bottom.

The good news is it's not only us older folk! Last summer I saw two 40-something whippersnappers trying to sail a very nice DS1 off the dock in Belfast, Maine. They kept trying to sail off close hauled and kept getting pushed sideways back into the dock. I was on the next pier over and hollered over to them "Put down your centerboard!". They shot me a nasty glare, then looked forward and said a silent "OhSh*t." Some fumbling under the cuddy and off they went, smooth as silk. Of course, they gave me ANOTHER nasty glare as they sailed by me. Ah, youth......
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:20 pm

Continuing "story time" while waiting for more challenging topics and questions: I was having difficulties raising my sail when a voice on the dock (hidden by the sail) said "your reefline is stuck". My friend suggested we reward our helper by inviting her along, as she was obviously a sailor. We found out she had just come off a French sailing vacation (and was still a bit more fluent with French expressions for some things). Long story short: we found a permanent addition to our sailing circle of friends.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby GreenLake » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:41 am

Sometimes, the seamanship hides in other topics. I'll place a link here to the discussion on prebend which lives at the intersection of boat handling / performance and rigging. A subtle thing and not well understood by many, this sailor included. Still learning.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby spoke36 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:06 pm

How about some tips for a SINGLE handed DS1 guy?
As noted in a recently posed turnover experience (I just posted on 24 June 2020) it which happened in the 1980s), I think that a turnover (capsize) could be much worse now.

My take away from my first and thankfully only experience is that the unexpected happens, you need to b quick, lines should be easily undone and anything valuable should be ashore. Yes, I wear a PFD when sailing the DS1.

I have a personal limit of 10-12 knots top windspeed on anything that can go over and can't easily be righted single handedly like my DS1. I won't go out when there are white caps. In mild conditions of 5-10 knots, I'd like to sail. Usually on the Hudson River, conditions are quite mild in the summer.
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby lemsteraak » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:14 pm

Singlehanding a DaySailer may not be for the faint of heart, at least in the beginning. They are a powerful boat, but once you realize how stable they are and how well they handle, I really recommend learning to single hand.

The main trick is to always plan ahead, controls needs to be simple and laid out so they are at hand. An example, tie your jib sheets together so they are continuous and you can grab it anywhere and not have to go to the low side to find it. When you are going upwind tacking, before you tack, tighten up the "lazy" sheet, and toss the excess line to the low bench. Then when you tack, the jib sheet is right at hand and you only have to haul on a relatively short line as much of the sheet is already in. Docking is the other concern most folks have. I've found the rudder acts as a very effective brake if you turn it 90 degrees to slow the boat and she can "flare" at the last minute and virtually stop and then you reach out and grab the dock while seated.

DaySailers can go up on a plane. This is a very effective storm tactic especially when singlehanded to get you out of trouble. It is a skill that is a lot of fun to practice. Head out on a beam reach and in a fairly fresh breeze she goes up on a plane. Once your speed increases, head a little downwind and you can find a sweet spot where you are heading down the waves like a surfer. On a plane, the boat is riding on top of the water and it feels much more stable. I'll head to a sheltered spot like an island or harbor and wait until the conditions moderate and then head home.
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Tying together jib sheets

Postby GreenLake » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:59 pm

I second the advice about tying together the jib sheets - however, that requires that your cleats aren't "captive". Either like this, where they can be cleated from the top (not just by pulling through)
1034
or cleated directly at the jib track, so the entire "tail" across the cockpit is past the cleat. (I don't have an image handy for that).

Some DS's come with fairleads right in front of the jib cleats, or with little wire loops or straps over the cleat making them "captive" and in that scenario, tying the sheets together works less well, I think.
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Gust repsonse and capsize prevention

Postby GreenLake » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:23 pm

I looked at the parallel thread on "capsized stories" and there's something about the description of the capsize that seems useful to analyze:

spoke36 wrote: I misjudged a gust. ...I let go of the main and pushed on the tiller to point up but still had my jib cleated in a jam cleat. My DS1 ... turned over and the mast hit the bottom.


What happens if you suddenly let go only the main is that you remove the force that allows the DS to round up, leaving just the jib, and that will want to turn the boat further downwind. At that point, you may not be able to steer into the wind because the force from the jib turning the boat downwind wins. Also, if you push your tiller at too big of an angle, you may stall the rudder, losing all steering and the boat will definitely not head into the wind.

I wonder if that is at the heart of the scenario in the cases where people report capsizing with just the jib.

A better strategy would therefore be to not throw the main sheet loose, but to let it out (controlled). The effect would be to depower the main, but, even though it is depowered, it would still contribute to balancing the boat, and retain some weather helm that would assist in steering into the wind. That, in turn would help to depower the jib, even if the jib is cleated.

When single handed, you may benefit from holding either the main or both main and jib on your hand at the same time; something I tend to do especially in gusty / shifty conditions. Even if my jib is cleated, I keep the sheet in my lap so if I need to, I can depower both w/o having to reach for the jib sheet.

If you fit ratchet blocks on both main and jib that makes holding them much easier.
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Docking

Postby GreenLake » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:32 pm

lemsteraak wrote:Docking is the other concern most folks have. I've found the rudder acts as a very effective brake if you turn it 90 degrees to slow the boat and she can "flare" at the last minute and virtually stop and then you reach out and grab the dock while seated.


You can also use a paddle, stuck straight down, to slow your boat. That one works particularly well with crew or if you have a "tiller tamer" that keeps your tiller pointed when you let go, but may make wide deflections difficult.

The amount of space needed to do a U-turn in a DS is surprisingly small, something like 3 boat lengths, so slowing down by turning and docking into the wind at the last moment is often quite feasible even in tight quarters (but, I admit, I spectacularly misjudeged that at one unfamiliar dock once :) ).

Finally, did you know that you can dock sideways, if the wind points straight at the dock?
1016

More details in the thread "heaving to".
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby Shagbark » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:38 pm

I forgot who said it on this forum but someone suggested that the first move when you are about to go over should be to release the vang. Allowing the boom to rise will dump some of the air as well as keeping the boom end from striking the water. If the boom is allowed to hit the water, it can't be let out any further.

I single hand sail up to 15 kts, anything stronger and there just isn't enough meat on the rail to hold her down. I've never gone over (knock on wood) but have come VERY close at times. Each time it was because I didn't get the jib released in time. When the wind is light, I leave the jib engaged to help pull the bow through. When the wind picks up, I need to change my routine and release the jib much earlier. When I have almost gone over, it was because I was still using my light air tactics with the jib.

As far as tiller length, I have two. A long one with an extension for single handed, and a real short one for when the family decides to join me and cockpit get crowded. Have you ever tried sailing a DS with 5 people on board!?
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:49 am

I may be doing everything wrong here, but I don't release my vang when a gust hits, because I rely on it to keep the sail flat. The minute you release both sheet and vang, the sail will belly and power up.

I also avoid sailing the boat heeled, as much as I can. The DS boom is pretty high, and it doesn't take that much of an angle to let water in over the rail. May have to work out the geometry to see how far the main can go out under maximal conditions. (Different from already gone over so far that water is coming in).

I use an adjustable tiller extension. Twenty some to 42". Works pretty well. We have a lot of evenings with moderate winds, so I often don't need any extension at all (a certain amount of "wing span" helps).

Shagbark wrote:Have you ever tried sailing a DS with 5 people on board!?


I've sailed with six. The smallest crew member had to duck into the cuddy, to make room for the others to switch sides for tacking. Flat water and moderate wind.

I've also done this in really flat, shallow waters very close to shore (and just enough wind to move the boat):

1720

Note the conversion to battleship.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby BlackPirate » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:41 pm

As a newbie in cruising, I think I do not know what exactly to ask. :shock: sailing is very interesting. But complicated for me to begin since I don't even know what boat is recommended for beginners like me?
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:53 am

@BlackPirate: This post sounds like you don't have your own boat (yet). Have you been sailing on somebody else's boat? Are you interested in acquiring a boat? Do you need to know whether the DS is a boat that is for you - both from your level of current knowledge or lack thereof, as well as regarding your long term plans? What are your long-term sailing plans? (Or medium term ones?).

I think, this thread can stand a digression into topics like whether the DS is suitable for a beginner, and / or what would be the best strategy for a beginner who owns a DS to get himself bootstrapped. Those questions are, in a way about boat handling and how to improve in it. So, if you can formulate some questions along those lines, they would fit here.

Questions about how to best locate a DS or detailed discussion of alternatives might be best in a new topic in "miscellaneous", as they are not so specifically about boat handling. I know many people new to the forum are reluctant to start a new topic, but it's nearly always better to do that than to take an existing topic into a new direction (aka thread drift).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Everybody is an expert sailor?

Postby BlackPirate » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:09 am

@GreenLake: Yes, I don't have my own boat. I think I should begin with the question if DS is a boat for me and safe for beginners? :oops:
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