Newby in an new (1990) 14.2

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by e90018, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. e90018

    e90018 New Member

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    I have little experience as skipper and some as crew. Just bought my first sailboat (the Capri) and am loving it! I have read a lot but lack experience at which I am working.

    I hope somebody on this forum can point to some videos or other material on tacking. I am having a tough time with this. I keep stalling and never cross the wind until after several tries. This is frustrating because it seems like I wasn't having this problem until recently.

    Thanks and regards
    Rick
     
  2. jerinaldi

    jerinaldi Member

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    I am sure that you will get better replies than mine, but I just generally try to build up as big a head of steam as I can and then throw it over hard and fast.

    Another thing that I will do in light wind is to keep the jib cleated tight until the nose crosses the wind line (I am sure that there is a better term of this). The jib catches the wind earlier and helps push the nose over. Once the main fills, I then uncleat the jib and let it flop over the the leeward side and trim it. It's pretty rough on the jib and I am sure that most people watching me thing that I am simply an idiot who does not know how to uncleat my jib, but it works. I think it is technically called "backing the jib".
     
  3. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    Get on to YouTube and you will find every version of tacking known to man in addition to the very radical "Roll Tack"
     
  4. tynwald

    tynwald Member

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    Here are some observations I've made over the years about tacking that might help (by "observations" I mean errors I've made!). A common problem new sailors have when coming about is trying to initiate the tack without enough speed. Like jerinaldi mentioned, you need to have a bit of speed up first before it's "helms alee" (remember that there's a tendency for the boat to slow when you're going through the wind, so you need some power to overcome that effect). The other thing I've noticed is that an less experienced helmsman may push the tiller over too fast in low wind conditions. The faster you push the tiller, the faster you'll turn, but you'll also slow down (rudder drag). Try pushing the tiller over enough just to get the bow to start coming through then throw it over hard (kind of like "sculling") . Finally, you have to make sure that you've gone a full 90 degrees onto the new tack before you're done. Some newer sailors will think they're completely through the tack when in fact they're too close to the wind and will find themselves in irons. Be sure you've sited a target for the new tack that's directly abeam of your current position before starting and aim for it when you're done. Anyway, hope that helps.
     
  5. Allatoona

    Allatoona Member

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    My experiences in tacking..... I've witnessed many beginners that tack and go too far around, then sheet in jib/main both too tight. Then sit and wonder why they have lost all forward momentum and the boat will not point back upwind. Start your turn, get the sails around, and sheet so that your telltales are flowing, as you come up to your heading you can adjust your sails to match your heading... not the other way around.

    One thing I found for pointing better upwind, is getting your jib halyard good and tight. If you have a slack jib halyard the boat will not point well.

    For my tacking with crew, announce a 5 or 10 second countdown so everyone knows when/what to expect. Keep the jibsheet good and snug, I slack the mainsheet a little and start the turn. Keep your speed going, push the tiller around and commit to the turn. If the winds are pretty light, you can let the jib backwind a little and help push the bow through the turn. Once you are getting into your turn, pop the jibsheet and pull the leeward sheet in to get your telltales flowing.

    Here is the tricky bit, until you get good and turning to the exact place you want to be across the wind, you need to have your crew tighten the jibsheet to the wind according to your telltales. If they just tighten all the way, chances are you are not pointed perfectly, yet. Have your crew pull the jibsheet, but keep their eyes on the telltales -- many rookie crew watch their hands and the sheet, instead of the telltales. Have them pull the jibsheet until the telltales are flying inside and out, this will keep your speed/power in the boat and you won't stall the boat. As you adjust your heading, your crew can continue to sheet in as needed until you get a good heading.

    The mainsheet is easy, just don't oversheet it. Again, you will stall out quickly if you tack and oversheet the main. Leave it a little slack, you will see a bubble in the sail behind the mast, or the trailing edge of the sail will be luffing. Get your heading fixed, then sheet in the main until that bubble flattens out behind the mast.

    Everything is easy in light/medium air.... and when you have a crew that knows what they are doing. When you are sailing in heavy air and/or solo, slack you main a little prior to tacking. Start your turn, pop the jibsheet, move your body to the other side, pull the other jibsheet, fix your heading, trim the main. In heavier air, you can luff the main a little or leave that bubble behind the main, so you wont be overpowered... this might be a good time to reef the main, to prevent being overpowered.

    One trick I used with my Sea Scouts, find a buoy and tack around that buoy a dozen times until you all get comfortable. This gives you a fixed point to practice tacking around, this way you and your crew can see it and know exactly when/where you are tacking. Plus, this is good experience for racing. I was a good sailor and thought that meant I was a good racer. After making lots of mistakes on raceday, I have gotten really good at racing and sailing in general.

    Get out and sail all you can, make some mistakes, find out what works.

    -Robert
    1989 Capri
     
  6. e90018

    e90018 New Member

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    Thank you

    Thank you for your replies.

    I have used your suggestions in the last set of races and did well (4th). You gave me a lot to think about and look at. I have not had the problem since using the info in your replies.

    Best regards
    Rick
     

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