Austin Sailing Newbie

Thread starter #1
Greetings! I’m new to the site and new to sailing. This is such a great forum – I’ve learned a lot just from reading about other people’s experiences. My boyfriend and I got a Capri 14.2 a couple of weeks ago, and have been waiting for the right time/weather to take it out on the lake (in Austin, Texas.) After a series of bad weather and high wind days, we ran out of patience and took it out this morning for the first time, high winds – at least for a beginner - notwithstanding. Winds were about 10mph with gusts up to 14. The short of it – we survived just fine and are still speaking to each other. Success - yea!! Our adventure did raise a couple of questions. We used a rope that is tied to the top of the mast to hold up the clew end of the boom while rigging (I think this rope would be the forestay if we weren’t using a furling jib.) We thought we would disconnect the rope from the boom after we were out in the water and finished pulling the main sail up. Wrong. Once we were out, we realized that by doing so we would probably tip the boat over. So the forestay remained tied to the clew end of the boom. What do others with a furling jib do with the forestay?

Also - does anyone in Austin have a recommendation on a good place for newbies to launch on Lake Travis? We launched from Cypress Creek. Turns out that launching from a boat ramp up wind into a narrow cove is less than ideal. We’re thinking Windy Point is what we’ll try next. Also thinking about joining Austin Yacht Club. Any AYC members out there?
I do not know of any line that would go to the top of the mast except for the main halyard and the topping lift. The topping lift needs to be unhooked from the end of the boom once the main has been raised and attached to the cleat at the base of the mast. That keeps it out of the way of the mainsail.
I agree with Greg, since the forestay is made of Stainless Steel Cable, you must be referring to a topping lift which is specifically for holding up the end of the boom when the mainsail is down and must be unhooked or untied from the boom as soon as the main is raised.

If left on the boom you may not be able to set the mainsail leech with neither the "main sheet" nor the "boom vang". :eek:I forgot to remove mine last Sat and could'nt figure out why my mainsail would'nt flatten out! ..... I was so busy with sailing I didn't notice it until later when I dropped my mainsail and realized it was still hanging on to the boom for dear life:D ......... The truth is; you can read all you want, but experience is the best teacher! My hat's off to you guys for braving the weather and "doing it".;)
I am so happy to hear your are still on good terms with your boyfriend after your adventure:)
Somebody once told me that sailing can be more stressfull for some, than others, when you don't really know what's going on.:rolleyes:
Keep working on that teamwork and you both will chart a long and happy course:cool:
Thread starter #6
Thanks!! It'll take a little while to get all this terminology right! I now understand that it was the topping lift. Went out again yesterday and remembered to unhook it before we brought the main sail up. Yea! That being said, we capsized on our first tack and turtled. So many things to learn.... (sigh)
> we capsized on our first tack and turtled

Next time, have the lighter member of your team rapidly swim to the end of the mast and hold it up - assuming they are wearing a PFD. The heavier team member handles the centerboard side of the drill. And don't forget to release the main sail if it was locked when you went over.

A Hobie "Baby Bob" added to the top of your mast will stop turtling after a capsize. The Sailboat Shop in Austin can install one for you if drilling holes in your mast gives you pause.

Less glamorous but much cheaper would be two one-gallon milk jugs tied to the top of your mast. Just until you get faster with executing your capsize drill. :)
Thread starter #8
Will definitely keep practicing the drill. I have a feeling we're going to get quite a bit of experience dealing with capsizing, whether we want to or not. :D And a Baby Bob is definitely on the list of improvements to make!