Best Landing Strategies

Thread starter #1
Hello All,

I'm not new to sailing but I am partially self taught and am trying to hone skills. Where I put in on Lake Murray in SC is a regular boat ramp with rocky beach on either side. Typically you are on a full fledged run coming back in. As far as I know you really can't depower on a run with a sunfish, does anyone have any strategies to help prevent the boat from crashing up against the rocks while I get the sietech to wheel her in? Usually the boat goes sideways beam to the waves and rocks against the rocks (I know its not a good thing). There was no damage the first few times but this most recent time it cracked the gel coat in two places. Below is what I've tried so far. If anyone else has any ideas (besides finding a new spot) I'd appreciate it.

What I've Tried:
- Running striaght up the ramp and jumping out as soon as its shallow enough to stop the boat.....winds up either flipping or catching some wind before I can lower the sail and going sideways.
-Going "at irons" (dead upwind) right next to the dock, lowering the sail, and paddling in..... The wind current was too great for the paddle even with the sail down and wound up being pushed ashore (not where I wanted to be).

I was thinking if I could put weights on the sietech and sink it at a fair depth I could jump out and pull it on it before I got up to the rocks...
 
Thread starter #2
Oh yea, I also tried unclipping the mainsheet from the briddle at the last minute and letting the sail vane freely to loose power but because of the sail cant go all the way around it still caught some wind.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#3
P6110041-002.JPG With 5 extra feet of line:

1) Releasing of the longer mainsheet would seem to come in handy.

2) You can install a cam cleat on the deck in easy reach of the cockpit, and drop the sail entirely.
 
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LaLi

Active Member
#4
I also tried unclipping the mainsheet from the briddle at the last minute and letting the sail vane freely
I was just going to suggest this :D It's never failed me (in the Laser).
the sail cant go all the way around
What's keeping it from doing that? How do you run your halyard?

In the Sunfish, can't you just take the sail down on the water, directly upwind of the point on the shore where you want to go, and just let it drift?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#5
I was just going to suggest this :D It's never failed me (in the Laser).
What's keeping it from doing that? How do you run your halyard?

In the Sunfish, can't you just take the sail down on the water, directly upwind of the point on the shore where you want to go, and just let it drift?
Yes, you can and then you paddle in or you let the wind take you in.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#6
I always though that was one of the advantages of the Sunfish
where you could simply let go of the sheet sailing any point
of the compass. Sail may look a little funny pointing in the
wrong direction but who cares. I always carry a paddle and
let go the sheet then paddle to waist deep water and wade in.
Every time I see someone trying to sail directly to the landing
bad things happen. Like my Uncle crunching a hole in the bow
hitting a rock. It is a wet-bottom-sailor so I always expect to
go for a swim anyway.

If you are trying to moor you boat while getting a beach dolly,
get one of those dog anchors you screw into the ground. Looks
like a giant wine-cork remover. You can screw it to the bottom
in two or three feet of water. Also good as a temporary mooring spot for
your Runabout just outside the designated swimming area.
 
Thread starter #7
I always though that was one of the advantages of the Sunfish
where you could simply let go of the sheet sailing any point
of the compass. Sail may look a little funny pointing in the
wrong direction but who cares. I always carry a paddle and
let go the sheet then paddle to waist deep water and wade in.
Every time I see someone trying to sail directly to the landing
bad things happen. Like my Uncle crunching a hole in the bow
hitting a rock. It is a wet-bottom-sailor so I always expect to
go for a swim anyway.

If you are trying to moor you boat while getting a beach dolly,
get one of those dog anchors you screw into the ground. Looks
like a giant wine-cork remover. You can screw it to the bottom
in two or three feet of water. Also good as a temporary mooring spot for
your Runabout just outside the designated swimming area.
I actually thought that was a great idea and bought one....until I realized the sand is too coarse and it won't take bite. It just falls over.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#8
Just out of curiosity are you using the long rod with the "single plate helix "
or the short bent rod that looks like a cork-screw.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#10
Wouldn't a small Danforth or similar anchor...although a challenge to store on the Sunfish...but maybe no more than a "dog corkscrew"... would be much easier? Just toss it overboard. Even a light mushroom type "lunch hook" would work...unless the wind is blowing the squirrels out of the trees.

That said, I'd think pointing into the wind as you've mentioned...but in the RIGHT place...so you'd drift back to your desired landing area. Maybe 30 ft out or so??? Quickly lower the spars and worry about sail neatness later....drift back...tidy up....pull boat ashore...retrieve dolly, etc...

Realizing this isn't necessarily landing 101 and might take a little thought and pre-learned skill set...but certainly very feasible. Know your water depths JUST offshore so you can hop in and maybe take care of the boat as well.... Each landing may be totally different....unless you have wind speeds and directions that never change.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#11
You can just leave the Dog-Corkscrew in while you go sailing and pull it up
before you leave. Hopefully it's close enough to shore and out of the way
where someone won't hit it with a prop. I'm not sure I'd want that thing
in the cockpit. Anyway it would be gone the first time you capsize.
 
Thread starter #12
I actually thought that was a great idea and bought one....until I realized the sand is too coarse and it won't take bite. It just falls over.
I think temporary mooring may be the best solution.....maybe a dumbell with a buoy throw it out there before he
Just out of curiosity are you using the long rod with the "single plate helix "
or the short bent rod that looks like a cork-screw.
It's a corkscrew...the one you can get at walmart I think.
 
#13
I'd think a 2.5-5 lb dumb bell could be easily tired to the hiking strap or maybe to the bottom of mast with a small towel to prevent marring deck.

Come in close, throw it out get the dolly. If public area may not be wise to leave it out with buoy while sailing.
 
Thread starter #14
I guess that is another good question. Does anyone have experience with how much weight you need to keep a sunfish from deagging anchor in higher winds? I was thinking 30 lbs in case the sail caught wind
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#15
The boat should always swing pointing into the wind if tied off at the bow. With mainsheet slacked your sail should never fill.. 10 lbs should be fine in winds up to 20 mph. A small Danforth will hold in higher winds vs just a weight tied to an anchor rode
 
Thread starter #16
But if you are pointed dead down wind wouldnt you need the sail pointed the same (directly over the bow "backwards" to not catch any wind? Even with the sheet out all the way my sail only slightly goes ahead of the mast. So a small anchor sounds like a good option then?
 

LaLi

Active Member
#17
Come on people, stop talking about anchoring a dinghy, that's totally ridiculous! It would make everything just more complicated, not less.

Lane, your problem is (and I already asked about it) that your boom doesn't swing through 360 degrees. Find out why and we'll continue from there.
 
Thread starter #18
So the rigging I used has the halyard going through the fairlead and over the goose neck and down to the deck cleat. I was taught this keeps the mast from falling out if you capsize. The tension of this line keeps it from swinging out all the way. Im also not sure if the mainsheet is long enough. ..i thought it was standard issue.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#19
Got two things going here, keeping the boat away from rocks while getting
the dolly and depower the sail. Forgoing the anchor problem for a minute you need
to install a cleat on the mast. The remaining line will go through the fairlead and
use the deck cleat to keep the mast secure.

You don't have to hang on to the sheet, just let it go into the water. If you want it longer big box stores sell line that
is better than what came with the boat, the standard issue is a bit short. If
the sail is not totally depowered then no anchor will work.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#20
The sheet length is not a problem, because you can disconnect it from the traveler. You can then sail a short distance with a 1:1 mid-boom sheet before letting it go to make the boom swing forward when you want to slow down. (You can do the same when going out in an onshore breeze, connecting the sheet as a last thing when you're clear of docks, breakwaters, etc.)

Solution 1 for halyard: if you don't have a halyard cleat on the mast, get one. You can then loosen the halyard tail that works as a vang/security line independently of the part that actually keeps the sail up. There are good diagrams of that on this forum. (I notice Webfoot1 just pointed out the same...)

Solution 2: just head up and stop directly upwind of the ramp, drop the sail, and turn downwind again. Is there something that keeps you from doing that?
 
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