Best way to take sheet and tiller extension with you when tacking

NielsH

New Member
Thread starter #1
Hello:

First time back in the Laser since 1980, and I know there was a specific way I used to take the tiller and sheet to the new high side, but can't remember and I keep fumbling it.

Does anyone have a good resource where I can read about, or see a picture of an optimized tack, I know the feet movement.

Thanks

Niels
187719
 
#2
Take a look here. There is some video footage but it's a bit fast:

http://www.roostersailing.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=tack&Store_Code=1

otherwise the Ben Ainslie CD that comes wiht the book is OK, but for some reason doesn't comcentrate on the handwork which is the hardest part ot learn.

Basically,

1) you don't change what your hands are holding until you are on the opposite tack.

2) Always turn to face forward.

follow those two rules and you should be set. (Unless you're doing a special technique and that doesn't seem to be what you're after)



This has you with the tiller hand behind your back after the tack. Get the boat flat first, before changing hands. I use the little finger of my mainsheet hand to hold tiller as I change hands. You may need to go out on a medium wind day and take it very slowly and really concentrate on each stage until you understand what happens and when. It's easier to do than explain.
 
R

Ross B

Guest
#3
got it Saw, its pretty basic, if you sail 420's, or CFJ's its the same, any dinghy where the skipper drives and does main has the same hand motions
 

NielsH

New Member
Thread starter #5
In the video from Rooster it shows the sailor turning facing backwards, I have never done it that way and I am glad you mentioned to always turn facing fore.
 
#6
Also for easy tacking, try to hold the tiller extension like a microphone in front of your chest and don't get into the habit of holding it like a tennis racquet/golf club by your side. I am finding it impossible to unlearn this bad habit. I am getting pretty good at doing it the wrong way though!
 
#7
I am finding it impossible to unlearn this bad habit. I am getting pretty good at doing it the wrong way though!
One way to teach your brain to take notice of the technique is to pass the mainsheet to your tiller hand, while holding the tiller like a microphone, and hold it there. Then pass it back. Do that a couple of times and your brain sees that it is useful for sail trimming while hiking - without needing to use your teeth to hold the mainsheet. Experiment trimming the sail with just the tiller hand. Wave it around a bit and feel the new loading.

The change if hand position loads different muscles in your neck and shoulders, so don't worry if they seem a little tighter than usual.

Holding the tiller like a microphone is an important step to learning fast sail trimming/pumping for situations like rounding the leeward mark, going from a run to close hauled quickly with a lot of rope to move.
 
#8
I find that holding the tiller extension like a microphone across one's chest fine except in light shifty winds. Under these conditions, when you need to suddenly pull yourself inboard and maybe even to leeward then you have this tiller extension stopping you (and you have to do a quick S to move the tiller so there is room to get it past the main sheet). I could shorten the tiller extension but other than this it seems a great length.


As most of my Laser sailing is on inland lakes at the moment maybe I'm experiencing conditions that are less common on open waters (e.g. the sea). Do others have the same problem with the tiller extension and mainsheet when trying to continue a straight course whilst moving across the boat ?


Ian
 
R

Ross B

Guest
#9
I find that holding the tiller extension like a microphone across one's chest fine except in light shifty winds. Under these conditions, when you need to suddenly pull yourself inboard and maybe even to leeward then you have this tiller extension stopping you (and you have to do a quick S to move the tiller so there is room to get it past the main sheet). I could shorten the tiller extension but other than this it seems a great length.


As most of my Laser sailing is on inland lakes at the moment maybe I'm experiencing conditions that are less common on open waters (e.g. the sea). Do others have the same problem with the tiller extension and mainsheet when trying to continue a straight course whilst moving across the boat ?


Ian

nope, never had problems with it, then again, 3 CISA's, and 4 years of junior laser sailing in the summer, and millions of practice tacks on the whistle, and you get the idea pretty damn quick lol

practice practice practice
 
#10
nope, never had problems with it, then again, 3 CISA's, and 4 years of junior laser sailing in the summer, and millions of practice tacks on the whistle, and you get the idea pretty damn quick lol

practice practice practice
Not a problem tacking, just when the wind dies from having you on the windward side to suddenly requiring you amidships or to leeward (i.e. suddenly drops away to nothing but you are holding your course), then I don't seem to have time to move the tiller extension over my head as you need to come inboard quickly and then it does not pass the mainsheet so you need to move the tiller so it can pass the mainsheet and you can move to leeward. Not a problem when tacking.


I would expect those of us sailing on small sheltered puddles would come across such conditions more often.


Ian
 
#11
I hadn't actually thought of using my teeth but I might give it a go till I get round to fixing my bad tiller extension habits. I have been trapping the mainsheet under my foot on the floor or between my calf and the grab rail when I need a free hand.

Someone should videotape me sailing and use it as a 'how not to do this' type of thing for students.
 
#12
Deimos, I sail on inland dams/lakes, and have exactly the same problem, especially with this highveld wind, on light days like today its not uncommon for the wind to suddenly shift 90-180 degrees, requiring you to move very quickly or suffer an embarresing capsize in front of the clubhouse! :)

On days like today I see no choice but to hold the extension behind me, but agree the microphone way feels much better otherwise, though I find its going to take much practice for it to become a sub-concious process!

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#14
I usualy don't track facing backwards but occationaly I did when just sailing around and watching something. I can tell you, it's not a good idea, it's even dangerous.

The last time I did it, it disslocated my shoulder cause it pressed the arm to much behind me (and upwards). At the same time I managed to get the main snapped around my foot and I where heading into a bunch of rocks, somehow I managed to relocate it after about 30 seconds though so it went ok.
Might be abit abit hard to understand what happened if you don't experience it, normaly it shouldn't be a problem when tacking facing backwards but it can potentialy happend (it can not when facing forwards). I won't explain exactly how it happends cause I'd have to write an article or something and one of my fingers are hurt so it hurts when I write =p

Of course, now my left shoulder is abit unstabil after earlier disslocations, but I believe it could defently happend to someone even if they haven't had shoulder disslocations before, this was about one and a half years after my first disslocation i believe so it should have gone back to something reasonably normal.

Don't tack facing backwards!
 

LPW

New Member
#15
In the video from Rooster it shows the sailor turning facing backwards, I have never done it that way and I am glad you mentioned to always turn facing fore.
In the rooster video he's tacking a europa. U have to tack these facing backwards to keep your weight forwards otherwise you sink the stern and water gets in.
Its been said before, but dont tack a laser facing backwards! Hardly any boats tack backwards nowadays, even toppers!!:eek:

L
 
R

Ross B

Guest
#16
I would expect those of us sailing on small sheltered puddles would come across such conditions more often.


Ian

I'm a member of a little lake YC, but mostly sail on ocean, and I can tell you they both get equal days of no wind, your not the only one
 
#17
The nice thing about the sea is the "sea breeze" - something you don't tend to get on small puddles. Thus, light and variable tend to be more common on the inland small ponds. For years I've been sailing on the sea and whilst you do get light winds, things will often pick-up early afternoon (given some sun anyway). When I used to sail Fireballs I tended to be a member of various reservoir based sailing clubs though rarely sailed on their lakes (other than their Open Meetings/Regattas).


Also, quite a few lakes/ponds tend to be in valleys and/or have surrounding hills or buildings, which protects you from the wind even more (plus adding to its directional variability).


Ian
 
#18
I know that some people here love referring to books, so i'll do it!
In the Ben Ainslie book, he recommends holding the tiller behind you if its light. something to do with being more stable on the tiller.

As for tacking backwards, basically if the mainsheet leads from the transom to your hand, you face backwards, which involves changing hands before the turn!! easy once you've got it sussed, but not any use in a laser!

I had to learn it last year as an RYA racing instructor, just in case i get students in old style toppers!
 
#19
There are a few things that you will want to follow when attempting to complete a good tack (I'm just gonna guess this is upwind):
    1. So you're sailing upwind (duh) and you wanna tack so first put your back leg on top of the hiking strap (when you switch sides it will be your front leg, and it will suddenly be back under the strap.
    2. Slide your tiller over slowly to about half way.
    3. When the sail starts to luff its time to roll, hike out hard with your front leg still under the strap (roll HARD)
    4. Now twist your body so that you're facing forward (you're still on the low side)
    5. Push yourself to the high side using your new front leg.
    6. Get a nice seat on the very edge of the gunwale and throw your upper body backwards over the side, like you're trying to do a backflip (hyperextend)
    7. Pump your mainsheet as you hike the boat flat. Not before, not after.
    8. You still have your hands and mainsheet in the same hands you started with. When the boat is flat and you're set in nicely, switch your tiller and mainsheet hands.
Good Luck!
 
#20
Since I was as little as a baby my parents always told me to tack facing forward and always hold the tiller like a microphone. Otherwise people will laugh at you and ridicual you for looking funny.
 
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