Practicing Alone

Thread starter #3
I am rather new with less than a year on the boat. I was getting fast at the end of last season but feel slow and rusty now.

I would guess that I need to work on boat handling and speed & transitions down wind the most. I have roughly 3 weeks to knock the rust off. I could probably fit in about 6-7 practices maybe 2-3 hours in length.

I am simply trying to make the most of my time on the boat before the regatta.
 

torrid

Just sailing
#4
When I used to sail in Galveston Bay, there were crab traps everywhere. I could generally find two or three of them and create my own little "race course". I would sail around the "course", practicing mark roundings and making several tacks/gybes on each leg.

It was very good for building boat-handling skills. As for working on boat speed, you really need to be practicing with other boats to get decent feedback.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#5
When I used to sail in Galveston Bay, there were crab traps everywhere. I could generally find two or three of them and create my own little "race course". I would sail around the "course", practicing mark roundings and making several tacks/gybes on each leg.

It was very good for building boat-handling skills. As for working on boat speed, you really need to be practicing with other boats to get decent feedback.
Yep! I use the crab trap markers as well. I practice holding position near a mark, sailing upwind for extended periods for hiking and wave practice and extended DW work, (especially when the wind is up) where I practice driving the waves and staying on the edge so I'm aware of my capsize limits.

If it is lighter I do extensive roll tack and roll jibe drills. Using the crab traps for this is great as they usually set them in a row pattern and if the breeze is coming out of the right direction you get a slalom course.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#7
How might you do it in absence of crab traps?
My first thought would be set 2 or 3 of your own marks. A crab trap marker is a 6" diameter styrofoam ball. Depending on how deep the water is all you need is enough rope an a 2 lb weight to hold it. Go to a hardward store and make a couple of marks.
 
#8
In the absence of marks/floats etc, you can setup a stopwatch to run thru tacks and jibes - the goal is to be able to end up with smooth boat handling while decreasing the time between each tack or jibe.
 
#9
For mark rounding practice, I have found that placing the marks very close together so that sorting out the sequence and control lines happens quickly and utlimately instinctively. There are some drills at at the end of Paul Goodison's book that I have found helpful.

Holding position with timed starts relative to a buoy can really help and give some confidence for a start in a larger fleet.

Doing a series of 6-10 consecutive tacks and the same thing for gybes helps make what seems to be very mechanical to something more automatic works well.

Good luck!
 
#11
Tacks, gybes and SPINS. No one practices these. You need to be fast at them. dropping the tiller can be fast.

Split tacks. Find another guy who isn't sailing with anyone and ask them if they want to do split tacks.
 
#12
Do they have any other good drills to practice alone in that book?
To paraphrase a couple of the drills from the book try:

If you're willing to set some marks, set a start line with a winward marks just a short distance upwind and then treat the starting marks as a gate and practices all sorts of starts and then alternate leeward roundings between the marks.

Along the same lines doing figure 8s mixed with ovals between W-L can be productive.

In regards to the spins, it can help doing them as you are heading upwind and then do them when going down wind as the techniques vary depending on which leg you're on.

Multiple consecutive tacks (up to 10) followed by multiple gybes.
 
#13
Light Wind
Sailing with the rudder up, this teaches boat handling and weight placement, eventually helping you to depend less on the rudder.

Roll Tacks and Roll gybes

rocking your boat from the bow with the rudder up all the way back to shore

medium wind
getting the boat to plane and stick on the wave as long as possible
loosing minimal/maintaining speed through tacks

strong wind
long upwinds and long downwind legs, with tacks or double tacks every set amount of time.

for all wind conditions
360s and 720s,
sailing circles as tight as possible, round an anchored boat or buoy
 
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