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Rudder on hold

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
Hey guys, if I'm going out sailing by myself it would be great if I can fixate the rudder for a few seconds if I want to pull up the sail. Do you guys have an idea how to do this?
 
Haven't tried it yet, but here's what I'd try:

1) have a bungie stretched across the hull behind the cockpit,

2) have one of those velcro straps used to wrap up extension cords, on the bungie

Then you can strap down the tiller quickly, and unstrap it.
 

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my2fish
There is the Tiller Tamer: Tiller-Tamer™ | Davis Instruments

But most people here on the Sunfish Forum discourage "locking" the tiller into position, as you are no longer "in control" of the sailing direction if something happens and you don't instinctively reach back there and disconnect whatever method you end up using.

I typically will just shift my position so that I'm sitting towards the back corner of the cockpit, and just use rotate my leg up onto the deck and put the tiller under my thigh, and use my weight to just hold the tiller in place for a brief time so I can use two handles to fiddle with the rigging or whatever the case may be.
 

gzblack2

Member
Why not just flip up the rudder?

seriously I’m new to sailing, is there a negative to just flipping up the rudder for this purpose?
 

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my2fish
flipping up the rudder would mean you'll likely drift off course - temporarily holding the rudder at least keeps you sailing the same general direction
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Note that the issue is about raising the sail while on the water. At least that's my understanding.
First of all, it's much easier to raise the sail while on land or standing in shallow water. But if this is not possible, then one needs to paddle out, swim the boat out, or have someone pull the boat to a safe area, away from other boats.
So now we are out there and not going anywhere, unless there is current, because the sail is still down. Hence, a rudder won't do a thing. Raising the sail is not that easy under these circumstances, but I have seen experienced sailors do this in between races to adjust the rig. How is this done?
It's best to line up the hull so that the wind will hit the starboard (right) side first. Since the halyard goes to the starboard side of the boat, you need to be on you knees (or one knee) on that side, grab the halyard and start pulling fast. The sail will start to catch wind as it is raised, but since you have the boat lined up properly, the rig will swing to the (port) left side of the boat. Tie down the halyard and you are all set.
It would be good to practice this.
 

Mr. Dabolina

New Member
My boat is stationed in a large harbour, filled with hundreds of boats. I need to get out of there before I can start sailing.
As you can see at the attached image, I have some traveling to do with the paddles before I can start sailing. The whole distance of the red line is about one mile. So, with your guys expertise, how would you get out of my harbour?
 

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mixmkr

Well-Known Member
No other launch areas available? Paddling into the wind could be tough. Experienced sailors could sail out if it was downwind ...as it looks tight to tack especially with traffic and between the piers.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
Also..ive found leaving the mast up and then just raising the sails should only take a couple of seconds. Let the mainsheet run free...with a stopper knot...and forget the rudder. After 5-10 seconds raising the sail, scurry back into the cockpit and resume course and sail/trim as needed. Try to start raising with the boat pointed into the wind, to give you the most time before it starts drifting off downwind. Be quick and deliberate at this point and all should be fine.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
And yes...position the boat so it so it won't drift to port tack, with the boom sweeping you off the deck.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
Question has come up a couple of times, how to get out of the channel etc. Best
answer I heard is tow it out with a 12' Aluminum boat, anchor the Aluminum
and transfer/sail the Sunfish. Will someone call the CG if they see a empty
aluminum boat? Will the aluminum boat drag anchor? Probably the simple
solution is to take a friend with you and leave him with the aluminum. I sort
of provides a nice safety factor for both people. I have a 15.5 foot Saftymate
with a 25 hp 1954 Johnson. Motor was first outboard made to pull a waterski.
Thing pulls like a tractor, would make short work of a Sunfish however the
person on the Sunfish would be gasping in a dense cloud of 25:1 blue smoke.
In fact if I put it in idle and stop moving I end up in the middle of the blue cloud.
Cheese burgers and exhaust smoke, All American makes the Duke proud.
 
It sure would be a lot easier to beach launch the boat. That is what most of us do. Looking at Google Maps it looks like there are some nearby sites. Can you access any of them?

Mikebeach launch.jpg
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I second Mike's thoughts. Getting out of that harbor and channel would require a great deal of skill (and some luck).
There are several inland lakes nearby as well.
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
It depends on the wind direction though. If The wind gives you a reach in and out of this harbour there is no problem. Near me there is a sailing club who have to sail up a very narrow channel to get out to sea. They can do this because the prevailing SW wind means it is nearly always a reach both ways.
Screenshot 2019-11-08 10.04.10.png
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, if I'm going out sailing by myself it would be great if I can fixate the rudder for a few seconds if I want to pull up the sail. Do you guys have an idea how to do this?
My situation is different, but I still have to paddle out a distance until I'm clear of large tree branch overhang. The sail doesn't get raised until I'm out about 100 American feet. (European feet may be different). ;) The rudder has to be held in a position to counter paddle strokes and wind direction. :confused:

I put a leg on the tiller, and hoist the sail from a sitting position. :cool: An extra length of halyard has to be added to secure the halyard at a handy cam cleat (pictured below—at arrow). The halyard could pass through a hole drilled through the splashguard, but I've found that's not necessary and, anyway, difficult to position in the correct spot. :confused:

P6110041-003.JPG

In the case of running out of room leaving the harbor, the sail can be quickly doused, and paddling resumed.

(Rinse, repeat).
 
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