Tomorrow is the inaugural sail! Nervous!

Thread starter #1
And I'm nervous, to say the least...

I don't have a Baby Bob, I don't have a tiller tamer, and the water temps are just now approaching 60 degrees.

BUT- I can't wait any longer. It's time. I'm dying to go sailing, and although I'm as green as they come, I'm going for it.

I've convinced my wife to come along as crew (that's been the toughest sell yet!) and we're planning on hitting the lake tomorrow morning while the winds are light, in order to ease into things.

I figure, hey - what's the WORST thing that could happen? We capsize, turtle, and spend a few hours on the hull, waiting for a motorboat to come along and bail us out? I suppose worse things COULD happen, but realistically, that's likely to be the darkest moment we'll encounter. And honestly, my wife looks pretty great in a swimsuit - so a few more hours on the boat wouldn't be so bad!

I'm looking for any last-minute words of wisdom; anything a sailing neophyte should know? My only real sail time was on a Lighting, and that thing was darn near impossible to capsize! I felt so stable in that boat; I'm expecting the Capri to be much different...

On the 14.2, things happen very fast, she really picks up when a gust of wind hits her. DO NOT CLEAT EITHER OF THE SAILS!!!! Remember to lower the center board, but remember it is a center board not a keel, it will do nothing to keep the boat right side up. I sailed my boat with the main only the first three times I took her out, then started using both sails. Keep your center of gravty low at all times, but hike up onto the side of the boat, meaning the area above the seats, when she starts to lean. If you have hiking straps, hook your feet under them and lean out, you will notice how easy it is to keep the boat under control doing this. I do not sail my boat in winds over about 12 knots, that is max for me and I have been sailing for 20 years, mostly on larger boats. Do not scare you wife, she is the best crew you will ever have, mine will not go near the boat. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.
Thread starter #4
Montrose! That's just up the road!

I think we'll be going to Crawford State Park tomorrow. The water's a bit warmer, the lake is small and uncrowded, and it's the closest. And the potential for disaster seems lower, being that if things got crazy on me, and I had to leave my boat on the far side of the lake and go get her the next day, it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Hey - by the way - thanks for the pics of the hiking straps! I currently have none, and am thinking of making my own as another member posted.

You still have family out here? Get out this way much? We're in Paonia, about 75-ish miles northeast of Montrose. Know the place?
Thread starter #5
Think we should stick to just the main tomorrow? I'll have to hang the jib, as it's wrapped around the forestay - but she can stay furled for the day just to allow us some transition time.

What do you think?

I'll be sure to leave the main uncleated. Had already planned on it.
If you have a roller furling jib, leave it rolled up, and if the wind gets really light, unroll it and see what happens. If the wind is really light, you need the jib to keep moving. Another thing, I have started taking a fairly short piece of rope/line to use when docking. It is only about 5 feet long, and when I return to the dock I sail more or less down wind and then when I feel I am in control I make a u turn and slide along the dock while my crew loops the short piece of line over a cleat on the dock. I always make sure to have the dock upwind when docking, if it is downwind I end up slamming into it, which is hard on the boat and looks bad. Remember, once the line is around the cleat, let the main go free. The jib should already been rolled up before docking. I then drop the main in the bottom of the boat before putting the boat on the trailer. Remember this is fun, the worse that can really happen is you and your crew get wet. Think about getting a Baby Bob, it takes a lot off your mind.
Thread starter #7
Thanks for the words, Greg -

I've been thinking of the Baby Bob for awhile, and now that the sun is out and we're headed to the lake, the time is probably now.

I'm looking forward to it! I'll let you know how it goes -

Thanks again


New Member
These may be TOO obvious, but for your first time out (or any time, really) it's easy to forget some little things that make a big difference.

-- Look UP before you step that mast. Look UP again before you get in the vehicle to move the trailer. Running a stepped mast into a tree or, worse, a power line, will ruin your day.

-- Don't forget the drain plug! That's the very first thing I do when I get out at the ramp. And check it again before you back down.

-- Make sure the centerboard is all the way up before you back into the water. It has a way of working its way down while trailering, and in theory could catch on the trailer.

-- By the same token, make sure you put the CB down as soon as you step aboard, if possible. If you forget this, you rig, shove off and then spin around aimlessly, unable to point the boat where you want it to go. ("Hey, why are we going sideways?")

All obvious things, but if you're excited/nervous, they're easy to forget. Even after you've done them many times.

Take it easy, keep your hand on the mainsheet at all times and have fun.
Thread starter #9
GREAT day -

Well everyone - it was FANTASTIC!

The wind was almost too calm; there were times when we couldn't get her to move at all! Winds in the 5 - 10 mph range, with gusts in the teens. Super weather.

It was great - sun was out, boat was very manageable, and we had a wonderful time on the water. My wife even loved it, and mentioned that she can't wait to go again. A tremendous success in my book. At one point, we even met up with another experienced sailor who hopped on board. We even let out the jib at that point, and things really started happening! I don't know how in the world anyone could single-hand these boats; we were all hopping even with calm winds. It was really a super-great day.

The two biggest hurdles for the day had nothing to do with sailing. Transporting the boat & mast proved to be a gigantic headache; no matter how tightly I tightened the straps, they loosened up and the mast starting hopping around. I lost one strap on the way home and once I noticed it, stopped and re-strapped it with another strap - and almost lost a second one! I've got to search for transportation tips on this one.

The second was getting in and out of the boat ramp; our lake has only one functioning boat ramp, and it was BUSY. Once in the water, we got a tow to the middle of the lake to just get out of the way. We don't have a motor/engine of any kind, and we're going to have to make that a priority I'm afraid. Coming in was no different, we were coasting in (so as not to pound into the ramp at speed!) and when we got closer and dropped the main, the wind really stopped, and we were stuck! Again, the motor would have been tremendous. Oh well. Everyone was very helpful and patient. A great learning experience.

Pic uploaded sideways; little inconvenient - but still representative of our outing...

Thanks for all the tips; this website has been so helpful to read up and learn. We're looking forward to going out again sometime soon...