Boom vang

This control prevents the boom rising, thus controlling sail twist. It imparts a similar force along the boom to that of the center mainsheet (top right). When using the mainsheet system with raised bar. it is vital to have a powerful boom vang. The lever type (below) is ideal. The vang needs to be readily adjustable. Minor adjustments of the control can greatly affect performance easing the vang when close reaching under spinnaker will let the main twist, allowing the boat to be held upright...

Gate start

A gate start is often used when a large fleet of dinghies is racing in a championship as it is supposed to give a fairer start to the majority of the fleet. The starting line is defined by the path of a boat sailing away from a committee boat. One of the competing boats is chosen to act as pathfinder. About 30 seconds before the start the pathfinder sails away from the anchored committee boat close-hauled on port tack, closely followed by a launch, the gate launch. To prevent the pathfinder...

Navigation equipment

Before you start on the practical aspects of navigation, you need certain items of equipment. The essential ones do not need to be elaborate or expensive. Where plotting instruments are concerned, you have the choice between traditional instruments, such as roller or parallel rulers, and proprietary instruments, such as the two simple plotting instruments (below). One of your first priorities if you have a small boat is to make sure that you have a reasonable size chart table to work on. It...

Catamaran sailing in rough weather

The sealed hulls of catamarans enable them to be sailed safely in very rough conditions. But as with other high performance craft, medium strength wind conditions are best for building up your experience as the catamaran is sailing at its optimum speed. Crews can learn how to handle the trapeze system when tacking and how to move quickly up and down the gunwale to the aftermost trapezing position. However, only very experienced sailors should attempt to sail catamarans in strong winds and heavy...

Jibing

Jibing is the term given to making a change of direction away from the wind (when sailing on a downwind course). A turn is made when the stern of the boat moves across the wind and the mainsail swings from one side of the boat to the other. Because of the speed of the maneuver, the boat must be correctly balanced by the crew. The helmsman must know the exact wind direction so that he can anticipate the point at which the boom will swing across the boat, and coordinate the activity in the boat....

Rafting up

Rafting up is the term given to berthing alongside another boat (or boats), whether next to piles, a pier, a float or a mooring. It is not an ideal way of berthing because if a boat on the inside of a raft wishes to leave first it causes considerable inconvenience. Another disadvantage to rafting up is that the crews of the boats in the raft will have to cross other boats to get to and from the shore. In a crowded harbor, however, there is often no choice. There are certain precautions you...

Urv

Having picked up the mooring, the crew inspects it to make sure it is large enough for the boat. When choosing a mooring, the considerations of water depth, and shelter from wind and traffic, that apply to anchorages must also be taken into account. In addition, you must make sure that the mooring you choose is not a private one, and that it is designed to take the weight of your boat. Many moorings are marked with the maximum size of boat they hold. If you pick up a mooring that is too light...

Gmt

Being able to fix the position of your boat is an essential part of navigation. Having obtained an estimated position of the boat by plotting the position using logged information in relation to a reference point, the next step is to check the accuracy of your course. This is normally done by taking a fix in other words by taking a position line from the boat to a visible objcct, marked on the chart, and by crossing this line with at least one other similar position line. The intersection point...

M

Symbols arc normally used when plotting or shaping a course, or when fixing a position, as it is quicker and easier, and takes up less room on the chart. The ones shown below are those which are commonly used. Time is most conveniently written using the 24 hour clock 21.30. for example but it is vital that you identify the time zone you are using. T Degrees true M Degrees magnetic ( T corrected for variation C Degrees compass ( M corrected for deviation) X DR (deduced position or dead reckoning...

Cleats and fairleads

Cleats can be bought in a variety of shapes and sizes. In general the larger a cleat, the less the wear on lines and the easier it will be to make up a line on it. There should be no sharp edges anywhere on the cleat. Every boat should be equipped with at least four deck cleats for mooring and larger boats should have more. A Samson post or central bollard, which provides a stronger point at which to secure lines and the anchor chain, is often fitted on the foredeck and sometimes at the stern...

T ttt tt t

Children of up to 12 years a 3 m (10 ft) boat is suitable and from 13 to 16 years, a 4 m (13 ft) boat is needed. The general and family category covers the widest range of boats. These can be used for a broad range of activities training, camping, fishing or racing. A typical boat in this group is shown on page 35 and serves as the model for the basic sailing section as it is a good choice for the novice sailor. A growing number of people are interested in owning a family boat, purpose-built to...

Changing course

Having understood the various points of sailing, the next step is to learn how to set the sails and adjust the centerboard and crew weight every time a change of course is made. If you take the beam reach as a point of reference, courses which lie toward the wind are referred to as windward courses and those which lie in a direction away from the wind are known as leeward (or offwind) courses. It is sometimes necessary to stop briefly to rest, attend to something in the boat or to let a gust...

Man overboard

Picking up a person who has fallen overboard requires quick, positive and well-rehearsed actions by whoever is left in the boat. The main point to bear in mind in organizing a man overboard drill is that in most cases there will only be one person left aboard to sail the boat. This means choosing a course of action which allows the boat to be controlled even if it is the helmsman who goes over the side, leaving only an inexperienced crew aboard. The safest method is to put the boat immediately...

Headsail furling

Furling, a method of stowing the headsail by winding it around the forestay, has been in use for many years but recently, furling systems have been developed to allow the headsail to be roller reefed. When deciding on a headsail reeling system of this kind, it is a good idea to seek the advice of your sailmaker to make sure that your sails are suitable. The most effective system uses headfoils (see pages 214 5). The whole headfoil is rotated by a wire fitted to a drum at the base of the...

Leaving a beach

While most boats can be launched directly off a beach, launching in this way presents some difficulties. Apart from the possible problems of access from the road or parking lot (see Moving a boat, pages 52 3). the type of beach, flat or shelving, the direction of the wind (towards or away from the shore), and the state of the tide (high or low), can cause complications when leaving and returning. Wherever possible, survey prospective launching sites at low tide so that you can see obstructions...

Heaving a line

You will oltcn have to heave a line to someone in another boat or on a float. Never rely on a previously coiled line and make sure that you have checked that it is long enough to reach your objective before throwing it. Coil it up as shown (below left) and then divide the coil so that about one third is in your throwing hand. If throwing right-handed, put your left shoulder towards your objective, swing your arm and heave the line. 1 Divide the coil and keep one third in your throwing hand. 2...

Mm

The adaptation of working craft into recreational sailing craft is largely a phenomenon of the 20th century and only since World War Two has sailing become the popular activity it is today. Although the rapidity of growth is very recent, recreational sailing began in the Netherlands as long ago as the 17th century. At that time the Dutch were at the height of their seafaring powers, administering overseas colonies and, even more significantly, living in a country served by a network of...

Basic Sailing

The basic sailboat Choosing a sailboat Car topping and trailing Equipment - Points of sailing - Tacking and jibing Leaving from and returning to beaches, floats and moorings Righting a capsized boat Reefing Anchoring Stowing the boat Rules of the road The first question most would-be sailors ask is where do I begin One of the best solutions is to attend a sailing course or go on a sailing holiday to learn the basic techniques and to establish whether sailing really appeals. Other possibilities...

Sailing in fog

Fog, even more than rough weather, presents a great danger to a small boat. Reduced visibility increases the possibility of a collision with another vessel, since even lights cannot easily be seen. There arc several different types of fog (see pages 278 9). but all types cause problems for the small boat. If fog has developed or is expected when you are in harbor, you should not begin a passage until it clears. The skipper who deliberately sets out in reduced visibility is courting danger. If...

Steering compasses

There are a number of different types of steering compass but whichever you choose, you should make sure it is a good quality one. Pick the one with the largest and most clearly marked card. The compass should have some form of illumination so it can be used at night, and it should be sited where the helmsman does not have to peer sideways at it when steering. Make sure the compass is at least 2 m (f> ft) away from the engine. Take care also to keep any movable items of metal away from it. If...

Info

17th Century Ketch

The modem Dutch boeier (below) has changed little from the designs which could be seen in the Netherlands in the 17th century.The gaff mainsail, from which the rig derives its name, is four-sided and set from a movable spar, or gaff, as it is known. The Marconi mainsail, from which the rig derives its name, superseded the gaff rig in the early years of the 20th century. It is a triangular sail set on a tall mast. The Marconi mainsail, from which the rig derives its name, superseded the gaff rig...

Singlehanded sailing

Sailing single-handed has many attractions. Above all it provides an opportunity for you to test your sailing ability without a crew to help or hinder you. When you are in a boat by yourself, you take full responsibility for sailing it correctly and every success is your own. Many people choose to sail single-handed because one-man boats are often cheaper to buy and maintain than other boats as they are generally smaller and have simpler controls. They can usually be car-topped easily....

Spinnakers

A spinnaker is an additional, special sail used to provide extra driving power, mainly on courses away from the wind. It was developed from additional lightweight sails used on square-rigged ships when sailing during prolonged periods of light wind. It was originally designed for use only on downwind courses but the development of sailcloth construction and cutting techniques has resulted in sails designed to be used as far to windward as a close reach. Unlike other sails, the spinnaker is not...

Hinged Mast Step

Class Catamaran Boom End Fittings

Securing brackets Pull the dolly over the loading rollers to locate the axle in the brackets. After lowering the dolly handles, clamp the dolly and trailer together. Place the mast in the mast-support so that the heel rests on the aft decking or against the inside of the transom. Tape the shrouds and the halyards to the mast and pad the mast heel to prevent damage to the boat. Tie the mast to the support and to the central thwart. Remove or secure all loose equipment inside the boat. Fix the...

Starting lines

The simplest form of starting line, from an organizing committee's point of view, uses an onshore range. More equipment and organization is needed for a start line using a committee boat (see page 146). Nearly all starts use a defined line, the exception being the gate start, which is often used for large fleets of dinghies (see page 144). The length of the start line is a very important factor-a line at least one and a quarter times the total length of the fleet is usually recommended. A...

Basic sailing techniques

As soon as a sailing boat is launched, it comes under the influence of one dominating force, the wind. The wind governs everything that happens to the boat, and the direction and progress of the boat is dependent upon it. The wind is, however, both unpredictable and invisible so one of the first lessons a novice sailor has to learn is how to establish wind direction and strength. An experienced sailor automatically uses all his senses to keep track of the wind but if you are a beginner you not...

Stowing after sailing

2 Make a similar sized fold nearer the head and lay the second fold on the first. 3 Continue folding until the whole sail is neatly in place. As soon as the boat is removed from the water, the boat and the equipment should be hosed down with fresh water. The sails and sheets must be washed down thoroughly and then left to dry before being packed away. The equipment on the boat should be dismantled in the reverse order in which it was rigged (pages 44-55). The rudder and centerboard are stowed...

Capsizing

There are two main causes of capsizing. One of them is the result of the wind overpowering the boat and its crew so that the boat heels excessively until it fills with water and capsizes to leeward. The other is normally the result of a crewing error in strong winds, usually on a downwind course, so that the boat becomes unbalanced and capsizes, generally to windward. Although on the whole one-designs allow a fairly large margin for error on the part of the crew, racing one-designs don't, as...

Using an engine

The effect of prop walk can be used to advantage when handling a boat under engine power. It turns a much tighter circle in the opposite direction to the rotation of the propeller therefore a boat fitted with a clockwise-rotating propeller turns a tighter circle to port than it does to starboard both in forward gear and reverse gear. The effect is even more pronounced in reverse gear and in some boats you will find it difficult when reversing to get the boat to turn in the same direction as the...

Preparing for a race

Before you go afloat for the race there are certain preparations and checks that you should make. It is very annoying to reach the start line and discover that in the rush to get afloat you have left behind your spinnaker or some vital piece of equipment. The time you will need to spend on preparing your boat depends on the type a Flying Dutchman, which is complicated to rig and tune, may take you two or three hours to prepare, while a Laser, which has much simpler controls, will probably only...

Windward sailing

The easiest point of sailing for catamarans is a beam reach. You will soon become accustomed to the fact that the apparent wind comes from much further ahead, so that the sails are set close to the centerlinc. The most important sail control is the mainsheet traveller which enables you to adjust the angle the sail makes to the wind without disturbing the sail shape. Many catamaran sailors sail their boats with the traveller alone, leaving the mainsheet to operate as a boom vang. The two...

Getting in and out

Getting in and out of a tender requires some care to avoid upsetting it. After launching the tender into the water, secure the painter near the shrouds to a stanchion or deck cleat. The oarsman gets in first, stepping into the middle of the tender, and sits down on the central thwart. The oars are passed to him. followed by any stores that are being transported. The remaining crew members then get in one by one. sitting down immediately and keeping the boat trimmed. Those already in the tender...

Improving your sailing

Once you have mastered the basic skills of sailing you will almost certainly want to learn how to make your boat go faster. Boat speed will depend on a number of factors your skill as a sailor, the design of your boat and the way the sails and rigging arc adjusted to suit different sailing conditions. The first essential is to improve your sailing skills by frequent practice and to understand exactly how the different controls affect the boat's performance on the various points of sailing. Once...

Alternatives to the spinnaker

If you do not wish to use a spinnaker for any reason, there are various other methods for improving downwind performance in light and medium winds. The genoa can be goosewinged. so that it is not blanketed by the mainsail and poled out to keep it set to windward below . Another solution is to hoist two headsails. When using this technique offshore it is usual to lower the mainsail to stop it chafing on the shrouds and to prevent it from blanketing the leeward headsail. This method of increasing...

L

Spinnaker sailcloth is designed to resist rips and to have a limited stretch with the weave and a greater stretch diagonally across the weave. This gives a better sail shape. Radial cut spinnakers are only rarely used because they tend to distort in the lower Horizontal cut spinnakers stretch mainly at the head. These are best for use on downwind courses. Star cut spinnakers remain flat under pressure and can be used on a close reach. This spinnaker combines the radial, horizontal and star cuts...

Backstay tensioner

Many boats are fitted with an adjustable backstay which allows you to control the tension of the Ibrestay. A common way of adjusting the backstay is by a wheel controlling a bottle screw at the base. When you are not sailing, the backstay tension should be slackened. Horseshoe buoys always must be kept where they can be reached quickly, preferably in specially designed holders attached to the stern rail below left . In addition to providing buoyancy for a man overboard, a horseshoe buoy acts as...

Reefing

Rotating Boom Reefing

Most small boats are designed with sails which can cope with wind strengths from near calm to 25 knots. Such sails are only really efficient in medium-strength wind conditions from 10 to 1 5 knots , being either too small or too large for extremes. In light winds, the sail area can be increased by using additional, or larger, sails, and in strong winds the sail area can be reduced either by using smaller sails or by reducing the area of an existing sail known as reeling . There are three ways...

Broaching

Broaching is when the boat turns violently to windward, out of control. It is most common when broad reaching or running but can happen on any point of sailing. A common cause of broaching is rolling, which gives the hull an assymetrical underwater shape causing the boat to move in the opposite direction to the way it is heeled see page 57 . When this force is great enough to overcome the effect of the rudder the boat will broach. If the mainsail is too large in proportion to the headsail or...

Racing courses

There are many different types of racing, ranging from a small club event involving only about ten boats, to a national championship regatta in which hundreds of boats may be racing. The courses also vary enormously. Races are conducted over a predetermined course laid out by the race organizers, the object being to finish the distance in a faster time than the other competitors in your class. Some championships assess a competitor's performance over a series of races. The most common form of...

Tuning a boat

If you want to get the best performance out of your boat you will have to consider ways of increasing the driving force of the sails and reducing the drag caused by the hull and standing rigging. For all boats, there is an optimum wind speed at which the heeling force of the sails is just balanced by the crew's maximum righting power, when sailing upwind. Because upwind sailing tests the efficiency of the rig, you tune your boat for best performance on that point of sailing. However, you have...

Catamarans

Catamarans are lightweight craft which can carry a larger sail area and therefore can sail faster than monohtilled boats, because of the greater stability given by the twin-hulled design. Apart from the design features made necessary by the twin hulls, such as the central bridge deck trampoline, twin rudders and a forestay bridle see opposite , catamarans have several features not found on other high performance boats to help you cope with the higher speeds. The sails are particularly flat and...

T

Approach under jib alone on a broad reach 1 . Steer onto a beam reach, release jib sheet to stop at mooring 2 . A strong tide produces a wake behind objects fixed in the water such as buoys, channel markers and mooring posts. Looking at these will help you to judge the strength and direction of the tide. Approach mooring on a beam reach 1 . Luff up so that you stop with buoy amidships to windward 2 . If you are returning lo a mooring in tidal water, before starting your approach it is important...

Catamaran sailing downwind

Catamaran Trimaran

One of the main principles to bear in mind when sailing a catamaran on a downwind course is that you should never sail directly away from the wind. Instead, you have to sail a zigzag course, known as tacking downwind see below . Because a catamaran achieves very high speeds on a broad reach-far higher than on a run-it is worthwhile sailing from one broad reach to another and jibing across. Although most monohulls also sail faster on a broad reach than on a run, it is not worth tacking a...

Foredeck

Because the foredeck is the most exposed part of the boat, it must be organized to provide as much protection for the crew as possible. Most foredecks. therefore, have a strong tubular steel framework at the bow. called the pulpit, which is firmly bolted into the deck. The crew can brace himself against this while working on the foredeck. Guardrails or lifelines, supported by stanchions, run from the pulpit to the back of cockpit to provide security for the crew on deck. All headsail rigging...

Daylight shapes

To make identification easier during normal daylight hours, vessels often carry specific shapes, normally made of metal, attached where they can best be seen. These demonstrate the type or purpose of a particular vessel. At night, lights are always used instead see page 222 . Vessel fishing or trawling not trolling over 20 m 66 ft The signal for a vessel wishing to pass another vessel to starboard in a narrow channel One long blast, one short blast, one long blast, one short blast Signal for...

Coiling a line

All lines should be coiled and secured so that they are ready for use. There are several methods of coiling a line the one below is commonly used. When coiling the line, take about an arm's width for each coil, and make sure a twist is put into the line in order to flatten it. If you fail to cleat a line properly it may slip or jam immovably. The line should always be led to the back of the cleat lirst which prevents it from jamming. You should also take one full turn around the cleat before...

Deviation card

If the compass is uncorrected, you should make out a deviation card. The best method is to plot the figures as a curve so that the deviation is read off accordingly. By inserting both compass and magnetic readings on the card you can use the card to read from compass to magnetic and vice versa. If the reading you require is in between two readings given, then you can use the graph to interpolate. To correct for deviation, the same rules arc applied as in correcting for variation see page 242 ....

Rigging the headsail

Cruising boats traditionally carried several headsails suitable for different conditions. There arc now two systems of rigging-the traditional headstay with piston hanks see below and the more modern jib furling system see also page 217 . The first method requires headsails to be changed to suit the prevailing wind conditions. Boats using this first method carry four to six headsails to cover a wide range of windspeeds. These sails are bagged and show the sail's name and number on the outside...

Anchoring and mooring

Anchoring and mooring are related techniques in that they both involve securing the boat to a fixed point surrounded by water. In both cases the way you approach and leave the site will be the same but when mooring the means of securing the boat is provided by the buoy, and when anchoring you have to provide it yourself. This involves additional equipment and preparation and more complicated crew routines. Anchoring is a skill which is becoming less used as harbors are filled up with moorings,...

Slip lines

A slip line is one which is led ashore through a ring, or around a bollard or cleat, with both its ends made fast on board. Its main use is for leaving a berth when you want to be able to release a line without having to go ashore to do so. This is particularly useful when leaving from alongside a high pier wall as it is difficult for the crew to get aboard at the last minute. The way a slip line is led ashore is important if it is to be released easily when it is time to leave. When there is a...

Drying out

Few of the ports you will visit in North America will dry out at low water, but you may want to tie up alongside a wall or pier in a harbor which does dry out, in order to examine or maintain the boat hull and keel. It may be perfectly safe to take the ground but the right precautions must be taken. Firstly, it is important to realize that different hull forms behave in quite different ways when they go aground. The most stable, of course, is a catamaran, while a boat with bilge keels is also...