Author Topic: Any suggestions for a a first timer?  (Read 4759 times)

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Offline solodare

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Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« on: April 03, 2015, 01:17:48 PM »
Im hoping to take the venture 22 out this coming week and was hoping to get some tips on how to go about this? I've been doing a lot of reading on the basics but have NO experience what so ever with sailboats.
( have had a few power boats but I dont think any of that helps)

Any advice?  do's and dont's ?  flow charts ? Pep talks ? 
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Offline boblamb

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2015, 09:19:51 AM »
I'd recommend taking someone who "knows the ropes!"































































'knows the ropes!"
boblamb     still..."Blest B'yond B'lief"

Offline SeaHusky

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2015, 11:57:48 AM »
What advice would you give to someone asking the same question about their first hike in the mountains?
Three things that can go wrong:
1. Choose good weather.
2. Stay on board. If you are alone, consider using a safety line.
3. Be aware of the possibility of an unintentional gybe.
Other then that just go sail and learn! Have fun and don't hesitate to ask another boater for advice or help and as bolamb says, bring a friend even if they don't know the ropes. They might get hooked as well!
I look for subtle places, beaches, riversides and the ocean's lazy tides.
I don't want to be in races, I'm just along for the ride.

Offline Frank

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2015, 02:08:25 PM »
1-Learn how to "heave to" and "reef sails" in calm waters before you actually need to (seriously)

2-get the biggest anchor ya can handle. Put out more scope than you think is needed (again...seriously)

3-HAVE FUN   ::)
God made small boats for younger boys and older men

Offline Godot

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2015, 08:37:07 AM »
If you can't get someone to show you what is what, at least try to have someone aboard to make things easier and less hectic and to give moral support. Try to find someone who is level headed and not prone to over reaction.

Go through the boat and familiarize yourself with everything. Know your thru-hulls. On a low wind day, raise and lower the sails at the dock in order to learn how that works. Consider putting in a reef here as well to become familiar with the process. Then shake it out and drop the main. I suggest your first several sails should be in under ten knots of wind, so you won't need the reef unless things change when you are out there.

Don't rush. Take things slow. Leave plenty of time.

Motor away from the dock/mooring and get well away from other boats. Under power, point the boat into the wind at just a little more speed than necessary for steerage. Hopefully you have someone with you at the tiller to keep the boat pointed in the right direction. You can do it without; but it's better to leave that until later.

Raise the main sail, and sheet it in a bit, and turn the boat away from the wind until the wind is coming more or less from the side or a little behind. You should be sailing at this point. It's a good time to get a feel for things.

Now, different boats behave differently. Without the jib up you may be experiencing some weather helm. With the light wind it might not be too bad. In either case, at some point you are going to want to get the jib up. The jib will help balance the boat. Most boats I know don't go to weather (closer to the wind than a beam reach) too well without the jib. Many (most) modern boats are headsail driven, and you will often see them sailing with just a genoa (big head sail) and no main. I still like the idea of starting with just the main. Either way, once you are comfortable, it's time to get more sail into the mix.

At this point...I think you are just going to have to go sail and figure it out. If you've read a book or two on it you should have some idea of how to tack and jibe. If sailing below a broad reach be very aware of the possibility of an accidental jibe. It can ruin your day.

If you don't seem to be going anywhere, there is an excellent chance you've over trimmed your sails. Ease  them until they just start to flutter, then pull them in until the flutter just goes away.

If the boat heels unexpectedly, or a gust comes up and scares you, turn into the wind. You should then level off. Catch your breath, trim the sails, and try again.

Take some deep breaths. Have fun.
Adam
Bayfield 29 "Seeker"
Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline solodare

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2015, 05:23:19 PM »
okay , Lots of great info!

For the record I dont have anyone who knows anything about a sailboat so other then you guys Im on my own. I will have an extra set of hands from my son but he also has no knowledge of a sailboat.

Im struggling to even get the main on correctly.  Im really getting frustrated with trying to find the info Im looking for. I end up reading the same thing from diffrent people over and over again and not get the info I need.

Right now i dont understand how the mainsheet is suposed to be set up. doesnt look like Im getting out this week!
I can watch videos till the cows come home but I dont see how it works for the set up I have.

just really frustrated right now.
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Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2015, 05:51:22 PM »
Here's a link talking about rigging the main sheet on a V 22-

http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=133798

And here's a link to the Macgregor owners forum on SailBoat Owners.com

http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com/forumdisplay.php?f=68
Hope these help
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline solodare

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2015, 06:28:56 PM »
IT does, BIG Time!  Thanks   
I feel a LOT better now! Thank you Charlie, really man. Was having a freak out moment today!

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« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 06:31:47 PM by solodare »
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Offline solodare

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2015, 12:54:14 PM »
Im still confused a bit. Should my main sheet be my outhaul as well?  my mainsheet starts at the clew of the main goes through a eye on the end of the boom then into the block. this doesnt look functional at all.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 01:01:01 PM by solodare »
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Offline SeaHusky

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 02:38:43 PM »
Perhaps you could take a picture of your problem and post it here?
Then it would be easier for those who know to give you the correct solution.
I look for subtle places, beaches, riversides and the ocean's lazy tides.
I don't want to be in races, I'm just along for the ride.

Offline Norman

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 03:37:43 PM »
No insult intended to any one here who has offered help.  Along with you I had assumed at first a bit more  experience in this sailors past.  After the back and forth, the picture is much clearer, so the following is on the basis of a very new sailor, advised by an owner of a similar boat, a Mac 22.  He is in Charlotte NC, and presumably will sail the local lakes.  Very different than the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Ocean that many of us sail.  I sail mostly in shallow water, so my general rules are different.

Addressing your questions, Solodare,

Main sheet:

First, the sheet starts from the loop "padeye" on the port side just behind the main sheet block and jam cleat.

Next, to the end of the boom, where there should be a block with two sheaves, either side by side or one above the other, fiddle block style.  If a fiddle block, pass thru the lower sheave, if side by side, the sheave toward the stern of the boat.

After passing thru that block, then to the starboard side, thru the block there stern to bow.

Back up to the double block on the end of the boom and thru the empty sheave remaining.

Down to the block on the port side, and thru it, then thru the cam cleat.

Last, but very important, tie a knot in the end, customarily a figure 8 knot, but any knot will prevent the end of the sheet escaping and letting the boom get completely free.


Second, the outhaul at the corner of the sail called the clew,  nearest the end of the boom.  This goes thru a block and back to a cleat on the side of the boom.  This is used to keep the foot of the sail snug for good sail shape.  Question here is, do you have a rope on the foot of the sail that is in a slot on top of the boom?  If so, pull as tight as possible, the rope usually shrinks with age and lets the sail get baggy, reducing efficiency.


Third, if you sail with only the main up, which is a good choice at this level of learning, you will need the swing keel part way lifted, which swings it to the rear , more nearly under the center of the sails area and improving control with the rudder.  To do this safely, when you launch the boat, lower the keel all the way down, COUNTING THE TURNS!  Then crank back up one quarter of the turns, but no more.  While sailing, be sure that you never go higher with sails up!  The keel must be most of the way down to assure that the boat is not blown over by wind in the sail.  The first turns move the keel mostly back, not up, so stability remains good.


On a totally different part of this subject, go to the nearest marina with sailboats in it on Saturday morning, and simply walk up to some one on a boat and ask if you might sail with them to get some pointers on sailing.  If they are not interested, go up to another one.  Sailor as well as any other group has its supply of grumps, but they are exceeded by good friendly people.  Do not confuse people who already have a commitment to go out with some one else, or are there to service something on the boat as unhelpful.  If no luck Saturday, come back Sunday.

It took me three visits before I made contact with some one who would take me out with him, we became good friends and sailed many more times before I bought my own boat.  A whole lot more to that story that does not fit here.

If you and your son go out together, PFD's go on before the boat goes in the water, stay on until on shore, both of you.  Alone, even more important  This is especially important in the spring with the cold water.  Been there, done that, never again.

Be sure that your motor is running reliably before you leave the dock, since you may not be successful in your first efforts to sail, and need it to get back, or out of a place you did not want to go.

Since you will be in a lake, some of the anchor rules are very different, the water is not very deep, and the danger of being blown ashore on a dangerous surface where you will be at risk of death before getting above the water line is not present except at the dam.  Stay way far from the dam, of course.

The anchor should not be on the bow, but rather in he cockpit locker, where you can get it immediately and put it over right now!

A square kitty litter bucket is ideal if it fits in  the locker, and if not, store it in he cabin in the dinette well.  Scope is the ratio of water depth to the amount of anchor line, or "rode" is out.  Rarely will it be important to stop the boat in more than 10 feet of water, and 5 to 1 usually will hold in the kind of wind you are likely to get caught in, so 50 feet will do.  Chain is essential next to the anchor, to fast hook to the bottom, 10 feet is good.  The other end of the rode should have a float of some kind attached permanently in case you have to let it go.  Then you can come back later and retrieve it.  Preparing the rode for  storing, lay out 5 feet and the float beside the bucket, coil the rode into the bucket, followed by the chain, then the anchor, upside down, then the 5 feet and float.  To use it, first take out the float and 5 feet of rode, cleat it, THEN lift out the anchor and lower it over the side next to the cleat you are using.  When it hits bottom, stop the rode and let the boat drift enough to tip the anchor over, the let out the rode as the boat drifts until nearly all the rode is out.  Pull in hard to dig the anchor into the bottom.

Don't make the mistake of trying to anchor in deep water in a lake, there are often dead trees down there, and if hooked, your anchor is often lost.  Ten feet or less is normally far enough out from shore to keep you out of trouble.

Lowering and setting the anchor from the cockpit is much faster, safer, and easier than from the bow.  In the wave conditions you might be exposed to, the anchor will hold just as well.  I have spent a whole night on a stern anchor with my Mac 22, wind 30 gusting 40, and the upwind shore half a mile away.  The worse conditions are the more important to anchor from the stern for your own personal safety.

Your library should have a couple of books on learning to sail, they are especially useful in learning the terms that other sailors use when telling you what to do, as well as teach the fundamentals.

Another web site that has friendly people is    www.trailersailor.com   after you get there, go to forums, then Macgregor.  There are some active owners there, plus an archive that you can search.  Unfortunately, the old posts do not have the pictures any more, but you will find much interesting information on your sailboat.

Happy sailing, Solodare

Norman

Offline solodare

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 07:52:34 PM »
NORMAN, Thanks for the help!
The mainsheet rigging is very clear to me now. brilliant explanation.
I'm not as good at explanations as you.
How ever,
there is no cleat at all on my boom and it doesn't look like there ever was.
from the clew of my main runs a very long line or cord that I assumed was being used as the mainsheet because of its location and length. I just thought there was something i was missing. Maybe the length of the cord was so that the outhaul could be tied off at the mast or something, i dont know. the line or outhaul was at least when I bought the boat , running from the clew through the padeye on the back of the boom and THEN through the block thats attached to the tang on the back of the boom. making me think that some how it was being used as the mainsheet as well.
   I'm going to just tie on a new outhaul to the clew that will go through the padeye (thats located near the end of the boom then tie it back to the clew i guess?  no other way to do it. Unless you run it back to the mast to the downhaul.  I hope that makes sense....

Very good info all the way around! Thanks so much for taking the time to help!!  I really appreciate everything.
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Offline Norman

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2015, 10:06:03 AM »
Solodare, replace the outhaul with a shorter line, long enough to go 2 times around the clew pad eye clew route, plus a foot or so.  Make that circuit, pulling very tight on each leg, and after the last arrival through the clew grommet, put several half hitches around the bundle of line, snugged up to the clew.  I had forgotten that my clew outhaul was as yours when I bought my Mac, but when I converted to loose footed main, added more hardware.

The multiple legs pulled tight will each make the outhaul tighter, and share the load on more pieces of line.  Half hitches are generally poor knots to use, but here, they will not shake out in a day or weekend of sailing, and being on the last turn of a multi turn lashing, will not become hard to untie.

Which lake are you going to sail on?

Norman

Offline solodare

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2015, 10:28:32 AM »
First , because its closer Im going to try Lake Wylie but ironically enough I will also be on Lake Norman. 
My brothers and I have a small summer cabin there.

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Offline misfits

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2015, 04:52:13 PM »
This won't help you out for the adventure this weekend...

With having stinkpot experience you know what the deal is in being on the water. I'd recommend taking a basic keel boat course first chance you get. I'm glad I did & came away from the course knowing what all the ropes were for ;D



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Offline doug

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2015, 08:19:06 PM »
I really remember my first few times in a sunfish, taking a lesson or time with knowledgable individual made all the difference to safely sailing and the enjoyment of the boat. When we decided to buy a small keel boat, a couple of lessons on a flying Scott made the first sail on our compact an enjoyable and learning experience. Although we also had all the frustrations rigging the boat for the first couple of months during that first season, the time with an experienced sailor made all the difference?

What I have learned in my short sailing life (10 years now), you can learn on your own, and much of your learning will be self taught, however when ever possible, learn by sailing with someone who can pass along their knowledge and sailing skills. You will be safer, and the first solos will be that much more productive.

Offline Captain Smollett

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2015, 03:53:50 PM »

First , because its closer Im going to try Lake Wylie but ironically enough I will also be on Lake Norman. 
My brothers and I have a small summer cabin there.

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Neither of those lakes are "good" lakes for a new sailor to self-instruct on.

(1) (a) Wylie has VERY flukey winds (yes, I've sailed on Wylie) and you will be frustrated a lot by not knowing if any problems you have are you doing something wrong or just the flukey winds.

(b) Depending on where you are on Wylie, you will have to contend with motorboat traffic and boaters that don't have the sense to give you room to maneuver.

It was on Lake Wylie that my wife and I were approaching a dock, under sail, and a dude on a fishin' boat came zooming in, passed us, and took the 'slot' on the dock we were lined up to approach.

Not nice.

There is not a large 'sailing community' on Wylie, and thus boaters on the lake don't really know how to deal with sailors.

(2) Norman is just plain crowded.  I sailed there ONCE as a guest on another boat, and never went back.

As for self-learning, I'm really surprised so few people recommend Gary Jobson's book, Sailing Fundamentals. This book has several reasons to recommend it:

(a) It is the ASA 101 teaching book, or used to be.

(b) It has both "Shore" and "On the Water" exercises

(c) There are 'tests' one can take for each chapter to make sure you are picking up what you should be at each stage.

(d) It's just a great "self-teaching" tool.  While it does not get specific on rigging tips and suchlike for specific boats, general sailing is taught in a self-paced series of shore and water exercises.

Here's the link to buy on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Sailing-Fundamentals-Gary-Jobson/dp/0743273087
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline CapnK

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Re: Any suggestions for a a first timer?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2015, 06:25:26 PM »
Another really great book for larnin' is "Colgate's Basic Sailing Theory". Out of print last time I looked, but still available at Amazon and used book places.
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