i14seattle (i14seattle) wrote,

How To Sail Upwind In The Channel

Some advice in the wake of Jeff's experience:

Allen Johnson:

So I don't talk much to you guys, but have to comment particularly since I was not there and don't know what really happened.
Getting out of that breakwater in a northerly in a two trapeze skiff is hard!  It has humbled some of the best sailors in the world:, mckee, buchan, even bundy.
I spent some time early on in the 49er watching bundy sail out of the marina.  Next time he goes out watch him.  He rarely if ever, touches his trapeze line.  He is all about sitting, keeping the boat in control, and making it through the 3-6 tacks it takes to get out.  Even if it is windy, if the main is out, the boat should stay upright if both guys are on the correct side.  Sail on the jib out of the marina and trim the main when convenient.  Hopefully the crew can go trap to trap, but if not, play the main.

Kris Bundy:

While I appreciate the vote of confidence, you obviously were not there when:
1.  I rammed the dock straight on at 10 knots during our attempted exit,
2.  Bounced off the rocks about 4 different times, or
3.  Got stuck under the north side of the fishing pier on a big northerly.
There are many more, but I've forgotten the details.
The nice thing about skiffs is there are never ending opportunities to fail miserably.  And break things too! (I'm up to about 6 masts...)
If we can get you out a bit more (and me out a bit more) maybe I can cure you of your delusions.
p.s. your tips about not trapping too much on the way out are good.  Also add: bring a good crew with you.

Frank Flannery:

I think it helps to ease the jib a bunch before the tacks inside the breakwater as well.  If you come around with a completely loose main, but the jib fully trimmed, it pulls the bow down too aggressively.   I've taken a bunch of new sailors out in moderate northerlies and always stick with no trapping until clear of the breakwater. 
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