ROTFL! Your candor is amazing, BO! You pull no punches at all. You really take it like a man, gotta give you that.
I know you aren't gonna feel right until you find that fin. You know it, too. LOL!
Rocketman is right. Generally, when heeled beyond a certain point, a boat will tend to ROUND UP (high tech sailor-speak for pointing up towards where the wind
is coming from) and you get less drive from the sails
. You may even lose way altogether. But as the rudder
bites, if your wheel
or tiller is still holding you off the wind
, you might fall off enough and in time to start to boogie again. Else, you end up in a condition known as, "In Irons" which is embarrasking. With the wind anywhere on the beam, try just lashing your tiller or wheel
amidships, or maybe with the rudder
slightly off the wind. See if the boat doesn't steer itself, relative to the wind. You may have to adjust your sails
a bit. You can ease your main slightly if she wants to point up too far. Ease the jib
if she wants to fall off to far. Rudder should be trying to set you down off the wind slightly so with everything balanced properly, when you heel way over you get just the effect you noticed on your last outing. Wa-LAH! Your boat will now magically steer itself! Well, relative to the wind direction, varying with the wind force. This works best with the wind abeam, or slightly forward of the beam. If the wind changes, the boat changes course with the wind. Bad for keeping it going directly for a particular waypoint or destination
, but good to keep the boat sailing, going somewhere, hopefully in at least the right general direction. This lets you concentrate on other things besides steering
, like figuring out which way another vessel is moving and if you should steer to avoid him or if you should maintain course and let him move for you. (Start studying the Rules Of The Road! That's really, really important stuff! http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1...m_16672_2d.pdf
to download it for free. About 10MB) Gives you time to take a quick whizz or do some quick navigation
chores or grab a brewski or eat some of last night's leftover pizza or maybe just call someone and tell them ha ha my boat is steering
itself so neener neener neener. Mostly it just lets you relax a bit and de-stress while you just chill in the cockpit
and keep a proper lookout.
BTW it is a good idea to have a hardcopy of the Rules on your boat. Skip back to the back pages and read a bit if you are having trouble falling asleep LOL! Seriously... do you have it down pat yet, who has to turn for who and why and when and where? Collisions are such a drag. If you AND the other guy know and follow the rules, there won't be a collision
. If only you or only he knows the rules, you might have a problem. If neither of you know the rules, you got a big problem. Only good luck and serious prayer will keep you safe, then, and sometimes the Almighty just lets us mess up and pay the price
when we seem determined to do so.
Anyway congratulations on the progress. Bermuda
isn't looking so crazy or impossible any more, is it?