Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-12-2010, 05:08   #1
Registered User
 
Skabeeb's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Navarre, Florida
Boat: Ericson 32-200
Posts: 70
Newbie Mistake in 20 mph Winds

My wife and I just recently completeted a three day ASA course and joined our local sailing club.

In the month since we completed the course, we have gone solo three times and are loving it.

The other day, we called and reserved a 22' Catalina for a few hours to build our skills. As we headed towards the marina, the winds were at 8 to 10 and forcasted to be around 20 much later in the day.

While preparing the boat, the owner (and our teacher) asked us if we wanted to reef the sail before we set out and we told her we would wait and see if the conditions required it. As we left the marina my wife and agreed that she would be at the helm on the way out and I would take over on the way back.

About 45 minutes in, the winds were picking up and we decided that we would head back to port. As she prepared to jybe (centering the main), we discussed what would happen and she made the course change.

Once we came through the jybe, the wind hit the main hard which made the boat heal violently. She couldn't get the main sheet out of the cleat and the wind picked up at the same time!

I took the tiller and released the main sheet to spill some wind and hopefully calm things down.

The waves were rough, splashing over the bow so I didn't feel comfortable dealing with reefing the sail.

The air temp was 40 and the water was cold so I didn't want to go swimming...LOL!

We made it back fine, but I learned that we have alot to learn still before we find ourselves in winds above 15. I will definately reef the sail next time.
__________________

__________________
Skabeeb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 05:40   #2
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
More sounds like you goofed the gybe. Sheeting in the main should be done as the boat comes up on dead downwind. It sounds like you sheeted in on a beam or broad reach.

Obviously reefing was needed as well .

Dave
__________________

__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 05:41   #3
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
I made that same mistake early on in my sailing career. As a result, I've never forgotten the old adage, "It's easier to shake a reef out than to put one in."
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 06:38   #4
Head in a locker
 
Cavalier's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Boat: Beneteau 461 47'
Posts: 879
Images: 1
My wife and I had a similar experience just East of the Bonifacio straits one time. We'd been pinned in Bonificio for 6days (not a bad place to rot, mind) due to the typical strong prevailing gales tailing from the mistral eastwards across Corsica and Sardinia. As the wind dropped a few pegs, we made a run for it into the straits into sizeable rolling swell left over from the previous week: quite an exhilarating ride with wind over our quarter and a 2month old onboard.
The plan was to nip into the lee of Corsica and then broad-reach northward up the coast in milder seas to the picturesque anchorage of Rondinara for a couple of nights on the hook.
Once we'd gybed onto a northerly heading the seas calmed down as expected and the wind dropped - so out came full sail !
Only 15mins later we were healed over to the point that is very unpleasing to the family as we were being slapped around by 45kp gusts on our beam while carrying full main and genoa!
The boat was carrying painful amounts of cloth to the point that we had to work the boat into the wind to reef. Once there, the boat refused to stay bow-to long enough for us to reduce sail. It took four attempts until we were deep reefed and had returned some control to the rudder.
We limped into the relative warmth, calm and azure waters of the anchorage looking wind blasted and fatigued.
I punched myself all evening over the mistake of not reefing early enough, the idiocy of shaking out reefs prematurely and for scaring the hell out of my crew (not the best quality of a captain)

In hindsight, these little gems happen to as necessary learning exercises. If I'd dome things properly the first time then mother nature wouldn't have needed to teach me the hard way.
__________________
"By day the hot sun fermented us; and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars."
Cavalier is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 06:49   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
I made that same mistake early on in my sailing career. As a result, I've never forgotten the old adage, "It's easier to shake a reef out than to put one in."
I'm sure we've all let ourselves be over-canvassed, at one (or more) time or another.
When to reef? When it first occurs to you that it may become necessary.

Unfortunately, in the “school of hard knocks”, the exam comes first, then you get the lesson.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 07:24   #6
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Sound advice from all - and the good news is that you learned this important lesson without any serioius consequences. Two other suggestions:

1. Jibing when over-canvassed is much more difficult (and has greater potential for broaches, etc.) than tacking. If you had sufficient sea room to tack, I believe that it would have been a better/safer alternative.

2. My other concern is with your comment that, after the incident, you didn't feel comfortable reefing with waves splashing over the bow. At that point you really should have reefed. While I am not familiar with the reefing system on the Catalina 22 (I suspect slab reefing at the clew with a horn at the tack?), you certainly should have been. You will be faced with reefing in heavy conditions again (winds can and will suddenly and unexpectedly increase), so it is a necessary skill.

The next time the wind picks up a bit, I suggest that you practice - even if a reef is not absolutely necessary. Think the procedure through before you begin. Put on your safey harness, then head the boat up into the wind. At this point you could also practice heaving - to (by tacking, backwinding the jib and holding/tying off the tiller hard over to leeward). Yes, you can keep her headed into the wind with the outboard, although in rough seas an outboard will tend to cavitate. Yes, you could keep the jib sheeted in and pulling you to windward while you let the main luff (which you should also practice) - but learning how to heave-to is important and, it will not require careful helming while you put in a reef.

Just remember to tighten up on the topping lift before you reef and keep in mind that a successful reef requires tension only on the tack and clew - the other reefing lines on the sail are really just ties to bundle up the excess sail cloth at the foot of the sail.

Cheers and good sailing!

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 07:40   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hudson Valley N.Y.
Boat: contessa 32
Posts: 826
Hi folks: Who among us has NOT had similar experiences? I've had 100s if not 1000s, it goes with the terratory. You will learn from all that you survive (and can afford) and maybe,like myself, even enjoy the white knuckle lesson once you change your underwear. A life time of sailing and I'm still learning. Three days of sailing lessons? Just stock up on skivvies and enjoy the lessons and remember: the adventure is never fun while you're having it.
Fair winds (mostly)
__________________
mrohr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 07:42   #8
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,310
Hey, no one hurt, nothing broken, lessons learned.............good jibe!
__________________
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 07:46   #9
Registered User
 
svmosaic38's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: St.Augustine, FL
Boat: Cheoylee Offshore 38, Southcoast 23
Posts: 22
Thanks for sharing, Skabeeb! As was mentioned, this has happened to everyone at one time or another. But,,,it is never any less scary, seeing and feeling the raw power of the boom swinging past you, feeling the boat heel over a little too hard and too quickly, or seeing the entire rig shaking violently from the uncontrolled jibe...
It's part of the learning curve, which you just flattened out some. Fear is a great, yet unwelcome teacher.
Keep at it. Above are many great suggestions!!
__________________
svmosaic38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 07:54   #10
Registered User
 
Dave the Canuck's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgian Bay, Canada
Boat: Catalina 34 - "Points North"
Posts: 493
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Unfortunately, in the “school of hard knocks”, the exam comes first, then you get the lesson.
Priceless!
__________________
Dave
Dave the Canuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 08:08   #11
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,198
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I'm sure we've all let ourselves be over-canvassed, at one (or more) time or another.
When to reef? When it first occurs to you that it may become necessary.

Unfortunately, in the “school of hard knocks”, the exam comes first, then you get the lesson.
Exactly.... another thing I make a rule of is never to Gybe unless there's no other option... I'd rather bear up into the wind and tack...
Practice gybing in good/ideal conditions so as you have it down pat but perform it as rarely as possible... it a manouvre that puts the rig in its most vulnerable position... I never goose wing main and jib when running before... 2 jibs.. no main..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 08:47   #12
Registered User
 
Skabeeb's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Navarre, Florida
Boat: Ericson 32-200
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Exactly.... another thing I make a rule of is never to Gybe unless there's no other option... I'd rather bear up into the wind and tack...
Practice gybing in good/ideal conditions so as you have it down pat but perform it as rarely as possible... it a manouvre that puts the rig in its most vulnerable position... I never goose wing main and jib when running before... 2 jibs.. no main..

Good point!
In fact, when she said she was going to gybe (jibe?) I thought to myself, "why is she doing that instead of just tacking"? I didn't say anything because while at the helm she was the skipper and although I would have tacked, I didn't think it would turn out so crazy.
__________________
Skabeeb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 09:16   #13
Registered User
 
Connemara's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Boat: Mirage 27 in Toronto; Wright 10 in Auckland
Posts: 671
Images: 2
Skabeeb: While spelling is not our strong suit on this forum, you are correct ... it is gybe.

I have only sailed a Catalina 22 twice and found it to be a nice responsive little boat. Something I have not tried in the Catalina 22 is to heave to, but I assume that -- like most sloops -- it will heave to quite nicely.

Heaving to immediately eases the motion of the boat and takes the pressure off the main so that you can reef if you need to. It also gives you all sorts of time to get the reef in, re-tension the sail, have a drink, take a deep breath, etc.

Gybing in heavy air is a hazardous operation, although perfectly do-able, and I wouldn't rule it out of your bag of tricks. But you do need to have the main under control.


Connemara
__________________
Connemara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 09:21   #14
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,198
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate

Opppps....
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2010, 09:24   #15
Registered User
 
Tempest245's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Boat: 34 Sabre Tempest
Posts: 937
I will second learning how to heave-to in order to reef. It makes it so much easier and safer.

Practice when the conditions don't require it, so that you have the maneuver down pat. It's also a great way to stop for lunch without having to anchor, if you have sea room. ( Heave-to on a starboard tack if you can to maintain stand-on privileges)
__________________

__________________
Tempest
Tempest245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help! We Are Buying Our First Boat, and Don't Want to Make a Mistake... cyberkitty Monohull Sailboats 29 13-04-2010 08:56
Fuel Storage Mistake phatch Engines and Propulsion Systems 1 07-09-2009 03:02
Rookie Mistake schoonerdog Liveaboard's Forum 8 30-06-2009 06:32
Oil Spill - Pro Mistake? Chuteman Off Topic Forum 23 23-04-2008 09:27
Cyclone # 3 New Category 5 Monster Off of Australia - 'Glenda' - Winds of 160 mph CaptainK Pacific & South China Sea 1 28-03-2006 14:27



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:04.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.