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Old 05-01-2015, 00:47   #1
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First time heading out to sea

I recently inherited a 20' cal named the Impulse. I have put a considerable amount of energy into restoring and maintaining her. Having never sailed before I set about learning by untangling the rigging and copying the techniques and practices other sailors employ in my local harbor. It took me a few months of trial and error but I am stoked to have completed one of my goals this day. Today I successfully navigated around a local oil platform located about 10 kilometers out at sea without the aid of a motor.

My next step will be to sail across the Santa Barbara Channel to the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa. I still have a lot of work to do before this becomes a reality but I think I should be prepared enough for a trip this summer.

I welcome all comments and criticisms.

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Old 11-01-2015, 07:32   #2
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Looks great mate!
Sailing along the Californian coast looks a heck of a lot nicer than the Oosterschelde where my boat currently is, I'm by no means an expert but here's a few pointers:

When hoisting your main let the mainsheet out or try and point the bow into the wind, that way the sail flaps towards the stern so it lines up with the track in the mast and you're not pulling against the wind

I couldn't see one in your vid but does your rig normally have a kicker strap? This is very important for sail shape as it stops the boom swinging up and down and bagging the sail. You want it tight into the wind and loose on the runs.

Nice boat too keep enjoying yourself
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:02   #3
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Looks fun

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Old 11-01-2015, 08:09   #4
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, kevtegr8.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:55   #5
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Welcome to CF kev!
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:57   #6
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Enjoy your adventure. Learning to sail is a life long journey. You've taken great first steps. You will figure out how to get the sails up and how to keep the boat pointed where you want to go. Don't get lulled by the weather in Southern California. Keep checking weather every time before you go out, particularly before crossing to Santa Cruz or any of the Channel Islands. Www.passageweather.com and the WindAlert app are good places to start. Also NOAA marine weather at Oxnard has info. Wind predictions are averages and gusts in your location could easily be 10 nauts higher.

Keep sailing, enjoying and learning.




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Old 11-01-2015, 10:02   #7
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Re: First time heading out to sea

We have sailed they Channel Islands, the main things you have to watch is weather. The next best advice we can give you is find and get Brian Fagan's book (crusising the channel islands) it gives you all details on weather patterns, all anchorages in different weather patterns and approches to anchorages. A great information book for Channel Islands. Fry's Landing is a great anchorage and is straight across form Santa Barbera area. You will also need a dingy. Painted Caves is a must see but you'll need a dingy or kayak to explore the caves. Have fun and enjoy your boat.
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Old 11-01-2015, 17:27   #8
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtlx11 View Post
When hoisting your main let the mainsheet out or try and point the bow into the wind, that way the sail flaps towards the stern so it lines up with the track in the mast and you're not pulling against the wind

I couldn't see one in your vid but does your rig normally have a kicker strap? This is very important for sail shape as it stops the boom swinging up and down and bagging the sail. You want it tight into the wind and loose on the runs.
Thank you for pointing that out, I will have to figure out how to rig a kicker strap. I was hoping to get feedback on what I am doing wrong/not doing, thanks.

Thanks for the reference dandkg Ill check it out.

Thanks again for the warm welcome to the sailing community everybody!
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Old 12-01-2015, 16:06   #9
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Congratulations on getting out there! The best advice I have is to keep going out, and keep asking yourself questions such as 'how could I improve on this', or 'if I do this, what could go wrong, and what can I do to mitigate it'? As a concrete example that I figured out the slightly hard/embarrassing way (and I noticed you doing) was to not shut off the engine before the hook was dropped, and well set by backing down on it...

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Old 12-01-2015, 16:57   #10
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Re: First time heading out to sea

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Originally Posted by kevtegr8 View Post
Thank you for pointing that out, I will have to figure out how to rig a kicker strap. I was hoping to get feedback on what I am doing wrong/not doing, thanks.



Thanks for the reference dandkg Ill check it out.



Thanks again for the warm welcome to the sailing community everybody!

Kicker strap = Boom vang on this side of the pond.
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Old 13-01-2015, 00:48   #11
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Re: First time heading out to sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevtegr8 View Post
Thank you for pointing that out, I will have to figure out how to rig a kicker strap. I was hoping to get feedback on what I am doing wrong/not doing, thanks.
I'm almost certain you already have one! I can see something that looks suspiciously like a kicker strap at around 3:16 in the video. Its a pulley system at the base of your mast. You also have a few shackles a couple of feet along the boom, thats where it connects too.

Whats the precise model/make of your boat? You can always google that and have a look at other rigs for pointers.
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Old 13-01-2015, 01:31   #12
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Re: First time heading out to sea

One trick with a small sailboat like the Cal is being able to handle having a dinghy along; those RIBs and inflatables that many boats have may be big and clumsy for you, and they need a good motor to be able to get you between your anchored or moored Cal and the shorelines. One possibility might be to get a kayak; you can paddle it more easily against the wind and waves if you don't have a motorized inflatable.

Santa Cruz is Nature Conservancy and National Park Service; the Nature Conservancy sells landing permits for day use. Santa Rosa is NPS; PARK SERVICE regulations are in
Laws & Policies - Channel Islands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 13-01-2015, 03:48   #13
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Re: First time heading out to sea

I enjoyed almost 30 years sailing the SoCal Coast, mostly out of Long Beach, but have been to the Channel Islands many times. Some tips:
1-Gain experience by getting an old sailor on board or go on their boat.
2-The wind is fairly predictable, light in the morning, building to 12 - 15 knots by noon,
then blowing from the NW until after dark. Beware the Santa Ana winds from the
East as they can build to 50+ knots. If you are anchored in the lee of one of the
islands with normal winds and it feels dry, get a WX report and move to the other
side fast.
3-I had a Cal 20 for several years and loved it, a stout boat and good racer. If you
have the flush deck model with the outboard well in the cockpit you will need a
shaped plug to install when you pull the outboard. It needs to be moved to the
center of the boat for racing. W/O the plug, expect wet feet.
4-I would suggest a roll up inflatable dinghy with oars + use your outboard from
the Cal 20. Attach a safety line when moving it from the Cal to the dinghy.

Hope this helps. I have many wonderful memories.

Tom Vandiver, Cal 20, Cal 25, Col 36 & then my Cal 46 since 1982
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Old 14-01-2015, 14:55   #14
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Re: First time heading out to sea

All good advise as usual.
A dingy makes all the difference. I have a roll up and a 2.5 for sale, only 6 months old $1400. PM if interested.
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