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Old 03-11-2008, 10:46   #1
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Beginner questions

I have the little Puffer ready to for me to learn on. I have a jib I guess. It is about a 150 or a touch better. I have the main which is really too big for this boat and uses a boom that is really too long for this boat. Since I don't really know how this rig is going to work, even if I knew what I was doing, I figured to start with one sail.
Should I start with the "jib?" It reaches from the stay almost all the way to the fairleads. I have a smaller jib, but it is on the small side. By the way, what is the cunningham like point in the leading corner of a jib called? This one can be flattened quite nicely using a line run thru the bow fitting and back to that point in the sail. I still have not seen mention of this in any of my reading.
Should I start with the main? The main is shorter and wider than the boat came with. The boom extends over the back of the boat. The sail is pretty close to what the original specs called for including the jib. A more proper main will be this winters project.
With the gusty fall conditions as an absolute beginner, having just one sail to concentrate on might keep me drier!
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:02   #2
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Get some sailing lessons first. All the questions you have asked will be answered. Not only that, you will receive instruction in a safe venue. After you have passed your sailing lessons your boat will be much more famliliar to you in how it works. It is quite possible to learn on a small keel boat and transfer that knowledge to your boat.

I have seen people try to teach themselves sailing. It is painful to watch and they never really catch on until someone tells them what to do and what not to do.

Have fun with your lessons and your new boat!
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:06   #3
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I have the little Puffer ready to for me to learn on. I have a jib I guess. It is about a 150 or a touch better. I have the main which is really too big for this boat and uses a boom that is really too long for this boat. Since I don't really know how this rig is going to work, even if I knew what I was doing, I figured to start with one sail.
Should I start with the "jib?" It reaches from the stay almost all the way to the fairleads. I have a smaller jib, but it is on the small side. By the way, what is the cunningham like point in the leading corner of a jib called? This one can be flattened quite nicely using a line run thru the bow fitting and back to that point in the sail. I still have not seen mention of this in any of my reading.
Should I start with the main? The main is shorter and wider than the boat came with. The boom extends over the back of the boat. The sail is pretty close to what the original specs called for including the jib. A more proper main will be this winters project.
With the gusty fall conditions as an absolute beginner, having just one sail to concentrate on might keep me drier!
Hi Runner,
Welcome aboard. If you want to start with one sail, I would suggest starting with the main. If it's shorter/wider, it might not make much difference; however, another option is to "reef down" (shorten from the bottom) your main and use it along with your foresail. Use the smaller jib to start with (your 150% is actually called a genoa, not a jib, as a jib no more than fills the front triangle). If I understand you correctly, the "Cunningham-like point" at the lower forward corner of the sail is called the tack -- a good way to remember is that it's where you "tack" the sail to the boom.

Best too to find someone in your area that has a bit of experience and go along with him/her. Pick light to moderate air days (5-12 knots for your boat) to start with.

Good luck. Sailing is wonderful!
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:34   #4
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The tack is where the sail is attached. This point is 8 inches or so above and behind the tack grommet. It's only purpose seems to be flattening the sail or maybe to control the shape of the sail to move the center of effect forwards or back.
The main does not have reefing points. I will fix that also this winter.
As far as lessons, for a variety of reasons, that just isn't going to happen. I will learn as I go for many reasons. No argument about lessons being the best way tho!
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:14   #5
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My vote is for an intro sailing class. My first one was run by the Red Cross and cost $25. We used sunfish and a few homemade prams.

Next best, find someone who knows how to sail and talk them into a lesson or two. Before taking the Red Cross class I was essentially self taught on a Hobie 16. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time treading water.

Third option, find someone who could use a bit of volunteer crew and observe. After the Red Cross I took a couple of short courses with a sailing school and then crewed on a 30 ft sloop for their yacht club races. I did that for a year before buying my first boat. Learned a lot about sail trim.

My two cents worth.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:15   #6
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Runner ;
I have taught myself to do most things in my life including flying an airplane.

Not to sound half cocked but lesons arnt for everyone.....OK taking off in an airplane is not the smartest thing to do I admit..but I logged over 150 hours in Alaska before my first lesson...Flying out of short bush strips and on the beach

Just go out and do it..I know nothing of your boat..so I would ask your self these questions

1) Can it sink if dumped?
a) add flotation to it so it wount

2) Are you comfortable in the water with a life jacket on and could swim to shore?
a) dont venture out any further then you know you can swim for a while.

My fist sail ever was in a 21 Mac with my girl friend...we left the marina on a warm sunny day with light airs if 6 to 10 max...hoisted sail went down the river into the bay ..sailed around a couple hours back up river and almost sailed into our slip and would have if not for a communication error ...she droped the main sail...it aint rocket science...

Pick a light air day and go for it.
You will do fine if you keep a level head.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:17   #7
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<snip>

Should I start with the "jib?" It reaches from the stay almost all the way to the fairleads. I have a smaller jib, but it is on the small side. By the way, what is the cunningham like point in the leading corner of a jib called?
That would be the jib cunningham and yes it's for shaping the jib. A similar effect can be had using the halyard tension



Quote:
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Should I start with the main? The main is shorter and wider than the boat came with. The boom extends over the back of the boat. The sail is pretty close to what the original specs called for including the jib. A more proper main will be this winters project.
If the boat in the picture is the puffer you have than it is set up like many dinghys with the mast fairly forward. Sail this boat with the main only. My son sails laser picos and sails main only unless he has a buddy along and then they might rig a jib.

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With the gusty fall conditions as an absolute beginner, having just one sail to concentrate on might keep me drier!
I doubt there will be a "drier" setting on this boat. Wear a life jacket, stay close to shore and practice capsize recovery for a while. You definitely need to know how to right this boat in the water without panicking.

My brother has a Force 5, very similar. Tons of fun, a great boat to learn on. Go out and have a blast.
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:30   #8
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The tack is where the sail is attached. This point is 8 inches or so above and behind the tack grommet. It's only purpose seems to be flattening the sail or maybe to control the shape of the sail to move the center of effect forwards or back.
The main does not have reefing points. I will fix that also this winter.
As far as lessons, for a variety of reasons, that just isn't going to happen. I will learn as I go for many reasons. No argument about lessons being the best way tho!
Then that's either the Cunningham cringle or a reef point.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:13   #9
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Aloha Runner,
Use the mainsail for training yourself. You'll only have one sail to worry about and it has one sheet. Jibs and gennys have two sheets and usually a little harder to reach for the skipper.
If the boat feels overpowered when sailing to windward just let the sheet out or steer a bit more into the wind. Jibing is always the most critical for a new sailor. Just remember that you need to let the sail out quickly and if you turn away from the wind and have the sheet cleated or are sitting on it or its wrapped around something you may be in the water in a hurry. A good book is "Start Sailing Right!" and I recommend it. It'll explain everything you need to know as a new experimenting sailor.
Good luck! You can do it! Many of the forum members have learned just the way you are about to.
Kind regards,
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:42   #10
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I would have gone today since it is supposed to get cold later in the week. The winds are way out of hand for learning alone out there right now. I bet you could have a blast today if you knew what you were doing. Right now one minute it is quiet, and then 30 seconds later you can't hear because of the wind and leaves. They are talking 30 mph winds tomorrow, and I really need to work anyway. Soon, very soon.
Thanks for all the help guys!

PS: a Compac 16 with a damaged keel and no mast was offered here in town today. It has sails and the rudder. I have a mast for it here already. Maybe I will have two working boats pretty soon.
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Old 04-11-2008, 13:03   #11
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I have 9 outboard motors... can always use another free one...My wife thinks differently though..
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