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Old 09-04-2015, 12:30   #16
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Re: Getting a racer into the cruising mentality

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Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
I recommend you relish your racing experience and don't suppress it as you acquire cruising knowledge. You will be better cruisers as a result because you will better understand whatever boat you come to know. There is no substitute for racing for learning how to sail optimally, IMHO.

Dave
I agree. As a cruiser with many years of racing experience I have seen how my skills learned while racing have made me a MUCH safer cruiser. In Mexico we came accross many cruisers with racing experience and more without. With VERY few exceptions one could tell by watching them. The ex-racers were able to get into a marina, and into a berth, with a dead motor. They could leave the dock with less room. They were "more in tune" with their boats. The skills learned on the race course - handling the boat under sail alone in crowded situations is practiced repeatedly at starting lines and mark roundings. Yes, I know that almost all cruising boats have an auxiliary engine. But the question isn't "if it fails", but rather "when it fails". And when that happens it WILL be at a VERY inconvenient time to learn to manuever under sail without the motor.

Sailsam
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:50   #17
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Re: Getting a racer into the cruising mentality

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
As a racer you need to suppress your racers erge to push the boat, and embrace the cruiser that is shoved aside by the racer. When you do, sails will last longer, much longer and so will your other gear. That one extra knot comes at a cost.

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Hi again. I forgot one attribute that most racers have that most cruisers don't, an attribute that is not beneficial. It took me a while to lose my arrogence (and some will say I haven't yet lost enough).
As far as sails lasting longer - there I disagree. Although racers will replace their sails more frequently than cruisers it is mainly while still racing. But when I changed from a racer to a cruiser in my Cal 39 I still hoisted my sails all the way, with no scallops in the luff. I notice many cruisers do not. Ask a sailmaker and he'll tell you that a scalloped luff damages the sails MUCH more than hauling it up tight. I also do not flog my main, but many sailors without racing experience do. And, while racing, I learned that often a reefed main is faster than an overpowered one, and much more comfortable, and it makes the boat easier to handle than an overpowered boat. The other thing that I did when changing from racing to cruising is I purchased slightly heavier and smaller jibs. I'm still using them after 10 years, including 4 years in Mexico and 3 Baja Bashes. The main I purchased fot the 1980 Singlehanded Transpac (heavy so that I could use it triple reefed as a storm sail rather than having to change sails) and I'm still using it!
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:32   #18
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Re: Getting a racer into the cruising mentality

If you come from the racing backyard, you may like Dashews' books very much. Get them, read them, I think. I have read some and then some more than once.

The funny thing about squalls is you may think a big one coming then you get nothing, next time you see none coming and you get a slap.

Out at sea it is more difficult to read water and so you may elect to reef when in doubt. In racing, that's how you lose. In cruising, that's how you survive. Reef, relax, un-reef.

I was racing dinghies before I learned to walk ;-) if I were to name one thing that gave me most sailing skills, it was racing.

Fair winds,
Sail, read, reef, love,
b.
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:50   #19
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Re: Getting a racer into the cruising mentality

Clearly
I see her in command


Husband on deck
Roles must be clear. Not fixed, but clear. It will benefit anyone on board, kids incl.
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:59   #20
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Re: Getting a racer into the cruising mentality

barnakiel - I started sailing dinghies - by club racing - as a 33 year old - in El Toros, Sunfish, O'Day Day Sailor, and a few others. Too late in life to really be good. My son started at the same time - as a 9 year old - and can sail circles around me. I gave up serious racing in 1985 at 50. I still sail my Cal, but the only time that I participate in racing is as a member of a race committee. But I can still do things with the Cal that surprize people that don't know me.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:30   #21
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Re: Getting a racer into the cruising mentality

My husband said he had never reefed before that day and immediately saw the benefit. It was a much more stable platform to work from.

Barnicakle. I like what you had to say about not quite knowing if it was going to come to something or not. It is so true. Easier to reef and not need it than to need it and have to scramble to get it in!


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