Originally Posted by pete33458
I agree. Aside from a knockdown (and I will assume we are not talking about those kinds of conditions), the limiting factor for me is how much weather helm
is induced. When I balance the rig, the heeling takes care of itself. So maybe I would suggest you try worrying less about how much heel angle you have and focus on how much you are fighting the helm
I think that's a really good suggestion. Heeling changes the angle at which the luff of the sail meets the wind
, and before determining your optimal heel you have to know how your boat feels when well balanced. My friend who races can play his boat like a violin, knows all its nuances. On my boat you'll feel the boat almost pick up like a good horse who has finally been given his "head" and is free to run. I've felt it numerous times as I let beginners make all the calls from how much heel to how the sails
are set, etc. All of a sudden the boat slips into its groove and takes off. You can spot who's going to make a good sailor by whether or not they also feel it. If they don't, they keep floundering around, fiddling with the traveler or something.
It's a game
on my boat. I call it "rodeo rules." Whatever speed you can get the boat up to, you own it because you made all the shots while you were at the helm. Then we switch helmsmen and see if that person can beat the speed. Of course I only do that on moderate days. I'm not going to give a relative beginner the helm in building weather
or seas. It's called "rodeo rules" because you have to hold the speed for 8 seconds. Surfing doesn't count.
It gets everyone engaged, and everyone pays more attention to what I'm asking them to do. At the same time I learn from others who know more than me -- "Watch what happens when I pull the traveler in" -- and we gain half a knot