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Old 13-02-2015, 11:22   #16
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I've always thought this is one of the big advantages of roller furling jibs - if the engine dies, the jib is a line away.

When I have to leave a mooring or anchorage under sail though, and I've had to do this often albeit on smaller keel boats without engines (23'-26'), I get up close, then push the main into the wind to swing the bow around, then I'm all set to either sail forward closehauled or back the jib to leave at a deeper angle.

Edit: Meant to add that my former club specifically prohibited raising sail at the ball if the boat was engine-powered. Too many instances, as mentioned earlier, of sailors losing control of the boat when they tried to turn around inside the mooring field, either from wind pushing the boat over when the main was sheeted in tight or from it filling when the boat pointed downwind if left loose.
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Old 13-02-2015, 11:32   #17
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

That reminds me of sitting at Phillips in Annapolis with the owner of a large powerboat, and watching several large racing sailboats, sail all the way down to the end of Ego Alley, tack in the small turning basin, and sail back out.

He asked, "Why do they think they have to do that?"

I said, "Because, they feel like doing it?"
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Old 13-02-2015, 11:57   #18
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

We do this fairly regularly, but have never put ourselves or other boats in danger. It's good practice, plus why waste the diesel if you don't need it?

I'm thinking about the deep anchorage issue. So far most of our cruising has us anchoring in 30' or less. Even with the manual windlass I've managed things fine, but if it were a lot deeper, I can see the challenges magnifying. Yet another thing I hope to avoid in life.


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Old 13-02-2015, 12:07   #19
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I've sailed away from mooring buoys and anchor, but due to current and tight quarters, never my slip in the marina... I think it's good to know how. I'll admit to firing up the engine in neutral while practicing just for backup...
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Old 13-02-2015, 12:47   #20
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

Ok, so let's just discard scantily clad females cuz it distracts me to no end from the task at hand.

Sailing off the mooring is how I start every sail. That said, I always assume full responsibility for executing that maneuver safely every time. Letting go of control with insufficient time to gain hull speed and rudder is not an option. This demands good knowledge of your boat and local conditions without which you would be foolish to attempt. Mastering this is a major component to my sailing confidence as tight quarter boat handling skills come in handy many times.

On a monohull, I would be apprehensive of the windage and much greater mass to break inertia to a perpendicular course though. You have to get that cat going sideways ASAP before gaining control. Easier to do on a monohull.
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Old 13-02-2015, 12:57   #21
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I've found that getting the anchor back down fast is often the simplest thing. Really easy in most harbor situations. Works for dead engine, fouled rudders and fouled props, and does not require thought, only execution.Though it is possible you will touch something when you drift back if it is really tight, if it really tight things could get worse sailing; at least what ever happens will be very slow and you can probably fend off without a mark.

(Once I had water in the gas, the other I had just changed a fuel filter and forgot to reopen the valve; in both cases it was simpler to anchor fast, and in netiher case would sails have helped; wind on the nose and not enough room for tacking.)

Yes, I have the skills and have sailed into slips on many occasions. But an emergency is not the time to get fancy when you can just stop the boat. If I was organized enough to have the boat ready to sail, I should have been organized enough to warm the engine up, check for crab pots, check the fuel valves and get all of the lines out of the water... no?

Also, if the engine dies you normally have enough momentum to turn the boat into the wind and prepare to anchor... so long as you don't waste any time thinking about it. Just get the anchor down and get stopped. Then figure it out.
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Old 13-02-2015, 14:04   #22
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

Sailboaters, and I am one, have a higher than normal percentage of owners who want to lecture you about your carbon footprint if you run your engine coming, going, or for any other reason. French Sailboaters? Lets just say I have found few receptive to the concept that one large natural volcanic eruption puts more carbon in the atmosphere than mankind has since the dawn of civilization... Easing in or out under sail is showing off, and well done I appreciate it as much as the next guy. Unfortunately, it does encourage way too many people to try it who shouldn't.
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Old 13-02-2015, 15:24   #23
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

A technique I have used with a dead engine on my 42 foot mast head sloop. Is to raise the main with a partly slack main sheet. The vessel will pick up a little speed either way until the anchor or mooring pulls the bow into the wind. From a mooring cast off as you head in the right ( port or starboard ) direction. With an anchor you can take in the slack as the vessel falls away on to the opposite tack. The tricky bit is to break the anchor free of the bottom while you are on your chosen tack. From either scenario plan two is to drop anchor again and have a cup of ??.
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Old 13-02-2015, 16:01   #24
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I feel it is hard to generalize. Some can do these things very safely, some can't, and some want to learn. If you don't think you can, then don't. If you want to learn, do it in an open space where nothing, not even your pride, is hurt. But if you can sail on and off an anchor or mooring ball with confidence and safety, why not? So many sailors these days put limits on what they and their boats try to do and think they can do, and that's not safe.. Not long ago, they had to do it, and it wasn't a problem. Here in the BVI (Leopard 45 cat), I anchor under sail a lot. Sailing off the anchor is a real chore unless the anchor uses the crossbeam roller, which is almost never. With the chain coming up about eight feet aft of the bow, there is a great chance of the chain coming up too much under a hull. I would rarely do this unless I had to. I pick up moorings under sail from time to time....the Leopard is very easily controlled under main alone, or with jib aback. It's important to remember that, when sailing baldheaded, there is no jib to bend the wind direction more forward onto the main. The main must be eased a bit to sail the same apparent wind angle as when under full sail. I sail off moorings a log, usually with the main up and the jib aback to get me on the right tack. Then, I let the jib come over to start moving forward, or I leave it aback and crab sideways out of the mooring field or leave it aback and just gybe around and leave downwind. If I don't sail off a mooring, I nearly always raise the mainsail at the mooring, anyway. It is a lot easier, and I don't depend upon one of my guests steering correctly. But the L45 is unusually overpowered (twin 56 HP engines - I think the current L44 just has twin 29's), so that I can spin exactly in place, with the main fully raised, in 20 knot of wind. Not every cat can do that, so you have to judge each boat individually. Sometimes I motor sail out of the mooring field with the main a bit overtrimmed and the leward engine in reverse. This keeps me going very slowly and under control.

This is going to raise some hackles, but I actually do most of these things because they are fun, give my guests a sense of achievement, keep my skill sharp, but MOST IMPORTANTLY to get all those sailors who shy from ever doing any of these things, and believe they really can't, off their duffs and inspired to learn a bit of boathandling. It would be disappointing to find that rather than being inspired they are outraged!! If it opens the eyes of a few monohullers who don't realize just how maneuverable cats are, in any direction and under either power or sail, well, that's fun and educational, too.

Cheers,
Tim
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Old 13-02-2015, 16:14   #25
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post

We've been advised by the USCG that just because you have sail up doesnt give you right of way to a motoring sailboat. The caveat for the motoring boat is to declare they have limited manoueverability.

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Holy crap - This post has been up for over 2 hours and we don't have a right of way flame war going on yet?
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Old 13-02-2015, 17:32   #26
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

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Holy crap - This post has been up for over 2 hours and we don't have a right of way flame war going on yet?
Its warm and sunny outside. I don't wantta....
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Old 13-02-2015, 17:43   #27
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

Maybe it's because this is a thread about sailing off a mooring.

One time, in New Caledonia, just after anchoring in the westernmost part of Port Boise, our oil pressure alarm went off, after Jim had left the boat to sound the area of our swing circle with the handheld depth sounder. I shut down the engine. All the oil had got into the bilge (chafed hose). We did not have any spare oil (BIG lesson).

The sail back to Noumea is about 40 sailing miles, and with reef to port, mud banks astern, and more reef off the starboard bow, there was not excessive room. This event occurred in our previous boat a Standfast 36. We had set her up as a cutter, and used the main and the staysail for our sails, got up to the hook, and Jim waited to break it out on the favored tack. We short tacked her out of there, hard on the wind, through the hole in the reef, into the 25 knot trade winds, and had a pleasant sail back to Noumea, where we sailed to anchor in Baie de Orphelinat. To arrange a tow, while theoretically possible, would have been extremely expensive, and we never seriously considered the option. It was the 2nd time that boat dumped its oil, but the first time, the anchorage was such that we sailed out with the wind on our quarter, and not nearly so fraught, as it was much more open.

I agree that people should practice this skill, it involves some coordination between anchor lifter and the one on the helm (so as to fall of on the preferred tack); and that it should first be tried where you have space to make mistakes and not endanger the vessel. And yes, for practice, have the engine running in neutral, why not? then it's there if required to bail you out. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't work perfectly the first time. Re-anchor, chill out, and figure out what went wrong and what to do about it. And try again. You'll learn a lot, and build confidence, too. Practice in different wind conditions, too, because your choice of sail plan will vary with wind strength.

Ann

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Old 14-02-2015, 03:34   #28
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

Seems like I got this wrong. I thought this was a practice particularly favoured by French skippers of overcrowded cat's trained maybe using the Lafarge guide de Capitaine of 1773. Power to those who can do it reliably and safely.
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Old 14-02-2015, 04:08   #29
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I have sailed off a lonely mooring a few times for the hell of it.
In smaller monos off the anchor a few times .
However I nearly always raise (engines running)the main while still on the hook or mooring simply because I find it easier to do then as its usually already into the wind and in calmer conditions rather than later turning the boat to the wind then turning again to the chosen course.
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Old 14-02-2015, 06:33   #30
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Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

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Seems like I got this wrong. I thought this was a practice particularly favoured by French skippers of overcrowded cat's trained maybe using the Lafarge guide de Capitaine of 1773. Power to those who can do it reliably and safely.

Never read it but de Capitane seems like it would offer a glimpse into the past when auxiliary power was non existent. To me, It's a simple question of why sail if you don't have an appetite to embrace the challenge of mastering the fundamental skills of harnessing natural forces? This appetite also characterizes the divide between sailors and powerboat drivers.
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