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Old 28-01-2006, 18:26   #1
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So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

This is an invite for brief sailing/cruising reports about daysails or trips recently done.


This morning we spent about four hours re-stepping our Cal 20 mast and replacing the fore and back stays. Unfortunately, this had to be done in some driving downpours, but it was time to get the boat out of the yard. (It had been pulled to be part of the Portland Boat Show.)

The fun part was discovering our new fore stay was a foot too long (after installing it and raising the mast by hand). Maybe someone should have checked the length next to the old one first... Anyway, we moved the boat to the high lift rails with walkways and were able to pull the mast over with a boat hook to directly re-install the old forestay without lowering/raising the mast again (not overly safe in the rain).

After that, we motored about an hour up the Columbia River to our regular moorage, and it was great to be out. Lots o' water and current, but not as many drifing logs as last weekend. Three other sailboats were out, lazily running with the wind upriver. We wanted to sail, but the rain was simply imminient, mixed with sun. It felt good to tie up at our "home" slip again, and if there's a decent break tomorrow, we'll sail with the kids.

So, any other intrepid sailors go out today? How about those in drier, sunnier climes?

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Old 28-01-2006, 21:00   #2
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Talking Yup

Went down to the marina after a week away (traveling for a funeral).

She was stainding ready... as she always is. Tugging at her lines as walked down the dock.... saying 'let's go'.

It was a fairly short sail, couple miles and then a nap on the hook. It was chilly when I headed back, (no disrespect to my more northen bretheren) and I reached the slip just as the sun went away....

Just the ticket. Plan to go out again the morning.
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Old 28-01-2006, 21:25   #3
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Re: Yup

Quote:
s/v 'Faith' once whispered in the wind:

It was a fairly short sail, couple miles and then a nap on the hook. It was chilly when I headed back, (no disrespect to my more northen bretheren) and I reached the slip just as the sun went away....
Hmmm, I'm completely unsurprised that you were out today (and a nap as well, geez).

I was thinking of your Ariel today when I showed my brother one in our marina. He drooled all over it. It's 80% restored, with re-chromed parts and what looks like bronze around the windows. Wonderful wood around the cockpit. Also, it looks like there's an outboard well hidden under the lazarette, if that was done on them. A fine looking boat, to our eyes.

So, anyone else out on the water today?
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Old 05-02-2006, 19:47   #4
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A Fun, February Sail

The rains finally stopped and we had 45 degrees and 10-20 mph West winds on the Columbia River today. We took out a Cal 24 from the sailing club with five of us aboard (two kids), and we had a refreshing sail in the sun.

One event-- we saw a guy paddling a powerboat in the middle of the river. We passed close and found out it was his first time out in the boat, and the gas guage obviously didn't work. We passed again, and found out that he couldn't get ahold of anyone on his cell phone for help. We passed a third time, and he asked us to contact the coast guard for help. His wife/so didn't look pleased.

We radioed in the request, and another sailboat dropped sails and motored to him as well. By then, the coast guard had his cell phone number and he had arranged help from shore. We watched him drift another hour while we sailed, but in the end we saw him towed in.

The river was mostly empty today, except for some larger sailboats out enjoyng the wind and sunshine.

Anyone else sail this weekend?

Jim H
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Old 06-02-2006, 13:58   #5
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My last sail was very traumatic:

I had entered for a local twilight race. During the race I nearly had my mast ripped out in a collision with another boat.

I was running-reaching downwind on starboard - i.e. wind about 45 degrees to starboard of abaft. The other boat was beating to windward on port - i.e. (true) wind about 45 degrees off the nose.

In this situation, I have rights, and the port-tack boat should either (a) bear away to pass me to leeward, or (b) tack. It is important that I hold my course, so that the other boat can avoid me without having to anticipate any action on my part.

The bottom line is that the other boat did not alter course at all, despite being fully aware of my presence. For some strange reason, he thought that he had rights.

When it became apparent that he was probably not going to take any avoiding action, I steered down hard, to try to avoid him to leeward (even the "with rights" boat has a responsibility to try to avoid a collision). Unfortunately, as we overlapped, (a), he was hit by a small gust that laid him over a few more degrees, and (b) his sails "shadowing" mine stole my breeze and sat me up a little more upright. As a result, his mast raked along mine.

The good news is that neither mast came down. The bad news is that I lost a jumper spreader and a diamond shroud. This does not constitute major damage. Hopefully, there is no actual structural damage to the mast spar itself. Having said that, the other guy has admitted responsibility, and is fully insured, so I should not be out of pocket. Even so, I did not sleep well that night and I feel terrible about the whole event (could I have done more to avoid the incident? If so, what should I have done? How would I act differently if approaching a similar situation in the future? etc.). The guy that hit me is an experienced yachtsman, and just had one of those "brain fades" where he confused himself and decided that he had right of way. He feels terrible about the incident too, and very embarrassed.

So, chalk one up to experience, I guess. No more racing for me for a while - at least until the rapairs are completed. I may still be able to cruise with a reef in, but until a certified mast rigger has been up and given me an assesment, I am wary of hoisting much rag.
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Old 06-02-2006, 20:30   #6
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Mate!! Twilights!! I used to race them. I was a little tense at the end of a day's work and thought it would be cool to crew on a yacht in a twilight series. Talk about stress. I came home afterwards wound up tighter than a clock spring. We had handycapped starts which meant everyone was on the finish line together. It was absolute bedlam as boats bounced off each other and collided.
I remember one insident where ours got knocked down in a terrible gust. The bulb lifted clean out of the water and ran down the side of a yacht that had just dropped all the sails. How we didn't rip their hull open I don't know.
It wasn't for me, and I didn't even own the yacht. I saw the season out, but gave up twighlight series. The Sunday afternoon club races were far more liesurly paced.
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:27   #7
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Sorry to hear about Weyalan's collision. Got me wondering if the sailing community - or those on any small boat for that matter - avoid using the "big boy's tools".. namely the ship's whistle to sound the danger signal. But during a race / rally they're really not required... or are they??

That would've likely snapped the other skipper out of his daze... or a hail on the VHF perhaps.

IMHO sound signals could save a lot of grief.. both on the water and in Admiralty Court. Even though we all feel foolish using them...
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:52   #8
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Right of way

Windward boat shall keep clear. Starboard tack boat has right of way. At first blush these rules can be conflicting. In your example it changes the ROW boat. It is easy to have a brain fade as he described especially as there are often several boats heading down wind. It is possible you both could get disqualified, for not giving way, and not avoiding a collision.
When you enter the protest room and you are sure beyond any reasonable doubt that you are 100% correct, you have a 50 / 50 chance of winning the protest. If you enter the protest room and you think you are 100% wrong, you have a 50 / 50 chance of winning. These things always appear different from different observers and different angles.
48 Degrees North usually discusses protests. In a recent example both boats were disqualified. The message from that protest was to stay out of harms way. The boats should not have been so close. One was right the other wrong, when they hit the prviously right boat was now wrong. Both got the boot.
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Old 07-02-2006, 14:03   #9
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Mark,

The ship's whistle is, in yacht racing, generally replaced by the skipper's voice! If you have a situation where a boat that has no rights might not have seen you, it is traditional to holler to let them know - usually with a load call of "Starboard" (on a port & starboard) or "up you go" (on a windward leeward). It is not actually necessary to holler - the rule book clearly states that calling is not mandatory, just sensible. In my case, the other boat skipper was aware that I was there, just not aware that he was the one who should have been taking avoiding action.

Michael,

I know how messed up things can get in the protest room. I have, in the past, been called upon as an unbiased witness having viewed an incident between 2 vessels from a 3rd vessel in reasonably close proximity. It amazes me how people will distort the truth or even outright lie in the protest room. I suppose that there is often quite a considerable sum of money riding on the result(in terms of liability to pay for repairs to both vessels), but even so, one might hope for more honor...

Anyway, as I mentioned before, in the situation that I described, it is important that the boat with rights (i.e. me) does not alter course, so that the other boat can take whatever action it deems necessary to keep clear...if I start altering course, then the other boat has to anticipate my actions. For example, in a typical "port and starboad" situation, the starboard boat will holler "starboard" and the port boat will immediately respond with "hold your couse", while they decide what avoiding action will be best.

Obviously there is a responsibility on both skippers to avoid the collision, irregardless of who has rights. If I did make a mistake it was in holding my course for too long before altering course to avoid the collision, in anticipation of his altering course. In fact, when I did alter course, I altered course hard (to port) and, had it not been for the unfortunate gust that hit the other boat just as we crossed, the collision would have been avoided entirely. I am confident that, had the incident gone to the protest room, the protest committee would have found in my favor and ruled that my action to try to avoid the collision was appropriate (although ultimately unsuccessful).

If nothing else, this incident has provided a salutory reminder that you should never assume that the other guy knows what he is doing..in fact, almost all incidents I have witnessed have involved at least 1 party not knowing or not understanding or misunderstanding the rules regarding rights of way...and, bizarrely enough, there does not seem to be any particular system in place for ensuring that skippers do know the rules. Any Joe Schmo can buy a boat and enter a race, never even having seen a rule book....a fact that I shall probably give more weight to, the next time I am on starboard, bearing down on a boat on port
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Old 07-02-2006, 14:57   #10
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Quote:
Weyalan once whispered in the wind:
If I did make a mistake it was in holding my course for too long before altering course to avoid the collision, in anticipation of his altering course.
I was wondering about this. Sailing on a sometimes very crowded river in the summer, we get tons of expereince avoiding other boats even if we're not racing. I've always imagined a circle around the boat as the "if he doesn't change, I will" line when I'm the stand-on vessel, because so many boaters don't seem to know the rules.

If racing, I guess I'd assume that the rules would be known, and that the circle would be smaller, but as you point out this could be a costly assumption.

Thanks for the two posts about your last sail-- I'm learning a lot.

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Old 07-02-2006, 15:46   #11
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Jim,

In general water-traffic, I don't assume that anyone knows what they are doing, and I alter course to avoid other boaters way, way early. However, in racing I (foolishly) assume that people who race have a reasonably idea of the rules.

I guess that one of the things that made the previously decribed situation worse was the fact that we were on a "head on" collision course, so that our combined closing speed was the maximum it could possibly be, so that everything happened that bit faster than a more usual perpedicular "port and starboard" scenario.

Anyway, I think I have said far too much on this unfortunate subject. I shall make my next post about my next pleasant weekend cruise, with details of all the fresh fish / lobster / abalone, etc. that I will have caught and eaten!
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Old 07-02-2006, 16:43   #12
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Not that I'm envious of the sailing reports (yeah right).......but my boats parked approx 700 miles from me and my next sail later this month will only be over to the slips to pull her out and ready her for the European spring.

Sighhhh. It is the sure downside in not having her closer to home.

But with racing, the revised rules (was it 2000?) do make it more onerous on the 'innocent' party involved when contact is made.

IMHO I think this change was introduced to reduce contact and make it all simpler - but overall believe it to be a misguided change. In the good old days pre revision you could hold your course if you had rights, and assume the other skipper would avoid you. If they didn't - they were judged the guilty party. That was so simple.

Today - you have to plan your own escape even if you are entitled to room. And if you are unlucky enough to still see the two boats collide despite best efforts on your part, you are highly likely to still be disqualified for allowing it to happen.

Somehow to me, this seems wrong.

Cheers
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Old 12-02-2006, 20:23   #13
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Maiden Sail of our "new" C&C 27

Over in another thread I noted that we finalized the deal on a '73 C&C 27 for our family:

http://cruisersforum.com/showthread....&threadid=3200

Today, the weather gods smiled, and we took her out for a maiden sail. The winds were light, but the sun was out, and we managed to have a great time. There's a gallery of photos from the trip here:

http://www.photos.sailingvoyage.com/v/maiden/

Be warned-- the pics are more about the "why" of sailing than how, where, who or what. I'll also admit that we made one mistake as we carefully prepped the boat for the first time on our own-- we had the 126% genoa half way up before we discovered we had confused the tack with the clew! My intrepid foredeck wife rode out some serious wakes while reversing the head sail. Still, a good time was had by all...

So, anyone else sail this weekend? Jim Lee, I know you did. Why not repost your email to Cascadia here?

Thanks all!

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Old 12-02-2006, 20:46   #14
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Wow that looks great Jim.
We're all snowed in. Last week it was 65 and I went for a glorious sail for 4-5 hours. Today, one week later, I had a foot of snow to get rid of...
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Old 13-02-2006, 13:20   #15
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Quote:
hammerfelt once whispered in the wind:
We're all snowed in. Last week it was 65 and I went for a glorious sail for 4-5 hours. Today, one week later, I had a foot of snow to get rid of...
We lived in DC for 14 years, and I kind of miss the winter weather-- especially the cold, intensely clear days. I reget not really sailing when we were there. Last year during a conference trip, I did get to take out an old Rainbow 24 on the Chesapeake and had a great time (despite the small craft advisories...).

I hope your snow doesn't last too long.
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