If your boat likes a flat main before the first reef you might consider getting a Cunningham eye for a flattening reef. (You might call them something different in the USA)
Basically it is a half a reef that just takes in a bit of the luff so the belly of your main is removed. The main is then as flat as after the 1st reef but still has the same sail area (aprox) as full main.
can put one in v cheaply (well, as cheap
as anything a sailmaker
) and you can just remove the 2nd reefs
fall back to the mast
and tie it off there (so the second reef is still made up on the sail) and run the cunningham line through your deck
fittings to that stopper
. That way theres no expense putting in new deck
geer and you can still use your 2nd reef if you need to
(If you already have one, sorry for this tutorial! LOL)
The rudder felt very small and just had to steer in anticipation in advance,
All boats are like this! read Conrads *** of the Narcissus for excellent discription of of having a sailing ship stuck on its ear in a broach. In fact if we could always steer we would never broach.
When you get good at that anticipating the boat then try a few extra things:
1) go through the whole cycle of the wave without moving the wheel
at all. Start doing this on a day when a gybe all standing wont hurt
. You will see that some waves can pick you up, run under you, and put you down in the same 'position' without you having to steer.
2) try doing it with your eyes closed. This is the trick for night sailing but usually theres so much light at night you can cheat. With your eyes closed or on a dark night you have to feel
the wave coming and work out what you are going to do. Nothing gets us in sync with a boat like driving it with our eyes closed. It comes alive and becomes part of you
Or you become part of it - whatever
One other thought I had was that if you are over hull speed
then your boat will be unstable and your rudder will always feel too small. Doing 10 kntos in a 36 would put you about 2.5 knots above hull speed
. You need a rudder the size of your main
There's nothing like having a 36 foot surfboard
As we all get better on our own boats will anticipate better and be able to surf for longer on each wave keeping those high speeds.