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Old 23-06-2015, 21:58   #16
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Re: bowman question in beer can race

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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
Unless you need to be on the bow to do your bowmans jobs (i.e. raise or douse a sail, jibe a spinnaker, etc), your position is sitting your ass on the rail. You shouldn't need to go forward just for a standard tack of a headsail (or a jibe of a headsail, for that matter).

It is also not, typically, the bowman's job to "call" to the skipper about other boats. You shouldn't need a guy on the bow to call back information to the after guard about other boats, it is inefficient and generally weight on the bow is bad because it slows the boat down and makes it harder to steer. Generally the headsail trimmer will relay information to the helmsman about other boats to leeward and the main trimmer or people on the rail will relay information about boats to windward. In general, if the skipper needs a guy on the bow to tell him whether or not he is gonna hit other boats, then he is either too close to other boats or not sufficiently experienced to be where he(or she) is putting the boat!



The only time you should be calling info from the bow is probably the start, but then only if you know what you are doing. Just because you are the bowman doesn't mean it is your job. If you are the bowman and are experienced, sure, but if not, sit on the rail unless you are doing something that is definitely your job, and watch / ask questions / learn.

For what it is worth, if you do have to go to the bow and the afterguard then decides to tack or jibe, either go around the front of the forestay (i.e. between the forestay and the pulpit) or under the foot of the sail (crouch or lie-down, crouching is better if possible). Typically this will happen when you are setting up a new headsail in preparation for a sail change, or setting up a spinnaker in preparation for a kite-hoist.

What he said! Weight on the the bow costs speed. The bowman should go forward when he has a need to, the rest of the time he is front man on the rail and behind the mast.

And the place to call a leeward boat from if the helm can't see it is down in the pit, peering under the headsail (other than in the pre-start where the bowman should be up front calling the line as well as close boats).
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Old 24-06-2015, 09:22   #17
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Re: bowman question in beer can race

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
What he said! Weight on the the bow costs speed. The bowman should go forward when he has a need to, the rest of the time he is front man on the rail and behind the mast.

And the place to call a leeward boat from if the helm can't see it is down in the pit, peering under the headsail (other than in the pre-start where the bowman should be up front calling the line as well as close boats).
Another +1. You can see far enough to leeward to call out from your position on the rail. You should only be on the bow before the start and when you have a job to do. As the front guy on the rail, you should be watching to leeward, but also forward for crab/lobster pots, seaweed, logs, etc.

Having said all that, you need to be comfortable getting out of the way if you're on the foredeck doing your job and the skipper needs to tack. It's dangerous to try to run back.

I've never been on a boat where I couldn't step around the forestay while holding onto the forestay and facing aft. It's also safe and easy to just lie down and let the sail brush over you if you're further back.

You have three safe zones: Between the mast and shrouds (clew can't hit you) and aft of the lazy sheet (lazy sheet is your biggest hazard); lying on the deck; forward of the forestay. You should be comfortable with all three.
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Old 24-06-2015, 16:03   #18
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Re: bowman question in beer can race

My experience is at the starting line you need the bowman up in the pulpit, things are happening real fast. With a big decksweping genoa especially so.
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Old 24-06-2015, 17:41   #19
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Re: bowman question in beer can race

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
My experience is at the starting line you need the bowman up in the pulpit, things are happening real fast. With a big decksweping genoa especially so.
Absolutely. That's why I specified after the start for the above. You generally need to be parked on the bow until you cross the start line.

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