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Old 22-10-2013, 22:51   #1
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Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Hi Everyone!

My husband and I are in our 60's and learning how to sail. And learning just how much that means. We've bought an old boat because we wanted one we could bounce off the dock while perfecting our docking skills. Thank goodness the Chrysler c26 is heavy duty.

It was pretty cheap too, but of course it's rapidly becoming more expensive. We are perched upon the abyss: She needs new standing rigging, painting bottom and topsides, new sails, and new fittings for the running rigging like self-tailing winches.

And unless the wind is really howling, she won't tack through the eye. We can just get the boat headed into the wind and then she gets blown back down on the same tack. Of course that might be operator trouble.

Even with those inconveniences I still am loving sailing. There is so much to learn like line handling and knot tying and right of way and channel markers. Learning all of these new things is keeping our old brains oiled.

So with help from this forum, (I'm learning a lot from experiences that many have so generously shared) and a few hard knocks, hopefully one day we will be able to sail anywhere in all weathers. That's the dream, anyway.
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Old 22-10-2013, 23:06   #2
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

It may be the rig or many other things, But a simply fix will be to ease the Jib just before you tack- and make sure the main is on hard-"ish". It will move the CLR (Centre of Lateral Resistance) aft as the tiller is pushed to leeward. Also make sure your Centreboard is all the way down, else turning will be affected.

Also make sure you keep speed up. If you lose speed the rudder wont work :-D
Once the boat is head to wind, you can "backwind" the jib a little to turn the bow downwind.

Most sloop rigs will tack pretty easily, so it may be something simple you arent doing. But as you learn your boat more and more you will pick these things up.

There is no end to learning when it comes to sailing. Enjoy.
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Old 23-10-2013, 00:04   #3
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Hi & welcome. We are fairly new too. I've learnt not to rush the repairs until you are sure you have the right advice. e.g. rigging will last >>20years in cold wet climates but can fail in less than 10 years in the tropics but some just have a rule that advises rigging must be changed every 10 years..
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Old 23-10-2013, 01:00   #4
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
Hi Everyone!

My husband and I are in our 60's and learning how to sail. And learning just how much that means. We've bought an old boat because we wanted one we could bounce off the dock while perfecting our docking skills. Thank goodness the Chrysler c26 is heavy duty.

It was pretty cheap too, but of course it's rapidly becoming more expensive. We are perched upon the abyss: She needs new standing rigging, painting bottom and topsides, new sails, and new fittings for the running rigging like self-tailing winches.

And unless the wind is really howling, she won't tack through the eye. We can just get the boat headed into the wind and then she gets blown back down on the same tack. Of course that might be operator trouble.

Even with those inconveniences I still am loving sailing. There is so much to learn like line handling and knot tying and right of way and channel markers. Learning all of these new things is keeping our old brains oiled.

So with help from this forum, (I'm learning a lot from experiences that many have so generously shared) and a few hard knocks, hopefully one day we will be able to sail anywhere in all weathers. That's the dream, anyway.
First welcome to sailing!

That seems like a lot of expense and you might want to consider buying another boat. They are pretty cheap these days.

About learning to sail - If you look at my profile, you'll see I work for the Danish Sailing Association. Amongst other things, I design sailing courses (and occasionally teach - shudder). Do yourselves a favor and go to The Sailing Channel, buy a download of Capt. Klange Sailing Tips. It costs about 15 bucks and is about a hour of short clips on docking and trimming sails.

It is excellent material, each part of the docking maneuver is explained using model boats and finally you get to see it in real life. I've purchased the rights to use these videos and done a Danish voice-over. We get 80-100 views per day.

And by the way, Ozskippers tips are spot on. Make sure you keep some speed on the old girl and she will pass right through the wind eye.

And practice makes perfect
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Old 23-10-2013, 05:24   #5
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Norfolk.
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Old 23-10-2013, 12:39   #6
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Many of the repairs and replacement you can do yourself once reading a bit on the subjects. Standing rigging doesn't need to be replace all at once. You can do one stay or shroud at a time. Just start with the ones that look the worst. Practice making your own with the first couple and the rest will be easy.
I've found tacking to be a pretty hard maneuver for students if they don't have enough speed on and are not in a close hauled position. So get your speed up and don't pinch by trying to sail to close to the wind before you start your tack. Sometimes too if you have a very large genoa jib, easing the sheets before you start your tack helps you carry it through.
There are many used sail outlets that have nearly new sails for a very low price so try somewhere like Bacon and Associates to see if they have something your size.
Good luck.
Let us know how things work out.
kind regards,
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Old 23-10-2013, 13:41   #7
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Welcome aboard.

Your tacking problem is almost surely operator related. With that in mind, I think you should keep the boat and continue learning to sail, and only fix those items that are truly safety related. After few seasons, sell her and buy a boat you want to keep for the long term.

I think your original plan was a good one, buy an inexpensive boat to learn and make mistakes. Maybe you shouldn't be changing course now because you're having trouble tacking and/or others are recommending you make upgrades to the boat.

All the best.
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Old 23-10-2013, 13:58   #8
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

I completely agree about holding off on any improvements that you don't positively need to make. It's a truism to say that you never get back out of a boat what you put into it, financially, so if this is your "beater learner boat", let the next owner sink money into it.

Good self-tailing winches are eye-poppingly expensive, although I can guess why you might want a pair if you're in your sixties (I'm not far behind you) and not quite comfortable yet handling the sails, particularly the jib. That said, they are a luxury, not a necessity, and there are strategies for getting by without them which you'll learn in due course.

Another option to consider is to join a local sailing club, or sailing-related Meetup group. Also, if you have any friends who are sailors lure them out with you with the offer of lunch and perhaps they can help you with the those aspects of your boat which you're not yet comfortable with.

As for trouble tacking, what everyone else said above. But I'm going to bet that you're not getting your sails trimmed properly on the tack you're on and that you're not carrying enough speed into the turn. Get her moving then smoothly swing the tiller hard over...on some boats, trying to turn too quickly can actually stall the boat, and a "slower" tack can give you the seconds you need to trim in the jib on the new tack before it fills and requires more effort to trim in.
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Old 23-10-2013, 14:48   #9
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Welcome and good luck on the maneuvers.
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Old 23-10-2013, 16:46   #10
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Welcome to the forum. Every boat is different.I find that i need at least 1.8 kts. to take and fall off until I regain momentum before heading back up...gradually. Usually 2.5 kts. Of course, the stronger the wind, the easier it is...within reason.
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Old 23-10-2013, 20:38   #11
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Re: Learning the Hard Way but Still Smitten

Tacking,
First, don't pinch. Keep up boat speed.
Turn the wheel/tiller just enough to balance boat speed and turning sability.
As soon as you have crossed the eye of the wind, dump the jib sheet.
Sheet in the jib.
Done.

ees seemple!
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