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Old 25-02-2013, 15:38   #16
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Once on board, I am on a beam reach headed toward the fairway and my question is, how do I get enough boat speed from a dead stop to sail without slipping/drifting to leeward (where other boats are in their slips) in very light winds (2-4 knots)?
Welcome to the forum.

You ask a profound question which, unfortunately, most of the correspondents on this thread have overlooked.

The key to accelerating on the beam reach is not to pinch to weather. Start out footing the sails (in other words, sailing them a bit fat) in order to accelerate. Once you have speed, then bring the boat a bit more to weather to make your desired course, trimming as needed.

Most beginners will do the exact opposite, trying to force the boat to point before it has any speed on, which is going to be all about leeway, especially in light air.

Always remember that when the winds are light, the sails want to be loose.
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Old 25-02-2013, 15:38   #17
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
It is pretty hard to envision severe damage being caused by a Capri 22 in 2-4 knots of wind, even if the OP really screws up. I think that most of us who have sailed for a long time would applaud his efforts to become a more rounded sailor, and few who would castigate him for being a selfish, me-first boor.

And while many marinas do have anti-sailing rules, many of the same ones host fleets of race boats which have no engines... things like Etchells 22's, which are far larger than the subject vessel. These guys always sail in and out of the marinas because they have no choice. I for one do not think that the OP is doing anything wrong, and encourage him to continue to improve his sailing skills. He just might need them some day...

Cheers,

Jim
Jim, we all have our opinions based upon who we are and our experiences in life. And, those who feel like you do certainly represent a sizeable group of sailors based upon my own personal observations. But there are also those of us who are not nonchalant about potential damage to our boats or another's and the strength of the wind has nothing do with it as was the case when we entered Wilmette Harbor on Lake Michigan on a race weekend and a J22 that was being skulled by the owner, in exceptionally tight conditions, put a three foot scar in my starboard topsides when the forestay tang collided with our boat. And, he was very reluctant to stop since he didn't see what was the big deal. A marina was never intended to be a practice ground for beginning sailors to hone their skills. It is a place to safely secure your vessel when attended/unattended. That is why most marinas have this rule against sailing in the marina. And, when you mention the Etchell 22's as an example, the majority of those fleets I have encountered from the Great Lakes to Florida are mostly trailered to the marina or are out on a mooring away from the docks. Most racing sailors who travel from race to race do not keep a slip. It's just not cost effective or practical. I have seen enough boats damaged by serious minded people in both benign and extreme conditions and do not wish to be berthed next to a vessel using the marina as his personal training ground. So, if one throws all caution to the wind irrespective of how the owners of the vessels that surround him feel and chooses to practice his sailing skills at will, what else would you call someone like that other than a "selfish, me-first boor?" But then again, he might need those skills someday, right? Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 25-02-2013, 15:44   #18
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

By practicing these engineless skills now,there will be no need to panic later when, one finds oneself engineless in tight quarters ; the proficient sailor will then be able to save the day.
I always claim (tongue firmly in cheek) that the first thing I would do after purchasing a power boat would be to rig sails so I could deal with these contingencies.
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Old 25-02-2013, 16:25   #19
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

always have a contingency. sailing is about thinking a problem through in advance. when you do use your engine....think about what you will do should it quit when you are coming in. always stay upwind of where you want to go...gives more time and allows more options...

i have gone to empty piers and practiced for hours with my boat.....i grew up sailing small boats that did not have an engine, so was used to it, but needed to aquaint myself with my new to me boat....it is a great skill to have....knowing you can control your boat should the engine not function....practice, practice, practice....i did it where nobody was around...kept my stress level down and allowed me more time to practice the same thing over and over...just like getting in and out of a slip...
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Old 25-02-2013, 17:08   #20
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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+1
Very useful skills and confidence are learnt by leaving the motor off sometimes.

One way to get out of that slip an get some way on would be to hang back 3 meters or so, on a long line head to wind. Pull hard on the line with the main eased right out and the helm steering out the way you want to go. this should give you a slingshot effect to get the keel working properly. throw the line back onto your pen. Or rig it doubled and slip it.

good sailing
This sounds interesting but I have a hard time envisioning it. I think I understand but would love to see a video.
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Old 25-02-2013, 17:17   #21
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pirate Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

I've a 21ftr with furling jib.. for me it would be main up and cast off.. walk her forward to the end of the finger then step on... nudge the tiller over and haul out the jib... the process gets her accelerating from walking speed as the jib comes in... tiller between the knees and away you go..
But if your bow in its another matter with the wind up yer butt..
so... if you want to sail in and out the art of warping is a must.. not that hard if you think it through..
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Old 25-02-2013, 18:04   #22
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If you have an engine it might be a good idea to have it running in neutral until you figure this out.

The principal idea is to never let the boat stop. You lose steerage. Your options vanish.

With the sheets well eased push the boat out of the slip with as much speed as possible. Coast as far as possible to windward but with just enough speed to finish the turn to begin sailing.

Sheet in. The usual problem with beginners, as mentioned above, it to over sheet the main when speed is low. Leave the boom down a couple of feet until you are sailing forward with steerage.

If sailing in the marina is not permitted then you are in the wrong marina. Move away from all those boring unskilled motorheads.

Expect to tack. The other big error is to think you can pinch up. You can. But don't let her lose steerage.
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Old 25-02-2013, 18:42   #23
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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This sounds interesting but I have a hard time envisioning it. I think I understand but would love to see a video.
To translate I'd say what he meant was that you should use a long line from the end of your finger pier to you on your bow and back yourself well away from the end of your finger pier while still hanging on to the line. Once you are ready by having the tiller the proper direction and your sails sheeted all the way out then haul in on the line to get some speed on and turn your boat the direction you want to go so you launch yourself like a slingshot. You'll have to figure out how to release the line so that it doesn't encumber your progress or slow you in anyway. If you have it on a cleat with a large enough loop you might be able to free it while your stern clears the finger.
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Old 25-02-2013, 18:57   #24
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

I love not starting the motor, so as often as I can, I will practice sailing from and to the dock, slip, mooring... when it's safe to do so. Drives my wife nuts, so I mostly do it when soloing.

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
I'm sailing a Capri 22. Slip is almost directly head to wind. I walk the boat out of the slip and once perpendicular to the slip and pointed down the fairway, I step aboard.

Once on board, I am on a beam reach headed toward the fairway and my question is, how do I get enough boat speed from a dead stop to sail without slipping/drifting to leeward (where other boats are in their slips) in very light winds (2-4 knots)?
We don't know your exact situation, but based just on your description (particularly the light-wind part) , and sailing a small boat myself, I would do the following:

  1. Boat facing out (head to wind). Turn it around if you have to
  2. Raise the the main, or both sails, cleat for the beam reach
  3. Release all docklines. Holding a sidestay, walk the boat to half-way out of the slip
  4. Give a colossal shove to launch the boat forward, heading maybe 30 degrees off the wind. Jump aboard and bear off to the beam reach
  5. Sail away, while politely acknowledging the applause of the onlookers.
The key is a good push. That small a boat on a light day, you should be able to get enough momentum to carry you at least a boat-length, which is enough "way" for the rudder to have effect to take you to the beam reach.


The windier it is, the riskier this will be. Also, I assume you wouldn't be so gauche as to sail in/out of your marina when it would force other boats to yield.

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If you have an engine it might be a good idea to have it running in neutral until you figure this out.
Good advice.
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Old 25-02-2013, 19:06   #25
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
To translate I'd say what he meant was that you should use a long line from the end of your finger pier to you on your bow and back yourself well away from the end of your finger pier while still hanging on to the line. Once you are ready by having the tiller the proper direction and your sails sheeted all the way out then haul in on the line to get some speed on and turn your boat the direction you want to go so you launch yourself like a slingshot. You'll have to figure out how to release the line so that it doesn't encumber your progress or slow you in anyway. If you have it on a cleat with a large enough loop you might be able to free it while your stern clears the finger.
Thanks. That's what I thought.
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Old 26-02-2013, 01:15   #26
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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This sounds interesting but I have a hard time envisioning it. I think I understand but would love to see a video.
I believe the idea is to haul in on the line from the windward side of the bow to get some way on. Try it, lwith your engine running and ready for maneuvering, preferably with a crew. This will usually work pretty well. Lots of variables to tweak, so the ready engine is a sensible precaution as you practice this for the first time.

A fairly long lead works best. At least a boat. Length.
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Old 26-02-2013, 01:34   #27
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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. Also, I assume you wouldn't be so gauche as to sail in/out of your marina when it would force other boats to yield.
Ans that of course is also a violation of the rules. A sailing vessel may not impede the passage of a motor vessel in a narrow channel. The sailboat with engine running is a power driven vessel under the rules.

Lots of good points including pros and cons but the skipper would do well to carefully consider his situation including his skill and experience level before attemting to sail in or out. If there is an engine, the prudent skipper will have it running and ready for use. It would be reckless to not have such a useful resource ready for use if available. No engine? Next best thing is a crew and someone on the dock to catch or cast off lines. Itis like docking a ship that has a bow thruster. Even though a tug might not be needed under some conditions, it is stupid to not have one standing by. Stuff happens.

The frequency of disasters will be inversely proportional to your level of preparedness. I just made rhat up.
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Old 26-02-2013, 01:35   #28
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

Getting a boat started from a dead stop requires very loose sails. You need to loosen your mainsail halyard until you have small folds in the sail at the mast. The same for your jib.

Loosen your outhaul on the main. Basically get both sail "baggy". Now loosen your sheets until the sail are as far out as they will go but are still catching a slight bit of wine (most of this you do before leaving the dock).

Sheet in just slightly,leave your rudder amidships. You should start moving almost immediately, As you get some way on her, you can start to steer her away from the dock.

As someone further up noted, do not attempt to steer until the boat is under way. You need speed before you can steer.

Once outside, if the wind is stronger, you can tighten up on the halyards/outhaul etc. and get the boat trimmed for speed.

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Old 26-02-2013, 04:41   #29
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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This sounds interesting but I have a hard time envisioning it. I think I understand but would love to see a video.
Can't do a video, but this drawing might help. Thanks to JohnL for the excellent translation of my gibberish!



I recall doing something like this a few times on my folkboat.

But normally I didn't need to get this fancy if the wind was on the beam and could get her moving and get the rudder and keel working with no problems from a standing start.

Of course if I could get a bit of a toboggan sled style push it always helped...
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Old 26-02-2013, 04:50   #30
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Re: Need advice for sailing out of a slip in light winds

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Can't do a video, but this drawing might help. Thanks to JohnL for the excellent translation of my gibberish!



I recall doing something like this a few times on my folkboat.

But normally I didn't need to get this fancy if the wind was on the beam and could get her moving and get the rudder and keel working with no problems from a standing start.

Of course if I could get a bit of a toboggan sled style push it always helped...
Well done. The drawing conveys the general idea quite well.
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