Saturday, March 11, 2006

The thing to remember about gybing....

Oh Yes the season has finally begun! Yippee! Today, my daughter, Jo, and I took Wild Goose to Hunts Sailing club and joined 7 other teams of mad sailing fanatics at their Enterprise coaching day with Mike Macnamara as the coach.

The water was cold, the wind was quite variable but fairly typical of pond sailing. The sun even managed to put in an appearance, but then so did a short snow shower! But we intrepid Enterprise sailors and not easily put off! We just need our heads examined!

Mike gave us the benefit of his years of experience and expertise in a very easy going way, he is an excellent coach! Out on the water he had us tacking and gybing every few seconds and various other manoevering exercises, as well as short one lap races. It was very enjoyable and hard work.

I'm sure that we all learnt a trick or two, I know we did and we shall be working on the ideas we picked up on to see if we can further improve our team work, boat handling, strategy and, hopefully, our ability to finish further up the fleet and maybe even win a few races!

The boat went well although I did find that there are a few teething problems that need sorting out.
One thing I saw on one boat that looks like a good idea, the jib fairleads had an eye over the cams that keeps the jib sheet from wrapping itself around the cleat when the jib is flogging! I think I shall try this modification and see if it helps.

After the sailing Mike gave a demonstration on how to set up the rigging and the effects of sail trim controls (sheeting, kicker, cunningham, etc) on the sail shape, and what to do for different wind strengths. Very handy! I have no excuse now!

Oh and the thing to remember about Gybing? Well lets say it helps if you can stay in the boat after the gybe! Yes I fell over the side, well to be more exact I decided that I would fall over the side since I knew that if I stayed where I was the boat would capsize to windward on top of me. As it was I got wet, the boat shipped a load of water but the capsize was avoided, much to Jo's relief.

So we had another grand day out! My aching legs tell me it was good sailing!

Thanks to Mike and the crew at Hunts SC for a great day! Well done guys!

I just hope that our coaching day at Snettisham Beach SC on the 20th May goes just as well, hopefully the weather will be much warmer!


Tillerman said...

Sounds like a great way to tune up for the season.

Litoralis said...

What did you learn about the effects of the sail controls?

Tim said...

What did I learn about sail control eh?
Well some stuff I already knew but this is a general outline of the important bits I remember.

Jib sheet tension:
Very small change in the sheet tension has a significant effect on the jib leech, especially higher up the sail. Not only does it change the fullness and the angle and the twist of the sail but opens up the slot between the main and the jib significantly.

Helpful to remember this when sailing in overpowering winds.

Main sheet tension:
Tends to bend the mast high up, closes the leech.

Easing the mainsheet to reduce heeling may not work as the mast straightens it increases the fullness and thus the power in the sail.

Kicking strap:
Bends the mast low down flattens the sail, closes the leech. Too much tension puts nasty creases from the clew to the hounds.
Opens the slot.

Leech tension should be adjusted so that the sail panel at the hounds is just filling and the tell tails are all flying straight off the leech for most of the time, irrespective of the point of sail.

Clew Outhaul:
Adds/reduces fullness to the sail as tension is reduced/increased.
It should be pulled out to max in all conditions except when reaching in medium winds.

I'm sure that there is more that I missed. Most of this can be picked up from books but it was good to 'see' the effect of the sail controls. It's worth trying it out on your own boat.


Anonymous said...


All I can say is ha ha! why am I not surprised you fell in the water1 You just can't get to grips with gybes can you, unlike us far superior lighter sailors!
Also you r stomach doesn't look any smaller in that picture... keep working on it!!


Tim said...

Working on both the Gybes and the belly (I've lost a stone since last year!)

Interesting thing is that I think that my problem with the Gybing was insufficient centre-plate. Too much and the boat trips over itself with the heavy gybs you get in strong winds but you definetley need some to help the boat stabilise and not get into the death role that ends in a swim.

Anonymous said...

Well glad to hear you've learned something... although it has taken you long enough!

I prescribe no cheese or crisps and less bread for you :p

guess who!

Ben said...

Ooh! I even know what you're talking about now, Are you impressed?
I've been reading up, no boats to sail here though.
I want to sail!

Litoralis said...

Did you learn anything about why Enterprise sails are blue?

Tim said...

The answer to this mystery is lost in depths of time. Or in short: NO

possible answers might be:
a)They had a job lot of cloth for the first sails.

b) Blue was Jack Holts favorite colour.

c) It reduces glare (not normally a problem in the UK)

d) Distinctive sail colour for a distictive boat (I like this answer)

Other possible answers please...