From the Helm

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  1. From the Helm

    West Michigan Thread

    And another event drops off the schedule. Might be only little boat racing this season. pretty sure we can arrange single & family member racing. Bummer for the double whammy on QC, water level/docks and now the 'rona. We were just discussing what to get at Groppies and getting a room at the Sheridan. Crap.
  2. From the Helm

    West Michigan Thread

  3. From the Helm

    When to go out, When to stay in

    With the wind from due west you may have a little issue with jibing accidently, but any N or S and it's way better to have the steadying effect of the sail. Also without a sail up you are SOL if the motor quits, but just fine if under sail. Taking the main down with waves rolling your boat rail to rail sucks, it's dangerous, and you can easily break something or someone if the main sheet un-cleats or topping lift breaks. Sailing into South Haven with our old fat ass under-keeled Endeavour 38 was always better than motoring in, way harder for the wave to spin your stern with a full main. There is no "bar" to cross, but there is a shoal at most piers unless just dredged, plus there's wave bounce from the pier and slight current from the black river. You'll always find the steepest waves from pierheads into the waves for 1/4-1/2 mile. Going out: Favor the side closest to the wind and allow your boat to close reach out away from the breaking waves. Coming in: Set up to windward of the entrance enough to keep the waves aft and beam reach or deeper into the piers. If it's really rough I'll set up 1/2 mile out aimed as close to due East and get to "know" how the waves are going to effect the boat before it's decision time. Don't come in from N or S and turn right at the piers that will put you in a new trim and angle right where the waves are peak height and breaking. Don't go slow: Your rudder works best when the water is flowing across it, I don't know your boat, but almost all the boats I've sailed like to go fast for best steering and to reduce the impact of the waves from astern.
  4. From the Helm

    When to go out, When to stay in

    I've sailed in and out of South Haven. When it comes to taking sails down, do it in front of the municipal marina after you come in. Same for the departure, put them up in the flat water of the river, not out in the mess just off the piers. Thos piers do look a lot closer together from the deck of a sailboat in some waves.
  5. From the Helm

    Calibrating TWS

    Get the manual and calibrate boat speed first, and check it again and again until it's accurate from slow to WOT in calm water with no current. If you can't avoid current, then calibrate it in 4 directions to nearly zero out current effect. Only with very accurate boat speed can you get accurate wind speed. B & G manual is very good at explaining all of this, your results may differ. Accurate instruments take a ton of time and calibration, once you are there it's great. Sailing on a boat with poorly calibrated instruments will lead you right back to compass only.
  6. From the Helm

    WTB: Great Lakes J/130 or J/44

    I sent you a PM:
  7. From the Helm


    J105 speed guide. Does the J80 say the same?
  8. From the Helm


    Much has to do with the boat and class sails vs. PHRF sails. On the J105 the class kite responds well to an eased tack when you are able to maintain speed and sail deeper than you could with the tack boned on. The J105 PHRF kite has a longer luff and more area, flies well and deep with tack tight. J80 I believe has a more broad shouldered-ample luff length kite that may not be any faster nor deeper sailing when eased. I raced one for a summer and don't recall ever leaving kite eased on tack. How about easing the halyard when you need to get extra high, that's a neat trick, works well to get up over a competitor or when you need to tight reach to a finish line in a distance race. Main still works well without the kite backwinding it and you can stand the boat back up a few degrees.
  9. From the Helm

    To Taffeta or Not to Taffeta

    Q did Taffeta on one side of my carbon main, 3, & 1 it has been a success on all 3 sails. They are a bit bulkier, but not enough to care. Do it, you'll like the durability.
  10. From the Helm

    Red Over Green Sailing Machine

    Pretty sure. Your excerpted section that refers to the larger spacing is from power driven vessel requirements. The two all around lights for a sailboat, under sail, do not have the vertical separation requirement. I just spent a stupid amount of time reading the regulations. It's also clear that deck level lights are required to be operated with the red over green all-around lights.
  11. From the Helm

    Red Over Green Sailing Machine

    "Red over green is a sailing machine" is not required to be two or three lights in a vertical line. Signalmate makes two little and very powerful LED 360 degree R/G lights. I know Hella had one, but I don't see it anymore. Being able to run deck level LED's and masthead is a GREAT idea, our kites hide the bow light on one side so we run tri-color, but then you go through some little fishing boats and they don't look up and are night blinded by all their instruments and cockpit lights.
  12. From the Helm

    Are we(racing sailors) a culture of cheaters?

    It's also a question of procedure. To "protest" a boat, and therefore a person, in PHRF you will be responsible for costs if you are wrong, you will have to do your own invasive investigating, and you have the burden of proof without support of the organization. It's about as simple as any lawsuit, therefore the best way to win is not to start the suit.
  13. From the Helm

    Truck Rental to Move Large Boat - suggestions?

    Nice, you can get a MFG plate in MI pretty easily, we have two. Adds to the mystique.
  14. From the Helm

    West Michigan Thread

    Why would they be doing a delivery in that weather? The forecast was accurate and bad.
  15. From the Helm

    Sailing one-liners

    Prepare to stand-by