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196 F'n Saint


About Foolish

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    Super Anarchist

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  • Location
    Victoria, BC
  • Interests
    A complete definition of gravity.

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  1. Foolish

    Autopilot use during singlehanded racing

    Your cockpit is so small that it shouldn't be an issue at all. Don't put the tiller in between your legs. Just rest it against your stern knee and use that alone. Remember that you are actually using the weather helm to turn the boat into the wind, so all you are really doing is using your knee to control the tiller from swinging over too far. This also allows you to pause the tack mid way to move the sail across the bow. Then when you move across the cockpit in front of the tiller, use the new stern knee (the opposite leg) to hold against the tiller and control weather helm on the new tack. This allows you to use both hands to winch in the sheet on the high side.
  2. Foolish

    GlobalSoloChallenge - what boat?

    this is the race I've always thought would have the largest sailor interest, because you can do it in any reasonable boat. I especially like that fact that you can pull into port for repairs, with a 96 hour stop over required. This will allow a lot more of the boats to finish..
  3. Foolish

    Autopilot use during singlehanded racing

    good on you for using a bungee cord for spinnaker work. Yes, it takes practice, but I've done it for several years and gotten fairly proficient at launching, dousing and gybing in most winds. Once you start with an autopilot, my Olson 30 is so twitchy that if I'm launching in higher winds, the autopilot can't handle the sudden surge when the sail catches, so I end up in a big broach. So what I do is launch with the sheet really loose, so I have time to bring the guy and the pole back to where I want them. Then I sit down and take the tiller in hand, and then pull in the sheet until the spinnaker catches. By hand steering I can control the situation much better and have reduced broaching a lot.
  4. Foolish

    Autopilot use during singlehanded racing

    I completely disagree with you on this one. I would credit cross sheeting with the fact that I can tack much faster than any other boat, including any fully crewed boat. This vital when short tacking. One of the key reasons is that as I'm climbing from the low side of the boat to the new high side, I am pulling on the new sheet. So this pulls me up and completes the trimming of the sheet in one move. My full weight is on the sheet. Then a quick wrap around the winch and I'm done. I can complete the entire tack, including the actual decision to tack, in 5-10 seconds easily. I don't use the autopilot to tack, but rather steer with my knees, for a few reasons. First is that it allows me to pause for a moment to make sure the sail clears across the bow. It's usually not a problem with a jib, but certainly a big issue with a genoa. I can pause at any point and allow the sail to clear the shrouds and mast. And there are even times when I have to steer back for a second to complete this. All easily done with my knees while I'm managing both sheets with my hands. Second, it allows me to steer down as necessary for that particular tack - either before or after the tack. Sometimes, if everything goes perfectly, I can move directly into the final heading; other times I can steer a little low; other times, if my sail has caught outside the stanchions, I can steer up a bit to clear it. None of this is possible if you are using an autopilot. Third, it's great for tacking duels: If the other boat is watching me, I can head up to make him think I'm tacking, and then head down again. Or I can head up, head down, and then head up to complete the tack. I've never lost a tacking duel because i can do this all so fast.
  5. Excellent summary of the autopilots Black Jack. Thanks very much for that. I noted in my book (6 years ago) that the companies were pushing "hard over time" as a key metric. I said it then and I'll say it again; hard over time is meaningless. It is the internal intelligence and ability to handle rapidly changing wind and waves that makes ALL the difference in autopilot selection. I will add one caveat to your great description; sail trim is still vital. It is very easy to ignore sail trim with an autopilot because you won't know the boat is working against it. But poor sail trim is very slow. So even with my autopilot driving, I keep a CONSTANT eye on my knot meter. I use the remote control to key up and down by a couple of degrees every time boat speed slips by even a 10th of a knot. (Keep in mind that I came in second in the SHTP by 1/10th of a knot, so I know how important that amount is).
  6. I'd like to nominate the Beneteau Figaro 3. Here is the result of bumping into a floating navigation buoy, and the airbag they have made a class requirement as a fix.
  7. Foolish

    Vendee Globe 2020

    Yes, there is certainly more to consider than just finishing position alone. Like how do the sponsors feel when their multi million dollar investment drops out of the race early?
  8. Foolish

    Vendee Globe 2020

    The question of foils. I'm sure it has been brought up before, but now, looking at the finishers, would be a good time to think on this again. It looks like 9 boats will finish within 24 hours (or so) of which 3 don't have foils. This, in itself would not be an endorsement for foils because it's safe to say that the best financed boats, with the best skippers, have foils (in general). And then of the 8 boats that retired (and 9 boats that I think we can include if we consider that Boris would have had to retire if the damage had occurred any earlier) 8 of them have foils. I was a very early champion of foils (as you can see in my book) but now, looking at it overall, I wonder if they are really beneficial to the racing overall.
  9. Foolish

    Another reef

    When I had new sails made a year ago, I had a reef put into the jib. I absolutely love it. When beating, I reef the main at 18 apparent, then the jib at 25, then a second reef in the main at 28. Reefing the jib is incredible at keeping the boat balanced. It is much better than putting a second reef in the jib in these conditions. I can keep top speed without effort. A couple of photos of reefing the main and the jib.
  10. Foolish

    Vendee Globe 2020

    All he needs is a really big bungee cord :-)
  11. Foolish

    Americas cup T-shirts

    A boat lifting it's hind leg. Not a shirt I'd wanna wear.
  12. Foolish

    Tiller pilots - what are you using ?

    What boat do you have? I find that my Pelagic can't handle my Olson 30 with the spinnaker in either wind or compass mode above 20 knots winds speed. And it can't handle my spinnaker in any wind using the wind mode. I've got a Raymarine wind guage and needed an adapter to convert. I do use the Pelagic upwind in wind mode, and it works well.
  13. Foolish

    Vendee Globe 2020

    My new desktop. Holy Cow!
  14. Foolish

    The Brits are Cunts

    In the spring I was sailing just a mile south of Victoria (I'm from Victoria) and I was buzzed by a Canadian border patrol airplane. I thought to myself that this is ridiculous, we're not in the Soviet Union here! A week later I was chatting with a fellow who works for the border patrol. He told me that it's not bad guys who are crossing the borders. It's normal people who are just trying to get back to their family or visit a sick mother. Thousands of these nice, normal people are trying to cross borders, all thinking that they are truly innocent of any real crime. Covid has made the world nuts.
  15. Foolish

    Vendee Globe 2020

    This was a known problem with the canting keels. I actually wrote about it in my singlehanded book after I interviewed the designer about it. It would be good to know if it's still an issue.