DialedN_07

Estimating Sailing Time?

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I have heard the phrase "don't sail on a schedule" and I agree with it.

However, as should be done with any trip on a boat, especially one going single-handed, I'm trying to leave my float plan with my family. 

How do you estimate your time spent on the water?  I know the water/wind condition is a huge factor, as well as potentially the currents coming in and out of the inlet on both sides of the island.  With average/extreme conditions being assumed, how would you go about calculating approximate time.

Specific example is my sail this weekend: approx 18.5 miles total (+ or - 15%) due to not going in a straight line to navigate around the island.  Sustained wind forecast at 10 knots gusting to 12, for 6 straight hours around the time of sailing.  I'm in an American 14.6.

I have put my initial estimate around 4-5 hours.  Potentially as low as 3 hours.

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I sail until I'm tired or it isn't fun. I never count time while I'm having fun.

I have sailed for around 24 hours single-handed but that was in a single-handed endurance race in the leadmine.

In my area, the wind often dies before I'm ready to quit. I do know guys who set a limit of three capsizes. I agree on a skiff but on a Laser, I'd put it closer to 10.

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Just now, TeamFugu said:

I sail until I'm tired or it isn't fun. I never count time while I'm having fun.

I have sailed for around 24 hours single-handed but that was in a single-handed endurance race in the leadmine.

In my area, the wind often dies before I'm ready to quit. I do know guys who set a limit of three capsizes. I agree on a skiff but on a Laser, I'd put it closer to 10.

I love the logic.  My trip is slightly different as I'm trying to sail around an island, which would lead me to go point to point, and once I get past the halfway mark, I have to continue onward, as turning around wouldn't make too much sense.
Going out on a lake, yes, I'd just come in when I felt like it, but needing to get back to the dock is what I'm required to do in this case

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I've always used the baseline of my expected speed in knots/distance sailed. Example - 10 knots average speed to an upwind destination on a single tack 40 miles away = 4 hours.

Your example of a distance of 18.5 miles at 5 knots average calculates out to 3.7 hours.

of course that doesn't calculate for tacks/wind shifts/currents/etc. I would look at a map and just figure out basic tacking angles. how many tacks, what's your overall distance. Then determine what your expected speed will be. Will you be pushing it or lazily cruising. Then I'd add a hefty margin of error so as not to unnecessarily alarm people when things don't go as planned, as so often being on the water does. 

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Its very difficult to allow for every possibility.I usually take my best guess based on distance and expected speed and then add 20%. No harm to friends or relatives If you happen to arrive at your destination early.However, if you're overdue by very much friends and family begin to panic.Better to over estimate the time for the voyage than to worry loved ones needlessly.

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All understood.  Mainly I guess what I'm looking for is at x wind speed, a reasonable non-racing, but non-lazy sailing could accomplish this speed.  I don't know if 10 knots equals 4 knot boat speed or 10 knots equals 8 knot boat speed.  Again, depending on direction, water condition etc.

OutofOffice, here is the research I've done so far.  During the trip, the wind should shift slightly from a due west to a west north west approach, which should help.  Total including tack, etc comes out right at 20 miles.

Edward Mason, absolutely.  Plus, I don't really see any moment of my trip where I will not have cell phone service.  I also have a 5 mile range walkie talkie that I bring with me as well.

Edit:  I'm 99% sure I'll be doing this in the opposite (clockwise direction) instead of the counterclockwise that I've shown below.  Being on the narrow Intracoastal going downwind will be much easier than trying to go into the wind with limited port and starboard area to work in.

 

20180614_140339.jpg

tempFileForShare_20180614-135839.jpg

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That looks like 5 hours to me, add 1.5 for contingencies. I would guess a 3 knot VMG upwind.

Know where the ramps are (and have the family know them) if you need to bail out and have someone come get you.

I don't think you said where your start point is, try to go upwind first so you get a grasp of it. After 30 minutes figure out your average VMG from time and land references. The recalculate how the trip's going to take.

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8 minutes ago, DialedN_07 said:

All understood.  Mainly I guess what I'm looking for is at x wind speed, a reasonable non-racing, but non-lazy sailing could accomplish this speed.  I don't know if 10 knots equals 4 knot boat speed or 10 knots equals 8 knot boat speed.  Again, depending on direction, water condition etc.

You’re asking a question most of us probably can’t answer. Your boat speed is so dependent on the specific boat, rig settings, helming, total loaded weight, sea state, etc. Even if I had a 14.6 to compare it to, I’m not sure it would be real helpful. Add to that the tacking in the ICW there is...insane. Hell, races are won or lost on one bad tack. You have...a lot more than one. That alone could make big changes to your average speed and time. At this point I’d just set my float plan as nightfall and keep a cell phone / satellite phone handy as well as a VHF.

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Just now, jbigden said:

That looks like 5 hours to me, add 1.5 for contingencies. I would guess a 3 knot VMG upwind.

Know where the ramps are (and have the family know them) if you need to bail out and have someone come get you.

I don't think you said where your start point is, try to go upwind first so you get a grasp of it. After 30 minutes figure out your average VMG from time and land references. The recalculate how the trip's going to take.

I have a Garmin GPS watch that will track my speed over distance.  No concerns about battery life, so it should give me an exact measurement of what I'm accomplishing.
Heading upwind was my initial thought as well.  When I was sailing there last weekend, I could hold pretty much a dead straight line as the wind was blowing north north west.  I never tacked once going on the ICW. 

PS.  There is one ramp.  It's directly under the bridge about 80% of the way on the right side of the island.  My wind direction map is messed up as my red circle goes out way to far west (right).  The inlet is closer in than depicted there.

Just now, OutofOffice said:

You’re asking a question most of us probably can’t answer. Your boat speed is so dependent on the specific boat, rig settings, helming, total loaded weight, sea state, etc. Even if I had a 14.6 to compare it to, I’m not sure it would be real helpful. Add to that the tacking in the ICW there is...insane. Hell, races are won or lost on one bad tack. You have...a lot more than one. That alone could make big changes to your average speed and time. At this point I’d just set my float plan as nightfall and keep a cell phone / satellite phone handy as well as a VHF.

More than one tack......nah....not many more! lol

The forecast last weekend was awful for wind speed (2-5 knots), but the wind direction forecast was very similar, however when out on the water, it was blowing more from the south than indicated on my app.  Hopefully that is the case again this weekend, and would make my ICW trip MUCH better and less time consuming.

If shit hits the fan, I have the Nissan 3.5hp that has worked flawlessly for me over the past weekend, and then if that fails, I have an oar, and about 10 years of kayaking experience to draw from!!!! Trying to stay optimistic here!

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Don't stress about getting it right. Bring a mobile phone in a waterproof case. With some practice, you can use the phone through soft plastic cases. You can be in touch if it gets late. 

Only caveat is that they do develop tears over time. Check the case for tears, replace if you ever see evidence of water sneaking in. They are cheap.

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11 minutes ago, DialedN_07 said:

however when out on the water, it was blowing more from the south than indicated on my app.  

Sea breeze effect isn’t calculated in your app. That’s likely what you observed. Here in south Texas, we can pretty reliably add 3-5 knots to the forecast and assume about 2-4 degree sea breeze shift offshore.

Have you truly considered what it’s going to be like to tack up the ICW for what I can only assume is over 10 miles? That would add considerable distance sailed. Not to mention just flat out tiring.

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Just now, OutofOffice said:

Have you truly considered what it’s going to be like to tack up the ICW for what I can only assume is over 10 miles? That would add considerable distance sailed. Not to mention just flat out tiring.

This is what is appealing to me about the sail.

I come from a background of endurance sports (primarily ultra running and long distance cycling) so I enjoy the kind of monotony and 'pain' that comes from a 6+ hour endeavor.  To answer your question specifically....Yes I have considered it, but I don't know if my assumptions are correct.  I'm not completely risk averse, but I'm not a daredevil either.  I am not opposed to beaching this and calling it quits if things get dicey or there are any questions about safety while on the water.
However, to a slight extent, the element of the unknown is what is making me want to give this a shot so early on with this boat.

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1 minute ago, DialedN_07 said:

However, to a slight extent, the element of the unknown is what is making me want to give this a shot so early on with this boat.

I love it. Screw it then. Just do it and see what happens and keep us posted.

I have no problem with people doing crazy things (I may have found myself way too far offshore on a boat that was meant for protected bays and lakes once or twice). As cheesy as the line is, Capt Ron said it best. “If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there”

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Just now, OutofOffice said:

I have no problem with people doing crazy things (I may have found myself way too far offshore on a boat that was meant for protected bays and lakes once or twice). As cheesy as the line is, Capt Ron said it best. “If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there

In all seriousness, do you think anything I'm trying to do here is crazy?  I believe with the sea breeze effect that you mentioned along with changing my planned direction around the island (tacking out in the ocean instead of in the ICW) will really improve this trip.
I've been off the shore in the ocean a few times on a jetski that I used to own (sold it in order to buy this boat) and the chop was on multiple occasions what I considered to be manageable.  The inlet is my biggest concern, but I am timing my launch to the peak of high tide, so by the time I get out to the inlet the current will be headed out, which should help significantly with the small breakers coming in.

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1 minute ago, DialedN_07 said:

In all seriousness, do you think anything I'm trying to do here is crazy?  I believe with the sea breeze effect that you mentioned along with changing my planned direction around the island (tacking out in the ocean instead of in the ICW) will really improve this trip.
I've been off the shore in the ocean a few times on a jetski that I used to own (sold it in order to buy this boat) and the chop was on multiple occasions what I considered to be manageable.  The inlet is my biggest concern, but I am timing my launch to the peak of high tide, so by the time I get out to the inlet the current will be headed out, which should help significantly with the small breakers coming in.

Not in the traditional “you’re safety is a risk” sense. Just in the sense of most people wouldn’t choose to tack up the ICW.

like you said, I think you’ll be happier downwinding the ICW and then tacking offshore.

Side note, have you done any capsize recovery practice with this boat?

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Just now, OutofOffice said:

have you done any capsize recovery practice with this boat?

Yes, last weekend.  My wife was not happy at all having to get out of the boat while I "practiced" righting it.  She stood there with a scowl on her face while I did it.  

I tried to turtle the boat but was unsuccessful because the mast touched the sand before it could get hull up.  Still let it sink down to a pretty steep angle before pulling it up.

It was significantly easier than I anticipated, although the conditions were ideal with smooth water, etc.

Capsize recovery practice in conditions where I'm more likely to capsize....not yet.

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3 minutes ago, DialedN_07 said:

Capsize recovery practice in conditions where I'm more likely to capsize....not yet.

Good deal. Nothing much more to it. Quite often its harder to right in no wind/sea state.

Keep in mind when you're offshore, the seabreeze fades the further offshore you go. Keep close but out of the surf line.

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Outgoing current at the inlet = bigger seas, "wind against tide" and all.  At least plan to come in on a flood tide if bar conditions are a concern.

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5 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

Don't stress about getting it right. Bring a mobile phone in a waterproof case. With some practice, you can use the phone through soft plastic cases. You can be in touch if it gets late. 

Only caveat is that they do develop tears over time. Check the case for tears, replace if you ever see evidence of water sneaking in. They are cheap.

+1 In this day and age you probably aren't going to be out of cel range. This obviously changes once you actually go offshore..  I really can't remember ever quoting a specific timeframe in the 40 or so years I have been sailing.  It's just sometime Friday, a couple of hours, sometime in the afternoon or in the big races, well, I donno.  Hopefully by Monday night for last call at the Pony... :) 

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11 hours ago, DialedN_07 said:

I have heard the phrase "don't sail on a schedule" and I agree with it.

However, as should be done with any trip on a boat, especially one going single-handed, I'm trying to leave my float plan with my family. 

How do you estimate your time spent on the water?  I know the water/wind condition is a huge factor, as well as potentially the currents coming in and out of the inlet on both sides of the island.  With average/extreme conditions being assumed, how would you go about calculating approximate time.

Specific example is my sail this weekend: approx 18.5 miles total (+ or - 15%) due to not going in a straight line to navigate around the island.  Sustained wind forecast at 10 knots gusting to 12, for 6 straight hours around the time of sailing.  I'm in an American 14.6.

I have put my initial estimate around 4-5 hours.  Potentially as low as 3 hours.

My wife has called the coast guard on me not once, but twice. She doesn't understand the concept of a calm. Somehow the lack of wind leads to all sorts of horrible daydreams such as Chessie, or the KRAKKEN or something swallowing me up.

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One week of sailing for each hour a commercial flight would require. Schedule varies depending on number of pubs along the way.

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Well I don't have any great math for you, But I can say for sure that you want your upwind tacks to be out on the open ocean. The wind is smoother and steady away from the tree line and you might get lucky and find some 16 mph wind off shore and get the boat up on a plane. Tacking on a screaming reach is way more fun than trying to point too high in a channel at below hull speed.

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Well......here goes nothing!

Just pulled up at Holden Beach boat ramp.  Should be in the water by 11am.

A buddy of mine was down in the dumps yesterday so I invited him to come along.  So now I have crew!

Pics, vids, etc coming later (what time?I still have no idea! Haha)

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8 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

So what time you back??? ;-)

23.3 nautical miles.

5 hours 41 minutes.

Had an absolute blast.  My crew was not the best hand, and had to do this and that including jumping out of the boat 3 times.  So that had a very large impact on time

 

IMG952518.jpg

IMG_2538.jpg

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12 hours ago, DialedN_07 said:

SmartSelect_20180616-194606_Connect.jpg

What a great sail! Looks like you really met the challenge, congrats.

A few comments- outgoing tide will help you get out the inlet against the breakers, yes..... BUT outgoing tide against a sea breeze builds up the breakers to be much steeper and more potentially violent. Capsize: if you're with two people, practice doing the "scoop" to bring the boat upright with one aboard. Helps keep the boat under control (instead of sailing away without you) and helps the 2nd person climb in. Climbing in- don't go to the transom (as often recommended). Your body is a sea anchor, the boat will turn downwind and yank itself away from you. Instead, grab the shroud/sidestay and kick up to where you can grab a hiking strap, or put one knee over the gun'l and roll in sideways (how I do it these days). Linky: capsize drill for NJROTC sailors

I just finished up a week herding kids around in 420s, a similar smaller simple sloop (that could be made into a good tongue twister). It was fun but tiring, I'm getting old to play "Coach Doug" full-time and am not as energetic nor as limber as I used to be

P1240606heel-SM.thumb.jpg.c143ec4c3e9c03c0c333c3749e6b6aec.jpg

Heeling over for fun, bragging rights, and a little practice handling the boat when it's at it's least cooperative. I have some capsize photos from this week too but not processed yet. You can see #12 has a Hobie mast head float (we started calling it "the blimp") which is the first time I have used one. After giving it to some teenagers for testing, I approve of it. We're getting more for the rest of the boats.

They actually did a little better at this, at one point they were all in line like baby ducks, heeling 45 or more, but I did not get a photo at that time.

FB- Doug

 

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Doug,  good stuff! I wish I could get some awesome action shots like that!

My wife and I will certainly practice the scoop method.  My crew from yesterday will not be getting back on my boat, so no need there.

Headed to Lake Wacammaw now to get out and do a quick 2 hour or so sail.  It's on the way home from the beach and half the distance, so if conditions merit, I may sail there more often than the beach.

I can't believe how much I enjoyed yesterday.

The next goal will be to sail down past the South Carolina border and back which should be about 35-45 nautical miles or so.  That will more than likely be done single handed or with my wife if she wants to go along.  I'm not ready for that trip yet though.  I have to figure out better food and water storage (too much beer, not enough water) as well as how to bail water single handed.  The boat turns sharply any time I let go of the tiller.  

I found out the self bailing feature of my boat doesn't work quite as I'd hoped because water rushed in when I pulled the plug on a beam reach.  Maybe I need to move more midship yo get the drains out of the water?  Also having problems keeping luff and foot tension on the mainsail.

 

The little troubles are what keep me interested because the accomplishment of solving a problem you had last time shows progression!

 

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On 6/14/2018 at 2:08 PM, DialedN_07 said:

All understood.  Mainly I guess what I'm looking for is at x wind speed, a reasonable non-racing, but non-lazy sailing could accomplish this speed.  I don't know if 10 knots equals 4 knot boat speed or 10 knots equals 8 knot boat speed.  Again, depending on direction, water condition etc.

OutofOffice, here is the research I've done so far.  During the trip, the wind should shift slightly from a due west to a west north west approach, which should help.  Total including tack, etc comes out right at 20 miles.

Edward Mason, absolutely.  Plus, I don't really see any moment of my trip where I will not have cell phone service.  I also have a 5 mile range walkie talkie that I bring with me as well.

Edit:  I'm 99% sure I'll be doing this in the opposite (clockwise direction) instead of the counterclockwise that I've shown below.  Being on the narrow Intracoastal going downwind will be much easier than trying to go into the wind with limited port and starboard area to work in.

 

20180614_140339.jpg

tempFileForShare_20180614-135839.jpg

You can't lose if you expect to average 2 knots. You'll have a greater than 90% chance of returning early. 4 knots you are at 50/50/ 6 knots you have a 5 percent chance or less of returning early.

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If luff and foot tension keep "creeping" looser, you may benefit from upgrading line & cleats. These certainly will affect the way the boat sails.

In the pics, yes you are sitting too far aft. The pointy end goes thru the water better than the flat end. Does the boat have a hiking stick / tiller extension? This will be a huge upgrade in being able to handle the boat, although I bet you'll curse it while getting used to it. I can't steer a boat with hand on tiller, I either stand up and use my knees or hold the hiking stick.

Fasty, would you mind explaining on the current timing? I don't grok you on this.

FB- Doug

 

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3 hours ago, fastyacht said:

You can't lose if you expect to average 2 knots. You'll have a greater than 90% chance of returning early. 4 knots you are at 50/50/ 6 knots you have a 5 percent chance or less of returning early.

Took this long, but finally got a pretty solid answer on timing! Haha Thanks.

I don't think anyone goes out planning to sail 2 knots, but today I experienced first hand how it can happen!

3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

If luff and foot tension keep "creeping" looser, you may benefit from upgrading line & cleats. These certainly will affect the way the boat sails.

In the pics, yes you are sitting too far aft. The pointy end goes thru the water better than the flat end. Does the boat have a hiking stick / tiller extension? This will be a huge upgrade in being able to handle the boat, although I bet you'll curse it while getting used to it. I can't steer a boat with hand on tiller, I either stand up and use my knees or hold the hiking stick.

Fasty, would you mind explaining on the current timing? I don't grok you on this.

FB- Doug

 

Brand new lines all the way around the boat.  Purchased every one from American Sail.  What is the gripper thing called that's not a cleat but acts like one? I have two that hold my centerboard lines.  I think this would help for the outhaul. I figure out the downhaul today.  I moved the cleat about 10 inches higher and was able to cinch it down better. 

Tiller extension is a MUST. In the pics I was sitting back further because my crew was constantly moving around and asked for more room. :rollseyes:

Today was epic.  I had her heeling over and felt like I got it plained out a few times.  This boat doesnt have hiking straps so leaning out is very hard to do especially with no tiller extension.

I felt that I could keep it heeled, but when cranked over, my steering got really soft and the boat would turn slightly downwind losing the pull.  Is this normal? I was thinking maybe my centerboard was swinging up, or possibly my rudder was pushing up because the end of the rudder line is a bungee so it wont hit something and not give.  Or am I over thinking that?

14.43 nautical miles today in 3 hours 17 minutes. Top speed 6.9 knots

Screenshot_20180617-181541_Connect.jpg

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1 hour ago, DialedN_07 said:

14.43 nautical miles today in 3 hours 17 minutes. Top speed 6.9 knots

Screenshot_20180617-181541_Connect.jpg

4.4 knots through the water avg. That is to be expected in design wind. Well done, you outsailed 30 foot 4ktsb ;-)

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20 hours ago, DialedN_07 said:

.  The boat turns sharply any time I let go of the tiller.  

Remember Jib drives the bow down and Main drives it up. If you’re helm is unbalanced, so is your sail trim. Also, if you’re having to hold the tiller from sharply turning, you’re introducing drag, and drag is slow. This is also why you want the transom just at the surface. The hard edge of the transom dragging in the water introduces turbulence and drag.

As far as a soft helm while heeled, that’s normal as less rudder is in the water. Flat is fast on most designs.

You should be able to flatten the main, as this is the first step in depowering. Get a low stretch or no stretch halyard, Vang and outhaul. That will do a lot.

lastly, most of the fun of a new boat is figuring it out. Tweaking the design and layout, finding the right “gear” for the conditions. Enjoy it and don’t get frustrated. Thanks for updating!

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14 hours ago, DialedN_07 said:

Took this long, but finally got a pretty solid answer on timing! Haha Thanks.

I don't think anyone goes out planning to sail 2 knots, but today I experienced first hand how it can happen!

Brand new lines all the way around the boat.  Purchased every one from American Sail.  What is the gripper thing called that's not a cleat but acts like one? I have two that hold my centerboard lines.  I think this would help for the outhaul. I figure out the downhaul today.  I moved the cleat about 10 inches higher and was able to cinch it down better. 

Tiller extension is a MUST. In the pics I was sitting back further because my crew was constantly moving around and asked for more room. :rollseyes:

Today was epic.  I had her heeling over and felt like I got it plained out a few times.  This boat doesnt have hiking straps so leaning out is very hard to do especially with no tiller extension.

I felt that I could keep it heeled, but when cranked over, my steering got really soft and the boat would turn slightly downwind losing the pull.  Is this normal? I was thinking maybe my centerboard was swinging up, or possibly my rudder was pushing up because the end of the rudder line is a bungee so it wont hit something and not give.  Or am I over thinking that?

14.43 nautical miles today in 3 hours 17 minutes. Top speed 6.9 knots

 

Looks like you don't have a problem getting the boat to GO! That's the key!

Heeled over affects steering, and is definitely slower. It feels fun though.

Not overthinking the rudder at all! Rudder blade kicking back will also make it difficult to steer, you need a breakaway or slef-releasing cleat like this if you plan to run aground at high speed.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/clamcleat--auto-release-rudder-cleat--1158443?

I put these on both the rudder and centerboard hold-downs, for fast boats like the Buccaneer I have to modify them by adding a blob of resin to make the break-away tension a little higher than stock or they come up at the worst time. The old timey answer is a dowel of soft wood that can crush and let the rudder kick up if you hit something.

Outhaul and halyard, yeah new stock lines I wish you had waited a little on that. Although they're not expensive. Not all line is created equal and for these, something low stretch is definitely worth while. Something with a dyneema core at least. Sheets you don't care so much about stretch because you are always adjusting and the load is not so high; halyards really load up when sailing hard. The other issue is to practice the knack of tying off a horn cleat while keeping tension on it. Or do you have jam cleats? That's the kind with a row of "V"s inside; if they're good they are great, if they are bad (I've seen new ones with badly molded teeth that wouldn't grip anything, and old worn ones).

Sailboats are simple in their complexity. Part of the fun

FB- Doug

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4 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

if you plan to run aground at high speed.

I like the way you think.

6 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Sailboats are simple in their complexity. 

Put that in a frame. I’ve never heard sailing described so accurately in 6 words. Haha

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2 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Looks like you don't have a problem getting the boat to GO! That's the key!

Heeled over affects steering, and is definitely slower. It feels fun though.

Not overthinking the rudder at all! Rudder blade kicking back will also make it difficult to steer, you need a breakaway or slef-releasing cleat like this if you plan to run aground at high speed.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/clamcleat--auto-release-rudder-cleat--1158443?

I put these on both the rudder and centerboard hold-downs, for fast boats like the Buccaneer I have to modify them by adding a blob of resin to make the break-away tension a little higher than stock or they come up at the worst time. The old timey answer is a dowel of soft wood that can crush and let the rudder kick up if you hit something.

Outhaul and halyard, yeah new stock lines I wish you had waited a little on that. Although they're not expensive. Not all line is created equal and for these, something low stretch is definitely worth while. Something with a dyneema core at least. Sheets you don't care so much about stretch because you are always adjusting and the load is not so high; halyards really load up when sailing hard. The other issue is to practice the knack of tying off a horn cleat while keeping tension on it. Or do you have jam cleats? That's the kind with a row of "V"s inside; if they're good they are great, if they are bad (I've seen new ones with badly molded teeth that wouldn't grip anything, and old worn ones).

Sailboats are simple in their complexity. Part of the fun

FB- Doug

Are jam cleats and auto release cleats the same thing?  I have those jam cleats on my tiller and for my centerboard.  I've always been scared to jam cleat my centerboard because IF I hit something I didn't think it would actually release.

Regarding lines, I feel that I did much better with halyard and outhaul tension yesterday than Saturday.  I wasn't comfortable moving to the foredeck Saturday to tie off the main and jib halyards myself, so I had my crew do it, and he just looped the lines around the cleat, which is perfectly okay because he didn't know any better, and actually my fault for not explaining it to him and preparing for that scenario before we got on the water.  It held, but slipped quite a bit I believe.

My new biggest problems (2) are now 1. The tiller extension.  My tiller is metal and round.  I don't want to buy a tiller extension that is flat on the bottom and won't fit correctly onto my tiller.  Hard to get a good look at these online.  and 2. My shrouds.  When trying to go anything resembling downwind, my mainsail hits the shrouds and it puts a line down the center of my mainsail.  This must negatively effect performance, and I'm guessing may be a large reason some boats have spreaders?  I could barely get the boat going on a broad reach, and it may have been another mistake, but I attributed it to my mainsail hitting the shroud.  Maybe tightening my traveler rope would help with this???

Doug, are you an instructor?  What part of NC are you in again?  I would love to actually meet some people who sail, see some other boats, etc.  I'm hoping that I will keep this 14.6 forever, but I can already see in my not-so-distant future another boat.  And I'm not exactly sure what I do and don't like about my boat.  I'm just learning it the best I can and getting used to it all.  Some things that I'm working around might be normal, while others could be greatly improved with another boat.  Who am I to know the better?

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Two of my sailboats have round tillers. Here's how the extention connections look. the alloy one is a 505, the carbon is an international 10 sq meter canoe. The tiller extension of the canoe has a fitting that slides into that receptor.

28013960317_d6ac145aac_o.jpg

28013963737_227af77365_o.jpg

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RE crew positioning.

The crew always needs to be far enough forward that he or she is complaining. Otherwse you are dragging the stern. Aslo you and the crew should be phyiscally touching. Otherwqise you are too far apart. then when the wind blows the crew needs to be too far back so that the skip complains. Haha.

HEre ios a gudie just look at the 505s especially in the lighter wind whnen not on trapeze. See how far forward they are and how close. The transom is never dragging/.

http://www.photoboatgallery.net/p750183644

Also., I searched American 14 and *every* photo I gfound had the helmsman reclining an the weithgt too far adft with the bow up and the stern dragging. Not sure why this is. But don't do i. Except when the camera is not rolleng :-)

 

Don't worry avbout the shrouds. Just don't let the boom hit them hard. keep an inch. But I didn;t see a boom vang rigged (Brits call it a kicking strap or kicker). You need one of those so that you can keep teh boom from skying. 

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Nice to see you're sailing and having fun!

A comment about clam cleats - don't bother with the plastic ones! The plastic will wear and not hold and, sometimes, even spring open under load. Spend the incremental $ for aluminum ones, if you go that way.

Waccamaw Lake is a nice place to sail (but watch for the occasional alligator!).

Check out these guys: https://www.waccamawsailing.com if you're looking to connect with some local sailors. I raced there a few times when I lived in Wilmington. At the time (mid 1980's) it was a great, low-key place.

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Just now, fastyacht said:

Don't worry about the shrouds. Just don't let the boom hit them hard. keep an inch. But I didn;t see a boom vang rigged (Brits call it a kicking strap or kicker). You need one of those so that you can keep teh boom from skying. 

I see.  I'll try to take a picture next time.  The mainsail goes out beautifully until it hits the shroud, I don't think I ever got my boom out far enough to touch the shrouds.  It points up too much before getting there to be effective.  Also, I can see the purpose of a pole for the jib, as I was trying to fly the jib out to port, but the sheet kept it curling in and wouldn't allow it to go out and catch more wind.

When going downwind, my boom tries to go up to 40 degrees or so.  Pulling in on the mainsheet brought the boom back closer to the boat, but didn't do much for lowering the boom until it got closer to the stern.  The vang would help tons on a single handed sail, but I would imagine give my wife fits when she tries to move side to side on the boat.
I want to make sure I keep the boat comfortable, but at the same time, i would really like to go fast when I'm single handing.

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Just now, Alan Crawford said:

Nice to see you're sailing and having fun!

A comment about clam cleats - don't bother with the plastic ones! The plastic will wear and not hold and, sometimes, even spring open under load. Spend the incremental $ for aluminum ones, if you go that way.

Waccamaw Lake is a nice place to sail (but watch for the occasional alligator!).

Check out these guys: https://www.waccamawsailing.com if you're looking to connect with some local sailors. I raced there a few times when I lived in Wilmington. At the time (mid 1980's) it was a great, low-key place.

I tried to stay relatively close to the shore as I went around the lake.  I'm 99.9% sure I know where their club is located.  There were some really nice looking boats, some of them much bigger than I would imagine in a lake 7x8 miles.  I e-mailed the commodore a couple of weeks ago, and he told me to let him know of a weekend and he would arrange a tour of the club.  I may bring my wife down in a few weeks for us to poke around a little bit.

Alligators are just speed bumps put in the lake to keep your speed down!

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12 minutes ago, DialedN_07 said:

snip>  The vang would help tons on a single handed sail, but I would imagine give my wife fits when she tries to move side to side on the boat.

I want to make sure I keep the boat comfortable, but at the same time, i would really like to go fast when I'm single handing.

Again if the crew is comfortable, shes too far aft...(joke but no joke...)

You *need* a vang. She can come aft during the tack. She can also face aft during the tack if that is more comfortable for her. Just be sure she goes back up to the shrouds when she sits back down again :-) When you rig the vang, pay attenton to snaggy bits. Tape up the rings on the shackles etc with 3M 33 or 99 not the cheap stuff electrical tape. Make sure nothing sticks out that is sharp. Rig shackles accordingly. That helps to keep beautiful long flowing hair from getting snagged and helps with crew morale.

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22 minutes ago, DialedN_07 said:

Pulling in on the mainsheet brought the boom back closer to the boat, but didn't do much for lowering the boom until it got closer to the stern.

This is because until the sheeting angle closes the mainsheet isnt pulling down on the leech. This is the purpose to a vang. It will hold tension on the leech regardless of mainsheet tension. If the boom rises, you’re twisting off power out of the top of the sail. They don’t take up that much room, the wife shouldn’t have an issue with it. If it does, have her cross first, then you.

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