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Hi,

This is my first post, I hope I'm in the right place.

I just got an Enterprise dinghy and I would like to master sailing it single handed. I did managed OK in light wind but in strong wind capsized right away. In strong wind I'm OK on close-hauled/ beam reach because I can let sail go and let it flap gaining control. But on the run I did not even survive 5 minutes.

I'm kindly asking for help.. any tips/ information/ books/ videos about how to control big dinghy on run single handed. I did found some basic tips about laser sailing but I'm interested in any tips for how to control big dinghy with no crew member... Does any one has any information about adding ballast to dinghy? What is storm sails for enterprise? What is the fastest way to DEPOWER the boat on the run/ broad reach if wind gust comes in?

Thank you for any help,

RN

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Make sure your board is a snug fit in the case, there is often an adjustable friction tube at the top of the board, if it floats up on a run in a bit of breeze there is a good chance you will roll over to weather, also make sure you have enough Vang on downwind to keep the leech under control.

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If this is the standard British Enterprise with blue sails then they can be really roly poly down wind.

Do your self a big favour and sail it without the jib like a big fat single hander in winds over F2

1) Rig the jib with the usual rig tension.

2) Take off the jib sheets

3) Roll the jib tightly around the fore stay and secure with sticky tape so it cannot unroll.

4) Go sailing but keep the centre board about half up. You will have to experiment.

4a) Make sure you have a strong boom and fit a really powerful vang 16:1 is good with split tails for each side of the boat

5) Down wind keep the board down as it damps things a bit.

6) Keep the vang tight, if it rolls over to windward sheet in hard and push tiller away.

They always gave me a wild ride.

PS, they have to be sailed flat, and I mean flat. Look past the mast at the shoreline or horizon and if the mast is not at 90deg to it adjust things. When they heel past 10deg they get hard to control and slow

 

 

 

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There was an official smaller size "cruising" sail for the Enterprise, but they're next to unknown. It really does have an awful lot of rag to sail singlehanded. and as stated above are notoriously wayward on runs. probably best simply not to sail it on runs but go downwind in two deep reaches. It won't be much slower if at all anyway.

For smaller sails, Any smaller main would do, but a Firefly sail is probably a good call if in the UK. Try the matching jib for whatever you find, but you'll probably need to move it up and down the forestay until you find the best sheeting angle.

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I used to sail my GP-14 singlehanded, even with the genoa. Talk about a handful! Except probably less squirrely downwind? I should sail amn Enterprise. Always been curious about it.

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Learnt to sail in an Enterprise many moons ago ( #6631 !) and that had the official smaller sails, and with those as a skinny teen I could handle the boat singlehanded without any problem.  Occasionally even used them racing if it was really blowing and most of the fleet would capsize under the big rig.  It's quite a rolypoly sort of boat though so downwind on your own then got to sit in the middle, get 3/4 board up and should be fine.

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Good evening, 

Follow the above advice regarding centerboard position and vang tension.

When steering dead downwind and the boat starts to roll, steer to keep the boat underneath the masthead. So if the masthead rolls to port, steer to port. The moment the boat levels out, simply steer straight again. If the boat rolls to starboard, steer to starboard. Don't throw your weight around trying to balance the boat. Keep it level by steering as described. You will soon find the sweet spot where to place your weight in the boat.

Imagine you are trying to balance a broomstick on it's end in the palm of your hand.......you balance it by constantly moving your palm to be under the top end of the broomstick. Same goes for steering a tippy dinghy dead downwind.

I started dinghy racing on a very narrow river where strong winds were the norm and reaching off was not an option. An old hand at river sailing gave me this tip and I hardly ever swam again.

Have fun.

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That's also the advice we all received as young new 505 sailors. "How do we stay upright in a fresh breeze with the kite up?"  "Steer the boat under the spinnaker."

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Wow. Thank you so much for your replies! Great tips, appreciate your help a lot.

I was sailing on the weekend and I think I'm doing something basic very wrong.

In strong wind or gust I did not even get to the part of rolling... I guess my mistake was centerboard way down, sitting way back, not good steering. Result - boat turns violently to leeward (surprisingly, i thought it would be windward) and capsize. It was great capsize training :-), I managed to do it 7 times, BUT still did not figure it out. Luckily now with your tips, I have more things to try, almost gave up...

Any more tips or sources of information are welcomed and highly helpful.

I just do not want to have feeling of giving up.

Thank you.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rekaneva said:

Wow. Thank you so much for your replies! Great tips, appreciate your help a lot.

I was sailing on the weekend and I think I'm doing something basic very wrong.

In strong wind or gust I did not even get to the part of rolling... I guess my mistake was centerboard way down, sitting way back, not good steering. Result - boat turns violently to leeward (surprisingly, i thought it would be windward) and capsize. It was great capsize training :-), I managed to do it 7 times, BUT still did not figure it out. Luckily now with your tips, I have more things to try, almost gave up...

Any more tips or sources of information are welcomed and highly helpful.

I just do not want to have feeling of giving up.

Thank you.

 

 

 

okay,

At this stage of your sailing career, you can;

1. keep the board right down. It dampens the rollIng and gives some directional stability. It also assist in righting the boat after a capsize. As you master the art, you can start trying with less board down.

2. make the outhaul tight. This is not fast, but a flat sail will help you until your skills improve.

3. make the boom vang super tight. Do this before you head down wind. You dont want the sail to go all baggy high up the mast. This is probably why you end up capsizing to leeward as you have said. Once your skills improve, you can try some faster settings with the vang.

4. before you head down wind, ensure the boat is perfectly flat and going at a nice good speed.

5. now ease the mainsail swiftly and head down wind onto a dead run. Head down wind and ease the sail in one smooth movement. Ease the jib swiftly as well but keep it drawing. Then cleat the jib. You can forget about the jib for now.

6. keep an eye on the burgee. You dont want to sail by the lee.

7. don't allow the boom to touch the shrouds. Tip, before leaving the shore, hoist the main, tension the vang tight tight, push out the boom until it is about a fist width away from the shrouds and tie a stopper knot on the mainsheet right at the mainsheet block. This will prevent the boom fron going too far out.

8. your seating will be well aft, bum comfy on the rail, but ready to move in, should you have to.

9. keep an eye on the burgee and the leach of the main. You don't want the sail to gybe. Come up a bit if needed.

10. now steer to keep the boat under the masthead.

11. get the jib setting onto the opposite side of the main. It will balance things out.

12. also keep an eye astern for heavy gusts. If a heavy gust hits, pull the main in just a little bit to prevent the top of the sail twisting off and making a bag high up. You don't want any sail twisting off and ending up "in front of" the mast. It will start the rolling effect leading to a swim.

10. now steer to keep the boat under the masthead.

That's it. As your confidence increase you can start tweaking things a bit to go faster.

Better still, just ask someone at the nearest club. Dinghy sailors are always very keen to help.

Have fun! 

 

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30 minutes ago, trisail said:

keep the boat under the masthead

trisail, thank you so much, will follow the step, brilliant.

can you explain "under the masthead"?

also, board down is definitely helping to recover... will it not make problem on the run, preventing sliding and heeling the dinghy, i thought it was one of my mistakes but mught be wrong.

once again, appreciate all your time and help.

thank you

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5 hours ago, Rekaneva said:

trisail, thank you so much, will follow the step, brilliant.

can you explain "under the masthead"?

also, board down is definitely helping to recover... will it not make problem on the run, preventing sliding and heeling the dinghy, i thought it was one of my mistakes but mught be wrong.

once again, appreciate all your time and help.

thank you

See post number 8 above.

 

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sailboats steer themselves by heel and sail trim. Directly downwind, a boat that is perfectly upright with just a mainsail up will have some slightweather healm--wanting to turn toward the right if on starboard tack. This is because the sail is pushing on the port side. Now, as the boat heels, two things happen: 1) the sail center of pressure moves and 2) the boat's bow shape becomes asymmetrical, turning the boat. Note that the hull will turn on an outward bank--not a waterski bank. The sail and the hull reinforce each other. That's why when learning to sail downwind you need to steer theboat underthe masthead. It nips this tendency in the bud. But as you advance you will find that you can use your body weight to keep everything going perfect without forcingthe rudder.

Ypu need some centerpl;ate down so that the boat will respond to helm inputs. IF it is all theway down it wull turn on a dime but wioll also rapidly heel if you get out of whack. If you pull it up half way it will still help steering but not heel so much. The other nuance it the board up halfway tends to negate some of that bnatural weather hel,m

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15 hours ago, Emilio Castelli said:

You should watch this video

 

perfect. thank you.

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17 hours ago, fastyacht said:

sailboats steer themselves by heel and sail trim. Directly downwind, a boat that is perfectly upright with just a mainsail up will have some slightweather healm--wanting to turn toward the right if on starboard tack. This is because the sail is pushing on the port side. Now, as the boat heels, two things happen: 1) the sail center of pressure moves and 2) the boat's bow shape becomes asymmetrical, turning the boat. Note that the hull will turn on an outward bank--not a waterski bank. The sail and the hull reinforce each other. That's why when learning to sail downwind you need to steer theboat underthe masthead. It nips this tendency in the bud. But as you advance you will find that you can use your body weight to keep everything going perfect without forcingthe rudder.

Ypu need some centerpl;ate down so that the boat will respond to helm inputs. IF it is all theway down it wull turn on a dime but wioll also rapidly heel if you get out of whack. If you pull it up half way it will still help steering but not heel so much. The other nuance it the board up halfway tends to negate some of that bnatural weather hel,m

thank you !!!

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If you're single handing an E then get smaller sails or get the current sail reduced - E's are great boats for racing and generally by experienced people but I'd never class them as anything else.  Get an old laser for single handed kicks or one of the other UK single handers.

I sailed E's and GP14's in my youf - much preferred GP's because in those days the E had a seat only right at the front and right at the back of the centreboard case - very uncomfortable. 

KO

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Posted (edited)

most double-handed dinghies have a recommended minimum crew weight. I found,when sailing my Tasar single-handed , a couple of fifty pound bags of gravel(one on each side of the daggerboard trunk) brought the boat up to minimum crew weight and worked wonders making it far more stable and less "squirlley" and more easily controlled.They can always be removed when you have crew or on extra light air days. just my two cents worth.

Edited by edward mason
punctuation

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9 hours ago, edward mason said:

most double-handed dinghies have a recommended minimum crew weight. I found,when sailing my Tasar single-handed , a couple of fifty pound bags of gravel(one on each side of the daggerboard trunk) brought the boat up to minimum crew weight and worked wonders making it far more stable and less "squirlley" and more easily controlled.They can always be removed when you have crew or on extra light air days. just my two cents worth.

I was interested to know if anyone did it. Thank you for your reply! What happens if you capsize, will it drag dinghy down?? Do you let it go? I know the best solution is not to capsize...what if it happens... Thank you!

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100 pounds of gravel in the bottom of a dinghy just sounds wrong. And an Enterprise will certainly fill up with water when you capsize. I would be tempted to go with water bags.

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well,you're much less likely to capsize with the proper amount of weight in the boat. Its no more difficult to right than a heavier dinghy.Of course, if you turn turtle they will fall out anyway.It may SOUND wrong but having barely prevented a capsize before proper ballast and having never even come close afterwards--well you should see why I'm advocating this.

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Whatever works, I suppose! I would just be more comfortable with a couple 5 gallon containers of water.

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why would you feel more comfortable with  2  five gal cans of water?  Weight is weight whether its cans of water, bags of gravel or lead.The only difference is the amount of space it takes up due to the different densities of the materials. Incidentally, if I needed to add 100 lbs to bring a boat up to recommended weight, 10 gallons of water would take up a lot more space and still not weigh 100 lbs( unless the cans themselves were very heavy). Fresh water weighs 8.34 lbs/gal so 10 gals=83.4 lbs.  Salt water is only slightly heavier @8.6 lbs/gal so still only 86 lbs.The best material for ballast which was found out years ago is lead. If I had a good source I would have used it instead of gravel--100 lbs of it would have taken a fraction of the amount of space of virtually any other material.This is why it is used in sailboat keels.

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Sorry - in Canada (and UK) we use Imperial gallons which weigh 10 lbs.. I have no scientific reason - I just like water better than rocks. No argument here, just a preference. I would actually never consider doing either. I'd depower or get smaller sails - both as posted above.

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for ballast, I like rocks better than water and lead better than rocks. I like using full sail with proper weight so no loss of performance. Thanks for the clarification on weight of Imperial gallons.My bad---I should have looked at your location.

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You could also use a smaller set of sails from a different boat. I am not how much you want to depower, but an FJ's sails are about 20% smaller. Cheap from Intensity.

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Edward, the problem is shifting ballast. Just sitting in the bilge is no good. It *will* shift. At the most inopportune time.

Sometimes I sail my 505 singlehanded.  No ballast. So there's that data point. Sure it would be heavier and slower and more mannerly if I screwed 48 lb ingots into the centerboard logs. But I'm not going to do that. Because it is extra hassle and I'd rather sail with a helmsman anyway.

Lead is not the best material. Iridium is better. Or Osmium. Either one.

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When is the last time you lifted 50 lbs of gravel-- the Tasar ,being a planing hull has a deep vee  forward--the bags sit in that vee. They are very hard to move.Congratulations on being able to sail a 505 single-handed, but you are simply wrong about ballast shifting--at least in my case. I've had my boat heeled about 90 degrees and the bags have never moved. Also my boat is is not slower with the ballast. The boat was DESIGNED to be sailed at that weight (or even more) Capsized and upside down is NOT fast.The only time ballast might be a slight disadvantage is in very light air-and in that case in can be removed--no need to screw it to anything.You told me --as if you were some sort of authority-- that it will shift-  but that is as presumptuous as if I told you Fastyacht ,without ballast you *will* capsize--at the most inopportune time.You simply don't know what you're talking about when it comes to MY boat and MY sailing style. Do not presume to tell me what the "problem" is. The only "problem" is self appointed experts like you.

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1 hour ago, edward mason said:

When is the last time you lifted 50 lbs of gravel-- the Tasar ,being a planing hull has a deep vee  forward--the bags sit in that vee. They are very hard to move.Congratulations on being able to sail a 505 single-handed, but you are simply wrong about ballast shifting--at least in my case. I've had my boat heeled about 90 degrees and the bags have never moved. Also my boat is is not slower with the ballast. The boat was DESIGNED to be sailed at that weight (or even more) Capsized and upside down is NOT fast.The only time ballast might be a slight disadvantage is in very light air-and in that case in can be removed--no need to screw it to anything.You told me --as if you were some sort of authority-- that it will shift-  but that is as presumptuous as if I told you Fastyacht ,without ballast you *will* capsize--at the most inopportune time.You simply don't know what you're talking about when it comes to MY boat and MY sailing style. Do not presume to tell me what the "problem" is. The only "problem" is self appointed experts like you.

This is captured for posterity. Thanks for the entertainment on a Monday.

-an authority on shifting ballast.

See, you may not have had your stones shifted (well, maybe some other stones) but you were presuming to recommend something that worked for you, to someone else, where your experience is not universal. I'm happy you've never turtled. Good for you. Perhaps I'm just a klutz, or you are just a supersailor, but I've turtled every dinghy I've ever sailed more than just a few times.

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I never said my experience was universal---in fact I even stated the information was "my 2 cents worth."(see my post on 7-17) If your're not familiar with the term look it up. Means something similar to" take this info for what its worth-may or may not be applicable to your situation." If you would bother reading the original post, Rekaneva specifically asked about anyone having experience in ballasting dinghies and I had that experience so I posted it.By the way, If you've turtled every dinghy you've ever sailed then you're doing something wrong. 

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10 minutes ago, edward mason said:

I never said my experience was universal---in fact I even stated the information was "my 2 cents worth."(see my post on 7-17) If your're not familiar with the term look it up. Means something similar to" take this info for what its worth-may or may not be applicable to your situation." If you would bother reading the original post, Rekaneva specifically asked about anyone having experience in ballasting dinghies and I had that experience so I posted it.By the way, If you've turtled every dinghy you've ever sailed then you're doing something wrong. 

I agree. It is wrong to race. It is wrong to push the boat in difficult conditions.

Couch surfing, anyone? Popcorn?

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Sorry it took so long to respond. I was out single-handing my sloop -rigged "couch" so I had neither the time nor the inclination to indulge slow-yacht--I mean fastyacht- in this little mini shitstorm. But I'm back now so I'm happy to oblige for awhile --at least until he becomes even more unjustifiably pedantic than he already is. I had to give up the popcorn --I found it impossible to hold the bag, the tiller, and still hand hold the mainsheet in puffy conditions. Fastyacht, if you too will give up the popcorn so you wont have to cleat the main so much you may find it will really help with that capsizing problem you're having. After I returned and read your last post I thought you had accidentally posted to the wrong thread. With whom were you agreeing? I went back to the beginning and searched the entire thread and was unable to find ANYONE who said it was wrong to race.You seem to be blaming racing for your capsizing problem instead of your own poor judgement or slow reflexes. It is NOT wrong to race.--- though perhaps foolhardy to do things in a race that you would'nt  do anyway.IF, as in the above-referenced "cleat the main so I can hold my popcorn/beer/whatever" is not something you would normally do while day-sailing, Why the hell would you do it in a race?

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2 hours ago, edward mason said:

Sorry it took so long to respond. I was out single-handing my sloop -rigged "couch" so I had neither the time nor the inclination to indulge slow-yacht--I mean fastyacht- in this little mini shitstorm. But I'm back now so I'm happy to oblige for awhile --at least until he becomes even more unjustifiably pedantic than he already is. I had to give up the popcorn --I found it impossible to hold the bag, the tiller, and still hand hold the mainsheet in puffy conditions. Fastyacht, if you too will give up the popcorn so you wont have to cleat the main so much you may find it will really help with that capsizing problem you're having. After I returned and read your last post I thought you had accidentally posted to the wrong thread. With whom were you agreeing? I went back to the beginning and searched the entire thread and was unable to find ANYONE who said it was wrong to race.You seem to be blaming racing for your capsizing problem instead of your own poor judgement or slow reflexes. It is NOT wrong to race.--- though perhaps foolhardy to do things in a race that you would'nt  do anyway.IF, as in the above-referenced "cleat the main so I can hold my popcorn/beer/whatever" is not something you would normally do while day-sailing, Why the hell would you do it in a race?

Repartie supérieure. :-)

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