goon

Teaching beginners to trapeze

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I have a Vanguard Volant. It's like an FD with the last 2' removed, and more places to sit added. I am drawing on family and friends as crew, none of whom have any sailing background, and am finding it challenging to get new crew off on the right foot with the trapeze.

Are there any resources you can recommend, such as Youtube videos or online instructions, that are helpful for people who have never sailed?

What coaching strategies have worked for you to introduce noobs to the trap?

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Impress on them the need to keep their back leg bent and front leg straight.

 Initial practice is on the beat. Kite reaches can come once the crew has the basics sussed.

 Start off with front foot against the shroud base. Front leg straight.

 Clip on and sit over the gunwhale with tension on the wire (adjust length to suit).

 When ready (gust or helm powers-up), push off the gunwhale with back arm and put bent back leg on rail. Take jibsheet with you!

 Relax. 

 Adjust position by straightening and flexing rear leg to suit wind and helm... lots of chat from helm to advise what's coming next and how to respond. 

 Come in early to tack. Both to make sure crew is unhooked before the tiller goes over... again, plenty of two-way communication to avoid confusion.

Repeat on opposite tack to reinforce the front/back leg message.

 Once comfortable, refine technique, increase speed etc...

Cheers,

                W.

PS. Pick the right weather...too gusty just makes things happen too quickly. Be aware that some newbies will find it terrifying, especially if it is going well and the boat is planing fast. The power and speed can be really intimidating to some. 

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Somewhat related, I have done lots of crazy stuff on a Laser; capsized, hit my head on the boom, death rolled multiple times etc. But I still sail my Laser regularly without fear. 

Yet, I am afraid of trapezing. Mostly because a young girl in the area died (drowned) after a 420 capsize during high-school practice. By now this is a few years ago, but it still scares me. On the other hand, I would love to try trapezing on some other boat.

Help, please

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Catamarans are much easier, and I think safer, to trapeze off of than monos because of the steadiness of the platform( I have traped of the leeward side in light winds without the boat capsizing). Maybe look into a trapeze cat like a hobie 16,15, ect.

Hobie 15 | Fiberglass Sailboats | HobieHarken Sailboat Hardware and Accessories

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18 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

Impress on them the need to keep their back leg bent.

 Initial practice is on the beat. Kite reaches can come once the crew has the basics sussed.

 Start off with front foot against the shroud base. Front leg straight.

 Clip on and sit over the gunwhale with tension on the wire (adjust length to suit).

 When ready (gust or helm powers-up), push off the gunwhale with back arm and put bent back leg on rail. Take jibsheet with you!

 Relax. 

 Adjust position by straightening and flexing rear leg to suit wind and helm... lots of chat from helm to advise what's coming next and how to respond. 

 Come in early to tack. Both to make sure crew is unhooked before the tiller goes over... again, plenty of two-way communication to avoid confusion.

Repeat on opposite tack to reinforce the front/back leg message.

 Once comfortable, refine technique, increase speed etc...

Cheers,

                W.

PS. Pick the right weather...too gusty just makes things happen too quickly. Be aware that some newbies will find it terrifying, especially if it is going well and the boat is planing fast. The power and speed can be really intimidating to some. 

All good stuff. Couple things to add. Always go out front foot first.

I have first timers droop hike off the wire and slowly get out to their knees on the gunwale and just hang there for a while feeling the back and forth and balance. The trap height is then also a bit high so they trap up at first

For the most part i can have the boat powered up so that when they step out there is little change to heel angle etc. I keep the boat heeled more than usual so they are comfortable and if there is a hidden knock or lull they or I have more reaction time  before they get tea bagged. Pretty good luck so far with friends who are not even sailors. They loved it.

Had one friend after drooping for a while felt he was ready and just stood up on the gunwale and couldn't figure out how to get the hook in (it was at his knees.) Got him straightened  out and he did the whole race on the wire. Even did some wire running just to try. 

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14 minutes ago, Wavedancer II said:

Somewhat related, I have done lots of crazy stuff on a Laser; capsized, hit my head on the boom, death rolled multiple times etc. But I still sail my Laser regularly without fear. 

Yet, I am afraid of trapezing. Mostly because a young girl in the area died (drowned) after a 420 capsize during high-school practice. By now this is a few years ago, but it still scares me. On the other hand, I would love to try trapezing on some other boat.

Help, please

 Statistically, this is irrational.  Not to diminish it, it's perfectly real, but it makes it hard to address.

 Can you arrange a chase boat, with experienced crew, to shadow you for a few outings? Then you can be confident that if there is an entrapment, it can be resolved immediately.  Not just a random powerboater: it should be someone who knows the right drill, and is suitably dressed, to come to your aid if needed. 

Cheers,

              W.

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That death has caused (rightly so) changes in training for the instructors. We now all practice quick recovery techniques and I personally carry a carabiner and 15’ of line in my kit and I have it connected when I’m coaching.

time sailing is the cure, just like other cures for phobias

good luck!

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I learned front foot first, that’s also how I train, but I had some really good 49er crew tell me I was doing it all wrong as it’s faster to come on front foot first.

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1 hour ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

because of the steadiness of the platform(

Sorry, I ment stability, not ''steadiness''.

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54 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

That death has caused (rightly so) changes in training for the instructors. We now all practice quick recovery techniques and I personally carry a carabiner and 15’ of line in my kit and I have it connected when I’m coaching.

time sailing is the cure, just like other cures for phobias

good luck!

How would you use the karibiner and line to resolve an entrapment, please? 

Thanks,

               W.

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1 hour ago, Locus said:

All good stuff. Couple things to add. Always go out front foot first.

I have first timers droop hike off the wire and slowly get out to their knees on the gunwale and just hang there for a while feeling the back and forth and balance. The trap height is then also a bit high so they trap up at first

For the most part i can have the boat powered up so that when they step out there is little change to heel angle etc. I keep the boat heeled more than usual so they are comfortable and if there is a hidden knock or lull they or I have more reaction time  before they get tea bagged. Pretty good luck so far with friends who are not even sailors. They loved it.

Had one friend after drooping for a while felt he was ready and just stood up on the gunwale and couldn't figure out how to get the hook in (it was at his knees.) Got him straightened  out and he did the whole race on the wire. Even did some wire running just to try. 

A little extra heel helps indeed. Not to mutch so they are not scared. Not to little, so the dont have the feeling they will fall/touch in the water. 

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1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

That death has caused (rightly so) changes in training for the instructors. We now all practice quick recovery techniques and I personally carry a carabiner and 15’ of line in my kit and I have it connected when I’m coaching.

time sailing is the cure, just like other cures for phobias

good luck!

She couldn't get loose from the hook? Or the boat was on top of her and she was under the sails?

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7 minutes ago, gewoon ik said:

She couldn't get loose from the hook? Or the boat was on top of her and she was under the sails?

"As the boat went over, the 14-year-old crew, Olivia Constants, was telling her skipper she was tangled in something. This turned out to be the trapeze wire to which her harness was accidentally hooked with a connection so awkward the skipper and a sailing instructor were subsequently unable to disconnect it. The response by the sailing instructors was prompt and appropriate, with rapid communications, but despite CPR being administered by several instructors and firemen, Olivia drowned. "

 

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39 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

How would you use the karibiner and line to resolve an entrapment, please? 

Thanks,

               W.

I could not. But I've timed myself now at 90 seconds from sailboat over to get to it, clip the carbiner onto a shroud, fast reverse around the bow and hard reverse till the saiboat is up.

I can get better. Whalers do take on some water when you do this with authority.

It's the technique now being trained in US Sailing Coach level 2

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49 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

I could not. But I've timed myself now at 90 seconds from sailboat over to get to it, clip the carbiner onto a shroud, fast reverse around the bow and hard reverse till the saiboat is up.

I can get better. Whalers do take on some water when you do this with authority.

It's the technique now being trained in US Sailing Coach level 2

Can you point me to the work that drove the adoption of this technique, please? My googling only came up with the RYA recommendations (to right the boat manually), the Canadian ones that followed and supported them and US sailing's contemporary report along the same lines (which recommended more testing of powerboat recovery)... presumably there's been more work done since that has updated the advice to incorporate this.

Thanks very much,

               W.

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3 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

"As the boat went over, the 14-year-old crew, Olivia Constants, was telling her skipper she was tangled in something. This turned out to be the trapeze wire to which her harness was accidentally hooked with a connection so awkward the skipper and a sailing instructor were subsequently unable to disconnect it. The response by the sailing instructors was prompt and appropriate, with rapid communications, but despite CPR being administered by several instructors and firemen, Olivia drowned. "

 

Tragic. 

What are thoughts on using the harness quick release? All the ones I've seen and used for over 20 years have a quick release at the shoulder. This supposes that it's the harness that's snagged of course and that the harness is over everything else, not under a PDF or smock.

Should it be standard practice that if you're trapped and can't free the hook in say 5 seconds (which probably feels like 10 minutes when trapped) to get out of the harness?

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Been trapping for 30 years never used the quick release. Never had one till my most recent. Two green tabs release all the Velcro on the front and the hook comes off. Did try it while on the wire for fun. Does work and pretty fast. More concerned about hitting my head in a capsize and getting trapped. It was tragic what happened, good to see better rescue techniques coming from it

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4 hours ago, Raz'r said:

I learned front foot first, that’s also how I train, but I had some really good 49er crew tell me I was doing it all wrong as it’s faster to come on front foot first.

Now that I  am proficient I swing out with both feet basically hang from the hook or throw myself backward off the boat and step up. Would not recommend that for a first timer. 

I also SHOULD be going out hookless and hooking in later. Also faster, I leave that to the younger people

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3 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Can you point me to the work that drove the adoption of this technique, please? My googling only came up with the RYA recommendations (to right the boat manually), the Canadian ones that followed and supported them and US sailing's contemporary report along the same lines (which recommended more testing of powerboat recovery)... presumably there's been more work done since that has updated the advice to incorporate this.

Thanks very much,

               W.

You know, I’ve not looked at the report but the guy who taught us the technique was part of the panel that studied various ways to rescue a trapped sailor. Coach jumping on the boat, etc, etc

he said this one was the most consistent in getting anyone who tried to consistently right a boat in less than 2 minutes. Still way to fucking long but it’s progress. 

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1 hour ago, Locus said:

Now that I  am proficient I swing out with both feet basically hang from the hook or throw myself backward off the boat and step up. Would not recommend that for a first timer. 

I also SHOULD be going out hookless and hooking in later. Also faster, I leave that to the younger people

Yeah, for me it’s a pretty smooth motion learned over years but I leave the one-arm gymnastics for the crew!
 

I know that my feet hit the same place each time, you can see it in the nonskid

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8 hours ago, goon said:

I have a Vanguard Volant. It's like an FD with the last 2' removed, and more places to sit added. I am drawing on family and friends as crew, none of whom have any sailing background, and am finding it challenging to get new crew off on the right foot with the trapeze.

Are there any resources you can recommend, such as Youtube videos or online instructions, that are helpful for people who have never sailed?

What coaching strategies have worked for you to introduce noobs to the trap?

I run a training group that teaches (mainly) non sailors to sail twin wire skiffs. You can see the Facebook page for the group here https://www.facebook.com/SVs-Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465/

These are full on high performance skiffs, similar in performance to the 49erFX, not pretend skiffs. So they are starting at the deep end (a great way to get Millennials involved in sailing). And for some reason, as the photos show, just about all the participants (and all that have graduated to full time crew positions) are women

There are some pictures of the shore drill I do first and of some first sails by the students (playing the main, setting, gybing and dousing the kite and all; with some amusing mistakes).

So, first thing is to do a shore drill, while you can talk to them and let them practice calmly (same if you have a spinnaker). Have them get out and in a few times and learn how to tack.

I agree with much of what WGW says.

He describes what I call a "three phase tack" (come in and unhook, execute the tack, buckle up and get out as you bear off the power up), which is critical to remember for beginners if you don't want endless capsizes. I also describe the entrapment hazard that trepeze hooks represent. We use Zhik belts and I show them how the velcro gives them a chance of escape and make sure they wear the lifevest INSIDE the trap belt to ensure that does not block an escape.

Set the trapeze hook to be at a height that will let their bum lightly kiss the deck; not so long that it easily drops off or they plummet downward as the weight comes on the trap.

Teach them how to confidently hook up and unhook in the shore drill.

There's a tendency for them to want to stand on the side deck and drop backward. If you have a normal side deck/ cockpit boat, train them out of that in the shore drill. Might be different if its a 49er style boat. I get them to hook up and slide their bum outboard until the wire has the weight. Then bring their legs out.

As part of this I try and teach them to make minimal use of the handle, except for balance. I show them what happens if they hang on to the handle for grim death (the hook falls off) to reinforce the point.

I too initially tried teaching the "front foot first" technique. But most of my students were surfers who had a preferred foot. I gave up on that and now describe to them the problem of swinging around the bow, then let them use whichever foot they want; but I have them hook their back hand under the gunnel curve as they transfer their weight to their feet to fight the bow trip.

Finally I teach them to bring both their feet behind the trapeze shock cord as they come in so they don't end up straddling it and having to untangle themselves before going about.

Having something to hold while they're out there helps. My people are playing the main. If not, give them the jib sheet

 

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^  this  ^

The key to teaching any complex skill is to go over the basics in a controlled environment, nice and calm and hone the student's familiarity and response.

Only throw one new strange thing at them, at a time. I've found that a very useful shore drill (even on non-trap boats) is to walk thru tacking, using the hiking stick properly at every step. Once they're comfy with that, they won't get distracted wrestling with the goddam stick when they need to be doing something urgent with the sails.

If you can make a game out of every step, it all happens so slick that they don't think sailing is hard. They end up doing it without realizing they've learned so much.

I would also make a shore drill out of unhooking quickly and smoothly.

FB- Doug

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I've put up on Youtube a video that came out of a visit to the training group by a news team a few (about 5) years ago. Here's the link

It shows some aspect of the shore drill; albeit a bit staged for the camera.

Shelly, the blonde lady was only on her second sail.

The guy practicing the spinnaker had walked in to the club 10 minutes earlier inquiring about getting involved in sailing :-)

The reaching sail pasts the beach for the camera were a bit hairy with a beginner. It was blowing over 20 knots and very close to the shallows. Shelley did a great job in the circumstances.

All good fun.

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If they're young, brave and fit I think it's easiest to learn to go out holding the handle and clip on when you're set.

I know that's meant to be an advanced technique but for the reasonably agile it avoids all the pissing about with, the line's too long, the line's to short, oh no I've come unhooked.

Won't work for the scared, fat and weak.

The more stable the conditions and better the helm the easier it is.

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Wow. Thanks for all the great info. This is going to help tremendously. 

Even though its been a bit rocky at times every one of them who's gone out on the wire has been grinning ear to ear. Trapping is definitely one of the best experiences sailing has to offer.

 

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Is it recommended  that crew and skipper carry a knife? Can anyone recommend a good compact cable cutter that could work to free oneself if trapped like the crew mentioned above?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Old Yeller said:

Is it recommended  that crew and skipper carry a knife? Can anyone recommend a good compact cable cutter that could work to free oneself if trapped like the crew mentioned above?

Yes. Especially on skiffs (at least, around here), where there's no air gap to speak of under an inverted hull.

 My son got one of these: https://crewsaver.com/uk/products/538/ErgoFitSafetyKnife

ErgoFit Safety Knife

 Gill do a similar one: https://www.gillmarine.com/harness-rescue-tool/  but it doesn't come with the handy pouch.

58999_source_1590082200.jpg

 Neither will cut wire but (my thinking, at least) is that you can generally unhook from the trapeze, it's getting caught up in dyneema or even shock-cord that can really snag you badly. This design has the advantage that you can slash away in a panic with relatively low risk of stabbing yourself, anyone coming to your aid or a rib tube. It also doesn't need to be fished out of a pocket and unfolded.

 I've been advised by some 29er folk to put a couple of more conventional knives in sheaths around the boat- one on the transom, at least, where they can be reached in a hurry, too.

Cheers,

                 W.

Edited by WGWarburton
Add images & correct typo.

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We have a knife on the cb trunk so it can be reached from under the boat. My trap "wires" are dynema so the knife goes right through especially if taught. But harness has quick release that can be reset on the water if I don't lose the hook, I would try that first, knife is really for the helm if something goes wrong.

I have gotten tangled in the job sheets before and came up upside down after righting but at least was above water

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Ok cool. I was thinking the wire rope trap wires. Like we used to have racing the old Nacra 5.2

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1 hour ago, Old Yeller said:

Ok cool. I was thinking the wire rope trap wires. Like we used to have racing the old Nacra 5.2

Most trap lines are dyneema these days, although the 29ers retain wire ones specifically because they are considered less likely to cause an entrapment 

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On 6/18/2020 at 10:51 PM, WGWarburton said:

"As the boat went over, the 14-year-old crew, Olivia Constants, was telling her skipper she was tangled in something. This turned out to be the trapeze wire to which her harness was accidentally hooked with a connection so awkward the skipper and a sailing instructor were subsequently unable to disconnect it. The response by the sailing instructors was prompt and appropriate, with rapid communications, but despite CPR being administered by several instructors and firemen, Olivia drowned. "

 

Bah, sad. Sorry. 

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On 6/18/2020 at 6:42 PM, Raz'r said:

You know, I’ve not looked at the report but the guy who taught us the technique was part of the panel that studied various ways to rescue a trapped sailor. Coach jumping on the boat, etc, etc

he said this one was the most consistent in getting anyone who tried to consistently right a boat in less than 2 minutes. Still way to fucking long but it’s progress. 

 

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:27 PM, Old Yeller said:

Ok cool. I was thinking the wire rope trap wires. Like we used to have racing the old Nacra 5.2

yep, that’s it!

their line seems a bit long is all

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That was filmed here at our local sailing center. Sail Sandpoint

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1 hour ago, Locus said:

That was filmed here at our local sailing center. Sail Sandpoint

Is there any clear opinion whether, if you do actually have the real emergency of someone trapped, you pull the boat so that it rights with them uppermost, or underneath.

The intuitive answer might be uppermost, but the risk might be their weight slows the righting.

Indeed, I can think of scenarios where either is right or wrong, with scant ability to judge which way to go when the boat is upside down and the person invisible - even if you know which side of the boat they might be on.

Unfortunately the limitation in this is always what I call the "3 minute" rule. All very well if the coach boat is right nearby when it happens. Not so good if it's the other end of a race course. That's not to say it still shouldn't be used, but just illustrates its limitations.

This very issue though is why I start my trainees with three phase tacks. The rudder doesn't go over until I see they are clear. Of course, eventually we need to bring it back to one phase tacks and the possibility of an unexpected entanglement.

Also I try and indoctrinate them to call "stop" if they find themselves caught half way through a tack. I can usually cancel the tack and leave the boat in irons to give them time to untangle. And while they often don't have the presence of mind to use the word "stop", the universal squeal when it happens is always enough to alert me to the issue

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5 hours ago, Rambler said:

Is there any clear opinion whether, if you do actually have the real emergency of someone trapped, you pull the boat so that it rights with them uppermost, or underneath.

The intuitive answer might be uppermost, but the risk might be their weight slows the righting.

Indeed, I can think of scenarios where either is right or wrong, with scant ability to judge which way to go when the boat is upside down and the person invisible - even if you know which side of the boat they might be on.

Unfortunately the limitation in this is always what I call the "3 minute" rule. All very well if the coach boat is right nearby when it happens. Not so good if it's the other end of a race course. That's not to say it still shouldn't be used, but just illustrates its limitations.

Check out the reports on dealing with entrapment:

RYA  guidance with link to report.

Notes on recent incident

US Sailing report   (I'm thinking this is the research Raz'r is referring to).

Sail Canada advice

. The US sailing report recommends further research into using powerboats to right dinghies but I have not seen anything like that, yet- if there's been further work done and this has been adopted as the technique taught by US Sailing, I'd really like to see the background to that.

 In general, my understanding is that entrapment is something that should be discussed at a given sailing centre and an appropriate response agreed and shared: the best techniques will depend on variables like the types of dinghies sailed, the types of powerboats in use, the training level of the operators, the local sailing conditions and so on...

Cheers,

                W.

 

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Can I add that the better your boat is set up the easy it will be for anyone to learn, feel confident and be comfortable. All of these allow the first timer to concentrate on the mechanics of what they need to learn. 

Having watched the 15ft skiff training video a few things leapt out that massively hinder progress.

Firstly, get the harness to be a tight and snug fit. When the occupant is strapped in to a form fitting harness the removed slop and better connection to the whole experience will greatly inspire confidence. If you around 0:30 on the training video, you note the sloppy fit, which in turn allows the hook to move around somewhat and make engaging the ring just slightly harder than necessary. And for when it comes to unhooking I personally do not want any rubber grommet or  nipple to stop the hook falling off. A sloppy harness will allow the hook to follow the ring. For nervous first timers these fractions of a second that the hooking or unhooking increase by, raise the anxiety considerably.

Secondly The Handle type and position - please get rid of T style or L style handles and replace with plastic balls or donuts. If the balls are too small - half a tennis ball over the top massively increases the surface area that the hand bears upon. Losing those T style handles (0:51 in video) removes a hard plastic implement that tends to whip around and catch the other crew in the face (0:59 in video shows where the handle is in relation to the face). Not an issue with Plastic balls and donuts. Get the user to grab the stay (wire or dyneema) directly - if needed small pvc diameter tubing can increase the surface area to grip. 

Thirdly - height of handle is very commonly too low. Unless you are a gym junky, not many people can hang one handed with a bent arm. Think about that for a second. But anyone who is fit enough and agile enough to consider trapping, CAN hang from one straight arm for a surprisingly long period of time - certainly more than a few seconds pre or post tack/gybe. Again in the video at 0.59 and the sequence around 1:15 shows the poor girl struggling with both arms to hang/pull bent armed from such a low handle. Look at any Olympic footage of 470 or 49ers and see where the handle is by comparison. In setting up, the handle height should be determined by low wiring position, straight legged, and set where the hand lands on the stay when you flex the torso at the hips AND have the arm fully stretched above the head. Thats a considerable distance from the hook which will be in the Pelvis/Belly Button area. This also makes the multi part purchase much longer which gives more adjustability between heavy air setting and low wind high set trapping. Back in that video, the poor girl is struggling with both arms to unhook - thereby having no hand available to play any control line with.  A higher handle also allows a more favourable auto disengagement of the ring by the hook from correctly tensioned shock cord. So sitting up, grabbing the stay above the purchase system causes the ring to pull away automatically. Thereby allowing crews to focus on the other 50 steps they will need to perfect to win that regatta.

Compare and contrast with this Video, which shows the donuts (over handles) and by coincidence may answer those with misgivings about getting trapped by traditional hook and ring (unwarranted or at least over hyped concern in my honest opinion). However, the skills learnt will introduce a whole new set of fast fun and furious experiences to any sailor bold enough to try. Isn't that worth trying?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Boink said:

Can I add that the better your boat is set up the easy it will be for anyone to learn, feel confident and be comfortable. All of these allow the first timer to concentrate on the mechanics of what they need to learn. 

Having watched the 15ft skiff training video a few things leapt out that massively hinder progress.

Firstly, get the harness to be a tight and snug fit. When the occupant is strapped in to a form fitting harness the removed slop and better connection to the whole experience will greatly inspire confidence. If you around 0:30 on the training video, you note the sloppy fit, which in turn allows the hook to move around somewhat and make engaging the ring just slightly harder than necessary. And for when it comes to unhooking I personally do not want any rubber grommet or  nipple to stop the hook falling off. A sloppy harness will allow the hook to follow the ring. For nervous first timers these fractions of a second that the hooking or unhooking increase by, raise the anxiety considerably.

Secondly The Handle type and position - please get rid of T style or L style handles and replace with plastic balls or donuts. If the balls are too small - half a tennis ball over the top massively increases the surface area that the hand bears upon. Losing those T style handles (0:51 in video) removes a hard plastic implement that tends to whip around and catch the other crew in the face (0:59 in video shows where the handle is in relation to the face). Not an issue with Plastic balls and donuts. Get the user to grab the stay (wire or dyneema) directly - if needed small pvc diameter tubing can increase the surface area to grip. 

Thirdly - height of handle is very commonly too low. Unless you are a gym junky, not many people can hang one handed with a bent arm. Think about that for a second. But anyone who is fit enough and agile enough to consider trapping, CAN hang from one straight arm for a surprisingly long period of time - certainly more than a few seconds pre or post tack/gybe. Again in the video at 0.59 and the sequence around 1:15 shows the poor girl struggling with both arms to hang/pull bent armed from such a low handle. Look at any Olympic footage of 470 or 49ers and see where the handle is by comparison. In setting up, the handle height should be determined by low wiring position, straight legged, and set where the hand lands on the stay when you flex the torso at the hips AND have the arm fully stretched above the head. Thats a considerable distance from the hook which will be in the Pelvis/Belly Button area. This also makes the multi part purchase much longer which gives more adjustability between heavy air setting and low wind high set trapping. Back in that video, the poor girl is struggling with both arms to unhook - thereby having no hand available to play any control line with.  A higher handle also allows a more favourable auto disengagement of the ring by the hook from correctly tensioned shock cord. So sitting up, grabbing the stay above the purchase system causes the ring to pull away automatically. Thereby allowing crews to focus on the other 50 steps they will need to perfect to win that regatta.

Compare and contrast with this Video, which shows the donuts (over handles) and by coincidence may answer those with misgivings about getting trapped by traditional hook and ring (unwarranted or at least over hyped concern in my honest opinion). However, the skills learnt will introduce a whole new set of fast fun and furious experiences to any sailor bold enough to try. Isn't that worth trying?

 

 

Only use donuts and tube grip, cheap allen handle. I agree on the handle/cleat height. I am tall with long arms and having the handle high allows me to trap high when needed. I was told to make it a "tall boy can" length below the spin launcher when hanging against the mast.

But when i spliced the loop at the bottom i left the tail out and knotted it. so i have 2-3" to drop the cleat if some one had difficulty with that height. Just need to de-tension and slide the loop down. 

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9 hours ago, Boink said:

Can I add that the better your boat is set up the easy it will be for anyone to learn, feel confident and be comfortable. All of these allow the first timer to concentrate on the mechanics of what they need to learn. 

Having watched the 15ft skiff training video a few things leapt out that massively hinder progress.

 

You are obviously a keen and experienced sailor, possibly even on skiff style boats like a 29er or 49er.

But I have to wonder whether you've ever taught a group of absolute non sailors to sail a high performance skiff or indeed, any trapeze powered boat.

In terms of capturing non sailors into the more exciting side of sailing, it's not just that the things you've raised don't rate highly, they almost don't rate at all.

What both the OP and I are about is inspiring people to go sailing. We are dealing with groups of people of diverse weights and heights with no gear of their own so they have to be kitted out from whatever pool of gear the owners can put together at their own cost. 

Your demand for the perfect blocks the adoption of the good enough and in the process brings the whole process to a halt; exactly the problem faced with too many of the "pathways" programs that sailing authorities seem to love but that ultimately kill sailing as a popular sport.

Lets look at some of the issues you've raised, remembering its in the context of getting beginners/non sailors on the water and excited about sailing, not training them for an future Olympic career...

There were three boats I provided crews for that day and with a rotation, four sailors plus myself I had to kit out to get them on the water. On your principles I would have left one or more on the beach because I didn't have a trap belt that fitted them perfectly. Actually, because she had slim hips, Shelly quite liked that belt - she was one of the few that could fit into it. Yes, you don't want it to pinch a nerve or be sufficiently uncomfortable they don't go sailing again. but that was not the case here.

As to the handles, donuts are not intuitive for beginners to use, especially females with small hands. The way they turn the wrist is quite uncomfortable for them. You might be right from a high performance coach's or even experienced sailor's point of view but completely wrong from a beginners one catering to a wide range of body types.

If you look more closely, the handle on Mr Bond is quite high; it's just that Shelly is also trapezing high. And when you watch the runs into the beach, you can see why that's a good idea. Yes, she's too far forward and having to deal with a boat momentarily heeling to windward, plus her body is curled up lowering the relative height of the handle. But remember this is an absolute beginner - second time on any boat - crewing a high performance skiff while it preforms the difficult maneuver of a power zone three quarter reach into a beach at speed where at the last minute we need to pull out, do a brief reach across the beach and then work out to windward, all in more than 20 knots. Could you have done that on your second ever sail? [The beach shelved even further out just to the left of the camera zone, which is why the runs in from that direction look so awkward - we couldn't just sail across the face of the beach] And the very point I made was that I'm not wanting them to hang from the handle,. Eventually I teach them the go out and hook up technique [check the Facebook page], but that is not how you start an absolute beginner into sailing if you don't want to scare them off before they even get on the water

10 hours ago, Boink said:

 

 Thereby allowing crews to focus on the other 50 steps they will need to perfect to win that regatta......

 However, the skills learnt will introduce a whole new set of fast fun and furious experiences to any sailor bold enough to try. Isn't that worth trying?

 There you've hit the nail on the head of why I've pushed back so hard.

You have completely missed the point of both the OP and myself and thereby become part of the problem, not the solution.

Maybe you should find a 20 something female who's never sailed before, put her on a 49erFX and teacher using your rules. When that works, come back and let me know. The fast and furious experiences are just being on a boat like that and capturing their imagination to take it further.

On 6/20/2020 at 12:07 AM, goon said:

 

Even though its been a bit rocky at times every one of them who's gone out on the wire has been grinning ear to ear. Trapping is definitely one of the best experiences sailing has to offer.

 

Mate, this is what we are both about.

My group has completely transformed the demographic of my club. Made it both younger and more female in a way that even the National body took notice of.

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3 hours ago, Rambler said:

But I have to wonder whether you've ever taught a group of absolute non sailors to sail a high performance skiff or indeed, any trapeze powered boat.

I am a qualified instructor, and have sailed and raced many classes of trapeze boat (except 18ft skiffs). And no, perfection is not what teaching is about. Just avoiding major pitfalls that are a directly avoidable hinderance to progress. 

I have taught and taken many people out who have never even sailed, let alone sailors who want to upskill, directly to trapezing, and no its not about perfection - just avoiding this awkward and difficult handle position which makes manoeuvring 10 times more difficult. 

710632259_Trap4.thumb.jpg.1758b12cc96296a8e0e8d38fa7911ab1.jpg

I have learnt that if you teach them the correct way (with a correct setup), they imprint that - rather than the above approach which they later have to unlearn to progress.

Furthermore, I demand nothing....... the changes that I am proposing are quite literally a few dollars of spend - not an olympic campaign budget, and inconsequential against the cost of the whole boat. The biggest cost being to recrimp a thimble - if your trap lines are wire - nothing if you are shortening and retying a dyneema line - the donut, pvc tube and longer purchase line are cheap - you may even have a local friendly chandler who would recrimp your wires for free if you explain it is for teaching purposes. Your comments about how Donuts twist the wrist is puzzling (Suggesting that you have never used them).

Anyway, you seem to have taken umbrage and decided that you already have the perfect mousetrap, so good onya. Best of Luck.

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Umbrage is probably overstating it.

I reacted because in a thread where most people were being supportive and helpful, your response was quite strident and setting barriers; especially in regards to the fit of the trapeze belt. It had a tone of meet this standard or don't do it. And where you are introducing multiple persons, that's no cheap standard to meet, so not a few dollars. I'm sure, as an instructor you've developed better skills than that at delivering messages or at least considering the context in which you are making a judgement. Plus I thought some of your suggestions/requirements were just wrong in the OP's context.

On the donuts, I am well aware that many/most good sailors prefer them; including at our club.

I usually own multiple Fifteens to give me some to act as lending boats, both to graduating skippers and to those interested in the class. And the best one I owned and at that time chose as my race boat had the donuts. Personally I don't prefer them; nor did my crew. But then I'm happy to admit I don't have the best trepezing technique in the world either, so that may be why. I also let people buy the boats from me (usually at a loss to me) to help develop the class and club, so no longer own that one [regrettably, it was my favourite].

More relevant to the learning technique, when you are throwing people in the deepest end of sailing like I am, you need to slowly build up the challenges (and I should add, their match fitness). The hook up out there technique might be great, but a good way to scare a beginner, even at the shore drill stage because they've got hard ground under them. And as they fiddle with multiple attempts to'get it home' on the water in a bouncing boat, they can again be put off by the excessive rush of new challenges. I find it's worth the extra time retraining to let them take it at a comfortable pace.

Plus there's the gradual transition from just going about, to going about with the main in hand, to then going out first and hooking up later [They all get a showing of "Higher and Faster", so that gives them the inspiration]. Getting the relationship between the main in hand and getting that hook up done out there while keeping the boat under control takes time too. It's a hell of a lot different teaching all this on a twin wire, overpowered boat than it is on a single wire one like a 29er; I've done both.

For someone like the OP and what he's trying to do, I just think its absolutely the wrong approach to encourage him to push for the hook up out there technique.

On the trapeze height issue, if you go back to the opening scene, you'll actually see they are quite high. Compare Shelly's curled up body stance in your carefully selected pejorative screen shot of my video, to the arched back one in your opening scene. Handles the same height, just the body posture is different, and no reasonably amount of extra height is going to stop her from having to use a bent arm. Plus, she's 6 foot, whereas many of my women sailors are little over 5 foot. So its a pity you had to double down on that issue. Again context is everything.

Background?

I've been sailing skiffs (starting with Cherubs) for 50 years; including about 5 years in the 18 ft skiffs.

I've been teaching sailing for 25 years; giving up organising learn to sail type classes about 6 or 7 years ago because I wanted more time to expand my skiff training group. Always as a volunteer; usually with my own money in they game, all because I'm passionate about sailing and introducing people to it and building the clubs I'm associated with.

I learn more every single day I do it. I'm no expert on winning world titles; far from it. But I listen to others and constantly challenging myself, so I'm more than willing to take well argued and presented and properly thought through contextual advice. But I do know something about teaching sailing and building clubs.  If you think you have something constructive to add to the group, then come up and let us have the benefit of it.

Outcomes?

Well, in the immediate context of this conversation, I've built our initial two boat twin wire fleet to six. Small change maybe, but we're not talking Optimists. There'd be no bigger group of twin wire women sailors at any club in Australia; all graduates of my group, with more in training. Plus our women's roll up at our Nationals made the 49erFX roll up look a bit sad for the Women's Olympic class. That's for a class with an optimum crew weight of about 140 kg, so not designed with women in mind.

I was triggered by your references to "winning regattas" especially in the context of a group teaching new sailors to sail difficult boats and that may well have drawn some ire. That's because I seen the whole 'pathways' thing do so much damage to clubs; taking away sailors after you develop them, using them as cannon fodder to bring through the best and then burning them out and having them abandon sailing altogether. But again, the context of your comment, both for the OP and me, was just wrong.

I encourage my group to go to regattas; organise it in fact. But it's for a good, competitive sail, group dinners and meeting for coffee of a morning.

A few of my graduates are ferociously competitive; scarily so. So I'm not adverse to helping them forward as best I can; which is why I'm already formulating the next step in the training program.

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@Rambler - perhaps the tone was a bit harsh but the ideas proposed are good. The handle position being too low jumped at me as well. OTOH, I do teach absolute newbies hook-while-sitting-and-slide-out as you do. 

Sometimes interesting feedback comes in uncomfortable packaging.

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I've had well over 50 people trapping on my boats over the years.  Many of them, even those who had never sailed didn't need to be taught and ranged from young teens to those in their 50's.  They tended to be rock climbers and or skiers. They understood the idea and just went out.  My wife, who does neither got it and was out in 2 seconds.

On the other end there's been a a tremendous difference in the learning curve.  Those that have the most difficulty want to stand up which causes them to unhook.  I start them out trapping high and gradually work lower as they get accustomed to it.  Front foot out on the shroud base to go out initially then the back foot.  As others have said front leg straight and back bent since the trap wants to pull you forward.  A few people got out ok but were scared to death. One woman who crewed for me for a couple of years was ok upwind but downwind in a blow would be shouting out explatives while expressing her fear. Obviously an adrenaline junky because she loved it! Only one person never did get it.

So if you're going to be sailing with lots of different people you may need different techniques.

Ironically when I trap I cant go out front foot first on port tack because of a bad knee!

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Thanks for this info.  We are learning our second Flying Dutchman--our first one had been re-rigged for cruising by the prior owner and did not have a trapeze.  We have a Wayfarer clone but have never sailed in boats with trapezes.  The hard part is my wife prefers me at the tiller, and she is almost half my weight.  We got in 15s to 20s with gusts up to low 20s Saturday and I was on the wire;  she had some moments of real terror steering.  It was a magnificent day.   

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On 6/18/2020 at 3:39 PM, Raz'r said:

I learned front foot first, that’s also how I train, but I had some really good 49er crew tell me I was doing it all wrong as it’s faster to come on front foot first.

Depends on if tacking forwards or backwards. Depending on conditions I would switch it up every now and then in the 29er. 

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12 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

Depends on if tacking forwards or backwards. Depending on conditions I would switch it up every now and then in the 29er. 

I always go in front foot first, it makes forward facing tacks  lightning quick

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I go front foot first on a starboard tack and rear foot on Port only because my left knee is shot and I have no choice!!  Front first is best since the trap want's to pull you forward and you brace against it.

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