Friday, February 20, 2009

Pull on the Gas

Yesterday was one of the 2-3 days out of the dozen-plus I've sailed, that had a period of solid, steady breeze. Each of these sessions I've been a little nervous (not counting the one where the dinghy turned turtle on me), while also getting a little taste of the real thrill of sailing a small boat.

I'm starting to get a real feel for the mainsheet as a gas pedal and it really is exciting. I realized last night as I was drifting off to sleep that most of my sailing thus far has been a sort of cruising, where I set it and forget it; only making minor adjustments to the sheets and pretty much setting them in the cleats and riding along with some tiller adjustments.

Yesterday was the first time I sailed with the mainsheet in my hand, giving and taking line to adjust my speed in concert with the tiller adjustments I was making with my other hand.

I really like it.


O Docker said...

Some say you should never cleat the mainsheet in a dinghy.

But then how could you text?

Christy ~ Central Air said...

Awwwwww yeaaaaaah. That's the stuff, man!

When I sailed my 14-footer, I never-ever cleated the main because cleating it would increase the odd that I'd need to hustle my bum up onto the gunwales while flailing around to get to the mainsheet.

Christy ~ Central Air said...

odd = odds

O Docker said...

Christy, should we point out that cleating the sheet in gusty conditions might - just might - increase the odds of a... uh, what do they call it when everything goes upside down and the kids fall out and someone calls the fire department?

Christy ~ Central Air said...

"This burst of soda spraying out of your nose brought to you by O Docker."

Oh yeah, there *is* that.
What's it called? A 1040-EZ or something?

Greg Andkris said...

I tried going cleatless and my triceps were burnt in about ninety seconds. I think this 17-footer has slightly more sail than can be handled solely by hand. I compromised by keeping the sheet in hand and using the cleat to hold it for me as I kept adjusting.

So, lots of speed yesterday, sore triceps, and no swimmers, employed by the PFD, or otherwise.