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 Post subject: First time out!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:06 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Rockland Maine
My son and I finally got the boat finished up and got out on the water last Sunday.

It was a beautiful day - low 80's, wind gusts up to about 10 knots, high tide and waves at about 2 feet.

We spent a few hours going back and forth in Rockland harbor from the boat launch at the Apprentice Shop over to the breakwater and back. Maybe a mile each way.

We had a few nice gusts that got the boat moving nicely. We were smiling when we heard the 'Happy Hobie Hum'. The trailing edges still need sharpening...

We put a camera on the front of one of the hulls and got some great video. Best part was watching the hull come up out of the water on a fast run!

We sure need to work on our tacking. We laughed, but we were awful...

Launching and landing were difficult. The wind was blowing on shore, so getting away from the ramp was difficult. Landing involved trying not to get blown against the pier.

We had the main down and the jib furled at launch, and we eventually did the same to land.

Any advice regarding getting in and out of the boat ramp? We had a huge pier next to us, and that did not help at all....


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 Post subject: Re: First time out!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:34 am 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 557
Location: Buffalo, NY
Congrats on what sounds like a fun first sail!

Sailing from a ramp can be a lot more challenging than sailing from a beach in my experience, though it's my primary means of sailing my boat. It's definitely easier off a beach or with an offshore breeze, though it can be done with an onshore breeze as well, but you also need some room to either side of the ramp... Having a pier alongside obviously makes things pretty difficult. If you don't have enough room to tack and jibe, I'd suggest finding a different launch.

Getting away from the ramp, of course, I'd turn the boat to face into the wind once you get it off the trailer, hoist the main, and try to walk the boat out to the very end of the dock or as far from the ramp as you can. Start with the main loose and jib furled. If you can give the boat a "running start" either off the dock or ramp, so that you have some flow over the rudders and some steering, that would be helpful. As soon as you clear the dock, start to turn the boat off on a close reach, unfurl the jib and bring it in on the proper side... this helps to turn and starts the boat moving forward. As you start to move forward, start to sheet in the mainsail.

When tacking, you've got to remember that your sails will overpower your rudders every time. Therefore, keep your speed up into the turn. As soon as the jib goes slack, release the sheet and start bringing it across, but keep the main in TIGHT. As soon as you're perfectly head to wind and the main sheet goes slack, LOOSEN the mainsheet and let it out a foot or two. This way the mainsail doesn't fill before the jib and stop the turn. At the same time, bring the jib in quickly and keep the rudders over... you need the jib to fill first to both help you complete the tack and start regaining momentum again. Once the boat starts accelerating, bring in the mainsheet. Sometimes it helps to dip down to a close reach in the tack, and then come back up to close hauled once you regain momentum.

Landing at a ramp in an onshore breeze can be dangerous if you don't plan it out in advance. With the wind filling your mainsail, you won't be able to stop the boat by grabbing onto the dock or jumping off in front of it, no matter how light the wind seems. DON'T TRY IT. Similarly, sheeting in the main to bring it amidships never seems to work, and can sometimes turn the boat/overpower the rudders. The best way I've come up with to land at a ramp in an onshore breeze is to furl the jib, turn the boat head to wind just ahead of the dock, push the main out to one side and use the rudders to BACK in to the dock/ramp. If all else fails, you might have to unfurl the jib, sail back upwind, and try backing down again, or jump in the water once you're shallow enough and walk the boat in.

_________________
Mike
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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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 Post subject: Re: First time out!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:11 pm
Posts: 105
If it is a fav launch for you, a small gas motor? (self contained fuel tank). those really nice electric ones cost as much as a boat. Otherwise the above is pretty good advice, sounds like what i would do. i have a short canoe paddle i carry with. it is not, however much of a weapon in a stiff breeze.


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 Post subject: Re: First time out!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:02 am 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:06 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Rockland Maine
We have a paddle with a curved shape that allows velcro attachment to the hull in front of the crossbar. We used that several times, with limited success.

There is a small unused beach / cove, not too rocky ( by Maine standards ) next to the ramp. I think we need to walk the boat over there after launching, and reverse the process to land.

Another issue - too heavy and not enough arm strength to just pull myself up out of the water on to the boat. It seems like a small rope ladder will be required.

Any suggestions there?

Thanks for the advice!


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