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Sailing in waves


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Went out at the weekend and realised I have no idea what I am meant to do in waves. Any hints or advice would be good.

I have also reinvented the wheel or a solo mast raising device and my missus managed it fine.

I have attached two thin cords from the mast/stays attachment point to each end of the forward cross beam. They are tight when the mast is stepped onto the pin. They stop the mast from swaying side to side.

Then I use the jib rope attached to the main halyard and stand at the back of the boat and pull the mast upright. The forward stays stop the mast coming too far back, the two new side stays stop the sideways movement. I can then tie the jib rope to the back cross beam and attach the rear stays in my own time.

Taking the mast down is just a easy.

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1. Attach all the stays loosely then put the mast up. When the heel is in place attach the mainsheet to the main halyard and get it tight, then go around and tighten up the shrouds.

2. For waves, I don't sail 'proper' waves but we've done it before when we used to sail Fireballs in the UK. Trick is the apparent wind. When you go up (into the wind here) a wave you slow down so your apparent wind seems to give you a lift so head up slightly, over the wave and you bear off to speed up and as you go faster the apparent goes forward so you bear off and sheet in. The guys who won did it so smoothly it was like ballet.

3. Off the wind it's a case of apparent wind, bear up in the lulls, off in the gusts. With waves you try (very hard) to catch one and when you do adjust the main to get the wind working too (in quite tight often). As you drop off a wave then work hard to get the apparent back and catch another wave.

4. Get Frank Bethwaites new (and last) book "Fast Handling Technique" and if you're game "Higher Performance Sailing".


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