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 Post subject: Can't get off the dock
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:00 pm
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Location: Paradise, Ca.
Just got back from my first attempt at sailing my new used first Hobie 16. Got the mast stepped,jib up(which may have been our downfall) and secured,boat off the trailer and in the water and that's where our problems started. The launch ramp of our closest water to home is located in a narrow branch of the lake and is quite busy. By the time we had the boat in the water the breezes had picked up pretty well mainly blowing into the "cove". There's not really enough room to maneuver against the wind in your face blowing you into the dock. How realistic is it to leave the jib down, paddle off the dock out to where the lake opens up and there's room to maneuver and then raise the sails? It was quite frustrating fighting the wind pushing us into the dock and fighting the jib. We never even got the main hoisted. Can anybody help a rookie out? Thanks in advance.
PS I had new standing rigging put on the boat and I noticed that the shrouds were attached about half way down the chain plates where the old one's were attached to the very top hole. I believe this resulted in a pretty healthy mast rake. For a newby is a more upright mast more desirable and wouldn't this be achieved by locating the shrouds further up the chain plates?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:55 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am
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Location: Clinton Lake, KS
Twoinch wrote:
Just got back from my first attempt at sailing my new used first Hobie 16. Got the mast stepped,jib up(which may have been our downfall) and secured,boat off the trailer and in the water and that's where our problems started. The launch ramp of our closest water to home is located in a narrow branch of the lake and is quite busy. By the time we had the boat in the water the breezes had picked up pretty well mainly blowing into the "cove". There's not really enough room to maneuver against the wind in your face blowing you into the dock. How realistic is it to leave the jib down, paddle off the dock out to where the lake opens up and there's room to maneuver and then raise the sails? It was quite frustrating fighting the wind pushing us into the dock and fighting the jib. We never even got the main hoisted. Can anybody help a rookie out? Thanks in advance.
PS I had new standing rigging put on the boat and I noticed that the shrouds were attached about half way down the chain plates where the old one's were attached to the very top hole. I believe this resulted in a pretty healthy mast rake. For a newby is a more upright mast more desirable and wouldn't this be achieved by locating the shrouds further up the chain plates?


If you can't get out of the cove, the boat will absolutely paddle easier without sails. And if you were trying to sail out under the jib alone.. You are NOT going to be able to go to weather at all.. You could run the main up and sail upwind without the jib.. but not the other way around..


The new standing rigging (assuming NEW factory Hobie parts) should be shorter than older factory hobie parts. Where you attach them on the chainplate, no matter the length of the shroud is fully adjustable, and an important aspect of tuning the boat. What might make the difference is the length of the forestay limiting you on how far aft you can rake. If this is a problem you can just put another chainplate up front to lengthen the forestay.

For a rookie I would lean more towards raking the mast further aft for a number of reasons.. But if you don't have the adjustable rudder castings you are probably going to want to adjust rake to balance the helm.. Meaning the boat should round up into the wind.. If it doesn't simply rake the mast aft until it does.. Or if you have the opposite problem and you are really having to muscle it down into the wind, rake the mast forward until things feel a bit more balanced.


Also don't forget that Jib halyard tension is also a VERY important part of this formula. As you gain experience you will notice that small changes in jib halyard tension make huge differences to boat feels performs, as it is also an important factor in mast rake.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:16 am 
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Location: Winston Salem, NC
This may be a silly question but did you turn the boat around at the dock to face into the wind? Once you face it into the wind, you can raise the sails and probably paddle out. It might take two paddling. Is there enough room to tack out once you clear the dock?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:43 am
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
I used to sail from a pontoon/dock surrounded by rock retaining walls until finding a boat ramp directly beside a small sand beach area.

Man did I have some hairy moments launching but also getting back. It astounded me how many powered craft would cut you off when your tacking back to the dock only to have to circle yet again or just risk a collision.
If this is your only choice try rigging when your boat is pointed into the wind on the dock or just paddle out.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:00 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Paradise, Ca.
Yeah we may have picked the perfect storm for a bad first launching. A tightly enclosed launch area loaded with jet skis and other power boats with the afternoon wind picking up. Possibly lots of bad choices. We did try pointing the boat into the wind as well as circumstances would allow then the wind would seemingly change directions briefly. A somewhat calmer time of day at a more wide open launch area is likely called for until our skill level and confidence rise. Thanks guys.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:15 pm
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Location: Oakland, CA
It's fair to paddle out of the cove, even with sails up and loose. There's no shame in it, even if the jet skiers snicker at your struggle. However, beware when returning since you'll be coming in pretty hot and need to heave to wind to stop before hitting something, then let the wind slowly blow you back to the ramp/dock, or use your paddle again. Or find a friendlier place from which to launch.

Launching and landing is not as easy as sailing in open water, and takes practice, patience, and timing.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:29 pm
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If this is the only area to sail around you it might be better to find a beach around the lake that you could buy some used cat tracks and wheel the boat down a walk way to the beach and sail from there.

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1981 Hobie 16 cat fever
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