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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:55 am
Posts: 81
Location: Riverside, S. California, USA
I sail from the back. It has 3 disadvantages
1) the mainsheet moves across you as you change from one tack to another. Not a big issue, I just duck, and during a tack the line is almost always clear of me.
2)hard to deploy or ship the centerboard. Sometimes I do this with the paddle, which is awkward, mostly, I wade the boat out to water deep enough to deploy the centerboard and install the mirage drives (and remove the wheels, if I am using them) before I get in the boat. Other times I scooch forward or swing my legs over the starboard gunnel to manipulate the center board,
3)It is harder to control the furling line. I can generally lift it high enough to unclear, but pulling it down far enough to securely cleat it with the sail furled in a stiff wind is not so reliable (and you REALLY DON'T want it uncleat unexpectedly!).

To solve 3 I replaced the furling line with a longer one, and installed a cleat for it on the aft crossbar, as well as fairlead for it (mine is made from an extra cleat by removing the jaws). This works well, with the downside of have more line around your feet.

4) I can't hike out on the tramps or hakes

It has several advantages
1) its drier in the back
2) it seems to steer better, and to cross the wind better when coming about without peddling
3) the bow is higher, maybe a bit too high, but it helps in riding over waves
4) I can reach back to the cooler for a beer
5) I can see the telltales easily
6) I can paddle when the tramps are on
7) I can see more of the boat
8) It is easier to get on board when I wade the boat out, especially if I have the tramps or hakes in place.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
I'm late to the thread, but will toss in my 2 cents. I LOVE sailing from the rear seat. Beebrain stated the pro's & cons of rear seat sailing well. A few additional thoughts.

The water temp in my part of the world is typically 45 to 50 degrees. Sitting in front on my first sail, someone must have been swimming alongside and threw an entire bucket of cold water in my face. That was exciting. WOW! I was sailing! Then the cold water ran down and I sat in it. That was less exciting. After a few sails and a lot of buckets in the face, the excitement did not abate, but the face pain increased. Moving into December might have been related to the pain.

However, lazy summer sailing is when I really fell in love with the aft part of the boat. Reclining back (easy to do in my Surf to Sound seat) I looked up at that beautiful sail, and looked out at that beautiful boat cutting through the waves. I watched the tell tales flutter and I was in heaven. And with a dry shirt and a dry butt, the sun actually felt warm on the 65 degree day. Life is good.

Re: Center board. I usually launch from a boat launch next to a dock, so I put the center board down at the dock - theoritically. In reality, I often forget and have to scootch over the drive pedals to reach it. I think if I could kneel it would be easy. Knees not so great any more. Maybe I could glue some padding to the deck.

However, the center board problem is much easier to deal with from aft, than the rudder is to deal with from the front. Yes, just as often I forget and leave the rudder strapped up for trailering. If there is a way to do it wrong, I've discovered it! Not to hard to turn around kneeling on a soft seat and deal with the rudder.

RIGGING FOR AFT SEAT SAILING:
Been a couple of years, but here is my recollection of what I did based on this forum.

There are two ends to the main sheet: the workiing end in your hand, and the fixed end. When sitting in front with main sheet in hand it runs through a cleat on the forward aka and down to a pully and then aft. To sit aft, simply tie a knot (figure 8 will do) in the end of the line where you are holding it to sail. This end now becomes the fixed end and will be held firm by the knot and the cleat when the line is pulled from the other end. To say it another way, for aft seat sailing, the fixed end of the line with a knot is on the aft side of the forward aka cleat which is next to the furling line cleat. The line then runs forward through the cleat, forward over the aka, and forward to a pully, and then aft. But you don't need to change any of that or feed the line through anything in any way. Just tie a knot where you are holding it to sail from the front, and drop it.

Then go to the aft seat. There you will see the line going aft through a cleat attached to the aft aka. It has a knot just aft of the aft aka which, along with the cleat, fixes it in place for front seat sailing. Grab the knot and pull. You are now sailing from the aft seat. Well, OK, first pull the slack from the front seat your direction and untie the knot. But, again, you don't need to rethread pullies and cleats etc. Just hold the opposite end of the line when you change seats.

And most folks like to tie the working end of the furling line to the working end of the sheet.


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