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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:57 am 
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Just got my BigA this week, and YES I have it set-up in my living room on saw houses with the sail up and the dagger board in place.
I ran the mainsheet through pulleys on the rear handle stay and the right seat clip as someone here had advised. But... the length of the mainsheet seems too short to me? It seems to me (The novice sailor) that there should be enough rope to let the sail out towards the front of the boat? My complete beginner reasoning is that I understand that if you get a big gust of wind, enough to tip you over, your supposed let go of the mainsheet, dumping the wind and the toppling force. If that is the case, it seems I will run out of rope. Does this make any sense?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:39 am 
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Main sheet 3/4/06

Quote:
I understand that if you get a big gust of wind, enough to tip you over, your supposed let go of the mainsheet, dumping the wind and the toppling force. If that is the case, it seems I will run out of rope.


I'm not quite sure what you mean by "running out of rope." When you let the main sheet go to spill the wind and/or come about into the wind, the sail will be "luffing" or flapping. This is what you expect to happen as you come about to a new course. Are you saying that the main sheet is not long enough to release the wind so the sail will luff? The basic Hobie sailing rig is supposed to work on all models, so I would be surprised if the main sheet is not long enough to permit you to come about, fall off (the wind), or for the sail to luff (say when you are coming about, or are pulled up on the beach).

If the main sheet simply is released until the knot in the bitter end catches on the block (or pulley), that is fine so long as the sail is luffing, and the wind has been released so that you are no longer making way. Then to get back to actual sailing, you adjust the rudder while taking in the main sheet until the sail stops flapping and begins to fill. At that time you should resume making headway in a new direction. Sailing is almost always a compromise between the direction you wish to go, and the direction the wind will allow you to go. That is why one often tacks in a zigzag pattern so as to take maximum advantage of both of these (often conflicting) factors.

As an example of what I am talking about, here is my OB pulled up on the beach in about a 15 mph wind. Note how the sail is flapping about like crazy, as is the main sheet. Occasionally, I have even had the wind fill the sail briefly during a gust so the boat actually tipped over on the beach. Now, if I had removed the knot at the end of the main sheet, the boat probably would not have capsized, so in this exceptional case you might say that "I had run out of rope" (or to be nautically correct, I ran out of "line"). Hope this makes sense. BTW, a great little sailing primer is Royce's "Sailing Illustrated", Vol. 1, by Patrick M. Royce, to get you up to speed on sailing techniques and terminology.
Best,
Dick

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:23 am 
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As an example of what I am talking about, here is my OB pulled up on the beach in about a 15 mph wind. Note how the sail is flapping about like crazy, as is the main sheet. Image[/quote]

Thanks for your reply!
Your photograph is exactly what I'm referring to. With the sail in that position on my boat, the sail line would be too short. If I had a knot at the end of my mainsheet the sail could not go that far forward, in other words, if I had no knot at the end of my line, it would slide right past my pulley and off the back where I could not reach it. It seems like I just need a longer line, easy enough to do, but it seems like it should have been long enough to begin with.

Greg


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:09 am 
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Greg,
Gotcha. You're right--then the main sheet must be too short. Wonder if your sail kit was "defective" in that regard, or whether the BigA just reqires a longer main sheet in general? Haven't heard of anyone else with this problem, but it just may be that a lot of BigA owners have not yet gotten around to sailing their rigs. Perhaps it is something that Hobie needs to look into for the future. There has been talk of a new, larger sail for the BigA, but I don't think that is yet in the works.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:10 am 
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OK then, I'm not crazy (well maybe) I'll just pick-up another rope. The one that came with the sail kit is kind of stiff, is that a quality I should look for in a replacement, or does it matter?

Thanks again, Greg


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:11 am 
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Greg,
I would not recommend a "stiff" main sheet, because you want it to "flow" smoothly through the blocks (pulleys) that a lot of us use to cut down friction in the system. The blocks make the sail and main sheet more responsive so as to cut down on the response time and (hopefully) avoid flipping. Yep--get some new line that is of a comfortable length for you and go for it! Make sure it is of about the same diameter in case you are rigging blocks.
Good luck and have fun!
Dick

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:53 pm 
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The longest the mainsheet needs to be would place it directly port or starboard of the mast. This would place you in the running point of sail (Downwind). To dump the air at that point you would pull on the mainsheet not let go.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:57 am 
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OffRoad wrote:
The longest the mainsheet needs to be would place it directly port or starboard of the mast. This would place you in the running point of sail (Downwind). To dump the air at that point you would pull on the mainsheet not let go.


I see, and also when sailing downwind the sail is at 90 degrees to the boat, which should be the most stable position as well. (Can't tip a boat back to front, only side to side)

Although if I was beaching the boat in the downwind direction, I would want to be able to let go of the rope completely so that I could prepare to get out. This brings us back to the photo of the earlier post, I still need a longer mainsheet.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:20 am 
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Quote:
when sailing downwind the sail is at 90 degrees to the boat

Actually when sailing downwind, your sail will rarely be located at 90 degrees to the boat. When the sail is at that point, it will be similar to my pic above and will be luffing (i.e., flapping). When sailing downwind, more than likely you will be sailing fairly close-hauled with the sail pretty much in line with your hull.

Quote:
Can't tip a boat back to front, only side to side

Although pretty rare in normal sailing conditions, you can tip a boat front to back. This is what is called "pitch poling," but only occurs in extremely heavy wave and storm conditions when you are riding a large swell from the crest down into the trough where the bow digs in before the boat can recover its normal trim. It has happened even to large yachts during open ocean racing and trans-oceanic crossings under gale-like conditions. However, fortunately it is not something you will ever have to worry about during small boat sailing in bays, harbors, and estuaries!

BTW, Offroad, a hearty welcome to the Hobie Forum!
Dick

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:18 am 
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gregw
“I understand that if you get a big gust of wind, enough to tip you over, your supposed let go of the mainsheetâ€

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 Post subject: Sailing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:11 pm 
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Quote:
I understand that if you get a big gust of wind, enough to tip you over, your supposed let go of the mainsheet


Not exactly--but you are supposed to slack off on the mainsheet when a gust hits. The problem lies in our reflexes, and the friction in the system, both of which tend to reduce the responsiveness of the mainsheet and sail right when we need immediate "gratification"!

Back in 2004 when I first started sailing my Outback, I noticed that the mainsheet was not very responsive when routed around fixed objects such as cleats or eyestraps. To help correct this, I made a few modifications to the basic Hobie setup. The main sheet on the Hobie rig loops around the port side to the stern. To make the main sheet more responsive, I attached a Harken 16 mm block to a SS carabiner that I had previously added to the stern handle eye strap. This gave me a clean and fairly friction-free fairlead up to the tag end of the main sheet.

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The next project was to add a West Marine cleat to the upper starboard side just ahead of the mid-ships handle. I then attached a SS shackle to this new cleat. This cleat also comes in handy as an anchor or leash attachment point. I then attached to the shackle a Harken 16 mm block thru which I ran the main sheet (with an overhand knot in the tag end). This tended to cut down the overall friction in the system, and made the main sheet and sail much more responsive while sailing close-hauled. It also cut down the chance of a quick gust putting the yak and me on our beam ends.

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More recently, I have used my lobster pot buoy outriggers to further enhance stability while sailing. These really do make a difference, both in your confidence, as well as in actual stability. Hobie is presently in the process of developing their own style of inflatable outrigger floats as an add-on option.

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Overall, the Mirage Drive yaks are great fun to sail. It's almost like getting a "free" bonus with your Hobie. The sailing option is there any time you wish to go for it . I think you will find the Harken (or other brand blocks, i.e., pulleys) really are a big help in allowing you to get the most out of your kayak sailing experience.
Best of luck,
Dick

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