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 Post subject: from sailing to kiting
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:17 pm 
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Sorry, I put this post in the Hobie Getaway forum before. Here it is, with some corrections, in the right forum.

I am a proud new member of the Hobie community. I got my Wave two weeks ago, have had it out about 6 times. That is my only experience with a sailboat (I have many years of windsurfing experience from about 20 years ago).

Yesterday, the wind forecast was 20mph with gusts up to 30mph. I and my wife went to Lake Waconia, MN, which is one of the biggest lakes around the Twin Cities (to my excuse I can say that we tried a smaller lake first, but the boat access was temporarily closed). We did not regret, we had a lot of fun sailing on the edge and hiking out all the way. After my wife wanted to take a break, I went out solo and continued to have fun until I capsized. I had practiced righting before, so there was nothing to be afraid of. So I wanted to swim around the rear of the boat to get the bottom side of the boat. There was a point when I was holding just the rudder and that's when I lost the boat. The rudder blade was just too thin and slippery for me to hold it, it just slipped off from my hands and the boat started to drift away real fast, no way could I catch it. It looked like a long swim for me and I was really worried about what would have happened when the boat hit the shore. Then a good Samaritan turned up, and he came on a KITE. A nice gentlemen on a kiteboard first asked me if I was ok and then gave me a ride to my boat. He dropped his board and with me holding on to his equipment body-dragged both of us down the wind. It took us a while to reach the boat as I had to let go a couple of times when I was loosing my pants or skin on my hands. But he was really skillful and we reached the boat in time. I was exhausted but very happy and thankful to the guy who sacrificed good 20 minutes of good ride to help me.

I have learned from this experience that a much better way to swim around the boat would have been around the front, even though the sail was in the way, and grab the righting line as soon as possible. Also, it is a good idea to have some knots on the righting line (sure enough, I had to make one on the water, as I forgot to do it before), otherwise the wet rope is too slippery.

Here is my question. Thanks if some of you care to answer: If a boat hits the shore or an obstacle, hull first (the sail got eventually on the windward side of the boat), possibly turning the bow against the wind, should I be worried about the sail flipping over and hitting whatever comes to its way on the land?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:35 pm 
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psail wrote:
Here is my question. Thanks if some of you care to answer: If a boat hits the shore or an obstacle, hull first (the sail got eventually on the windward side of the boat), possibly turning the bow against the wind, should I be worried about the sail flipping over and hitting whatever comes to its way on the land?


Ahhhh....I'm pretty sure you should worry.


Best bet is to hang onto the boat and it seems you probably realize that now.

Have fun.

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Jack Woehrle
Wave #100
H20 #287 "Tallahassee Lassie" (down in FLA)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Hey psail
Mugrace 72 was entirely correct that you stay with your boat. You never stated if your wore a PFD or not.
If I may suggest, there are inflatable (or non inflatable) PFDs that allow a lifeline with a large (instant disconnect) carabiner to stay connected with your vessel.
There are also a number of ways to use a very light bungy attached to your rudders to keep the vessel running circles around you if you should get dumped off the boat while sailing solo.
Considering that I sail in the North Pacific on a Wave, a mistake as you mentioned could cost me my life.
Your Wave is replaceable, you are not...

Best Regards
Tri

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Thanks, Tri, for the advice. I did wear a PFD, so I was ok personally; the only danger was that a windsurfer or kiter would run me over.

Also, I knew I had to stay with the boat. I was just caught by surprise how fast it can get away from me in strong wind if I do not hold on to it tight. I am glad you are familiar with all the dangers and make precautions; sailing on a Wave in north Pacific sounds a little scary.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:07 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
The first thing that I ever learned about sailing, is still the best thing that I ever learned.

Never let go of the boat!

This isn't directed to you psail, but for anyone reading this, you don't want to learn the hard way. Always have a FIRM grip, on something solid. You'd be amazed at the amount of times that advice will make a difference. I've capsized, and/or fallen off a number of times, and the first thing that crosses my mind is to hang on to whatever I can. It really is surprising how the boat can yank away from you if you don't have something solid in your hands.

The difference between a fun capsize, and a disaster is the split second that you do, or do not have a firm grip on the boat.

Glad that everything worked out for you psail. I can't be sure of the answer to your question, but really, that's probably the least of your worries if the boat gets away. You'd have to worry about your own safety, and the safety of anyone else out enjoying the water before you worry about the boat. An inattentive sailor, or fisherman could have a ruined day if they were hit by a capsized, runaway boat.

The opposite is true if you have crew that can't hang on to the boat. Never leave your boat to help them, if the only problem is that they've fallen off. You can always circle back for a swimmer, you can't swim back for a boat.

One final tip, you mentioned that you were concerned about being run over by a kiteboarder or windsurfer. I sail where there are motorboats, and I have an ugly, but great, long sleeve, UV protecting BRIGHT safety yellow quick drying shirt. I tend to wear that as often as possible when I'm sailing. If you fall off the boat, your head is hard to see in the water. A bright coloured long sleeve shirt is more noticeable if you have to wave others down. Just a thought. Also, I would never tether myself to a boat. If you get tangled, you could end up in as much or more trouble. Something like a Wave shouldn't require a tether.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Hey psail
Sorry to sound like the 'Voice of Doooom'. That was not my intention. You are right on the money when you say that the dump can be almost instant.
A couple of things I've learned over the years:
a) The smaller the boat is, the quicker the motion, (directly related to point b)
b) The stronger the wind is, the more amplified the motion tends to be, especially in gusty conditions.

I live and sail on the 'protected part' of the beginning of the 'Inside Passage' of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. However, it can get very harsh here, due to living in a set of crosswinds that develop due to mountainous territories. One day it's becalmed, the next day, not so much; however if a front moves through from the north west, it's an Arctic Front (onshore), if it's from the south east (protected parallel to the shoreline), it's a 'Pineapple Express' that started out in Hawaii. In other words, it's a crap shoot unless one reads the sat weather map and checks the VHF Weather Channels. Each set of winds has their own set of pros and cons. If the wind comes from behind me (rarely) it can create a mess due to a venturi blasting through the mountains of Vancouver Island.

You will find that the time you simply sit on the beach from where you sail can give you tremendous insight on the local winds in 'usual conditions'. :)

As I enjoy solo sailing in one of the most amazing cruising regions on this Planet, due precautions have to be taken. The point I mentioned about using a bungie tied to your tiller bar can be done by simply attaching a light bungie cord in one direction only. This puts a slight (one way) pressure on your helm but if you let go of the steering, the boat has no choice but to sail in circles. (This needs to be adjusted depending on the strength of the wind or it will be useless as the boat will zig-zag as a result)). Experiment to get the right tension, if you wish. Having ready access to the Main sheet at all times is of course a must.

Other considerations are the standard safety gear needed if you want to venture beyond a given point that you have never been to before in open water. As the average ocean temp here is about 54 degrees, a PFD will not save you from hypothermia unless one is close to shore. Your water temp will prolly differ where you sail, but certain lakes if they are mountain fed can be incredibly chilly. Even in the Summer here, I wear a wetsuit simply just in case I get dumped.

My suggestion of wearing a lifeline did cause me some concern as also Augaug mentioned that you can get entangled, unless you are aware of the limitations of using one at all times when going solo well from shore (practise makes perfect). It's just another line that one needs to be aware of if you choose to use one.

Considering that I may sound like a worry wart, not so. Yes, I do have a lot of fun sailing here. I've been doing it for a lot of years with amazing memories.
Sail Safe
Tri

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:04 pm 
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I am glad that my post prompted a constructive discussion. Thank you guys. I think it is important for us, less experienced sailors, that you make such comments and suggestions. To tell you the truth, before I even took my boat on the water, I spent hours reading these forums and watching videos of other people sailing a Wave. I have learned a lot from both. Other things, apparently, I have to learn the hard way.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:37 pm
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
psail
My pleasure to share experiences with you.
Today was a 'special day'. I finally got the Spinnaker rigged exactly the way I wanted it. It cost way more than the standard hardware kit. (I live in a remote region with few marine hardware sources close by).
The system works like a charm with cams on the ratchet blocks instead of the standard simple blocks supplied.
Part of the fun of these boats is to consider them as a working template that can be modified to 'personalize' it if you so wish.

All that is left now is to attach the Cheata Motor mount for the Torqeedo 1003 electric motor, rivet in the traveller kit for the mainsail after that (and to put a name on her)... :)
(oh yah, I forgot to mention about the 12' foot pontoon RV that I will be towing...just kiddin')
Have fun!
Tri

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