Monday, 4 March 2013

More jaunts in Chichester Harbour

I really don't understand why more people are not on the water at this time of year - the clothing for sailing is really warm these days.  But there are a few more creeping out.  Claire and I had two good sails at the weekend, Saturday was warm, very light and fluky, Sunday was windy and cold.  So two contrasting days, but both excellent.  I noted some other craft on the water - a Moth and RS700 from HISC (was that Rob Dickinson?), two patrol boats out from Slipper for a Powerboat course, a pair of optimistic bass fisherman in a dory on Thorney channel, and a couple of cruisers.  So with Easter on the horizon maybe the harbour is starting to stir from its winter slumber.

Anyway, to the sailing.  Saturday was a bit light, all good for practicing roll tacks and gybes.  Also spent a lot of time playing with the rig set up for various forms of reach, but no great insights I'm afraid.  After a 2 week holiday and a 3 week absence from sailing, it was just good to get back on the water (even though it was 30 degrees in Brazil, and 3 degrees here).

Sunday was a more interesting day, with plenty of wind and chop in the harbour.  The met office had predicted a F3-4, Windguru 17 knots, and we ended up with this:

Claire and I sailed from about 14:00 to 16:30, and started with a reach down the Thorney channel followed by a 1.5 mile run down to Marker.  I was keen to use the session to learn more about vang on a dead run.  Here are the findings:
1.  If you let lots of vang off, and let the main too far out, expect problems.  This isn't news - if the top batten gets in front of the mast it initiates windward heel.  If you accidently drop the mainsheet, its like having a button on a remote control that says "make the boat as unpredictable and scary as possible", which I managed twice.  In the end, when I was practicing with little vang I put a knot in the mainsheet that kept the boom at 75-80 degrees max.  Seemed to work.
2.  Lots of kicker on the run is OK when bearing away, but the leech gets very loaded when coming back to a broad reach and it is difficult to stop the transition (the boat wants to round up).
3.  There is a balance somewhere, but I'm still unsure of where it is.
Two capsizes, both to leeward when I was using lots of vang - so to be expected and I'm not unhappy with it.
At the end of the downwind leg I had gear failure and a long swim - I've posted the video to the Rooster site.
After the upwind work to the Thorney channel, I  started to play with rig setting for a broad reach.  Lots of vang, moderate downhaul and loose-ish outhaul seems to work, it concentrates the power low down and makes for a comfortable ride.  At least thats the theory, I shall be consulting the oracle at Rooster later this week.
Claire's sailing was looking great in her 4.7, working the boat upwind flat and fast.  Good to see Noel out on the water in his newly-qualified powerboat instructor capacity, fortunately I was able to self-rescue and didn't require his services!

1 comment:

  1. This time of year is great for rowing - Langstone Cutters had most of our boats out and there were crews training for Channel crossings as well. And we didn't fall in the water even once.....