Posts Tagged ‘Sailing’

Earth Hour 2009

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

If we want our children and grandchildren to be able to enjoy sailing as much as we do we need to look after Planet Earth.

One way is turn off all the lights and have a candle-lit dinner on Saturday evening. Of course, the more appliances, TVs, computers, etc. you switch off, the more power will be saved.

Sign up for Earth Hour! - PARTICIPATING: Ann Reynolds

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Become a weather watcher

Friday, February 27th, 2009

If you spend time sailing, particularly racing, you should also spend some time studying the weather. Obviously getting a forecast regularly is one way but what I really mean is actually observing the conditions change as warm and cold fronts pass through. The more time you spend developing your own database of weather conditions and their effect on your ‘race track’, the better you will be able to compete in your boat.

However, not all observations carry equal weight. One fellow sailor told me several years ago that he watched the flags on the top of the Harbour Bridge to gauge the conditions he’d face out on the water. The height above sea level (134 metres) would make those flags a very unreliable source of information for a skipper.

If you learn to pick up gusts and wind shifts before the main fleet recognises them, you will do well. In addition, your observations should make you better prepared for the arrival of weather changes, which may whip up the waves and bring with them rain squalls and strong gusts. If you are sensible and reef early, you will be in control and on course while the rest of the fleet struggles to shorten sail.

Weathercraft provides much more information for both the coastal and offshore sailor.

Make your own wind

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

 

No, I don’t mean have beans for breakfast. I mean learning how to build up an apparent wind speed which is greater than the actual wind when very little is blowing.

 

Here is the scene. The boat is in a near calm and will have lightweight sails on and, with a good crew, lightweight sheets as well. The main should be pinned in the middle of the boat as it will have little to do until some speed is attained. You can apply the preventer to hold the boom really still. The headsail should be let out as far as it can go while still keeping some curve and shape in it. As much crew weight as possible should be on the leeward side of the boat to give some shape to the headsail.

Read more about creating apparent wind:
http://www.theboatingbible.com/MakeOwnWind.htm