LASER SELF COACH OR WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SAIL ALONE
Learn something every time you sail.
Sail often versus long.– your choice – as often as possible and as long as possible.
More wind and waves– when ever you can find them.
Light to no wind— yes, that also.
Take one two small marks out with you.
On shore spend some time checking rigging and the wear on lines etc.
Mark or knot line settings.
Tacking – 1) roll tack in light air.
2) modified roll tack for medium air.
3) duck low tacks for strong air with super vang on.
Gybe 1) roll gybe for light air
2) gybe from by the lee to by the lee ( pull on aft sheets)
3) high wind gybe
4) in between gybe or beginners gybe - pull from boom block or rachet block when boom coming over.
Tacking 5 to 25 tacks in a row.
Come out of the turn at near 90 degrees– a little more won’t hurt. Avoid stopping with head to wind. If necessary look for a spot on shore to turn to. After each tack get the boat sailing "low and fast" (bow down). Windward and leeward tell tales flowing. If you can’t see the leeward telltale, then head up till the windward one is just lifting and then head off just a liittle. Not generally recommenced, but I find telltale just in front of window helps some as you can always see both.
Interesting to see how the tacks feel after about 15 in a row.
Go downwind with multiple gybes. Lets stick with one type until you are sick of it.
Then go upwind with multiple tacks and come down wind with a different type of gybe.
Then go up wind with a one minute "sail fast" between the tacks. Flat, tell tales flowing, outhaul, Cunningham, vang all set properly. Sheet right– two block if needed.
Do the upwind one minute "sail fast" and concentrate on looking around (head out of boat). Look
for pressure look for the mark, look at what the other boats are doing, look under the boom for other boats.
Now see if you can find the marks that you set out.
Windward mark rounding with vang off, maybe outhaul and Cunningham, hike, sheet out and weight aft with rapid turn to downwind by the lee.
Go hard by the lee as if someone was right behind you.
Then transition back and forth from by the lee to broad reach with good rolls to initiate the turns.
Gybe and rounding of the leeward mark.
Back upwind just focusing on wind shifts. Tack on every header that you feel. Stay out of the corners and delay going to the lay line.
Now after all the gybes, go downwind focuses on the wind shifts. Broad reach or by the lee to stay closest to the leeward mark. Avoid the dead downwind. Look around 360 degrees. Look for wind lines. Look for competitors that may be behind.
ROUNDING LEEWARD MARK. Tactical rounding= enter wide (one or two boat lengths) and exit close hauled next to the mark. Helps to visualize the close hauled angle as you sail into the mark.
Sail to the left side of the zone and then make a sharp turn toward the mark at the zone to shake off any marginal inside boat overlap. This leaves a gybe and tactical rounding.
Then practice putting the gybe in some time ahead. If you are by the lee just gybe over and go for the tactical rounding. It will be easier with the gybe first. (You can’t do that with a by the lee boat close. They on starboard tack and you going to port.)
When you have that down, then do gybe-tactical rounding and tack at once onto starboard.
Now come in to the leeward mark on port and do "seaman like rounding" (sharp turn close to mark) as if you are the inside boat without right of way.
AT THE WINDWARD MARK, practice luffing around the mark when a half boat length below the lay line. The wind and waves will have something to do with if it will work or not. In any case be sure you have the bow down and good speed before the luff– don’t try to pinch around the mark. (Old folks called that "head reach".)
Practice the double tack around the mark in case you need one or two boat lengths to make it.
Practice tacking into windward mark on port at four boat lengths out (not in the zone) so you will remember to do that unless you are well ahead or well behind.
Practice deep bear off before tack to pass behind a starboard tacker that has you "pinned" so you can’t tack.
Practice 360 and 720 circles both upwind and downwind. Try to come out of the last tack or gybe on course to next mark and get sailing fast.(Try with the board up some, drop the tiller and be counting the tack and gybe) Good boat handling skill and you should need it occasionaly i.e. try to squeak out port tack crossing the doesn’t work– don’t cheat, just do your turns.
STARTING; Set out your two marks as start line. Do the four steps–1) Up wind end? 2) Time the line 3) Get a range. 4) check for current.
Stop at the starboard end and wait 30 seconds. Then vang, leeward heel, rudder pump, trim flatten at bow down, trim in and sail fast for one minute.
Repeat with start at the pin.
Repeat with start at the midline.
Repeat with port tack approach at 30 seconds.
Repeat with port tack approach at pin and mid line.
Repeat with "over early" and around the ends restart.
SAIL WHEN IT IS TOO LIGHT.
Up wind sit forward with good leeward heel. (Reduces wetted surface and gets gravity working on sail shape)
Keep boat moving with boom out past the transom and some vang on as necessary.
Change gears in and out of the puffs.
Work out the tacks....
SAIL WHEN THE WIND IS UP.. All the vang that is necessary. Duck low tack with the vang on. Sheet out as necessary to keep near flat. Vang off going down wind. By the lee with boom not out more than 80 degrees.
Test the turn toward the boom to fight the death roll. When planning move back in boat to get the bow up.
IN WAVES up to 18 inches, bow down and muscle through them. Probably with waves at 2 feet, be working the up the up side and down the downside with weight shift. Body aft with the up side and body forward with the down side.
STAND UP TO LOOK AROUND. Look for the pressure. Look for the waves.
Stand up and sail up wind, squat and duck under the boom while tacking.
In light wind step to in front of the mst and roll the boat to make it go and steer with exaggerated heel.
TURN OVER and sit on the high side of the boat.
TURN OVER and duck under from leeward, pull on CB and right the boat.
TURN OVER and dive over the high side to reach the CB and right the boat.
TURN OVER to windward and right the boat with the San Francisco roll (hold on to the CB as the boat rights and then come up on the windward side and get in.
TURN OVER and drop the tiller extension and hold onto the sheet.
In higher winds let the luffing sail out in front of the boat. Follow it on broad reach or run. Know how far out your sheet will go out. If necessary, untie the knot, let the sheet through the ratchet block and retie. Then drop the sheet if necessary to get straight down wind. Then head up and retrieve the sheet.
Watch the clouds. Shape (especially the tall towering ones) and movement. Are the wind gusts coming down from the edge of the clouds? More important on long courses.
Survival upwind= vang off and top of sail luffing. Survival down wind= follow luffing sail.
Short term survival- turn boat down and wait out storm. Work the sheet to stay upright –out if turning over toward the boom and in if turning over to windward with rudder turn toward the boom.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY.?
Some recent posts on my new blog
2 months ago