Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Sail #1 Tacking a multihull (Comedy hour)

I do not recommend reading this while drinking a sticky drink, nor am I responsible for keyboards, monitors or other stuff on your desktop if you ignore this warning.

Generally tacking a multihull is somewhat different. I leave instructions posted at my helm station in case I forget, the printable part of the step by step instructions is included below for your reading pleasure:
How to tack a multihull
(tacking means turning with the bow going through the wind, gybing is turning with the wind behind you)
Steps to Tacking:

Decide if you really need to tack (try to stay away from hard objects or shallow (2 feet) depths. Check the speed log and/ or GPS to make sure you are actually moving in the water. Try to remember if you are anchored, if not anchored proceed, if anchored you probably don't need to tack after all.

Review the glossary section of this manual if any of the terms below are fuzzy in your head.

Remember, if you brought 'guests' that want to learn to sail you can get them to do all the work by inviting them to try and tack your boat.

Inform the Admiral that the position of the sun and direction of the wind may change momentarily, she might need to adjust her position for optimum suntan and or cooling. Try to speak with a "Harvard" accent so it sounds nautical. It makes her giggle.

Put down your drink, you may need both hands if something weird happens (again).

Approach the helm, look up and forward to the jib and determine which way you will tack, (left or right). As a reminder a tack is turning away from the sail, gybing is turning towards the sail. If you need to gybe, turn to the ‘how to gybe' page of this book.

Push the appropriate buttons on the Autopilot to start the tack. Alternatively, if you are feeling really energetic, you can turn the wheel. Don't, I say again, DON'T forget to turn it back to the center when done turning.

Wait – Leer at the Admiral, maybe if she’s moving parts of her bikini might not be yet (again ;) )

Release the working jib from the self tailing winch, do not unwrap the line.

Wait – now is a good time to refill the Admiral’s foo-foo drink and replace the little umbrella in the glass if she lost it.

Wait – check the compass and make sure it is spinning around. That means either you are in fact turning, or you put the coffee pot next to it again.

When (if) the bow crosses the wind the jib will flap louder than the music, this is your clue that you are about to back wind the jib and you should look towards the front of the boat.

At some point the main sail, and the boom will swing over from one side to the other with a loud crash. Don’t be alarmed and run away (again) - this is normal.

When the jib is back winded (see glossary if necessary), count to three, or four, slowly (use all the fingers on one hand).

Release the wraps on the winch so the working jib sheet runs free. Don't let the jib sheet fall over the side, remember the last time when everyone was laughing?

Walk (do not run) over to the new working winch on the other side of the boat, put three wraps on the winch but do not tail (pull) the line.
Isn't it fun how sailors have fancy words for simple things?

Wait – now is a good time to replenish your sun screen.

Pull in the jib sheet to remove all slack, do not strain yourself as neither speed nor effort matter. This is the part 'guests' are good for - it makes them feel important. Just as a side note - giving the wheel to a guest and not telling them the autopilot is on may appear fun, but it has possible consequences most of which are not fun.

If the jib remains back winded you are ‘caught in irons’ and are possibly screwed. If anyone is watching, announce loudly that you have decided to take a break and are now 'hove to', release the main sheet a little bit and go back to your drink - it will still be where you left it.

If caught in irons, turn to the 'caught in irons' page of this manual and follow the instructions (basically call TowboatUS, (again)).

If the jib is not back winded you are truly fortunate and have completed the hard part of the tack which is to get the bow through the wind. Winch in the slack until at least one of the tell tales is fluttering in the breeze (sort of horizontal). You can winch until they all are horizontal if you want, doesn't matter too much but will look more sailor like.

Look up at the main and if the tell tales are not hanging limp you are done. If they are hanging limp pull in or let out on the mainsheet and observe the tell tales, play with it until at least one tell tale is fluttering.

Check the speed log and or GPS to make sure you are moving through the water. Give it a minute to settle down and start moving if needed.

Check the autopilot, if it is cycling insanely and beeping you probably can't make what it considers to be a good course, hit the standby button, wait a second and hit the auto button, it will now maintain your current course as the new course. You should probably look up to see if anything is in your way. If so blow the horn three times and flip this page to the 'Collision response directions' side and follow the instructions (basically call insurance company, again)

Go back to where you left your drink, it will still be there.

Admire the Admiral in her new position leeringly (if leeringly is not a word you know what I mean).

Ponder the joy of sailing until your next forced tack. Don’t forget to use sunscreen.
Did you really expect serious sailing instructions from me? Google it :)

No comments:

Post a Comment