Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gunwale grabbing

The wind was relatively light today and so I practiced some roll tacks and gybes and even succeeded in doing a few almost decent ones among a bunch of not so great ones.

The eureka moment on the tacks came when I realized how important it is to reach across with the tiller hand and grab the uphill gunwale.  By concentrating on getting the hand across quickly and grabbing the gunwale with the tiller still in my hand, several good things happened.

  • First, it helped in leaning forward and ducking under the boom. 
  • Second, it kept the tiller from getting tangled in the main sheet. 
  • Third and probably most important, once I had the gunwale, I felt (relatively) poised and in control of the heeling boat - I could easily put my weight either way when I wanted to instead of jerking across hoping it was the right time.  
  • Fourth, it allowed me to keep the heeling longer.  
  • And finally, it helped steer through the tack
Above is a screen shot of Jon Emmett  reaching over for a gunwale grab.  As an alert reader pointed I originally posted a screenshot of a gybe instead of a tack.  I have corrected it with the screen shot above.  And here is another example

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