Keep Your Nose Up

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One of the first times I ran outside the harbor on my own, the waves were small and relatively smooth. But when I returned a couple of hours later, the tide had changed against the wind, the chop had turned into waves, and the breeze had gone from eight to about fifteen knots.  And, of course I was coming downwind with following sea.  In a 14-foot centerboard boat.  With all the vast experience and skill of a 12-year old.

Eased the centerboard up, surfed down the face of the wave, stuffed the bow and broached the boat.  After what seemed like a dozen times almost righting the boat, a real sailor came up (in a power boat) and instructed me on getting the main in the boat, the boat upright and into the harbor, wet cold and alive.  I’ve tried to repeat the experience in larger boats, but was unable to replicate the conditions, probably because there’s usually crew aboard who don’t want to get that wet, and I have many more years of experience driving boats.  I’ve even tried to do the same thing with a power boat, almost succeeding due largely to inattention.

Three basic lessons learned for following seas:

  1.  Trim the bow up.  That’s why sailboats seem to keep the weight in the stern when running down the sea.  If you’re in a power boat, pay attention to the trim tabs.
  2. Learn to surf the boat.  Do not drive directly down the wave, because the bow will slow the boat when it hits the back of the wave ahead, and the following sea is likely to push your stern to the side, inducing that “I wanna broach ” motion.
  3. Unless you’re racing, try to find a spot on the back of the wave – a lot easier to do with a power boat – so you don’t get pushed around as much or as suddenly.  In other words, slow down to the speed of the wave if you can.  It’s safer and a whole lot more comfortable.

The oft used cliche “Slower is smoother, and smoother is fast” sounds odd, but it applies.  You’ll reach your destination both drier, and happier.

October 14, 2016 Category: General Content, Uncategorized.

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Forespar is a company in which a team of dedicated boaters has continually advanced the quality of the sailing and powerboating experience since 1967. Founded by life-long boater Robert Foresman, the company has pursued his philosophy of innovation and quality to produce unique products which fill real needs. Today, the crew at Forespar oversees a multifaceted design, manufacturing and worldwide distribution system from its modern headquarters in Southern California using CAD/CAM design , full machine shop, 80’ spray paint booth, plastic injection molding and carbon composite processing. Forespar, along with its other widely recognized branded products including Leisure Furl, and Marelon, can be counted on by boaters to provide value and many years of enjoyment and performance. We are always leaders and innovaters; never followers and we strive to serve every boater. We invite you to visit our website www.forespar.com, and join our Facebook Fan Page.