For boaters who have the courage to go “boat hunting” or just to “take a look” you will likely wind up wanting to buy at least three that you find.
Making the right decision about your selection process can be simplified if you use these seven hints during the journey:
* Points provided by Yachting Magazine
~ Forespar Point of View Team
It sounds a lot more complicated than it is. All you need is:
Your course is deep off the wind. The breeze is light to moderate, and you’d like to be moving faster, but either don’t have a spinnaker aboard, or just don’t want to wrestle with it. Wing-and-wing isn’t working because your course isn’t dead down wind, or you just don’t want to deal with the constant trimming.
The usual solution is to come up on the wind, heat it up and get some boat speed, gybing your way to your mark. It’s more work, but it can get you there faster if you plan your gybes well.
Or go with two headsails.
Get the other sail on deck (it doesn’t matter if it’s your jib, another genoa, or in light air an appropriate sail). You can set a sheet for the windward side, or even detach the lazy sheet from the working sail, as long as you remember to re-attach it before any gybes. Get the free halyard and new sheet hooked up with plenty of slack, and the new sail tacked on. Make sure the pole is ready to go. (We use a Forespar twist-lock pole, which adjusts to the right length for whatever sail we’re using).
Hoist the new windward sail, attach the pole as close to the sail clew as you can, adjust the pole length, and trim on. The rest is adjustment for the course and breeze. Then watch the boat go faster, especially in light air.
You can go faster and deeper, with less work. Some races even allow double headsails (we’ve had great success in “inside” races using a light 155 genoa and our drifter).
Try it on light days when you’ve got room to work, adjust and trim. It’s easy to do with two people, requires a lot less muscle.
Go sailing. Have fun.
The obvious benefit is the ability to hoist your inflatable dinghy up on the swimstep while it’s inflated. That way, you’re not fighting to unroll, inflate and float the dinghy using the limited deck space on a small to medium sized boat, and then reverse the process. Often, that means you’re spending as much time setting up the supposedly convenient dinghy as you did on the voyage.
Plan B is to tow the dinghy. For a longer trip, especially at sea, this can be an adventure of its own. Speed, tow distance from the boat, cleats (often not designed for those loads) and tow lines and yokes can be a real pain. We haven’t even mentioned the motor, gas can and cargo.
With the swimstep davit system, you can simply bring the dinghy alongside, clip it on and tilt/hoist it in. A side and actually major benefit is overnight stays. By clipping the dinghy into the Davit, we can be sure that it sits quiet in the water. There’s no banging on the hull, drifting into the fairway, worrying about the painter, etc. Easy passenger boarding from the swimstep, and easy back onto the boat.
We’re using the Forespar QuikDavit ™version on two boats. One on the Grand Banks, used for hoisting and parking the smaller dinghy, and with the mounting pads the same distance apart for docking the bigger Caribe.
The Wellcraft uses the full QuikDavit kit as designed. It is easy for Pat (the real Skipper) to use, and was easy to install on both the wood step and the thicker step on the smaller boat. It makes for a much more pleasant cruise, and has proven to be well worth the money.
There’s a place for rock and roll and it’s not on an anchored boat.
Salt water boaters often find themselves anchored or on a mooring. There’s a swell, a surge from the swell or just enough breeze to create some waves, all just enough to rock the boat. That rock can be strong enough to be uncomfortable. It is hard to sleep with a grip on the mattress, and an evening on the deck or in the cockpit isn’t very comfortable.
A flopper stopper is the solution. I’ve tried several types over the years, and settled on one that works across the board – the Roll-X™ from Forespar. The same system has dampened the roll quite well on my power boats (a Grand Banks 42 and a 28’ Wellcraft) and my sail boats (a Baltic 52, and a Soverel 33), as well as other vessels.
The Roll-X stabilizer consists of two stainless plates, about 12.5 by 40 inches, hinged together, and supported by a single line attached to a basic harness. It works simply. On the down roll, the unit folds together on the hinges, and drops deeper. On the up roll it unfolds, creating about seven square feet of resistance – sufficient to dampen a dramatic roll, completely quash a smaller wake or wind wave. And, the Roll-X has winglets to minimize the “skate” fore and aft while down, making the ride even more.
Roll-X stabilizer is most efficient when used with a pole to increase the leverage (one comes with the kit). You can see how on the trawler below.
Many sailors use the poles they’ve already got – spinnaker pole, a heavy whisker pole and often the boom. Swing it out on a halyard or topping lift, and couple of lines for guys and the crew is going enjoy a lot more stable time at anchor.
Candidly, the Roll-X stabilizer works pretty well as a flopper stopper with no poles, although using two (one on each side) helps make up for the lack of leverage. They are simply lowered over the side, down six or eight feet, and made fast to the cleats nearest the beam of the boat. Yes, we were in a hurry, or just too lazy to rig properly. They do work better poled out, and you must be sure to hoist the stabilizers in before weighing anchor and sailing away.
You can be sure that you’ll be well rested because you’ve experienced a lot less rock and roll.