EPlogo-2007-2 Elliott / Pattison Sailmakers
May 2012 
Sail Sense
Because your sails matter!
 
In This Issue
Sailing with Instruments
Safety at Sea
Recent Winners
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Sailing with Instruments

Whether you race or cruise having a good set of functioning instruments on your boat is essential. While most any instruments will give you good basic information such as your compass heading and apparent wind data there is much more they can do. I have the opportunity to sail on a lot of different boats with quite a few different instrument systems, and on boats that use their instruments well, and those that don't.

For the racer having accurate true wind information is critical for knowing how well you are sailing your boat. With a good set of polars for you boat, which may either come from the designer, from getting a performance package for your boat from US Sailing, or at last resort by recording your performance data while sailing and developing your own set, you will have a set of target numbers that tell you what your boat should be doing. Generally you will have a set of "Target" numbers that tell you for different wind speeds what your optimal speed and angle should be for sailing upwind and for sailing downwind. They will also tell you a target boat speed when sailing on a reach.

When sailing upwind the key target is your boat speed. A good helmsman and trimmer will work to keep the boat going at whatever target boat speed you have for the current wind. With a set if instruments that can display this information you should set up the displays to show both your boat speed and your target boat speed, then do your best to sail so that those two number match. 
 

Safety at Sea 

 

The two recent tragedies during the Farallon Island Race and the Ensenada Race have cost our sailing community nine lives in the last month. It is a staggering loss but I hope one that brings home to all of us the importance of common sense and being safe while we enjoy what should be a rewarding and enjoyable pastime.

I do a fair amount of offshore sailing and I have to admit that in light of these two events I am guilty of not always taking the precautions I should. I have recently had two bad experiences offshore and they have brought home how quickly things can go bad, and unfortunately how unprepared we often are. Let me start by asking how many of you really know the boats you sail on? Do you know where all the through hulls are, the bilge pumps are, or how to competently use the radio to place a distress call? Let alone things like where the ditch bag is or how you actually deploy the life raft. I haven't always, but you can be sure that in the future I will!

So let's look at the basics. Number one, always wear your life jacket if you are out for more than a light air day sail, and preferably always wear it if you are further from shore than you are prepared to swim in the current water conditions.
 
 
Congratulations to Ensenada Racers 
* denotes partial inventory

 

Ragtime                 3rd         MAXI
Minnette*              3rd        ORCA
Flaca                       2nd        PHRF A
Marisol*                 5th         PHRF B
Problem Child*      1st         PHRF C
Brown Sugar          3rd         PHRF C
Cocktail                  2nd        PHRF D
Shockwave*           3rd         PHRF D
Pussycat                 2nd        PHRF E
Distraction*           3rd         PHRF E
Wiwo Ole II           2nd         PHRF G
Enchanted Lady     2nd        CRUZ GA*
Calibreeze             2nd        CRUZ NB
    

 
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