Questions tagged [sailing]

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35
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I sail a raft on a European river with commercial traffic?

I'm thinking about sailing a part of the Danube, alone, on a self-built raft. I have no experience sailing rivers on any serious basis. I'm considering a raft for a number of reasons: It's cheap. ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

When sailing, how do I rescue a man overboard?

If someone falls overboard from a sailboat, it is firstly imperative not to lose sight of the person since finding a man in water, especially when there's waves, can be very difficult. What ...
24
votes
7answers
835 views

How to minimize sea sickness?

I love sailing, and my wife loves the ocean, but she gets sea-sick often. Any advice on how to avoid sea-sickness in people prone to it? I'm looking for advice in terms of foods that are less of an ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

How should I check that the anchor is secure when I anchor a small yacht off unfamiliar land?

When sailing I may anchor in a different bay each evening and take a dinghy in to land to sleep in a tent overnight. I always worry that when I wake up in the morning the boat may no longer be there....
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Swimming while in the high seas

When sailing, can the passengers of the yacht safely go swimming while in the open seas? That is, when some miles away from the coast-line.
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Sailing with a child

Inspired by this question on taking an infant sailing, as it is quite different when they can move, I thought I'd ask the same question in respect of a toddler or child. What essential safety ...
18
votes
1answer
637 views

When stranded at sea, should I not ask for a tow?

I've been told that you should never ask for a tow when you are stranded at sea. The reason given is that the person towing can claim a huge share of the stranded boat, potentially all of it if it's ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

How to sail a packraft

I would like to use the wind to propel my packraft on passages over lakes. Are there any lightweight and/or improvised sail systems? Especially: how do I erect a mast on the packraft without it ...
16
votes
2answers
893 views

Sailing with an infant

My wife and I are thinking about sailing with our ~ 6 month old baby boy. We understand this is not something to take lightly, and we're planning either a canal/river sail or a sail in a very calm sea ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Techniques for building a raft from wood

What are some good techniques to use (materials, knots, etc.) for building a raft by gathering wood in the local area? I'm talking about something to sail on still or slow moving bodies of water, not ...
16
votes
1answer
515 views

How do you stabilize a sextant for use on a boat in rough water?

Using a sextant to get accurate angle measurements is tough on moving vessel. It's even harder when the waters are rough. Is there a technique that is most useful in stabilizing the device and/or ...
14
votes
6answers
6k views

Outrigger and/or leeboard when sailing a canoe?

I have been considering adding a sail to my open 17 foot Coleman canoe. Browsing images on the internet show pretty much every imaginable configuration but they all share 3 or 4 combinations of ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Specific Chinese carabiner QA?

Several offshore sailors are considering the use of specific Chinese locking carabiners with personal tethers, to keep us attached in violent conditions. Specifically... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

How to manage the sail of a sunfish when paddling?

The sunfish is a small sailboat with a lateen sail. Realistically you can not raise the sail while in it. Usually raising and lower the sail is done at shore. It is occasionally necessary to ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the main disadvantages to a kiteboat in terms of long distance bluewater sailing?

A kiteboat is essentially a boat that uses a kite instead of a sail for propulsion. This seems like an intriguing concept, and an interesting alternative to the traditional sailboat designs. As ...
12
votes
1answer
751 views

What type of trailer do I need for my Granada 24 sailboat?

I'm about to get a Granada 24 sailboat and I can't really figure out what type of trailer I need. It would be awesome if someone could explain to me what I need to know to choose the right trailer. ...
12
votes
1answer
548 views

Identify this sailing insigina

I recently inherited a small sailing boat similar to a Sunfish (roughly 12'x5'). However, I'm pretty sure it's not a sunfish, and I'm trying to identify it by the insignia on the sail. Does anyone ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did Lewis and Clark use square rigged boats?

The best way to travel across wilderness with a lot of gear depends on the exact nature of the terrain; in particular, if it contains rivers, the best solution may be a boat. Lewis and Clark ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the hand-pedal device called on an Open 60 sailboat?

Open 60 sailboats have a pedal-looking control in the middle of the cockpit. Does anyone know what it does and how it works? Image source: https://feelinknotty.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/dsc_0721....
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the purpose of being close-hauled when sailing upwind?

When referring to a sailing boats course relative to the wind there are some clearly defined terms like "beam-reach", which is exactly perpendicular to the wind. A broader range like "close-reach" is ...
11
votes
2answers
165 views

Avoiding microbial contamination of diesel fuel

I have a diesel powered sailboat. What are effective ways to avoid microbial contamination of the diesel fuel? And what do you do if the fuel becomes contaminated? [This question originally asked by ...
11
votes
3answers
286 views

What to do with a yacht when a stronger wind blast comes?

When you're sailing upwind (in close reach) and there comes a stronger blast of wind, how should a skipper behave? One approach is to turn away from the wind because modern yachts are constructed so ...
11
votes
1answer
427 views

When trimming my sails, why would I want them to stand flat, versus having some belly?

The other day, this question (Why did wetting down canvas sails increase the speed of a sailing ship?) was asked regarding the historical practice of wetting down sails. The current answer quotes ...
11
votes
1answer
352 views

Help me interface these two nautical devices

I'm crew on a boat (wooden 8.5m from 1973) which has a GPS and a tiller pilot that seem to work fine separately, but don't seem to want to talk to one-another. My captain is adamant this combination "...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the aspect ratio of a keel and how does it affect your how your boat sails?

I have heard of aspects of sails and keels, and it seems that taller skinnier sails and keels have this higher aspect ratio. What is it and what does it do for your sailing?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What type of rope to use for the mainsheet of sunfish?

I need a new mainsheet (the rope that controls the boom on the main sail) for my sunfish. Many of the online sailboat stores, are selling 8mm FSE Orion for the job. My local Hardware store does not ...
10
votes
1answer
344 views

Do square-riggers also use 'aircraft-wing-style' propulsion?

These questions (one, two) about sail wetting/trimming raised another question for me. Disclaimer: I'm at best a novice sailor, and I've never sailed on a square rigger. As far as I understood (see ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Do raw eggs need to be rotated for freshness on a long voyage?

Last night I watched a film about a crew that sailed from New Zealand to Patagonia, with a stop in Antarctica, taking over two months to do so. One of the things that caught my attention is when ...
9
votes
4answers
268 views

What should I look for in a used wet suit?

I am considering getting a used wet suit for sailing and canoeing in the early spring and next fall. What should I look for? Based on the related Q&A below, it looks like I will want 6-7mm (1/4 ...
9
votes
3answers
331 views

How would you evaluate sailing lessons for adults?

I am lucky enough to live within an hour of several cities (or large towns) on Lake Ontario, and near "cottage country" which is full of lakes. I'm considering a learn-to-sail program this summer. A ...
9
votes
1answer
6k views

Why did wetting down canvas sails increase the speed of a sailing ship?

In some of the Horatio Hornblower novels, when they want to get the last bit of speed out of a sailing ship, the crew will wet the sails down in order to go faster. For a real example consider, ...
9
votes
1answer
296 views

Is it legal to sail a personal-size boat in the ocean in Massachusetts during a thunderstorm?

When I was younger, during the late 1960's and 1970's, my Dad had a personal-size sailboat, called the Sunfish. He loved it because it was lightweight, easy to sail on his own, and had room to ...
8
votes
3answers
565 views

Portable ladder for sailboat?

I have access to a 23ft Sonar sailboat that isn't mine. It's pretty difficult to get back into after going for a swim. Can anyone recommend a type of portable ladder I could bring with me when I use ...
8
votes
2answers
196 views

Contacting a yacht on IJsselmeer (Netherlands)

I'm going on a long sailing trip in Netherlands. I would like my family to be able to contact me in case of an emergency, but we'll be outside of mobile network range most of the time. Along the ...
8
votes
3answers
709 views

How do you determine the optimum time to tack?

In one of the Hornblower novels, he is being pursued by a French frigate on the first day of war. During the chase, both the British and French ships are sailing upwind, and it is mentioned that the ...
8
votes
2answers
183 views

What is head/lift indication in a digital compass on a sailboat?

A simple explanation would be great. I am reading a manual for digital compass and there is a paragraph with the following words: The SpeedPuck automatically detects when a sailor is trimmed to a ...
8
votes
3answers
301 views

How to "pump" my sail to go upwind or when becalmed?

I see lots of mention on sailing forums about standing on the bow and "pumping" the sail on a sunfish or other small boat to get going under your own power. However, I can't seem to find any videos ...
8
votes
1answer
204 views

How often should I change the lines and sail attachment rings?

Last fall I bought a sunfish, best I can tell is built in about 1974 (43 years ago) and has all original sails, sail rings (hold the sail to the spars), tiller, etc. Everything but the lines seem to ...
8
votes
2answers
287 views

Changing the shrouds, how would I know how far if I need to?

I have a lelievlet and want to add a bowsprit/lignite and a mizzen mast. Therefore I need to know how much I need to change the shrouds, anyone can help me by explaining how? edit: What data do I ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Renting a boat for overnight in ocean?

I want to rent a boat (not a pontoon, but one with a sleeping area, bathroom etc.) which I can use for an overnight stay in open ocean. I am an absolute beginner about boats and don't know anything ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What and where is the builder's plate on a boat?

What and where will I find the builder's plate and CE marking on a boat in Europe? The CE marking obviously does not apply outside of Europe, but has anyone seen one of these and if so, where should ...
7
votes
1answer
220 views

How is underdeck rigging done?

First: I am not a sailor. Sail boats usually have a lot of lines, block, cleats, jams, travelers and what not on their decks to control the boat and sail system. This looks like a cluttering mess on a ...
7
votes
2answers
198 views

Maxi Yacht: How do the keel and the hull align when heeled over?

Modern racing Maxi Yachts are shaped like a wedge of cheese. The keel is aligned axially with the centerline of the boat. When the boat heels over in the wind, the outer edge of the hull is the only ...
7
votes
1answer
513 views

Would waterproofing Styrofoam in a boat make water retention better or worse?

In theory Styrofoam is a closed cell product meaning that is water proof. In practice it tends to absorb and hold water It can take months to dry out very saturated Styrofoam. As a rule Styrofoam ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

What's the hardest wearing multibraid rope type?

I'm looking to replace the line in a traveller on a catamaran and I need a very hard wearing sheath due to the nature of the setup. Is dyneema the way to go here?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the fastest and easiest way to replace an in-boom outhaul?

I have an old 20' racing sailboat where the outhaul is mostly missing. The wire is there at the end of the boom, but there's no rope coming out to cleat it. How can I run a new rope through the boom? ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I calculate how much lift an outrigger needs?

I have been thinking of putting a sail on my canoe with will probably require the use of an outrigger. (related: Outrigger and/or leeboard when sailing a canoe?) I was thinking about using a section ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I prevent a fiberglass crack in my sailboat from getting worse?

There is a crack about 12 inches (30cm) long on the edge of my Sunfish sailboat. I am not sure if the crack is all the way through the fiberglass, or just the gel coat. It is on the corner between ...
6
votes
2answers
258 views

Activities on a long voyage to avoid boredom?

What should the crew and passengers do on a long voyage? If they do nothing, their attention is scattered and may become remiss. You can begin to wash the boat, but I do not think that is the best ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the best way to remove layers of bottom paint from a sailboat hull?

What is the best / easiest method for removing multiple layers of ablative bottom paint from a sailboat hull? I have acquired a sailboat which has 3-5 layers of different bottom paints. I want to get ...