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B737 20th July 2009 12:16 AM

Beginner Progress! & ? About mast base

I just wanted to say thanks for all the tips so far in helping me get started on the Bic.

I've been able to get at least 8 hours a week in so far for the past few weeks and the old girl sails! And fast!!

I've been able to hold a steady track back and fourth and about 4 out of five times I can turn the rig by lowering the clue way down drift upwind and baby step around the mast foot all the way around and get moving the opposite direction.

I've also worked up to sailing the 5.7m sail and once I get that board in the wind window with that sail, lift the dagger board the board flys! It's an amazing feeling when the board is on plane!!!

Rogers advice on my foot position, was key.

If I fall or start from the beach I'm still hobbled by uphauling, I can't seem to work up the muscle memory for beach starts or water starts.

I have a question about mast foot placement. I was setting the mast base full aft when practicing on the 4.5 and was curious what function moving the mast base forward does? Should I leave it aft while using the 5.7?

At what point do most sailors start considering the use of harnessing in? My brain says no but my lower back wants me to ask.

Roger 20th July 2009 09:35 PM

Hi B737:
Thanks for the positive feedback!
It's great to hear that the advice given here actually helps.
Try a couple of things:
First, a faster tack.....
Try keeping the clew (I know you thought it was a clue, but one's for detectives, and one it the back corner on a sail (where the outhaul attaches) all the way down on the back of the board. You cannot go forward like you are doing and have the clew/foot of the sail all the way down on the board, so try "stepping over" the mast instead of backing way forward of the mast foot.
Uphauling is really OK. Just need to analyze why you are falling in the water and take care of those issues.
As far as a beachstart, have you practiced "steering the board" by the rig.
Go out in knee deep water (whatever depth will clear the fin) and keep the centerboard all the way up. Then practice turning the board around while holding onto the mast with one hand and the boom with the other.
The back hand regulates the power in the sail, and the front hand "pushes and pulls" the board around by the mast foot.
Once you can turn the board through 360 deg. in either direction, you will have the control to allow you to align the board for beach starts (and later water starts as the principles of "steering the board" are the same.
You can start using you harness at any time. Now would be good.
Expect to get "tossed" quite a few times until you figure it out. Might be easiest to start with a waist harness as the hooks a bit higher and easier to hook in and unhook.
Hope this helps,

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