Learn To Sail A Schooner No.4
Sailing Away From A Quay – Wind Ahead
About SchoonerSails Learning To Sail A Schooner Articles
John, Trinovante’s skipper started writing these articles after some Trinovante Crew asked for more information on the fundamentals of schooner handling. These articles are not imagined theory. John has written about specific situations that have arisen. This article was written after sailing off Halfpenny Pier in Harwich, Suffolk.
Seafaring is an ongoing learning process and John cautions against set piece manoeuvers. You need a plan but it needs to be flexible because things don’t always go according to plan.
Sail Training involves learning how to safely handle ropes, tying basic knots and using winches, among other things. The crew need these skills is to be able to carry out manoeuvres under sail or power.
Full in-depth knowledge of exactly what is going on is not essential, so dip into these Learning To Sail articles only if you want to
Sailing Away From A Quay With The Wind Ahead
Preparing To Sail
We always manoeuvre under sail if we can. Sailing off a quay requires careful timing. It is an advanced manoeuvre.
All the crew need to know exactly what their specific role is going to be and are well briefed beforehand so they understand what is about to happen. Once the operation is started it will all happen quite quickly and there is no room for mistakes.
The object is to sail off the quay and immediately turn 180° to sail south. We need to avoid driving the stern into the quay so we use the staysail, which is the smallest sail, for backing.
The other sails do need to be driving the boat forward as we leave the quay side, so all lower sails, except the jib, are set well before we start. The jib is hoisted at the last moment to avoid flailing sheets. Smart line handling is necessary and the crew need to be alert.
We are now singled up to bow and stern slip lines that can be let go from onboard.
The wind fills the backed staysail and the bowline is slipped. Almost immediately the jib is hoisted and sheeted home.
The staysail is let fly and sheeted to starboard as soon as the swing of the bows is firmly established.
The sails are now drawing As the ship pulls away from the quay the stern line is slipped and and the fender is taken in.
The helm is kept amidships until Trinovante has gathered way
Trinovante is gaining speed fast now.
The rudder is put to starboard, the mizzen and main sail, the two aftermost sails, are eased off. This allows the 3 forward sails (jib, staysail and foresail) to turn the boat more.
Leaving the mizzen and main sheeted would tend to hold the bows up into the wind.
As we bear away from the wind and complete the turn all the sheets will be eased and we are away!
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