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Tacking Revision

  • You'll remember we've covered tacking with the centre mainsheet, and thought about it in a bit more detail.

    Now we'll look at it as a series of stages:

    * Preparation
    * The Start of the tack
    * The middle of the Tack
    * Completing the tack
    * Settling Down

    Preparation. Think about what you will do, and think about when you will do it. Consider the boats around you, how close the bank is getting, where the best place to turn is going to be. Plan it out in your head as it were. Let the crew know if its a two handed boat. Get your ropes untangled. Consider what direction you will be going on when you finish the tack - its good to pick out a mark on the shore you can line up against.

    The Start. Get your feet in the right place, and push the tiller away from you. balance on your toes, ready to balance the boat.

    The Middle. Through the middle of the tack you will be balancing the boat, and observing the sails. Change hands, or be ready to, according to the mainsheet arrangement. As the boat points towards your mark on the shore, and the sail starts filling on the new side then its time to complete the tack.

    Completion. Finish changing hands. Sit down, sit out and get your feet under the toe straps if necessary. Stop the boat turning! If you have trouble steadying the boat at this stage its probably started to heel too much.

    Settling down. Now you're on the new tack its time to be aware of what the wind is doing and sail the boat to the maximum again. Check your course, what other boats are now doing. And soon it will be time to prepare for another tack...