Sunday, April 20, 2008

Departing A Pier Under Sail

After raising your sail, the boat should be on the leeward side of the pier, in irons (pointing towards the wind), and as close to the end of the pier as possible. To leave the pier you have to "back out of irons". Backing a boat is fairly simple. When you are sailing forward, a motion of the tiller in one direction will cause the bow to turn in the opposite direction. However, when going backward, hold the tiller over to the same side as you want the bow to go. While steering backward, let the sheet hang loose, keep the tiller centered until you have backed far enough so that you won't hit any other boats when you swing your boat around and go forward.

When you have backed far enough away from the pier, push the tiller over hard in the direction that you want the bow to turn and wait until the bow has turned approximately 45 degrees from the wind, center the tiller again and sheet in until the luffing of the sail stops. If the tiller is brought back properly, and the sail is trimmed properly you will be sailing. This to takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it it will beable to do this from any pier and under most conditions.
Once you do this a few times it is really impressive and you can watch everybody's mouth drop open.