The A-Team Returns

By August 20, 2011 May 24th, 2019 2 Comments

More from Marblehead and in some big breeze (check out 5:22):

So last Monday I finally got to use the asymmetrical in some real breeze, with lots of rain and big seas (by East Coast standards). Several instructors and I set out in the 505 and two RIB’s. It’s always good to have some protection. Before we left I made sure to give the pole lots of pre-bend. As soon as we cleared the rocks and had some water to work with we hoisted. What a ride! We were blasting and sometimes just hanging on. Eventually we heeled up a bit too much and Pete just fell on top of me.

Once I emerged from the water, we got the boat back up. The kite was a mess, the main was falling down a bit, and when I pulled on more outhaul I had too much line left over. Not quite ready to call it a day we sorted the kite, lowered the main, lashed the outhaul, raised the main and headed back out to sea. Despite the major tangle with the kite it was still super easy to sort out. Pete had decided to wear gloves designed for an infant and after trimming the kite and raising the main, was bleeding quite a bit from the hands.

So Geoff stepped in as skipper and I swapped to crewing. I tried to think heavy, but I don’t think it worked. With the jib barber-hauled out to the rail and the main luffing at full rake back we decided that downwind would be much more fun. So we set off to hoist. I told Geoff that we had to get a gybe on video. He agreed and so we went for it. Unfortunately as I unhooked in the gybe we slammed into a wave. The kite didn’t feel like stopping and decided to pull the mast to leeward with it. We thought that we might be able to bend it back the other way by gybing, but no dice. I think that the gybe would have been awesome if the guy in the back of the boat hadn’t decided to wrap the bridle around the tiller extension. What a muppet! So we just enjoyed the ride, doused, and headed back to the harbor.

Overall one of the most memorable sailing days I have ever had. The A-sail worked great and it was awesome not having to worry about any pole situations. I do think that for an a-sail the lead for the spinnaker sheets could be put further forward, almost to the jib sheet. This would make the gybe hand switch sort of like a tack. I found it hard to gybe with the spin sheets behind me when crossing. I also think that you could have a crew hoist and douse. Leaving the skipper to focus on his primary job, steering the boat. All in all a great day on the water!


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