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Old 09-07-10, 07:05 AM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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How to stuff a sailboat (or How I nearly sank the scow!)!

Well, over Labor Day Weekend, I was out of town. I went sailing up at the lake, and had a great time. Saturday especially had a great wind. We had the million dollar wind on Wawasee. I had a solid 7 mile run on a tack. The wind was averaging 20 knots with gusts up to 30+ knots, which is a pretty significant breeze to be sailing an Inland Lake Scow in.

I got about 8 hours sail time in Saturday, and I'm feeling it today, that's for sure. I had to work hard on the boat, but it was challenging and a hell of a lot of fun. I actually was pushing the boat so hard that we stuffed it several times. Stuffing a sailboat, by the way, is sailing it so hard that you drive the bow under the water and you swamp the boat from the 2-3 foot wave that rolls up the foredeck. Then you need to get a quick tow to pop open the emergency bailers in the stern to drain the hull.

The best part of the day was flying the spinnaker on a downwind run. There is nothing like sailing an I boat with the spinnaker deployed. That huge sail opens with a loud thump, and the bow lifts, and you take off downwind at an ungodly fast rate of speed.

This isn't my image, the boats are from the Inland Scow Association site, but this is an I Boat with the spinnaker flying. It's a thrillride you wouldn't believe. It's nearly better than sex!


Fair Use from http://www.inland20.org/Mission.aspx
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Old 09-07-10, 07:13 AM   #2
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Sounds like a fantastic day out! I started out sailing Optimists years ago and then onto Toppers (I was too light at the time for Lasers), but I haven't been out for a sail in years. I'm more than a bit jealous!
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Old 09-07-10, 07:42 AM   #3
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Stuffing, another reason why I love planing sailboats! I thought Scows planed!
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-07-10, 08:41 AM   #4
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I've managed to be part of a crew that successfully broached a 25ft keel boat (Beneteau 'Platu') while we fumbled our spinnaker drop. That was fun and only in about 15knots.
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Old 09-07-10, 09:14 AM   #5
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I got about 8 hours sail time in Saturday, and I'm feeling it today, that's for sure. I had to work hard on the boat, but it was challenging and a hell of a lot of fun. I actually was pushing the boat so hard that we stuffed it several times. Stuffing a sailboat, by the way, is sailing it so hard that you drive the bow under the water and you swamp the boat from the 2-3 foot wave that rolls up the foredeck. Then you need to get a quick tow to pop open the emergency bailers in the stern to drain the hull.

The best part of the day was flying the spinnaker on a downwind run. There is nothing like sailing an I boat with the spinnaker deployed. That huge sail opens with a loud thump, and the bow lifts, and you take off downwind at an ungodly fast rate of speed.
On a catamaran, if you stuff it and don't react almost instantaneously, you can pitchpole the thing! I've almost done that a few times!

As for running downwind, I'll take a looooong beam reach or broad reach any day... the two fastest points of sail; running downwind, you can only go as fast as the wind... reaching you can go faster!
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Old 09-07-10, 09:47 AM   #6
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They are a planing hull, but an I boat can be stuffed, still, in high enough winds. I had to depower the boat with the boom vang, because I actually stuffed it pointing high into the wind.
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Stuffing, another reason why I love planing sailboats! I thought Scows planed!
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Old 09-07-10, 09:52 AM   #7
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On a catamaran, if you stuff it and don't react almost instantaneously, you can pitchpole the thing! I've almost done that a few times!

As for running downwind, I'll take a looooong beam reach or broad reach any day... the two fastest points of sail; running downwind, you can only go as fast as the wind... reaching you can go faster!
Yeah, I had a 7 mile beam reach run. That's why we call is a "Million Dollar Wind" on Wawasee, when you get it. Due north wind or a due south wind is the million dollar wind.
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Old 09-07-10, 12:24 PM   #8
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On a catamaran, if you stuff it and don't react almost instantaneously, you can pitchpole the thing! I've almost done that a few times!
Stuffed our Hobie 14 once and my daughter kept going...right off the front of the trampoline and into the water. She was laughing the whole time!

A friend stuffed his Hobie 18 with my wife out on the trapeze. She flew forward then came back and smashed into the mast...thought she had broken her leg at the time. Certainly left a nasty bruise.

Good times.
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Old 09-07-10, 01:52 PM   #9
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Stuffed our Hobie 14 once and my daughter kept going...right off the front of the trampoline and into the water. She was laughing the whole time!

A friend stuffed his Hobie 18 with my wife out on the trapeze. She flew forward then came back and smashed into the mast...thought she had broken her leg at the time. Certainly left a nasty bruise.

Good times.
Yeah, I was out flying trap on a Super Cat 19 one day when we dove the leeward hull. Their hull design is resistant to pitchpoling, but it still was like slamming on the brakes. I bounced forward and then the hull popped up and accelerated again and I slipped down the hull and into/onto the water behind the boat. It would have been like waterskiing if I wasn't twisting around in the harness!! But a whole lotta fun!
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Old 09-07-10, 04:36 PM   #10
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SPEAK ENGLISH!!!! Not all of us are boat people. What is this "pitchpoling and boom vang" non-sense?? I need someone to translate for someone, like myself, that is sailing impaired.
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Old 09-07-10, 05:06 PM   #11
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Pitchpoling: Bury the bow and tip forward so fast you get thrown off the boat or intpo the mast and you dump the boat. It usually happens with Catamarans or Trimarans,

Boom Vang. It's a pulley assembly that hauls down the boom and flattens out the main sail (The rear sail) to spill air and depower the boat.

Boom: It's the pole running along the bottom of the mainsail. It's called a boom because if you jibe unexpectedly, it will sweep across the boat and hit you in the head. You'll hear a boom and you wake up in the water with a headache if you're lucky.



And here's a 29'er pitchpoling

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Old 09-07-10, 05:11 PM   #12
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SPEAK ENGLISH!!!! Not all of us are boat people. What is this "pitchpoling and boom vang" non-sense?? I need someone to translate for someone, like myself, that is sailing impaired.
If you were in a "real" service, you'd know this stuff!!

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Pitchpoling: Bury the bow and tip forward so fast you get thrown off the boat or intpo the mast and you dump the boat. It usually happens with Catamarans or Trimarans,

Boom Vang. It's a pulley assembly that hauls down the boom and flattens out the main sail (The rear sail) to spill air and depower the boat.

Boom: It's the pole running along the bottom of the mainsail. It's called a boom because if you jibe unexpectedly, it will sweep across the boat and hit you in the head. You'll hear a boom and you wake up in the water with a headache if you're lucky.
And it gives the skipper a good opportunity to practice man overboard procedures!!
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Old 09-07-10, 07:01 PM   #13
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Old 09-07-10, 07:25 PM   #14
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Pitchpoling: Bury the bow and tip forward so fast you get thrown off the boat or intpo the mast and you dump the boat. It usually happens with Catamarans or Trimarans,

Boom Vang. It's a pulley assembly that hauls down the boom and flattens out the main sail (The rear sail) to spill air and depower the boat.

Boom: It's the pole running along the bottom of the mainsail. It's called a boom because if you jibe unexpectedly, it will sweep across the boat and hit you in the head. You'll hear a boom and you wake up in the water with a headache if you're lucky.

[
actually the vang is there simply to control the angle of the boom vertically since the sheet won't do it when the boom is swung out very far on either side and if the sail has much flex to it with some taper it will tend to pull the boom upwards which the sheet can't counteract

where I come from, spilling air or luffing is simply either steering a bit upwind or cranking out the sheet a bit relative to the wind
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Old 09-07-10, 08:01 PM   #15
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I used to sail with a couple of former US Olympic sailers, one of whom was a home brewer. He had a beer that he named "Vang Damnit". Fun group of guys. One of the boats was named Diesel Snack after a very long haul to a regatta where the two words kept showing up on the exit signs.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-07-10, 09:16 PM   #16
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If you were in a "real" service, you'd know this stuff!!
If I've ended up in water, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Thanks for the video. Pictures work nicely for those of us hard of thinking.
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Old 09-07-10, 09:21 PM   #17
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actually the vang is there simply to control the angle of the boom vertically since the sheet won't do it when the boom is swung out very far on either side and if the sail has much flex to it with some taper it will tend to pull the boom upwards which the sheet can't counteract

where I come from, spilling air or luffing is simply either steering a bit upwind or cranking out the sheet a bit relative to the wind
Unless you are sailing a scow. The vang also flattens out the main to spill air if you are heeled over far enough to plane the boom with no rudder control (72-74 degree heel). I know what I'm talking about, pedex, I've been sailing scows for around 30 years. Scows are a breed of sailboat unto themselves and have some very unique characteristics.
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Old 09-08-10, 08:09 PM   #18
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If I've ended up in water, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Thanks for the video. Pictures work nicely for those of us hard of thinking.
Well, yes, if I've ended up in the water, something has also gone horribly, horribly wrong. But if you're in the water near the boat... then you just see how much of your gear you can use before the rescue helo makes it over to you! Unless it's at night... then you just put on your strobe and get in the raft and try not to sink it with your pencil flares... 'cause you may be there until daylight!
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Old 09-08-10, 08:47 PM   #19
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Tom,

Thanks for sharing. I'm torn between power and sail. Right now it's power (more like a floating condo). But I love sailing too. Your experience makes me wonder if I should switch back.

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Old 09-09-10, 08:32 AM   #20
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Stan,

Get a Beneteau or a larger Catalina and you can have the floating condo and still sail. Heck, there are even some big performance boats out there, like the x-34 they are just a bit more spendy.

http://www.cruisingworld.com/boats-a...000084516.html

http://www.x-yachts.com/seeems/18578.asp
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Old 09-11-10, 10:18 AM   #21
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I "stuffed" my Scarab 30 Panther once and it almost took of my head and the head of my passenger while standing in our bolsters. Something I will never forget as I can still see that wave coming across the bow.
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