Tacking technique

31/05/2016 10:19:34
Started sailing 3376 at the weekend having been sailing an RS200 for a few weeks so far this season, and I was immediately struck by the difficulty of moving my front foot first across the boat in a tack due to the cb case. Do people move aft foot first as it seems easier to negotiate the cb case? 

31/05/2016 16:49:13
Think aft foot always goes first in a centre mains sheet boat That makes you face forward when tacking

31/05/2016 18:59:32
Rod & Jo sceptical
As those of you who have seen me at it, my tacking technique is awful; I claim advancing years & total confusion.

1620 has transom sheeting so I tack turning facing aft & taking the stick closely over the tiller, which is slightly longer. I am so used to this that when I acquired my OK Dinghy BEL-1, I developed a similar technique. I must be the only OK sailor ever to tack facing backwards in a centre sheeted boat but apart from an instant when I can’t see where I’m going when I’m about to hit you it works & I’m very happy with it.

Then we got 2988 with centre sheet on a full-width traveller. I know the only way to make that work that is to tack facing forwards and was making some progress with this when N12 3109 with transom sheeting came along, but where the 1620 technique doesn’t work because tiller shorter than stick, so there I did learn to tack facing forwards, but the trick there being to swap hands before the tack;- big gybes remain doubtful.

That left me with total confusion for 2988, where the technique seems to depend on the day, and because we have meanwhile sailed the other boats I generally can’t remember what I did last time. I have finally got used to the width; in the early days, being used to narrow 1620, I would cross the boat & sit down where I expected the side deck to be, sometimes ending up in the bottom of the boat. In such situations, I generally find shouting at the crew helps.

01/06/2016 09:37:25
Andrew Mills
I hadn't ever thought about my feet when I tack though I'm sure I go over rather than round the CB case and have never had a problem doing it.  I learnt to tack first & then change hands on tiller & mainsheet a few years ago which is really helpful for maintaining control through the tack particularly if windy & crowded.  However the top tip for feet with me is about hooking them under the toestraps before launching yourself over the side deck - ask James Warren 

01/06/2016 10:05:20
Stuart Bates MR3615
Thinking carefully about this I put my front foot about half way from the side deck to the case, to push myself across with, then place my back foot across the case, ready to twist round on as I come out of the tack, facing forwards.
The issue that you may find that you have is you may be trying to tack the boat too quickly.  You can afford to take your time through the tack, guiding it through rather than forcing it round.  The crew should aid this by backing the jib and feeding out the sheet (whilst pulling in on the new side) during the tack.

01/06/2016 12:51:15
Andy 3376
Thanks for the info guys. On the 200 I was doing a "two step" tack starting with my aft foot up the sidetank, then front foot step to opp toestrap, aft foot follows while twisting round, then hike straight out (which is how the NS14 do it I think). The two steps made it easy to move fast or slow.  I think the "one step" whilst swivelling tack might be the only option because of the case, but then I felt forced right across the boat that way. Maybe a mini step with my front foot first would be a good compromise...will try at the weekend. 

01/06/2016 18:26:24
We have tacking steps in 3571 which can help.  From hiked, I step into the boat from hiked with my front foot first and plant this facing forward just next to the centre board case, as you tack through and the boat is starting to tip away on the new tack, you and crew step across in unison onto the tacking steps, foot facing forward on the step, and then hike/squeeze to pull her up-right as you bring you other foot across and under the strap before you hike out and haul in the sails at the same time.  At least that is what we try to do.  The reality is that you find yourself facing forward over the new gunwale having dropped the tiller... you spot the crew collapsed on the leeward side unable to climb the now vertical deck.... and then realise you haven't un-cleated the mainsheet...... 


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