SailMaster - April 2009 Issue

Welcome to the April Issue of SailMaster -'s Monthly Ezine, filled with information on tips, tricks, techniques to improve your sailing as well as stories and my experiences this month!

Welcome to our new subscribers! We welcome you and look forward to you being a part of our growing sailing community!

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Best Regards

Alex Dotsch

In This Issue...

If you don't have time to read the whole ezine, click on the topic that interests you. This month you will find:

Editor's Note

Thank you for reading the April Issue of SailMaster.

This month, I did a Yachting Course with the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), who are one of the oldest yacht clubs in Britain and probably the world. It was a one and a half day course with 2 nights in between and it was in the Isle of Wight (south of England).

I did the course with lots of kids my age (around 16-22) and it was great fun. If you have read this website you should know that my only yachting experience was in Croatia and there was actually much sailing done.

Here I was skippering, doing the mainsheet and crewing whilst racing in 20-25 knot winds! Not bad for a yacht racing novice!

I will be updating the yachting page very soon to reflect these changes as well as lots more yachting articles. This month's article is on a dinghy sailing and yacht sailing topic that I used a great deal during this course and generally in dinghy racing and I hope you find it interesting and it will improve your sailing.

You may have also noticed the new colours and logo. I felt the old colours they were in need of a revamp as they were the wrong and did not reflect the right atmosphere. I have created a new Ask The Expert page so that you can comment on these changes. See below in the Ask The Expert part of this ezine issue.

I am always looking for ways to improve the site. If you see any errors or would like to contribute in any way (Like Hans), please contact me!

Till Next Month,

Alex Dotsch

Exclusive Article - How To Trim The Mainsail Like A Pro!

Whether the boat you are sailing is a yacht or a dinghy, it is always hard to get the sails trimmed perfectly. On the website I have discussed the genoa in detail and how to use the tell tales. But what about the mainsail.

I vaguely said on my site that the rule of thumb is to let out the sail until it starts flapping and then pull it in a little bit. This would make the sail 80% efficient of its maximum efficiency. However to get the extra 20% efficiency you need to use the mainsail tell tales.

And yes, for those who don't know, the mainsail does have tell tales. There are usually 3 or 4 on the mainsail of a dinghy or yacht.

In order to get that extra 20% efficiency, to make the boat go faster and to make the sails 100% efficient (well 99.9% if your being picky - nothing is ever 100% perfect) you need to trim the mainsail using these tell tales.

The way to do it is, is to get into the habit of looking at the tell tales every 5 or so seconds on any point of sail. Every lift and header will mean you need to trim the sail. This is also especially important in light winds where you want every bit of efficiency you can get.

Okay so, look up at the tell tales. If you cannot see the top tell tale, the mainsail is to far in, so let out the mainsail about a quarter of an inch to half an inch until it flies again. If the middle tell tale as well as the top tell tale is not flying then the mainsail is much to far in and so you may want to let it out half an inch to an inch. If the bottom tell tale as well as the middle tell tale as well as the top tell tale is not flying then you have got it much too far in so let out and inch to two inches.

This is very useful on reaches where checking to see if the mainsail is flapping or not is harder and especially in light winds where you will never see any flapping and you will just have to trim the mainsail by the tell tales alone.

Even on the beat you don't want to stall the sail by having the mainsail to far in, so make sure your tell tales fly nicely and that you get the maximum efficiency out of your sails

Funny Of The Month

A yachtsman is sailing along when the boom knocks him on the head and he falls overboard. When he comes around , he's on a beach. The sand is dark red. He can't believe it. The sky is dark red. He walks around a bit and sees that there is dark red grass, dark red birds and dark red fruit on the dark red trees. He is shocked when he find his skin starting to turn dark red too.
'Oh no!' He cried, 'I've been marooned!'

New Pages on The Website

Used Boats - Tons of info about second hand boats and buying or selling them.

Catamaran Sailboats - Whole new part of the site and expanding on the old Hobie Cat page, all about the catamaran.

Keep up to date by going to Sailing Blog!

Notice: I am doing a huge remake of some of my main pages such as the sailing yachts page, parts of a sailing ship, sailing dinghy, yacht charter, boat loans and types of sailboat. If you have been looking at the Sailing Blog, you will know that I have updated Boat Accessories, Sailing Clothes and How to Sail with new information and new linked articles, so expect the remade pages to appear soon with lots of new info and linked articles...Stay Tuned!

Ask The Expert Questions

To find more questions about sailing, or to ask your own please check out our Ask The Expert Page.

  • Why is the triangular course mentioned to be basic? - A comment about a site article, with interesting connotations
  • Which way to point the Boat? - A further discussion on Points Of Sail
  • Ask The Expert: Questions About The Weather - A page by Hans to discuss the weather in sailing (please comment and get involved!
  • New Colour and Theme? - A page by me for you to tell me your impressions on the new look and your opinions on the site itself
  • Please do get involved and ask questions as well as answering them and commenting on them so that we can try to build a read community of sailors who help each other out at the same time as learning new things.

    If you don't have a question, but an experience to share, please Share Your Sailing Experiences!

    Thank you for reading the April Issue of SailMaster! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Please feel free to contact me with any questions about this issue.

    If you enjoyed this issue of SailMaster, please feel free to send it to any friends or family and ask them to subscribe on my website.

    Best Regards

    Alex Dotsch

    PS. Want to check out back issues of the SailMaster? - Click Here

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