SailMaster - July 2009 Issue

Welcome to the July 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!

If you like this Ezine, please 'pay it forward'. Pass it along to a friend or family member who is interested in Sailing/Boating/Yachting. They will thank you for it! To pass it on just email them and ask them to look at "".

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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 July Issue of SailMaster.

I'd also like to introduce Han's new blog which can be found at:

He has already made losts of posts and would be happy if people would comment on some of his articles, which are mostly on Sailing History and Politics.

So what have I been doing so far in June? Well on the sailing front I did a ten hour race in a wig and lipstick! Eventually the race was cancelled with one hour to go due to unforseen circumstances (ie: a thunderstorm had opened up).

In the end we came third and so I at least got a small cup!

In the normal club racing Mark came first in the A helm and I came third in the B helm so we both ended up getting cups and bottles of wine. This summer series however has not got off to a good start with me and him being on holiday or the boat being broken and having to be repaired. So we haven't actually done a single race this month, but hopefully we will be able to do a regional race in the August.

Also the summer weather in London has been 'great' with almost constant rain and constant cloud (perfect sailing conditions some might say!), which has meant postponed or cancelled races, so not the best of summers.

Hopefully I'll have better news in August!

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

Till Next Month,

Alex Dotsch

Exclusive Article - Reefing in a Blow

Sometimes even the best sailors will be unable to control their boat in such strong weather, whether the boat in question is the largest yacht or the smallest dinghy.

So there is an option available to us: Reefing.

Reefing is reducing the sail area of a boat. On single handlers this usually means just the main, but on the two sail boats the genoa can be replaced by a storm gib in seriously windy weather.

For single handlers the sail can usually be reefed by simply not taking all the sail out or by wrapping it a few times around the main and is the simplest way to reduce the sail area and if the boat also has a small gib, just don't put it on.

On larger two sail boats it is usually more difficult as it needs a front sail to create a Slot (see my exclusive article from June) to help wind get around the mainsail. So a storm gib may be used.

The main is reduced first by clipping the second hole up (above the cunningham), next to the mast to a clip on the boom. Then the sail usually has bits of rope on it. Using a reefing knot (left over right and then right over left), connect the first two tightly and the third loosely (as it usually goes over the sheet covering the mainsheet).

Finally at the other end of the boom you should be able pull the back end of the sail down, finishing the reef. And to conclude the reef, make sure it is nicely put away so that it is all packed away and will not interfere with the aerodynamics of the sail.

Of course I wouldn't advise reefing in a hurricane, instead you shouldn't go out. If you don't feel that you are competent in a certain wind even with a reef, don't go out or go out with someone who you trust is more experienced than you.

Don't take risks!

Funny Of The Month

Two people are out sailing when suddenly a hand appears in the sea.

"What's this?" asked the skipper, "It looks as if someone is drowning!"

"No," explained his crew, "It's just a little wave."

New Pages on The Website

  • Catamaran Hull Design - The way the catamaran hull design was thought up and improved over the course of human history
  • Small Catamarans - A review of small catamarans like the hobie cat
  • Fastest Catamarans - An article on the fastest catamaran around

  • Ask The Expert Questions

    Can you answer any of these? Or do you have any of your own? Please check out our Ask The Expert Page.

  • Points of Sail - Further discussion on the topic of points of sail
  • 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 July 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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