New to sailing. lots of questions

Jul 13, 2015
768
Catalina 22 #2552 2252 Kennewick, WA
After reading the good detail and experiences on sail trim-- couldn't agree more and one excellent option is a heavy weather headsail: my 75% used find on ebay has worked well. @Lafayette Mike I would agree with you -- jib or main alone (in everything other than ghosting conditions) will actually cause you grief -- balance is the key. Reefed main and small headsail ? you can withstand some damage from mother nature and still have control.

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Sep 15, 2016
615
Catalina 22 Minnesota
Your boat can take a lot more heel than you realise. I know because last year I was knocked down at nationals in mine (87 wing Keel). We were so far that both the wing keel and the rudder cleared the water in front of the committee boat at the windward mark. The boat came back on its feet quickly and we still had a respectable finish.

As for sailing under main only it can be done with a good main but if yours is original it will cause more heel and be sloppy on the helm at best. The best thing for you would be to find a 110 jib (that's a 150 in your picture) and try that for a bit. The boat is driven by the headsail mainly and the Main controls more of the heel. after about 15 deg of heel you're losing performance anyway so there is really no need to push the boat. At 50 deg of heel the rudder starts to loose steering and beyond that hold on and release the main sheet because its getting spirited!

Where do you sail in MN I too am in MN and both race / cruise my boat often around the state and area. I just got back from a week long cruise in the Apostles on Superior and am in the process of getting the boat lightened back up for racing in the coming weeks on Lake Pepin. If you want some pointers or someone to show you the ropes (lines :waycool:) shoot me a Private Message here and we can get in touch. I have been sailing a good number of years and while I appreciate the ASA courses for what they teach if your goal is to simply sail on inland lakes they can be a bit overkill for the price. I learned from someone showing me the basics and then reading some books and now it comes almost as second nature. You'll make it i'm sure as most would have given up after that first bad experience.
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,071
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Experience trumps fear. When you are outside your sphere of experience you are fearful. That's OK. Once you conquer that fear and see that it's OK you'll expand your sphere of experience. But don't discount fear. It tells you to be cautious. Fear can be your worst enemy or your best friend.
 

Rillo

.
Apr 21, 2019
16
Catalina C22 Bear Lake
Ok, this sounds so familiar that I’ll chip in as well. Second time out on my new to me C22 with my wife. We sail on a large mountain lake where winds can pipe up and swirl any day of the week. Sure enough we get hit pretty hard. Our boat was very difficult to control with heeling and horrible helm manners. By the time it was over we logged every mistake a beginner could make including runaway sheets (what’s a stopper knot?) and losing the main sail thru the slide slot because I had no idea how to reef. After months of studying this forum I created a pretty long list of things that we needed to dial in this boat. Everything matters (especially single handed!). Of everything that I did and learned so far I am guessing that mast rake & tuning, repairing the shrunk bolt rope in the main, adding an adjustable back stay, reefing line to the cockpit and jib downhaul has helped considerably. Just the other weekend we were out in about 17 knot breeze. We played it really safe and sailed with a reefed main only. We scooted along nice and flat at around 4 knots and a light helm.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,446
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
When the boat starts to heel the quick fix is to ease the mainsheet or traveler down to get the wind from pushing the windward side or the sail, rather than flowing equally over both sides. You should install(if not there now) single tell tales from the tip of the three top battens. This will give you a visualization of the air flow over the sail. Also, install them on your headsail... this time 3 Pair (on both sides) about 8-12 inches back from the leading edge at 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 increments. Instructions will be included with the tell tales... for installation and how to use them.. a very small investment that will greatly improve your sailing immediately.

If you find the boat constantly heeling and wanting to round up it means you are overpowered. It is important to acquire a basic sail trim guide.... it is not wise to have no understanding of basic sailing fundamentals. And there is no excuse for it... there is simply too much free stuff on YouTube that will give you those basics. But.... at it's most element explanation a sail is "overpowered" when it is TOO ROUND. To "de power" the sail, you want to make it FLATTER.... and .... to increase TWIST.

If you acquire Don Guillette"s Sail Trim User's guide, available on this forum... you will quickly enlighten yourself to these basic concepts on how to make the boat go in the direction you want, stop where and when you want and how to keep the boat UPRIGHT. Do it now..... thank us later.
 
Apr 11, 2017
565
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
It's also good to bear in mind - that the more the boat heels over about 15 degrees - the slower the boat actually goes. When you have a deep heeling sailboat boat, it's imagined to be wild and fast - but in reality, you'll notice the boat is hardly moving through the water. Like others have said - I think the easist way to get the feel for sailing, heel, and sail trimming - is to spend a few afternoons in a rented sailing dinghy, or other smaller sailboat. The feedback loop is instantaneous.

If you just have access to the C22 - I'd spend some more time with just the mainsail alone, and you can get a good feel for how to round-up, or release the mainsail sheet, or traveler - all of which quickly decrease the heel. If you have a lot of higher winds, it's probably worth it to buy a 110 jib - and maximize it with correct sail trim - rather than being WAY overpowered with a larger headsail. With just the mainsail up, and sailing on a reach - always bear in mind the boat will have a natural tendency to turn upwind - since most of the sideways pressure from the sail will be coming from behind the mast, and the centerline of the boat. That's normal with just the main up.

Good luck - IMO it's like riding a bike - all of a sudden, everything will click in your mind, and then what decisions to make becomes pretty much automatic and instinctive. IMO, the biggest issue for new sailors is becoming comfortable on a heeling sailboat, but once you have a little more experience - it'll be no problem, and the fun of the sport is adapting the sail trim to the conditions. Good luck!
 
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Apr 28, 2020
34
Catalina 22 Lake Monroe
So a few years ago I bought a sailboat... And I found out why its called a mid-life crisis, because when I first took her out, I ended up in crisis. I took my Catalina 22 out alone for the first sail, just incase anything bad happened it would be just me in trouble. So, I put her in the water, tossed up the sails, and away I went. The boat screamed (hummed really) across the water! I actually was sailing, and was instantly in love. Then it dawned on me... How do I maneuver, and more importantly, how do I stop!! I was under sail after all, and even though God controls the wind, I'm not God. I decided to turn into the wind, drop sails, and motor back... I did fine turning into the wind, but as I dropped sails (main and genoa), the sheets were twisted and they only came down to the spreaders... with no one at the helm, she drifted back into the wind and the crisis began!! Long story shortened, I did a lot of praying, had a full blown anxiety attack, and by the grace of God made it back safely with half the sails tucked under my arm, and a fear of the heel..
I have since sailed her a little more (4 or 5 times) and learned a ton each time.
I don't know if my main is setup right though, and with no ferller, is it possible to reef the genoa with hank-on only?
Lastly, How do I overcome my fear of the heel? I don't mind a little heeling, but even under 10 to 15 mph winds she gets tippy quickly and my panic returns. After my first solo experience, I really don't like the heel, but love the idea of sailing... someone help! Please. View attachment 182900
 
Jul 25, 2020
7
Catalina 22 Forest Lake
I am thankful for the help of fellow sailors who've graciously helped me out. One particular has made the world of difference to my ability. @LakeShark visited me this summer and worked out my biggest issues to get me properly sailing. I am in love with this adventure even more now. I still don't like the heel, but I know what to do to help myself, and I am slowly learning to accept it properly! Looking forward to next season already as here in Minnesota we've already had snow 3 times this week alone!
 
Apr 28, 2020
34
Catalina 22 Lake Monroe
So a few years ago I bought a sailboat... And I found out why its called a mid-life crisis, because when I first took her out, I ended up in crisis. I took my Catalina 22 out alone for the first sail, just incase anything bad happened it would be just me in trouble. So, I put her in the water, tossed up the sails, and away I went. The boat screamed (hummed really) across the water! I actually was sailing, and was instantly in love. Then it dawned on me... How do I maneuver, and more importantly, how do I stop!! I was under sail after all, and even though God controls the wind, I'm not God. I decided to turn into the wind, drop sails, and motor back... I did fine turning into the wind, but as I dropped sails (main and genoa), the sheets were twisted and they only came down to the spreaders... with no one at the helm, she drifted back into the wind and the crisis began!! Long story shortened, I did a lot of praying, had a full blown anxiety attack, and by the grace of God made it back safely with half the sails tucked under my arm, and a fear of the heel..
I have since sailed her a little more (4 or 5 times) and learned a ton each time.
I don't know if my main is setup right though, and with no ferller, is it possible to reef the genoa with hank-on only?
Lastly, How do I overcome my fear of the heel? I don't mind a little heeling, but even under 10 to 15 mph winds she gets tippy quickly and my panic returns. After my first solo experience, I really don't like the heel, but love the idea of sailing... someone help! Please. View attachment 182900
I appreciate that you described the the true experience here. I bought a C-22 back in December. Brought her home in the snow. Just loved the look of her. Always wanted to sail. Looked at pictures in Boys Life magazine and thought it would be so cool. Harnessing the wind. Hand on the tiller. Yeah all that. Problem is I don't know jack about sailing. I'm more of an old farm boy. But I climbed all around on her. Looking her over. I paid for a slip early. Expensive. When it warmed up I scrubbed her clean. Always working around the mast tied across her and the shrouds all over the place. I would step out on the porch and admire her there on her trailer. Look out the window at her. Yes I really did. lol. Put her in the water and start learning. That was the plan. Then covid came along. Well I didn't get her to the slip until last month. The guy that hauled her for me went way beyond and helped me raise the mast. Secure the stays, and put on her new motor. Even met me at the slip and showed me how to tie up. I was amazed at how solid she felt in the water. In her element. She took her place in a row of her kind. Then I went back to work. My next day off was nice and I decided to take her out. Just to practice handling under power and get familiar with the motor. Ok really to be on my boat cutting through the water. My main goal was to get out of my slip and back in without harming any one else's boat. I did it!
I also took a chunk out of my own rudder with my own motor. But my boat and I were on the lake. A few days ago I found a real sailor to adjust the rigging and take her for a shake down. He made me do everything. I was freaked. But I didn't do so bad. At least with a pro telling me what to do and when to do it. The wind filled the sails and I could feel the power.
The tiller spoke to me through different points of sail. Heavy and light. Water rushed past us. We healed pretty good a couple of times but I kinda liked it. I still don't know what I'm doing but oh I enjoyed that. And now its time to think about bringing her home. Maybe one more sail.
 
Jul 25, 2020
7
Catalina 22 Forest Lake
Fantastic!!! I went through all those same emotions... and now that I have a slight understanding of what I'm doing, I long to do it more frequently. I live a mile from the lake, so mine stays on the trailer... I might seek out a private dock next year, or a mooring ball if possible. Idk yet, but I already can't wait till next season!
 
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Aug 2, 2010
440
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
Thank you all for your wisdom, and advice. I am going to look into the books mentioned, and if a class is possible near me. I intend to conquer this challenge. I know my fear of the heel comes from lack of experience, and with some practice I should be good to go. Thank you all once again!
Think of heel as a safety tool. As the wind exerts more force on your boat she will heel to dump away some of that force and will use just the amount she can for forward momentum. As you grow your skills you will learn how to set the sails to use more of the power and dump what you don't use more easily.
Heeling is good and that keel is there to keep her stand back up when the wind forces ease.
 
Sep 14, 2014
1,058
Catalina 22 Pensacola, Florida
Got that feeling when I first went sailing at 8 years old, still gives me a thrill when the wind fills the sails at 72! Healing is good when bang your self up working below, but it is slower when you age! Heeling is a very good indicator of what your are doing with the sail set and what the wind is actually doing to your craft.
 
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Sep 15, 2016
615
Catalina 22 Minnesota
I am thankful for the help of fellow sailors who've graciously helped me out. One particular has made the world of difference to my ability. @LakeShark visited me this summer and worked out my biggest issues to get me properly sailing. I am in love with this adventure even more now. I still don't like the heel, but I know what to do to help myself, and I am slowly learning to accept it properly! Looking forward to next season already as here in Minnesota we've already had snow 3 times this week alone!
So Glad your sailing season ended well. I just put the boat away for the year as well a few weeks ago and the snow is flying. I was wondering how things worked out for you.
 
Sep 14, 2014
1,058
Catalina 22 Pensacola, Florida
Always sit on the high side , that way your looking down at the water and your above all worries about it, pun pun.