Very Newbie

Aug 21, 2016
Oday 14 Javlin Deerfield NH
Hi All,
I'm very new to sailing and I am completely hooked.
My family purchased a lake house in NH and my stepfather quickly bought an Oday Javlin 14'.
He was born and raised in Bermuda and has sailing in his blood.
I went out with him once and my father once and decided it was time to go solo.
I had sailed three times solo or with a friend until yesterday when with my wife we tipped the boat.
I am a big dude 6'7" 285lbs so I am not so nimble in the boat.
It seems like I have had all of my trouble while raising the main sail. I get the boat pointed into the wind but it seems to be a challenge to keep the boat pointed while I tie off the mail halyard.
Yesterday I didn't do good enough of a job explaining this to my wife and she was on the tiller.
We got sideways and over we went.
We had the help of some very kind boaters to help right it.
I guess I learned a lesson and only hurt my pride.
Any tips on raising the main sail would be apreciated.
Off to have another cup of coffee and go sailing!
Jan 1, 2006
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I think you're gonna need a bigger boat ...
Seriously a 6'7" dude in a 14' centerboard boat is a recipe for capsize. Look for a used Rhodes 19 with a fixed keel. Until then can you hoist the main before leaving the dock or shore?


Aug 18, 2015
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
If you are already "underway" when you are ready to raise the mainsail, then release the main sheet first. (Make sure there is a stopknot in the end of the sheet.) That way the boom can move, and sail can "trail" downwind no matter what the heading of the boat. Take up a position where the boom will not knock you overboard, and raise the sail. Note that this approach means that the boat will not be sailing until you tighten the mainsheet again, so you will likely not have steerageway. Make sure there are no obstacles nearby to drift or be blown into until you can start sailing again.
Nov 30, 2015
Hunter 1978 H30 Cherubini, Treman Marina, Ithaca, NY
My buddy just restored an older 14' Javelin and we got a chance to sail with him a week ago up in Lincolnville, Maine. The lake he is on is relatively shallow, but deep enough at the end of his short dock to have about 75% of the keel lowered. The main sail requires the bolt rope of the luff to be completely threaded up a slot in the mast, which makes it exceptionally difficult to perform while off the dock. Therefore he simply points the boat as best as possible into the wind and hoists the main while tied up. The boat is light enough to simply load passengers and shove off on a beam or broad reach, pull in the main sheet, and trim as needed until the keel is fully deployed. The main sail stays up all day and gets doused at night. Easy-peasy launch.

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Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
When raising a mainsail on a small daysailor, suggest strongly that you always point into the wind when raising it. There is something that you can do to take care of that problem. Add a small mast swivel cam cleat that attaches to the mast. YOu will have to add a longer main halyard but you flick the line to release and pull it which locks from anywhere in the cockpit. I forgot who made them but noticed one by Selden and Burnsideters
Nov 30, 2015
Hunter 1978 H30 Cherubini, Treman Marina, Ithaca, NY
BlowMeAway ..................... get that picture over to favorite sailing pics:
Hi Ralph, Ok, I can do that, thanks for your kind remarks. I agree with the pulse, and hypertension, reduction. We decided that this setting was better than the daily Amlodopine and Benicar intake. See that thread for your "Official Like"
Aug 21, 2016
Oday 14 Javlin Deerfield NH
Thanks for the advice. Went back out yesterday. I think my main sheet is too short. I can barely get to a beam reach.
May 24, 2004
CC 30 South Florida
The boat does not necessarily need to be pointed straight into the wind you can just point the boom into the wind and it will have the same effect. Raise the sail at the dock while you are still tied to it. Learning to sail in a small boat will hone, true by the seat of the pants, sailing skills. They are much more demanding than the larger boats. Learn how to right the boat and recover from a capsize and always wear a life jacket.
Aug 21, 2016
Oday 14 Javlin Deerfield NH
Benny17441, thanks. I will try launching right from the dock next time. I do have a small powerboat and floating raft near me but I should be able to maneuver around it.
With regards to righting the boat, the dagger board is hinged and when it went over the dagger board folded back up into the hull. We got it out once but it was very challenging. We needed assistance from some folks in a power boat. Is there a trick with this type of dagger board? I thought of drilling a small hole at the end and attaching a small clip or piece of chain. Also should I pull the sails in before righting. Having no experience, should I be able to right a 14' boat solo? It is probably my biggest hesitation, not having help righting if I capsize again.
And of course I always wear my vest.


Jan 10, 2013
Hunter 34 Vancouver, BC
I can't see an engine in your picture... Do you have a little outboard on there? If so, perhaps you're not using enough power to keep the bow into the wind. Also, it pays to do some drills beforehand with your sailing companion to make sure she/he is comfortable with the tiler and understands how to keep the boat pointed into the wind. For newbies you can't make too many assumptions.


Aug 10, 2012
WD Schock Wavelength 24 Wallenpaupack
I had a Capri 14.2 (similar in size) and I am 6'1" and at the time was 275lbs.. the boat you have is fine... and actually you'll keep it that much more stable... but I strongly recommend you raise sails before you are away from the dock... at least until you can get the pattern down.

Also get long enough line for your mainsheet, so that the boom can be eased all the way to 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the centerline of the boat. Then as others have said, release the mainsheet when you raise the mainsail.

unless you have someone rowing, or motoring the boat forward, you'll have a devil of a time staying head to wind while raising that main (hence why its easier to do while docked)... if you do it at the dock and release the mainsheet, you orient the boat as close to head to wind as you can... raise it and allow it to flap in the breeze, until you are ready to "push off." Push off is exactly as it sounds, you leap into the center of the boat (don't step on the gunwale - always the centerline of the boat)...

when you drift out (mainsheet still loose), steer away from the dock as you slowly sheet in (do not sheet quickly)... the objective is to slowly accelerate the boat.

You can do the same from the shore, except its VERY difficult if the breeze is blowing onto shore. Because a beach launch requires rudder and centerboard up. In the case of sailing off the shoreline, breeze blowing you back in. you'll need to launch nearly hip deep with a partially deployed rudder and centerboard so you can sail at 45-60 degrees off the wind and away from the shoreline... entering the boat this way is either over the transom or from the windward side (again mainsheet eased).
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Aug 21, 2016
Oday 14 Javlin Deerfield NH
That is not my boat in the pic but mine is similar. I have an older oday javelin 14'. No outboard. Lesson learned not explaining enough to my companion (wife).
Jul 14, 2016
Hunter 18 Westport, NY
Good suggestions above. On my Hunter 18, I added a mast float that goes over the top of the main sail and keeps the mast floating on the surface of the water. I also tie everything on safety lines, such as my motor, anchor, spinnaker, refrigerator, TV, etc. Most important, if you capsize, be sure to fully release the sheets for the main and the jib - and pull the line throug so it allows the boom to ride out to 90 degrees. It is nearly impossible to right the boat if they are cleated in tight, as the sails will hold water. My centerboard has a line to pull it "down" as well as up, so I can do that to get it out for righting the boat. Finally, if you are sailing with no one around, a portable VHF radio is a good idea.


May 17, 2016
Morgan 41 Center Cockpit US
The main thing is to not have the boom tied down. Think of the boom as the accelerator and the sail as the engine. When you point your boat into the wind ( as best as possible ) you can raise the main without hitting the accelerator until you are ready by making the boom loose so that is swings down wind. Once you are ready, then fall off the wind or across the wind and tighten up the rope on the boom slowly until you start getting some speed.

You'll soon get the feel for where to point the boat relative to the wind and how much and when to "hit the accelerator".

My view is to Never raise a sail at a dock, or while tied to anything. You will find the wind will control where your boom will go and at a dock or while tied to something else that might not be such a good thing.

Find some shallow water to practice on. If your mast is not hollow or has access holes in it that will allow it to sink the "Ball" at the top of the mast is a great idea.

You can use the wind to help you right your boat by moving the mast and boat around so the wind can get under the mast and the sail from the front and this will help you get the sail clear of the water.
Be sure your boom has been released before you right your boat (otherwise it might take off without you).

I used to tie a rope along each side of my boat so I would have something to pull on ( from the opposite side ) and this greatly helped me in righting my boat.
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Jul 14, 2016
Hunter 18 Westport, NY
And, the suggestion to practice righting the boat singlehanded, in light and heavy wind is a good one. You may have a mate who is incapable of helping you bring the boat up. Last comment: if you right the boat and the main sheet is close hauled, the boat might sail away without you -- so be sure to release the tiller tamer as well, if you have one of those.
Aug 21, 2016
Oday 14 Javlin Deerfield NH
And, the suggestion to practice righting the boat singlehanded, in light and heavy wind is a good one. You may have a mate who is incapable of helping you bring the boat up. Last comment: if you right the boat and the main sheet is close hauled, the boat might sail away without you -- so be sure to release the tiller tamer as well, if you have one of those.
Would it make sense to pull the sails in while in the water to prevent the boat from sailing away?


Jul 21, 2015
Marlow-Hunter e33 Alexandria
In my daysailor experience, there are two types of capsizing, 1) on the side with the sails laying on the water and 2) turned turtle. All boats will stop for a brief instance with the sails laying on the water. That's the time to swim to bottom of the boat, grab the gunwale, and get it upright again. When it turns turtle, it can be much harder to right. I'm also a big guy (around 260), but I have some tips. Stay as close to the mast as possible when raising the main, or raise at the dock WITH THE MAINSHEET UNCLEATED, and sail away. Letting the main luff is a noisy and stressful act, but it means you can't capsize. When starting to go over, if stationary, get to the high side and step over onto the centerboard, hauling down on the gunwale, righting the boat before it goes over. Easier to say than do sometimes. You should be able to easily right a small, lightweight 14 footer by yourself. Also, you don't need to lower the sails when capsized. Stay away from free floating lines when in the water! Just ensure the mainsheet is uncleated (also the jibsheet if you have one) the sail(s) will turn to the point of least resistance as you right the boat. It takes practice and confidence being in the water. Capsizing is not embarrassing, it's a right of passage for any sailor. If you are sailing and you feel the boat start to go, just turn upwind or let go of everything, the boat will quickly stabilize. Good luck and have fun!
Aug 1, 2011
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
One of the more fun aspects of little boats is getting tossed in the drink when you mess up, or push it too hard. The boat has a definitive way of expressing itself. Don't worry about getting tossed, spend time in the experience, learn from it and keep going.
It's only water.
Sep 8, 2014
Catalina 22 Swing Keel San Diego
I grew up on lakes in Upstate NY, and although I spent the majority of my water time in powerboats and paddle boats that's where I learned to love sailboats as well as developing my general addiction to small boats. Small boats on lakes are so great because there is so much you can do with a small boat for so much less money!
I would second the above suggestion to look for a bigger boat in the 18 to 21 foot range. On a bigger boat with more sail area your size becomes an advantage for additional ballast.
I'm not totally familiar with the way the Javelin's centerboard trunk is constructed and only generally speaking, yes, you COULD drill a hole in the trunk to pass a pin which would lock the centerboard down and prevent it from folding in during a capsize. Keep in mind a few things... the centerboard trunk top is typically designed at or above the designated waterline. Keel lock pins have to be drilled as high as possible to be above that DWL, below it and you sink. Even above the line it can leak from splashing inside the trunk. If you did put a lock pin in it needs to be stainless steel. Keep in mind, if the original design does not have lock pin they probably did this for 2 reasons; 1. With no holes in the centerboard trunk will be watertight, and it should stay that way. 2. Many of these small boats are beach launched or sail in shallow water generally, so in the event of hitting something or grounding the centerboard folds up. If it were locked down with a stainless pin you could cause catastrophic damage to the trunk/centerboard/hull if you hit hard enough and the board can fold.
I would recommend looking at other examples of this boat and see if anyone else has ever done it. If you can safely drill a hole in the trunk and through the centerboard without losing watertight integrity, go no more than 3/8" and use a pin made of Delrin Acetyl plastic. The pin will be strong enough to hold the CB down but in the event of a grounding it will shear so you don't damage the boat. Heck, I'd bet 1/4" diameter would be better.