Posts Tagged 'michigan'

tack your Sunfish step by step [video]

here is another great video from Steve King of North Shore Yacht Club in Highland Park, Illinois. I’ve previously posted his great videos for “rigging a Sunfish sailboat” and “rigging a Sunfish sailboat – part 2” and a promo video for “North Shore Yacht Club“.

in this video, Steve breaks down the tacking sequence into the following main steps, and shows the sequence in slow motion for each part:

  • step 1: ease the mainsheet approx 1 foot
  • step 2: push tiller to full leeward (max 45 degrees from boat centerline)
  • step 3: duck and turn (you can certainly see the advantage of mainsheet hangers during the duck and turn step!)
  • step 4: center the tiller only after the sail fills with wind (note: your hands are currently still reversed with the tiller held behind your back)
  • step 5: slide aft hand along sheet to grab both the sheet and tiller
  • step 6: grab sheet in forward hand and sheet in

this is more or less exactly how I’ve been doing it, maybe not quite as smooth and practiced as he shows!  thoughts? anyone out there with a preferred method that you’ve perfected as an alternate?

this video method is certainly different than this previously suggested sunfish tacking technique.

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sunfish sailing in the rain

it was an interesting afternoon: winds seemed light and shifty at times and the sky out on the horizon looked dark and cloudy. radar showed a big storm coming across Lake Michigan, but it seemed like it might pass up to the north of Camp. my son T2 and I decided to try sailing on our Sunfish and Minifish despite the chance of rain.

as we started rigging our boats the first rain drops started to fall. but I didn’t see anything to dark on the horizon and had not heard any thunder. we figured let’s try it out and see if we could at least get a quick sail.

I sent him off in the Minifish and then raised the sail on my Sunfish. winds were mostly from the south and had picked up some. rain continued to drip down on me, just a nice gentle rain.

as we sailed, the wind and waves both kept increasing as the rainstorm kept coming from the west and across Lake Michigan. I was able to snap a few pics before it got too intense.

T2 sailing behind me, Camp Arcadia on the shoreline of Lake Michigan behind him.

the cool rain was awesome and as the wind and waves kept picking up it just got better. we were both flying across the water, mostly just reaches east and west, as I didn’t want to wander to far north or south up the shoreline with the storm close.

it was an awesome afternoon of sailing!

wind forecast

winds are looking promising!

forecast via Windfinder.

crossing my fingers that a little bit of this will be going on next week on Lake Michigan:

Michigan Sailing Club Dan Rice Regatta (May 27th, 2018)

this coming Sunday, May 27th, the Michigan Sailing Club (part of the University of Michigan) is hosting their annual Dan Rice Regatta (NOR).

2017 Dan Rice Regatta (pic via Michigan Sailing Club)

The Regatta is open to all sailors and ALL Classes of sail boats up to 21′ with a US Sailing Portsmouth number. Only Members of the Michigan Sailing Club (MSC) may sail club owned boats.

The regatta will be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020, the rules of each participating class and the Sailing Instructions.

We will allow co-skippering.

There is no fee for this regatta; it’s free!
We will collect an optional fee ($5/person) at the skippers meeting for lunch.
Feel free to bring your own food and drinks if you prefer.

Club members may reserve a boat in advance on a first-come, first-served basis. There may be a waiting list if all boats are reserved.

The regatta will be held at the club’s property on Baseline Lake, at 8010 Strawberry Lake Road in Dexter, Michigan.

last year’s Dan Rice Regatta summary can be found here.

sounds like a nice event if you’re in the Detroit metro area and haven’t gotten your sailboat out on the water yet this spring!

Easter greetings

it is April 1st, and Easter, and of course there are snow flurries coming down because we live in Michigan. we are spending the weekend with my family – a time for food, fellowship, fun, and then some more food!

hopefully spring gets here quickly, because I’d love to be sailing soon.

image h/t: @CFAScot

greater Detroit 2018 Sunfish race schedule

the Greater Detroit Sunfish Club (GDSC) has released their 2018 Sunfish race schedule (you can find it with additional information posted at their Yahoo Group).  you can also check them out on their Facebook page.

  • May 20th – Watkins Lake
  • June 3rd – Watkins Lake
  • June 9th & 10th – Gull Lake Sunfish Open Regatta (details & NOR TBD)
  • June 23rd & 24th – camping weekend at Muskegon Lake (Muskegon State Park)
  • July 29th – U.P. Island Race (Les Cheneaux YC… details t.b.d.)
  • early August – Sunfish Youth North American Championships & Sunfish North American Championships (Lake Bluff, IL)
  • September 1st & 2nd – camping weekend at Higgins Lake (South State Park)
  • September 15th & 16th – Devils Lake Regatta (Bruce Goldsmith Memorial – details & NOR TBD)
  • September 30th – Watkins Lake

all Sunday races start at 12:30pm [uno], with the camping/racing weekends starting earlier in the day to get extra races in over the weekend.

I said this last year (and the year before… and the year before… and the year before), and didn’t get a chance to sail with this group, but I’m again going to do my best to meet up with them for some sailing races this year.

rigging a Sunfish sailboat – part 2[video]

this is a great follow-up video on Sunfish rigging setups that was created by Steve King of North Shore Yacht Club in Highland Park, Illinois.  his 1st video was a fantastic introduction to standard Sunfish rigging.

this 2nd video goes in depth a bit more on some of the specific sail settings:

  • halyard position – gives a setting for racing and a setting for cruising or recreational sailing (especially helpful with a guest on the boat)
  • adjustable gooseneck position – settings adjustments based on wind speed
  • outhaul and cunningham controls – additional controls that you can add to the lower boom to adjust the sail shape

I really like how they add some white colored tape on the upper spar to show the 2 different halyard positions that they like to use.  measuring from the top of the upper spar, they use 54″ for racing and 74″ for recreational sailing (but note that the 74″ setting should probably not be used in high winds, as this setting raises the sail up quite a bit, and the overturning forces from the wind could damage the mast step at the Sunfish deck).  the tape takes the guesswork out of it: so you don’t have to count sail rings, or grab a tape measure to try to make sure the halyard knot is set in the right position, because after the sail is raised up, you can’t adjust that position.

the adjustable (quick-release) gooseneck is key for giving you the ability to adjust the sail setting for various wind speeds you will encounter.  in the video, they recommend the following settings:

here is how I’ve marked my lower boom with 1-inch increments so I can quickly see my setting.

he also explains how the gooseneck setting can and should be adjusted to correct any weather or lee helm while you are sailing.

the other two adjustments for wind speed are the cunningham (at the tack of the sail) and the outhaul (at the aft end of the lower spar).  the cunningham line controls the front edge, or luff, of the sail. the outhaul is used to flatten the foot or lower 1/3 of the sail.  he explains the settings for each of these in the video.


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