Main Sheet Position, Dogs and GPS gadgets

Rye Gewalt (
Sun, 15 Aug 1999 18:53:57 -0400

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Your recent comment about the problems short rigged boats have with the
Main Sheet getting tangled in the motor got me thinking. Today I moved
the attachment point on the boom about two feet in towards the mast and
it seems to minimize the problem. My main sheet is 4:1 and I really
can't feel any significant problem with the shorter lever arm. If you
are sitting way in the back of the cockpit you might get tangled, but
you shouldn't be sitting all that far back if you want to boat to point
worth a damm. I left the attachment point on the boom end in case I
have a cockpit full of guests and want to go back to the original
configuration, but even then I wouldn't expect much of a problem.

I tried it today on the Potomac in 15 - 18 MPH winds and it works
great. First good sailing day on the river in a while. Temperature in
the low 80s with nice light cloud cover to keep the sun at bay. Took
the two 70 pound standard Poodles out and the old male, who sailed a lot
with me on the Siren, still remembers to get on the high side when the
boat heels. The Female is still clueless and walked off the dock onto a
bed of floating hydrilla thinking it was solid land -- damm near lost
her as she got tangled in the weeds and had a hard time keeping above
water. Fortunately some bystanders pulled her out.

The recent West Marine Flyer (or maybe it was Boats US) had one of those
snazzy GPS units with full chart and nav capability that looks pretty
neat. It is so well configured that it even has a built in altimeter.
I suppose the altimeter is good for checking if you are at high or low
tide and to make sure you are not accidentally sailing up hill. I am
sure that Jim Nolan and the Rock Mountain Potter group might find if
useful as I understand that many of the really good sailing lakes out
there are located on mountain sides.