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Reef early, reef often

posted Jan 14, 2017, 10:03 PM by Martin Riddle   [ updated Jan 20, 2017, 1:06 PM by Posts Editor ]
Recent strong winds in southern Tasmania are a timely reminder of the importance of having a good reefing system on your boat and knowing how to use it. Wind strength can change quickly in the waters we will be traversing during the Raids. Even when we set out in the morning with a favourable forecast, it’s always possible the wind will get up and make everything a little too exciting during the day.  Knowing how to reduce sail quickly and under gusty conditions is essential for ensuring you keep control of your vessel. Before the Raid check your reefing systems, making sure everything is running freely and that all fittings are secure and are not going to tear out when you’re hit by a strong gust.

Heaving to is a time-tested way of calming the situation when under sail, giving you time to gather your thoughts, tidy the boat and set yourself up properly when winds are strengthening. Remind yourself how to heave to in your vessel. The first day on the water at Recherche Bay will be devoted to making sure everyone is comfortable in their vessels before we head out to the exposed waters for the passage to Southport. This is a great opportunity to practice your reefing and to get the feel for how your vessel behaves when you need to heave to.

 

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