Cruising and Navigation Association of New Zealand

Sailing Tips Forum (13 Oct)


1. Weather and Passage Planning (Bob McDavitt , also MC for the meeting ) –> –> PredictWind/MetService

Scale from outside in: Consider rain, then wind, then swell, then tide. Have an “onshore buddy”.

2. BOAT and SAIL Set-up (Basil Orr, Tony Whiting (Akarana Pacific/Whiting Projects, and Penny)

Basil described a FLOPPER STOPPER ( for a good night’s sleep in a rolly anchorage.

Tony showed the setup of Taranui III which sailed to Vanuatu last year. 3 roller-furlers. Specially designed so that sailing can be done from the cockpit, no need to go on foredeck. Single line reefing of main. Reduce main chaffing by using small batons.

Tony showed a diagram of his revolutionary Boom Preventer system. With a couple of pieces of rope and a boom vang strap this can prevent those unwanted gybes and wild swings of the boom. It steadies the boat and stops the rolling. It does slow the gybes, so may need modification on keel boats with a large mainsail.

Other tips: Choose a sail setting that is easy to control. Flat in light/strong winds, full sail only in moderate winds. Keep the rail clear of water – a flat boat is a fast boat.

Upwind: Take a heading that lets you feel the tug on the boat then go to windward when the tug increases, being mindful to prevent an unwanted tack.


A light touch should be all that is needed

Reduce or reef sails early enough to keep the boat sailing with minimum heel. Think of reefing as a balance tactic. Increase weight to windward.

3. When things go wrong (Paul Leppington -lecturer at NZ Maritime School, ex Senior Master/Director Spirit of Adventure Trust).

Paul delighted us with stories of personal experience of how easy things can go wrong and how to react – to galley fires and almost washing onto rocks. Buy the biggest fire extinguisher you can get. Invest in three (or four) emergency position beacons on various systems (GPS/Iridium/Russian/AIS/Galileo) so they can all be going at once.

Other tips: Flotation devices—what is the law now? All boats are to carry adequate PFD (Personal Flotation device) for each person on board + in Hauraki Gulf, for boats less than 6m, the onus is on the skipper.

Before departure: Check stanchions and cotter pins are in order, there are no hooks or snags, no loose lock-nuts.

Visitors briefing before departure— Cover Radio, “Man overboard”, what to do in a Tack/gybe, respect the boom, keep loose lines and ropes away from the prop.

Tools: In the high seas—a battery driven rotary cutter/angle grinder is best for cutting lines if mast breaks.



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