Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Still learning how to sail!

B and I took out our Com-Pac 23/3 Wrinkles for an after work sail yesterday. The sun was shining and the winds were forecast to be 5 - 10 mph with no gusts listed. We motored out of Marshall Park and put up the main and 110 jib which is on a CDI FF2 roller furler. The winds were directly behind us and very light. We set our sails for a broad reach and jibed a couple times to move away from shore. We started discussing whether we should just rig her up for a downwind run to go out toward the middle of the lake as the winds seemed pretty steady at 6 - 8 mph. Just as we finished discussing the sails we were smacked by a strong gust of wind that lasted about 30 seconds which set our starboard rail under water and caused us to round up.  Water over the coaming is not what we had in mind for our sail today.

Lake sailing always seems to provide sailors with gusty conditions, but in six seasons this is only our second round up. I'm not particularly fond of these and the Admiral disapproves mightily.  She docks my pay severely for allowing them. I'd have to say that her, "MIKE, THAT IS FAR ENOUGH!" was one of her best to date. The next couple of hours of sailing we somewhat nervously experimented with reducing and increasing the amount of headsail in winds that stayed in the 8 - 10 mph range with just the usual 15 mph gusts. The next time we go out we will go back to starting out with a reefed main until we know for sure what Mother Nature has in mind for us.

George in our previous Com-Pac
Our old CP 19 performing well
One of the fun things about this sail was the opportunity to sail for a while in the company of George and his trusty sidekick Walter. Walter seemed to be a very contented sailing dog. We took some pictures and video of them sailing the Com-Pac 19 that he recently purchased from us. That was pretty neat. George looked so relaxed and comfortable as he single-handed the 19 skillfully about.

George and his sailing buddy Walter spilling the headsail to stay even with us

In summary I guess we still have a lot of learning to do in this sailing endeavor. The Com-Pac 23/3 is not nearly as stiff sailing as our Com-Pac 19/2 was and we need to learn what she wants up for sail. I need to remember that "wrinkles in our sails" aren't a bad thing. So, reef her down and luff away!



  1. Cool blog. I just purchased my very first sailboat, a 1980 Com-Pac 23. I've only been out with her twice and I have a lot to learn. Cheers from southern 'Bama

  2. Glad you like it. We certainly enjoy writing about our sailing education. You picked a great sailboat to start on. We hope to join you in far southern Bama soon.

    Mike and B