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degree of weather tiller to overcome her tendency to luff. Remember, if you want to make speed, not to carry too much weather tiller, as the more you increase the rudder angle, the more resistance you opposé to her headway. It has somewhat the effect of towing a bucket astern.
(8) Having seen the effect and use of the different parts of the gear of a boat under sail, the next thing is to sail properly by the wind” or “close-hauled." The art of steering a boat by the wind can only be acquired by practice, but the first requisite is attention.
well-trimmed boat sailing close-hauled requires constant watching and humoring. The wind is never perfectly steady, either in force or direction. Every puff is a little different, and must be watched and humored by a slight movement of the hand on the tiller.
(9) In sailing by the wind, the great object is to make the boat go as fast as possible through the water in a direction as near the wind as possible. If the sheets are hauled too flat aft, and the boat jammed into the wind, she may point higher, but speed is lost, and a great deal of leeway made. If the sheets are not flat enough aft, speed is made, but she will not make sufficiently to windward. A happy medium must be struck between the two. Get your sheets properly trimmed, watch the luff of the mainsail, and put the tiller down slowly until you see the sail quiver along the luff, near the throat. Then you are sailing as near the wind as you can with the sheets trimmed as they are.
(10) In sailing “free,” head in the direction desired, slack the sheet until the luff of the sail trembles below the throat, then haul in slightly, and the sheets will be trimmed.
NOTES ON HANDLING BOATS UNDER SAIL. NOTE.-The following general notes on handling boats under sail were taken from the Petty Officer's Drill Book, 1902, in which they were reproduced by permission from Knight's Modern Seamanship.
91. Trim.-(1) To do her best under sail a boat must be trimmed in accordance with her build and rig:
(2) If she carries considerable headsail she will need to be deeper forward than would otherwise be desirable. If she has little or no headsail she would trim by the stern. The build and rig are fixed upon with reference to each other, due consideration being given to the purpose for which the boat is designed. Once fixed, the characteristics are practically permanent. The trim of both boat and sails, on the other hand, can be varied within rather wide limits; but they, too, must be considered with reference to each other. Most boats when on the wind sail best when carrying a little weather tiller; that is to say, when they have a slight tendency to come into the wind. Too much weather tiller may be corrected by shifting weights aft; too much lee tiller by shifting them forward.
(3) The weights should be kept out of the ends of the boat, without being unduly crowded together amidships. It is especially important to keep heavy weights out of the bow. The only ballast, as such, that should be carried, is water in breakers. Under no circumstances should “sinking'' ballast be allowed; ballast, in other words, which is heavier than water. The lower the weights can be stowed the better; but care should be taken to keep the "well’' clear for bailing. Ballast and cargo must be secured against the possibility of shifting. The crew should be kept well down, and nobody be · allowed to stand on the thwarts or sit on the gunwale. If the men are sitting to windward in a fresh breeze they should move amidships when passing under the lee of a vessel or other object, where the wind may fail or even shift in an eddy. The mast should be properly stayed up and down or with a slight rake aft, and the halyards taut up.
92. (1) On the wind, as has been said, a boat should carry a little weather tiller. The sails should be kept rap full, sheets not too flat, but everything drawing and the boat alive. It is a common mistake to get the sheets so flat that the boat, while pointing high, actually makes a course to leeward of that which she would make if kept away a little with sheets eased accordingly; and it is, of course, clear that if kept away her speed will be greater than when jammed up into the wind in the hope of stealing a fraction of a point. A boat of good draft with a deep keel or centerboard and yachts designed for racing, with fin keels hanging 10 feet below their normal draft, will lie amazingly close to the wind with little or no leeway. Ships' boats, however, are not constructed on yachting lines and can not be held up in the same way.
(2) Sheets may be hauled flatter in smooth water than in rough, and the sheets of standing lugs, gaff and boom sails, sliding gunters, and the like may be hauled flatter than those of dipping lugs. The sails being properly set, the leech cloths of the sails are kept just trembling, with enough weather tiller to let the steersman “feel” that she wants to come into the wind. As the wind will vary more or less (in apparent if not real direction), it is necessary to be watchful and to bring her up or keep her away, from time to time, in order that
she may be always at her best. The sails should be kept fuller in rough than in smooth water, and it is more important that the boat should be kept going so as to be always under command of the rudder. If a heavy breaking sea is seen bearing down upon her she should be luffed up to meet it, and kept away again as soon as it has passed. If she loses way she becomes helpless at once. It is dangerous to be caught by a heavy sea on the beam; and if the course to be made in rough water would bring the boat into the trough of the sea the best plan is to run off for a time with the sea on the quarter, then bring her up with it on the bow, and so make good the course desired without actually steering it at any time.
93. (1) It is a universal rule in boat sailing that the sheets should never be belayed in any weather.
(2) For a moderate squall the boat should be luffed sufficiently to shake, without spilling the sails, thus keeping headway enough to retain control, but with the sheets (as always) in hand. If it comes stronger she must be luffed more decidedly and the sheet slacked more or less. The sheet may, of course, be let go, and in a sudden emergency this must be done at once, in addition to putting down the tiller and, if necessary, reducing sail; but the longer she can be kept under control the better, and to let go the sheet is to give up control.
(3) The situation is quite different in running free. Here the sail can not be spilled by a touch of the tiller, and the only prudent thing is to slack the sheet while luffing. The force of the wind would be much reduced by running off, but the trouble with this is that if it comes too strong there is no resource but to lower the sail, and the chances are that it will bind against the shrouds and refuse to come down. Moreover, there is always danger that the wind will shift in a squall, and the mainsail may gybe with dangerous force.
94. (1) When a boat begins to take water it is time to reef; she should never, even in smooth water, be allowed to heel too much. A boat that is decked over may run her lee rail awash; but when an open boat is approaching this point it must be remembered that a fresher puff may bear the gunwale lower without warning, and that the moment it dips the boat will almost certainly fill and capsize. The details of reefing will depend upon the rig, but a few general rules may be laid down. The men should be stationed before beginning, and should all be required to remain seated. One hand lowers the halyards as much as may be necessary, another hauls down on the leech and shifts the tack. The sheet is hauled in a little to let the men detailed for the reef points get hold of and gather in the foot. The sheet is then slacked and shifted, the reef points passed, the halyards manned, the sail hoisted, and the sheet trimmed. It is important to keep the boat under command while reefing, and for this she must have way enough to obey her rudder. If she can be luffed a little and still be kept going through the water sufficiently to obey the rudder, then it is unquestionably wise to luff, but not sufficiently to risk losing control.
(2) If the boat has more than one sail it is a safe plan to reef them one at a time when the sea is dangerously heavy. If there is sufficient crew in the boat and the sea is moderate, the seamanlike method is, however, to reef all sails simultaneously, as is the habitual practice on drill.
RUNNING BEFORE THE WIND. 95. (1) This is the most dangerous point of sailing in a fresh breeze, because of the chance of gybing. The danger increases if the boat yaws, as she will have a tendency to do if trimmed at all by the head, from which follows the rule in running keep the weights fairly well aft, though never at the extreme after end. Very careful steering is required, and if the sea is really heavy the chances are that the boom will gybe in spite of all the care that can be taken, unless lashed to the rail or to a shroud by a “lazy guy.'
(2) Squalls are not so dangerous before the wind as when closehauled, unless they are accompanied by a shift of wind. If they call for any reduction of sail it may be made by dropping the peak of the mainsail (if a gaff sail), or, more satisfactorily, by reefing.
(3) In running before the wind the foresail is sometimes set on the side opposite the mainsail, a temporary boom being rigged by using a boat hook or an oar. A boat sailing in this way is going “wing and wing.”
(4) If the sea is rough it is well to avoid running with the wind dead aft. To make good a course directly to leeward the wind may be brought first on one quarter and then on the other, the mainsail being clewed up, or the peak dropped, each time the course is changed if the breeze is strong enough to make gybing dangerous.
(5) A serious danger in running before a heavy sea is that of “broaching to.” The boat will yaw considerably, the rudder will be often out of water when it is most needed to meet her, and the sails will be becalmed in the trough of the sea. The situation here
is much like that of a boat running in a surf; and, as in that case, the yawing will be reduced by keeping the weights aft and by steering with an oar. The jib should always be set, with the sheet hauled aft. It helps to meet and pay her off if she "flies to” against the rudder. A drag towed over the stern is also helpful.
(6) Another danger in running is that the boom may dip in the water as she rolls, and thus capsize the boat.
96. (1) In tacking, the same principles apply to a boat as to a ship. After-sail tends to bring her head to wind, headsail to keep her off; but all sails, so long as they draw, give her headway and so add to the
steering power of the rudder.
(2) It is clear that a short, full boat will turn to windward better than a long, narrow one, and will require a much shorter distance for coming around. Thus a short boat is preferable to a long one for working up a narrow channel.
(3) Under ideal conditions, a boat close-hauled, but with good way on, shoots up into the wind as the tiller is eased down, makes a good reach to windward, and fills away on the new tack without for a moment losing headway. The main boom is hauled amidships, and, as the jib and foresail lift, their sheets are let go. The boat comes head to wind, and as she pays off on the new tack the sheets are hauled aft and she is steadied on her course. Under less favorable conditions tacking is not so simple. If there is a sea on the bow, advantage must be taken of a smooth time to ease the tiller down; the main boom must be hauled amidships gradually, and the foresail kept full as long as it will draw. If the boat loses headway, the jib sheet is held out on the old lee bow (not too far) to pay her head around, and care must be taken not to make a “back saíl” of the mainsail. “As she gathers sternboard the tiller is shifted, and, if necessary, an oar is gotten out to help her around. Carrying the weights forward is favorable for tacking, but when a boat has sternboard she may be helped around by putting a few of the crew on the (new) lee quarter, where, by increasing the immersion of the full lines of the counter, they add to the resistance and cause the bow to fall off.
(4) If she gets "in irons," either an oar must be used or the jib and foresail sheets must be hauled over on the old tack, flat aback, to give her sternboard. This last is a dangerous maneuver in a strong breeze and rough sea. The use of an oar at any time with a boat under sail is to be discouraged as being lubberly.