Today's Open/Close Times based on tide predictions

DateClub TimelineSunsetLow Tide
Sat Jun 22 Late Open10:29 AM to 8:06 PM8:36 PM-1.4 @ 7:04 AM

red means the Club will be closed. Note that current low tides are around 0.3 feet higher than predictions.

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"Boat on a Rope" Demo of Rudderless Technique


Boat on a Rope

Land drills and demos are things we don't do enough, as we focus on instruction on the water. But they can be very powerful additions to our program.

Here's a great example, Boat on a Rope.

As you get more advanced, you're learning how to control the boat with multiple controls, not just the tiller. A very powerful technique is boat lean.  It's easy to describe - if the starboard side is down, the boat turns to port, and vice versa. I taught kayaking for 10 years, and in a closed deck kayak, if you want to turn left, you lift your left knee, and vice versa. But it's one thing to talk about it, and another thing to see it in action.

Here's the demo. You take a boat that's not rigged and put an extender on the bow line. In a light wind day, you might rig a long line to the stern. You want a pretty large person in the boat to do the demo. You can do this in a Quest, but it will be easier in a JY. Let the wind blow the boat from our dock toward the middle dock (or pull it there with a stern line in lighter wind), then pull really hard to move the boat toward our dock. Once it's moving fast, let go.

The first time, you want the person in the boat in the center (left-right), but the second time, you want them on one side or another, really leaning the boat. The first time students should see the boat go pretty straight, but the second time they should see it move decisively away from the side of the boat that is leaning down.

This is an intro to rudderless sailing, and you can use it all the time. If you turn out too soon on a busy Saturday backing away from the dock, for example, and you're heading for another boat, the quickest way to turn to avoid it is to hike out hard to starboard. You'll turn sharper than you can with the tiller (and you'll impress your friends).

When I teach, I almost always have the least experienced person on the helm as I leave the dock (I've already gone over tiller basics at the dock). I want to show them that anyone can do this. When I cast off, I stay forward of the mast. I'm not thinking of grabbing the tiller if things go wrong (not a confidence builder for the student), but being able to steer the boat if necessary from my position. From forward of the mast, I can lean the boat quite a bit and steer it pretty well.

This demo shows this technique pretty well.

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