Technique questions

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DN 5449:
Had my boat out for a couple of hours today on a very small section of a lake,lots of turning.Couple quetions, seems like my feet are in the way when I turn,do you guys point your toes to get them out of the way.Also do you guys switch hands on the tiller and mainsheet on the different tacks?

  My "serious' racing shoes are track shoes which are not wide enough to get in the way.  I ground the side of the soles on my larger (warmer) shoes to make them narrower.  Occasionally I do point the toes down on the one foot for turning when using wider shoes. 
 The windward arm has more room for sheeting.  Actually, when the boat is up to speed and I am down low in the boat to reduce windage, I use both hands to hold the sheet.  Part of tuning the rig is to have the right amount of rake so that there is just enough room under the boom  for the hands to operate. I like to have the entire boom as low as possible when fully sheeted in but still high enough at rest to get enough sheet (leech) tension, however the less the rake, the lower the front of the boom will be when the back blocks are sheeted "block to block".   Too low and there is not enough room for the hands to operate.
   When approaching the windward mark I switch the sheet to the leeward (left) hand and use the right hand  to steer around the mark.  Opposite at the leeward mark. Some sailors put their right foot out of the cockpit during the leeward rounding; I assume to make more room for the tiller.
                           Glad you got some ice time in!     Think ice, DN60

Bob Rast DN1313:
sounds like you were sailing light air on a  short course, when racing coming around the windward not a problem as usualy the mast is hung out and you have power steering at faster speed sometimes you might just lift tiller if needed  and  boom is out of way.
I ussualy steer with right dominate hand and hold sheet after sheeted in with left.A lot of  the time going up wind you are steering with feet and knees and sheeting in or out with 2 hands to get the boat wound up.
when going down wind approaching leeward mark a lot of guys turn down wind to bleed off   a little speed and sheet out while turning up wind,after finishing turn up wind sheet in real hard with 2 hands and hike  the boat getting speed you are now pointed upwind and passing close to the mark slide down into cockpit and get boat to settle down and take off. I dont like shifting tiller and sheet back and forth between hands you could lose one or the other. Some guys actualy sit up in the boat rounding leeward mark in heavy air to get some weight on the front runner.I prefer to hang my right foot out of boat for maximum steering and clamp my left elbow over side  staying low in the boat. If you are sitting up and twitch the tiller you could have a out of boat experience, not fun with boats coming at you. and  your boat sailing away .

Jump in some races and get some tiller time  season starts mid november in MN

Good luck
Rast dn1313

DN 5449:
Spent another 3 hours on the boat today.Same short windward leeward course.Getting more comfortable in the boat.Sometimes I find when going fast(which seems like all the time) and I go to tack the boat seems to want to keep going straight.I experimented a bit with shifting my weight forward and that seemed to help a lot.
I  can't wait to actually get in a race and see how bad I get my rear end handed to me.I am sure it will be a great learning experience. :)

DN 805:
When tacking or gybing, it's important to remember the DN is eight feet wide and the lateral resistance is in the side runners, not on the centerline.  The DN doesn't tack like a Laser.  More like a catamaran, sort of sailing in an arc.   The skipper must slide forward to get his helmet under the boom.  Ease the mainsheet just enough to get under the boom and take some of the pressure off the mast so it can stand up, rotate onto the new tack, and then trim to again bend the mast on the new tack.    Keeping the sheet trimmed as much as possible keeps the leach of the sail firm, which helps turn the boat.     


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