A Good Time Was Had By All!

A nice afternoon sail with Buddy, Judi, Frank, Debbie, Rob and Suzy.

Northwester. Cool, clear and dry air, 12-15kts. Once you clear the Lanier Bridge, heading East, there is enough sea room to tack back and forth across the river without losing too much ground. On a flood tide, you don’t lose any ground, so it’s even better.






Basic Sailing – Lesson Two

What makes the boat go to windward??

It is easy to see how the wind can push anything across the water. If you throw an empty sardine can overboard it will take off downwind, pronto (till it sinks) . A sailboat is a little more sophisticated than that, because it has some control over its direction of movement. The controls on a sailboat are the sails and the rudder, but there is a big difference between a sailboat and any other watercraft: the underwater profile of the boat. The depth of the boat below the water has an important effect on how the boat will sail. The lowest part of a boat underwater is called the “keel”. This depth of keel provides what is known as “lateral resistance”, i.e., something to keep the boat from moving sideways. The deeper the keel, the more lateral resistance.

When the sails fill with wind one side of the sail has a higher pressure than the other. Notice in the diagram below that due to the angle of the sail in relation to the boat, some of this low pressure is on the forward part of the boat, and some of it is on the side of the boat

click on pic for larger view

What happens is that the keel, or the lateral resistance, cancels out the force pushing on the side of the boat, but not the force pushing on the front, and so the net result is that the boat moves forward. Note that the boat in the diagram below is moving to windward (or “going to weather”).


Without a keel, the boat above would be sliding off sideways. This sliding off sideways is called “leeway” Remember, the deeper the keel, the more lateral resistance, hence a better windward performance. The amount of leeway any given boat will make is important to know, as it has a direct effect on how you steer a course.

Lateral Resistance

in a sentence:
Her deep keel gives so much lateral resistance she makes very little leeway

Hurricane Season


The tires gave us some extra insurance against punctures. Thankfully they weren’t needed. The topsides paint is already scuffed up anyway, from the launch two years ago. Hopefully I can get some paint and graphics on soon.

It has been seventeen years since The Golden Isles’ last brush with a major storm. Hurricane Floyd, in 1999, made a very similar track to this years Hurricane Matthew, veering to the northeast at the last moment, only to brush by offshore, keeping us on the “good side” of the circulation.

Earlier, this September, the minimal hurricane Hermine came through, tracking from the southwest, out of the Gulf of Mexico.

Hermine actually did as much or more damage to local marine interests, mainly because the predominant wind was from the south. The large marinas here, Morningstar , and the condo docks next door, along with Brunswick Landing , all suffered because they are more exposed to that direction. Matthew’s winds, however, were mainly from the northeast, which is the most protected direction in each marina’s case.

Brunswick Landing,marina, where we are, had the least damage in Hermine, and virtually none from Matthew. There is no question that it is the most protected, but we were still all very lucky. Matthew happened to hit us at low tide. Since we have a tide range of six-eight feet, if the storm had passed over at high tide, the Cat 3 storm surge would have probably caused the floating docks to jump the pilings, setting whole rafts of boats adrift to bludgeon each other and everything else.

So far it has been a very good year for salvors, repair workers and tree surgeons.