Presidents' Day Sail & GoPro Update

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
We had Gale warnings today for Catalina Channel and Small Craft Warnings in Santa Monica Bay.

I wondered if it was a good idea to carry on a planned sail with spouse and two other adults who enjoy the usual day sail but have not been in higher winds and sea.

It never blew more than 25 knots across the deck, and I put in the second reef in the slip before departure. With about half the genoa deployed the boat performed with perfect aplomb, heeling only about 10 degrees on the first long close reach and throwing only the occasional splash of water up in the air to sprinkle us all.

Off the wind we surfed 6-foot seas in a world of whitecaps and brilliant SoCal sun. A few flying jibes and two hours later we were back at the club again , dining on salads and wine while Thelonious romped in her tight slip, still heeling in the gusts.

As always I was impressed by her sea-kindliness, and also by the amount of effort it was to steer a broad reach unless I bothered the crew with getting the set of the mainsail right. Even with two reefs in, a frelaxing of the traveler or the main sheet made all the difference. I think these boats are quite sensitive to sail trim, so that frequent changes off the wind are rewarded by a less squirrelly course and helm.

They enjoyed themselves entirely, and we were the only boat on the bay. The maxim works:

"Let's stick our nose out there and see how it is. If somebody doesn't like it, we can just turn around."

GoPro: My GoPro 5 last week had a black LCD screen. I sent it back to GoPro and they had a warranty replacement in my hands four days later.

That camera went to Hawaii and back, and then in September spent 10 days hiking in the Himalayas above 15,000 feet (my son borrowed it).

GoPro is having business troubles, but the GoPro 5 remains a remarkable achievement offering extreme resolution, big capacity, six digital "lenses" from normal to super wide angle, excellent new stabilization, improved low light capability and secure waterproofing in a case even smaller than the older models.

I wish I'd had it today. At 12 megapixels, every frame of a video is a pretty good quality still, and it was too wet to even think about taking out an IPhone.

(Note: I accept no free equipment from anybody, no "test gear", and I have never endorsed anything for a fee)
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Member III
I concur: "I think these boats are quite sensitive to sail trim, so that frequent changes off the wind are rewarded by a less squirrelly course and helm"
I have learned if my little E27 is wandering too much off the wind that is all she needs- a little more tending to the sail trim.


Sustaining Member
We frequently get the higher wind patterns here on the Straights. It can change from 0 to 25 or 30knts in five minutes. If the tide is ebbing, We get "square" waves (the tide ebbs against the prevailing wind). Very steep. After years of trying different sail combinations, I now go to jib only above about 20knts. The boat is no slower without the main and seems to balance well. Not having the main to wrestle with makes things much more pleasant and the boat does not seem as sensitive to the sail trim. A beam reach over the top of San Juan Island in 35knts yielded 9.75knts of boat speed. That was with no main and the 130 rolled in to about a 110.


Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Sounds like you had a great day sailing! I find that going out in such conditions helps maintain my skills and confidence levels, as well as my appreciation of how well our boat sails.


Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
We had 50 knot winds Saturday - we seem to be getting these big winds at least once a week this month. Snow and ice since then. :esad: I was on board trying to do some minor chores and getting bounced around the cabin pretty well, just tied to the dock! The fenders pinched between the boat and the dock sounded like big pencil erasers rubbing on the hull. In fact, one did wear a patch all the way through the paint. :mad:


Sustaining Member
Hmm. By the way the running with just the jib doesn't work very well with the Club's E-29. It doesn't like the balance so this running under jib only appears to be quite model specific. It's worth a try to see if it works for you.