Starboard kite drop

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Starboard kite drop

Post by kennyr » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:04 pm

I sail on a loch in Scotland and the club courses usually weave their way across the loch and inevitably there will be a need to drop the kite on starboard. So far I've failed pretty miserably at doing this with the kite plummeting like a brick into the water and stopping the boat dead.
Does anybody have any tricks or tips for this scenario? Kinda thinking I might need to arrange some sort of hook / small ratchet block that could be engaged to add some friction to the halyard when needed for a starboard drop.

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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by bert » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:13 am

if you put your foot on the hoist line when retrieving the kite this will add the ADJUSTABLE fiction as required.

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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by Dreamcatcher » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:04 pm

This is a case where less haste = more speed. Most people try to drop the kite really quickly on starboard and pump like mad...only to trawl the kite..... :lol:
When approaching on starboard, go onto a run (important!) and make sure that the mainsail is uncleared so that it goes out. If the mainsail still stays on a close hauled course when uncleared, push it out to slow the boat down. Even let the kite flog to slow the boat down. What you are trying to do is to get the apparent wind behind the boat so that the kite blows forward. You will appreciate that the apparent wind has been forward with the kite up, so that in a quick drop the kite would be blown under/towards the boat.
When the apparent wind is behind you, then uncleat and drop. I had a trip line on my kite halyard that would uncleat the kite when I started to drop. This was helpful as I could uncleat from standing well back in the boat and got more leverage on the pumps.
I think that if you approach from a dead run, count to five, push the mainsail out, and then drop, you should have more success.
Hope that helps

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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by ortegakid » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:36 pm

While I am FAR from an expert on this I have found in my case that if I make sure to take all the slack out on downhaul before uncleating, and stand up and pull like crazy,it works pretty slick, 'course it works much better when I'm flyin the 18.5, not the 23.5!

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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by petermclaren » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:37 pm

Hi Kenny,

Whist Gaz's ideas are OK in theory I suspect that you don't want to bear away downwind before dropping as you are probably on a tight-ish reach, maybe not making up to the next mark. (If you have time to go downwind, you could put in a quick gybe and drop on port!) Make sure that you pull on the pump elastic, check that the downhaul/halyard will run clear through all your blocks, and TAKE UP ALL THE SLACK in the downhaul before uncleating the sheet and then the halyard and PUMPING AS RAPIDLY AS YOU CAN on the downhaul. It doesn't always work perfectly, but it's the best way I've found. As ortegakid says it works better with a small kite!

Mind you, I hardly have a need to do starboard drops now I sail at Loch Lomond. You should leave the narrow Loch Tummel and come to the wide open waters of Loch Lomond!

Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular

robert stebbing
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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by robert stebbing » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:25 pm

Everyone will tell you a story!
At the Oxford Open this year,whilst we wre waiting for a few of the faster boats to come back from the States,I found myself occasionally at the helm and facing the right way up,with AC 309. Spinnaker up,good wind behind.rapidly overtaking Steve Clarke,and faced with a no choice stbd drop and shore approaching rapidly. Armed with Dreamcatchers wise words,yes, bear right off,main is square,but the kite is still full.One pump takes the slack out of the downhaul and partly disarms the kite. On the next, very rapidly following next pump,let go of the sp sheet out of your mouth.In the wind the sp clew flies up in the air and follows the sp patch straight down the shute! And that is the truth. I will remember that stbd drop.
The point is,it does not always go as it should,but I have found with dropping on both sides,it is v.imp to let the sheet go completely because,if the clew hits the water,it will drag over the surface and not trawl in a bight.

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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by steveb » Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:46 am

Yes Rob. tend to agree with that. I think sheet in teeth ok but better left cleeted and as hand drops for last pump knock it out
Just means you have more potential body movement for balance. The other thing to remember on a starboard drop is that
it is not dissimilar to a starboard hoist. If you are 'greedy' at the hoist in any sort of breeze and not deep enough you will trawl.
Body position on the deck is an important factor. It is essential that in the conditions likely to cause a trawl the first pump is taken with body weight slightly further aft and to windward to just lift the bow an extra inch or so. It does make a difference. After the first pump (up or down) it doesn't really matter. You will have cleared the water line with the foot. I have found that if a trawl starts to develop not to
despair immediately. It is quite possible to 'pull' through the trawl in the early stages only with a steady continuous strong effort.
You'll feel like you are pulling the deck off and it is necessary not to let go of the handle!!! But it can save the day if you achieve this.
You will know very quickly if it's not going to happen and in that case Plan 'B'.
The other crucial all important factor in this whole procedure is to eliminate friction down to a minimum. Friction means slow means tiring means pulled back muscles means capsizes means give up. Keep the kite well lubricated, the running blocks of good quality and not seized and a high performance kite halyard. Your personal fitness is also a major player in all this and it goes without saying that if you are weak in the arms you need to do something about it but if you combine sub fitness with poorly maintained kit then game over in a blow.

Steve AC310

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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by Rob » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:00 am

There is an article titled 'THE FIRST STEPS TO SAILING AN AC' on this web site. Go to main page, left column there is a list of contents. Go to Tuning & Sailing guide then go to Sailing guide where the article is. Some useful points to start with but as Steve Bowen says it's very important first for your gear to be in tip top condition & be fairly fit. Practicing good techniques over & over & watching others will benefit so turning up to open meetings & training days will certainly give you help & a better understanding.
Rob Michael.

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Re: Starboard kite drop

Post by Dreamcatcher » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:59 pm

As Steve's all in the lubrication!

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