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Kit Guide

Musto Skiffing

By Ian Baillie 2nd October 2020

I had my first go in my Musto Skiff last week and my second go. I had taken it over to Dalgety and carefully rigged it, trying not to tangle too much and referring to the other Skiffs we have at the club when I really wasn't sure. Then when everything seemed fine, I went for a quick sail, that turned into nearly two hours and almost resulted in the dog getting my dinner.

First impressions were, how do get I get on? I can't climb over the racks and there is shock cord across the transom, so I ducked under the rack and climbed in that way. OK in light wind, I think I'll practice getting in over the transom though. Then the huge tiller extension gets everywhere because I'm so used to holding it in front of my body, something else to change. Upwind the trapezing is no trouble, I just need to work out where to put my hands and extension. The wind was fairly light, I don't think it got over 10 knots so I was able to settle down a bit. Tacking was slow as I had to think what I was going to do and work out how to move, where to put my feet and keep the balance through the tack. More to practice. The first hoist down wind was a bit nervous as I didn't quite know what to expect but with the boat on a very broad reach it was no trouble. Hotting up and it was great to feel a big boost of power and we were off planning past the waves with me full out on the wire, I was above the best downwind course but I was just going for speed. Gybing was really just get it round while I still had speed and sort it out later. Even more to practice. I did have the one capsize, where I managed to collapse the genniker just as I moved out onto the racks and it all fell slowly on top of me. It's not the easiest boat to get up but not too bad. And the final impression for the day, as I approach the slip, how do I get off? I elected to go through the rack gap, but that may not be too safe in more wind. Yet more thinking required. There was one more non-sailing impression, that it takes longer to wash down all those blocks after coming ashore.

All this was repeated on the Wednesday evening, without the capsize, until the wind died off, which was just as well because the lights had just come on at the tanker terminal.

Next up is some land drills to get the tacking and gybing moves worked out on land and I can put some big Xs on the deck where I have to put my feet. Then I will be sailing at Bart's Bash next Sunday and try to put some this into practise.

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