What’s everyone doing this weekend? The weather looks good for some sailing on Saturday and maybe Sunday for those sailors who are able to escape… or better yet convince family to get out on the water. Happy Easter!
For anyone getting ready for the Annapolis NOOD Regatta (May 5-7), we spoke to James Allsopp of North Sails Chesapeake about what crucial items NOOD sailors need to have on their boats before the first gun. Here’s what he said.
“My first rule of caution is ‘don’t take too much.’ Know what’s on the boat before you show up to limit this. But whether you’re the boat owner or crew, there are things you want to make sure you have in your bag.
For skippers and boat owners:
Spare line or lashing. There is always a need for some spectra lashing on the boat. Every regatta I’ve ever done, I’ve needed it. It’s a small, lightweight thing that makes a huge difference.
Electrical tape. When you’re out, you’re out, and you will kick yourself for forgetting it. I make sure that it’s on the boat when I get on, or show up with a roll in my pocket.
It’s really smart to have a small, digital camera. Your cell phone will work, too. But if something happens, or is consistently breaking, it’s good to take a pic, or have a video so that you can refer back to it later if you need outside help. It’s good to be able to show them what’s going on in real time.
Your Velocitek… and batteries for your Velocitek. Those things can die.
A notebook. It’s hard to remember what broke or what crew work needs to happen after you’ve gotten off the water and had a beer or two. I find that if I write it down, I’ll remember to fix it once we hit the dock, or first thing the following morning. Having a notebook also makes your debrief at the end of the day quick and efficient. If you write down something about every race, it makes going back to those details much easier.
I try to find a radio right away, or I simply bring my own. A lot of people don’t like other peoples’ radios, or will only use their own.
On bigger boats, anything over 30 feet, I generally have a hockey puck compass in my pocket for calling lay lines and stuff like that.
If I’m tactician, I love having a good pair of binoculars, especially on bigger boats and when I’m distance racing. Marks are not always where they say they’ll be.
If I’m on bow, I always make sure I have a palm, needle, and thread below. And I generally have a splice kit, if I think I’ll need it.
As bowman, I always have tape, extra lashing, and a harness with me. And I’ll usually have small bits of spare hardware. You try not to rely on yourself, but if you know something is going to break, bring things. Have spare shackles, spare ring dings, anything you need. And if there’s a type of line used everywhere, have extra yardage. It’s all about the specific needs of your boat.
“Ideally, you’ll be breaking things on your practice days, so that when you hit race days, everything is good and strong. When you get back to the dock on race days, you’re not fixing the boat.
“If you make sure to push your gear on practice days, you’ll be able to see if your gear is really going to hold up. On a practice day I’ll find anything that’s possibly going to cause problems, and push it as far as I can.”