Reefing the Harbor 20

The following slides are excepts from the Boat Handling & Sail Trim seminar.

Using this technique, the mainsail is reefed by first pulling the boom up towards the leech reef cringle and then lowering the halyard which lowers the boom again. This is a very safe technique when reeefing under sail because the boom stays far from the water, even when heeled. It is also a great technique when the boat does not have a topping lidt to hold the boom up when the halyard is lowered. To use this technique, your boom vang must be long enough to allow the end of the boom to rise until it is about 12 inches from the leech reef cringle.



When a boat is overpowered, it is both slow and hard to handle. Ducking a starboard tack boat can be impossible if the mainsail is not eased WAY OUT. Depending on how much wind there is, reefing might be the right thing to do to get the boat back under control.


There is an eye strap on the port side of the boom between the two turning blocks (not shown above) which the jiffy reef line should also run through…



























W.D. Schock Publishes Championship Recaps

Today, the W.D. Schock Corp published two articles related to the recent Harbor 20 Class Championships.

Bill & Diane Menninger and Hellen & Warren Duncan
Run Away With the Prizes

….Fifteen A sailors and fourteen Bs competed in a total of nine long windward/leeward races in winds that varied in direction and velocity but were steady enough to minimize the “luck” factor….

….One of the most significant things about the 2011 Class Championship regatta was that only 7 of the 29 boats had two guys aboard. 17 boats had boy/girl teams, 1 was a father/son team, 3 were sailed single-handed, 1 had two ladies aboard, and there were 3 lady skippers. Mission accomplished!….

….as Bill says, “The level of professionalism has risen in most one-design fleets, and the time commitment is immense.”…

Read the entire article on the W.D. Schock Harbor 20 Website.


Interview with Bill Menninger
Three-Time Winner of the Harbor 20 Championships

Bill Menninger and his wife Diane won the 2011 Harbor 20 Championship Regatta with eight straight first place finishes. Bill has won two previous H20 Championships and a long list of other one-design victories, but he seemed especially fast for this particular regatta.

We asked him about his strategy, his pre-race preparation, and the decisions he made on the racecourse.


The interview asks Bill questions such as:

How did you and Diane prepare as a team?

Did you make any adjustments to the rig prior to the start of the first race?

Did you make any tuning adjustments during the regatta?

Who did you consider to be your biggest threat going into the regatta? What is your philosophy in dealing with competitors? And how did you adjust your assessment as the regatta unfolded?

Your starts were terrific. What was your strategy?

How did you treat the racecourse?


Read the entire interview on the W.D. Schock Website here.











Positive Thinking About Zero to Four Knots of Wind

Editors Note:  Jim Kerrigan was asked to share his attitude and approach for the 2-race Winter Series #3 Regatta today. Winds were 0-4 knots with occasional gusts to 6 knots. Jim won the day with a 1st and 2nd place finish. Following is straight from Jim’s mind…

Positive Thinking About Zero to Four Knots of Wind

I love light air, always have. Whether in my Olson 30 off the east end of Catalina becalmed, drifting for the finish in Ensenada, or sailing against an outgoing tide in the bay… I’ve done well in light air; the more races I get in, the more I study it, and the more I just psyche myself into thinking I can sail well. I guess that’s what the power of positive thinking is all about, but it works.

I had an advantage today because the light air was forecast for several days. I thought about that a bunch ahead of time. In my quiet moments, I visualized that darn flat water, the wisps of wind on the water, “How do I sail this stuff fastly?”

Easy, remember what works (in no particular order):

  • Everything is in slow motion, don’t rush anything. Not trim, not tacks, not decisions either. Slow down.
  • Watch the water; where is there wind? Just kind of head that way, but don’t rush.
  • Don’t pay much attention to anyone else, just move the boat. If you can, get away from everyone, but cover if you’re ahead to keep your position. But again, slowly!
  • Don’t trim the sails in tight, keep a good shape first; everything is easy. Let things off five or six inches from whatever you would normally do. Maybe a foot, maybe two feet. Don’t head up, head fast.
  • Broad reaching is much faster than going downwind in 0-3 kts. Go fast first, go deep when you can. If you get a puff that looks like it will last, do try winger and go deeper but be ready to go back.
  • Don’t tack any time you think you should tack, try to delay but always be heading for wind if you can, heading toward the mark if you can. Tacking is bad.
  • The tactic is speed, position is not important. Go fast.
  • Do anything to keep a nice shape to the sails, ease off. Use your old main, especially an old jib to get a soft shape.
  • Stay on the low side, or the floor. Stay still. Lie down, keep low in the boat especially when bow waves approach.
  • You are sneaky fast!

Those are the things I think in prep. I get out earlier on a super light day, than a regular day. I try to sail around just going killer fast. Faster than anyone else just out there going to the race. Go fast, practice the thoughts… Do a slow tack, a slow jibe…

Thinking about light air is a pleasure; thinking about 18 knots is a pain. Anyone can sail in light air; no one can sail in 18 knots, they just survive. You love light air!!!

That’s my prep. By the time the race is on, I’m totally slowed down. I just try to stay away from everyone, stay still, go fast and enjoy the day.