I have to confess that over the 30 years we owned our McCurdy and Rhodes 56 I let my close-quarters sailing skills get rusty.
It’s not that the boat is unhandy, far from it, with main and staysail she can be sailed into the smallest and most crowded of spaces.
But somehow, in the the process of always going somewhere (that’s cruising), there just never seemed to be the time to take an hour over an approach when starting the engine would would bring a long day, or days, to a close in less than half the time.
But now that we are sailing a boat primarily for the pure pleasure of it, that’s changed, and Phyllis and I are dusting off old skills to sail on and off the mooring, even when it adds an hour to the day…or maybe because it adds an hour to the day.
I even managed to pick up the mooring under sail in our crowded anchorage singlehanded…and then was insufferable about it for weeks.
Anyway, aside from the fun and bragging rights conferred by sailing in and out of confined waters, it really should be a huge embarrassment for any sailboat owner to call for a tow just because the engine is down, so close-quarters sailing skills are worth working on.
These skills can also keep us off the rocks in the event of an engine failure on a lee shore.
Here’s an article to get us started.