Aprender a navegar a vela para saber cómo cojer la escota con la mano cuando navegas
How to grap the rope of a sailboat with your hand when you are sailing
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One of the reasons why we arrived at port dust is due to everything that is related to the sheet.

The theory says that the sheet should always be held directly by the hand. But the reality is that being all the time holding things and holding the pulls of the gusts of wind comes to crush a lot the arm. Still, what we have to do is try to approximate what the theory says in a way that we tire ourselves as little as possible.

So, first of all, before we can see what we can do to be the entire navigation session holding the sheet with our hands, what we have to do is see why the theory of this.

The theory says that we have to hold the sheet with the hand so we can be doing small constant trimajes with each gust of wind or with each wave. Even with the combination of both, that is, in those moments in which the wind gusts and the wave coincide. Even go a little further, at each step of hello you have to make a small trimaje of the largest. We will see this below a little below.

If we are holding the sheet with the hand and suddenly we get a wind streak, regardless of whether it is strong or loose, what we have to do is release a few centimeters the sheet and then go back to hunt again. And this is done quickly and automatically, without thinking, so we avoid the ship to score.

If the boat heels we lose speed and this supposes the worst thing that can happen to us in a boat, because it is about winning and maintaining a constant speed.

In case we are in a race we can not afford to lose speed because it means that we will lose the regatta and the possible option to medal.

If we are in a training we will not realize because we will not have the reference of the other boats.

But if we are returning to post, and it is late, and we are doing it accompanied by the family after spending a day or a nice weekend at sea, what will happen to us is that we will lose time with each blow of the wind or with each wave and, this, will make us mark the difference between arriving before sunset or after sunset to port.

So, keep the sheet in hand and make small trims with each change of wind with each wave is what must be done and what should be done. That’s why the theory says so.

How to hold the sheet of a ship?

With your hand up

The first instinct that sends us the time to catch a corporal is to do it as we would do at home. We will take the sheet with the open hand looking up, that is, in supination. There is the way in which in real life we ​​take the ropes to hit a little pull.

What happens is that in real life the efforts are less than those we find in the middle of the sea, because it is a hostile environment.

If we take the sheet of the boat in this way we are doing it in a comfortable way but not strong enough, without taking advantage of the maximum strength in the whole arm, and surely what will happen is that the sheet will go by the hand, the sail will it will open, it will start to flame and this will mean that we will lose speed.

With the hand down

The second way we use to catch the sheet with the hand following our intuition, is with the hand down or in pronation. If we take the sheet of the major with the palm of the hand down to the ground, we will be doing it as it does 95% of the people who sail. In this case what happens is that we are taking advantage of the strength of the hand and wrist but we are wasting the strength of the whole arm.

If we want to take full advantage of the arm and thus involve more muscles and be able to hold more time sailing with the sheet in hand; because it is what interests us because the regattas in theory last many hours; what we have to do is pass the sheet between the little finger and ring finger.

Without the little finger

At first the sensations are going to be and strange. We will think that it is an uncomfortable position that gives us little strength. And we will see that we are the only ones who sail in this way. But as the training or the race goes on we will see how our competitors start to use the jaws to leave the sheet bite while we do not because we have more strength than them. What happens is that, obviously, we will not have more strength than all of them, if not we are being more efficient because we involve all the muscles of the entire arm to hold it, instead of just the hand.

Be careful, there are people who have a super big hand or are very strong and do what they want.

It is normal, there are always winners in all sports that have a technique that moves away from the standards and still manage to get first, but they are exceptions.

This way of carrying pets or we may not get to notice much in training or in our playful days of navigation.

Yes, we will notice it a lot when we are in a regatta because what we will see is that as the competitions pass within the same day our opponents will start to waste every streak and wave. If we take advantage of every occasion we will maintain the speed without losing small speeds. And this, in the long run, will make us advance and arrive first.

For example, in the second beat before reaching the finish line, we can overtake them because we avoid a screech in each streak.

With return by the hand

This must be avoided. It is very serious and I have seen it in days of piñote or windy. There are many people who, regardless of the length of the boat, what it does is make a turn of sheet by the hand as if it were a knot so that the sheet does not slide by the hand. This means that that person has lost strength in the hand and can not do it anymore. And instead of biting or passing it by the winch, in the case of large ships, what it does is resort to this to be able to get out of the way.

This is not necessary because it is very serious. Think that the kilos that the candle has to support can be transmitted perfectly, it is sheet and our hand is behind. If you do not want to burn your hand or pull it off, stop taking the sheet in this way, let’s say, so comfortable but dangerous.

In conclusion, you can use the method that you want to hold the sheet, but do not make a turn or a knot in your hand. Try all the ways you want, pass the neckline by the other videos of the hand and aita your conclusions. but always with security. I have tried almost everything, and in the end I have stayed with the method that involves all the muscles of the arm.

Could I take it with all the fingers? Yes, but you must have a very strong hand for this. I do not see it badly, because you have to be very fit to navigate well, but the more efficient we are, the better.

Do you have to wear gloves to hold the sheet of a boat?

There are some people who sail with gloves and there are others who do not. And of the people who sail with gloves, there are those who do it with fully covered fingers, with the index and thick fingers discovered, or with all discovered. This depends on the type of vessel with which we sail. For example, people who sail in Tornado may navigate with full wool gloves. Those who sail on a cruise with cut-off gloves and Windsurf gloves without gloves.

What you do not have to do is avoid putting on gloves so as not to ruin your skin. Or for aesthetic reasons. We should do it for functional reasons. Although good, this is theory. In practice, people do what they want. But well, I encourage you to do the right thing once we know and know all the options that will make us improve as navigators and learn to navigate.

The choice has to be given by the sensation of cold and by the touch in the navigation. That is, if we decide to wear gloves is because we can not stand the cold that it does, because we want to avoid the sun to open our hands or because we feel all the sensations of the sailboat in the hand. So, understand that if we put on gloves we will lose touch. It is unavoidable. I recommend never wearing gloves and working on good calluses.

In winter our hands will freeze and in summer they will be blacker than bitumen, but we will notice more of the ship: the wind, the waves and the small vibrations.

Navigate with gloves: PROS

  1. We avoid injuries.
  2. We avoid burns.
  3. We avoid freezing.

Navigate with gloves: CONS

  1. We lose touch.

What do you do when the hand that holds the sheet of the major hurts?

I propose that we do two things.

Go to the gym and do arm isometric exercises

First, prepare our favorite sport with gym sessions. The stronger we are the better we can navigate. We will have more strength to carry the boat as we have to do it in theory and this will make us gain more confidence and enjoy more. So I strongly recommend going to the gym several times a week to fully enjoy our favorite sport.

Lock the sheet in the gag between waves and gusts

Second, resort to the inevitable.

We are going to have to bite the sheet for a few seconds while our hand stops working. When we have the whole hand a little more relaxed and is no longer stiff, we will take the sheet again and try to hold on a bit more. If we do this, what we do have to keep in mind is that we will be wasting every streak. We will make a small heel with our sailboat that will result in a small loss of speed. And how the races or the trainings last for three hours or more, because the adversaries will go ahead little by little and facing the end of the day. That is to say, that maybe at the end of the second beat, facing the last run, we will advance.

How to prevent the sheet of the sail from skating when it is wet?

Normally, when the sheet skids the hand we usually think that the problem is in the hand or in the gloves. Actually the problem is in the sheet. Ok, as we said before it will be very good to be strong and have strong hands but the biggest problem is not in the super strong hand. What we have to do, as we have said before, is to improve our efficiency and think about what we may be failing. What we will have to do is change the material of the sheet from a conventional one with a thick core and sleeve to a thin one with little cover or directly without a cover.

Although the sheets vary according to each boat, what we can do is cure ourselves in health and ask a cabilleria trade what sheet they recommend us for our boat. This will be as fast and as healthy. We must ask about the smallest millimeters and the ends with less sheath.

In the case of light sailing, what happens is that cheap ropes are those that maintain a classic formula. Ropes of 8 millimeters or more, in which the sleeve usually skates or rotates above the soul. This will make us notice how the sheet slips a little and, if in addition, we have our hands with wet gloves we will skate due to the poor quality of the case.

What we have to do is buy a sheet of the major that is a little bit thinner than normal so that it weighs a little and unrolls well after the tight just at the moment in which we started the length. Thus, a catastrophic ball or mess will not form on the major’s pulley. For what we will have to continue in tight without being able to arrive and put us in long.

After getting a thin sheet we have to avoid high thicknesses or with a very thick cover. This way, we will avoid that the sheath rolls or turns and moves over the soul. If we find a thin sheet, less than 8 mm, for example, formed by every soul, that weighs little and does not join when we leave it alone in a bucket of water, we will approach the ideal sheet.

The problem of sheets with thick sheath and soul

If we sail with a large ship, the sheets may have a sheath and soul. Everything will depend on the employer’s budget. Obviously, it is not the same to sail with a Wally Yacht than with an Optimist. But, apart from that they should be as rigid as possible because the elasticities suppose a loss of energy in a rigid system, they should have a sheath that does not slip or turn on the soul because in the steps of the beacon they roll with themselves forming balls on the pulley. As if they were small, when released, the sleeve turns on itself and creates turns. This is the downfall of the tacks. So you do not have to buy them cheaply.

What’s more, so that the sheet does not skid we will not use gloves so that our skin acts as an anti-skid and thus we will have more marine touch. Of course, as we said above, at the expense of having calluses on the hands. So the final decision is yours.

As a conclusion, we can say that to avoid the skating sheet you must:

  1. Change sheet
  2. Find one with little sheath or without it
  3. That weighs as little as possible
  4. That does not join in the water
  5. Make it all stiff soul without elasticity

Have you solved your doubts? I hope so, because if not, leave me a comment and I will help you. Good winds!