Getting A Feel for Steering

Getting A Feel for Steering
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Filed Under: Sail

Telltales are an excellent guide for steering in the groove upwind. You can actually shift gears within the groove by subtly varying the position of the windward telltales. (Sailing World Archives /)A couple of months ago, I had a chance to go iceboating for the first time. I must admit this sport was a bit of a mystery to me. I knew a little about it from friends who raced DNs. But I didn’t understand how anyone could sail without seeing wind on the water.

What I learned, after two days of scooting around in Nites and Skeeters on Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva, is that “feel” is everything. The only way to tell how high or low you can steer is by feeling the wind pressure on the rig and the speed of the boat going over the ice. It’s amazing how sensitive you become to these when you can’t rely on the normal visual clues.

In many ways, steering a “water” boat is like steering an iceboat. It requires a sensitive touch. Steeri.... Continue Reading at Sailing World

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