It’s been surprisingly easy to find excuses to go sailing lately. The kids have invited friends out a couple of evenings this past week. June on Utah Lake is a beautiful time, with warm breezes, golden sunsets, and nowhere in particular we have to go.
I’ve found the Catalina 270 sails well in light air, which means even when the winds are down in the 2-6 mph range, we are sailing 1-3+ knots, and the crew is able to relax and enjoy being out on the water. Even under the lightest wind when the boat is inching along under a knot, she still tacks responsively.
Teaching friends to sail in lighter wind is easier in some aspects, but more difficult in others. On the easy side, no movement is urgent, critical, or rushed. A novice helmsman is free to figure the wheel out without worrying about accidentally jibing or rounding up unexpectedly. And tacking is a slow, safe affair with lightly loaded lines and no winch handle to master. However, slow air means slow responses, so there is an impatient temptation to oversteer at the wheel, and the effects of sail trim are harder to see.
We sailed around the boats from Bonneville School of Sailing, which was a great opportunity to swap photos of our boats sailing. Even though they’re just cell phone pictures, the cameras do a fair job of capturing the feeling of being out sailing on warm summer evenings.