View Full Version : First Time Planing!

Roly Gardner
9th July 2007, 05:49 PM
Hi Roger, Hi All,

Just a quick note to report that I managed to get up on the plane for the first time over the weekend and now know what all the fuss is about! An exhilarating experience and I am even more hooked than before. Thank you Roger and those of you who have given me advice over the last year or so. It has really helped.

I would like a little help on one point if I may. My set up is a Carve 145 with a standard 56cm fin and either a 5.0m or 6.5m rig. I have been shown by my instructor to place the mast foot about an inch from the front of the mast track. I sail on the south coast of England in calm/semi-choppy conditions with winds between Force 2/5. I am around 170 pounds and 5 ft 6.

As I get to go out in slightly windier conditions now, I find my board is much more responsive/sensitive to my movements. I found the transition from huge learning board to this board quite a challenge but feel now that it has been worth it in the long run. I had thought that I would find it difficult to head up wind but this is not the case. The difficulty seems to be sailing upwind. The board seems to point up wind all the time even when I do not want it to! Is this normal or is my technique letting me down? I have tried to uphaul with the rig pushed forward which helps a little but once under way off we go again and I seem to stall - eventually getting back winded and dumped.

This is the case right up to the point I start planing (yippee!). Then I hare off down wind at a rate of knots! I think it may be because in opposing the rig leaning back, I am actually raking the rig back too? Any thoughts or advice please?

Once again thanks for your support.

11th July 2007, 09:56 AM
Hi Roly,
Congratulations on getting that Carve 145 planing! Good stuff, huh?
I would disagree pretty strongly with your "instructor" on the mast foot placement.
Putting the mast foot all the way up near the front of the mast slot, with very small sails (for the volume and width of your board) would seem to just about kill any possibility of planing with that board (Carve 145).
At 170 lbs. (77 Kg.) you aren't a really big sailor, and unless you are staying up by the mast foot way too long and your instructor has placed the mast foot that far forward for another reason, I would think the board would never get the nose high enough to plane off either freely (nose too low and planing surfaces at the back of the board not inclined correctly) or very early.
With such tiny rigs (5.0/6.5 m2) you are really well below the "sweet spot for the Carve 145 (sweet spot is in the 7.5-8.5 m2 range for light and moderate windspeeds).
So, move the mast foot back at least to the center (and probably as far as you can with your 5.0 m2 rig) and see if you don't get planing alot earlier and faster/more fleely.

As far as your 2nd "issue" here (board rounding up and wanting to go upwind all the time) that's a common problem for those sailors at your stage/skill level.
You are tipping the board upwind somehow.
Are you putting weight on your front foot in the down (toward the water) direction?
Are you all the way back on the board and in the footstraps?
Are you using the inboard footstraps?
How far back on the board are you getting?
The Carve 145 almost "requires" that you get your front foot back to just ahead of the front footstraps in order to plane off freely.
If you are using the inboard FS positions, you aren't getting enough "leverage" to really steer the board at your weight.
So, to correct this issue, you need to carry your rig a bit more upright,
stand directly over the boards fore and aft centerline, and keep your weight centered there until the board begins to plane.
Wish I had a video of you trying to get going as it would tell us in a few frames which of the common intermediate transitional problems is at the root of your issue here.
Answer some of the questions above, and I'm sure we can help you through this issue and have you sailing across the wind on a beam reach (or a little below a beam reach so your board can gain speed and plane off more easily.
Then we'll work on the "next level" of going upwind (on the fin) which will give you a much better angle and significantly better speed upwind.
Hope this helps,

Roly Gardner
11th July 2007, 10:27 PM
Hi Roger,

Hmmmm, very interesting, particularly the bit about the nose of the board getting up out of the water. I have been feeling that the nose had a tendency to sink up to the point where I got underway and move back on the board. Should I be making this move earlier?

I have realised that a lot of the buoyancy is at the rear of this board so will experiment with the mast foot further back and trying to stand further back. Presumably I must be careful not to drag the rig back at the same time and thus push the board into the wind. I think I read somewhere that the forward position of the mast foot would help to point the board upwind.I have mis-interpreted this to mean sail upwind which I think are two different things. I just turn into the wind to the point that I get back winded and fall off!

So if I uphaul with the rig vertical or pushed slightly forward if need be, whilst standing further back and driving the power through the mast foot I might have more luck?

I am afraid that I am not getting into the straps at this point. I am only just experimenting with getting in and out of the harness.

Thanks for the swift response Roger.

12th July 2007, 03:45 AM
Hi Roly,
Hmmmmmmm also!
OK, sounds like we have some "back to basics" issues here.
Putting the mast foot forward on a longboard, with a sliding mast track does indeed increase it's upwind ability as the rig is further forward from the centerboard, the lee rail can be "engaged" as completely as possible, and the board can be "railed" lee rail down here, to get the max. upwind lift from the centerboard.
You are on a higher performance short board without a center board.
SO.... all the stuff about the mast track forward kinda goes out the window.
Your Carve (at your skill level) is going to respond mostly to "foot steering".
By tipping the rockerline so the bottom shape takes you upwind (heel pressure or front foot pressure upwind of the centerline, putting the upwind rail lower than the leeward rail) you go upwind both in slogging (sub planing) and when the board is planing.
To steer your board downwind, you need to do the reverse and tip the board lee rail down with toe pressure on your back foot (right over the centerline of the board).
To avoid heading upwind you need to really pay attention when you uphaul to get the board truly in a "T" position with the rig right out in front of you, and the board nearly perfectly aligned "across the wind.
Once you have both feet behind the mast foot (front foot 4-6" behind the mast foot and 4-6" upwind of the centerline; back foot will be heel on the centerline with the toes to leeward and slightly pointed forward,
THEN you can think about adding some power.
If the board is still aligned in the "T" position, you can rotate your upper body (from the hips, as the feet need to stay where they are) about 5-10 deg. and your rig will power up and start you moving on a beam reach.
Once your board gains some speed (still on a beam reach), you can start to move your feet back slowly and progressively.
As you start to move back, begin to sheet the rig in a little to help increase your speed, but do not rake it back yet.
When you find your front foot just ahead of the front footstraps and your rear foot right over the centerline about midway between the front a rear straps, you can start to rake the rig back a little.
If the board turns upwind, you either have the rig raked back too far too soon, or you have weight on your front foot above the centerline of the board which is steering the board upwind on the rockerline.
If this happens, unrake the rig (standing it more upright) to get the turning upwind to stop.
Gain some more speed and get onto a plane.
Then think about hooking in to your harness.
Remember, the board has to be in the "T" position with the bottom flat to the water when you add power, or the boardf is going to start turning toward the rail that's lowered (leeward rail takes you downwind, upwind rail takes you upwind).
Your goal is to go straight forward and gain speed.
Once you have good speed and the board is planing, you can hook in, go for the footstraps, and continue to steer with your back foot.
Hope this helps,

Roly Gardner
12th July 2007, 05:24 PM
That is great Roger, I really can understand this advice. It matches exactly with the problems I am having and the mistakes that I think I am making causing them to occur. I am out on Saturday if the forecast is correct and will put this into practice. I will let you know the outcome.

Thanks as ever for your swift response.


Roly Gardner
16th July 2007, 02:35 PM
Morning Roger,

Thank you for your advice last week. I managed to get out both days this weekend in quite different conditions. Saturday was about Force 5 and seriously choppy ; the most challenging conditions I have been out in to be honest and there was a regatta going on so it got a bit hairy with passing yachts!

Anyway, Saturday was more survival than anything else, but with the mast foot back in the center of the track and concentrating on my foot placement and stance, I was not luffing up and found that I could drive the board downwind a little with my front foot pushing and my back foot pulling in(if you see what I mean). My feet being in a better position also meant that I had much more control of the board from a trimming and steering perspective even with the small waves doing their best to ditch me. Stacked quite a few times but not as much as usual. I am beginning to feel how sensitive this board is which I think has been part of my problem.

Sunday was only Force 2 gusting 3 at times so was far more sedate. This was great because I got to practice a lot of the other things. The tacking technique you described helped lots. More confidence and stability, less falling in - in fact no falling in. It was funny, but I tried a few with the step over the mast and then a few with my front foot wrapped around the mast foot and going around the front. I ended up tacking smoothly and in a controlled way quite unlike my normal wobbly all over the place strategy. Balance on the entry helped a lot and once round the mast I seemed to be able to drive off with my front foot again to get the board to rotate that last bit.

As for staying up wind, both days I managed to reach out and back to where I started no problem (cross winds both days with tide in the same direction). This is again new to me, but I didn't miss the walk of shame back up the beach with my kit!

Thank you. So many things have begun to take shape this weekend. Balance, stance, steering with my feet, keeping the rig more upright and beginning to feel what the board is reacting to and why. Very exciting because I now think that I have a basic semblance of technique that I can take forward and have the confidence that I am able to sail my Carve. Can't thank you enough.


17th July 2007, 04:47 AM
Hi Roly,
Good Show!
No more walk of shame.....that's impresive in one weekend.
Not sure why you want to push/pull with your feet though...?
Simply tipping the board, with back foot heel or toe pressure will turn the board for sure as long as you are moving.
Glad you are progressing!