Skipper Tip, Lee Shores

“Lee Shore” is a term you learn in your very first ASA course, Basic Keel Boat. How often do we really think about our relationship to a lee shore when we are out sailing? Inexperienced sailors in particular should try to be very aware of lee shores and obstacles. More experienced sailors have probably already made a mistake or had a mishap in their past that will keep them well clear.

Always give yourself an out. Look ahead at where you will be and think, “What’s going to happen if I am in that spot and I lose engine power or miss a tack?” If you miss that critical tack and are now drifting downwind, how much room do you have before you encounter an obstacle or run aground? Sailing close to large lee obstacles such as tall buildings or moored Victory-Ships can also do strange things to your wind and actually assist in the missed tack!

Don’t learn the hard way, learn from those who have had the close calls before you! If you have a choice, take the upwind side of the channel or marina entrance, and sail downwind of obstacles if you have the room – except this one, maybe stay upwind of this one…

Potty-Barge

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5 Responses to Skipper Tip, Lee Shores

  1. Joe Ryan says:

    Is the most important part of a barge is its head!!!

  2. Ilian Georgiev says:

    Don’t you mean sail *downwind* of the barge, so it is not on your lee?

  3. Hal says:

    Forget to leave an “out” or your “out” doesn’t really get you “out?” Throw out ground tackle! We keep forgetting the bay is mostly shallow. (Courtesy of my *ahem* experience.)

    • TW-Matt says:

      YES! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve rescued off the shore who could have put out an anchor and had lunch while they solved a problem instead of bouncing off the rocks in the swell!

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