Humour ?

BSC Terminology

Ilustration of lager and carbon

With all the new members at the club I thought I'd write a glossary of some of the terms you may hear around the club.

Bosun - a mixture of 2 parts Heineken with one part salt water. Can be used instead of paint or drunk instead of painting.
Bow sprit - Ramming spike.
Budvar - a beer from the Czech Republic that is either: A: sold out B: Priced in big bottles and sold in small ones C: Sold in big bottles and Priced in small bottles.
Bung - you must have one of these in your boat to enter a race; you should give the OOD one to win a race.
Calshot - a bit like the Viking raids of the ninth century, where fearless sailors pillage the defenceless Isle of Wight for tea and sandwiches.
Capsize - the number you need to remember when your fifth hat of the season sinks without trace.
Catamaran - similar to a train, moves very fast, occasionally crashes and can't be steered.
Class - the English have a complicated and very important class and sub class system. The 3 main classes are the Upper class ( us ) wot own sailing boats, the middle class who don't own boats and the scum at the bottom who own motor boats.
Committee - a multi headed mythical beast, renowned in legend for A: not knowing what's going on B: having heads that disagree. C: Infamous bully.
Commodore - A timid woodland creature from rural Sussex .
Curry-oke - the consumption of Indian food whilst singing.
Harveys - It's not Harvey's it's mine!
Hobie - a homeless person who lives under a boat
Jet Skiers - See Class, the lowest subclass of motor boat owners. First up against the wall when the revolution comes.
Kill Cord
- a special piece of rope fitted to all sailing craft designed to catch round your neck when you tack and strangle you.
Monohull - type of boat that looks like a turtle when upside down.
Heineken - a special type of weak beer for people who have to cycle up hills.
OOD - Officer of the day, everybody wants one, no one wants to be one and everybody could do it better!
Rescue Boat - a big heavy weight used to keep sailing club members fit.
Results Program - a piece of software written by Matt and operated by Tom which allows them to win races.
Spinnaker - a marine gallows, automatically ties itself in a knot and hoists the crew up the mast by his neck.
Start Sequence - a random collection of loud noises and brightly coloured flags used to exacerbate a hangover.
STD - Sailing Transmitted Disease. Highly contagious, transmitted by cat sailors to monohull sailors. Symptoms include a large grin and bruises. Though not usually fatal can result in divorce and bankruptcy.
Swimming Area - the part of the race course, usually near the gybe mark, where all the monohulls capsize.
Twin Pier View cafe - Also known as Tony's Cafe. Where the Sailing club gets its crockery from.
Trapeze Harness - a chastity belt for men.
Transit - a device used by the OOD to locate the start mark.
West Pier - A device for separating a sailor from his mast.
WildWind - see STD, an STD brought back recently from Greece.
Yachties - See Class this sub class of Sailors are not like us dinghy sailors. A bit like Caravaners.


Ilustraion of colourd sail principalsClearly this is a complex issue which can only be understood both by a discussion on both the laws of thermodynamics and Bernoulli's principal. Some laws of optical refraction certainly play their part. Let's begin by saying when Hobie introduced their now infamous Tequila Sunrise sails in the mid eighties, experts were gob smacked to find these optically challenging beauties not only drew the crowds but also appear to generate additional speed to the hulls to which they were harnessed particularly on warm sunny days.

Heads were scratched, beers consumed and much waffle was spouted. The more scientifically minded begin to pontificate as to the theory behind the practice. As we all know forward motion creates an enhancement to the lift effect as explained by Bernoulli to, initially, explain flight. Such an enhancement produces either a better angle to windward, an increase in speed or a combination thereof depending on the skill of the helm.

The Tequila sails with their unique banding of colours which started off darker lower down and got lighter higher up appeared to generate even faster speeds than either the all white sails or even the one colour ones. This can be explained by Boyles law and other thermodynamic observations on the Brownian motion of particles. In particular, and to simplify, hot molecules move faster than cold ones. Thus when the sun strikes the darker lower bands of the sail, the heat is absorbed rapidly. Bernoulli stated that airflow over the top of a wing (read lee side of sail)is faster and less dense than the air flowing over the underside of the wing (read windward side of sail). The consequence of this is lift which is translated in a sail into forward motion. The hot lower sail sections put even more energy into the lee side airflow because of the cooling effect of the greater airspeed. Thus an energy flow is set up which is SUN-Windward side sailcloth-Lee side of sailcloth-faster air flow. The result is an even greater disparity in airspeed and density between lee side and windward side. There is only one outcome-faster speed through the water. Now if only Hobie had listened when I explained that they should have replaced the Tequila Sunrise with the Guinness sail, we would all now be sailing with dark black sails with a white top. Further discussions on this topic will take place every Wednesday night in the club bar.

Mine's a pint - Steve


Photoshopped WWI poster

A Beginners Guide to Skiff Racing.


broken Carbon Fibre Arrive no more than 30 minutes before the race starts. Preferably with the replacement parts you broke last time, still in their wrappers. Don't bring tools, you can always borrow them off someone. Don't bother with breakfast, order in in passing off the cafe. Make sure that you're at least halfway down the beach, borrowing the insulation tape/string/bailer sponge off some unsuspecting person when your food is ready. Leave the borrowed tools/tape etc in the rescue boat hut with a liberal coating of egg from your rapidly eaten breakfast.

Don't worry about a crew - someone will turn up. If not attempt to subvert the rescue boat crew, time keeper and then members of the public. As a last result phone up any friend with a wetsuit, most of them will appreciate the wake up call, even if they can't sail.

Lots of nice carbon fiber makes it more expencive to fix > >

As soon as you have the boat rigged get changed, you should always leave you wetsuit in your locker so you can't forget it. As a result it is wet smelly and unwashed. As well the wetsuit you should have the following. At least 4 gloves, 3 of these should be left hand ones. One wetsuit boot (the other will be at the bottom of one of the black bins) and for the cold days a dry suit - this should have holes in it, borrow some gaffer tape off Barry to fix it. By the time you have found the missing boot you will have missed the briefing. don't worry your crew will have got it. Forget your watch. Borrow Norman's key to get back in for it. Then finish rigging the boat, that means stuffing the tape you borrowed, last weeks empty water bottles, etc. in the halyard pouch. Don't worry about the kicker or cunningham they can be rigged on the way to the start line. While your doing this send your crew back for the dagger board. If your really smart you can give him Norman's key which you forgot to return.

Pull the boat down the beach whilst he is away. And finish changing. Turn the 2nd left hand glove inside out so that it can be worn on the right hand.


There are 2 launching techniques, depending on the surf.

1.Small surf. Boat goes in on the trolley. The crew should be at this point in 6ft of water, being dragged under by the trolley. When he/she has taken the trolley up the beach "a bit further", get them to hold the boat, while you run up the beach and sign on. Your wet gloves should make the time sheet soaked. His royal highness, the helm should get only his ankles wet stepping aboard. Helm attaches the rudder, to do this the crew will have hold the boat in deeper water. Just far enough out to loose all grip on the bottom. When ready, crew pushes the nose around, jumps straight over the high side of the heeling boat from shoulder deep water, pops the board in and sheets in the jib and goes out on the wire in one one fluid movement. This is achieved by the instructions issued by the helm. "S*@t we're late lets go, in you get f*&@... Jib.... in. IN.. IIIN. Wire s@$t...Board. Wire." All crews can of course get the dagger board in from the trapeze.

2. Rough weather. Borrow as many people to help as possible. They will all be cat sailors who aren't in a hurry because they start later than the mono's. Get four people to help, one at each corner. Helm takes the windward aft corner. The crew the windward front corner. 2 of the 3 cat sailors go to leeward Cleat the jib and carry the boat to the water. the The Wind increases the boats weight 3 fold which ends ups distributed something like 150% front leeward, 100% aft leeward, 45% front windward and 5% aft windward. So the helm can let go to put the rudder on without trouble. The boat stands like this till a really big wave comes, then the 3rd cat sailor comes to the aid of his fellows. Helm steps on at this point shouts "Lets go" sheets the main in, clothes lines the third cat sailor with the main sheet and releases the boat from the leeward cat sailors by hitting their heads with the boom. Crew Leaps in from the deep water. Pops in the dagger board. Boat heels crazily and stops as it is now nailed to the bottom by the board. Next wave it takes off side ways narrowly missing a Hobie.

16ft skiff looses crew STARTING

In Brighton we always have a start line at right angles to the beach. Coupled with the swimming area and West Pier then a skiff sailor should start by the pin.The normal method is to sail straight from the beach to the pin, down the line on starboard, helm wiring while crew finishes rigging cunningham, kicker,. re-runs the kite halyard the right way etc. Either charge along the line on Starboard cutting up everyone or pick an unsuspecting victim, sail underneath his slower boat then round up on them shouting up... up... UP. Then bear off and start. The other method relies on actually leaving the beach before the first gun so as to arrive at the line early and sail balistically down the line, with no rights causing absolute mayhem. This is method is prefered. When this method is challenged (and it will be) the skiff sailor should say a cat got in his way forcing him to bear off. All monohulls hate cats.


By now the skiff should be to in bad air, bellow a bunch of lasers, heading either straight for the pier or the the swimming area. Pull ahead of the slower boats and tack. The boat should stop head to wind and fill with water. Forcing a hoard of swearing lasers to avoid your now stationary boat (learnt this one off the hobie cats). Now the boat is really going the crew should come out on the wire to (at least 5 minutes after the start). The correct posture is legs apart as far away form the helm as possible to avoid the smell. As soon as he is on the wire, the helm should explain to him how to set all the rig controls such as lowers, caps, jib cunningham kicker that there was no time to adjust before the start. The crew will instantly understand the finer points of rig tuning and do it all off the wire, or failing that mid tack.


Helm Says "Can we Tack yet?" Then when the crew looks over their shoulder to see, the helm pushes the tiller away. Steps into the boat and is trapped by the boom because he's not unhooked quick enought. Crew fails to un cleat the jib. twists his feet.into a knot with all the string on the floor of the boat. Hooks his cat style harness on the trapeze elastic. Finally gets the jib around mid tack, on the now stationary boat and immediately sheets it in bar tight. Jib fills boat heels viciously and accelerates sideways crew falls over, helm drops main sheet in panic and goes out on his handle to save the capsize. Helm says "Good Tack".


This is impossible, the helm eases the main and moves his weight back to prevent the nose dive and pulls the tiller. This action causes the crew to fall forward, pulling on the jib sheet to keep balance, completely counteracting the helms weight and main work loading up the tiller and nose diving the skiff.

Animated gif, Righting the Boat KITE WORK

Dead simple, bear off. Helm keeps the boat flat by sitting on his backside holding the tiller if the boat heels to windward the transom ballast shouts "Get down", if it Heels to leeward he shouts "weight up" as soon as the crew moves, standing on the tail end of the kite or on the pole the helm corrects the heel with with the rudder. Constant cries of "s&%$ weight back.Pink one, pink, PINK, no not that pink, f@~# weight back, your standing on it. The other one" helps the process. By this time the helm will have got impatient, clipped on and be in his toe loop, crew will be attached to 25 square meters of spinnaker with face pressed firmly against the mast. crew will have approximately 3 seconds to learn to trapeze properly as the "Giraffe having a drink technique" Doesn't work downwind. To help this the crew toe loops have been fitted, the crew's loop should be flattened and twisted into the boat they can't get their foot in, especially if they've foolishly left their trapeze adjuster set for upwind, as back at the toe loop they will trapezing nearly vertical. Crew should look down at the toe loop, over sheet the kite and kick the helm's shins just as a gust hits. When all are eventually settled it will be time to gybe, or on a typical Brighton course a gust will hit and the skiff will have to bear off heading completely the wrong way at speeds in excess of Mach2.

Kite Drops - Don't worry, either the crew will drop it in the water, trawling for mackerel and capsizing the boat or the helm will steer too deep and death roll to destruction and capsize the boat.

This article was heavily based on "A beginners guide to sailing R Class" corrupted by Tom Griffiths.