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Team McLube



Dec 1, 2006, 1:54 PM

Post #1 of 3 (6424 views)
Sewer Log-In to Post/Reply

I will sail some races on a Big-Boat in the next weeks, and my position will be the "Sewer". Just thinking about what my job will be, and how to do it the best way.
Think IŽll be the one who drops the kite and packs it at the windward leg, wonŽt I?
Would be great to get some advices here!


Dec 5, 2006, 8:20 AM

Post #2 of 3 (6363 views)
Re: [Puelse] Sewer [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Sounds about right. A couple of hints come to mind:
  • careful of rips. If you are pulling the chute from below through a hatch it can be easy to snag the chute on a hatch fitting and tear it, so know what it can snag on, put tape over any fittings that can snag, and "feel" what you are pulling on; don't pull through a snag. The chute doesn't rip by itself on a douse, it rips when people pull it. If the boat is big, you will be sucking in the fabric off the deck and not actually pulling it down. Sometimes mast and bow will need your efforts, but likely it is a clean up role. Pace yourself with the foredeck team and be aware of what they are doing.
  • Be careful of the hatch and losing visibility, careful not to just pull the chute in on top of you, as you will get tangeled and not see what is happening. Careful that a foredeck person doesn't fall through or, especially, a shackle doesn't conk you.
  • If you are below, you will be in a little closed space as the boat goes from flat and steady to healed up and bucking, with perhaps the centrifugal force of the turn, which can sometimes be a bat-turn to take advantage of a hole in the fleet...then maybe a tack right the rounding. The sewer is like its own little amusement park ride in that case and you have to plan on where you are putting your feet and how to orient your body through the change. The classic is for the foredeck to hear a big clunk below and see the sewer person "starfished" under a pile of dacron.
  • Ask the foredeck the procedure with the sheets and guys and halyard and hatch. In a sea, they will want to close the hatch early (before you have unclipped the lines from the chute and tossed them on deck) to prevent water from going in. Do they want them clipped all together and slide through the hatch afterwards?
  • Packing the chute is straightforward "running the tapes". Helps to have two people and with the bigger boats spreading the chute out before running the tapes will make it easier.
  • Remember that your weight is better used on the rail upwind, so do your job and hop right back up on deck.

Good Luck!


Dec 11, 2006, 2:29 PM

Post #3 of 3 (6317 views)
Re: [Puelse] Sewer [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Having, unfortunately, done a lot of sewer here are a few more tips to consider beyond what has been mentioned. I am assuming that when you say "Big-Boat" its over 50ft.
  • Following the take down pull the kite out of the forepeak into the salon, you want to get your weight out of there and aft as soon as possible. Unless you're on something really big.
  • Run tapes, as usual, focusing on only one side and the foot.
  • Chances are pretty good that will you have to band the kite. Weather leg length, breeze and number of people will dictate how you do this. If it's short weather legs and breezy focus on banding the top 15 feet of the head, this will give your mastman room to sneak. Also double band the head. Band only the "tack" with four or five bands, again for sneak. If longer legs and more time, band both "legs" and band the body to the middle of the kite.
  • When banding grab both tapes, lay together and roll into them. Get a nice tight sausage roll. If you can't find the other tape and are pressed for time make sure one tape is clear, as well as the foot, and just start rolling into it. It'll work it's self out when it goes up.
  • When putting into the bag stuff the un-banded portion of the body first, keeping both the tack and clue out. Start laying the banded body in the bag by going back and forth (side to side). Once completed with the head secured to the bag lay in both legs in the same manner. Make sure the bowman will have enough material to pre-feed the tack and the head.
  • Do the best you can to keep the colors on the bag tabs coordinated with the tapes. This is what your bowman is looking at.
  • Always communicate to the bowman how the kite is packed, this will minimize confusion when he has to make last minute adjustments.

Outside of that the only other factors that come into play are weather, sea state, and type of kite. Depending on boat size sewer can be a pretty physical position. The better inshape you are the better off you'll survive over the coarse of a regatta, especially if it's Key West or something of length. Hope this helps, good luck.

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