Sailing off a buoy.

When sailing off a buoy with the main raised it is vital that the boat is in a position that will allow the sail to fill and provide drive before the buoy is released.

Failure to do this will result in the boat being left dead in the water and at risk of being carried on to other moored vessels.

Methods to ensure the boat is across the wind include:

  • Steer the boat across using the tidal flow on the rudder.
  • Backing a headsail.
  • Backing the mainsail by pushing the boom forwards.
  • Sheeting the main in hard.
  • Walking down the side of the boat with the mooring line (light winds!).

All these will work in some situations, you just need to try them and observe the results. There is normally a rhythmic swing from side to side as the boat pulls on its mooring line, the above techniques can be applied to exaggerate this swaying, just like pushing a child's swing. When the vessel is sufficiently far across the wind, cast off.
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