Begonia’s Strings

Begonia's strings

Sailing Tips

In General

  • If in doubt – let it out.

“The Alerter!” (when sailing free)

  • If the jib ‘blows back’ ie appears on the ‘wrong’ (windward) side – it means the wind is com-ing round the other (back) side of the mainsail and you are in imminent danger of a gybe!
  • Let the main out more
  • and/or change course.


  • Start moving your bum before the sail comes across or anything else! (you are never going to get a better opportunity, it’s too late after a gybe.)


  • Steer ‘away’ from the one not ‘working’ (get the wind onto it).

Never tie a knot in the end of the mainsheet !!!

  • Set it to hold the boom just off the shroud (or where it would be if there was a shroud - unless you prefer it to ‘flag’ completely forward)
  • Stops ‘Death Rolls’, stops rig damage
  • ‘Goes to default’ safe condition in a panic.


  • Haul the centerboard up.
  • Watch the bobstay doesn’t catch on the winch.
  • Have painter on bow post to control boat - optionally another long one amidships or on the stern.
  • Immerse to nearly hubs (as a minimum - but may need to go deeper).
  • Note: Leave rudder off until launched.


  • Haul the centerboard up (unless rowing Begonia onto the trailer in which case have it down enough to stop blowing around - then haul up when winch hook is secured.

Rigging steps

1. Remove the Cover and roll it up (starting from the bow helps with replacing it) and set aside - but don’t undo the cross beams yet - they are needed to steady the boat whilst the mast is raised.

2. Bowsprit - fit it.

  • Note-keep bobstay on the ‘non handle’ side of the winch - and watch it doesn’t catch whilst launching! You could push the boat back on the trailer-but it will tip up if not hooked onto the car.

3. Mast raising

  • Crossbeams, at least one aft, still on (to steady the boat).
  • Helpful to have someone guide the foot of the mast. (Bronze hook on mast to aft)
  • Lash to tabernacle
  • shrouds sort of firm / use all lashing / take a turn around the lashing before doing any knots (cos the knot will jamb) / tuck through strands to stop jib sheets undo-ing it.
  • Loop Forestay over end of bowsprit.

4. Mainsail

  • Put boom through lazyjacks
  • Put bundle of mainsail through lazyjacks and lay it out on top of boom (check the halyards run inside the Lazyjacks).
  • Attach boom and gaff jaws to mast.
  • Tie throat and peak halyards to gaff - making sure they are through the lazyjacks correctly.
  • Lead haul end of peak halyard down through upper block at base of mast (port side).
  • Lead haul end of throat halyard down through lower block at base of mast (port side).
  • Both of these halyards are cleated off on cleats at the back of the centreboard case.
  • Undo gaskets/lashings on mainsail bundle.
  • Attach clew to end of boom (loop goes over end of boom) attach tack then tie off the outhaul.
  • Attach boom downhaul to eye on boom using S hook.
  • Start hoisting gaff, keeping it horizontal as it goes up.
  • Lace mainsail luff to mast as you haul it up using “to and fro” lacing method. Keep it slack.
  • Adjust peak halyard to get a slight crease from head to tack.
  • Tidy up lazyjacks. They can sit against the mast when sailing if you wish.
  • Reeve the mainsheet. (Braided rope with black fleck line) and tie a stopper knot (but not in the end of it - see note) to just prevent the boom hitting the shrouds.

5. Jib

  • Loop tack through forestay loop then over end of bow-sprit
  • Cleat the jib halyard on a belaying pin starboard side of mast.
  • Jib sheets outside shrouds
  • Knot (figure 8) in ends of Jib sheets
  • One turn only round jamb cleat when sheeting (then it can easily be flicked out)

6. Other

  • Pull centreboard up and cleat tackle before launching.
  • Put bung in!
  • Hoist the Burgee (optional) – tie off the halyard to a chain plate.

How Tight?


  • Such that in a good breeze, the leeward one goes just slack-but doesn’t gyrate in the breeze


  • Jib Halyard - should be tight!
  • Throat - no sags and bags in luff
  • Peak - No wrinkles the wrong way (OK to have wrinkles the “right” way - but they should ‘blow out’ easily.)

Sue and Frank have put together a downloadable PDF booklet that you can print out. Laminated copies of the booklet are in the WBA library, and on Begonia.

Begonia off Frankston

Off Frankston

Begonia on Lysterfield Lake

Lysterfield Lake