Big Boat Cherry

by Jordan

Pearson 30 underway

from Sailing Data

Big boats are big. It is an adjustment to step on a sailboat and not immediately stand center so the damn thing doesn’t go over and put you in the water.

A friend took me aboard their Pearson 30 this weekend for a small regatta. At school I sail (and I use that term in a loose sense: I certainly don’t sail well, or more unfortunately, fast) small boats, FJs or 420s. And so my first time on a sailboat of size was this weekend.

I mostly scraped my elbows on the top of the cabin ducking the boom and staying out of the way of people who purpose on the boat. But I swear to God my eyes have never been open wider. The thing moves in the water. The jib fills up and you can feel it urge the boat forward, cutting the water.

I’ve seen harbors from a distance full of sails gently leaning, moving smoothly through the water. That image is a lie. Everything thing is moving and the wind is whistling through the lines. I’m clinging to the cabin cause the fucking thing is listing over so far that I almost stop believing that 3500 pounds or whatever of lead in the keel will keep the boat up and me out of the water. And it feels right that this boat is pitched over with water coming over the gunwales. I just want us to go faster and pass boats.

I can’t take credit for keeping the boat underway but goddamn I wish I could. I know more time on a boat will hone my skills. Cause I want keep a boat on the edge and sail fast. And maybe I’ll even get to bring a wide-eyed kid, nervous and new and pay the favor back.