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Peep Hen sailing tips
For more information on sailing the Peep and other Hen boats, see also the "Shallow Water Sailor's Guide" (link on the
- Sail it Level Flat-bottom boats like the Peep sail best when heeled no more than
10 or 15 degrees. More than that, and the keel tends to lift out of the water.
- If you think you should reef... reef! This goes for all sailboats, but especially for shallow draft boats like the Peep
that don't carry a ton of ballast.
- Don't cleat the sheet! Once again, good advice for any small boat. Keep the mainsheet in your hand so
that you can release it in case of a sudden gust. The only time you should cleat the main sheet is in very light wind, or
- Close the Portholes! If you have one of the "Tropical" Peeps with opening bronze portholes, keep them bolted
shut anytime the boat isn't at anchor or on the trailer. If the ports are open during a knockdown, the boat will
rapidly fill with water and won't recover. I was lucky in that I made this mistake on a warm day with a tow boat nearby.
- Keep the hatch closed. Again, for protection against flooding in a knockdown.
- Don't lower the centerboard too far. The board on the Peep should only be lowered about 6" most of the time. It's not needed
except when beating close to the wind, and isn't designed to be lowered fully except when being repaired.
- Carry spares. Spare mast bolt or pin, spare shear pins and cotter for the outboard, sail repair tape, clevis pins for the
rudder... any thing that can easily break or get lost that would leave you stranded.