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Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Skilled helmsman steering downwind in 30-40 knots...

I don't see any problem in sailing downwind with a reefed main and a small jib or a reefed genoa, even with 30 or 35K wind and I think the boat will be better balanced.

But if you have already the main all reefed, the wind increases and you need to take sail out I think it is a mistake to take the front sail and go only with the main. That seems it was what that sailor in the video had done.

If you go only with the main you have a lateral component bigger and the boat tend to roll more and worse, if the wind continues to increase it will reach a point where that lateral component, even going as much downwind as you can, will be too much and will force a round up.

Then you have to turn the boat to the wind to take the main down and that is very very difficult without a front sail, specially if you are sailing alone or with an inexperienced crew, even with the help of the engine.

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