Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Thanked 302 Times in 292 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Where to te forced go sailing downwind?
A serious squall from DDW is most likely going to require you to round up and take down a lot of sail. It's difficult, if not impossible, on most boats, to dropped a powered up main while holding your downwind course.
Since up to that time you were subtracting your speed from the windspeed when you do turn around it will seem alarmingly windier, and indeed be a struggle to get the sails down, and, if you're alone, keeping the boat under control as you do so.
The trick is to keep your head on a swivel to give you the most reaction time, and to sail conservatively/reef early in a building breeze downwind. This is probably one of the main reasons for the popularity of sailing on headsail alone when going downwind.. much easier to reef down/roll up a genny and deal with a full mainsail in those conditions.
Even a hanked on headsail is likely to collapse down the forestay if the halyard is blown when downwind, whereas that same sail can tend to climb the stay pointing upwind in a big breeze.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Last edited by Faster; 01-31-2014 at 02:04 PM.