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Old 02-01-2014
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Closer to the wind question

First year sailor here...

Yesterday and Monday were sailing days here in the harbor. In both cases I was trying make the harbor coming from above or North with wind out of the South. I suppose I could have just up the faithful Atomic 4 and Motored down in about 20 minutes but I wanted to add if I could sail it down. Wind was blowing Monday a steady 10 gutting 13 no big deal but increased wind was forecast so out of marina I set main with one reef and pulled out the genoa to about 90. In this configuration I could sail no closer than about 30 degrees requiring fast and furious tacking in narrow channel. I was about to give it up drop sail and hit the starter. But as I rolled genoa first I found the heading coming harder on the wind under just the main. I was now about 20 off the wind and almost on a heading that would work. At that point I wondered about motorsailing so fired up the A4. She caught immediately as is her practice though it is had to tell in a breeze as she makes so little sound :-). Anyway, I was now very hard on the wind with course and speed to bring me nicely into the harbor for a great afternoon.

My question is, why did dropping the headsail help? I guess I always thought that close on the wind required headsail and yet everything improved once I was under main only which improved again with a light (800 rpm) motor assist. I am confused. I should add I was sailing with a 2 knot current on falling tide.

What is the lesson in all of this?

Last edited by rbyham; 02-01-2014 at 07:55 AM.
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