ccRiders and Aelkin: Thank you both so much for reading so closely and picking up on this. The way I explained things was probably not exactly correct, however, it is definitely a point of confusion on my part. So I want to make sure I understand what is being said here. So more questions to you both:
I went back and extracted the key areas related to this from the original post. Here is the extracted portions in red:
QUESTION #1: Am I correct in saying that pulling in the reefed jib tight to what a sail should be for a close haul should actually help to turn the boat?
Turning counter-clockwise: So I moved the tiller to turn the boat windward and we brought the reefed jib in as tight as she would go. The boat simply seemed unable to go any further windward despite pulling her reefed jib in as far and tight as possible. Turning clockwise: But we experienced the exact same problem that we did when on a port tack when the most we could turn the boat was to a beam reach and not being able to do a close haul (even though the reefed jib was pulled in as tight as she would go)!
So from your explanations above, I now understand that the answer to QUESTION #1: is “No.” Is that correct? In other words, the sails have nothing to do with turning the boat; the tiller, alone, is what turns the boat?
The following is a better explanation of what happened than the paragraph in red above; so the following changes are in order:
FROM: “Turning counter-clockwise: So I moved the tiller to turn the boat windward and we brought the reefed jib in as tight as she would go. “
TO: Turning counter-clockwise: So I moved the tiller to turn the boat windward. When this repeatedly failed, it occurred to me that, possibly, the reason it was failing was because the trim of the sail itself contains the ability to help turn the boat. And since the direction we wanted to go in would have been a close haul, I thought bringing the jib in tight might help in turning the boat since on repeated attempts we were unable to accomplish this with just moving the tiller and bringing in the jib to lesser extents.
The “Turning clockwise” situation was exactly as above: it was only after repeated attempts to turn clockwise failed, that it occurred to me that perhaps the trim of the sail itself was required to help turn the boat. But, again, my understanding from the above paragraphs is that this is not true: the tiller, alone, should be able to turn the boat as close to wind as possible?
So QUESTION #2
would then be: if the above is correct, is the correct procedure to turn the boat as follows:
Repeat until desired direction of boat has been accomplished or it’s the best the boat can do:
- Move tiller slightly to turn boat toward desired direction.
- If boat is unable to turn any closer to wind, that’s the best boat can do.
- If boat is able to turn closer to the wind, trim the sails as needed.