Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Washington state / Florida
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I agree speed is storability. We were traveling east to west across the Atlantic and had torn the clew out of our chute, so we had the 130 up on the pole and the main with a singlw reef in it on the other side with a preventer running to the bow and one down the deck. Wind was average 24 kts. Gusting to 30. We were talking to some friends on the same passage on the ssb and I remarked what a wonderful sail it was. My friend came back telling me how rolly and uncomfortable it was and that they had just damaged the track for the jib car. When I asked him what sail he was carrying he informed me he had a several rolls in the headsail and a couple of reefs in the main. I told him what I was carrying and that we were not being over pressed. We talked a bit about it, we were doing steady 7s and 8s, he was doing 5 to 6. Our boat was 54’ his was 45 as I recall but our waterlines were close. (his was a Farr boat, ours was an Alden). If you are doing 8 kts down wind in 28 kts, your sails are only seening 20 kts of wind.
The next morning we spoke again and he had unrolled his headsail and shook out one of the reefs and was amazed at how much more comfortable the ride was.
Dead downwind as the wind comes up I will pull three reefs in the main before I start rolling the headsail in. All that power pulling from the bow is great. Also, I run the sheet for the headsail pretty far forward so it does not tend to slew the stern around. And my pole is toping lifted, downhauled and a preventer running forward as well. I like it not to move, it will tend to creep aft on the sheet without the forward preventer. Normally it is just two of us on board and this rig is simple and easy for one person to handle.
In lighter wind, say 22 kts and under without a chute I find it better to broad reach rather than wing and wing, less rolling and better boat speed, VMG is about the same but it is much more comfortable.
I could sail downwind forever!