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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: can only tack close reach, can't close-haul

Check your sail shape. If the max camber is more than a third of the way back from the luff of the sail, your sails aren't properly shaped. If you have a "flattening reef", use it. Also, try playing with the mainsail outhaul, vang tension, and traveller position, as well as the position of the jib fair-lead. However, if your boat's sails are old and blown out you may not be able to get a good shape no matter what you do.

You also might just be pinching a bit too much. If you don't have them, instal a tell-tail or two on each side of the jib about a foot or so from the luff. This will tell you if you're pinching a bit earlier than a luffing sail. If your sails appear to have a good shape, but your tell-tails are flapping, and you still can't get enough speed to properly tack, you just need to fall off a 2 or 3 degrees.

Finally, a light little boat like yours will be prone to having a hard time tacking when the wind picks up, particularly if there is some chop. If everything looks as good as you can get it, and you're still having trouble, just fall off a few degrees about 5 or 10 seconds before you tack to build up speed, then tack as usual.
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