Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Thanked 357 Times in 337 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Tacking in heavy winds
There was another thread recently with the same issue... tacking in a strong breeze with just a headsail requires a lot of speed, in other words if you're pinching to keep the heel off your boatspeed is likely down.. turning into the wind slows you further and the center of effort is so far foward that once you lose way you simply get blown around.
Having the main up (properly reefed) usually makes that go better, the C of E is more aft and the weather helm contribution of the main helps drive the boat through the eye of the wind.
In extreme cases where you're headsail only, you may need to jibe through 270 degrees and come up to your new 'tack'.. but again you have to do this with speed soas to maintain steerage.
As was mentioned in the other thread, some boats (and rig designs) can handle headsail only better than others.. practice will soon tell you which you've got.
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; 05-02-2012 at 11:59 AM.