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post #17 of Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Sailing close hauled?

Originally Posted by jerdrake View Post
Flying a C&C 30'. When trying to sail close hauled, everything I have read says I should be able to sail 45 degrees to the wind. However, according to my compass, the best I can do is 60 degrees without luffing the jib.

I have the jib trimmed tightly, the mainsail boom on centerline. What can I do to improve my close hauled sailing?

Would moving jib inside of shrouds when sailing close hauled help?
Lets start with the 'real' basics of what makes a sailboat 'point'.
1. the rigging must be at proper 'tune' so that the forestay does not adversely SAG off to leeward causing the boat to 'skid' to leeward. The geometric profile of the jib MUST have the forestay at near 15% tension to match the luff curve that the sailmaker designed into the foresail (for pointing in 12-15kts of windstrength). Overtightening the jib sheets causes excess sag in the forestay wire !!!!!!!! which causes draft aft jib. Dont be a gorilla on the jibsheet winch if you want a boat to 'point'. The 'curve' cut into the jib's luff MUST match the sag in the forestay ... or the boat WILL NOT be able to 'point'. You adjust forestay tension by adjusting the backstay tension.
Here's some tech explanation:

2. If youre running a mainsail made from woven DACRON, you cant simply 'just' raise it, you MUST 'stretch out' that luff 3-strand bolt rope by a prescribed amount of 'extra' mainsail halyard strain ... if you dont the sail will 'naturally' be draft aft, the boat WILL have adverse 'weather helm' and the boat will be SLOW, will heel aggressively and wont point very well. Here's how to PROPERLY raise a woven Dacron mainsail and what to do about it if certain 'misshape' has occurred or developed in the sail: How to properly RAISE a woven dacron mainsail - see post #1.

3. If youre not using a full set of tell tales, you wont come close to aerodynamic efficiency and will only 'guess' about sail shape and sail trim...
Again go back to the basics and get a 'fundamental' book on tell tales such as: Sail Trim Chart and Sail Trim Guide ... and then as you 'work your way up' in sail shaping and sail trim, then: --->magazine articles---> a 'series' of articles ---> Checking Trim on the Wind, November 1973
Achieving Proper Balance, December 1973
Sailing to Windward, January 1974
Are You at Optimum Trim?, March 1974
These 'seminal' articles is what most all other trim and sail shape articles are based.
Hint: if the mainsail has 'reasonable' shape, start your trim and shape so that the aft end of the second from top mainsail batten is approximately parallel to the boats centerline when you attempt to 'point'.

The above 3 sections should automatically get you to close to the maximum pointing parameters.


Last edited by RichH; 10-04-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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