Sail Trim with wind at 5 or 7 o'clock? - SailNet Community

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Old 07-27-2008
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Sail Trim with wind at 5 or 7 o'clock?

Just got back from our annual three weeks in Desolation Sound. Had one great sail coming back across the strait with a 15 to 20 kt beam reach. We've never had Nikko going so fast with water speeds consistently at 8.5 kts with a couple of bursts up to 9 while Sandy was piloting.

Anyway, before we had the beam reach we had the wind over our rear quarter with 3 foot seas. We tried flying just the genoa first, but the rolling boat combined with not quite enough wind had the sail popping open and closed. We rolled it back up and raised a full main. I put a preventer on it to keep the boom a little more stable, but still, the boat rolled at times and the main sail out luff and then pop open again. I hate it when that happens! I don't have a spinaker or drifter yet. Anyone have any advice on getting a nice sail out of conditions like that?
S.V. Nikko
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA

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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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Old 07-27-2008
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Most boats sail better with the wind at 145 of so- with 180 being dead astern. It's far better to sail off your desired course and maintain at least 35 degrees of angle, dead down wind is also the most dangerous because of gybes.
If you have a polar plot for your boat it can tell you the best angle to sail in any and all directions relative to the wind and at all wind strengths.
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Old 07-27-2008
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5 o'clock is 150 degrees; 7 o'clock is 210 degrees. Those are reasonable downwind angles.

If you have two jibs, you can free fly a second one and run two headsails with the windward sheet poled out.

You might also try your genoa and the main, with a reef (or even two) in the main to let more air through to the headsail while still maintaining the improved balance of the two sails.

sail fast, dave
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