STILL overpowered.... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-02-2008
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STILL overpowered....

I was out yesterday and it was blowing 20 knots and gusting more. I was in a modified soling (basically a soling with a sonar cockpit). Not the heaviest boat in the world but still.

Reefed main (only 1 reefing point)
Roller furling jib, rolled into the second "arrow"
Backstay loose
We tried to work with the traveler a bit to dump more wind but it was a challenge to deal with the wind.

So questions:
1) What else can I do to depower?
2) Is it a good idea to go jib-less, or is the loss of control not worth it
3) When beating to windward, I commonly will let the sheet out to depower when heel becomes excessive. That being said, often the sail will luff because it's not trimmed and that's just loud. What should do? Bear off?

Any other comments are welcomed!

p.s. it was SUPER fun to sail through and up to the mooring ball, haha (no motor on this bad boy)
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2008
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A few quick thoughts:

The backstay should have been as tight as you could get it to depower both sails.

The traveller should have been well dropped and played agressively in the gusts and lulls.

Unless the vang was super tight, you should not be easing the mainsheet since that initially powers up the mainsail.

Hike for all your worth.

With the mainsail reefed you might be able to sail with mainsail alone, but you would need to try it to see what that feels like. Most fractional rigged boats, but not all, sail pretty well under mainsail alone.

Jeff
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Old 09-02-2008
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The traveller only adjusts the angle of attack for the main.
Mainsheet tension will flatten the main more and de-power it.
Letting out the mainsheet "dumps" air to avoid capsizing but takes the main out of best position.
The loose backstay actually "powers up" the main, backstay tension will flatten the central ~1/3 of the main and de-power it.
"Curved" sails have more power, "flat" sail have less.
De-power the jib by having the jib sheet lead as far aft as possible (flattens it more).
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Old 09-02-2008
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Thanks for the responses! I always get the backstay backwards. I thought we needed to have it loose to flatten the sail out but i was backwards, that makes sense.

I will give those items a shot! Any and all advice welcome
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Old 09-02-2008
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Also, be careful with the reefing.

If it's not done properly, you can actually make the mainsail LESS manageable. The reefing tack and clew cringles need to be snugged down fully. If there are horns at the gooseneck, most folks usually get the tack cringle right. But many boats have inadequate reefing systems that make it difficult to snug the clew cringle as it should be -- i.e. very nearly or all the way down to the boom. This can leave the sail too deep and full, and can power it up in heavy air.

If for some reason you can't tuck in a smart, flat reef, you're actually better off leaving the full main up and depowering it with the adjustable backstay (lots of tension), traveller, and feathering at the helm.
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Old 09-02-2008
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I sailed in the same wind that you did, .....

Only up in MH area.

Day 1 (Sat) - Wife and I only. Full Main and Reefed jib (135) for winds in the 15 to 20 range with gust just north of 20. Very well balanced boat, but I really stood on top of the traveler and we headed up a lot during gusts. My wife helmed most of the time. Fun sail but with two it got to be tiring after 4 h.

Day 2 (Sun) - Wife, I and two guests. Winds were a tad higher (Gusts to 25) routine in steady 17 to 19. Flew jib only (Full) and the boat worked very well. Very little weather helm. Used mostly head up/bear off techniques to control the boat. I trimmed jib only when we weren't close hauled.

Day 3 (Mon) - Me and friend. Winds were always changing. Heading out we saw wind as low as 5 apparent. Flew full sail (main and 135 jib). Winds picked up until it got to about 15 - 17 kt gusts, then I rolled in the jib a little and worked traveler with and friend used head up techniques to control helm. Winds picked up more gusts in the 25 to 27 range, and rolled in jib to about 60%, worked traveler, and head up techniques to control helm. Finally dropped main, and used full jib to sail back into harbor.

I remember in one instance we were closehauled and wanted to go a round a mark to get back into the channel. We weren't going to make it and were readying for a tack when we were hit with a monsterous and long gust that allowed us to sail for almost 20 seconds on a more upwind course of about 15 deg. After that, rounding the mark was no problem.

My boat is a tall mast version, so lighter air is more ideal for at full sail. Whereas the standard rig may not requiring sail area reduction until 20 kts, I am finding that ours requires it around 15 -17 kts steady (with a 135 jib) if you don't want to constantly be on the traveler or rounding up to correct helm.

As far as you original question:

1) Soloing Storm Jib
2) Reef Main
3) Work traveler
4) Work sheet
5) Loose Main or Jib (probably jib on that boat)

DrB
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Old 09-02-2008
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Just to add a couple points. Don't forget to move jib lead cars a little aft to help flatten lower portion of the sail. When you run out of traveler, play the mainsheet with vang fully tightened. If possible pull full outhaul and cunningham to flatten main. (Likely not an option if reefed) Make sure halyards are tight.
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From OP:
"3) When beating to windward, I commonly will let the sheet out to depower when heel becomes excessive. That being said, often the sail will luff because it's not trimmed and that's just loud. What should do? Bear off?"


I wouldn't bear off. Point up as you ease the traveller. I think you will find that the sail makes less noise as it luffs (easier on your nerves and the sail) because the main sheet is still very tight. On my boat with the traveller completely eased in the gusts and by pointing up a bit, I can completely depower the main while partially depowering the genny (fisherman's reef). Keeps me sailing where I want to go, and I never touch the main sheet. This way I find it easier to retrim the main after the gust passes by simply bringing the traveller back to windward to its original pre-gust position.
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Old 09-02-2008
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Hello,

I'm not familiar with your boat, but how come no one mentioned that that halyards / cunningham should be full tight, and the outhall on the main should be full tight.

I would ease the main sheet more to twist off the top of the sail. I would also feather up into the wind for a gust.

Barry
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Old 09-02-2008
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