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  #1  
Old 05-16-2009
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Everything I've Learned about sailing is wrong

I've been sailing Catalina 27 and 30s for the last few years and thought I knew at least the basics of sailing. Apparently not.

I've been playing pickup crew on a Farr 395 the last few days as the main-sheet man.
So we are about to do my first jibe so I start hauling in the main.
Nope that's not what we do.
We let the main swing free and blow the traveler.
Then adjust the main with the traveler.
Oh and make sure you duck.

So I ask. Your running with 30 knots of wind and you want to jibe. What then? Answer: Same drill only it will be a little faster.
So I say what about breaking something like that fancy carbon fiber mast.
Apparently that's not a problem.

Sheesh, We jibed the 27 in about 15K, we were just a little sloppy and bent the boom in half.

So is this standard practice on this kind of boat, or our my guys just cowboys.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Your guys are just cowboys... You shouldn't be breaking a boom in 15 knots of wind.
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Old 05-17-2009
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I think they way you're used to doing it is the right way...not the cowboy way.
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Old 05-17-2009
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I tell you what even if you don't break the boom there are a bunch of weak links



main sheet block link

How they figure the 3000#+ strength is beyond me BUT i am sure changing a LOT of mine now
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 05-17-2009
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Your "Race" way is not the best way.

First of all, letting the boom just "swing" through is not only very hard and potentially damaging to the equipment, it is dangerous because a fast moving boom can hurt, possibly very seriously, crew. Lot's of things are happening on a boat around the boom during a gybe, so while you maybe safe and know to duck, others may forget.

The captain of my race boat, and what I was taught in general sailing class, does this.
  1. The captain says get ready to gybe.
  2. I (main trimmer) move the traveler to center and lock both ways
  3. "Gybe Ho" is announced and as quick as I can, I pull the mainsheet in as the boat crosses over
  4. As soon as the sail catches the wind on the other side, I pay out the main as quickly as I can, in a controlled manner. I don't just let it run loose by it self, I keep tension on it so that the boom speed is minimized
  5. Once the boom is filled and safely away from the cockpit and the new course is established, I lock the main and move the traveler down to the leeward side and then readjust the sheet.

In light winds (<8 kts), the forces on the sail are weak enough that, after I center the traveler, I can grab the boom with my hand and walk it over without doing anything with the mainsheet. Once through, I then adjust the traveler.

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Last edited by DrB; 05-17-2009 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Yep, your guys are cowboys and obviously not owners...
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Old 05-17-2009
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Oh, I dunno. Things are done a bit differently on performance boats, esp. planing hulls. Most of em just grab the mainsheet tackle & throw the boom across. Here's a Melges 24 practising jibes:



Standard procedure, I understand. Yes, it's hard on the rigging & boom, but it's fast. If the boat stays on plane, the stresses on the rig are less than if the boat is displacing. Boats like the M24 or the Farrs jibe often because they sail high angles downwind; presumably the designers took this into account and beefed up attachment points.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmcgov View Post
Oh, I dunno. Things are done a bit differently on performance boats, esp. planing hulls. Most of em just grab the main-sheet tackle & throw the boom across. Here's a Melges 24 practicing jibes:

Standard procedure, I understand. Yes, it's hard on the rigging & boom, but it's fast. If the boat stays on plane, the stresses on the rig are less than if the boat is displacing. Boats like the M24 or the Farrs jibe often because they sail high angles downwind; presumably the designers took this into account and beefed up attachment points.
I'm thinking you may be right. Several things:
1. The guy I'm sailing with is the owner, I doubt if he wants to break his boat.
2. Everything looks really beefy including the rod rigging, carbon mast, carbon boom etc.
3. He has been racing for 25 years
4. The design of the traveler is such that their is a automatic damping effect as the line attempts to run free through the traveler with the multi to one block system (I'm guessing about 4 to 1).
5. When I did jam it a couple of times and the traveler hung up at center the boat had so much weather helm it was not steerable.
6. This implies that with this boat and the amount of sail it carries there is no way you could center traveler, sheet in, sheet out then lee traveler quick enough to get control of the boat before you got a good course.
6. She carries a continuous main sheet with a winch on both sides. Once the boom is loaded it is really slow and really hard work to sheet it in. Trust me I know.

I had heard that performane boats were difference but I never expected that different. From a casual observer, which I was a couple weeks ago, they just look about the same as crusing but with a few more lines.

I knew something was up when I saw the guy pumping a hydraulic back-stay tensioner to 2,000 lbs.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Your guys are just cowboys... You shouldn't be breaking a boom in 15 knots of wind.

I our defense the Catalina 27 is supposed to have three attachement points to the boom. The PO had changed it to a single point and had pre-bent the boom an inch or so.

Our little quick jib just finished the job.
We rigged it properly on the new boom.

Lesson learned.
Never modify something on a production boat to make it less strong. The original designer has probably not over engineered anything.

I doubt if a anything we could have done in 15k or less of wind would have caused a bent boom if it was rigged properly.
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Old 05-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I'm thinking you may be right. Several things:
1. The guy I'm sailing with is the owner, I doubt if he wants to break his boat.
2. Everything looks really beefy including the rod rigging, carbon mast, carbon boom etc.
3. He has been racing for 25 years
4. The design of the traveler is such that their is a automatic damping effect as the line attempts to run free through the traveler with the multi to one block system (I'm guessing about 4 to 1).
5. When I did jam it a couple of times and the traveler hung up at center the boat had so much weather helm it was not steerable.
6. This implies that with this boat and the amount of sail it carries there is no way you could center traveler, sheet in, sheet out then lee traveler quick enough to get control of the boat before you got a good course.
6. She carries a continuous main sheet with a winch on both sides. Once the boom is loaded it is really slow and really hard work to sheet it in. Trust me I know.

I had heard that performane boats were difference but I never expected that different. From a casual observer, which I was a couple weeks ago, they just look about the same as crusing but with a few more lines.

I knew something was up when I saw the guy pumping a hydraulic back-stay tensioner to 2,000 lbs.
Exactly. Performance boats are often planing downwind, and they have thin, deep keels. Doubt they possess enuf directional stability to do the "sheet in to center, brew some tea, gently ease out main, drink another cuppa, set traveler" routine. They'd round up like thunder. They also have very high mechanical advantage mainsheets to deal with their sail area, so you'd have to reel in about fifty armloads of cordage every time you jibe. These boats are built to be flung around a bit.

Heh. Where I grew up, any jibe was considered reckless and ungentlemanly. No kidding -- even drifting home in 2 knots, it was forbidden to take the boat thru the bottom of the wind. People on shore smoking their pipes would judge you. Sailors TACK. We do NOT jibe. Then I got a windsurfer, and all bets were off! I used to practise duck jibes in front of the fogies, just to annoy them.
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