Beating To Windward? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 35 Old 07-10-2010
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"downwind seems to be the slowest point of sail, at least until you start poling out the genoa or setting the asym."
Whether your boat will be faster (to the mark) going wing-and-wing dead downwind, or gybing back and forth, will depend very much on the boat. The nice folks at North University taught me a long time ago that dead downwind was never the fastest way to go--but I've been on some boats and seen some polars that show with some boats, IT IS.
It just always seems slow because you're not getting the extra apparent wind and splashing, and hte brain is easily deceived.

Chef, I think the phrase you are thinking of is "Gentlemen don't sail to windward." It tends to get rough and sloppy and spills the champagne and hors d'oerves, and that's simply not right. Especially when you can take the private train home and let the crew recover the boat.

OTOH, the real sailors I know never light the engine unless they have to. It is noisy, unaesthetic, and burns fuel. Unless someone is on a schedule and it just has to happen...the folks I know use the sails. Upwind, downwind, drifting, sleigh riding...Can you tell, we're not Gentlemen?
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post #32 of 35 Old 07-10-2010
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re the quote about 'gentlemen/a gentleman does not sail to windward/weather....I can't for the life of me find the original but in the back of my head, along with the odd spiderweb, I seem to recall maybe a Herreschoff ?? and that it was made in reference to a design that was not much interested in uphill work, perhaps a schooner ?




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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"downwind seems to be the slowest point of sail, at least until you start poling out the genoa or setting the asym."
Whether your boat will be faster (to the mark) going wing-and-wing dead downwind, or gybing back and forth, will depend very much on the boat. The nice folks at North University taught me a long time ago that dead downwind was never the fastest way to go--but I've been on some boats and seen some polars that show with some boats, IT IS.
It just always seems slow because you're not getting the extra apparent wind and splashing, and hte brain is easily deceived.

Chef, I think the phrase you are thinking of is "Gentlemen don't sail to windward." It tends to get rough and sloppy and spills the champagne and hors d'oerves, and that's simply not right. Especially when you can take the private train home and let the crew recover the boat.

OTOH, the real sailors I know never light the engine unless they have to. It is noisy, unaesthetic, and burns fuel. Unless someone is on a schedule and it just has to happen...the folks I know use the sails. Upwind, downwind, drifting, sleigh riding...Can you tell, we're not Gentlemen?

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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post #33 of 35 Old 07-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"downwind seems to be the slowest point of sail, at least until you start poling out the genoa or setting the asym."
Whether your boat will be faster (to the mark) going wing-and-wing dead downwind, or gybing back and forth, will depend very much on the boat. The nice folks at North University taught me a long time ago that dead downwind was never the fastest way to go--but I've been on some boats and seen some polars that show with some boats, IT IS.
It just always seems slow because you're not getting the extra apparent wind and splashing, and hte brain is easily deceived.

..
On most old designed sailboats, displacement boats, downwind speed is limited by hull speed and therefore they have similar max speeds upwind and downwind, but they need less wind to reach that speed upwind (the boat movement "makes" more wind).

On most modern designed cruisers you have a "semi-planning hull”. That allows the boat to go a good bit over hull speed downwind (about 40%). On some modern light cruiser-racers you have a planning hull and you can reach about two times hull speed, sometimes more, if you are a very good sailor (for that you need a lot of wind).

Dead downwind is a difficult position to sail and, as you say, you have to use a spinnaker, and that is also a difficult sail to use and one that requires an expert sailor to set it up solo, or a crew that know what they are doing.

Today most fast and very fast cruisers, tend to be equipped with an asymmetric spinnaker instead of a spinnaker. That's an easy sail that can be mounted on a furler. This sail is efficient from 45º to 150/160º (apparent wind), but you cannot go dead downwind with it.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 07-11-2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: make it clear
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post #34 of 35 Old 07-11-2010
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IMHO, the idea that dead downwind is the slowest point of sail is widely misunderstood, especially with regard to the older IOR boats. Although a displacement boat can exceed hullspeed, especially when reaching, there is, nevertheless, a practical limit on the boatspeed that can be generated by a sailboat. Some of the highest speeds I have achieved on a sailboat, were nearly dead downwind, flying big twin headsails in approximately 25 kt winds. If your destination is DDW, the shortest distance to that destination is DDW. If the wind is so strong that reaching doesn't increase your boatspeed enough to make up for the added distance, then DDW might be the faster way to get there.
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post #35 of 35 Old 07-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
I've only been sailing for a year, but I've been amazed to find that most sailors seem to consider sailing upwind too slow/difficult and tend to motor upwind, and sail back down. Experienced sailors are surprised when I tell them I sailed (rather than motored) anyplace against the prevailing winds. Even racers seem to mostly motor upwind if they're not in a race at the time. Why is this?

I find beating to be one of the easiest and most relaxing points of sail, since there's no worry about gybing, and heel angle can be reduced in a gust quickly, by just pointing a bit higher without adjusting sails.

I realize it's a bit slower than other points of sail- but if I wanted to get someplace quickly I wouldn't be sailing at all. My VMG might be ~3 knots at best directly upwind, compared to ~6 knots on other points of sail- both very slow compared to powerboats which can plane at ~30 knots.

I find sailing upwind to be much more fun, relaxing, have a better motion, and much cheaper (no fuel) than motoring directly upwind. I can't see myself motoring to windward unless there was some reason I couldn't sail (too much or too little wind, broken rig).
Sailing to wind is also my favorite point of sail. No stress, just fun.
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