Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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You have to experiment til you get it 'right' for your boat and the wind conditions, but in general, I'll have the main tight enough that it fills when we come down to a close reach, then mostly luffs when we come up to close-hauled. tiller tied down about halfway to lee.
What's key is that the main and jib alternate as the predominant wind force so the boat gently and slightly rotates around the CLR "pivot point"--rotate up, main partially luffs and so the backed jib becomes the dominant lateral force--which rotates you back to leeward, when the main fills and becomes the dominant force--which turns you back to windward, where the jib's again dominant, then repeat, repeat, repeat, alternating weather helm effect with lee helm.
You can adjust mainsheet and tiller to minimize the "scalloping" course to nearly steady and minimize luffing (and wear) on the main, but the principle remains the same.
For light air, we assume you have full sail up. for heavy air, you have to have reduced sail area since minimizing heeling is a big factor. Again, keep adjusting main, jib, tiller, and even changing sail size if necessary, to get the good balance.
When I'm out with students. we'll heave to on purpose, or after a blown tack since we're already ''there". Then we'll practice knot-tying so they'll appreciate the "free hands" heaving-to gives you.
Last edited by nolatom; 05-12-2011 at 10:48 AM.