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post #11 of 14 Old 01-17-2012
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Time to build a flying vertical wing...
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-17-2012
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As it gets towards 40 knots we are pretty over-powered with a #4 jib and a deeply reefed mainsail And it's pretty much time for the storm jib

The biggest issue is the sea state in the picture it was pretty flat due to the wind direction on the sound

I have been in the same wind speed in and area that has the space to build the sea state to the point it just COMPLEATLY beats the crap out of the boat and crew in no particular order

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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-17-2012
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I have experienced the same effect many time. The following is a mental experiment to try.
Your boat is trimmed properly for wind coming from 60 degrees off the bow.
The boat is not moving (lets assume it is held back for some reason) This not moving constraint is not necessary but makes it easier to visualize.
The wind starts low and gradually increases

The wind hitting the sail exerts a force against the mast (the force against the mast is what ultimately moves the boat).
That force is composed of two vectors.
One vector attempts to tip the boat over.
One vector attempts to move the boat forward.
The weight of the keel resists the vector to tip the boat over.
As the wind increases the force to tip the boat will increase.
At some point the healing of the boat will be excessive.
At that point you have two three choices.
Spill the wind by easing the sheets
Reduce sail by reefing
Or do both
All of these three choices will reduce healing but also reduce the force attempting to move the boat forward.
At some point the force moving the boat forward will be so low it will not be enough to overcome all of the forces that exist to keep the boat stationary.

It is pretty obvious that even in perfect conditions on a beam reach with flat seas and steady wind there is a minimum amount of sail area required to got any boat to move at all. IE a clean-ex will not sail a 30 footer.
Also as the wind increases and the sail is reefed nothing improves but lots of things detract from efficiency.
The sail bags (unless you have a hi-tech racing sail)
Your halyard stretches.
A reefed sail is seldom the perfect shape.
The mast bends (can be a good thing but often not.)
Waves and chop builds
currents build
All these things slow you down.

I remember being disappointed about how badly several boats would point when the wind exceeded their sweet spot, usually about 14 knots for Catalina's 25,27,30.
A boat that would point through an arc of 90 degrees in perfect conditions would be hard-pressed to manage 120 if it had to be reefed.

Your experiencing the same thing but instead of pointing it is being manifest as a slowdown.
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-18-2012
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All of these three choices will reduce healing but also reduce the force attempting to move the boat forward.
I'm not sure I agree with this part of your analysis. With higher wind speed, a reefed sail will produce more force in the forward vector (than a reefed sail in slower wind). So, assuming you can maintain good sail shape, a tripple reefed main and a storm jib in 50k wind will produce a lot of power. The problem is, that it will also produce a lot of heeling moment. There is also is a resistance vector from the wind that increases... OK my head hurts, I am going to fall off and run with the wind.
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