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  #11  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

Bubble, were you able to get the reef really flat? Like max outhaul?

As you already know, the 130 was too big. I never single hand with more than a #3 jib. And that's only when it's too windy to motor. Which is anything above 10 kts. The #3 can take me up to 20-25 with a full main and moves the boat just fine if it's 10 or above. Downwind it's a little small, but that's what the chute is for.

In 25-32 kts, the boat wants a reef and weight on the rail. Or a #4 / storm jib. You can try moving the jib cars back, drop the traveler 3/4 of the way down, whatever you can to keep her on her feet. But you were flat out over powered. Buoy info confirms 25 - 30 and no doubt there were puffs a little higher.

Keep the main on. Dropping the main and leaving a single 130 headsail in those conditions would cause massive lee helm, overpower the rudder, and cause a violent turn to head downwind, accidental gibe, then backwind the jib as the boat tries to do a complete 360*. Ask me how I know.

I know my boat is different, but if the #3 isnt' twisted a little bit and the main is flogging, the bow wants to blow off downwind. Just like the Hoopers light, pt no pt race you did with me. Next time, go out w/ the #3.
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

I have a down haul set up for my small headsail. It saves me a trip to the bow and a headsail flogging on the deck is a lot less risky than a headsail flogging while up the forestay.

I thought you instinct to motorsail was wise and wonder why you stopped and returned to sailing when the situation was risky. My instinct tells me you would have had more options and fewer risks with just the mainsail and motor.

Short handed, I am always more cautious about gear failure like the headsail damaged and needing to be stowed if the wind increases.
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

Great day to go out Bubble...Hats off to you.

The forecast I saw was steady 25 gusts 30-40 in Baltimore. I have a furler, but have two headsails I put on it. 155 (7 oz) for the period of May-September, 135 ( 8oz) March, April, October, November, December. I disagree about the 135 we use it frequently in the heavier air colder months.

Chuckles point about reefing from the front on a boats like yours and mine also may be correct. Every boat handles differently. Because of our centerboard we usually can withstand wind 20-22 steady ( not gusts) before reefing due to weather helm or excessive heel. At that we reef the headsail first and if need be change the angle on the main to keep our feet. We are a high aspect main. Is you Pearson a high aspect main?

That may eqauate to using the full main and small jib in those conditions. Have you ever tried that? On Haleakala we reef the main over 25 as a general rule., but we already have shortened the jib. ( on yours gone down a size). At 30 with a 135 we would have double reefed heading to windward, centerboard down,

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  #14  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

At 30 I'm banging on the iron genny, not the dacron one. Especially with the wave period/chop on the Bay.
Going upwind with 30 true is 35 real - that's a gale, not a day sail.

If I was cruising, not day sailing - I might be double reefed everywhere and making way; I might be hunkered down and hove too and keep in mind that's on a boat that weighs in at twice the OP's.
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  #15  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

I have a later Pearson 28 (28-2, 1985+ model), but it is also a Bill Shaw boat. I find that the boat points reasonably well (maybe 100 degree tacks instead of 90 degree) on main only. My current roller furling setup doesn't allow for reefing and I only have one genoa (~120%). We've been rolling up the genoa and using the main only when the wind gets much above 20 kts and have even run with the reefed main only in higher winds.

A storm jib is on my want list. I also have a new furling system in the box that will get installed sometime this winter.

I've found that our boat seems to hove to best with the main only ("Storm Tactics" recommends trying this on fin keel, spade rudder boats). Going hove to would give you a chance to change headsails without getting bounced around too badly.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

Was the TRUE wind 30+ kts or was that what you saw when sailing upwind? I'm guessing that the TRUE wind was 20-25 kts, which is great for sailing downwind but not so great for sailing upwind unless you are on a fully crewed race boat with 1000 lbs of beef on the rail.

IMHO, if you are going to be SAILING in 30+ kts you need at least the second reef in the main and the headsail should be a 100% jib or smaller. Even then the ride probably won't be fun or easy.

For me, if I'm out for a fun sail, and I encounter weather like that, I will drop whichever sail is easier and then motor sail back. IMHO, there is no point in beating up the boat or myself when the goal is to have fun. I love a spirited sail, but there comes a point when it ceases being fun.

Lastly, even if you had the storm jib aboard, where you going to change it under those conditions? Not me, I would either reef the existing sail or, more likely, just drop it.

Glad it turned out well for you.

Barry
Barry, addressing point-by-point:

Yes, TRUE windspeed was recorded in my area as sustained 28 knots, gusting to 32 knots. The gusts were long in duration and the wind direction varied widely between W and NW.

I only have one, deep reef because of predominantly light summer breezes in my area.

If I had run jacklines, yes I would have dropped the jib and changed it out if my storm jib had been onboard.

As you stated, when I realized that the wind was greater than forecast, I returned to port, but I did intentionally head out in 20+ for heavy breeze experience.
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Just a thought Bubblehead - your Pearson's first reef is probably the jib, and more than likely the same point as other boats of that size and genre - namely at 18 knots apparent.

In other words you should have reefed or put on a smaller sail before you left the pier since you don't have a furler.
Your downwind was fine as the apparent wind was lower - you should have blanketed the jib with the main, changed jibs and then turned to go home.
Chuckles-

Through much experimentation, I have learned that my sail plan responds better to reefing the main before downshifting to a smaller headsail.

I left the dock with the main reefed. I only have one, deep reef point in my sail.

You are absolutely right that the jib could have been safely and comfortably changed out with the main blanketing the jib. If I'd had the dang storm jib onboard...
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

You guys need to come down to Marathon - the wind's about the same, but it's a lot more fun in 75 to 80 degree temperatures and clean, deep-blue water.

Cheers,

Gary
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

Bubble: The P30 should handle those conditions with aplomb. Practically what it was designed for. You likely will need a decent-sized headsail for forward drive, esp. given the famous Bay chop. You could probably forereach under reefed main only, but you aren't going to make many miles toward home that way.

Yes, the 130 headsail is probably too large for those conditions, and probably (given where you sail) it is cut fairly deep as well. But since you aren't made of money, don't have unlimited space below for headsail inventory, and lack roller furling, there are some things you can do to make that 130 work for you in heavier conditions.

First, is your backstay on hard? a genoa that sags off will have deeper draft and a poor attack angle when pointing. Likewise halyard tension: needs to be taut, taut, taut, or the sail will scallop and pull your bow off the wind. You can also add a foot reef to a genoa (really!), or a simple cunningham to the tack that will pull out some of the draft and move the rest forward.

Second, you can depower your genny and lower its effective center of effort with twist. As ZZ4gta says, try to move those jib cars back until the upper half of the leech is spilling much of its wind. You don't want it fluttering too much -- just a wide open slot and upper jib telltales pointing upward. Cracking the sheets may help, too, but that can lead to leech flutter and degrade pointing ability. Might snug the jib leechline, if it starts motorboating too much.

We don't have a traveler on our little SJ21 & have trouble controlling mainsail twist. Flat-as-a-board reefing certainly depowers the sail and keeps the boat under control, but we've found the boat loses way as chop increases. Could you maybe pull the traveler slightly to center and ease the mainsheet a couple inches, to increase twist? We've found it helpful to slack the clew reefing line a titch, which does much the same thing. Trim is different for chop than for flat water or long-period swells.

Finally, I think you did great. If you never learn to sail your boat when it gets a little stinky ... whatchoo gonna do on a lee shore when the engine decides to quit? It's a sailboat. It likes wind. We've learned (the hard way) to handle our 1500# San Juan in winds over 45kts. It's gripping, it beats you up, and the boat has to be coaxed along ... but given our auxilliary is a trolling motor, we don't have much choice. Better to figure out how to sail in rough conditions now, on your terms, than being forced to learn under genuine duress.
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2012
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Re: Overloaded

Bob,

I did everything you and ZZgta posted except for the backstay. I do not have a backstay adjuster and my rig is set for "general" sailing. I did observe under these strong conditions that the forestay had a bit of sag and I was keenly aware that this was not very helpful.

To sum up:
  • Main was reefed, outhaul on full.
  • Jib cars were fully back.
  • Both halyards were under tension. No scalloping in the sails.
  • I have a floating gooseneck, so no cunningham but I do have a downhaul for mainsail luff tension and it was applied.
  • Traveler was fully down.
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