The Right Tack - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2013
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The Right Tack

One of the really great things about losing our autopilot last year was that we learned a lot about SAILING this boat, not just getting by on autopilot and decently trimmed sails.
As we got better and better at trimming (and of course I was always at the helm watching the instruments, without the autopilot) it seemed the boat sailed faster and closer to the wind on the port tack than the stb. At first I thought it was a fluke, but now a year later (yes the autopilot is fixed) it still seems so. I can find no explanation; the mast is straight (at least to my eye), the rig is equal tensioned port and stb and there is no twist to the mast and the goose neck and traveler are amidships.
So, my question is; have any of you found your boat sails better on one tack than the other?
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Old 01-18-2013
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Re: The Right Tack

Capta,

This is a pretty common issue with some easy solutions, and some that require pretty major surgery. The trick is to identity what's going on then make the decision if its worth fixing.

The most likely issue is that the mast is either out of column or out of center. Checking by eye is not accurate enough to really tell. You have to break out a tape measure and halyard. The fact that both stays are tensioned equally is actually a pretty good key that the rig is actually out of trim. Unless the mast is perfect, and all the stays were cut to exacally the same length (within 1/16 of an inch) you should have slightly different tension.

If the rig is ok, the next step is to check the jib tracks, and ensure that they are in the same place.

Next is check the keel and rudder. If either are off center or are not true to their profile then you will have different speeds and pointing ability on either tack.
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Old 01-18-2013
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Re: The Right Tack

I have felt this about most boats that I have had.
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Old 01-19-2013
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Re: The Right Tack

On what instrument are you reading boat speed?

1. If by a paddle wheel speedometer,
.... if the paddle wheel is not directly/exactly on the boats centerline there will be significant differences in speed reading between tacks due to different hydrodynamic effects acting on the paddlewheel.

2. If by gps ... what is the primary wind and wave direction?
Coriolis effect will cause the oncoming waves to approach the boat with different (out of phase) angles with respect to the True Wind ... all due to the rotation of the earth. The coriolis effect increases the closer you are to the equator.
A example (for the N. Hemisphere) would be when beating into the wind from exactly 270įT, the waves on port tack will be very slightly more bow-on than on stbd tack. .... due to coriolis effect. Especially when on W or E course, the starboard tack is 'faster' than the port tack due to the wind being slightly out of (perpendicular) phase with the oncoming waves, and the greater incident angle of the bow to the wave front, less incident angle of the bow to the wave front when on port tack.

Last edited by RichH; 01-19-2013 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 01-19-2013
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Re: The Right Tack

I wasn't seeking a solution, it may simply be that we carry the Zodiac on the stb side of the foredeck; just curious whether others have had the same experience. It is most noticeable when we are beating into a bay, especially when we lose all the swell and have only a light chop at most.
We use a Garmin chart plotter, which I believe is pretty accurate.
By the way, Rich, I found that putting any bend in the mast interferes w/ the Hood Stowaway system, so I'm trying to keep it as straight as possible, now. Priorities, you know?
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