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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Where to te forced go sailing downwind?

I get what you are saying, but you are over estimating the amount a sailplan will depower as the boat heels. Sure, the heeling motion might "cushion" the impact of a sudden gust, but the load on the rig is still going to be much higher taking the gust on the beam vs taking the same gust on the stern. You have to remember that sails are at their least efficient when running. They produce a fraction of the power they could on a beat or a reach. That is why spinnaker were invented: It takes a whole lot more sail area to produce the same amount of power down wind.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Where to te forced go sailing downwind?

Be aware of the false sense of security you can get sailing a fast boat DDW. Say you have 30 knots true and the boatspeed is 12 knots. That means the apparent wind on deck will be 18 knots which will feel sort of OK. However turning around into wind to reduce sail may be a dangerous maneuver.
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Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Where to te forced go sailing downwind?

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Be aware of the false sense of security you can get sailing a fast boat DDW. Say you have 30 knots true and the boatspeed is 12 knots. That means the apparent wind on deck will be 18 knots which will feel sort of OK. However turning around into wind to reduce sail may be a dangerous maneuver.
Absolutely! All it takes is one mistake on the helm like punching the bow into the back side of a wave and stopping the boat....All at once your butt is in the air and the breeze behind you has just doubled!
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Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Where to te forced go sailing downwind?

This is the only time when I can get my boat to sail well above hull speed. It is hard on the boat and hard on the skipper, but a lot of fun. I have limited experience in these conditions, but have been trying to learn more from sailing in them. All of what I'm writing is from my experiences on my Pearson 28-2, a "racer/cruiser" that is more cruiser and not designed to plane.

You are only asking about wind pressure, but in these conditions you'll also typically be sailing downwind with following waves.

In my (again, limited) experience when I'm overpowered and going downwind in these waves the boat will want to broach as it crests a wave. There is less directional stability on the hull and it will want to turn sideways with respect to the wave.

If I reduce sail then the boat won't want to turn up so dramatically and it is a lot easier to keep it pointing downwind. Then it can start to surf and that's when things really get moving and fun. I've gotten my boat going about 10 knots (hull speed is more like 6.5) in 20 knots apparent and 3-4' following waves.
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