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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Closer to the wind question

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Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
I could sail no closer than about 30 degrees requiring fast and furious tacking in narrow channel.
With the Iron Spinnaker zero degrees off the wind is no problem. That's usually the best option in a narrow channel.
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  #12  
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Re: Closer to the wind question

30degrees to the true wind? I want to borrow and race her. ;-)

If it's 30 from the *apparent* wind (meaning masthead fly or shroud yarns) then that's ok but not great, and more like 45-50 deg from the true wind.

I echo the advice above. Also when you slow down on the wind, you may point higher since your lower speed isn't "pulling" the wind forward as much. But you'll also slide to leeward more ("leeway") since you're getting less "lift" from the hull shape itself.
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Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Closer to the wind question

30 degs AWA is pretty good for a mom and pop boat. The mid 70's IOR boats usually sailed at 30 awa maybe as high as 28 awa. When I had a V-40 trimmed out perfectly I was happy with 32 awa.

30 TWA, as Tom says, would be amazing.
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Re: Closer to the wind question

As AlexW pointed out, trying to sail upwind with a partially furled genoa is not going to give you good pointing. Not only do you have the furled part of the sail creating turbulence exactly where you DON'T want it, the rest of the sail will have terrible shape. For up wind performance it is very important to have good foil shape with the draft in the right place, and that just isn't going to happen with a roller-reefed head sail. You probably would have been better off using the whole headsail, trimmed nice and tight. If the gusts are over-powering you can "pinch" to depower, which means you steer up into the gusts and let the headsail luff a little bit until the gust passes. That allows you to keep the boat flatter, and you get the added bonus of taking little extra shots to weather with every gust.

Sailing upwind well takes a lot more attention to detail than other points of sail, and it is often overlooked by cruising sailors, but the payoff can be big when you find yourself trying to claw your way off a lee shore, or just make it through a channel quickly.

We have a couple of narrows in our home waters, and I always get a kick out of watching people tack endlessly trying to get through as we approach, then they watch us get through in 2 or 3 tacks and sail away.
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Re: Closer to the wind question

Thanks folks... I need to get back out and experiment more. My takeaway here is that the headsail needs to be sheeted in much firmer than I have been able to achieve. Honestly, I find the whole 135 unfurled difficult to sheet in tight. It gets away from me on a tack and billows fuller and quicker than I am able to respond to at this point. And if only partly unrolled I fine it quickly luffs as I try to come up on the wind probably due to the disturbance created by a partially furled headsail. Maybe this is a learning point for me. While I love it in light wind or when feeling lazy and preferring to manage just one sail, I am considering going back to my 100 jib. Either way I will work on getting it flatter and tighter in the next few weeks as time and weather allows here. I am not ashamed to kick in the old A4 but I want to become a sailor who is able to manage the boat in all conditions preferably under sail. Thanks all for the feedback...
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Re: Closer to the wind question

When you're trying to trim in your 'overlapping' headsail, with most boats the sail should probably be within 2-4" of touching the shrouds. The sheet lead is important too, start with a position that fits the drawing below.. a line bisecting midluff and passing through the clew should point at the sheeting block on deck or rail



Getting this right and the sheet tension right will get you in the ballpark for your boat. It takes considerable effort to get there, if the winches on the boat are marginal it can be quite a workout once the breeze starts to fill in.

Going back to your 100% jib might be a way to get used to looking at a properly trimmed sail - if the wind is over 10knots True it's probably going to get you going just fine. Once you're used to seeing the sail properly set, all telltales flying and showing you how/when to trim, transferring that 'learning' to the bigger sail will be easier.
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  #17  
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Re: Closer to the wind question

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
Thanks folks... I need to get back out and experiment more. My takeaway here is that the headsail needs to be sheeted in much firmer than I have been able to achieve. Honestly, I find the whole 135 unfurled difficult to sheet in tight. It gets away from me on a tack and billows fuller and quicker than I am able to respond to at this point. And if only partly unrolled I fine it quickly luffs as I try to come up on the wind probably due to the disturbance created by a partially furled headsail. Maybe this is a learning point for me. While I love it in light wind or when feeling lazy and preferring to manage just one sail, I am considering going back to my 100 jib. Either way I will work on getting it flatter and tighter in the next few weeks as time and weather allows here. I am not ashamed to kick in the old A4 but I want to become a sailor who is able to manage the boat in all conditions preferably under sail. Thanks all for the feedback...
When close hauled you want to sheet in so that the genoa is no more than 6-8" from the spreader.

If that is hard to do, head up a little and take some tension off of the sheet while you grind it in.

Faster has great advice. As well the foot and the leech should have similar shapes. If you have tell tales, you can use those to adjust car position as well.
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Re: Closer to the wind question

I use 40% of luff length up from tack through the clew for my sheet location. I start there.
I like to have my genny "kissing" the spreader tip when beating. Just gently bouncing off and on the spreader tip.
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Re: Closer to the wind question

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Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
I like to have my genny "kissing" the spreader tip when beating. Just gently bouncing off and on the spreader tip.
That depends on the particular boat and sail. For most boats that I have sailed, a 150% generally works best at about 5-6" off the spreader. If it is sheeted too flat, the 150% loses too much power. I had a crew member trim a 150% until it almost touched the spreader, and the boat actually stopped a few feet short of the finish line, until he eased the sheet.

A 110% generally works well when it is just slightly off the spreader tip.

When it comes to sail trim, you have to experiment, and learn what sail trim works for each boat and each sail. If you get in the habit of checking the boat's speed, on a knotmeter or gps, before and after each time you trim a sail, that instrument will tell you whether that adjustment has had a positive or negative effect.
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  #20  
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Re: Closer to the wind question

6 inches is what we would consider "footing" for speed rather than max pointing. We would only ease the sail that much to accelerate out of tacks, or punch through some powerboat wake.

Every boat is different. Some boats are completely incapable of sheeting in tight because their leads are on the toe rail and they sheet outside the lifelines. Also, if the lead angle is wrong sheeting the sail so the upper part of the sail is close to the spreader results in the lower part of the sail being over-sheeted, and that is slow. Using distance from the spreader for a reference point assumes that the twist of the sail has already been set up correctly.

I think it would be difficult to sheet an old dacron headsail so that it is too flat! Typically you can never get them flat enough for upwind work. More likely the draft and twist is wrong. Too much leech tension will cause the leech to hook, which creates turbulence and chokes the flow through the slot between the genny and the main. That effect will be amplified if the draft is too far aft due to insufficient halyard tension.
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