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  #11  
Old 09-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer28 View Post
wait -

if the boom is out to starboard, I could turn to port and just leave the main sheeted out... then it would start to luff, right?

Of course, I would have to pull in the jib and use that to sail with to keep heading until the main went down...
Yes, true -- but your original uneasiness about the maneuver is fully justified. Trying to head up from a deep reach or DDW run is a scary business in strong following winds. Your rudder is not as efficient, the boat is tippy and prone to sudden swerving, and the change in sail & keel function -- from a pure drag bag to a lifting foil, makes the boat surge in unexpected ways. If the waves behind are good size, rolling or broaching are quite possible. The boom's weight, slung way out, will make the boat heel as you turn. And what SD says -- your apparent wind will change directions & vastly increase in speed.

The trick is getting the boat thru the 3-5 o'clock zone as smoothly as possible, despite aft quartering seas and badly trimmed sails. If you have a swing keel or centerboard, I'd leave it mostly up until you are safe on a beam reach -- less likely to trip over it or round up too hard. Try to time your manuever to slide down the back of a passing wave, and have the crew ready to trim the boat for the next, inevitable broadside swell. Try to think a few seconds ahead, so all your gear is in the right place and bodies are moving as needed.

It's scary. When yesterday's strong winds tapered, we ran home wing&wing to the launch but had an accident. It was our first day sailing with the new halyard system (jammed knot at the mast top), & we couldn't unhook the knot & drop the main because it was under power. Can't blow the sheet cuz the boom is pinned to the shroud. Too late to head back for open water. "Ramming speed!" We beached at a stately couple knots. No harm done, but it might have been ugly in bigger air.

Note to self! Head up while in open water, unhook the halyard knot, and either drop the main & reach home on the jib, or re-cleat the halyard minus knot, furl the jib, and be ready to sheet in to the centerline and drop main on approach.

Running is a weird business -- a mellow-seeming point of sail but full of dangers. The boat is in equilibrium, but it is an unstable equilibrium, like a bowling pin balanced on its top. When preturbed, the boat's manner can go crashingly bad in no time at all. Hey -- you are smart enough to see the danger BEFORE you crash into something. Definition of a good sailor!
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2007
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While racing we had an uncontrolled broach carrying our spinnaker with a thunderstorm overtaking us. We had plenty of sea room with a very black storm approaching from astern. We were reaching 20 degrees off down wind, going nicely in about 30 knots of breeze. We got a sudden micro burst over 50 and the ľ oz. spinnaker blew out. The boat broached over with the mast in the water. As we slewed up to windward it took 4 of us to get the main, which was full of water, out of the water. It took another 3-4 minutes to get going again, we set a new chute in the 30 to 40 breeze and an hour later finished 2nd, 8th corrected. Moral: forget how well you’re going and get that expensive chute down before it is too late or it will cost you.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2007
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Cam-

Trying to sheet in the mainsail while going DDW is going to be a problem, unless the boat is really badly balanced, you shouldn't need the main to start heading up. IMHO, you need to start turning before doing anything with the main sheet... leaving the main all the way out will reduce the pressure on the boat to heel and if you've turned enough, might even let you reef it before getting headed into the wind... however, reefing is probably easiest to do head to wind.

Of course, once you're pointed upwind at all, you can start sheeting in the main and let the jib out...and use the pressure of the wind against the main to help bring you into the wind.

Of course, on a ketch like Camraderie, you could always blanket the main sail behind the mizzen to some degree... but most boats don't have that option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer28 View Post
wait -

if the boom is out to starboard, I could turn to port and just leave the main sheeted out... then it would start to luff, right?

Of course, I would have to pull in the jib and use that to sail with to keep heading until the main went down...

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
If the wind is strong enough to be a worry, sheeting the main into centerline can be a problem even when sailing downwind. IMHO, turning upwind and letting the main luff is probably an easier way to reef it.

If you can't sheet the main in to centerline...how are you going to turn upwind?
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Assuming a furling jib...bring it down to a smaller size. Then sheet the mainsail in to centerline while the jib continues to carry you down wind. Now reef the mainsail. Then turn to your next point of sail.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-02-2007 at 01:27 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2007
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If I was hit with strong winds while running down wind and wanted to reduce I would get the head sail down first. It really should only take a minute, literaly, to get it down.
The helmsman needs to be very careful not to gybe the main across. I would steer 5 degrees or so off of dead down wind to make sure that did not happen.
I would sheet the main in hard at the end of the traveler and flatten it as much as possible with outhaul/flattening reef. Then come around into the wind so the the main is pretty much pointed into it still at the outboard end of the traveller. With just a flattened main the heel should not be too nasty.
Then you should be able to put a reef into the main if you want.

Gary
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Old 09-02-2007
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Gary,
If I were to try and harden the main, (that is saying if we were physically able to haul it in with all of that pressure on it), while it was plastered against the shrouds, wouldn't there be a great chance of a roundup or worse yet, a knockdown?

And then, say I did get it centered, wouldn't I take a chance at a knockdown again when I came about? I would be turning the main broadside to the wind.

We had the boom out to starboard with the main sheet all the way out which left it just short of being against the aft shroud. We started to bring it in but that quickly turned into a bad idea. The rails went into the water and the skipper ran out of helm. The second thought was to turn to port and when the main was off the shrouds, we'd drop it. The wheel was turned to the stop and the boat yawed and heeled rather than turn. The skipper thought that was a bad idea too and centered the wheel.

We spent the ride trying to figure out what to do next. When the wind dipped to 25 knots we rounded up long enough to get the main down but the boat was falling off while we were doing it so the last two thirds was a real challenge.

It was a weird ride and left one trying to figure out what should have been done differently. It'll invariably happen again and I'd like to have a better grip on how to handle it.

Thanks,
tg3
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Old 09-02-2007
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With a squall like that approaching, it would be motor on, shadow the headsail, roll it up, motor hard to weather, kill main.

It sounds like it would be awful in a squall like that, and far worse in a tight pack.

A full main in 58 kt and the ship will get knocked down and not get up easily.

58 kt !!!!.... aaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh !!!!
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2007
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Tie a line to your foresail sheet forward of the fairlead block on your track. It needs to be a long, long line and you need to to tie it really tightly. Tie the bitter end to the toerail or a cleat.

Undo the stopper knot in your foresail sheets and let the sheets fly. The foresail will stream out in front of the boat like a flag, flapping like crazy, it might get caught on something but if you have lost control of your boat you can't be too concerned about that.

Now get your main on to the centreline and reefed, or dropped entirely. If you are not strong enough do this with your regular rigging, tie a line to the boom somewhere, and run this through a snatch block or similar arrangement on the toerail and then run this back to your winch to help you.

Loosen off your foresail halyard slowly, the wind will pull it down partway because it is streaming forward. Use the line you attached to the sheet to pull the foresail back on to the boat.
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Old 09-02-2007
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Rockter-

Personally, I would not want to rely on the motor...it is an auxilliary motor...and in heavy seas, they're prone to failing as gunk from the bottom of the fuel tank is tossed around and sucked up—which causes the engine to stop.

Depending on how bad the weather was, how much sea room I had and how long the bad weather was expected to last I would either leave at least a double reefed main up and heave to; or drop all the sail and deploy a Jordan Series Drogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
With a squall like that approaching, it would be motor on, shadow the headsail, roll it up, motor hard to weather, kill main.

It sounds like it would be awful in a squall like that, and far worse in a tight pack.

A full main in 58 kt and the ship will get knocked down and not get up easily.

58 kt !!!!.... aaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh !!!!
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #19  
Old 09-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C27Shockwave View Post
Gary,
If I were to try and harden the main, (that is saying if we were physically able to haul it in with all of that pressure on it), while it was plastered against the shrouds, wouldn't there be a great chance of a roundup or worse yet, a knockdown?

And then, say I did get it centered, wouldn't I take a chance at a knockdown again when I came about? I would be turning the main broadside to the wind.


Thanks,
tg3
I believe you would have more chance of being knocked down with the main out, than you would if you sheeted and turned your beam to the wind. At least that way you have the keel working in your favor. There is not much keeping the boat from going pitch pole when the main is out and you get hit from behind. If the bow goes down you could roll over on the fore quarter.
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  #20  
Old 09-03-2007
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Saildog...

Even if I glanced at the fuel filters thay would have enough fuel in there for that turn.

The problems you describe lead, constantly, by this stupid manufacturers' poor inspection hatches on the fuel tank. Many owners never even look in there. I fitted a big lever-on inspection hatch, that can be taken off in, like 20 seconds, and it's the fuel filler door too. I shine a flashlight in there at every fuelling, and I have a wee reflective mirror (not big), lying on the floor of the tank to reflect the image.

The stuff stays clean, and the big clear fuel bowl on the Racor filter reminds me of that.

If the alternative to motor start is trying to turn my ship to weather to kill the main, in 58 kt of wind, using sail?????

Aaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh !!!!!
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