Running downwind at high speed, how to turn away? - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 70 Old 09-06-2007
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Well, it looks like Windhorse got clobbered.... totally overpowered, and an IP38 is one of the heavier ships.

Perhaps we've got to drop sail at the first real risk of being squalled.

How do you call this stuff. You can't really. The IP38 got sailed by the gale with the main up and could not risk turning to kill it.

I can't see a way out of that one.
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post #52 of 70 Old 09-06-2007 Thread Starter
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I read in a book this morning that the author was recommending that you "douse" the mainsail, as in letting the halyards out completely and let the boom and fall no matter where it went, be it tea-bagging into the water or over your companionway hatch. The author then said to not worry about the mess of sail, rather to worry about it after you secure a storm jib and just sail tie the mess of sail and boom to keep the windage to a minimum.

I can't do that in our dinghies because of how the sails bolt-rope in the mast and boom, but I will try it in my "big" sailboat the next chance I get. If I remember properly, that sail drops faster than a prom dress after a 6-pack of wine coolers in any amount of wind. If anything, I'm at the mast letting the halyards loose, and I could pull the sail down if I had to.

We have storms of wind each day at 3-5pm and about 2-4am like clockwork. These regularly go over 35kts. I could just go hang out and wait for something to show up today....
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post #53 of 70 Old 09-06-2007
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Lancer, what works in the dinghy may not work on your big boat - sailing dinghies plane nicely down-wind; displacement yachts tend to trip over their nose.

I remembered last night, that when I was in dinghies if you needed to round the bottom mark in too much wind, the trick was to haul in the main as far as I could to slow the boat down, then when you wanted to make the turn.. dump the main fast!, really fast!! (to take the pressure off) and then once around, haul in as fast as you could to stop it flogging and make steerage way as soon as possible. It was frightening in practise, but worked - and would probably work on a big boat too if you could control the main well enough...

A side benefit: If you can haul the jib out the other side whilst going downwind (goosewing it), even if it's flying out a bit, when you go around you'll find you're comfortably(!) hove-to on the same tack.

One way to get the main down if it's blowing a gale is to "trice" it up (I think that's right). Haul the boom in as close as you dare, pass a line around the end of the boom and forward to the mast on both sides (let it slide up the leech), let go the outhaul and haul in on the line, pulling the leech down to the gooseneck smothering the sail to stop it flogging.

I look forward to hearing how your next series of experiments goes!

--Cameron
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post #54 of 70 Old 09-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Lancer, what works in the dinghy may not work on your big boat - sailing dinghies plane nicely down-wind; displacement yachts tend to trip over their nose.
I believe he'll be trying it in his big boat...

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I remembered last night, that when I was in dinghies if you needed to round the bottom mark in too much wind, the trick was to haul in the main as far as I could to slow the boat down, then when you wanted to make the turn.. dump the main fast!, really fast!! (to take the pressure off) and then once around, haul in as fast as you could to stop it flogging and make steerage way as soon as possible. It was frightening in practise, but worked - and would probably work on a big boat too if you could control the main well enough...

A side benefit: If you can haul the jib out the other side whilst going downwind (goosewing it), even if it's flying out a bit, when you go around you'll find you're comfortably(!) hove-to on the same tack.
I don't think I'd want to try this on a bigger boat.

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One way to get the main down if it's blowing a gale is to "trice" it up (I think that's right). Haul the boom in as close as you dare, pass a line around the end of the boom and forward to the mast on both sides (let it slide up the leech), let go the outhaul and haul in on the line, pulling the leech down to the gooseneck smothering the sail to stop it flogging.
You're going to have some problems if you try this with a battened main.

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post #55 of 70 Old 09-06-2007
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SD, I know that big boats can plane depending upon their design (we hit 22kts on my Dad's Adams 20 many years ago - hearing the keel humming was quite something - but that was a big surfboard, not your standard cruiser which I assumed (incorrectly?) that Lancer has.

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I don't think I'd want to try this on a bigger boat.
On a big displacement hull, personally, I don't think you want to try turning - you will broach for sure whatever you do. You have to slow down first. But on a small racing yacht it might work.. if you don't have a really stiff main and you're mainsheet tackle can be released very quickly.

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You're going to have some problems if you try this with a battened main.
Fully battened? Yes. Small battens? No, it can be done enough to smother the sail and stop it flogging itself to bits. And if you get a stuck main halyard (which can happen in heavy weather) it's the only thing you can do. Yet another reason why cruising yachts shoudn't have fully-battened mains..
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post #56 of 70 Old 09-09-2007
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Heh... tried this little maneuver in my Bucc18 today, jibing in ~15 mph winds. The plan was to take the boat from one deep reach to the other, then head up onto a controlled beam reach. Put centerboard up halfway or more, sheeted in to center, had crew blow the jib, tried to time the following wave, reeled out main as fast as possible....

Rounded up and rolled the boat. How we didn't end up in the drink, dunno. Crew had some trouble trimming, and I did a poor job steering with my knees. But basically, the boat just wanted to bite hard & turn abeam.

After-Incident Assessment: 1) Half centerboard is too much. Put it 80% up so the boat doesn't round up so hard. 2) The apparent wind thing: we were reaching very fast, and my decision to jibe was made on a false sense of the actual wind. As we came out of DDW, the wind overcame the boat. 3) Gotta try this again. Get the main sheeted out faster. Countersteer to prevent rounding up?

OTOH, the Bucc sails like a Caddy with 500 lbs of water in the cockpit. Smooth and level, fabulous wake. And it's still bloody fast -- 7 knots with the bailers sucking hard. I need a real boat, with some ballast darn it.

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SJ21, Diarmuid
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn
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post #57 of 70 Old 09-09-2007
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bobmcgov, maybe next time rather than jibing, try doing a "granny-tack" (round up and go 360 degrees though the wind) instead.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, part of the problem with jibing whilst going fast in too much wind is that the stern on modern boats gets shoved around by the wind/waves and, unless you've got a barn door for a rudder, over you go. When doing a granny-tack you go from fast down-wind to stopped pointing up-wind rather quickly, so the crew has to be ready for it - and to get enough main back in once you're safely around to allow you to pass though the wind and bear away on the other tack.

The faster the windspeed, the faster you've got to dump the mainsheet and the more frightening the whole maneuver is. On a little boat it should be okay, but on a big boat in high winds you probably can't dump the main fast enough, hence it's often better to center it and try to get it down somehow _before_ trying to round up under jib alone - and then only if you've nowhere else to go (eg. a lee shore)...
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post #58 of 70 Old 09-10-2007
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Hartley: Yah, we'd been doing chicken jibes all day, I figured it was time to try something more exciting. Attempt some of the advice given in this thread. The goal was to change from tack to tack, almost DDW, with the boom sheeted to center, wait for the boat to slow, then somehow release the boom and get around to a beam reach without broaching.

What we GOT was a free boat wash, no waiting.

It was worth it for the look in my girlfriend's eyes when the leeward seat went under.

(Granted, bigger boats have more keel to trip over than little boats, and the thought of broaching one is much much scarier. OTOH, my dinghy's got a SA/D ratio of about 45 -- which means when the wind gets hold of the sails, you are going where it wants to put you.)

A closeup look at my avatar may explain why this topic interests me so deeply:

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Last edited by bobmcgov; 09-10-2007 at 12:47 AM.
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post #59 of 70 Old 09-10-2007
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Sounds like great fun!! Wish I could have been there...
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post #60 of 70 Old 09-11-2007 Thread Starter
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I had a chance to try some of these ideas finally - here is what I did and it seemed to work ok... but there may be something less painful on the nerves:

I was running downwind, the main was pinned ot the spreaders. There was too much wind to haul in the sheets without wearing sailing gloves, so I couldn't try that trick then dump it when I started to turn.

I ran up to the mast, and let the halyard down semi-controlled while a second person stayed on the helm. We left the Jib up for now to keep water over the rudder.
My boom and main comes down like a ton of bricks in any weather, so it was a fast procedure. I didn't need to do much gathering or pulling to get it all together and back over the companionway.
I carried sail ties up with me, so I slopply tied the sail off, trying not to break any battens.
Once the main was tied off, I had reduced the speed and heel by tons to the point where we could let the jib drive the boat back upwind until I went into irons. This is where I set the storm jib, and we went back to sailing, with only the SJ out (because my reefing system is the confusion of another post on this boat) and things seemed to go ok.

I noticed that if I was in a BIGGER gust (I was in about 40 kts) or rather, expecting a biger one, I should have the sail ties already near the mast ( I keep them looped on a hand rail near the mast now) and having a second person is a MUST.
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