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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2007
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Does the keel line hold it down or pull it up? Normally there would be enough weight in it to hold itself down. Even if it did come up somewhat, the difference it makes to the CLR is small certainly in comparison to sailing on a close reach with only a jib, and in fact is only one of several minor adjustments one might make to balance a boat.
If you dipped the rail on a beam reach but not a beat, it seems likely the sails were overtrimmed, as the healing force on a reach is less.
By the way you may find it preferable to reef the main as the first step in reducing sail rather than first reducing the jib as the jib is a better source of drive whereas the main gives balance.
I have seen people have difficulty grasping the idea of sail balance even avoiding technical terms like COE and CLR but it is an important point to grasp.
A sail pushes forward and sideways. Replace the sail by a man in the water at the bow in the dock or wherever. He pushes sideways at the bow boat turns away. He pushes at the stern stern turns away. Simple.
Your bow was turning to leeward. You steer to try and correct this. Any gust it goes more to leeward as the force increases. Any lull and the steering dominates and you turn up. Wind varies frequently. Result squirrels.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vabuckeye View Post
I don't believe my son (22 years old) raised the keel. A cam cleat holds the line in place and I was thinking that it allowed the line to slip a little and and that is how the keel possibly came up.

I still have my keel concerns. I am just not convinced it was all the way down. The rudder seemed to be acting as a pivot point. It just doesn't seem the boat should have been that uncontrollable. We couldn't do anything on wind. Next time out I am going to partially raise the keel and see what happens.

Jim
Jim: It does sound likely. You say the Hunter's keel is unweighted, eg just a swinging fiberglass foil? They are famous for raising themselves on reaches or runs, when drag pushes them backwards. Upwind, there's lateral force against the board, which holds in in position. On reaches, your sped increases, the lateral force decreases, and vibration aids the keel in swinging up. Heck, I've got my dinghy trained to raise the CB for me.

But you were perhaps still overcanvassed -- if not for the conditions, than for your experience with this boat. Better to sail with small sails until you learn the quirks. Even when the wind is low, I often sail reefed when experimenting with balance and maneuvers. Lets me feel the hull better when it's not being driven hard. The breaking of the sail slugs also rings alarm bells: almost sounds like you were sheeted in too tight. Did you have the main in your hand, or was it cleated off?
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2007
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Umm... a PFD isn't really enough, unless you're sure your crew is competent to do a MOB recovery with you in the water. When I'm singlehanding or sailing with non-sailing guests or relatively inexperienced crew, I will often use a tether and harness. This is less of an issue on my boat, since it is 18' wide and has foot-high bulwarks on the outer edge of the ama decks, and doesn't heel much more than 10˚ typically.

You should probably run jacklines and use a harness and tether IMHO. YMMV.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2007
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repair the slugs yourself, it's really easy for most sails. I had a few pop on my 30 yr old main. I bought replacement slugs (about 2 bucks each) and some webbing and lashed/sewed them on myself in about 5 minutes. I bet they are better than new. You can see instructions on this in 'the sailmakers apprentice' or on sailrite

http://www.sailrite.com/sail-slugs-r...=2&category=98

the method not shown in that video is the one I used, I have grommets at the slug points and webbing wraps around through them so basically you wrap the webbing carefully a few times, then sew just the figure 8s as show in the video, so you don't penetrate the sail or need a sewing machine.

http://books.google.com/books?id=nZ3...-9gs#PPA464,M1

scroll down, there are pictures of various methods. remember to wrap your webbing through the gromment at least twice.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2007
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btw, my first sailboat I bought when I was 16 and didn't know any better had all the sail slides in a bag. I sat on the front lawn with some 50 lb fishing line I bought at a yard sale for 10 cents and lashed them all on by hand. that 10 cent repair job lasted the 4 years I had and sailed the boat. don't be scared of fixing things yourself. However, I would not recommend using fishing line in this case. lol.
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2007
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"I have seen people have difficulty grasping the idea of sail balance"

This must be me. As much as I would like to believe I did not have too much sail, I was over canvased for the weather.

As for sheeting too tight, I had the main halyard tight and cleated. The mainsheet was tight enough to keep the luff out of the sail, but loose enough to create some sail twist. The end of the boom was over the lifelines if that makes any sense or matters. The jib was inside and almost against the lifelines.

What little weight there is in the keel will bring it up. Pulling and cleating the rope will hold it down. It is good to hear that this possible slipping has been a problem and something to keep a check on.

The Admiral says I have to run jacklines.

I have rebuilt most of the boat. Not afraid to fix anything. I will check on repairing the slugs myself.

Thanks again for the time spent.

Jim
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2007
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Consider also that your headsail halyard may have becaome faouled or twisted, or for some other reason the sail was not quite fully hoisted. This nore tunrs your headsail into a bag of wind instead of a wing that can drive the boat forwards. An insufficiently taughtened halyard would indeed give similar results to what you described....
Though without actually being there, it could be any of the four suggestions so far.

On the bright side, it is easy to check for all of them (watch for them in advance) if the situation looks like rearing its ugly head again.


Sasha
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2007
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I thought so. The sails on a beam reach should be at about 22 degrees to the wind This maximises forward power, and heeling power is minimal. If the jib was inside the lifelines that suggests an angle of about 74 to the wind which would mean that for the luff of the main not to be backwinded would be much the same roughly hauled in too much by 50.
I was not aware the Hunter swing keel has little weight, however the point remains that its position has an effect on fine tuning only not gross tuning.
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Old 11-25-2007
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I am going to add a roller furling. I had toyed with the idea all summer as I was working on the boat and decided to wait till I sailed to make the decision. I just wasn't certain if it was necessary on a 22 footer.

I found this on Ebay and think I may treat myself to an early Christmas gift.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/21-5-...5973QQtcZphoto

The roller furling is new, the headsail shows some age and doesn't appear that worn. I just need to take some measurements.

Thanks again for the help.

Jim
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